Qobuz Lossless Streaming Service Thread

Discussion in 'Music' started by animeismylife, Jul 23, 2017.
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  1. animeismylife
    Hey guys! Noticed there's a Tidal thread, but not one for Qobuz. Does everyone here only use tidal? I personally found that Qobuz has more of the music I listen to compared to tidal and has an overall cleaner UI. Any of you guys subscribed to the new 24 bit Hi-Res Sublime+ subscription yet? Please share your thoughts on anything related to Qobuz. The tidal thread has 3.5k posts, WE NEED TO CATCH UP :wink: Qobuz lovers unite!! ^__^
     
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  2. animeismylife
    Noticed there's a marginal difference in file size between tracks "bought" on Qobuz and "imported" with a subscription. The purchased 16 bit version is 42.5 MB, whereas the imported one is 40.25 MB. Needless to say, I hear ZERO difference between the two lol.

    IMG_6613.jpg IMG_6624.jpg
     
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  3. Oscar-HiFi
    Qobuz user here, got a free years subscription through work and I love it.

    Not a big streamer to be honest, but it's excellent to have and very convinient, works with all my DAC's well and cannot fault it.
     
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  4. animeismylife
    Qobuz allows downloading of purchased music in so many file formats lol! I could be wrong, but I don't think Tidal has this feature. I visited their download store website and there only 2 options: Mp3 & FLAC. I am not an audiophile, but WAV & AIFF are true uncompressed audio formats, right? Because I downloaded the same Prince song in AIFF and the file size went up to 62.5 MB :grin: Anyway, being able to download music in so many formats is a very convenient feature to have. Especially for mobile users. Onkyo player on iOS supports both AIFF & WAV. ^__^

    IMG_6633.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  5. animeismylife
    The next thing I'm interested in knowing is whether there is any difference in file size between AIFF/WAV music downloaded from Qobuz and ripped from a CD... Hope someone who has done this comparison comments here! ^__^

    Edit: Had a chat with @Music Alchemist on this topic in PM. Here's the summary:
    “If the CD rip and the Qobuz copy were derived from the same master, they should sound identical. File size between the two may vary slightly due to differences in metadata & artwork. If the Qobuz file is from a different master than the CD, one will just have to listen to both to determine which one they like better. Personally, I'd just buy used CDs on Amazon, eBay, and Discogs (available for as low as a penny plus shipping) and rip them to lossless."

    Personally, I'm going to continue purchasing music from Qobuz. I just really like the convenience... Buying used CDs and ripping them is still a bit of a process. And from what I can gather from MusicAlchemist's reply, if a person is satisfied with the audio quality of the AIFF/WAV Qobuz file, no reason to buy the CD to check if it's better quality ^__^
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
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  6. Left Channel
    I mostly stream and cannot yet comment on Qobuz downloads vs., say, HD Tracks. I can offer a comparison of streaming on Qobuz and Tidal though. I'm in the US, but there is a roundabout way to get a Qobuz subscription here, and I signed up for Sublime+ to match the performance of my Tidal HiFi account.

    I find that streaming Qobuz Hi-Res 24/96 and 24/192 tracks compares well with streaming Tidal HiFi and Masters (at 1x; I do not yet have an MQA DAC). But when a track is "CD-quality" 16/44.1 the Qobuz stream sounds muffled in comparison. Looking for a cause, I found while using UAPP that the Qobuz bitrate for their 16/44.1 streams is very good but often less than half that of the Tidal HiFi 1411 kbps minimum. I've seen Qobuz vary 16/44.1 streams between 620 to a little over 900 kpbs so far, while at this very moment I'm streaming a Tidal 16/44.1 track at 1683 kbps. Qobuz Hi-Res tracks sometimes go far higher, and as I said they compare well, but I can hear a clear difference in 16/44.1 tracks on Android and Windows.

    On the other hand, Qobuz hasn't hung on me once yet, and barely ever stutters. I prefer Qobuz suggestions and other content, as well as the overall design, and also the wider selection in some genres like jazz and electronica. The playlists seem a bit more fresh and creative too. However I do wish I could reskin the Qobuz app to make it less bright and blinding sometimes, and occasionally small Fr-En localization problems show up ("stéréo", "Electro") but that's not a deal-breaker.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  7. Left Channel
    qobuz-win-app.jpg
     
  8. animeismylife
    After reading Left Channel's post, I was really curious about the bitrate difference between Qobuz and Tidal. Since there is no app on iOS that shows the bitrate while streaming, I decided to buy a track on tidal. Bought the first track using an app that has a user agent faker. Clicked on download and got this progress bar instead of a promt to download the file. I waited 2 minutes for the download promt to show up but when it didn't, I thought I must've done something wrong and bought another song. The same thing happened... My download token for both songs got used up and I didn't even get to download them :joy:

    IMG_7104.PNG IMG_7105.PNG

    Also, I was a bit shocked to find that a 16/44.1 song which was available on Qobuz for £1.99, costed £4.60 on Tidal. The two songs in the pic were the only songs I could find which were £2.29...

    Reason for editing:
    Noobness :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  9. Left Channel
    @animeismylife you should pursue Tidal for credit, but those downloads would not have helped you make the same comparison anyway. Maybe you knew that already, but now I'm confused so please allow me to go on for a bit.

    I was referring to bit rate as a measure of streaming, not in downloaded files for local use which may not be the same source as used on the streaming services. I monitored the bit rates while streaming via UAPP for Android, which integrates both services. I cannot see bit rates in the companies' own apps for Windows or Android. Qobuz streaming bit rates are lower than Tidal for 16/44.1 tracks, but higher for all or most "Hi-Res" tracks. (I mostly stream music, but since you mentioned download sales I will say that Qobuz is much more engaged in that part of the business, with an emphasis on high resolution files and a better reputation overall. Your experience proves once again that Tidal really isn't serious about that aspect of music sales.)

    Qobuz continues to work more smoothly for me than Tidal, particularly on Windows where the Tidal app often freezes between and sometimes even during tracks. I also prefer the new highlighted new music and other suggestions on Qobuz. Tidal emphasizes music by or preferred by its owners and their fans.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  10. Fox2twenty
    Is there a price difference? I'm currently using Amazon prime mostly.
     
  11. Left Channel
    Amazon Prime Music is best compared with Apple Music and the lowest-priced plans from Spotify and other services.

    The $9.99 Tidal and €9.99 Qobuz basic monthly plans compete with those, at the lowest streaming quality. But that is not what they're known for here on Head-Fi, and Qobuz quality is particularly lame at that level.

    The $19.99 Tidal HiFi or €19.99 Qobuz Hi-Fi plans are where I believe most Head-Fiers would start. At this level Tidal has the quality edge due to higher bit rates, and also MQA if that's your thing.

    The Tidal and Qobuz price plans diverge from there, with Tidal focusing on discounted monthly family and military pricing, while Qobuz offers two annual plans, one offering a discount for Hi-Fi streaming and adding discounted Hi-Res downloads, and one costing more for Hi-Res streaming up to 24/192 (which to my ears competes well with MQA) and also including those discounted Hi-Res downloads.

    https://support.tidal.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003662825-Subscription-types

    http://www.qobuz.com/ie-en/plans/music-streaming-subscription
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  12. animeismylife
    I see... I'm really new to this hobby and I totally bought those 2 tracks thinking the streaming bitrate was the same as the bitrate in local file info and I can do a comparison lol. I tried both services for two months and found that Qobuz is the complete package for the same reasons you mentioned... I really liked tidal's hd video feature though! It could be just me, but videos looked better than the ones on youtube...
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  13. Fox2twenty
    Oh snap, I really like military discounts. So tidal is the one that does military stuff, that's cool. :call_me:
     
  14. Left Channel
    Well sometimes you can compare bit rates that way, but one can seldom know if the source files they are streaming are the same as the files they sell for downloading.

    Tidal video is yet another example of their targeting an entirely different demographic, which they do very well, but I am on these services for other reasons.
     
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  15. Left Channel
    That's a key US-EU cultural difference right there. :)
     
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