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Tidal vs Spotify

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by krismusic, Sep 5, 2015.
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  1. frodeni
    Thanks for sharing. It pretty much seems to fall in line with what I would expect.
    If listening listening in particular for room accustics and the reproduction of lesser pronounced instruments, the difference is typically more pronounced. Bright perk on Spotify, like cymbals, might also sound completely off, as they often loose a lot of articulation. For some reason, this is often more easily revealed on cheaper gear.
    Also, adding EQ effects to the sound, often reveals defects. I do not use any EQ, but it is a known trait.
  2. Walderstorn
    Yeap the difference is there, its noticeable even for a lightly trained ear like mine, even my girl that uses cheap iems and sources noticed, so thats telling a lot.
    Btw the gear i used was a Musical Fidelity v90 dac and Gustard H10, so no mid-high or top-end gear, but also not cheap either.
  3. castleofargh Contributor
    as it's sound science, it would be cool if you could substantiate your claims with more than "it's a known trait". even more so when you make such a caricature statement about something you don't even use. 
    Roly1650 and Cosmic Shel like this.
  4. frodeni
    This is what I have been told, as experienced by others. And it makes utterly sense. Compression adds compression artifacts, and you loose detail. Those artifacts will be enhanched by any further work on the sound, and any alteration will result in further loss of details. Things quickly gets more noticeable.
    This is well known from any signal processing, like photography and film industry. You will be taught this, if you study multimedia.
    I feel no strong urge to prove this point, as it is an established and well proven fact. If you want to learn on signal processing, there are classes for that. This is what you will learn taking them. It simply is not my field of study anymore.
    So. How about you answering me for once? Like the this strange posts of yours previously in this thread. Accountabililty goes both ways you know. It is not like you can go on an on ridiculing anyone for all their claims you disapprove, demanding proof. Then flat out denying to stand by your own claims. I have asked you to rephrase your question, and expect you to do so. Otherwise, you come of flat out insulting you know.
    pibroch and istvanumeszaros like this.
  5. cjl
    The thing is, the compression artifacts are 50-60+dB down from the main signal on 320 LAME or 256 AAC, and that's at a level where it would not be expected to be audible. You can't just say "Artifacts exist, therefore they are audible". To support your claim, you both need to show that artifacts exist (which I don't think anyone here will argue with you on), and that they are audible (which is the part you haven't even tried to show).
  6. castleofargh Contributor
    about the last post, distortions from whatever processing can have very different impacts, I agree with the destructive nature of it for data but certainly not with the audibility of it. and when it becomes audible at some point, then I disagree that it has to sound like an artifact. it will sound different, but if it was so easy to say when something has superior signal fidelity by ear, nobody wouldn't prefer some rolled off distorted tube amp to a clean SS amp, nobody would keep saying that vinyl sounds more like the real thing...
    depending on the order of distortion resulting from processing, it could sound harsh and feel like it's an artifact, but it could just as well sound nicer, more textured, or more detailed from the added sound that wasn't in the original.
    and of course because using an EQ will boost or mask particular frequencies, using an EQ can reveal just as much as it can hide. it's only a matter of how it's used.
      to me you just jump to conclusion.  deciding that all manipulation done to the signal has to be bad, and to sound audible as bad.
    even if you're trying to amalgam all distortions and digital processing into one, you're still off topic, because Kris was clear in his first post that the sound difference he perceives, isn't simply the file being in mp3 320. that he, like myself, fails to hear as different from lossless.
    so the real question of the topic was to know if they were actually using lower mp3 compression that can indeed be more noticeable, or if spotify (or tidal) was doing something to the sound? that's why I didn't see what your first post was all about. most of it was unsubstantiated claims used as an argument to reinforce your previous unsubstantiated claims while going off topic. it looked more like you had to let out some frustration about different topics and picked here randomly to vent it all out.
    edit: nobody wouldn't ^_^
  7. frodeni
    That explains a lot.
    That explains even more. Have you ever studied science? How could you, not even knowing what an artifact is?
  8. castleofargh Contributor
    you post something almost entirely off topic and don't notice it or understand why I find your post super weird.
    after another of your free statement posts,I ask you to explain and try to demonstrate your claims, because you made a lot in just 2 posts and this is the sound science section of the forum. instead of trying, you answer by asking me to explain myself.
    so I play and explain how I disagree with your claim about EQ and audibility of 320mp3, with what I hope to be good easy examples of when some people actually prefer the lesser sound. you don't care to explain anything, don't care to agree or argue about anything I wrote, or what cjl said. instead now you want my CV.
    I'm starting to see a very annoying pattern, so instead let's go back to the original topic. why does spotify sound worst than 320mp3 to Kris?
    ps: of course I know what an artifact is, I watched all seasons of stargate SG1 when I was younger![​IMG]
  9. krismusic Contributor
    I do think, in general, analogies with other media or cars are not particularly useful.
    You end up comparing apples and oranges.
    I have used EQ to ameliorate problems with headphones with very good results.
    I would certainly far rather listen to a flawed product with EQ rather than without.
    Happily with my current headphones I do not need to use EQ.
    I've been very happy listening to Spotify but having heard Tidal realise that I am missing out on SQ.
    Unfortunately I find the UI of Tidal cumbersome and for that reason alone will probably end up not using it.
  10. pervysage

    I have the exact same feelings about the Tidal/Spotify SQ difference. Actually quite shocked at how many people are saying they don't hear a difference. To me the difference is very clear with Tidal coming out on top.. And yet I don't have a Tidal subscription, heh. One reason being that just like you I find the UI of Tidal a pain to use. Spotify is much easier to use and find what I am looking for. Tidal is also overpriced IMO.

    But yeah, Tidal most certainly sounds better than Spotify, much as I would love to deny it :p
    pibroch likes this.
  11. sonitus mirus
    Nobody seems to be claiming that no difference can be heard, but we simply don't know, as I have not seen anyone show any evidence that an attempt to remove bias was done.  Normally, I am unable to hear a difference with the Ogg Vorbis Q9 file type that Spotify claims to use with their high quality service and a FLAC file that Tidal claims to be using with their high quality service.  I have no way to directly test Spotify vs Tidal in a manner where the two streaming files can be properly volume matched and tested with an ABX tool.  The type of differences claimed to be heard are similar to how many people, including myself, seem to describe audible differences without a properly controlled test that removes bias.
  12. pervysage

    Oh okay, I get where you're coming from. When I first heard Tidal, I thought it was just a volume difference that was making Tidal sound better (I had to turn up volume quite a bit when listening to Spotify in order to match what Tidal was putting out). Still, I felt that Tidal was more clear sounding and detailed.
  13. frodeni
    That is impossible by science. Kris has only offered statements like "better" and "no difference". He has not describe his methodology, nor what the accuracy of this test is. As for "better", no description is given, nothing quantifieable at all. No nothing. Nothing we can repeat, and compare notes with.
    My subjective qualitative data, contradict him. There is just nothing to analyse.
    You see, you are not a scientists in here. You do not speak the language of science. Not even close. It is just utterly clear by now, that a you do not know what the language of science is. Stop making nonsense claims. This is not a board of scientific discussion, in at scientific manner. Not even close.
    Well, making that mistake, getting caught for it, and replying like this in a scientific setting, is simply unheard of. The mistake is bloody obvious. The answer exposes you like nuts.
    We cannot go on this way, as if I treat you like you ask me to, as a scientist, I will just end up ridiculing you like nuts, and you will simply not get it. But others will. So you will have to excuse me, as to ignoring you a bit from here on, as I simply cannot go on like this.
    That makes two of us.
    Yeah. Now, this ABX argument is not even closely understood. Seems like hardly anyone gets it in this forum.
    First of all, the test subject needs to be able to positively differentiate specific sonic traits. Bias or not. Only then, is there any point in running any ABX. If not, how do you know that your test subject is able to differentiate anything? That is like testing for inaccuracy with no accuracy. Wonder what the outcome will be? Pointless.
    In particular funny it is, that people get the information that one sample is Mp3 and the other one is lossless. Now how can anyone in their right mind, claim that such a test would be rid of any bias? What if you do not believe in any difference? Then what?
    Then there is the typical bashing before tests:"There is no difference, now, just take the test. Just remember, there is no difference, no one hears any difference, and those who claim to, are crazy. You are not crazy are you? Now, take the test." or "if there is no difference at all, it will be really small". Hopefully, people are smart enough to see the huge blunder in this.
    Bias is not the problem, but the ability to accurately differentiate sonic traits. I am able in one case to hear environmental sounds, and in the other there are no such sounds. Bias makes no sense in my case. Unless you are paranoid beyond belief, which still changes nothing as to my ability to differentiate the sounds on distinct sonic traits.
    With accuracy, the ABX outcome is a given. And, again, pointless.
    Also, all this talk about volume in the forums, makes no sense to me. Most sonic traits remain the same, regardless of even major volume changes. If an ABX test is sensitive to volume, something is seriously wrong. In that case, there is a huge gaping hole in the methodology.
  14. castleofargh Contributor
    wow. I wouldn't have dreamed of somebody taking my PS: at face value. \o/ made my day. [​IMG]
  15. RRod
    The "people can fail if they want" argument. Of course they can. The point is to make sure that a positive is not a false positive, hence why one should choose a p-value that they can live with if someone should pass the ABX. Increasing p while keeping trials constant will necessarily increase the false negative rate. Since the max number of trials one can do without fatigue isn't huge, the experimenter must really decide what he is trying to test before selecting ABX as the methodology. But the claim "I can easily hear a difference between A and B" should be prime fare for the protocol.
    The ABX outcome is not a given; anyone who's tried to gradually decrease sample specs until they could pass the test would know this isn't true. And volume matching is essential, as it is ridiculously easy to ABX two files made from the same base file, the only difference being 1dB of gain. It's not that ABX is sensitive to volume, it's that *we* are.
    The main problem I have with ABX is that the statistical setup assumes a coin-flip situation, but that's rarely how it seems to work out. What seems to happen is that either the listener latches on to a difference and then scores well into significance, or the fail miserably. But this is becoming its own thread now.
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