-Lossless audio quality-



On the old spotify forum there where many highly debated posts about flac and lossless audio in general.

This debate has 2 sides:

  1. Lossless streaming - this is the way into the future, but I estimate that it will take some time.
  2. Playback of your own flac that is on you computer. This is the point I'm suggesting, asking for today.

Playback of your own flac is a must for me, and everyone else that has a sound system, either speakers or headphones, that playback the sound at high end quality. Flac has become the industry standard for the High End Music market, and is miles ahead of nr 2, the apple lossless format.


I'm always looking for a the best playback program on PC's and Mac's. So far I havent found one that is worth recommending to others, so I use spotify for streaming, and foobar2000 for flac. The kicker is that Spotify has become a Very GOOD playback program, all though only for MP3 standard formats.


If Spotify where able to playback my own flac, it would become my number one and only playback program, and I'm sure that there is many others that feal the sameway.


You might say that there isn't any market in lossless, but I quaranty you that if lossless format playback, ia flac, was a part of the premium package, the number premium vs unlimited and freewold increase alot.


Spotify is already on its way to becoming the nr 1 playback program in the world for low quality formats, and it would be nice if the high end music lovers like my self could use it for our music and high end systems with lossless format.


For the "you can't hear the difference between mp3 360 and flac" debate, I've listed a few points below...in random order.

  • yes, it's true you can't hear the difference on a cheaps #"¤ low quality system.
  • yes, on a high end system you CAN hear the difference on most songs.
  • yes, it's true that there is a few songs that either is too "noisy" or is recorded too poorly where you can't here the difference
  • the above facts is something that is commenly agreed upon in the high end world(either you belive that a digital cable gives better sound if it's goldplated or not)
  • If YOU cant hear the difference on a high end system, then staticly..there is something wrong with you hearing.

PS: A good high end system requier that the whole route in the system is high end..a good usb dac, quality cables(not insanely expensive though), a good preamp/amplifier(headphoneamp) and good speakers(headphones). the cost of a system like this Usaly start at these estimated prices.

  • USB-dac around 1200€ Hegel HD20 is best value for money these days
  • Cables around 5-700€ (complete for a stereo speaker system) should get you far
  • F.ex Micromega PA 20 around 13-1400€ pre amp - has processer through for line AND subwoofer (Excellent to connect to your surround reciver, as it gives you subwoofer for you surround system, as well as for your hifi system).
  • Skipping the amp and going for a set of active speakers would save you money
    Adam Audio Classic Mk3 Compact around 3400€
    And a tight subwoofer would give you a floorstanding sound for alot less Euros.
    Adam Audio Classic Mk3 SW 260 around 1200€

There is cheaper systems out there, but this is a midrange High End system with outstanding sound. It will playback the sound as it's made/sounds.. that is, if you don't like violins or trumpets live..you don't like them on this system either.


Summary is short: Please make it possible to use spotify for listing to lossless music ia, flac!


Well, that is my take on this..please debate and or comment on this topic, so we can get some preasure on Spotify.





Updated: 2015-11-17

Hello folks, we've made some recent changes to this thread. As we feel this is listing two separate ideas we've split the kudos between the two ideas below. 

Please continue to leave comments/ feedback in the two more specific ideas below. We're continuing to bring this feedback to the appropriate teams to ask for updates on these ideas. 

1. Lossless Streaming 16bit 44.1khz CD quality

You are right, it would mean a considerable increase in bandwidth use throughout the service, it isn't likely in the near future. In the long run, when network bandwidths increase, this is likely to become a possibility. If you want to show support for lossless streaming click here.


This would be easier to implement, as it only requires development of the app itself, and wouldn't have any effect on the Spotify service itself.

At the moment, flac is still a relatively uncommon format. If you would like support, please show your support for this right here.

We really appreciate your contribution here, you all make the Spotify experience a great one. 🙂


I did a search on the forums and to my surprise I couldn't see any posts about people wanting higher quality than the standard 320kbps(Premium) quality. 

The only thing stopping me from transitioning to Spotify as my primary music source is the lack of CD-quality songs, a feature I'm sure many audiophiles would pay extra for. Listening to music as an experience is never better than the weakest link, and that's what's stopping me from using spotify on my stereo system through Sonos. 


Anyone heard about future plans to upgrade the quality?


I always find this request bizzarre. Spotify is a streaming service! Lossless and seamless streaming for all simply don't go together.


It would be great as an option, even with an extra price to pay (because of the larger requirement in server bandwith) and it's definitively not useful for everyone (Good studio monitors/speakers are needed to see a real improvement). It's the main reason that prevent many audiophile to se Spotify, the 320kbps on all track is already pretty fair, but lossless would be perfect. 


it's not so much a matter of whether FLAC is necessary or not: the fact is, FLAC remains a popular file format and should be fairly simple to support (possibly through some sort of plugin). my use of Spotify is limited by the fact that many of my files are in FLAC, I prefer to keep them that way, and prefer not to maintain a parallel set of transcoded mp3 files. i don't see why local FLAC support would be so onerous to provide--but i do see that this would let me use spotify as my integrated player, and would help me justify maintaining my premium subscription.


Audio quality beyond 320 kps for offline mode on Mac and PC.


Anyone else think that Spotify should add codec support so we can play FLAC and other lossless files? I'd prefer being able to play all my music via Spotify rather than having to switch, and I bet Spotify would prefer that too..



I wouldn't think that it would be too difficult to add codec support...


Yeah agree with the both of you, I also have a lot of .flac files, usually which is music I hold in high regard. would be silly if I need to have 2 sets of file formats from each album... come on spotify..


I actually got quite surprised it wasn't supported, first audio player I've used which doesn't support flac.. and this player I'm paying 10£ a month for.. the others I've used have been freeware!


My Hi-Fi equipment has a value of 3000€+, and I can clearly hear the difference between *.mp3 and *.flac.


But the price of the speakers and so on shouldn't even be mentioned.. bottom line is that spotify as an paid for audio player client should support playing .flac files. shouldn't be any debate surrounding this.. one thing is that they stream in lossless.. but not being able to play local .flac format? come on spotify..


I don't see why offering lossless streaming would be bizarre. There are plenty of video streaming services where the bandwidth requirements are much higher than streaming lossless music. 


As far as I've understood the Spotify service, Spotify receives the original music files form the music companies in wav. Why not just convert the wav files to a lossless format such as FLAC which has a smaller file size as well as better support for metadata, and by doing that both saving space and being able to offer true cd quality. There is plenty of music streaming services to choose from, so I think offering lossless streaming would be an excellent way of distinguishing Spotify from its competitors.

Casual Listener

I would really like the option to stream and/or download lossless audio, for example FLAC. I don't see an advantage in buying an album for a higher price than in a store with lower audio quality (320kbps mp3).


If this is possible I see the advantage of using spotify over buying at a store.

Not applicable

I agree with schizoform, it doesn't even matter whether .flac sounds better or not. It has more advantages than that (losless is the only way to "truly" archive and keep a copy of your music collection) but most importantly it is a popular OPEN format so it makes sense to add suport and it shouldn't be a too big hassle to implement it. All music players I know support .flac except itunes, so if even countless open source music players can play .flac I can't imagine it to be it that hard to implement it in spotify or am I missing something?


.ogg support would be also nice, btw., but I see lack of .flac support more problematic

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