I can also confirm this wobbly watermark on recordings of Metallica and Rammstein, it is especially annoying on the S&M album. As a premium user I am very disappointed to get so little trust of the labels that I only get worsened audio material.
Ouch, yes the crowd noise on the live tracks is awful.
Interestingly, the same tracks on Apple Music seem unaffected so it is possible for streaming services to get unwatermarked versions from labels. Not that I’d want to use Apple Music all the time either.
Great to have found this thread as I am observing the degadations for quite some years and now I know its from "water marking". I left Tidal for Spotify and was happy but I find these issues increasingly with Spotify too. Now I understand why.
Clearly I cannot listen to such degraded Music.
Fortuneately in my case only few albums are affected. So I am shocked to read that whole famous labes apply this kind of "protection". This is a shame.
Straming music services is a great tool to get acces to what artists produce.
Deliberately degrading sound quality for paying subscribers is nothing else than fraud. Its also a desaster for the musicians who rely on some income from these services.
Definitely some good news here. In the last week, I've noticed the watermarking has been removed from a number or recordings (not all by any means).
Certainly it is verifiable in some recordings that were mentioned earlier in this thread—for example the S&M album from Metallica. Listen now and there's no longer that tell-tale warbling in the crowd noise or cymbals. This is great!
A lot of classical recordings (which I listen to most) have been fixed, some on the Philips label, some on Decca and DG.
There are still many examples of watermarking left but you're more likely to be able to find a non-watermarked version of a track, say on a compilation.
Just in case anyone at Spotify or UMG is reading this thread—thanks and please continue!
You are correct that the Dave Grusin record has the watermarking. That's a shame! There's still a lot of the Jazz and Soundtrack UMG catalogue that needs to be re-encoded or refreshed.
Coincidentally, I've noticed another tranche of UMG classical recordings have been fixed, possibly as of today. These seem to be mostly in the DG, Decca and Philips Opera category. I maintain a list of records that are bad and these are now good, as of today. Interested if anyone else has noted any improvement.