Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

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Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

biggest_dreamer
Visitor

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.

Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

richbs
Gig Goer

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.

Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

Joerg1959
Music Fan

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.

 

Just my two cent
BR

Jörg

 

Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

richbs
Gig Goer
Matt Montag has done the most work on this issue on his blog and he’s seen some improvement this year:

https://www.mattmontag.com/music/an-update-on-umg-watermarks

However, most of the tracks I’ve noticed previously are still watermarked.

I also subscribe to Apple Music, which is inferior to Spotify in a number of ways, but they have recently removed all watermarks as far as I can tell.

Not sure if the labels or the streaming service did this but I wonder if it could happen on Spotify?


Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

richbs
Gig Goer

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!

Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

Joerg1959
Music Fan

I am still finding watermarked Albums not only UMG but also Concord group.

Latest DG - Dave Grusin NOW PLAYING on GRP (UMG). 

Correct me if I am wrong.

 

Can I ask Spotity to comment and confirm that any kind of marking that results in audible degradation is removed in due time?

As paying cutomers I think we deserve an answer.

Best Regards
Joerg

Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

richbs
Gig Goer

Hi @Joerg1959 

 

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.

 

 

https://open.spotify.com/track/0p5qeI9UPwIOUlrhK0aaI1?si=h-OaxfzQRTmIpMdHJe5zCA

 

https://open.spotify.com/track/11Xb4g57kDYwbjKVljcyTN?si=oXU29GPqRTOBvArILacWhg

 

 

 

Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

Joerg1959
Music Fan
Excellent improvements.
Keep it up Spotify. I am still to see your comment.

Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

Joerg1959
Music Fan

I re-opened my Deezer account and the mentioned Dave Grusin album is clean there. Same goes for "Ultimate Mancini" which is on Concord Records.

 

I will check later: 

Joerg1959_0-1574432653594.png

Telarc made famous Records since the 1980s until they ceased operation. They now belong to Concord and I found this album watermarked too.

So its not just UMG. Also Concord is watermarking.

BR Joerg

 

Re: Audible watermarks degrading sound on Spotify premium

richbs
Gig Goer

Hi @Joerg1959 

 

I read with interest your research on the Concord label being watermarked. As an independent label, I was surprised they were suffering the same issue as UMG recordings.

 

I remembered somewhere a link between UMG and Concord and found at this link their "distributor". Guess who? Universal Music Group. See this link:

https://concord.com/distribution/

 

This reminded me that when ECM first published their amazing catalogue digitally, I noticed a lot of watermarking. Turns out ECM is distributed by UMG as well, despite being independent:

 

https://www.ecmrecords.com/distributors

 

Here's an example of watermarking from the ECM catalogue:

 

https://open.spotify.com/track/6yMxGkMvjkKR4gqPsl6TxL?si=q-rNPhYzRfGLeleJe1yBXA

 

Cheers!

 

 

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