After I used Spotify for the first time I was amazed with the Premium high quality streaming.
The problem is that with the new version 0.8.8 high quality streaming is not working. It says in the settings it is on, but the sound quality is still 160kbps.
Everything is fine when I keep the version 0.8.5 which is installed when you download Spotify for the first time. With high quality streaming and all albums sound almost the same as my 400 original CDs. The problem is that it quickly upgrades itself to 0.8.8 and then the quality drops to 160kbps and all restarting, logging out, switch high quality streaming on/off doesn't help. It always stays 160kbps. If someone has access to ouput meters in their audio interface you can tell you're not getting 320kbps when the peak level of all modern albums is around -4dB instead of around 0dB. Just check the new Biffy Clyro or Muse albums.
Please Spotify confirm this as a bug and fix it ASAP.
Here is how to recreate the issue:
1. Install Spotify. It will run 0.8.5 version when you run it for the first time. Make sure it is a clean install.
2. Turn High Quality Streaming on.
3. Play "The Joke's On Us" by Biffy Clyro - you should hear it in near-CD quality and the peak level should be at around 0dBFS.
4. After Spotify shows you a blue strip with the information about the upgrade, restart Spotify.
5. After the restart you will see the version 0.8.8 (there is the new "follow" feature amongst other things).
6. Play the same song. It will still be the way it was in 0.8.5. It is only the first time after the upgrade when 0.8.8 plays high quality streaming.
7. Restart Spotify again. The high quality streaming is gone for good. You will hear it and the peak level will be down to around -4dB. Now only a clean reinstall can bring the high quality back.
I have repeated the same sequence 5 times and it always gives the same results.