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Music Fan
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎2012-03-19
Accepted Solution

Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

Hi,

 I upgraded to the Spotify Premium Account in large part for the improved audio quality. When I go to the preferences panel and toggle the "High quality streaming" button on and off, I can't hear any difference at all in the sound quality.

 Should there be an immediate change in the streaming quality, or do I have to wait for a minute or restart the program to effect the change?

 I am listening on a custom built PC, less than one year old, with a nice soundcard, running Windows 7, and listening thru some Sennheiser HD 202 headphones.

Thanks in advance!

Dave

Solution!
Accepted by SHADEYMAN-GB (Bedroom Songwriter)
‎2016-01-08 06:09 PM
Spotify Legend
Posts: 510
Registered: ‎2012-01-22

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

[ Edited ]

https://www.spotify.com/us/help/faq/tech/codec-quality/

Note: not all tracks are currently available in high bitrate.

 

I have removed that statement now. The information that I have is this:

 

  1. All existing content is available at high bitrate (It seems like there were a few thousand tracks knocking about that hadn't been converted, but I don't know if these are even in available catalogue).
  2. All newly added content is transcoded (from CD quality originals) to all three bitrates and sent to the production servers at the same time. In other words, there is now no risk of high bitrate falling behind.

 

If you find that what you hear is no improvement, and excluding external sound output issues, or not having high bitrate turned on in Preferences, there are then two possible causes that I can think of:

 

Music previously cached low bitrate

 

If you are moving up to Premium, you won't have any offline cache, but your existing streaming cache might be quite large. I can only assume that, when you play those tracks, the cached files continue to be used. It may even be that the cached files are used when you offline sync a playlist including those tracks.

 

You might think it optimal for the cache to be wiped completely when HB is turned on, or at least all normal bitrate tracks could be removed. Remember that an existing Premium subscriber could decide at a later date to turn on HB. Should this mean that all offline playlists should be resynced ?

 

Finding out how Spotify actually behaves is on my to do list. In the meantime, if you really want to make sure, delete the cache. The location can be found in Preferences.

 

Music has been supplied that is lower quality at source

 

Generally, music is submitted to Spotify in CD quality, losslessly compressed as flac I think. That's fine. However, we now have the input (via aggregators) of over 300,000 labels. I think what may be happening is that some catalogues are simply being "upconverted" from old low bitrate stock from the days when music was sold online like that. Of course, this isn't going to sound good at all, although - ironically - any bitrate inspection you could perform will tell you that it's high bitrate, because it is, and that's why there isn't really any way for aggregators to detect this kind of thing when it is submitted.

Having said that, I cannot see any reputable label doing this, and I don't hear signs of it either. I largely only hear possible signs of this in recordings that are "public domain", and now being repackaged by a number of labels that distribute this kind of content.


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Solution!
Accepted by Tamashii1978 (Festival Fanatic)
‎2015-08-28 12:16 AM
Posts: 47,389
Kudos: 17,053
Solutions: 3,488
Registered: ‎2012-07-03

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference


mikenice wrote:

The sound quality on my iphone is very poor.. I switched to high and extreme stream and still does not work


Have you tried a clean reinstallation?

 

Peter

Peter
Spotify Community Mentor and Troubleshooter

Spotify Last.FM Twitter LinkedIn Meet Peter Rock Star Jam 2014


If this post was helpful, please add kudos below!

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All Replies
Spotify Legend
Posts: 3,649
Registered: ‎2012-01-19

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

If you started to play a track in the lower quality, and then toggle the higher quality setting on, it would continue playing the lower quality track - As it would have allocated this version of the track first.

What you could do is delete the files located in the Spotify cache, toggle the High Quality streaming on, and then it should stream the higher quality tracks right away.

You can find out where the cache is located by going to the Preferences menu (Edit > Preferences), and it's under the "Cache" tab.
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Airhorn Enthusiast
Music Fan
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎2012-05-14

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

Does that mean that you have to delete your playlists when upgrading to premium in order for the songs to be played with improved sound quality? Or will this happen automatically?

Community Legend
Posts: 8,297
Registered: ‎2012-02-06

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

No need to delete anything. Just clear Spotify's cache.

 

You can see Cache folder in Edit - Preferences, also enable here High Quality sound. Then just go to this folder, shut off Spotify and just delete the whole folder. Now start Spotify.

Dancecore streaming with 10M/10M 4G network at the home and with 2M/2M 3G network on the go.
Community Legend
Posts: 1,612
Registered: ‎2012-02-11

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

Yeah, what the others said. No need to delete playlists, but you do need to delete the currently cache songs as these have been downloaded/sync'd at the old quality setting.

So even if you stream a track, it is cached for a while, depending on your cache size settings in the options - if you play it back again it will be using that version rather than having to re-stream it, even if you have changed the quality setting in between
----------------
Listening on Windows, Android and Sonos. Tweeting it at @davelicence
Music Fan
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎2012-06-04

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

I gotta concur with the OP. I am taking advantage of the 1 month free trial of premium access, but so far I'm not at all impressed with the quality. It doesn't sound anywhere close to 320kbps. I've tried comparing some tracks to local files I have encoded at 320kps, the local ones sound a lot better. Like, significantly better, which isn't good at all because I often have a hard time hearing the difference between even 192kbps and lossless.

 

I've definitely got the high quality option on in the preferences menu and they aren't cached because I haven't listened to them before through spotify.

 

So I've concluded that either:

I don't really have access to 320kbps streams.

The files offered aren't really 320kbps

Or, there is something wrong with the way Spotify encodes.

 

Not trying to cause trouble here, I just want to know where I stand before I pay for a subscription.

Garage Band
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎2012-06-09

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

I just wanted to chime in and say I'm noticing the same thing too. I have a killer sound system hooked up to my Windows PC and have cleared cache and have high quality streaming clicked and I don't hear the difference. Is this a bug or error. I am on free trial but want to join for $10.00 a month, but need to know about the sound issue? Thanks

 

Josh

Concert VIP
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎2012-07-30

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

You guys need to understand that the sound quality also depends on your internet connection. 

Music Fan
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎2012-08-01

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

Noticed this:

 

https://www.spotify.com/us/help/faq/tech/codec-quality/

"Note: not all tracks are currently available in high bitrate."

 

-Mike

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4,987
Registered: ‎2012-01-19

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference


mikeru22 wrote:

Noticed this:

 

https://www.spotify.com/us/help/faq/tech/codec-quality/

"Note: not all tracks are currently available in high bitrate."

 

-Mike


Nearly all our catalogue should be, actually. We're talking an incredibly small percentage that isn't.

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