[Music] HiFi Quality - Lossless Streaming 16bit 44.1khz

I've just started a trial of Qobuz - they offer the standard 320kbps as well as lossless FLAC streaming (and high res downloads if you purchase them) the sound quality is noticeably better and on classical it's just wonderful to get all that resolution through your hi-fi or headphones! The catalogue has a way to go to get to Spotify's level, but they are getting there. The iPad app isn't' too bad (the desktop app is in need of an upgrade but I hear they are putting all their efforts into mobile apps right now).
 
So - lossless streaming - if Qobuz can do it then so can Spotify, they must have the same source - and obviously if you are asking £20 a month then those record labels and distributors take enough notice to make the high res tracks available for streaming. What this all means is soon, very soon, we will get lossless streaming and closely followed by high res downloads - but if Spotify aren't careful it will be Apple who get there first with an audiophile premium offering, and when they do it will be a much harder market place to make money in!

Updated on 2017-10-27

Thanks to everyone for their contribution to this thread. We really appreciate it. We haven't updated the status in a while and we're here to let you know we think this is a Good Idea. This doesn't mean it is in our current timeline, just that we like this idea. If this idea does become a part of our plans we'll change this to 'Under Consideration'. Until then just keep leaving your feedback here so we can pass it on internally. Thank you!

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Comments
Slevin104
Newbie

I truly support the idea of lossless streaming. It would be a drastic improvement. As a spotify premium user I was always very satisfied, but after I tried Wimp, I definitely think that lossless streaming is the way that you have to go. Bandwidth can't be the problem, people are using netflix and other streams and that takes much more bandwidth.

If you don't offer lossless streaming spotify will start loosing customers to Wimp and Qobuz. Actually it already is. It isn't about doing your customers a favor, it should be a business decision. Also you would access the market of hifi customers. You would gain a lot of new premium users. I know many people who are not using spotifiy because the quality isn't good enough for them. That's their only reason.

 

Lossless audio quality is something that you have to offer in the future.

 

Please excuse my bad English.

Kind regards from Germany.

dormie
Newbie

Tried wimp hifi this weekend on my mac desktop with a decent dac/amp/headphone setup with good results.  As there are no firm info from Spotify regarding if/when lossless streaming will be available I will most likely end my Spotify account shortly. I have been a faithful Spotify customer since more or less the start but I don't get the lack of info on this issue/feature.

Deeb
Casual Listener

Thanks for replying timiambeing,

 

"I don't think the labels and distributors have to encode any music Deeb, not like us end users from CD"

That might be the case for the major labels, but not the independents :( The music industry as a whole are still extremely unprofessional, even down to the fact that they're too lazy to digitize linear notes for the majority of albums. You've really got to get into the mentality of them to understand, they want instant gratification at the expense of quality (think about the way they "DR comrpess" CD's as part of the "loudness wars" for such quick financial gain, so that one mix sounds loudner than another mix when played back at precisely the same volume). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

The majority of independent labels would far rather reach for a CD to encode with any "insecure ripper" (such as Itunes), than request the original masters of an album be sourced for meticulous professional transfer. For them it's about getting money as quick as possible. The main problem I've got is that the average office worker who works at independent labels, doesn't understand about the problems with insecure CD encoders. They should use a secure ripper such as "DBpoweramp" or Exact Audio Copy, but they don't get it.

The only 44.1khz examples that I can think of that are gaurenteed non sourced from CD's is the whole "mastered for itunes" bla because the rules state that CD's musn't be used for encode.

 

"If there are imperfections then they arrive during the conversion process I would have thought"

The biggest problem with CD's is how old and primative the error correction is. As a result most CD rippers such as Itunes can't detect errors from what the CD gives, so it just passes them to file. That's why "secure rippers" such as Exact Audio Copy and dbpoweramp were invented to remedy these problems.
http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/en/index.php/overview/basic-technology/extraction-technology/
I believe that above page was written before AccurateRip was incorporated into secure rippers which takes you beyond the 99.5% accuracy that secure rippers hold on telling the user that their encode contains errors. ("accurate stream" is not the same thing as AccurateRip).

 

 

I once did this test to help me better understand the CD ripping process using both "insecure" and then "secure" software. Add scratches to a CD or a lot of dust to a CD you no longer like, but not so much that the the drive doesn't know if it's a CD or DVD or bit of blank plastic lol, and then encode it using an insecure ripper (such as windows media player or Itunes encoder). You can rip it to ALAC, WAV or AIFF and the same corrupt audio will be written out undetected.

To hear an example of a dirty encode on spotify,

search on spotify for Steve Diggle - the album "Serious Contender".

The first track drops out for 1 whole second, at 1min47.  I now own that CD and it's perfect (no drop outs etc, so it's not my ears).
Most dropouts in music are more subtle, but it's still enough to drive me nuts, e.g. skips/ imperfections/drum symbols will repeat twice (sometimes resulting in a song even finishing seconds shorter than it should. If you did the above example with scratched CD then you'll know the sounds I'm talking about.

I always buy the CD and there's no errors to be heard or if I encode to FLAC using secure software then it's perfect, so it's not my ears, although my ears are pretty decent. I like my ears (flappy things)

timiambeing
Community Legend

Hi  Deeb - I understand where you are coming from I used to use EAC when I was ripping my own CDs but I have to say I gave up after a hundred or so as it was so tiresome, can't hear any artifacts in the iTunes rips so I presume like most music lovers my CDs  were in A1 condition.

 

I wonder if anyone else would like to chip in on the thought that labels and distributors are supplying Spotify, Rdio, Qobuz et al with CD rips? Very interesting!

bhibbetts
Newbie

Adding my voice to the cacophony:  I am searching for music that is better than MP3.  I will pay for it.  I will even pay extra for it, above your standard premium fee.

timiambeing
Community Legend

I have just subscribed to Qobuz FLAC lossless streaming at £19.99 (or £16.66pm if you pay annually) and I think that is both fair and about right in terms of a balance between convenience of streaming as opposed to downloads or ripping - why would I pay £9.99 to download and own a recording when for £19.99 I can listen and save to my favourites 17 million tracks and counting! The old model is dead and the only reason Apple keep pumping it is simply the profit margins are far greater for all concerned. But iTunes Radio is just the first step Apple will be taking towards a streaming model, their aim is to keep both camps happy whilst earning a revenue from each - a very laudable aim in my opinion! :)

timiambeing
Community Legend

Soon available in the UK - with full cream lossless streaming! Spotify's Norwegian competitor :)

 

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patys
Newbie

If we are going to ask for lossless audio why not get 24/96k quality.  I know it can be done. Wimp and qobuz already offer this service in Europe so please help out your customers in the US. I used Wimp for one month but at 20 euros a month it cost me 28 US dollars.

timiambeing
Community Legend

Hi patys - do Qobuz stream 24/96k in Europe - I thought that was just for purchased downloads? One day though I am sure :)

Functionalist
Newbie
I have tested alac hifi lossless on my stereo through a good DAC, and will run Spotify Premium with the service of one of the two companies in the world(only) that support lossless flac/alac HiFi. Personally, I like how Spotify is created, it's so easy, but if Ogg Vorbis is the only option instead of flac/alac in six month, then I will be sad to leave Spotify. I'm even willing to pay more than what the two other companies charge for this quality of streamed lossless HiFi, if Spotify starts providing that level of listening sensation. Snälla Spotify, kom igen nu!