I still say it's only a minority that have the equipment and appreciation to notice the difference, and believe me it pains me to say that. The vast majority of today's recordings don't come close to utilizing even the CD standard due to the loudness wars. Couple this with a generation who grew up on streaming low resolution media on inferior earbuds and it's going to take plenty of education to bring them around. I believe Amazon is doing a disservice by calling the CD standard "HD" music but it's the same standard that's been around for almost 40 years. Our music production values have sucked the life out of modern recordings. Every once in a while I will pull a random CD off my shelf from the late 80s or early 90s and am amazed at the sound quality compared to most modern stuff. And yes, this is compared to lossless audio via Tidal, Deezer, and whoever else I have a free trial with. I realize there are modern recordings that sound spectacular, but I bet most people haven't heard a Chesky or AIX recording. I will still remain hopeful that Spotify joins the bandwagon, all the other lossless services I've tried don't have an interface that works as well and the recommendations aren't very good.
I have been a loyal Spotify customer for years. I was not looking for a different service. Now that Amazon is offering Prime Music free for 90 days with lossless (hifi) audio, they lured me in. I am trying it. I can definitely hear the difference (their PC app is garbage for Windows). If they fix their windows app, Amazon may have me as as streaming customer.
I do not believe Tidal is who they are targeting with this move.
I am in agreement with you on many counts. There are however a great many Scandanavian artists with amazing recording quality, many independent producers as well. The loudness wars are not waged everywhere, mostly just the US and with certain types of music elsewhere.
Seeing Amazon doing the lossless too now, I really hope Spotify is doing something in that direction very soon. The number of people who care about lossless is not small and shouldn't be undervalued.
...Considering the lovely interface Spotify has, and the huge library, lossless Spotify would actually attract many audiophiliacs, otherwise not using streaming services because of the lesser selection or worse UI.
It's true you won't hear much difference between 320kbps ogg (it's better than mp3!) and flac on mobile speaker, cheap earbuds and speakers. But those who do care about that difference are not using such things, they are going for good headphones, headphone amps/preamps, quality speakers, dedicated dac's...
Many recording artists do great quality nowadays too, even in electronica. That is not a reason why people listening to more recent music shouldn't go for lossless.
Just... please have lossless here too!
SebastyRock Star 16
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
I can't reliably hear the difference between 320kb OGG and CD-Quality, let alone CD-Quality against 24bit high-res stuff.
As far as I know 16 bit is more than enough to cover what any human on this planet, as polished as his or her ears may be, is physically able to actually hear.
I've got a fairly good system and very solid IEMs and when I'm really taking care of getting the same amount of db on my listening position, I doubt that I could reliably point out non compressed material vs 320kb in a double blind test.
That also seems to be the result, when far more competent people than me set up double blind listening tests in an acoustically well treated environment with professional audio equipment.
(Just check Google for those tests - CNBC, for example, did one)
Don't get me wrong, I would love to get a lossless quality from Spotify and I would happily pay double the amount I'm paying right now, but it would just be to scratch the irresistible itch of the perceived better sound quality.
So yeah, please add cd quality to your service but don't go overboard with all this audiophiliac high res crazyness - I would much rather see the library expand and see more royalties being paid to the artists/the implementation of programs to enable new and upcoming artists of all genres.
The thing is, whether you can personally always hear it or not, lossy codecs such as MP3/OGG are by definition a reduction of the source material that was painstakingly produced by the artist to provide an optimal listening experience. There is no good reason anymore in (almost) 2020 to not provide the material exactly how it was intended, people have different ears and equipment anyway and listening circumstances vary. As long as there is a cheaper plan available for people that find a reduced quality version okay, then everyone is happy.
For me personally, i will be stopping/pausing my Spotify Premium account if they don't introduce at least CD-quality streaming before the end of the year. It feels silly for me to invest a lot of money in audio equipment and then listen to streams in compressed/reduced quality when there is a lossless stream available at roughly the same price.
I agree. I don’t understand why Spotify should not stream a standard thats clearly and easily attainable. Maybe their source is kept at diminished quality.. My other issue though is that the music quality at 320 is poor compared with other providers. It just doesn’t sound good or clean. It’s muddy and quite noticably equalised. Must be designed for low end / portable players, which constitute most of the market.
If they choose to stream in lossless or HQ def one can only hope they drop the equalisation of the HQ stream.