Comparing Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify Premium Streaming-Music Services - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 01:33 PM
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I like a lot how Sonos works ,see the list of streaming services that support on the pictures attachments below ,in my living room I use the Sonos connect with the Revel speakers and Sonos in bedrooms ,bathroom and kitchen. I also use Flac and CD's specially in the living room.

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post #32 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post
I've had Spotify for some time... and when Tidal came out... I did try it out... and yes, I noticed a difference between Tidal vs Spotify... both in my HT and my phone...

I did not renew Tidal and stayed with Spotify... Although I enjoyed better audio quality... music discovery was much better on Spotify...

How is the music discovery now on Tidal ?
They give me my own "station" based on what I have playing and a lot of the tracks are new to me, then each genre has curated playlists, each week I see "new albums" posted by the artists in my favorites, they have Tidal Tuesday which is new releases from various artists that week, and I really like the various "playlists" curated by the artists themselves of some of their favorite music. I am discovering new stuff all the time.
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post #33 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 02:37 PM
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Great article, thanks very much magic Mark ;-)

My two cents worth is that I don't want to stream. I have nothing against it but I don't want to be attached to the internet all the time and I don't want to use up my bandwidth all the time when I am. I also don't want to be beholden to someone else's business model. Businesses ALWAYS change, always get sold, always merge. I'm afraid of losing everything. True I could lose it all in a house fire or with a hard drive crash, but I keep backups at work in case the house burns down. I have no confidence that these companies will be around later when I want to dig up an old obscure album in twenty years, or that they will keep my specific album available. I'm stuck with someone else's idea of what is important to hold on to.

With my own collection in FLAC and 320kbps I can listen to anything I want any time, make my own playlists, put it on any device I want, and know that it's going to be there when I want to hear it; even if I have no internet access or Spotify goes is sold to Sony who decides they will only stream at 128kbps.

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post #34 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 02:56 PM
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For me, I think the content and recording is almost more important than the bit rate.
Similarly to how Apple advertises 'Mastered for iTunes', it would be very interesting if Tidal provided better advertising and discovery of high fidelity recordings that would take advantage of the lossless streaming format.
Unfortunately, during my trial period with Tidal, it was very difficult to distinguish what recording you were listening to, how it was mastered, etc.
If I could have streaming access to HDTracks library for example, that would be something worth paying extra for.
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post #35 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 03:11 PM
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Do any of these services have all of Tool's albums? Perfect Circle? Puscifier?

Thanks
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post #36 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 05:13 PM
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My guess is Apple will be in a majority position in the streaming space in 18-24 months...it's well integrated into the platform, there will be an Android client, and with HomeKit development, it will likely take on Sonos type functionality as well.
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post #37 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post
My guess is Apple will be in a majority position in the streaming space in 18-24 months...it's well integrated into the platform, there will be an Android client, and with HomeKit development, it will likely take on Sonos type functionality as well.
And if Apple's streaming service doesn't take off as fast as they wish, they have all those exclusive hi res tracks hidden somewhere on one of their hard drives. I would pay to access those...(maybe they are already available? I haven't been following this topic lately)
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post #38 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post
and with HomeKit development, it will likely take on Sonos type functionality as well.
Definitely many loyal apple customers will join into this Sonos type functionality.

I own an Iphone and the app works great with Sonos ,all Sonos products feels like they were apple products.

I will keep using Sonos ,I don't want to be lock into apple/itunes.

not my picture

Last edited by losservatore; 07-18-2015 at 11:38 PM.
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post #39 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 07:33 PM
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I've been subscribing tidal for 6 months now and love it. Never had a steaming issue. I like the sound quality which is why I got it. My wife and kids use it too. And haven't spent money on iTunes card since..
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post #40 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 08:00 PM
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Love Tidal. I can hear enough of a difference in the quality of music that I ended my Spotify Premium subscription. I do agree it is glitchy on the PC, but it works great on both iOS and Android.

The best experience with Tidal? The Roon Labs app (https://roonlabs.com/) where Tidal is flawless. Suddenly Tidal becomes snappy on the PC and all that additional Metadata from Roon and the integration of Tidal files with my ripped and downloaded music makes it my favorite music interface. Also, I have never so easily discovered new music and rediscovered old favorites.
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post #41 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
How did you do on Tidal's 320 kbps vs. Hi-Fi test, just curious...

Thanks for making a specific suggestion. I will give it a shot.

I did give it a try and it was a wash, Tidal did not do themselves any favours with the selections/clips that were used for the test. Those tracks can be compressed down to 192kbs and few would be able to tell the difference. A sharp listener will notice the roll-off in the upper and lower frequency, but not much else. A torture test would involve clips with a forward midrange, several layers and a wide frequency spread, the type that will choke a poor audio/headphone setup .
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post #42 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
How did you do on Tidal's 320 kbps vs. Hi-Fi test, just curious...

Thanks for making a specific suggestion. I will give it a shot.
That test has been shown to be suspect.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/743658/tida...-going-on-here
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post #43 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 08:32 PM
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If people are using these services, what devices are you using to play them back ? OTHER than laptops phones tablets and a pc. I was looking at a stand alone player that did streaming and had a remote so it' can be controlled.. Maybe a iPad tablet or phone etc etc.
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post #44 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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That test has been shown to be suspect.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/743658/tida...-going-on-here
Interesting. In the Neil Young thread @rogo expressed doubt most people can even tell the difference between 160 kbps and CD quality. Now that I think about it, when I took the Philips Golden Ears challenge, I struggled mightily to discern that difference and read that many people found it to be the hardest segment. It follows that discerning 320 kbps vs. CD would be much tougher or impossible.

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post #45 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dashpuppy View Post
If people are using these services, what devices are you using to play them back ? OTHER than laptops phones tablets and a pc. I was looking at a stand alone player that did streaming and had a remote so it' can be controlled.. Maybe a iPad tablet or phone etc etc.
I use Sonos .... ----Denon Heos is another option ----sure there are many less expensive players.

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post #46 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Do any of these services have all of Tool's albums? Perfect Circle? Puscifier?

Thanks
I don't think any of the streaming services have Tool. I know Spotify and Google Play Music and Tidal do not.



GREAT write up Mark as usual. I LOVE streaming music. I've used and paid for 3 services. Spotify, Tidal, and Google Play Music.

Tidal is great, but the skips eventually drove me nuts so I cancelled. Then I had a GTG coming up at my house so I paid for Tidal again and kept it for a couple months until the skips got to me again.

I paid for Spotify for a couple years until a friend showed me Google Play. It had the roughly the same size catalog as Spotify but the radio function had far more variety. My favorite function on Google Play is called "Explore". You can surf through genres and sub genres and go deep down the rabbit hole of tons of artists you have never heard of. It's awesome.

Unfortunately, in the last update they did away with the explore tab. Huge fail on their part. I haven't tried Spotify in awhile but if their radio has more variety then it did when I left I'll be going back to Spotify.

I tried and tried to figure out how to install an earlier version of Google Play on my PC so I could get the explore tab back (I listen to music on my main system, not much anywhere else) but I couldn't unfortunately.
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post #47 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 11:17 PM
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I don't think any of the streaming services have Tool. I know Spotify and Google Play Music and Tidal do not.
Pandora has Tool in their library.
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post #48 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 11:19 PM
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Pandora has Tool in their library.
I haven't used Pandora in years. Do they now have a searchable library and not just radio stations?
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post #49 of 183 Old 07-18-2015, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
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Pandora has Tool in their library.

http://www.pandora.com/tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post
I haven't used Pandora in years. Do they now have a searchable library and not just radio stations?
still like a radio station ,they now have pandora one with no ads,better audio quality and more skips.

http://www.pandora.com/one
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post #50 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 12:21 AM
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I'm enjoying Deezer Elite Flac streaming on my new Sonos Connect. I am surprised nobody has mentioned this service.
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post #51 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 12:47 AM
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Yeah, doesn't look like Pandora has intention of jumping on the on-demand bandwagon, fortunately; here's hoping they stick to radio, as they do it better than anyone.

I tried Spotify premium for a few months and enjoyed it, but I suppose it just doesn't jive with the way I consume music. If I'm 'actively listening', i.e. manually selecting songs/albums, it's usually an artist/album I'm already into, so I'll just purchase the album if I haven't already. If I'm looking to discover new music, then I use radio-style platform, and Spotify's 'radio' offerings seemed to be sort of an afterthought.

Will definitely be interesting to see how the music streaming service wars pan out. Apple music is certainly in a position to dominate if they do it right... I was frustrated by their clunky interface when I gave it a look at release a few weeks ago.

The whole space seems like a massive user grab at the moment, with VC's funding much of it. Tidal already seems dead in the water, and Spotify is bleeding cash hand over fist, without an ostensibly viable business model (other than the next round of funding).
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post #52 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
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I'm enjoying Deezer Elite Flac streaming on my new Sonos Connect. I am surprised nobody has mentioned this service.
seems like is not yet available in US?

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post #53 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dashpuppy View Post
If people are using these services, what devices are you using to play them back ? OTHER than laptops phones tablets and a pc. I was looking at a stand alone player that did streaming and had a remote so it' can be controlled.. Maybe a iPad tablet or phone etc etc.
For me primarily a Denon AVR via Spotify Connect.
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post #54 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 02:42 AM
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First time first test, with my 10$ Philips SHE3590BK crappy earbuds, straight from the motherboard... at work with high noise floor.
Golden Ears in Philips test too.

I'm 29 years old and can still hear till 18.5kHz (19khz left, 18khz right).
Still loving my MP3 though...
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post #55 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dashpuppy View Post
If people are using these services, what devices are you using to play them back ? OTHER than laptops phones tablets and a pc. I was looking at a stand alone player that did streaming and had a remote so it' can be controlled.. Maybe a iPad tablet or phone etc etc.
Roku3 through my AVR.
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post #56 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 04:50 AM
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For me this exorcise is like comparing Dog Sh*t, Cat Sh*t and Bird Sh*t. Downloads of 44.1 kHz 16 bit to 192 kHz 24 bit is all my ears can handle.
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post #57 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by James Freeman View Post


First time first test, with my 10$ Philips SHE3590BK crappy earbuds, straight from the motherboard... at work with high noise floor.
Golden Ears in Philips test too.

I'm 29 years old and can still hear till 18.5kHz (19khz left, 18khz right).
Still loving my MP3 though...
Acing this test isn't terribly difficult as the lossy files have had EQ applied by and the top and bottom of the freq range has be reduced by 2-3 dB. Plenty enough to be detectable. Marketing ploy.
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post #58 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 05:50 AM
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I'm using the Apple Music service and so far it's working well on my iPhone, Macs and PCs. I've listened on everything from my Marantz 7008 with Polk LSi 25's, to my PC with an Asus Sonar STX and JBL 305's, to my iPhone on some crappy ear buds and my truck's Alpine system. It sounds good pretty much everywhere, but critical listening on the Maratnz and LSi's leaves something to be desired. It's not bad enough to throw me off, but I sure wouldn't use it to demo the system to anyone.

Personally, I'll stick with Apple Music since it's so well integrated into the Apple ecosystem. The sound quality is good enough for me 98% of the time and I hold out hope they'll eventually stream lossless versions of their music. I think we all know they've got high bitrate masters and it's high time they started pushing those out to us mere mortals.

Still, a great article and I appreciate the reviews. As things stand today, it sounds like I'd enjoy Tidal if I was willing to pay a lot more than I'm currently paying for Apple Music on the family plan for my 3 users.

Last edited by dekard; 07-22-2015 at 05:56 AM.
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post #59 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dashpuppy View Post
If people are using these services, what devices are you using to play them back ? OTHER than laptops phones tablets and a pc. I was looking at a stand alone player that did streaming and had a remote so it' can be controlled.. Maybe a iPad tablet or phone etc etc.
I just activated the free Spotify app on my PS3. (the free version is not available on the Roku3) The quality is noticeably better than the free Pandora stream from the Roku3.

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post #60 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rntlee View Post
Acing this test isn't terribly difficult as the lossy files have had EQ applied by and the top and bottom of the freq range has be reduced by 2-3 dB. Plenty enough to be detectable. Marketing ploy.
Are you sure? It sounded same to me EQ-wise.
If it was 2-3db difference I would spot the difference immediately, but it took 10 times flipping between the two to actually hear any difference.
The difference was in the high cymbals which had more...shimmer/chime (??) in the lossless one, above 18Khz for sure.
All my MP3 are from 128 to 320kbps, I don't actually care for anything above 19khz so I am satisfied with 192kbps.

As for the streaming service; In my opinion 128kbps MP3 are fine.

EDIT:
I like Jango, it is a commercial free radio, and I don't care if it's 128kbps, sounds good to me.

Last edited by James Freeman; 07-19-2015 at 06:41 AM.
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