Comparing Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify Premium Streaming-Music Services - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 06:52 AM
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I have Spotify and Tidal. I prefer the Spotify interface and use it more for casual listening. I use Tidal for more serious listening
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post #62 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Freeman View Post
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.
I'm not convinced the Tidal test is rigged. It's don't think it is serving up samples as drastically different as @rntlee describes—I know from blind testing I could easily detect that much EQ. But I'll keep looking into it.

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Last edited by imagic; 07-19-2015 at 07:57 AM.
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post #63 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 07:47 AM
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Any other thoughts on Google Music? I signed up earlier for $7.99/mo for life. Great service. Love that I can cast to my various Chromecast devices which I can not do on Spotify. I can't hear a difference at 320 bit rate between the two but have noticed Google uses more data than Spotify. I like navigating the UI on my phone better with Goolge than Spotify.

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post #64 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclonejason93 View Post
Any other thoughts on Google Music? I signed up earlier for $7.99/mo for life. Great service. Love that I can cast to my various Chromecast devices which I can not do on Spotify. I can't hear a difference at 320 bit rate between the two but have noticed Google uses more data than Spotify. I like navigating the UI on my phone better with Goolge than Spotify.
I signed up for that some time ago and ignored it. But I guess I am still paying for it, lol—didn't even notice. I looked it last night, and I think I'll give it a shot as well.

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post #65 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Last night was Tidal's best night yet (in my system) as far as performance goes—zero glitches, fast searching, streams started immediately. It seems the most recent update (just days ago) brought performance in-line with Apple Music and Spotify. I still don't trust it, but hopefully going forward Tidal keeps on top of the bugs that led to the glitches many people have reported in the recent past.
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post #66 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I'm not convinced the Tidal test is rigged. It's don't think it is serving up samples as drastically different as @rntlee describes—I know from blind testing I could easily detect that much EQ. But I'll keep looking into it.
Second test;
This time I'm home with my Audio Technica ATH-M40X headphones.
Flawless victory, took me couple of seconds.

Something is definitely fishy here...
I'll record the audio with my DAW and analyze it, be right back.

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post #67 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 09:03 AM
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That was educational. Before this review, I had never heard of Tidal. Living in the Apple eco-system, and that my ears are challenged to differentiate high sample rates, I've been satisfied with Apple.

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post #68 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by losservatore View Post
I use Sonos .... ----Denon Heos is another option ----sure there are many less expensive players.
Yes yes, Mark and i were talking about this last night, that Heos looks good, might do some more reading and research first.
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post #69 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Freeman View Post
Second test;
This time I'm home with my Audio Technica ATH-M40X headphones.
Flawless victory, took me couple of seconds.

Something is definitely fishy here...
I'll record the audio with my DAW and analyze it, be right back.
Every now and then I get 100%. With Pioneer SE-A1000 headphones using an SC-55 AVR as the DAC and amp, I get 80% more often than not.


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post #70 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Every now and then I get 100%. With Pioneer SE-A1000 headphones using an SC-55 AVR as the DAC and amp, I get 80% more often than not.
The harder I try the worse the result are.
First two times were flawless, after that it was hit or miss 50/50.
Maybe there is a difference but only to fresh ears.
Spectrum Analyzer shows no visible difference.

...or maybe I should clear the browser cookies..?
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post #71 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Freeman View Post
The harder I try the worse the result are.
First two times were flawless, after that it was hit or miss 50/50.
Maybe there is a difference but only to fresh ears.
Lol, every time I try hard, I get two out of five. Every time.
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post #72 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 11:47 AM
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It's worth mentioning I've been playing with the Google Play Music streaming service over the last couple of days. It's not quite as pretty as Spotify IMO, and there's no Facebook integration (not that many of my friends are using Spotify anyways) - but there's a big win so far, FLAC integration.

When uploading my library to the streaming service with Spotify it will only recognize and my .MP3 files - but since most of my files are FLAC they don't show up. Google play uploaded every song I had no problem, and though they won't actually play BACK in FLAC (only in 320kbps) it helps fill the small gaps where my music is missing from Google's libraries. As a result, I now have my entire music library available to me on my Android phone - which is fantastic!

The Google Play app for Kodi is also a little better than "SpotiMC" IMO.
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post #73 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I signed up for that some time ago and ignored it. But I guess I am still paying for it, lol—didn't even notice. I looked it last night, and I think I'll give it a shot as well.
Would love to hear your thoughts after you've revived Google Music. Sound quality, functionality, etc., compared to the three you included.

Also, Google Music seems to have been incorporating Songza in stages. Recently I was given a list of artists to like/not like. I selected "more" until I had "voted" on over one hundred. At first nothing changed on my "Feeling Lucky" tab. After about a week I noticed a change. Now I seem to have several "feeling lucky" tabs depending on genre. Any thoughts by anyone trying this?

I have mixed feelings about the earlier initial Songza integration which offered (and it's still there) several sub-menus based on time of day, mood, etc. It seems impressive, but I have a hard time getting what I'm looking for. Anyone?

The few commenters RE Google Music surprised me. Anyone else using it? Sound quality thoughts? etc? Gotta say, I'm one of those who glommed onto the "lifetime" $8/mo offer, thinking it might become the ultimate player and I'd be in "on the ground floor." Pretty satisfied in general. Although, to me there seems to be considerable variation in sound quality from track to track...I'd guess depending on how the file was incorporated into the system.

For my use, as a DIY musician (he he...because no real musician would/could play with me...that would be DIWO I guess), it's helpful to be able to quickly listen to multiple versions of (mostly older) songs as I try to learn the song. Don't know if this is as easy on the other services or not.
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post #74 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Freeman View Post
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.
I've mucked about with Foobar's ABX plug-in. I can say with certainty that I personally can't reliably distinguish above 256kbps AAC, 320...forget about it.
On my main 2 channel system, I have no trouble getting 4 or 5 right every time with this test. I can't say that it's an intentional bodge, but something happened to the lossy files along the way, and they're not suitable for an honest comparison.

Here's a comparison, from the Headfi thread I linked earlier, done by a member there comparing his own lossy file and the Tidal test equivalent:
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post #75 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
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...
Bravo...(I'm jealous...)
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post #76 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 05:46 PM
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Used to use itunes and sony music unlimited (free trial and i was hooked on my ps3)

Sony MU is no more and is now Spotify. I have been very impressed with how MU and now Spotify work on my PS3/4. And honestly, I cannot remember the last CD I purchased. Its been years
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post #77 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 07:51 PM
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Using spotify premium here..
Never tried Tidal, or Apple Music but i have something better..

A) Synology ds412+ > Oppo 103D > Lossless flac Streaming > Anthem MRX310 > Stereo 2.0
B) Iphone 5 Airplay > Apple TV3 > Spotify extreme (320kbps) > downsampling 48khz > Anthem MRX310 > Stero 2.0

In a blind test it would very hard to spot the diferences.. the speakers are a high performance and modified XTZ 93.23 with Jantzen capacitors/Mundorf/new crossover/new tweeter/cables/wool etc etc..

i guess im not golden ears like some guys here.

PS: No headphones was used..
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post #78 of 183 Old 07-19-2015, 08:51 PM
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Just an interesting note, I seem to be able to get CD quality playback from Spotify through Kodi. I don't own this album, note the bitrate:

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post #79 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 01:51 AM
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[quote=Sean Spamilton;35887066]Just an interesting note, I seem to be able to get CD quality playback from Spotify through Kodi. I don't own this album, note the bitrate:



What was that player? Are you using an HTPC or similar.. I really liked the interface.
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post #80 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 01:56 AM
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[quote=Cem Filiz;35889386]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Spamilton View Post
Just an interesting note, I seem to be able to get CD quality playback from Spotify through Kodi. I don't own this album, note the bitrate:



What was that player? Are you using an HTPC or similar.. I really liked the interface.
Sorry - just saw, you mentioned Kodi
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post #81 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 05:30 AM
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My pattern was 4/5 A's.
But after refreshing the browser the pattern changed.
So don't just click "Back" in the browser because the pattern will be the same.
OR don't click "Test Again" after failure, instead refresh the browser.

I honestly scored 5/5 without noticing any pattern.

P.S
Statistically getting all X is as good as all V.

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post #82 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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My pattern was 4/5 A's.
But after refreshing the browser the pattern changed.
So don't just click "Back" in the browser because the pattern will be the same.
OR don't click "Test Again" after failure, instead refresh the browser.

I honestly scored 5/5 without noticing any pattern.

P.S
Statistically getting all X is as good as all V.
OK gotcha. Still a bit shady, but not as bad as what I was thinking when I made that (now deleted) post.

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post #83 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 05:54 AM
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I have tried all of the music streaming services including not mentioned Google Play,but I cannot see myself RENTING music in perpetuity. I also dont think most of the general public will as well. We can see an example of that with all the people listening to the free versions vs paying. I also think these prices will rise.
Several on this forum mentioned building libraries on these services which I dont understand because the companies are the ones building the libraries you are just making a playlist of music that can be taken away on a whim by the streaming company.
While music RENTING isnt for me I can see a use for it if you do a great amount of traveling by car as iy would be a great way to pass the time. Also discovering music could br fun but I cando that already with free music played online on a free site.

I think I will stick with buying downloads and supporting the artists with my purse whenever I choose to add to my collection instead of the never ending RENTAL fees for life.
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post #84 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
OK gotcha. Still a bit shady, but not as bad as what I was thinking when I made that (now deleted) post.
Now that the rabbit is out of the hat everyone will post 5/5 score...
This test is no fun anymore, unless you can prove your honesty on line.
Or TIDAL will actually randomize the pattern each go.
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post #85 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 06:12 AM
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I've heard people say that 256kb/s AAC is equal to or better than 320kb/s MP3, it sounds like you are suggesting the higher bitrate MP3 is hands down better?
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post #86 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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i've heard people say that 256kb/s aac is equal to or better than 320kb/s mp3, it sounds like you are suggesting the higher bitrate mp3 is hands down better?
mp3?

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post #87 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 06:18 AM
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mp3?
The audio codec used by Spotify as apposed to AAC which is used by Apple Music.
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post #88 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 06:19 AM
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I wonder how many people pay the upgrade for Spotify and don't switch the checkbox to employ the 320Kb streaming.

Then think they've got upgraded sound and are happy with the placebo?
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post #89 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I wonder how many people pay the upgrade for Spotify and don't switch the checkbox to employ the 320Kb streaming.

Then think they've got upgraded sound and are happy with the placebo?
Me. For about 2-3 minutes. But just about right away I heard congestion in the Bassnectar track I was playing, so I checked the preferences and figured it out.

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post #90 of 183 Old 07-20-2015, 06:22 AM
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So far I like Deezer Elite the best. Great album selection, C/D quality streaming., fair pricing. I believe it is limited to Sonos.
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