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    The Computer Audiophile

    Amazon Music HD Launches

    Amazon launched it's Amazon HD music streaming service today. Much more to come as details come out and people sign up. The cost is $12.99 for Prime members and $14.99 for everyone else. An interesting quote from Neil Young on this announcement, "earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high-quality streaming to the masses.” 

     

    So far it looks like CD quality music and "higher" up through 24/192. No mention of MQA in the first press releases. 

     

    I'm attempting to sign up right now and will release more as I have more. 

     

    Here's a link to get details from Amazon and sign up. It's an affiliate link so we make a a couple pennies if you sign up. We are beta testing this on items like books and music. 

     

    Amazon Music HD

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 10.13.49 AM.jpg

     

    Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 10.18.10 AM.jpg

     

     

    Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 10.20.03 AM.jpg

     



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    Is another race to the bottom on price with artists presumably getting less and less per stream really what we want to support?

     

    Does anyone know what Amazon is paying artists per stream compared to the other guys?

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    4 minutes ago, emcdade said:

    Is another race to the bottom on price with artists presumably getting less and less per stream really what we want to support?

     

    Does anyone know what Amazon is paying artists per stream compared to the other guys?

     

    I didn't know the company that does the streaming would decide what the artists is going to be paid?

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    Can’t Get 24/192 on Bluesound Node 2i.

     

    Neil Diamond - 50th Anniversary Collection, Sweet Caroline:

    AMZ app (iPad) says 24/192 available and plays that way to external DAC connected via CCK; added that track to library; played that track via BlueSound’s iOS app to Node 2i connected to RME ADI-2 DAC: the DAC reports it is playing 24/96 not 24/192. Play the same track via Qobuz through the same Node 2i/RME setup and the RME DAC reports it is getting 24/192.  Weird that the Amazon stream is downgraded to 96 for this 192 album (tried other songs on this album between AMZ and Qobuz: AMZ plays as 96 on Node 2i, Qobuz plays as 192 on same Node 2i). Maybe this is Amazon doing some dynamic quality control based on network speed, but if that’s the case funny that Qobuz didn’t have a problem with my network.

     

    Another example.

    J.S. Ondara, Tales of America:

    24/192 on Qobuz ->Node 2i-(Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC;

    24/192 on Amazon iOS app on iPad-(CCK)->external DACs;

    but, BluOS Amazon Music plays this album as 24/96 on Node 2i-(Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC

     

    @cscamp and @The Computer Audiophile have you been able to get 24/192 from Amazon Music out of your BluOS devices to an external DAC? What tracks? I’ll try them.

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    2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    They will see a way around this huge loss and reframe it as a win. They are quite Presidential. 

     

    We'll see what happens.

     

    (speaking of Presidential)

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    Can anyone confirm if you can download in lossy format, with the mobile app?

     

    For those with data limits, like when traveling.

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    9 hours ago, ddetaey said:

    And how did you get past the payment page?

    Dirk

    Not sure what you are asking. I got to the Unlimited HD page and then logged in to my Amazon account. Then it just worked and I paid over PayPal. 

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    8 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

    I really don't see Amazon getting into the audiophile market for streaming. I see Amazon as having a much more mass market appeal and because of that I see this failing because 99% of consumers don't care about the differences between their MP3s and 24/192 nor do they want to invest a bunch of money into it. However, if Amazon can get audiophiles and take over the streaming market I see it all going to hell and them destroying everything. Like Walmart and Amazon have done to Main Street USA.

    I can see Amazon being a negative influence, because as Chris' says, the customer service  will be close to non-existent. 
    However, this is nothing like an Amazon vs Main street war. That's Amazon killing brick and mortar commerce. This is one online streaming service vs. another. 

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    7 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

     

    Your comment reminds me of all the barking done by MQA Ltd and @Lee Scoggins about high resolution's inability to scale because the files were just so dang huge. It just scaled bigly :~)

     

    I wonder what Lee is thinking now with all his big "inside info" about how MQA had a major coup coming up that would alter the market.  I really think this is going to kill them. I think there will be little reason for anyone to sign up to Tidal now. Maybe there will still be subscribers for Qobuz (especially Sublime +) for the audiophile niche market, but not anyone else, at least in the US. 

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    46 minutes ago, Gus141 said:

    Can’t Get 24/192 on Bluesound Node 2i.

     

    Neil Diamond - 50th Anniversary Collection, Sweet Caroline:

    AMZ app (iPad) says 24/192 available and plays that way to external DAC connected via CCK; added that track to library; played that track via BlueSound’s iOS app to Node 2i connected to RME ADI-2 DAC: the DAC reports it is playing 24/96 not 24/192. Play the same track via Qobuz through the same Node 2i/RME setup and the RME DAC reports it is getting 24/192.  Weird that the Amazon stream is downgraded to 96 for this 192 album (tried other songs on this album between AMZ and Qobuz: AMZ plays as 96 on Node 2i, Qobuz plays as 192 on same Node 2i). Maybe this is Amazon doing some dynamic quality control based on network speed, but if that’s the case funny that Qobuz didn’t have a problem with my network.

     

    Another example.

    J.S. Ondara, Tales of America:

    24/192 on Qobuz ->Node 2i-(Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC;

    24/192 on Amazon iOS app on iPad-(CCK)->external DACs;

    but, BluOS Amazon Music plays this album as 24/96 on Node 2i-(Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC

     

    @cscamp and @The Computer Audiophile have you been able to get 24/192 from Amazon Music out of your BluOS devices to an external DAC? What tracks? I’ll try them.

     

    I received this from my Lenbrook / Blusound contact:

     

    What I can say at the moment is BluOS supports the new service, it’s available now to all BluOS enabled devices in US, UK, Germany, and Japan; there are two tiers: UHD and HD.

     

    I need more info on the two tier thing. So far my streams have been at 96k. 

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    1 hour ago, cscamp said:

    Yup! Roon needs to make a choice here. They may possibly lose subscribers because of this. I love Roon, but supporting only 2 music services maybe their downfall. Glad I didn't buy the lifetime subscription.

    Unfortunately for Roon, it's up to Amazon more than it is to them. Amazon needs to give them database access, and agree to have their data display in the Roon UI. Spotify wasn't willing, so Roon didn't integrate them. 

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    40 minutes ago, firedog said:

    I can see Amazon being a negative influence, because as Chris' says, the customer service  will be close to non-existent. 
    However, this is nothing like an Amazon vs Main street war. That's Amazon killing brick and mortar commerce. This is one online streaming service vs. another. 

     

    I was using Amazon v Main Street as a analogy, basically I see Amazon as a bad thing for streaming if they can capture the market I believe they will destroy it for us audiophiles. Music to them is one more service of many. To Qobuz it is their entire reason for being.

     

    I think we are in agreement.

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    7 hours ago, Superdad said:

    Hi Miguel: 

    I am pretty sure that @kirkmc was being sarcastic regarding Amazon Echos benefiting from the HD service.  :P

    Indeed. I thought that would be obvious. 

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    9 hours ago, Archimago said:

     

    Yeah, true @Jud.

     

    There are a few more bucks here. And they're smart in packaging this with having a Prime account which also opens up Prime Video. For Prime members already, at $13/m, this is highly compelling compared to Tidal Premium at $20/m. Heck, even without Prime membership, $15/m is undercutting the competition in a rather big way; occupying the price gap between lossy Apple or Spotify at $10/m and the lossless Tidal/Qobuz at $20+/m.

     

    Yup, for once I can agree with Neil Young as per Chris' quote above :-).

     

    Or if you buy annually at 10.825/m nearly equaling lossy services..

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    3 hours ago, firedog said:

     

    I wonder what Lee is thinking now with all his big "inside info" about how MQA had a major coup coming up that would alter the market.  I really think this is going to kill them. I think there will be little reason for anyone to sign up to Tidal now. Maybe there will still be subscribers for Qobuz (especially Sublime +) for the audiophile niche market, but not anyone else, at least in the US. 

     

    This was probably going to be it. And now it is not...

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    4 hours ago, cscamp said:

    Yup! Roon needs to make a choice here. They may possibly lose subscribers because of this. I love Roon, but supporting only 2 music services maybe their downfall. Glad I didn't buy the lifetime subscription.

     

    Yep, me too!

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    39 minutes ago, shadowlight said:

    I am hoping someone analysis the stream to make sure that it's not MQA in another format.

     

    My Waiting For The Sun showed up as Ultra HD. That's a prime suspect. And of course Fairytales

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    28 minutes ago, bubbleguuum said:

    That's really a huge blow for TIDAL, Qobuz and Roon.

     

    As a company you never ever want to have to compete directly with the usual behemoths (Google, Apple, Amazon, ...).

     

    Qobuz still have some differentiation in its catalogue in Europe, good hardware support, excellent metadata, pdf booklets, excellent editorial content, reduced priced for downloads with the higher tier subscription, great apps, a web player that can play FLAC on all platforms, Roon integration. And generally they have the culture of high quality audio, which reflects in everything they do. If you enjoy what Qobuz has to offer, don't leave now.

     

    Roon will be OK if they can integrate Amazon HD. But I can see this being difficult with either Amazon not interested or Roon wanting their own specific interexchange format for metadata with Amazon not giving a damn. And there's the quality of metadata on Amazon which remains to be seen. And if TIDAL or Qobuz have problems as a consequence to this new Amazon service, this is a problem for Roon.

     

    Also, I could be wrong, but do not expect anytime soon to be able to access Amazon HD in anything else than direct hardware integrations and (of course) Amazon's own apps. That's very limiting. No BubbleUPnP, mConnect, Audirvana, ...

     

    Agree 100%. I’m very worried about Roon especially. I just don’t seem Amazon giving a cr*p about Roon at all, or any external player for that matter. Why would they?

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