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Qobuz to sell DSD downloads in 2015

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Qobuz announced in their New Year message that they are going to offer DSD downloads, including previously unreleased DSD files.


Une lettre de l


I am not related to Qobuz in any way: I am just a happy customer. I would be even more happy if their prices were a bit lower (say, closer to eClassical levels) or if they did more attractive special offers (like HDTracks or ProStudioMasters).

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(In post #2 above inside "Interesting Developents from Qobuz in 2015" someone mentioned the French language issue. It is addressed below).


I just wanted to chime in on my impressions of using both Qobuz and Tidal.


Qobuz vs Tidal


While being subscribed to Qobuz, I took advantage of Tidal's free one month promotion that they had going about 3 months ago. This is mostly my comparison from back then:


For starters, there are several things about Qobuz that are important to me that I do not think that Tidal has. Do not take this comparison as absolute fact as I may have missed some things on Tidal. But here goes:


1) Qobuz has gapless playback control whereas Tidal does not seem to. On Qobuz I set the gap at two seconds between songs. You can set the gap at 0 seconds and have no gap between songs. Really cool!


2) Qobuz works a lot like YouTube in that you automatically build a history of where you have been. I do not see this on Tidal. For me, this is a really nice feature because as I explore new music , and want to go back to some of what I had listened to, I do not have to worry about writing down those groups that most interested me because the historical file of my listening sessions is there until I decide what to do with it (save, delete, add to favorites, etc.)


3) On both Qobuz, and Tidal you see the album art as a small part of the overall page, but on Qobuz when you click the “expand icon” (the one with the 4 arrows bottom right of screen) your entire screen becomes the album you are listening to. My laptop dedicated to hi-fi has an HDMI out that I run to my TV. When the entire 60” screen looks like Elton’s “Yellow Brick Road” i.e., it’s like a giant neon album art of his album cover which I think is a really neat alternative to just having the album art, song list, similar artist, etc. like most streaming services do.


4) With Qobuz, the very last song/artist that you listened to stays in “queue” no matter how long you go before returning to the site. If the last artist is someone that you want to spend some more time listening to you don’t need to try to remember who they were, or write them down because the next time you go to Qobuz they will be there. Tidal seems to start all over again with a “blank slate” each time erasing all of your previous listening history.


5) Sound quality seems the same between the two to me, but lately there are some that think Quboz has done something that slightly improves the sound over Tidal.


6) Tidal does boasts HD Music Videos, and Qobuz does not have this. But I don’t find that necessarily enticing as YouTube, Mullet, Qello, Vevo, and many others, etc., all have free good HD music videos (except Qello). Personally, I would rather have the download discounts that Qobuz offers over having videos.


b) Qobuz Sublime: In case you are not aware Qobuz has launched a new subcription service. By paying Qobuz a year in advance the monthly subscription cost drops down, and averages out to about $1.50 per month more than Tidal here in the U.S. Additionally, with Qobuz, that prepayment for streaming now allows you to get downloads at 35-55% off which will make them less expensive any download service. Recently, Qobuz had a sale of over 300 really good albums (not the unheard of stuff). These HD albums/downloads were 50% off which when I checked were less expensive than any other site like HDTracks, Hi-REZ, Acoustic Sounds. I am not certain on this, but I think this sale may have been just for the existing Qobuz subscribers which is a very nice bonus to having the Qobuz subscription.


7) Tidal is less responsive than Qobuz. With Qobuz I will get a response usually the same day about a concern or question. Things may have gotten better with Tidal, but back when I was using Tidal and had questions it took a long time to get a response, if any. At one point I had been waiting for days for Tidal to respond to whether they support 32bit Windows OS as I get a “tidalmedia.exe” error when trying to download their app to that computer. My 64bit Windows OS went without a hitch however.


I have come to the conclusion that at this point in time to stay with Qobuz. Lately, I see positive changes happening quickly with Qobuz, and additionally, I see many reasons NOT to jump ship with Qobuz and go with Tidal.


Feel free to correct me on anything here, or on something I have missed.

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