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IDAGIO - For Classical Music Lovers


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After having cancelled my Qobuz Sublime subscription, I am now testing Idagio. I very much like the lean app but, as already pointed out, there are unacceptable limitations: streaming through a ChromeCast Audio connected via optical S/PDIF to a Naim DAC yields a sound quality that is by no means comparable to what I get from a DigiOne Signature connected via electrical S/PDIF (BNC-BNC) to the same DAC. Gapless replay does not appear to work which, especially for opera, is a deal breaker. Is Idagio working on these issue and when can we expect tangible improvements?  

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2 hours ago, nbpf said:

After having cancelled my Qobuz Sublime subscription, I am now testing Idagio. I very much like the lean app but, as already pointed out, there are unacceptable limitations: streaming through a ChromeCast Audio connected via optical S/PDIF to a Naim DAC yields a sound quality that is by no means comparable to what I get from a DigiOne Signature connected via electrical S/PDIF (BNC-BNC) to the same DAC. Gapless replay does not appear to work which, especially for opera, is a deal breaker. Is Idagio working on these issue and when can we expect tangible improvements?  

AFAIK, no one from Idagio visits these forums.

 

Back in October this was the response they gave regarding gapless:

Here is the reply I got from Lucas (IDAGIO):

Many thanks for your message and the feedback.
You are right, AirPlay supports gapless playback but unfortunately, IDAGIO does not yet at this point.
We realise that gapless playback is an essential part of listening to classical music and are planning to work on this feature. However, the integration of this feature requires quite some technical effort, which is why we do not yet have a specific date for its release.
We hope to make this feature available as soon as possible and are happy to get directly in touch with you, if there are any news related to this.

In order to reduce the gaps, we recommend to download as many tracks as possible in lossless quality and stream them via AirPlay.

Best regards
Lukas

 

Within the past week they have released an iOS update which now tracks "Recordings" to "Albums". This permits you to see (and access) the original album from where the "Recording" comes from. A "Recording" in IDAGIO's vocabulary is a piece of music. That was a major improvement to the UX.

 

But...still no gapless and no DLNA support and no Play Queue. Their library is also limited in artists availability. For example, no Quatuor Hermes...had to switch to Spotify Premium for that. 

 

OTOH, since they are only classical genre, finding a work of a composer is a breeze. I support them because of this.

 

FWIW, I was hanging out over on the Talk Classical forums and there is very little support for IDAGIO (or any other streaming service) over there - They like their 10,000 CD collections, LOL. So... if IDAGIO can't get those folks excited about their service, they are doomed. 

 

 

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

@rodrigaj  Any updates on the state of IDAGIO?  I've been using the U.S. Beta of Qobuz, and while the sound quality is wonderful, it's too frustrating finding albums, even worse than Spotify.  I'm not sure why people talk of Qobuz being geared in any way toward classical music listeners, as they just don't seem to get the concept of multiple soloists, composer, composition, ensemble, etc in their tagging and search.  It's a complete mess.  You have to try searching by composer, but that may not work, so try the name of the composition, conductor, or perhaps one of the singers, or the orchestra.  Eventually, it turns out the recording is on Qobuz, but it's listed with one of the comprimario singers, rather than the prima donna.  WTF lmao!

 

Whenever I remember that IDAGIO exists, I come back to the warnings that they don't have gapless playback.  I listen to too many operas for lack of gapless to be remotely acceptable.  I hope they will fix it, and have no clue why they wouldn't have had gapless playback from the beginning, since all they do is classical.

 

I'm a member of Talk Classical, but I don't post or read there too much as I'm not an acolyte of either the Mozart Cult or the Callas Cult, so the experience there can be unpleasant haha!  What I do have in common with others on that forum, apparently, is my love of physical media.  I only own around 3,000 CDs, however (but I don't think I could even come up with a wish-list that would take me to 10k!).

请教别人一次是5分钟的傻子,从不请教别人是一辈子的傻子

"I know I chatter on far too much...but if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit!"  -Anne of Green Gables

 

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The Mac app still won’t play gapless.  However, the vast majority of streaming subscribers use Android and iOS devices, so they may be focussing their development on those platforms.

 

I love Idagio because I like being able to "drill down" to artists via text menus instead of squinting at album covers as in Qobuz.

Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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9 hours ago, Hugo9000 said:

@rodrigaj  Any updates on the state of IDAGIO?  I've been using the U.S. Beta of Qobuz, and while the sound quality is wonderful, it's too frustrating finding albums, even worse than Spotify.  I'm not sure why people talk of Qobuz being geared in any way toward classical music listeners, as they just don't seem to get the concept of multiple soloists, composer, composition, ensemble, etc in their tagging and search.  It's a complete mess.  You have to try searching by composer, but that may not work, so try the name of the composition, conductor, or perhaps one of the singers, or the orchestra.  Eventually, it turns out the recording is on Qobuz, but it's listed with one of the comprimario singers, rather than the prima donna.  WTF lmao!

 

Whenever I remember that IDAGIO exists, I come back to the warnings that they don't have gapless playback.  I listen to too many operas for lack of gapless to be remotely acceptable.  I hope they will fix it, and have no clue why they wouldn't have had gapless playback from the beginning, since all they do is classical.

 

I'm a member of Talk Classical, but I don't post or read there too much as I'm not an acolyte of either the Mozart Cult or the Callas Cult, so the experience there can be unpleasant haha!  What I do have in common with others on that forum, apparently, is my love of physical media.  I only own around 3,000 CDs, however (but I don't think I could even come up with a wish-list that would take me to 10k!).

I gave up on Qobuz and signed on to IDAGIO and Spotify Premium as my streaming compromise.

 

Idagio still does not have gapless but their tagging is outstanding and ease of finding composers works is superb. By comparison to Spotify Premium their library is lacking but overall not bad.

 

Still, no one service does it all. If the primary focus of your listening is Italian opera, you will be disappointed with Idagio.

 

I quit going to Talk Classical. LOL, their endless lists of composers and their works baffle me.

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

I'm not sure about their present format since I dropped their service several months ago. I still follow this topic in the hopes that one day Idagio will develop a DLNA app similar to Spotify Connect, with gapless playback. Airplay did not work out for me.

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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On 9/15/2019 at 3:59 PM, rodrigaj said:

I'm not sure about their present format since I dropped their service several months ago. I still follow this topic in the hopes that one day Idagio will develop a DLNA app similar to Spotify Connect, with gapless playback. Airplay did not work out for me.

I'm sorry Airplay did not work out for you.

 

We share the same concerns regarding Idagio's lack of DLNA and gapless playback support. However, Idagio's unique use of classical music's metadata and related search schema are very strong draws for me.

 

Each of the various streaming services I have used have their own particular strengths and weaknesses, so I find I subscribe to multiple services to fill in some of the various inadequacies. In my opinion, this is not ideal.

 

At this point, I am reasonably satisfied with switching between Qobuz and Idagio for most of my needs. I prefer using my Macbook Pro as a control point. Using the Macbook Pro's Mission Control feature, I have set up three desktops; one for general computing, one for Qobuz, and one for Idagio. Since both streaming services support Airplay, I can use the Airplay emulator ShairPort on the ultraRendu and not have to reconfigure the ultraRendu. Thus, the process of switching between Qobuz and Idagio is accomplished simply by using the Control Right/Left Arrows.

 

I applaud Idagio for taking classical music search and retrieval seriously. Now, if they address the DNLA and gapless playback issues ...

Jim

 

Harlan Howard's definition of a great country song: "Three chords and the truth."

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On 9/15/2019 at 9:51 PM, Bob Stern said:

 

Are you a subscriber?  What do you want to know?

Yes, I am a subscriber.

 

I asked the question out of curiosity. There are many people on AS who appreciate classical music. I am puzzled by the apparent minimal interest in Idagio's streaming service. I know it has significant deficiencies, but it's not unique in this regard. I also think it is aesthetically inferior to a couple of very popular services I have seen.

 

However, it is the only service I have used that seems to acknowledge the specific additional metadata required to perform meaningful searches and retrievals in the realm of classical music.

Jim

 

Harlan Howard's definition of a great country song: "Three chords and the truth."

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3 minutes ago, Jim Sylva said:

[Idagio] is the only service I have used that seems to acknowledge the specific additional metadata required to perform meaningful searches and retrievals in the realm of classical music.

 

Quite true.  Also of tremendous value: Idagio has a vastly deeper catalog than other classical streaming services, as I mentioned in Post 12 above.  Qobuz seems best if you are focussed primarily on brand new releases, but Idagio is vastly better if you want to compare multiple performances of a work.

 

I don’t find Idagio's interface unattractive at all.  I strongly prefer its emphasis on text-based results and the ability to drill down into search results by category, artist or composer.  

 

The album orientation of Qobuz displays lots of colorful album covers but is useless for drill down.  I find Qobuz works well only if you already know of one specific album you want to hear or if you want to peruse an assortment of recent releases.

Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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Does Idagio have gapless playback yet?

 

I don't understand how anyone can think it's acceptable to have gaps in classical music playback.  Even if you don't listen to opera, there are many other works that have seamless transitions between movements.

请教别人一次是5分钟的傻子,从不请教别人是一辈子的傻子

"I know I chatter on far too much...but if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit!"  -Anne of Green Gables

 

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@Jim Sylva

@Bob Stern

I totally agree that Idagio is a wonderful search and choice experience. I discovered many new interpretations as well as many new works.

 

I really wanted to keep my Idagio subscription going, but after going round and round with their technical support staff for 8 months trying to get Airplay to work seamlessly, I gave up. I tried with my Sonore uR and my Airport express (via Toslink) and I always had one or two episodes of unexplained dropouts during listening sessions.

 

@Hugo9000 When I left about 3 months ago, gapless was still unavailable. That was another reason why stopped the subscription.

 

 

 

 

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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@rodrigaj You might try Rogue Amoeba "Airfoil" ($30) instead of the Airplay streamer built into Idagio.  

 

(The free trial version of Airfoil overlays noise every 10 minutes, so you'd have to keep relaunching it.  However, if you buy it they have a 14-day refund policy on a case-by-case basis.  If you explain you successfully tried the trial version but you need to test whether it overcomes the problem of dropouts over the long term, they may agree in advance that this would justify a refund if it doesn’t solve the problem.)

Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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4 hours ago, Jim Sylva said:

However, it is the only service I have used that seems to acknowledge the specific additional metadata required to perform meaningful searches and retrievals in the realm of classical music.

 

I agree that's true of the services out-of-the-box, but Roon actually does a good job of this, too. Like, upthread, I posted a screenshot of Idagio's results when you search for "mozart kv 504". If you do that on Roon, you get a page that shows you artists, albums, tracks, and compositions that match. If you go into the compositions, this is what you see:

 

GslYeVCl.png

 

It's honestly even better in a lot of ways, giving you a little blurb about the work, and cover art for each of the albums that has a recording of it. 

 

The results there are from Qobuz; I found Roon + Qobuz to give a really solid combination of classical-browsing UX, selection (definitely found things that were missing on Idagio on Qobuz -- the Solti Ring cycle, the Gideon Kremer Tabula Rasa), and device compatibility: Roon works with basically everything, from dedicated kilobuck audiophile streamers to Raspberries Pi to Chromecasts to KEF's wireless speakers to Airplay devices. 

 

The Roon + Qobuz combo is expensive -- Qobuz lossless is $20/month, and Roon is another $10/month (payable in annual installments only) -- but all-in-all, I feel like it hits the marks that Idagio is aiming for, and more.

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The Roon+Qobuz example of Mozart's sym 38 shows one extremely valuable feature: the original recording date rather than the reissue date.  If Roon also has that data on most of the Qobuz catalog, even more obscure recordings, that would be wonderful.  Idagio has the original date for only a minority of its recordings.

 

fwiw, Roon lists 81 recordings of that symphony, whereas Idagio lists 62.  Again, it would be interesting to compare for less popular pieces.

 

When you say Roon+Qobuz, do you mean that all 81 recordings actually are available on Qobuz?  That's not consistent with my experience with the Qobuz website alone, without Roon.

Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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1 hour ago, mkozlows said:

Some of them wouldn't have come up in a Qobuz search, because the album titles are things like "Sweet Dreams - Baby's First Mozart vol. 2", but the relevant symphony is on that album.

 

In collections like that, only one movement would be included.  I hope Roon would show that it's only one movement rather than the entire symphony.

Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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The one movement problem is what makes the Spotify playlists of classical music fairly useless. You have to stop listening, click on the the three dots, view album and hope that doesn't lead you to the sleeping baby collections.

 

Idagio playlist, those put together by actual humans, were quite the opposite. Well thought out and reflective of the human thought process.

 

I might be talking myself into subscribing again, LOL.

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Bob Stern said:

 

In collections like that, only one movement would be included.  I hope Roon would show that it's only one movement rather than the entire symphony.

 

I didn't see an indicator of that, but honestly, if you're browsing through a list of CDs containing a symphony, odds are that you're not spending too much time looking at the Baby Mozart stuff anyway...

 

Roon definitely isn't perfect, and I've seen cases where metadata got messed up, but (like Idagio) it does have the fundamental concept of a composition separate from albums, and lets you sort on the key metadata that's relevant to classical recordings, which puts it head and shoulders above any non-Idagio service.

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23 hours ago, Bob Stern said:

I don’t find Idagio's interface unattractive at all.  I strongly prefer its emphasis on text-based results and the ability to drill down into search results by category, artist or composer.  

Actually, I like the way Idagio displays on my Macbook Pro.

 

Also, I am tired of apps that fill small-screened mobile devices with icons and images when text would be much more efficient, displaying considerably more info on each screen. The fewer screens required to navigate, the more cohesive sets of data seem to me.

Jim

 

Harlan Howard's definition of a great country song: "Three chords and the truth."

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19 hours ago, mkozlows said:

 

I agree that's true of the services out-of-the-box, but Roon actually does a good job of this, too. Like, upthread, I posted a screenshot of Idagio's results when you search for "mozart kv 504". If you do that on Roon, you get a page that shows you artists, albums, tracks, and compositions that match.

 

Thank you for the info about Roon's treatment of classical music. I have spent more time than I enjoy organizing my classical music, so I have been hesitant to pass the metadata on to Roon due to concerns about not liking the results. 

Jim

 

Harlan Howard's definition of a great country song: "Three chords and the truth."

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2 hours ago, Jim Sylva said:

I have spent more time than I enjoy organizing my classical music, so I have been hesitant to pass the metadata on to Roon due to concerns about not liking the results.

 

Same here.  Roon seems like a bad solution if you don’t want to adopt Roon's default tagging.  If you expend the effort to edit tags in Roon to your liking, Roon stores them only in its own database, not in the music files.  If you later switch to a different music manager/database program, you lose all your customized tags.

 

https://kb.roonlabs.com/Editing_and_Grooming_Your_Collection#Can_I_use_Roon_to_groom_my_file_tags_

 

Another concern for me is that Roon has some issues when playing music through HQ Player, according to numerous posts on the HQ Player topics of this forum.

Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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I share the concerns about Qobuz so-so tagging and average search function. What keeps me from switching to dedicated services like Idagio are two things:

 

1) the massive discounts you get on high res downloads as a sublime subscriber.  I still like to buy the music I really care about as I’m still skeptical about the long term viability of high res streaming at reasonable cost. 

 

2) While a majority of my listening is classical music I’m also a huge jazz fan, and it is nice to have access to all other genres when one has guests. 

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7 hours ago, Musicophile said:

I share the concerns about Qobuz so-so tagging and average search function. What keeps me from switching to dedicated services like Idagio are two things:

 

1) the massive discounts you get on high res downloads as a sublime subscriber.  I still like to buy the music I really care about as I’m still skeptical about the long term viability of high res streaming at reasonable cost. 

 

2) While a majority of my listening is classical music I’m also a huge jazz fan, and it is nice to have access to all other genres when one has guests. 

I agree.

 

I have more classical music than any other genre, and my jazz collection comprises my second largest genre.

 

You are much more knowledgable about classical music than I. The structure of Idagio allows me to not only find music of my choice, but also serves as a pedagogical tool.

 

I have bit the bullet, and subscribe to both Qobuz and Idagio. Not ideal, but Idagio is helping me to learn more about the vast world of classical music.

 

Qobuz allows one to conveniently choose a specific genre. Maybe Qobuz could develop a schema tailored to the requisite metadata parameters of classical music which would be evoked after one chose the Classical genre. Wishful thinking, I know!

Jim

 

Harlan Howard's definition of a great country song: "Three chords and the truth."

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