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Where are we at with streaming services for the audiophile with multiroom and multi channel?


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Here I sit in 2016, and I STILL don't have a great all in one service "fits all solution..."

 

Surely i'm not the only guy out there who wants' it all? LOL

The only guy with a dedicated quality hifi set up in one room, a multi channel HT in another and the other rooms for background listening?

 

Here is the lowdown as I now see it.. Luv some feedback and updates if anyone believes this thinking is a bit out of date and astray..

 

Services:

 

Spotify. Simply awesome interface and social media and apps across ios and OSX. Premium quality I find OK. Luving the Spotify connect which I can now throw direct to the HT amp, a Pioneer Streamer but not my best quality gear (Linn)... so it streams to about half my listening rooms. NO party mode. Yah I know the artists hate it (eg Radiohead etc)..but they eventually come over... shere market forces and dominance seems to see to that..

 

Tidal. Interface not as good as Spotify. Quality is apparently better, but not by much and this costs a whopping $25 odd per month. Will stream direct to my Linn good gear and I could get Roon/Tidal, but what then for the other zones? Back to crappy Sonos? To much Rap and other crap. Not enough choice..

 

Pandora. My old favourite. Still subscribe becuase of the pure simplicity and selections thrown up by dedicated stations. A go to for all my background music.

 

Roon. Sure. Could add an Exasound Streamer to get Multichannel in one room, and all my library and Tidal together, but then I would have to run two services: Tidal and Spotify and maintain the playlist and pay what $35 plus per month for a half baked double up solution.. ?? ... because Roon still doesn't do Spotify..

 

Why doesn't Damien integrate A+ with Spotify? Anyone else do it?

 

So my ideal dream would be a Roon Spotify team up.. my oh my I would then spend on Roon and the Exasound streamer.. Or even Exasound adding Spotify embedded... but I just never see this happening and alas I see myself sitting here in this vegetable soup of "solutions" for another year..

 

then another...

 

and another...

 

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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^ Turn it up loud!!!

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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There is no single Do-It-All service... probably never will be... but you can get a ton of it for free.

 

I pay for Tidal, Spotify and Slacker Radio... used to pay for Apple Music, but dropped it... and I source from a variety of sources like iHeartRadio, Radio Paradise, etc. In fact I've over 70 sources on Chromecast Audio and MinimServer/MinimStreamer. If you go with h/w and s/w like a PC and Kodi then its practically becomes unlimited... though the audiophile tag may work against them.

 

But all said and done the bulk of my listening is limited to the 3000+ CDs I've bought and ripped and made available on my Synology NAS that can be streamed anywhere with an internet connection. And I believe that's more than most folks would ever need. A couple of hundred CDs is where most folks would be happy at... or a single service like Spotify (even the free version).

 

Truth be told there is like 40%-50% of my own CD collection that I've not heard in years... and its highly unlikely any one person can even want (or desire) to hear everything... that's all genres, all musicians, etc. I'm limited to rock, hard rock, metal and blues and even in that I don't really listen to all artists and/or music.

 

PS: I get what you are saying... even I want it all. I've a dedicated home theater room and a 5.1 setup with over 2000 movies, and that's not enough... nowhere near in fact. I want it all too. The same goes for music too. But wanting it all, even having it all does not equate to enjoy/consume it all. Even if you really do get it all... there still isn't time to enjoy it all.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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^Yep. Agree. A+ with integrated Tidal and the Spotify app outside on a mac into an E28 is about as close as it get right now..

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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Hi,

I think that there is a difference between a multi-room listening experience from a NAS, from Internet streaming. I am much more interested in the former, as opposed to listening to someone else's music, on someone else's (insecure) computer out on the Internets.

I do hope that Tidal is out of business this time next year. But expect them to become a "Netflix for music" if not gone. I don't want to be reactionary, but I still hold to the audiophile tradition of owning & controlling where and how my purchased music gets played back; including file quality. Tidal SQ too, sucks compared to digital file playback on a LAN. Part of the reason that makes anything like Tidal insolvent, is the horrible state of Internet access, especially in places like the USA. Finally, if you're a creative artist, there is no career viability selling your art on a streaming service. This means more homogeneousization, & (almost) duplicate content.

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@Albrecht .. why you would like Tidal to fail? I'm just curious really considering it's hardly mandatory for you to subscribe. Many people find the sound quality to be excellent and streaming capability more than sufficient with a moderately fast internet connection. Artists don't make squat from the various streaming services of course (or CDs for that matter) but it's my impression it's the tours and merchandising that bring in the money these days. Like you, I enjoy owning a library of music but I also enjoy streaming services and internet radio.
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I'm very happy with the sound quality of Tidal premium, particularly for headphone listening. It is far superior to Spotify and I enjoy its Roon integration. I also have Deezer Elite for Sonos, which ups the quality over Spotify, although I recognize the limitations of Sonos speakers. I use all three services in Brasil with no streaming problems. Fortunately all three cost half to two-thirds of the price in North America, so I can get "two for the price of one." I keep Spotify mainly for the family plan, used by my wife and kids.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

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@Albrecht .. why you would like Tidal to fail? I'm just curious really considering it's hardly mandatory for you to subscribe. Many people find the sound quality to be excellent and streaming capability more than sufficient with a moderately fast internet connection. Artists don't make squat from the various streaming services of course (or CDs for that matter) but it's my impression it's the tours and merchandising that bring in the money these days. Like you, I enjoy owning a library of music but I also enjoy streaming services and internet radio.

 

Hi,

Thanks for comments.

Many people may find Tidal to be excellent, but many people find it to be mediocre. More importantly, I've not seen anyone who compares Tidal with AIFF or WAV files that they've made from themselves in an "optimized" system think that Tidal holds up well at all.

 

A moderately fast Ethernet connection in the USA is very expensive. And, that also entails collusion with with the ISP and the Netflix style monopoly. This model serves to exploit both the artist and the consumer. Wherein the consumer loses with lower quality playback, and homogenized content, and less of it. Already, there is so little music on Tidal, and as the size of this Walmart like company, and it's copycats increases, the lower the quality will be, the more expensive it will be, the less artists, and less varied artists there will be.

 

As an artist who still receives (occasional) royalties, nothing strikes home greater than the exploitation of my friends. It's not about me, - it's about a morally bankrupt industry that in its transition out of physical media, has harmed and continue to harm until we start standing up: like Courtney Love, RadioHead, Frank Zappa, - did.

 

It is true that touring is now the money making conduit for artists, but they still need to rely on the publicity that music sales or purchased file downloads, etc. sold to generate the noteirity. In addition, it takes capital investment to tour, as well as circumventing a corporate fascist society/gov/culture that prevents artists from touring; due to such things as VISA restrictions etc.

 

Cheers,

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It's funny that you extol the virtues of physical media vs streaming, as an artist. Before streaming, it was very rare to ever find an artist who thought that deals with record companies were wonderful. In fact, history shows that model was riddled with more corruption and ripoffs than any amount of streaming can ever aspire to. We all need things to get mad at, but streaming really shouldn't be one of them. It replaced a horrible system. I think Tidal sounds so good that I dumped my entire cd collection and won't be looking back. If Tidal fails, something better will fill the void.

 

Sent from my SM-T810 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Tidal. Interface not as good as Spotify. Quality is apparently better, but not by much and this costs a whopping $25 odd per month. Will stream direct to my Linn good gear and I could get Roon/Tidal, but what then for the other zones? Back to crappy Sonos? To much Rap and other crap. Not enough choice..

 

 

 

I can't speak to the lack (or not) of selection in Tidal but want to address the multi zone capabilities of Roon. Using Roon with Tidal integration is a very good alternative to Sonos and syncs every bit as well as Sonos. What it needs is AirPlay compatible devices to stream to such as Marantz, Linn, Naim, etc. The newly added internet radio feature in Roon makes it nearly as usable in terms of what I need as Sonos and with the much better library interaction in Roon I may finally be moving away from Sonos in my personal system.

David

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Don't use Roon, but I do know that it is supposed to support AirPlay. Are you saying that its AirPlay support doesn't extend to multiroom and in sync?

 

If so, does it have a similar issue with its Squeezebox support?

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No. Am saying the opposite. It extends to multiroom (or zone) and syncs perfectly unlike AirPlay which I've never gotten to quite sync as well as Sonos. Do not use Squeezebox's anymore so can't speak to that. I'll hook up an old Squeezebox and test that.

David

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Where are we at with streaming services for the audiophile with multi channel?"

 

No streaming service offer this. Right ?

Any download service offer ? Yes, a few, but this is not streaming,

Leave us with ripping ? Which is not streaming.

Multi Channel audio is either SACD or DVD audio, and does any of those format allow for streaming ? Or be converted to some sort of "streaming format" ?

 

Let's just think you like to start a "hi-res" multi channel streaming service. What format could be possible and legally accepted ?

What is the bandwidth required ? (DSD256 (aka Quad DSD) 11.2 MHz

And does there exist media streamers that would accept SACD (DTS) and DVD Audio muliti channel from a streaming service ? (Given that that service does not exist). Probably any streamer like AppleTV with HDMI. And any PC.

 

So if you have a SACD multichannel rip, how would you transfer the signal. HMDI is the only possible option ?

Unless you do some creative converting ? I think I'm wrong here :)

 

HQPlayer and probably others supports multi channel. But this is PC/Linux SW. Not someting that can be compared with Auralic, Bluesound and similar. Probably Oppo 105 will do, as this is a SACD and DVD-Audio multi channel disk player with internet streaming feature ? Similar products may exist. I don't know.

 

Concerts from Netflix ?

Why does multi channel from Netflix sound so much worse than from a BD/DVD ?

 

So think we are nowhere with streaming service for an audiophile (SCAD / DVD Audio). And a very few services provide CD quality as streaming and only one service has said it will do what can be called hi-res streaming. Multi channel is not a theme yet. Though I agree is should be.

 

But we could start some private file sharing service and stream to each other :)

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