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Anyone not switching from Tidal to Qobuz?

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15 hours ago, left channel said:

 

I've seen reports that UMG albums on Qobuz do not have watermarks.

 

That's very good news!  Can you point me to any additional information?

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22 minutes ago, left channel said:

 

Here's the most recent report I've seen comparing UMG albums for watermarking on the two services:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/qobuz-lossless-streaming-service-thread.856101/page-26#post-14752580

 

And here's a comparison of an album from another label:
https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55468-tidal-or-qobuz-which-sounds-better/?tab=comments#comment-923891
 

 

Mark me a skeptic on this one. Hard for me to believe that UMG is watermarking albums it sends to one streaming service, and not to another. Maybe it will be true for a handful of albums - and possibly not intentionally - but not as an overall phenomenon. Blind test a large amount of them and pass the test, and then maybe I'll start to believe it.


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I've had Tidal for a few years now, and just recently added Qobuz, spurred by its US debut and Roon integration. 

 

So far as SQ and ease of use in Roon is concerned, the two are identical. But there are two other reasons why, for me at least, Tidal wins out:

 

First, its US catalogue is vastly superior to Qobuz's for indie rock and obscure rock issues from the late 1960s and 1970s. It really isn't a contest--almost none of the dozen or so albums that I liked most from last year are on Qobuz--e.g., Ty Segall, Oh Sees, etc. And, so far, there have been zero albums that I couldn't find on Tidal that were available on Qobuz. (Spotify has a better catalogue still, but no lossless and no Roon integration.)

 

Second, I use Tidal's Mac app at the office, and it really outshines Qobuz's in terms of speed, ease of use, and possibly SQ--Qobuz's app is glitchy and doesn't support taking control of a sound output. (Listening to some Big Star the other day, I was shocked by how much fuller it sounded through Tidal, to the point that I could only wonder whether I was listening to different version--the apps do not make it easy to figure this out.) The Qobuz app does look better, though, and doesn't bury reviews and other information. But, for listening, for now, Tidal reigns. 

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4 minutes ago, andrewmg said:

I've had Tidal for a few years now, and just recently added Qobuz, spurred by its US debut and Roon integration. 

 

So far as SQ and ease of use in Roon is concerned, the two are identical. But there are two other reasons why, for me at least, Tidal wins out:

 

First, its US catalogue is vastly superior to Qobuz's for indie rock and obscure rock issues from the late 1960s and 1970s. It really isn't a contest--almost none of the dozen or so albums that I liked most from last year are on Qobuz--e.g., Ty Segall, Oh Sees, etc. And, so far, there have been zero albums that I couldn't find on Tidal that were available on Qobuz. (Spotify has a better catalogue still, but no lossless and no Roon integration.)

 

Second, I use Tidal's Mac app at the office, and it really outshines Qobuz's in terms of speed, ease of use, and possibly SQ--Qobuz's app is glitchy and doesn't support taking control of a sound output. (Listening to some Big Star the other day, I was shocked by how much fuller it sounded through Tidal, to the point that I could only wonder whether I was listening to different version--the apps do not make it easy to figure this out.) The Qobuz app does look better, though, and doesn't bury reviews and other information. But, for listening, for now, Tidal reigns. 

 

Qobuz USA is in beta. Qobuz reps have repeatedly posted here that they are working on expanding the catalog, and on upgrades to the desktop apps. Meanwhile, I find what Qobuz does have to be superior in sound and presentation.


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2 hours ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

Qobuz markets themselves as an audiophile service and audible watermarking is antithetic to audiophilia, so Qobuz apparently made a business decision to not taint their library with that stuff.

 

I'm still checking for watermarking... 

 

Given how they showed no backbone to 2L (not even just a tiny, itsy bitsy bit),  I don't see them doing anything at all with the likes of UMG.

 

They market themselves is the operative word here.  I'm with @firedogif Qobuz is not streaming the watermarked albums it's because somebody somewhere made a mistake. 


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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2 hours ago, andrewmg said:

Second, I use Tidal's Mac app at the office, and it really outshines Qobuz's in terms of speed, ease of use, and possibly SQ--Qobuz's app is glitchy and doesn't support taking control of a sound output. (Listening to some Big Star the other day, I was shocked by how much fuller it sounded through Tidal, to the point that I could only wonder whether I was listening to different version--the apps do not make it easy to figure this out.) The Qobuz app does look better, though, and doesn't bury reviews and other information. But, for listening, for now, Tidal reigns. 

 

In the version of the Qobuz desktop app that I tested in January of this year, the Qobuz desktop app was using macOS CoreAudio mixer (abstraction audio layer), whereas the Tidal app has direct access to the DAC in exclusive mode / force (device) volume, so it should always sound better when comparing identically encoded songs.

 

I did play back Qobuz and Tidal through Amarra Luxe running on macOS and I couldn't tell if one sounded better than the other.

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1 minute ago, Taz777 said:

 

In the version of the Qobuz desktop app that I tested in January of this year, the Qobuz desktop app was using macOS CoreAudio mixer (abstraction audio layer), whereas the Tidal app has direct access to the DAC in exclusive mode / force (device) volume, so it should always sound better when comparing identically encoded songs.

 

I did play back Qobuz and Tidal through Amarra Luxe running on macOS and I couldn't tell if one sounded better than the other.

 

I read a comment on another blog that the latest version(s?) of the macOS do not allow you to bypass the CoreAudio mixer.  This was said by a person who is normally technically competent so I thought there might be some truth in it, at least on some level.  Is it just that macOS does not have an "exclusive" mode or some such (a kind of "bit perfect lite")?


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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@crenca It may be the case. What I couldn't configure in Qobuz was direct access and 'force device volume' mode. Here's the Tidal settings that I'm referring to:

 

0rbcfcv.jpg

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2 hours ago, left channel said:

 

Qobuz USA is in beta. Qobuz reps have repeatedly posted here that they are working on expanding the catalog, and on upgrades to the desktop apps. Meanwhile, I find what Qobuz does have to be superior in sound and presentation.

 

I’m under the impression that they’re out of Beta in the US?

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1 hour ago, crenca said:

 

Given how they showed no backbone to 2L (not even just a tiny, itsy bitsy bit),  I don't see them doing anything at all with the likes of UMG.

 

They market themselves is the operative word here.  I'm with @firedogif Qobuz is not streaming the watermarked albums it's because somebody somewhere made a mistake. 

 

A quote that I remember from the heyday of spammers: "Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice".

 

I'm aware that 2L apparently gave them all MQA versions of their catalog.  No idea what happened there.  But I still haven't found any watermarked material on Qobuz.  If incompetence is the reason, I'll take it!

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13 minutes ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

A quote that I remember from the heyday of spammers: "Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice".

 

I'm aware that 2L apparently gave them all MQA versions of their catalog.  No idea what happened there.  But I still haven't found any watermarked material on Qobuz.  If incompetence is the reason, I'll take it!


The question of why there may be no watermarked material on Qobuz is sort of like a Rorschach test: in the absence of information, we're just making stuff up and basing it heavily on our own personalities. But as you say, regardless of the reason, I'll take it!

 

Re 2L, to save you wading through about 15 pages in another thread, here's my understanding:

2L delivered albums to Qobuz in "MQA CD" format, which they also call "MQA16 in WAV 16-44". Those albums play through the Qobuz app at 16/44.1 resolution. The Audirvana app also plays them at 16/44.1, not detecting and decoding them due to the way they are tagged in metadata.

It was a surprise to Qobuz management and everyone else when, after Roon integration, Roon began detecting those as MQA albums via a deeper scan, and then decoding them. Learning of this via user posts here on AS, the Qobuz folks investigated. After determining that 2L will not offer those albums in Redbook 16/44.1, they asked the label to more clearly tag each track as MQA.

Also, there are no 24-bit Hi-Res tracks from 2L on Qobuz, but 2L management has stated that those will be available on Qobuz for download (not streaming, as I understand it) after a temporary third-party distribution business transition.


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43 minutes ago, Taz777 said:

@crenca It may be the case. What I couldn't configure in Qobuz was direct access and 'force device volume' mode. Here's the Tidal settings that I'm referring to:

 

0rbcfcv.jpg

 

As I understand it, the first two settings are dependant on the OS giving what Windows itself calls "Exclusive Mode" in the sound card/device properties, allowing the end user to check a box that reads "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device".  This is not the same thing as bypassing the OS altogether with a (usually custom) Asio driver or similar, but it is better than nothing.  

 

Apparently Apple does not offer anything like this half-way solution...

 


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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4 minutes ago, left channel said:


The question of why there may be no watermarked material on Qobuz is sort of like a Rorshach test: in the absence of information, we're just making stuff up and basing it heavily on our own personalities. But as you say, regardless of the reason, I'll take it!

 

Re 2L, to save you wading through about 15 pages in another thread, here's my understanding:

2L delivered albums to Qobuz in "MQA CD" format, which they also call "MQA16 in WAV 16-44". Those albums play through the Qobuz app at 16/44.1 resolution. The Audirvana app also plays them at 16/44.1, not detecting and decoding them due to the way they are tagged in metadata.

So, it was a surprise to Qobuz management and everyone else when, after Roon integration, Roon began detecting those as MQA albums via a deeper scan, and then decoding them. Learning of this via user forums, the Qobuz folks investigated. After determining that 2L will not offer those albums in Redbook 16/44.1, they asked the label to more clearly tag each track as MQA.

Also, there are no 24-bit Hi-Res tracks from 2L on Qobuz, but 2L management has stated that those will be available on Qobuz for download (not streaming, as I understand it) after a temporary third-party distribution business transition.

 

You left out the detail where Godzilla stomps on all the little Japanese people...wait, nevermind, that was something else...


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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For a while I had both but dropped Qobuz, for three reasons:

 

1. IMHO, no difference in their SQ so long as you compare like with like services 

 

2. Tidal has a **much** bigger catalogue

 

3. Tidal is about 30% the cost of Tidal

 

No brainer!


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13 minutes ago, Mazza said:

For a while I had both but dropped Qobuz, for three reasons:

 

1. IMHO, no difference in their SQ so long as you compare like with like services 

 

2. Tidal has a **much** bigger catalogue

 

3. Tidal is about 30% the cost of Tidal (assuming you meant Qobuz)

 

No brainer!

 

#1 makes sense (why would the same file sound different?) as does #2, but I am confused as to #3.  Tidal 16/44 (which includes MQA) & Qobuz 16/44 are priced the same, with Qobuz hi res being $5 more a month (so 25% more)...


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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10 minutes ago, crenca said:

 

#1 makes sense (why would the same file sound different?) as does #2, but I am confused as to #3.  Tidal 16/44 (which includes MQA) & Qobuz 16/44 are priced the same, with Qobuz hi res being $5 more a month (so 25% more)...

 

Hah! Listen to the debates on the differences in SQ on this Forum and you wouldn’t think so! YMMV of course!

 

I pay £10/month for Tidal Masters which I think I got as a special offer at the time it was launched in uk..I think the current cost is £20/month.. at the time it was £30/month for the qobuz hirez service, albeit it has recently been reduced to £25/month.

 

as I said, absolute no-brainer


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2 minutes ago, Mazza said:

 

Hah! Listen to the debates on the differences in SQ on this Forum and you wouldn’t think so! YMMV of course!

 

I pay £10/month for Tidal Masters which I think I got as a special offer at the time it was launched in uk..I think the current cost is £20/month.. at the time it was £30/month for the qobuz hirez service, albeit it has recently been reduced to £25/month.

 

as I said, absolute no-brainer

 

That is a deal for Tidal 16/44!  Here in America we pay $20 for Tidal 16/44 and $20 for Qobuz 16/44, and $25 for Qobuz hi rez


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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Just now, crenca said:

 

That is a deal for Tidal 16/44!  Here in America we pay $20 for Tidal 16/44 and $20 for Qobuz 16/44, and $25 for Qobuz hi rez

 

Sssssssshhhhhhh.....Tidal havent worked out that I still get ‘masters’  for half-price!🤣


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Keeping both for now some labels albums artists not available on TIDAL are on Qobuz or the reverse and it is fun comparing HiRes with 'Masters'/MQA

Qobuz is my favorite had a French address since about 2013 now have a USA Studio account

ROON has become a PIA though very slow to start loading and HiRes and MQA labeled albums seem only to play in 16/44(especially the hundreds of playlists I transferred to Qobuz from TIDAL via Soundiiz many in MQA)

Audirvana+3 for me tops ROON for both TIDAL and Qobuz everything plays at 24/192 through my ME2 DAC 3 white LEDs or 2 whites and a green or blue LED

At Jud's suggestion on one of the other forums SOX IS better than Izotope

 

on another note anyone noticed Qobuz is DOWN on everything A+3 /ROON /desktop app per @dmackta Qobuz was 'attacked' by a DDSO_anyone know how serious that is and what is a DDSO anyway?

bobbmd

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19 minutes ago, bobbmd said:

what is a DDSO anyway?

https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/ddos/what-is-a-ddos-attack/


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