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Article: Amazon Music HD Launches

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Can't see any reason why Tidal etc wont go bust, they are already losing money at their current pricing. Tidal hifi has given me alot of pleasure and also had a positive effect on mastering quality since labels can easily compare tracks. I feel sorry for them. 

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3 hours ago, bbosler said:

and here is Living Loving Maid downloaded from HDtracks as a 24/96 file. The download from Amazon is only 5.4 Mb, from HDtracks it is 92Mb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living jpeg 96.JPG

Can you confirm that the 5.4 Mb file you downloaded is a FLAC? If so, why are Amazon FLACs so low?

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32 minutes ago, Enochrome said:

I'm getting 16bit streaming of "Kind of Blue" on my Macbook. It says the device is capable of 24bit/96 and the track is available in 24bit/96 but it's relegating it to 16bit. Is there something I am doing wrong? I notice other tracks by other artists in 24/96 are having the same outcome. 

Check your settings in the app preferences. 


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Quote

It's an MP3. Music HD is not a download store.

 

 

If it is not a download store why do they give you the option of buying the song and downloading it? In preferences you have the option of downloading the HD track after you buy it. Unfortunately what you get is an MP3 file that is nowhere near HD. Perhaps a glitch in their system?

 

And why in this forum does it reload all of the graphics I previously uploaded even though I trash them before I submit? Then I have to go back and edit this post to remove the graphics

 

1076849943_prefaM.JPG.00fe43944059495bc6b9c5d8aa45b7fb.jpeg

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13 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

anyone have an MQA DAC to test the content from 2L. 2L delivers MQA to Qobuz whether they want it or not. 

 

This looks strange 24/48. This content is usually at much higher sample rates if left native. 

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-18 at 9.06.25 AM.png

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-18 at 9.03.00 AM.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris:

 

I connected Macbook Pro via USB to Oppo 205 (with Oppo firmware that supports full MQA decode & render over USB, and updated USB driver per Oppo instructions, etc.)

 

When I set the MacOs “Audio MIDI Setup” app to 48kHz I get the following for the 2L track you referenced (played from Amazon Music desktop app):

 

Track Quality : 24 bit / 48 kHz

Device Capability: 24 bit / 48 kHz

Currently playing at: 24 bit / 48 kHz

No indication MQA was being received/decoded/rendered.

 

Sounded great by the way.

 

I don’t know if that helps, but I said I would try it out.

Cheers

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Steve Boom is VP, Digital Music at Amazon.

 

Steve has global responsibility for all aspects of Amazon Music, including strategy, product development, licensing, marketing, industry relations and business development.

 

Steve holds a JD from Harvard Law School as well as a BS in Electrical Engineering and an AB in History from Stanford University.


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Those settings are for the "offline listening" downloads that are tied to your Amazon Music / Music HD player and streaming subscription. Cancel your streaming subscription and they're gone.

 

Ok, that makes sense,,, no, I take that back.. it explains what is happening but makes no sense

 

If you buy a song and are given the option of downloading in HD then it should be HD,, getting an MP3 is just wrong, but thanks for clarifying it

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Bootzilla said:

I am not jumping ship from Tidal HiFi, as I pay $5.00 per month via the Tidal deal for Third Man Records 'Vault' subscribers.  I do worry, though, that Amazon HD Music could put Tidal and Qobuz out of business, and then Amazon would be in position to raise prices to $20.00 per month (or more).  

 

I understand your legitimate concern in this regard, but I personally worry less about price and more about quality.  I think Tidal and Qobuz actually care about us audiophiles, but Amazon won’t care or is just too big to focus on our small niche. For example, Amazon is probably never going to come to places like this website to learn about all of the issues “we” identify, discuss, debate (vigorously 😀), resolve, etc. To me, that’s the concern.  

 

I can’t begin to know how to get Amazon’s hires streaming service through my digital rig at home (except maybe by connecting a Bluesound Node), and, from what I’ve read here, I probably shouldn’t even bother because there’s no way it sounds nearly as good as Tidal or Qobuz using Roon or dCS Mosaic.  If Amazon’s hires service indeed kills alternatives, SQ ultimately could suffer, which would be ironic and unfortunate.  Thus, I will continue to support both Tidal and Qobuz for the foreseeable future. 


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Another BluOS issue maybe: 

Music on Amazon Music labeled as “Ultra HD” with a “Track Quality” of 24 bit / 44.1 kHz played through Bluesound Node 2i-(S/PDIF Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC shows on the RME display as only 16 bit.

 

Per the RME manual: “The Bit column shows the amount of bits found in the SPDIF audio signal. Note that a 24 bit signal that is shown as 16 bit is indeed 16 bit, but a signal shown as 24 bit might contain only 16 bit real audio plus 8 bits of noise…”

 

So RME is pretty confident I’m only getting 16 bits from a 24-bit “Ultra HD” track.

 

This only happens with Ultra HD tracks that are 24/44.1 (couldn’t find any 24/48 to try yet). Higher SR Ultra HD tracks (24/96, 24/192) show 24 bits.

 

So what is happening with 24/44.1 “Ultra HD”? Is Amazon sending 16/44.1 even tough saying it’s Ultra HD at 24/44.1; or, is the Node 2i striping the last 8 least-significant bits; or, is the RME misinterpreting the S/PDIF stream?

 

Anyone else with a DAC connected to Amazon Music that has a bit-depth display for S/PDIF? USB connections don’t usually display bit depth, just SR.

 

A couple of tracks that show this to try for yourselves (make sure to select the Ultra HD versions):

You Say, by Lauren Daigle

Bad Liar, by Imagine Dragons

If You’re Gonna Lie, by FLETCHER

Born Without a Heart, by Faouzia

 

Cheers

Gus

 

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18 minutes ago, Gus141 said:

Another BluOS issue maybe: 

Music on Amazon Music labeled as “Ultra HD” with a “Track Quality” of 24 bit / 44.1 kHz played through Bluesound Node 2i-(S/PDIF Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC shows on the RME display as only 16 bit.

 

Per the RME manual: “The Bit column shows the amount of bits found in the SPDIF audio signal. Note that a 24 bit signal that is shown as 16 bit is indeed 16 bit, but a signal shown as 24 bit might contain only 16 bit real audio plus 8 bits of noise…”

 

So RME is pretty confident I’m only getting 16 bits from a 24-bit “Ultra HD” track.

 

This only happens with Ultra HD tracks that are 24/44.1 (couldn’t find any 24/48 to try yet). Higher SR Ultra HD tracks (24/96, 24/192) show 24 bits.

 

So what is happening with 24/44.1 “Ultra HD”? Is Amazon sending 16/44.1 even tough saying it’s Ultra HD at 24/44.1; or, is the Node 2i striping the last 8 least-significant bits; or, is the RME misinterpreting the S/PDIF stream?

 

Anyone else with a DAC connected to Amazon Music that has a bit-depth display for S/PDIF? USB connections don’t usually display bit depth, just SR.

 

A couple of tracks that show this to try for yourselves (make sure to select the Ultra HD versions):

You Say, by Lauren Daigle

Bad Liar, by Imagine Dragons

If You’re Gonna Lie, by FLETCHER

Born Without a Heart, by Faouzia

 

Cheers

Gus

 

I’ll connect to a dCS Rossini in the morning. I only have Toslink out of the old Vault here for now. Should be the same. Rossini shows but depth and sample rate. 


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46 minutes ago, MarkS said:

To me, that’s the concern.  

 

Totally legit at this juncture.

 

48 minutes ago, MarkS said:

If Amazon’s hires service indeed kills alternatives, SQ ultimately could suffer, which would be ironic and unfortunate.

 

Indeed.

 

48 minutes ago, MarkS said:

Thus, I will continue to support both Tidal and Qobuz for the foreseeable future.

 

Qobuz yes... Tidal a decided no, due to their MQA attached at the hip status. F MQA.


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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16 hours ago, Jud said:

 

We were talking about Amazon.... I see absolutely no reason to think Amazon would go to the trouble of changing what they receive from the labels, for better or worse. Everything about the service (for example, not bothering with bit perfect but just using whatever your player/computer/device setting is) says they are just getting the tracks and putting them out there, period.

You're absolutely right however it's not about going to any trouble. Amazon are good at pushing new stuff out on their website, but not so good at checking/ensuring quality, as evidenced by the millions of 1 star reviews. More specifically regarding Amazon music files I regularly find albums which are linked to wrong/missing digital versions while they can be found on their site by other search methods, so I'd definitely want to check any HD/UD files are as advertised, at least until they establish some credibility. It is the responsibility of the advertiser at least in UK/Europe to ensure the goods are as advertised and correct any mistakes, but mis-selling still happens. This applies to other music websites too. The good thing about Amazon is their no quibble returns policy and product reviews. But like others I don't think the portents are good for consumers: choice is good, monopoly is bad :S

Latest comments indicate Amazon HD is streaming only, downloads are in mp3. I'd be very unhappy to have paid any money for the service if this is true and not a technical/start up glitch.


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15 hours ago, Jeremy Anderson said:

My experience isn't about bluOS per-se, but have found it possible to get 24/192 (in 'shared mode') via the Windows 10 Amazon Music app:

Yes but the procedure that you provide does not mean that the Windows sound engine will allow or support streams up to 24/192 rather  that everything will be upsampled to 24/192. If you set a lower rate in Windows then everything will be downsampled to that. Most of us just want bit perfect audio.  So in order  to get this using your method it means carrying out that reconfiguration each time that the source resolution changes, album to album or even track to track.

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On a much more mundane level: when I signed up, I was directed to the German website. I then changed my location to Japan where I actually sit, and signed up for "Unlimited". Signing in to Amazon Musicagain  sent me back to the German site; logging into Amazon Music through BluOs (my main reason for trying) sent me back to the German site, which continued to recommend to subscribe to "Unlimited".

 

As a result, I cancelled my subscription on the Japanese site and will stick to Qobuz, which - aside from all its quirks - just works.

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10 hours ago, Enochrome said:

I'm getting 16bit streaming of "Kind of Blue" on my Macbook. It says the device is capable of 24bit/96 and the track is available in 24bit/96 but it's relegating it to 16bit. Is there something I am doing wrong? I notice other tracks by other artists in 24/96 are having the same outcome. 

 

Adjust your Audio/Midi settings. (App in Utilities)

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2 hours ago, blue2 said:

 

Latest comments indicate Amazon HD is streaming only, downloads are in mp3.


Two different things. Streaming is in 16/44.1 and above by all indications. However, Amazon hasn’t (yet) gotten into the hi-res download business; all downloads to be purchased from them are still mp3 format.


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2 hours ago, blue2 said:

You're absolutely right however it's not about going to any trouble. Amazon are good at pushing new stuff out on their website, but not so good at checking/ensuring quality, as evidenced by the millions of 1 star reviews. More specifically regarding Amazon music files I regularly find albums which are linked to wrong/missing digital versions while they can be found on their site by other search methods, so I'd definitely want to check any HD/UD files are as advertised, at least until they establish some credibility. It is the responsibility of the advertiser at least in UK/Europe to ensure the goods are as advertised and correct any mistakes, but mis-selling still happens. This applies to other music websites too. The good thing about Amazon is their no quibble returns policy and product reviews. But like others I don't think the portents are good for consumers: choice is good, monopoly is bad :S

Latest comments indicate Amazon HD is streaming only, downloads are in mp3. I'd be very unhappy to have paid any money for the service if this is true and not a technical/start up glitch.

 

Untrue, its dependent on the value you set under 'Download Audio Quality'

 


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44 minutes ago, keeper said:

 

Untrue, its dependent on the value you set under 'Download Audio Quality'

 

Download quality in the app refers to drm'd download for offline playback only, not for purchases, which at the moment still seem to be from the mp3 store. 

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17 hours ago, Superdad said:

Wake me when I can use Roon to browse and play/stream these new full-res Amazon tracks...B|

Alexa...

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I am impressed with the sound so far.  I may drop Tidal though Qbuz will remain as they have the flair for European jazz.  


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