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Article: Amazon Music HD Launches

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1 hour ago, Superdad said:

 

Nice boots and belt buckle Charles. But you might want to ease up on the cervezas. :P

 

You really don't want to see me dance, cervezas or no cervezas. ;) Or sing (ask my wife). Actually two years off the drink and working my way towards a black belt in kenpo karate. Helps with the stress levels of the times. 


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I like high quality audio, but I am not interested in it. I find nothing more boring that A-B testing. If the music sounds good enough not to call attention to itself, I don't notice. The music is the point, right?

 

The system I use most is Tidal / Roon /  Ultrarendu/ Mytek Brooklyn / HD800.  3.5tb from a drive feeds into this stream. Much of the music I listen to is not particularly well recorded, most of it is not recorded in hi-res or MQA. When I listen to music, I rarely know the format or the location of the source in my system. Early Duke Ellington recordings don't sound great--the bass mostly was out of the range of the available mics-- but some of the music is fantastic.  I have MQA implemented on my DAC but have never really noticed if anything I listened to was MQA.

 

I just signed up for the 3 month free deal.  I suspect the sound quality will on average be about as good as what I have now. I think there is no doubt, however, that I will stay with Amazon, and I decided this in about 30 minutes, listening on my desk computer and the speaker in my monitor. 


I listen to a range of music--classical, classic rnb, blues, and classic rock--but I mostly listen to jazz--all kinds of jazz, but especially the music that follows Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, et. al. There is a renaissance of this music especially in New York in the last 20 years.  Many of the players are young, many of them (rare in the history of jazz) are women, and week to week they push the limits of the music. Their CDs, and there are a lot of them, are made in small studios and beautifully engineered, but hi-res offerings are rare. I hear this music live regularly, and I can only say, unless it happens to be a venue with good acoustics, and you get a seat in the best spot, a well-engineered CD has its advantages.  Of course, the highest-rez recording will never capture the excitement of a great live performance, but then I don't have to go to the subway and go to some bar in the outer-reaches of Brooklyn. 

 

Okay, here is my point: Amazon has  immensely more of this music than Tidal and my local drive together. I haven't checked out the more common jazz material, but I assume that, if they have a more or less complete catalog of the Matthew Shipp trio,  it will be quite complete.  I would be interested in hearing  from people with expertise in various categories of music with reports on Amazon's offerings. I also am interested in contemporary, avant-garde classical music.  I haven't checked that.

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20 minutes ago, Abstraction said:

There is a renaissance of this music especially in New York in the last 20 years.  Many of the players are young, many of them (rare in the history of jazz) are women, and week to week they push the limits of the music. Their CDs, and there are a lot of them, are made in small studios and beautifully engineered, but hi-res offerings are rare.

 

Well - out with it, man!  ;) Names of artists/albums?


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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7 hours ago, Jud said:

While absolutely wanting to have Qobuz for the sound quality, I would like Amazon to succeed in this. I imagine other companies are watching Amazon closely to see whether streaming in CD and higher quality is commercially viable. If so, we can look forward to greater availability for streaming and perhaps downloads. If not....

One would question whether streaming as it is now with MP3/AAC is making any money with all the millions of subscriptions and equally large user base. Streaming consistently loses money, just don't understand how these companies can survive, with just promises of coming good.

 

Look, good luck to Amazon HD/Ultra HD, but the demand for lossless streaming or even downloads is just not there from Mr/Mrs/Miss J. Public. Might be showing my age here, but very little modern pop music interests me, used to ,but now it sounds too much the same, ergo content is a large part of it, the large reason why I dumped Tidal, the front intro page was usually kack.

 

In 2002 Norah Jones, Come Away with Me. That album appealed to a very wide audience, and still sells well on the Super Hirez, hasn't dropped out of the top 5 for years now. So where's the next Come Away with Me?


AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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2 hours ago, Jud said:

 

Well - out with it, man!  ;) Names of artists/albums?

It's a rather largish scene with people coming in from Europe and Chicago (and elsewhere). Search Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, James Brandon Lewis, Tomeka Reid, Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Montana Roberts, Stephen Gauci, Steve Swell, Rob Brown, Whit Dickey, Kirk Knuffke,Taylor Ho Bynum.  Some of the more established figures are William Parker and Matthew Shipp, who were members of the David S. Ware Quartet.  Much of this activity is around the Vision Festival. This is the line-up for the 24th, which was last spring. Andrew Cyrille, who has been on the scene for 50-60 years ,was honored.   https://www.artsforart.org/vision.html

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1 hour ago, One and a half said:

In 2002 Norah Jones, Come Away with Me. That album appealed to a very wide audience, and still sells well on the Super Hirez, hasn't dropped out of the top 5 for years now. So where's the next Come Away with Me?

    There are 50 million songs on Amazon. Let's say 4 to 6 million albums.  In 2011--the most recent data I can find--1,215 albums sold more than 10k copies. In another post I listed 20 or so consummate musicians, some of whom live in my neighborhood. I see them at Trader Joe's. I would suppose all of them together do not sell 10k albums a year. This is what one reviewer said, rightly, I think, of an album by one of those artists, Matthew Shipp: "[It is] the kind of record we talk about and play for each other decades later... This is music that frames up a whole history: of an artist, of listeners, of the artists who formed the history of the art form, of the culture and time that allowed this art to flourish."

Music is not a commodity like new speaker cables. Music, literature, and art are not entertainments or investments; they are the very core of meaningful lives. No doubt there will be other albums like Come Away with Me or Kind of Blue that audiophiles will play to show off their systems. The systems will sound great; the music will sound great,  but the reason musicians can't make a living is because people listen everyday to an album that is 20 years old. 

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1 hour ago, Abstraction said:

...  but the reason musicians can't make a living is because people listen everyday to an album that is 20 years old. 

 

Well I’m 57 and I listen almost every day to a couple of albums made 4 years before I was born! :o

Of course I also listen to a lot of music produced in this decade as well...

I’m sure in the minority as I mostly buy CDs (I have 4,000+ LPs, but stopped buying vinyl about a decade ago).

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4 hours ago, bbosler said:

as for the so called "free" trial

 

I signed up yesterday thinking what's to lose with a free trial. Then I see a $7.99 charge from Amazon Music on my credit card today. I call and am told that the HD trial is free but you have to have a $7.99 unlimited account to get the free trial. Of course, I ask how can it be free when I get charged $7.99? They said again, only free if you pay for unlimited

 

I canceled and got my $7.99 back

 

first they have a setting that says you get HD downloads when it turns out that is not actually a download even when you pay for the song like I foolishly did,  it is only for offline listening, any actual download is low resolution MP3, now this

 

f**k em, I'm done with em

I wonder what happens if someone does the 30-day free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited, and then tries to do the Music HD trial right away. 

 

I wondered about the bit in the wording of the 90-day trial offer:  "This 90-day free trial offer is a limited time offer. This offer applies only to the Amazon Music HD Individual Plan and the Amazon Music HD Family Plan and is available only to new subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited."  I thought they meant that if you were a current subscriber of the existing music service, you couldn't get the free trial of the new service (they do other promos sometimes for people who have never tried Prime, for example, or if it's been over a year or whatever).  They should just come out and say that you'll be paying the $7.99 as a new subscriber to Amazon Music Unlimited, while receiving the Music HD service at no additional charge beyond that $7.99 subscription for the length of the trial.  They should realize that ambiguous wording can lead to confusion and disappointment and/or anger.  


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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6 minutes ago, Jud said:

 

I did. Getting both free.

Thanks, @Jud, good to know! 


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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5 hours ago, bbosler said:

as for the so called "free" trial

 

I signed up yesterday thinking what's to lose with a free trial. Then I see a $7.99 charge from Amazon Music on my credit card today. I call and am told that the HD trial is free but you have to have a $7.99 unlimited account to get the free trial. Of course, I ask how can it be free when I get charged $7.99? They said again, only free if you pay for unlimited

 

I canceled and got my $7.99 back

 

first they have a setting that says you get HD downloads when it turns out that is not actually a download even when you pay for the song like I foolishly did,  it is only for offline listening, any actual download is low resolution MP3, now this

 

f**k em, I'm done with em

 

I certainly can't explain why you were charged.  All I can say is that I am not an Amazon Music Unlimited member, never have been, and I was not charged when I signed up for the free HD trial. Are you sure the $7.99 wasn't for the album you bought?

 

So far I like their music suggestions, playlists and artist radio stations much better than Tidal.

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Subscription Renewal 
On 16 December 2019, your Individual Plan HD subscription will renew at £14.99/month.

 

in the UK I’ve payed nothing as per the above


Setup:

Lumin D2> Roksan Blak> Focal 806

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Quote

Are you sure the $7.99 wasn't for the album you bought?

 

I'm sure, I bought 3 songs for $1.29 each not knowing they are MP3 because I incorrectly assumed they would be HD as I had selected HD downloads in my HD preferences. When I got Amazon on the phone they confirmed the $7.99 was for Amazon Unlimited Music and said that was required for the "free" HD content.

 

I had unlimited previously but cancelled last January. Maybe that's why they restarted it. They also restarted it earlier this year without telling me. Early this month I noticed a $7.99 charge on my card and when I looked back saw $7.99 for the previous 2 months. When I contacted them they said they had no idea why it had restarted and refunded 3 x $7.99. Then they restarted it again for $7.99 when I signed up for the "free" HD trial 2 days ago, now also cancelled and refunded.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Abstraction said:

The system I use most is Tidal / Roon /  Ultrarendu/ Mytek Brooklyn / HD800

 

16 hours ago, Abstraction said:

I like high quality audio, but I am not interested in it.

 

Uh, I think you are pretty interested, based on that setup....just teasing. I get your point, I also find doing A/B annoying and am convinced that I hear/listen differently when doing it, undermining it's usefulness. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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16 hours ago, Abstraction said:

Okay, here is my point: Amazon has  immensely more of this music than Tidal and my local drive together. I haven't checked out the more common jazz material, but I assume that, if they have a more or less complete catalog of the Matthew Shipp trio,  it will be quite complete.  I would be interested in hearing  from people with expertise in various categories of music with reports on Amazon's offerings. I also am interested in contemporary, avant-garde classical music.  I haven't checked that.

Have you checked Qobuz? They generally have a good Jazz selection, although possibly not in your specific area. They do have several Matthew Shipp albums, with 2-3 from the trio. My experience in this specific area is surely less than yours, but I've seen that they do catalog this genre, but sometimes not immediately upon release. 

I'd imagine their catalog will only improve over time, it's still being built up. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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As an Amazon Prime member I've had no billing issues, so that might help. Have had this for a few days now and while the SQ is OK I find the user interface is not good at all. You cannot create favourite artists and have them in 'My Music' (like in Spotify, Tidal or Qobuz) as they only allow Albums or singles in there. I thought clicking on "following' would do the trick as it does on Spotify but no luck. Also you cannot delete all music that you no longer want listen to again in one go. Has to be done one song or album at a time, so don't build up a large collection if you only intend listening once or twice.. A button like in gmail would be useful to clear everything out in one hit. There's been at least three software upgrades, so it's still a work in progress and we do have the option of letting them know of any improvements we'd like via the facility in our settings.

Edited by Masterstroke
typo

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On 9/17/2019 at 3:24 PM, wdw said:

Logging in from Canada .... the site sends me back to the Canadian Amazon site without any apparent links to the HD version of Amazon Music.  Any Canadians able to log in and play?

 

I logged in from Canada and it offered me the subscription. However, I have an Amazon US account in addition to a Amazon Canada (and Amazon UK) account.  I was automatically logged in to Amazon US (cookie) when I went to the link Chris provided.

 

I am curious as to where I can find the link to download the app?  Is it for the PC? Or is there only apps for Android/iOS?

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15 minutes ago, lucretius said:

I am curious as to where I can find the link to download the app?  Is it for the PC? Or is there only apps for Android/iOS?

 

There are both Windows and macOS desktop apps.

 

I was prompted within the web browser by a ribbon notification to "click here" for the desktop app, that same notification warned that HD and UHD tracks were only compatible with the desktop apps and not a regular web browser.


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, MikeyFresh said:

 

There are both Windows and macOS desktop apps.

 

I was prompted within the web browser by a ribbon notification to "click here" for the desktop app, that same notification warned that HD and UHD tracks were only compatible with the desktop apps and not a regular web browser.

 

It was difficult to find -- had to click on something (don't remember what) to expand the ribbon to show the button for the apps. I downloaded and installed the desktop app.  It will let me play music from my PC. Also, I can play 30 second samples from the store BUT I have not seen any reference to HD.  Everything appears to be MP3. Am I missing something?

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28 minutes ago, lucretius said:

 

It was difficult to find -- had to click on something (don't remember what) to expand the ribbon to show the button for the apps. I downloaded and installed the desktop app.  It will let me play music from my PC. Also, I can play 30 second samples from the store BUT I have not seen any reference to HD.  Everything appears to be MP3. Am I missing something?

 

I did this in two stages. I already had the Mac desktop app but never subscribed to Amazon Music. So I started a 30 day free trial. After that I saw in the app to try the HD/UHD offering so I then added that free trial as well. On the Mac when you play a hi-res track it prompts you to change your audio settings to output the higher sample rate with the Midi/Audio app.

 

As someone mentioned earlier, if you've ever subscribed to Amazon Music in the past you will not get offered another free trial, so you have no way to try out the HD offering without a $7.99 purchase of the base package.

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