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Article: Amazon Music HD Launches

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7 hours ago, Jud said:

So, who should be worried?

 

- Maybe Apple.  Does anyone doubt if Steve Jobs was around that Apple would have been first to do this?  Apple's always been the boutique brand and has been very closely identified with music, but now Amazon has the boutique service for music. Vanishingly few people will want to pay for more than one of these higher end services.  What's Apple going to offer to get people to switch, if Amazon does indeed find a mass market at this price point?

 

- Obviously Tidal. What conceivably is Tidal's value proposition now (not that it had one before, but now that's going to be a lot more evident to a lot more people)?  Qobuz in the US, maybe, but for classical and jazz lovers and Europeans they may have enough market differentiation.  Let's see what Amazon may offer in the way of Redbook and higher resolution purchase/download. If they don't, that's the niche @firedog pointed out for Sublime+ members. And if Amazon does get into the Redbook/hi res purchase/download business, then HDTracks, etc., may be in trouble.

 

- Maybe Roon? They're probably too small for Amazon to notice. But if Amazon does notice, maybe they'll buy the service and give all the employees lousy (or no) healthcare. 😶

 

- Maybe the music industry. I remember one of my old bosses telling me a story about being invited to breakfast with the other side's counsel the morning of a hearing in which he was representing a smallish pipeline company suing a major petroleum corporation. (Hint: Never accept a breakfast invitation with opposing counsel representing a much larger company.) After buying him breakfast, they let him know that if he didn't settle on favorable terms, they'd just buy the pipeline company and make the lawsuit go away. Wondering if Bezos might have the same inclination with labels that start giving him trouble. (US anti-trust enforcement has been nonexistent, but this Administration hates Bezos, so hard to see where the chips would fall if such an acquisition was proposed.)

 

 

 

Yup! Roon needs to make a choice here. They may possibly lose subscribers because of this. I love Roon, but supporting only 2 music services maybe their downfall. Glad I didn't buy the lifetime subscription.

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Is another race to the bottom on price with artists presumably getting less and less per stream really what we want to support?

 

Does anyone know what Amazon is paying artists per stream compared to the other guys?

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4 minutes ago, emcdade said:

Is another race to the bottom on price with artists presumably getting less and less per stream really what we want to support?

 

Does anyone know what Amazon is paying artists per stream compared to the other guys?

 

I didn't know the company that does the streaming would decide what the artists is going to be paid?

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Can’t Get 24/192 on Bluesound Node 2i.

 

Neil Diamond - 50th Anniversary Collection, Sweet Caroline:

AMZ app (iPad) says 24/192 available and plays that way to external DAC connected via CCK; added that track to library; played that track via BlueSound’s iOS app to Node 2i connected to RME ADI-2 DAC: the DAC reports it is playing 24/96 not 24/192. Play the same track via Qobuz through the same Node 2i/RME setup and the RME DAC reports it is getting 24/192.  Weird that the Amazon stream is downgraded to 96 for this 192 album (tried other songs on this album between AMZ and Qobuz: AMZ plays as 96 on Node 2i, Qobuz plays as 192 on same Node 2i). Maybe this is Amazon doing some dynamic quality control based on network speed, but if that’s the case funny that Qobuz didn’t have a problem with my network.

 

Another example.

J.S. Ondara, Tales of America:

24/192 on Qobuz ->Node 2i-(Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC;

24/192 on Amazon iOS app on iPad-(CCK)->external DACs;

but, BluOS Amazon Music plays this album as 24/96 on Node 2i-(Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC

 

@cscamp and @The Computer Audiophile have you been able to get 24/192 from Amazon Music out of your BluOS devices to an external DAC? What tracks? I’ll try them.

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

They will see a way around this huge loss and reframe it as a win. They are quite Presidential. 

 

We'll see what happens.

 

(speaking of Presidential)

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Can anyone confirm if you can download in lossy format, with the mobile app?

 

For those with data limits, like when traveling.

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9 hours ago, ddetaey said:

And how did you get past the payment page?

Dirk

Not sure what you are asking. I got to the Unlimited HD page and then logged in to my Amazon account. Then it just worked and I paid over PayPal. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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8 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

I really don't see Amazon getting into the audiophile market for streaming. I see Amazon as having a much more mass market appeal and because of that I see this failing because 99% of consumers don't care about the differences between their MP3s and 24/192 nor do they want to invest a bunch of money into it. However, if Amazon can get audiophiles and take over the streaming market I see it all going to hell and them destroying everything. Like Walmart and Amazon have done to Main Street USA.

I can see Amazon being a negative influence, because as Chris' says, the customer service  will be close to non-existent. 
However, this is nothing like an Amazon vs Main street war. That's Amazon killing brick and mortar commerce. This is one online streaming service vs. another. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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7 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

Your comment reminds me of all the barking done by MQA Ltd and @Lee Scoggins about high resolution's inability to scale because the files were just so dang huge. It just scaled bigly :~)

 

I wonder what Lee is thinking now with all his big "inside info" about how MQA had a major coup coming up that would alter the market.  I really think this is going to kill them. I think there will be little reason for anyone to sign up to Tidal now. Maybe there will still be subscribers for Qobuz (especially Sublime +) for the audiophile niche market, but not anyone else, at least in the US. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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46 minutes ago, Gus141 said:

Can’t Get 24/192 on Bluesound Node 2i.

 

Neil Diamond - 50th Anniversary Collection, Sweet Caroline:

AMZ app (iPad) says 24/192 available and plays that way to external DAC connected via CCK; added that track to library; played that track via BlueSound’s iOS app to Node 2i connected to RME ADI-2 DAC: the DAC reports it is playing 24/96 not 24/192. Play the same track via Qobuz through the same Node 2i/RME setup and the RME DAC reports it is getting 24/192.  Weird that the Amazon stream is downgraded to 96 for this 192 album (tried other songs on this album between AMZ and Qobuz: AMZ plays as 96 on Node 2i, Qobuz plays as 192 on same Node 2i). Maybe this is Amazon doing some dynamic quality control based on network speed, but if that’s the case funny that Qobuz didn’t have a problem with my network.

 

Another example.

J.S. Ondara, Tales of America:

24/192 on Qobuz ->Node 2i-(Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC;

24/192 on Amazon iOS app on iPad-(CCK)->external DACs;

but, BluOS Amazon Music plays this album as 24/96 on Node 2i-(Coax)->RME ADI-2 DAC

 

@cscamp and @The Computer Audiophile have you been able to get 24/192 from Amazon Music out of your BluOS devices to an external DAC? What tracks? I’ll try them.

 

I received this from my Lenbrook / Blusound contact:

 

What I can say at the moment is BluOS supports the new service, it’s available now to all BluOS enabled devices in US, UK, Germany, and Japan; there are two tiers: UHD and HD.

 

I need more info on the two tier thing. So far my streams have been at 96k. 


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1 hour ago, cscamp said:

Yup! Roon needs to make a choice here. They may possibly lose subscribers because of this. I love Roon, but supporting only 2 music services maybe their downfall. Glad I didn't buy the lifetime subscription.

Unfortunately for Roon, it's up to Amazon more than it is to them. Amazon needs to give them database access, and agree to have their data display in the Roon UI. Spotify wasn't willing, so Roon didn't integrate them. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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40 minutes ago, firedog said:

I can see Amazon being a negative influence, because as Chris' says, the customer service  will be close to non-existent. 
However, this is nothing like an Amazon vs Main street war. That's Amazon killing brick and mortar commerce. This is one online streaming service vs. another. 

 

I was using Amazon v Main Street as a analogy, basically I see Amazon as a bad thing for streaming if they can capture the market I believe they will destroy it for us audiophiles. Music to them is one more service of many. To Qobuz it is their entire reason for being.

 

I think we are in agreement.


No electron left behind...

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9 hours ago, Archimago said:

 

Yeah, true @Jud.

 

There are a few more bucks here. And they're smart in packaging this with having a Prime account which also opens up Prime Video. For Prime members already, at $13/m, this is highly compelling compared to Tidal Premium at $20/m. Heck, even without Prime membership, $15/m is undercutting the competition in a rather big way; occupying the price gap between lossy Apple or Spotify at $10/m and the lossless Tidal/Qobuz at $20+/m.

 

Yup, for once I can agree with Neil Young as per Chris' quote above :-).

 

Or if you buy annually at 10.825/m nearly equaling lossy services..

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3 hours ago, firedog said:

 

I wonder what Lee is thinking now with all his big "inside info" about how MQA had a major coup coming up that would alter the market.  I really think this is going to kill them. I think there will be little reason for anyone to sign up to Tidal now. Maybe there will still be subscribers for Qobuz (especially Sublime +) for the audiophile niche market, but not anyone else, at least in the US. 

 

This was probably going to be it. And now it is not...

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4 hours ago, cscamp said:

Yup! Roon needs to make a choice here. They may possibly lose subscribers because of this. I love Roon, but supporting only 2 music services maybe their downfall. Glad I didn't buy the lifetime subscription.

 

Yep, me too!

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39 minutes ago, shadowlight said:

I am hoping someone analysis the stream to make sure that it's not MQA in another format.

 

My Waiting For The Sun showed up as Ultra HD. That's a prime suspect. And of course Fairytales

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28 minutes ago, bubbleguuum said:

That's really a huge blow for TIDAL, Qobuz and Roon.

 

As a company you never ever want to have to compete directly with the usual behemoths (Google, Apple, Amazon, ...).

 

Qobuz still have some differentiation in its catalogue in Europe, good hardware support, excellent metadata, pdf booklets, excellent editorial content, reduced priced for downloads with the higher tier subscription, great apps, a web player that can play FLAC on all platforms, Roon integration. And generally they have the culture of high quality audio, which reflects in everything they do. If you enjoy what Qobuz has to offer, don't leave now.

 

Roon will be OK if they can integrate Amazon HD. But I can see this being difficult with either Amazon not interested or Roon wanting their own specific interexchange format for metadata with Amazon not giving a damn. And there's the quality of metadata on Amazon which remains to be seen. And if TIDAL or Qobuz have problems as a consequence to this new Amazon service, this is a problem for Roon.

 

Also, I could be wrong, but do not expect anytime soon to be able to access Amazon HD in anything else than direct hardware integrations and (of course) Amazon's own apps. That's very limiting. No BubbleUPnP, mConnect, Audirvana, ...

 

Agree 100%. I’m very worried about Roon especially. I just don’t seem Amazon giving a cr*p about Roon at all, or any external player for that matter. Why would they?


- Mark

 

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28 minutes ago, Patrick Cleasby said:

My Waiting For The Sun showed up as Ultra HD. That's a prime suspect. And of course Fairytales

Qobuz has a proper 24/96 version of all The Doors albums (and it's a bargain too): https://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/album/the-complete-studio-albums-the-doors/0603497933105

I don't know what Amazon is streaming, but at least a non-MQA release exists.

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