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Article: Amazon Music HD Launches

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13 minutes ago, mansr said:

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.

 

Yes I'm talking about the digital version of the anniversary set which was MQA CD. Next one is reputed to be too.

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What caught my attention is the not very long list of audiophile-level companies listed as ‘preferred brands’, ie lots of missing big-names. On the plus side, Arcam is listed and as I have their current CDS50 CD player/streamer, I’ll be seriously tempted to switch from Qobuz if Arcam update their existing players and their MusicLife app.

 

It would be good to have true gapless albums as well, but one step at a time.

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7 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Follow up. 

 

It’s my understanding that the tiers are HD and Ultra HD. HD means CD quality to Amazon and Ultra HD is anything higher. 

 

More to come about BluOS streaming 96 and 192. 

 

Is there a price difference?

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16 hours ago, Archimago said:

 

I don't think Amazon cares about the audiophile market at all - nor should they. Hi-res IMO for them is just a checkbox item to say they could do it. Hi-res streaming with the bandwidth we have these days costs peanuts and if this is their way to differentiate themselves from everyone else and tell the world they can do it ALL - lossy, lossless, hi-res at a competitive price, it's a fine business tactic to grab as many customers as they can.

 

As we all know, bandwidth is not an issue. MQA was always barking up the wrong tree to claim that their proprietary compression scheme was anything more than a transitional step just slightly ahead of lossless 16/44 (ignoring the other nonsense like "authentication" and BS around "deblurring" to make us think there was anything more). Well, it looks like Amazon has now leap-frogged over everyone; including Apple, Tidal, Spotify and on the same streaming playing field as Qobuz.

 

This is clearly very big news. I feel bad for the little guys even though as a consumer, I'm happy to give this a try when it comes to Canada (which is still awaiting Qobuz).

If Amazon didn't care about audiophile then why did they create Amazon Music HD? I am an amazon prime member and never used their already free music service to prime members. This definitely caught my attention and i signed up for 90 days. 

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9 hours 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'll try it later. As of last night there is no indicator on my BlueOS app if i am playing 24/192 or 24/96, I just says Amazon HR or Amazon CD. I did update my Bluesound devices last night.

 

I'll test it on my Node and PowerNode tonight. I have the 1st Gen Node N100 and PowerNode N150 by the way. Hopefully, Amazon and Bluesound will update the UI soon

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The yearly Amazon HD individual subscription comes in at under $10.75/mo vs $19.99/mo for Tidal, I am testing up to my monthly TIDAL charge day and if satisfied by the content and app switching will be a no brainer,

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4 hours ago, shadowlight said:

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Nice that Amazon will stream good quality content. What frustrates me the most however are the decisions I need to make about platforms. When I had just iTunes it was easy to make playlists and share music because it was basically the only game in town. Then I had MOG, then Spotify, then Tidal with Spotify, then those with Roon, and I have to copy all my playlists over via soundiz. It's not a big deal like famine or war, but it's a pain in the a. I feel I never catch up to having my playlists in sync and I get nickel and dimed with all the services. When Roon and Tidal goes out of business (say it's not so, Joe), then I have to do it again. I'm not really psyched about Amazon going high-res.


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8 minutes ago, findog3103 said:

Nice that Amazon will stream good quality content. What frustrates me the most however are the decisions I need to make about platforms. When I had just iTunes it was easy to make playlists and share music because it was basically the only game in town. Then I had MOG, then Spotify, then Tidal with Spotify, then those with Roon, and I have to copy all my playlists over via soundiz. It's not a big deal like famine or war, but it's a pain in the a. I feel I never catch up to having my playlists in sync and I get nickel and dimed with all the services. When Roon and Tidal goes out of business (say it's not so, Joe), then I have to do it again. I'm not really psyched about Amazon going high-res.

 

Soundiz does not really support Amazon Music (well, just Playlists).

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18 minutes ago, cscamp said:

I'll try it later. As of last night there is no indicator on my BlueOS app if i am playing 24/192 or 24/96, I just says Amazon HR or Amazon CD. I did update my Bluesound devices last night.

 

I'll test it on my Node and PowerNode tonight. I have the 1st Gen Node N100 and PowerNode N150 by the way. Hopefully, Amazon and Bluesound will update the UI soon

Thanks, but if you are using the built-in DAC there is no indication on the app except the “HR” in a circle for “Ultra HD”. I can monitor the stream’s resolution via the display on my external DAC being fed from the Node 2i over S/PDIF and it looks like the BluOS software is limiting output over S/PDIF to 96kHz from Amazon sources even if the track is 192kHz.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, the iOS app is upscaling and downscaling everything to match the highest capability of an external USB DAC (attached with Lightning-to-USB3 connector). So for a DAC that supports 96kHz max (Dragon Fly Cobalt), the LED on the DFC indicates it is receiving max res even if the song is only CD quality 44.1 on Amazon; conversly, 192kHz Amazon-sourced content plays at 96kHz on the same DAC. With a DAC that supports 192Khz max, I was getting all music played from the Amazon app upscaled to 192kHz (even an old purchased album in my Amazon library in MP3). I guess it is behaving like the desktop apps and not auto switching, but instead of using a manually-set operating-system setting it is using the max sampling rate reported by the USB-DAC.

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19 minutes 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll give that track a try later when I’m home (I have to hook up my Oppo 205 via USB to my Macbook to check).

 

Your DFC is MQA capable. Do you get a green LED for 44.1, a blue LED for 48, or a Light Blue for max capable SR of 96kHz (the old manual said Magenta was for 96kHz but that was changed as you probably know because it was too close to the Purple they chose for MQA). Speaking of which, does that 2L track light up the MQA-purple light on the DFC? 

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11 minutes ago, Gus141 said:

Thanks, but if you are using the built-in DAC there is no indication on the app except the “HR” in a circle for “Ultra HD”. I can monitor the stream’s resolution via the display on my external DAC being fed from the Node 2i over S/PDIF and it looks like the BluOS software is limiting output over S/PDIF to 96kHz from Amazon sources even if the track is 192kHz.

Might be a limitation of your S/PDIF implementation. Can you try a USB connection to the DAC?

 

11 minutes ago, Gus141 said:

At the other end of the spectrum, the iOS app is upscaling and downscaling everything to match the highest capability of an external USB DAC (attached with Lightning-to-USB3 connector).

Sure about that? The Amazon app is upscaling?

 

11 minutes ago, Gus141 said:

So for a DAC that supports 96kHz max (Dragon Fly Cobalt), the LED on the DFC indicates it is receiving max res even if the song is only CD quality 44.1 on Amazon; conversly, 192kHz Amazon-sourced content plays at 96kHz on the same DAC.

That’s the DFC max rate.

 

11 minutes ago, Gus141 said:

With a DAC that supports 192Khz max, I was getting all music played from the Amazon app upscaled to 192kHz (even an old purchased album in my Amazon library in MP3). I guess it is behaving like the desktop apps and not auto switching, but instead of using a manually-set operating-system setting it is using the max sampling rate reported by the USB-DAC.

Ok, I guess you’re answering my question above! :) Very surprised the Amazon app would do this as that would have an impact on battery life, and I would have expected Amazon to try and minimize any possible drawback of the new service/app.


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5 minutes ago, Gus141 said:

Thanks, but if you are using the built-in DAC there is no indication on the app except the “HR” in a circle for “Ultra HD”. I can monitor the stream’s resolution via the display on my external DAC being fed from the Node 2i over S/PDIF and it looks like the BluOS software is limiting output over S/PDIF to 96kHz from Amazon sources even if the track is 192kHz.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, the iOS app is upscaling and downscaling everything to match the highest capability of an external USB DAC (attached with Lightning-to-USB3 connector). So for a DAC that supports 96kHz max (Dragon Fly Cobalt), the LED on the DFC indicates it is receiving max res even if the song is only CD quality 44.1 on Amazon; conversly, 192kHz Amazon-sourced content plays at 96kHz on the same DAC. With a DAC that supports 192Khz max, I was getting all music played from the Amazon app upscaled to 192kHz (even an old purchased album in my Amazon library in MP3). I guess it is behaving like the desktop apps and not auto switching, but instead of using a manually-set operating-system setting it is using the max sampling rate reported by the USB-DAC.

i have a dragonfly myself, but i haven't used it in a while. As far as i know you have a choice if you want the Dragonfly to upscale it or not. Don't you just set it to it's max res like 192 for example on windows sound setting or midi settings on Mac, then it will always upscale it? 

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1 minute ago, miguelito said:

 

Ok, I guess you’re answering my question above! :) Very surprised the Amazon app would do this as that would have an impact on battery life, and I would have expected Amazon to try and minimize any possible drawback of the new service/app.

Another weird thing is the “Currently Playing at” reported resolution/SR is not what is being shown on the external DAC. Again the external DAC (for USB DACs connected to the iOS app via CCK) is always showing it’s receiving max-supported kHz. For example, a track that is shown as “HD”, when I click to find out the info I get:

Track Quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz

Device Capability: 24 bit / 192 kHz

Currently playing at: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz

but...my DAC shows it is receiving 192kHz. I don’t get it.

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13 minutes ago, findog3103 said:

I feel I never catch up to having my playlists in sync and I get nickel and dimed with all the services.

 

Play all the files you needed to own and play with everything else. 

 

Toys break, games get outgrown, playgrounds get overgrown, balls go flat, and sometimes escaping dress clothes to kick a clod of dirt around or chase a hoop with a stick reveals itself as innately more satisfying anyways.

 

10 minutes ago, miguelito said:

force the use of their app as a navigation tool to collect data on much more than what you play: playlists, what you browse, etc.

 

Nowadays a 6 year old could program that, chart foodstuffs to maximize favorite meals, and satisfy any number of other infantile concerns.  We're talking about measuring server capacity by the acre.  💪

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11 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Should support it now. 

I was referring to the "Spotify Connect" type integration. I really hate using an intermediary device - signal to phone, phone to C658. With Spotify connect I could start tracks using my laptop, shut it down, open app on phone, and continue; the music never stops the entire time.

 

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For anyone who still cares about the long discontinued and now distant footnote in audio streaming devices called Google Chromecast Audio (CCA), I connected mine to an optical input on my DAC last night and streamed to it from the Amazon Music app for Android, and I could not get any track to play at anything other than 44.1kHz.

 

When clicking the little yellow HD or UHD icon while casting, the text dialog states no further information about the stream is available while casting. So the software doesn't seem to know (or want to tell you) what the stream exactly is when casting, while the Simaudio DAC is quite sure it's a 44.1kHz sample rate.


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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