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Article: Amazon Music HD With iOS, macOS, Windows 10, BluOS, and a Sonos Port


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On 10/17/2019 at 11:05 PM, Ryantherockgod said:

"How does the user know which sample rate is being streamed from Amazon?". 

 

I don't understand. If you click on the Ultra HD square it tells you. It also tells you what your device is capable of. So if I play from my iPhone using the Apple dongle it recognizes it's only capable of 48/24. If I plug in my Dragonfly it recognizes it's capable of 96/24. And it always says it's playing at the resolution it was downloaded at--unless it's 192/24 and it has to downgrade it to my device's upper capability. So if I download a 96/24 album it says it's playing at 96/24 with the Dragonfly but only 48/24 when I rely on Apple's dongle or my Bluetooth headphones.    

 

I'm not an audiophile expert, but I'm not understanding the issue. Unless Amazon is lying, aren't these tracks already playing at the resolution they are supposed to be playing at?

 

The information Amazon Music HD provides when you click on the "Ultra HD" square is not correct. My external DAC tells me what sample rate is being sent to it and even when I stream a 192 track from Amazon Music HD Windows shared mode down samples the file to 96 which is the sample rate I have set in Windows sounds. Same with a 44 track it is up sampled to 96. This is why we need exclusive mode playback bypassing the Windows audio stack.

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2 hours ago, exdmd said:

 

The information Amazon Music HD provides when you click on the "Ultra HD" square is not correct. My external DAC tells me what sample rate is being sent to it and even when I stream a 192 track from Amazon Music HD Windows shared mode down samples the file to 96 which is the sample rate I have set in Windows sounds. Same with a 44 track it is up sampled to 96. This is why we need exclusive mode playback bypassing the Windows audio stack.

 

Bluesound node 2i into a Zodiac Gold and the dac always shows the correct sample rate matching that of the file.

Also comparing Amazon to Qobuz I can’t hear any difference in sound quality.

Setup:

Lumin D2> Roksan Blak> Focal 806

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My experiences:

  1. The interface is awful. I gave it a chance to familiarize myself with Amazon Music (as I've been a TIDAL subscriber for years and I'm used to that interface) but it's just poorly designed and visually confusing.
  2. Downloading on Android is a terrible experience. The downloading often has to be paused/restarted just to work, and will frequently stop. Never had this problem with TIDAL.
  3. Having to constantly pay attention to Locations (all music, cloud, or offline) is a pain when removing things from My Music.

 

I'll stick it out a while longer to see if they make improvements, but I doubt a niche market like hi-res audio is a high priority to them.

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 11:39 PM, Graham Luke said:

Folks shouldn't get upset over 16 bit as opposed to 24; there's nothing extra there that you can hear anyhoo...

Oh!  I get so tired of neh-sayers telling me what I can't hear, what I don't need, hi-res is BS, etc.  I hear differences in resolutions!  So, replace 'You' with 'I', and be done with it!

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On ‎10‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 7:05 AM, jdjaye said:


I respectfully disagree— but let’s discuss why in a different forum topic please.


I don’t want to derail the main thread here which is:

“what is the scope and quality of the new Amazon Music HD service and to integrate it into people’s audio systems.”

 

And I’ll ask the folks want to discuss the value and cost and their judgements of Amazon as a corporate entity to also discuss that in another topic in the forums.

 

Folks please  let’s keep this topic, on topic- it provides valuable objective information to those who are using or considering using Amazon Music HD.

You're right, of course.  My apologies.  He just hit my hot button.

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I have been using it with alexa for awhile...i love it.......i have been using it a long time...even before ultra hd...the convenience with alexa makes it well worth it....rarely do i pick up a device, turn a knob, or do anything other than to speak where, when, what, volume, etc...

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19 hours ago, Sounds2Good said:

I have been trying Amazon Music HD using an Echo Link connected to the coaxial input of my T+A PDP 3000 HV. I've used both an Echo Dot and the Amazon Music App on my iPhone or iPad to select and play music. The lsound quality is better than both Spotify and Apple Music. Because I'm legally blind I don't always know what sampling rate or bit depth is displayed on the T+A. As I recall the Echo Link is supposed to support "HiRes" up to 24 bit 192 KHz. 

 

When I auditioned an Aurender N-10 in my system last week, tracks from Tidal  from the Aurender sounded better than the same tracks played from the Echo Link. This was not an exhaustive comparison so there could've been factors such as volume mismatch contributing to the differences I heard.

 

The Amazon music app is clumsy compared to Spotify or even Apple Music, but since I often speak through my Echo Dot to select music for "casual" listening this isn't a big deal to me.

 

I believe Amazon is working to open their API to other server vendors such as Aurender, so if that happens more meaningful comparisons for SQ may be possible.

 

As for Amazon Music HD in the marketplace, this is a positive direction because they have the resources to support the platform and hopefully increase the popularity of at least "CD quality" streaming to more people than audiophiles. If Amazon Music HD leads to more people showing an interest in better sound, we will all benefit in the long run.

Great to finally find another leagally blind person on this site.  Perhaps one day, I can pick your brain to find out about your use of various hi-end sources and/or streamers.

Meanwhile, I'm O.T.  So back to lurking.

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So it's half baked...It's not even half baked.  What is it then?  Is it a checkbox  - some committee got together and determined "Hi Res" serves a purpose and the IT boys came up with this effort but neither the committee nor the IT boys know or care if it actually works??

 

Really scratching my head on this one.

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

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I run my Node 2i into my PS Audio DAC.   The DAC indicates the resolution!  BlueOS needs improvement.  Sometimes I have to search Amazon Music on one iPad and then load the music on Blue.  So it goes.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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On 10/20/2019 at 10:42 PM, Sounds2Good said:

As I recall the Echo Link is supposed to support "HiRes" up to 24 bit 192 KHz. 

 

 Hi, I was hoping that too, but unfortunately it doesn’t support 24-bit at all and peaks out at 16/48 from info on amazon’s own help pages for digital output to an amp etc:

Supported Digital Connection Formats

  • Digital Audio Inputs (optical TOSLINK and coaxial RCA) - Uncompressed PCM audio (16bit/44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kHz)
  • Digital Audio Output (optical TOSLINK and coaxial RCA) - 16bit/48kHz Uncompressed PCM stereo


It’s interesting (or disappointing) that the Alexa app doesn’t show or tell you the quality when streaming to the Echo Link, unlike the Amazon Music Apps.

 

It’s also telling that they have only just listed their Echo Studio speaker under supported kit on their splash page - no sign of the Link.

 

I think what’s becoming clear is that their own Amazon Music apps aren’t up to the delivery of their UHD service - hopefully they’ll address that as this, and other forums, are clamouring for improvement.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All, I’m a newbie here. Very interesting discussions in this thread. Want to throw in my quandary. I have been trying to work out if I stream my iphone 8 via lightning to usb to my Marantz NA6005 (No HEOS support) MFI Ipod/USB input I will get the the same bit and sample rates the music HD app says it’s playing (the Marantz can go up to 24/192 according to specs). The app says device capability is 24/44.1, but is that the iphone or the Marantz? Interestingly if I remove the usb cable and playing just the phone then It says device capability is 24/48!

Is the app reading the Marantz or is it just making it up? I have been thinking about getting a Meridian Explorer 2 dac and connecting to iphone via usb 3 camera adapter? But my reservation is the iphone will still only output at 24/44.1. Can anyone confirm this is not the case? Will I be able to get the original stream resolution. 

Lots of questions I know but really trying to determine whether I can stick with what I got, go the Meridian DAC route or go back to Tidal (but how can I guarantee hi res there?). Thanks

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Got an email today that my 90 day free sub is about to expire.  At this point I believe I'll cancel it and stick with Spotify for now. Since they offer no way for me to get their stream into my system without at least 2 data rate conversions and Spotify Connect directs the stream directly into my Marantz Pre/Pro the audible superiority of Amazons stream would be debatable.

Just put this up here hoping Amazon suits are listening.  ;)

"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

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I also have let my 90 day free sub expire.

I have contacted Amazon 3 times about the need of WASAPI / ASIO for their Windows app.

Called them from Germany on the second day, told them through the app 'how they're doing' after a month and made sure they know why they've lost me.

But it seems to be falling on the suits' death ears.

 

Amazon has channelled the discussion about it into a 'special' thread:

https://www.amazonforum.com/forums/digital-content/amazon-music/527033-amazon-music-hd-wasapi-asio-etc?comment=30

"Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do."

 

—Isaac Asimov

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The chances of getting exclusive mode are zero. Amazon cares for the bottom line, not the quality of the music served. You won't ever see Roon integration either as Amazon likes to work with their business partners in a closed system. They can afford to break even or even lose a little money on Amazon Music HD as long as hardware sales more than make up for it. After a year with the experiment they might just pull the plug if the bean counters don't like the numbers.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/16/2019 at 9:53 AM, keeper said:

I have a Bluesound node 2i directly connected to a AustinTrew power amp and Focal speakers.

 

Really simple to navigate and sounds great, no interest in bit perfect, exclusive mode etc, etc, I listen to and enjoy the music not chase numbers and technical details that don’t prove that you will enjoy what you are listening to, isn’t that the whole point of music?

 

You spent all that money on hardware and don't care about the quality of the source?

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On 10/20/2019 at 8:11 AM, Mike B. said:

My experiences:

  1. The interface is awful. I gave it a chance to familiarize myself with Amazon Music (as I've been a TIDAL subscriber for years and I'm used to that interface) but it's just poorly designed and visually confusing.
  2. Downloading on Android is a terrible experience. The downloading often has to be paused/restarted just to work, and will frequently stop. Never had this problem with TIDAL.
  3. Having to constantly pay attention to Locations (all music, cloud, or offline) is a pain when removing things from My Music.

 

I'll stick it out a while longer to see if they make improvements, but I doubt a niche market like hi-res audio is a high priority to them.

 

You have to wonder why they bothered if they are going to do such a poor implementation.  For marketing bullet points?

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On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2020 at 5:38 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

What's wrong with that?

I'd like to answer, but you yourself earlier requested we don't talk about such 'OT' stuff on this thread.

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