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Article: Amazon Music HD Is Still Lossy


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I agree about the frustration of using Amazon Music HD. I have tried comparing it to Tidal & Qobuz too.

 

FWIW: Amazon Music HD sounds amazing while using the HEOS app (I use a Denon receiver as a pre-amp and a Parasound A21 as a power amp) - even better than Tidal does. However, its functionality in the HEOS app is extremely limited and buggy.

 

I tried sending a note explaining my frustration to the guy in charge of Amazon Music HD at Amazon (Jack Rutledge) but no reply as of yet. I’m not surprised though - the audiophile community is very small and IMHO, it isn’t worth their while to spend time and effort trying to enhance their product to support Roon / all streamers. They shall try use this to boost the saleability of their Bluetooth speakers! :)

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1 hour ago, Miska said:

 

Setting default output format in Windows control panel to 192 for example means that is the format Windows audio engine doing software volume, mixing and rate conversion, outputs. It has certain output format because you could be playing hires content at the same time as email application needs to play "ding, you've got new email" notification and you watching a YouTube video on web browser. All three things mixed together into single output, although at different sampling rates from their respective applications.

 

macOS has equivalent control for CoreAudio engine.

 

Audiophile players use WASAPI Exclusive mode or ASIO driver to bypass this audio engine and claim exclusive control of the audio device. Also means that you won't get mixing of different source applications.

 

All "sounds" are muted in my Windows settings.

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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2 hours ago, audiobomber said:

All "sounds" are muted in my Windows settings.

 

That doesn't matter, because if the audio path goes through the audio engine, it is always ready for some other application to jump in and begin feeding audio. Be it web browser with YouTube or whatever. Audio engine itself is designed primarily to have "decent" audio quality and minimal system resource usage. Same goes for the audio engines powering mobile phones and such. Fidelity is not top priority design factor for these.

 

In order to bypass the audio engine, specific support is needed from the applications.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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14 hours ago, danadam said:

I don't use it so I'm not sure it is relevant but I just come across reddit post:

 

As per the comments to that post, Exclusive Mode has been around a while and never worked properly... that's really the main problem. They can't do what Tidal and Qobuz have done with their desktop apps and proper Exclusive Mode.

 

image.png.5e2ae348ba7ca6e806751a612010b87c.png

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4 hours ago, classfolkphile said:

They don't use Exclusive mode or give you the option

 

His comments must be old and overall it reads like he's purely talking about the deskop apps.

 

They added the option of Exclusive Mode (as per a few posts up) except it isn't working the way we are used to with Qobuz and Tidal Desktop apps. It seems like it isn't working at all.

 

So someone at Amazon Music has the right idea - it's just failed with execution, up to now.

 

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On 10/21/2020 at 2:14 AM, asdf1000 said:

 

His comments must be old and overall it reads like he's purely talking about the deskop apps.

 

 

Yes and yes.

2010 Mac Mini (8GB RAM, SSD, LaCie 4TB HD)>PI Audio USB Cable>Singxer SU-1>PAD Aqueous Aureus Praesto Digital IC (BNC)>Lampizator Amber II>Kaplan GS Mk2.5 ICs>Rogue Cronus Magnum (modded & NOS signal tubes and Reflector 6P3S-e)>Kaplan GS MKII SCs>Aural Acoustic Model B speakers. Furutech outlets, TWL PCs, and PI Audio Digi-Buss & Buss-Stop power conditioners.

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On 10/14/2020 at 11:48 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

Thanks for the info. However, it’s a common misconception that sample rate = bit perfection. Think about it this way, play the right sample rate but crank the digital volume control way down. That’s chopping off tons of bits, yet the sample rate is right. 
 

I have a node 2i on the way. 


Hi - just wondering if you had a chance to check out the Node 2i with Amazon Music yet?  My Amazon Music HD subscription hangs in the balance of your feedback. 😎

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@The Computer AudiophileYour way of testing for bit-perfect seems perfectly fine with me. Even if Amazon do stream bit-perfect data in certain configuration, the fact that they can't do so reliably in every configuration is enough for me to conclude that their lossless is half-baked at best.

Thank you for letting us know. Let's hope they fix that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One thing I do really like about Amazon - I couldn't find a similar feature on Qobuz - are Amazon music "stations".  I can pick a genre of music and that music will play all day in that genre of finding them it off.  Great for just playing music of my choice unattended.   Also, after about a week or so, Amazon will create a "station" called My Music based on the music genres I typically listen to.   It also sound pretty darn good to my ears.  

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Just now, whell said:

One thing I do really like about Amazon - I couldn't find a similar feature on Qobuz - are Amazon music "stations".  I can pick a genre of music and that music will play all day in that genre of finding them it off.  Great for just playing music of my choice unattended.   Also, after about a week or so, Amazon will create a "station" called My Music based on the music genres I typically listen to.   It also sound pretty darn good to my ears.  

Stations would be a welcomed feature of Qobuz @David Craff

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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On 11/16/2020 at 7:02 AM, Stereo said:

Didn’t David or Dan mention that they were working on it in the Qobuz feature request or issues threads a week or two ago? March timeframe they were hoping for?

 

We are working on hebdo playlist for customer where you can discover content link to your listening.

Qobuz Product Manager for Desktop, Web Player and Search Engine.

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On 10/12/2020 at 3:39 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

There are a few reasons. I like lossless high resolution not lossy MQA. I like the Qobuz interface on mobile 100% more. 

 

But it doesn't have things like Spotify Connect, and I need to use Roon to control it across devices, yes? 

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