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Article: UPDATE: Amazon Music HD Is Still Lossy*


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My thought is, to my knowledge Could another solution or alternative to Bluesound( which I have no gripe about), be waiting for software apps like JRiver ,Ardrivana, and others to start offering to handle the higher Rez streaming services. Now their interface would bypass Windows and iOS all together.  If I'm missing something,  my bad. 

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1 minute ago, Ottoa62 said:

My thought is, to my knowledge Could another solution or alternative to Bluesound( which I have no gripe about), be waiting for software apps like JRiver ,Ardrivana, and others to start offering to handle the higher Rez streaming services. Now their interface would bypass Windows and iOS all together.  If I'm missing something,  my bad. 

I'm not totally following your question / comment, but if I understand correctly, technically JRiver, Audirvana, Roon, etc... could integrate with Amazon Music HD and output bit perfect audio very easily. However, working with Amazon is like pulling teeth. Getting in touch with someone there, getting them to actually respond in a timely manner to get work done, is as difficult as it gets. Th company just isn't that interested in working with others unless you can offer them Sonos type numbers. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes I was surprised with using a Node 2i to see my DAC's sample rate lights jump correctly from rate to rate, whereas feeding the my DAC USB from my MacBook Pro's AM app defaulted to a continuous 192k.

 

I've been using an Auralic Aries G1 for the last week now (I sent the Node 2i back as its basic DSP EQ fell just short of my fully tweakable multi band parametric desires) and I am also looking at a Weiss 501. 

 

I (was) a big Amazon Music fan until I started to read that it wasn't bit perfect (thats mystery now cleared up above - thanks) and all the devices I was looking at seemed to support just the two Tidal & Qobuz and I was with Qobuz for the last 5 or 6 years...

 

But it would be nice to be able to go back to AM - I do prefer it but I dont think its available on Auralic or Weiss.  

 

A question - Is AM available via upnp?  I have read the Bubble Upnp app only works on Android? And I am on Apple..

 

Thanks 

 

Meanwhile, its back to Qobuz AGAIN.....😑 I am getting tired of platform hopping...

 

 

 

 

Hifi: Qobuz, Roon, Weiss 501, ADAM Audio A5X  + sub. Portable: iPhone 12 pro max, Qobuz, THX Onyx DAC, Empire Ears Nemesis iems. 

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16 minutes ago, Pro Jules said:

A question - Is AM available via upnp?  I have read the Bubble Upnp app only works on Android? And I am on Apple.

Amazon HD is not compatible with UPnP, BubbleUPnP can't play it.

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

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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I just ordered a Paradigm PW Link. It uses DTS Play-Fi which will provide bit perfect output of Amazon Music HD.

 

I'll connect it to my DAC via the Toslink output. The PW Link also has a Toslink input where I plan to connect a Chrome Cast Audio.

 

The PW Link is currently on sale for 45% off at CA$249.00 on the Paradigm website.

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1 hour ago, Daren F said:

I just ordered a Paradigm PW Link. It uses DTS Play-Fi which will provide bit perfect output of Amazon Music HD.

 

I'll connect it to my DAC via the Toslink output. The PW Link also has a Toslink input where I plan to connect a Chrome Cast Audio.

 

The PW Link is currently on sale for 45% off at CA$249.00 on the Paradigm website.

How do you control Amazon Music, the Play-Fi App? Do you know that Play-Fi streams everything through your mobile device rather than straight from the cloud?

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4 hours ago, audiobomber said:

Amazon HD is not compatible with UPnP, BubbleUPnP can't play it.

Thanks 

 

I was just fooling around with Mconnect & Qobuz 

 

My LG TV came up as a device. I was able to hear it via optical out to my DAC or the TV speakers. 

 

I have no plans to this again it was just an interesting UPnP exercise before the Weiss 501 gets here. 

Hifi: Qobuz, Roon, Weiss 501, ADAM Audio A5X  + sub. Portable: iPhone 12 pro max, Qobuz, THX Onyx DAC, Empire Ears Nemesis iems. 

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21 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

How do you control Amazon Music, the Play-Fi App? Do you know that Play-Fi streams everything through your mobile device rather than straight from the cloud?

Yes, you control with the Play-Fi app. I didn't know that it streams through the app but does that really matter? 

 

Options are limited with Amazon Music HD so at $249.00 I though it would be worth trying. If Qobuz was officially available in Canada my choice would be easy. I have a French account but at 19.99 Euros per month that's over CA$30.00.

 

I really don't want to support Tidal and MQA especially since they started replacing CD quality with MQA as well.

 

I have Play-Fi on my Anthem processor and bit depth and sample rates change accordingly. Don't know if it's truly bit perfect as I have no way of testing but if the Node 2i tested bit perfect I would say that it's a pretty good chance that the PW Link will be too.

 

If the PW Link doesn't work out, I'll pay for French Qobuz until they hopefully launch in Canada. 

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5 minutes ago, Daren F said:

Yes, you control with the Play-Fi app. I didn't know that it streams through the app but does that really matter? 

 

Options are limited with Amazon Music HD so at $249.00 I though it would be worth trying. If Qobuz was officially available in Canada my choice would be easy. I have a French account but at 19.99 Euros per month that's over CA$30.00.

 

I really don't want to support Tidal and MQA especially since they started replacing CD quality with MQA as well.

 

I have Play-Fi on my Anthem processor and bit depth and sample rates change accordingly. Don't know if it's truly bit perfect as I have no way of testing but if the Node 2i tested bit perfect I would say that it's a pretty good chance that the PW Link will be too.

 

If the PW Link doesn't work out, I'll pay for French Qobuz until they hopefully launch in Canada. 

I’d get a Node 2i. 
 

 

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32 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I’d get a Node 2i. 
 

 

I had one and returned it. I used it only as a transport connected to my DAC. I found that there was large volume fluctuations between some tracks and the first fraction of a second was cut off when tracks would change. This was using it with Tidal. Tidal Masters would be approx. 5dB or more louder than HiFi. Even when set to HiFi only, the beginning of the tracks was cut off. Maybe a compatibility issue with the DAC or defective Node, I don't know.

 

Edit: Just wanted to add that I have a LG V30 as a dedicated remote control point. It's in airplane mode with WiFi enabled. All sounds are muted.

 

There is some delay when advancing tracks but it seems to work pretty good. It is very similar to using BubbleUPnP and qobuz with JRiver as renderer. 

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On 12/13/2020 at 5:02 PM, Daren F said:

I had one and returned it. I used it only as a transport connected to my DAC. I found that there was large volume fluctuations between some tracks and the first fraction of a second was cut off when tracks would change. This was using it with Tidal. Tidal Masters would be approx. 5dB or more louder than HiFi. Even when set to HiFi only, the beginning of the tracks was cut off. Maybe a compatibility issue with the DAC or defective Node, I don't know.

 

Edit: Just wanted to add that I have a LG V30 as a dedicated remote control point. It's in airplane mode with WiFi enabled. All sounds are muted.

 

There is some delay when advancing tracks but it seems to work pretty good. It is very similar to using BubbleUPnP and qobuz with JRiver as renderer. 


Interesting.  I’m using the Node 2i as a transport as well.  I do notice the variation in track volume, but I elected to keep replay gain turned off.  I suspect turning on the replay gain feature would address the volume disparity between tracks.  
 

I do not experience the issue of the first moment or two of a track being cut off.  

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13 hours ago, whell said:


Interesting.  I’m using the Node 2i as a transport as well.  I do notice the variation in track volume, but I elected to keep replay gain turned off.  I suspect turning on the replay gain feature would address the volume disparity between tracks.  
 

I do not experience the issue of the first moment or two of a track being cut off.  

 

I tried with replay both on and off and still got the variation in volume. I pretty much experimented with all the settings to no avail. I suspect that Tidal Master tracks are slightly louder than HiFi anyway to give the perception of sounding better but for some reason the Masters were quite a bit louder with the Node I had. 

 

I thought that beginning of some tracks were being cut off due to my DAC not switching bit depth and sample rates quickly enough. I set Tidal to HiFi only so that there would be no switching sync issues and the beginning of some tracks was still cut off. It was a deal breaker.

 

After Chris' comments, I did some some more research on the PW Link and Play-Fi and discovered that both the hardware and software have some serious flaws so, I canceled my order on that too.

 

I've given up trying to find a solution to get bit perfect Amazon Music HD for now and have also dropped Tidal in favor of qobuz. I'll just have to buck up and pay the higher price for qobuz and Roon for now.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Daren F said:

 

I've given up trying to find a solution to get bit perfect Amazon Music HD for now and have also dropped Tidal in favor of qobuz. I'll just have to buck up and pay the higher price for qobuz and Roon for now.

 

Agreed.  The more I learn about AmazonHD, and while it might be a great fit for a subset of folks looks to stream music, the more I'm convinced it’s little more than a vehicle for Amazon to score incremental revenue off the sale of their playback hardware. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have you tried any of the Denon/ Heos kit in a similar manner to the Node 2i? Their supporting app is pretty lousy (the Bluos one appears to be better but still unsure if it accesses your custom playlists/ library) but the Heos Link Hs2 I have seems to pass the track thru to my Linn DSM/4 at the correct sample/bitrate, unlike the Amazon Music app on my Windows PC, android phone and fire tv devices all reporting 24/192  (with recent Fire Os and app updates) on my amp.

It's no doubt my limited grasp of what you deem bit perfect, but if I play a 24/192 track from AMHD and it says the device capability is that, and that's what the app and my amp say it's playing at, where's the issue? 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Interesting.  I dropped Amazon last month.  Streaming has become a Wild, Wild, West of claims, counter-claims and mysticism.  Layer on MQA and it's a hot mess.  I am proceeding with extreme caution on the hardware side (DAC mysticism has me very suspicious) and sticking with Qobuz + Roon on the software side for now not because it is the "best" (I have no idea) but because it works for me. I'm reminded of broadcast television in the 60's when you had to hold the antenna just right to get a good picture.  Kudos for trying to keep the Man honest!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hopefully today's Spotify Hi-FI announcement will push Amazon Music HD to fix their apps.

 

And expand beyond 4 countries.

 

Next up Apple Music and YouTube Music...

 

I'm happily using Qobuz and Tidal in the meantime.

 

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4 hours ago, Pro Jules said:

Yeah.

 

Also it would be nice if Roon accommodated Spotify HiFi

Spotify won't give up it's GUI to Roon.

If Roon wants to integrate Spotify streaming in some form, it will have to compromise on it's own GUI.

I think that will only happen if it sees Qobuz and Tidal subscirbers leaving for Spotify hifi

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)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>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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  • 2 weeks later...

Very interesting discussion addresses the only problem I’ve had with AMHD to date.  I play primarily from my HTPC to one of my external DACs and have been concerned that the DAC only shows the bitrate that Windows is set to as the maximum for the DAC I’m using, regardless of the bitrate that the app shows it’s playing. 
 

I’m curious though if there is a quantifiable downside to this?  What is actually happening when AMHD is playing back, say, a 24/96 file but the DAC is processing it as 24/192?

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18 minutes ago, otaking241 said:

Very interesting discussion addresses the only problem I’ve had with AMHD to date.  I play primarily from my HTPC to one of my external DACs and have been concerned that the DAC only shows the bitrate that Windows is set to as the maximum for the DAC I’m using, regardless of the bitrate that the app shows it’s playing. 
 

I’m curious though if there is a quantifiable downside to this?  What is actually happening when AMHD is playing back, say, a 24/96 file but the DAC is processing it as 24/192?

That’s the thing. We don’t know what’s going on with the signal processing. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hello to all - this is my first post here. I found this site by searhcing for info related ot streaming Amazon Music to the Bluesound Node 2I that I just acquired, At $7.99 per month for Amazon HD Music (Prime member pricing,)  I think it's a good deal. Here is my question:  If Amazon Music is a default musicsource item in the menu of the BLUOS app, how do I know I am actually getting the HD version that I am paying for?  (I'm on a 3 month free trial right now.)  If I sign into Amazon Music from the app, then am I automatically getting the HD version?

Note:  I have plenty of HDCD discs, and my older CD player decoded them. My new player claims, in some advertising, that it decodes HDCD, but has no HDCD indicator light to prove this.  I don't care if Bluesound does HDCD or not, but it would be nice to know that I'm getting a CD quality stream.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Perhaps it's a bit OT, but I noticed that, listening to Prime music, which is supposed to be mp3, data consumption is about  10mb\min, like FLAC does.I guess Amazon streams no more less than FLAC: it'd mean that also Chromecast streaming would be FLAC, don't you think?

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