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  1. This article appeared in the belgian (internet) press today. (google translate) Spotify wants to move to Netflix model; that can have major consequences for the music industry JUNE 16, 2018 Dominique Dewitte Dominique Dewitte editor express The Swedish streaming music platform Spotify has started directly approaching artists to buy the rights to their music. These are lesser known singers who are not under contract with the 3 major music labels Universal, Sony and Warner Music, nor with Merlin, a music company that represents a number of smaller labels. The music industry is 'not amused' because Spotify has committed itself in its agreements with the aforementioned labels 'not to buy music from artists, nor in any way to compete with the major music labels'. In a first time, Spotify chooses the 'soft way'. This means that to date less than 10 little known and independent artists have signed a non-exclusive contract with the Swedish company and have received advances of around EUR 13,000. Great consequences for the music industry But although it concerns free insignificant contracts and artists, the démarche can have major consequences for the music industry. Spotify traditionally acts as an intermediary, whereby music that is owned by the major music labels is licensed and offered to the consumer for a fee. Spotify then pays an amount to the record companies from that fee. That's where the knot is, because more than three quarters of the turnover that Spotify makes, flows back to the record labels. Although Spotify has revolutionized the music industry with that model and has been able to reduce piracy, the company has never made a profit. But now that Spotify is listed on the stock exchange, investors do expect that sooner or later black numbers will be written. After Netflix Originals, Spotify Originals? Analysts believe that the fastest way to profitability lies in copying the film platform Netflix, which is increasingly offering its own content in the form of the so-called 'Netflix Originals'. By now approaching artists directly and bypassing the record labels, the profit margin can obviously be increased considerably, Wall Street thinks. Spotify pays today for every dollar of sales that makes it 79 cents to the record labels. Progress has been made in this area because in 2015 it was still 88 cents. But Netflix pays just under $ 66 cents for every dollar of turnover to the major film companies, which quickly drops to 20%. The music industry is less easily disrupted than the film industry, just because everything is managed by the quartet of Universal, Sony, Warner Music and Merlin, who own nearly 90% of all music that can be heard via Spotify. What remains is a small pond of lesser known artists and some older celebrities like Janet Jackson and Garth Brooks, who have chosen to manage their music themselves. According to the same analysts, this group would represent about 8% of the current Spotify offer. Spotify is therefore confronted very quickly with the reality of the financial markets. If the share had gone up and down a bit after the IPO, the message that the Swedes are now approaching musicians directly with a price increase of more than 6% was rewarded. Response from the labels is not there yet, but their power remains enormous. If one of the labels pulls its entire catalog from Spotify, the Swedes would have a competitive problem with the other streaming services, such as Apple Music or YouTube. But we are not there yet. Wall Street put the company under pressure to conjure a rabbit out of his (income) hat. This is the rabbit. Whether the record labels will soon go on the hunt becomes clear.
  2. I used Spotify as my example in the question, but I'd also be interested in taking .mp3 or .wav to an iTunes playlist or a Windows Media Playlist, etc. Is there a program that allows for this? The point would be, once I have the playlist file or link, I can send it to a friend or acquaintance, and it'd simply be added to their playlist in whichever program they're using. Thanks in advance!
  3. Hi, I have an old Sonos ZP80 (Connect it is now called I think) and also a uRendu+roon+MacMini setup. Im not sure why, but I have always found the Sonos so much more logical to use and accessible given its HW based, always on and 'just works'.. I am frustrated a little with the need for a Mac/PC to be on, cabling ok. Rendu on, PSUs on. App opened etc and then likely I will stream Tidal or Spotify (which I cannot with Roon). I'm now thinking that my 'high-end' chain isn't good enough, so bought a new PSU for the DAC, PSU for the Rendu, optical GbE cabling. Now looking at ROCK and potentially another machine (the Mac Mini is my office machine not dedicated for Hi-Fi. A bit of me is thinking this is madness given all the plumbing. I am wondering about whether the Bluesound/ Auralic etc and other platforms offer a simple streaming experience when I really own almost no music and like immediacy of access? My DAC is a Brooklyn and I did want to stream MQA and Hi-Res. I would love your opinions & experiences of different platforms for playing music. Best wishes Simon
  4. Long time lurker, first poster. I seek advice/opinion from any prepared to offer it. My system consists of: Music Server(s): e-Machines er1402 Net-top Music Server Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit) Digital to Analog Converter(s): Audiolab 8000ap (via HDMI) Preamplifier: Audiolab 8000ap Amplifier(s): Musical Fidelity XAS100/Sure Electronics DIY 4X100 D class Loudspeakers: Spendor S6 (original front ported model) Interconnects: Ubranded HDMI Van Den Hul RCA DIY RCA Loudspeaker Cables: Tellurium Q Black-front QED silver- centre Unbranded 19strand OFC - rears Power Cables:Unbranded Remote Control(s): Philips Pronto (pretty much only used to control volume/input source on Audiolab) wireless mouse Android Phone/gmote (rarely if ever used) I'm either happy with, (or working on) everything 'downstream' of the Audiolab but I'm very weak on I.T. stuff so I'd like to ask how I can maximize output from the net-top. I'm very keen to keep most of the the functionality of the net-top. I use it for video and audio (HDMI) hooked up to a flat screen tv. I don't have much hi-rez music yet, but I plan to build a collection. Shamefully, most of my listening is done via Spotify, which I use to 'explore' music, which I then buy on cd to play on my Musical Fidelity X-Ray (optical TOSlink-Audiolab). I've discovered that despite the low rez, I really love Spotify as I love listening to stuff which is new to me. I pay for premium spotify and have spent months building up playlists so I'm not really considering MOG as it would be a huge pain to re-create my lists (or would it?). God I wish Spotify would offer a proper high rez option!. Physical media holds no real attraction for me, quality and choice are everything (not necessarily in that order!). I'm assuming that software or power supply changes are all I can do to maximise quality?. Where should I look for replacement power supply's?. Is it possible (and worthwhile?) to disable the wi-fi in the net-top? (I have ethernet). I've read that windows doesn't make the best of audio, but I really can't get my head round Linux etc, so I'd like to do what I can to make the best of Windows. I currently use (and quite like)XBMC for video, and I'm trying to get used to MediaMonkey for audio (can't say I particularly like the interface so far, but early days yet), but could I make better choices?. Anyway, sorry for the lengthy question and thanks to anyone prepared to advise!.
  5. Spotify Hit With $150 Million Class Action Over Unpaid Royalties | Billboard
  6. This possibly ought to be in the music networking room, but that seems more hardware related and I wanted to get maximum exposure - I hope that's alright Mods? Internet radio stations based in the USA are about to be clobbered by a new Bill concerning royalties. It is an unjust situation which, it is reported, favors large corporations (Apple, Spotify, Tidal(?) and others) with a rate which is equal if not lower to previously, but could price almost all independent net radio stations out of existence. Given what we know about royalty payments to artists through such corporations, I doubt this will benefit musicians much... I know there is a lot of love for Radio Paradise among music lovers and audiogeeks like us, so if you can spare the time please visit the Change.org page here and sign a petition to get this re-examined. More information can be found on the Radio Paradise homepage, including a link to this open letter to David Byrne (who ought to know better IMO).
  7. Hi all, (Flavio) this is just a crazy idea of mine that has come to me lately. I've been thinking of one more usage scenario that could work for me where Dirac room correction could be applied. This came to me after I've been using the Atmos plug-in (filter) for headphones on the Xbox one. Since I am not gaming that much on the xbox I regularly use it as a Bluray player and with the Athmos filter for the hadphones for the late evening movies it's kinda nice. It can't really simulate the front front but that's a different topic. So using Dirac Demo on my Media laptop I really can't watch Bluray movies unless I rip them somehow (with MakeMKV etc.) and that's a shame. Also I am not buying a new AVR for 1k+ just to have the Dirac on board to do this nice "trick" with the blurays. So the main idea would be to have the profile stored on the xbox (like the recent Atmos addition) and go from there (decode->dirac->AVR). And now with Spotify running on the Xbox as well the filter could really put to a really good use for my music playback! What would you think of that! Now realistically. I know this never gonna happen....ever:(( But imagine the crowd that this solution could reach. I don't mean the hard core audiophiles like you guys but that kind of guys (like me) who are tech savy enough to install the crazy Athmos thing and even pay for it in the end! And second, sorry I am not done yet. Please make Dirac a monthly subscription! Ehm What!:DD I hate monthly subscriptions I really do but unfortunately since there is no chance to get this piece of SW cheap (400-650euro). It only would make sense to make it available with this option as well. This would help to prolongate the Demo period and quit anytime as well come back (or use anywhere) the beloved correction. We have to make it accessible anywhere and any time possible:)) Please this are just ideas, no harm intended! Comments are welcome. Juraj (Youreye)
  8. I am considering getting this neat little device from Synology, called a USB Station 2 (Google it) - so that I can stream music from my PC wirelessly (the USB Station 2 does wireless if you add a wireless USB dongle), direct to the USB Station 2 then out to my async USB DAC (connected of course via the USB Station 2). I can see from the instructions that you need to install the Synology software on the source PC, and the USB Station supports connectivity to DLNA devices (i.e. media players from PC's, except that Spotify is not a media player). I was considering installing Logitech Media Server (LMS) which would serve as my DLNA compliant software, then installing the Spotify plugin for LMS - but there maybe other options and this might not work with Synology. Thanks for your help.
  9. Roku just announced a refreshed line of streamers. Roku Announces All-New Streaming Player Line Up Starting at $29.99 | Roku Online Newsroom An issue with Roku in the past has been its reliance on the internal DAC and only getting analog audio out of the device or relying on a complicated or expensive setup to extract the audio from the HDMI interface. With the refreshed line, the Roku Ultra (https://www.roku.com/products/roku-ultra) offers an S/PDIF optical out for both stereo and dolby sound. So no longer are you bound to the internal DAC or an expensive or complicated setup to deal with the HDMI handshakes and other copyright protections. One issue with Spotify that remains is that there currently is no support for Spotify Connect; They say they've been working on it for over a year. Without Spotify connect, you are forced to use the outdated and terrible interface solely inside the Roku app. So with the hardware problem sorted out, it's a matter of a software update to make this one of the cheapest Spotify streaming options out there with support for an external DAC. To my knowledge, the next cheaper option would be the SONOS Connect at ~$349 at the time of this post... Correct me if I am wrong.
  10. https://gizmodo.com/spotify-is-officially-going-public-ceo-says-they-will-1823416676 "Spotify now claims to have 159 million monthly active users with 71 million paid subscribers, which is impressive growth"
  11. Former Interscope chairman and Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine says streaming services are too similar: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-43515185 I wonder if he'd view "sound quality" as a valid differentiator.
  12. My solution for using JRiver as a front-end to HQPlayer described in this thread was described by me as "limited". Then it evolved into something which, I believe, is quite full featured. Now I have added a small enhancement to this DIY script to support feeding JRiver and onto HQPlayer from UPNP servers. Don't get too excited though, because once more I have to add the word "limited" to the title. This is because you are limited to sending just one track at a time. There is no possibility at this time for playback of entire albums or playlists. If you are wiling to play DJ though, it can open up the possibility of sending tracks from any source which can be served from an appropriate UPNP server. This can include Qobuz, Spotify, Tidal, or any other sources the UPNP server in question supports. The limitation is caused by the fact that, once J River has handed the url to HQPlayer using my script, J River no longer knows about the URL, and there is no longer any syncing with the UPNP server. I may not have exhausted all the possibilities though. So partly I'm posting this as a cry for help to see if any of you might have some suggestions as to how we could get a UPNP server to send JRiver each subsequent track in an album or playlist, so that my script can then automatically pass the track's url to HQPlayer. I know this can be done with HQPlayer embedded, since that can be a upnp renderer. That solution is limited to linux only though (or a two box/dual boot, Linux and Windows set-up). So far I have tested my solution with mconnect running on IOS. This works fine, excepting the "single track at a time" limit. The disadvantage is that this doesn't support any higher than 16bit 44.1khz and Qobuz can go higher than that with a Sublime or Sublime + subscription. Then I tested using LMS (Logitech Media Server). LMS allows you to play to multiple players and sync them together. It also supports just about every source out there. It is necessary to install the "UPNP Bridge" plug-in and configure it correctly. For one track at a time only, I was able to get LMS in sync with HQPlayer by sending to both foobar2000 (with the UPNP component installed) and JRiver. I told LMS to keep foobar2000 and JRIver in sync. The track gets sent to both foobar2000 and JRIver at the same time, my script passes it from JRIver to HQPlayer and it plays with HQPlayer. Foobar2000 and LMS playback all kept in sync. JRiver itself, of course isn't actually playing anything. I send foobar2000's output to "Null output", so only HQPlayer is actually playing the track. The problem is that when it comes time for LMS to send the next track from the album or playlist, although it does get sent to foobar2000 and my script gets run, that second url is not delivered to JRiver or HQPlayer. Only foobar2000 gets and plays this second and any other subsequent tracks. I know that using 2 (3 including HQPlayer) players in this way is convoluted. I had hope for it though. If anyone here can find a way of getting it working for subsequent tracks, I'll be very eager to learn about your solution. I'll also be interested in any other solutions that could work with my script. Any other UPNP servers and also BubbleUPNP could be interesting. So I've attached my new version of the script below. Those of you who are already using my JRiver to HQPlayer solution for local files, will only need to replace the main powershell script. If you'll be using it for the first time you'll need the full package, also attached. So anyone who has any feedback/suggestions for this, please let me know. Or if you just want to play DJ with your UPNP server, have fun! https://www.dropbox.com/s/1z6f0l589uhk8ke/jrexp.ps1?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/u9a5bo9p5vcytrz/jr-hqp-album.zip?dl=0
  13. Hi, I am looking into setting up dual pc playback and ability to play spotify is important for me also. Is there a way to setup e.g. Fidelity with Jplay? In my case Fidelity keeps crashing when trying playback over Jplay. Anybody able to setup anything similar? Thanks, Peter
  14. If you haven't visited our Learning Center in awhile, we've recently added several guides and articles. Here is what's new A Guide to Roon Music Player Forget everything you know about music players. Music is an experience, and Roon reconnects you with it. A Guide to Streaming Music Services With a still-growing array of streaming services, it can be tough to decide which one to pick. Here are the key questions you should ponder before you decide. MQA, What is it and Why Should I Care? Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) is the newest format to hit the market. MQA is an audio codec intended for high fidelity, digital audio, internet streaming and file download. MQA can be played on any audio device, whether that’s inside your home, your car, from your phone or anywhere else you might be – perfectly fitting into the way you listen to your music today. An Introduction to Computer Audio New to computer audio or having trouble deciding if a computer audio system is right for you? Fear not, we have put together this introduction to computer audio so that you can understand the basics of what goes into a computer-based audio system. An Introduction to Buying a Turntable Vinyl is back and better than ever. If you're thinking about getting back into the hobby or considering purchasing your first turntable, this guide will run you through the basics of what to look for in a turntable setup. Resonance Control - Controlling Unwanted Vibrations in an Audio Systems When listening to music, speakers are the main source of vibration traveling through the ground and back to your equipment, also termed floor-borne vibration. It’s the job any component isolation product (footers, shelves, stands) to protect the supported component from external ground and air vibration interference. Vibration is a variable which must be mastered through proper design and discreet material choices to achieve resonance control for your audio system.
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