Octave Questions

Our daughter is happiest listening to Spotify on her Bose wireless headphones that have noise cancelling. Over the years she’s been exposed to all sorts of hifi and knows better. She’s had access to both Qobuz and Tidal and never uses them. She’s had Spotify for years and it’s her music library.

Too each their own.

I’ll be right back, I have to clean another LP.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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That is what I mean, I miss the balance in this.

On one side I do not want to care about file formats as the music is what I want to listen to. So the sound quality becomes less of a criteria if I want to listen to music.

On the other side I care for quality, but when it comes to high res there are an exponential increasing number of formats for extremely limited choices of music. The low volumes cause extremely high prices for the music. There is a limit to what the market is prepared to pay for. That is what I refer to as “a mess”.

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LOL! Mate, that statement is assumptive and in a way belittling! Wave format used in that specific album download sounds wonderful on my system to my own ears. Who said anything about standards, surround, immersive, or multi-room systems?

If I can afford the hardware and media to be played using that hardware, and they sound good to my ears, then I am a happy chap even in mono!

We are a community who try to support each other make the best of our existing systems, and probably make better future choices!

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In the times that storage capacity and bandwidth had to come for a premium there was indeed a good reason for different file formats that each perform just a little better on one or the other criteria.

But anno 2021 that is less of an issue and it is about time to agree on:

  • a single compressed format for streaming via mobile data, which still comes at a premium
  • a single bit perfect format for all “vintage” Redbook CD’s
  • a single high res format for new recordings, re-masters and audiophile listening at home
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I stream 80MB/s with this service. In a few years these types of streams will be normal.

I think we begin to stream DSD for those who can afford it with the expectation that it will be the standard in 5 years. No different than just a few years ago when 192/24 was rare in streaming.

https://electronics.sony.com/bravia-core

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The whole discussion was about the need for standards.

There are lots of standards because different branches of the music world have different needs.

If you think about the number of people who use a 2-channel stereo system and lossless stored or streamed media, you might be talking in the low millions. 10m globally? Hundreds of millions of people (400m subscribers) listen to mp3 over Spotify. Billions listen to radio using AAC. Far and away the most common hardware used for listening to music are headphones, mostly with mp3, AAC or bluetooth. Lossless audio seems to me to be an incredibly small sector of the music listening world, probably well below 1%.

The irony is that a lot of music is produced using 24/96 PCM master files and HD streaming now allows us to listen to those master files without any conversion or compression. The need for standards, and lots exist, is for the best quality from compressed and converted files.

All my CD collection is ripped as bitperfect copy WAV files simply because I have the storage space in my server. In my old server I was short of space so used FLAC. The FLAC files may be 50% smaller. I’ve never had a problem with either.

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Hi @Jamesh and @Paul. With all the discussion of different formats, are you able to say what formats the Bridge III / Octave streamer will be able to send to the preamp? Will it max out at 24/192kHz and single rate DSD like the Bridge II?

I understand you might be looking not to support MQA in the Directstream MkII. But (and sorry for not knowing better), would there be any role in the streamer to unfold MQA before it gets to the MkII, or is MQA just out of the question?

I don’t mind MQA, so would like to retain it, but if it’s not on the menu then it’s not on the menu!

No plans to support MQA at all. Paul doesn’t like it so the DAC nor the streamer will do any of the unfolding. As for the formats it will be supporting, I haven’t heard any firm details on this yet.

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Many thanks @jamesh. That’s good to know, but a shame MQA won’t make into the mix from my perspective! Very much looking forward to hearing more - if you can - as things move closer to release.