Spotify premium format

I am consistently seeing Spotify show PCM 44.1 16 on my DSD. I saw a previous forum stream about this which seemed inconclusive. This quality level has been showing for Spotify for several days. I actually noted the good sound first and was prompted to go check. I don’t usually listen to Spotify but wanted to listen to Justin Townes Earl’s Harlem River Blues and could not find it in Qobuz. I’ve googled but can find no notice of improved quality from Spotify. Am I missing something here?

The compressed stream from Spotify Premium (OGG-Vorbis with 320 kbit/s) alway gets decompressed to 16/44.1.
The compression is lossy, but can sound pretty good.

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Bingo, you’re exactly right. Spotify hasn’t upgraded or anything. Sure would be nifty if they did.

thanks, but why? Where does it get changed over if not in the DSD. And if the lossy file gets there, then why doesn’t DSD tell me that? Its the reason I looked in the first place.

It’s being done in your source. The DSD has no ability to make up what it is receiving. It only displays what it is receiving.

My ipad?

Spotify premium sends lossy 44.1/16 PCM files to its subscribers. These are the highest bit rate Spotify sends. They are 320kbit/s 44.1/16 PCM.

You may previously been receiving lower bit rate files from Spotify. These lower bit rate files are also 44.1/16 PCM, but do not sound as good as they contain less information.

Your DSD displays 44.1/16 PCM because this is what it is receiving. This is what the DSD will display for all Spotify files as all Spotify files are 44.1/16 PCM.


Thanks Elk! Sorry, I should have realized soarsz was using the Bridge hence this topic being under network audio.

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yes, Bridge II is the culprit, and I should have figured it out. Thanks, all.

The Bridge is not in any way a culprit or responsible. It is just passing the data on to the DSD.

Then, where is the conversion from lossy to what the DSD is reporting? And Elk, I certainly didn’t mean to sound accusatory with my choice of the word “culprit”. I’m working very hard to understand all the parts of digital streaming. Lots of confusing overlap of terminology along with a fairly complex string of events which seem to take place almost by magic to this technologically challenged geezer (me).

I like “culprit.” :slight_smile:

The learning curve is steep.

There is no conversion taking place. Spotify is sending a lossy 44.1/16 PCM data stream. Your equipment is simply passing this on to the Bridge which is just an input of the DSD.

“Lossy” means the data stream does not contain all of the information of the recording’s original data file. Some of the data has been removed to make the file smaller and to make it possible to stream the file at a lower data rate. The file/data stream is still 44.1/16 PCM. It is a little like taking a suitcase and removing some of the clothes to make it lighter and easier to carry.


I am slightly puzzled. I thought that the data stream from a lossy encoder was sent as 32-bit codes, and that it was the responsibility of the decoder to resolve that to the desired sample rate and bit depth. Does the 44.1/16 PCM refer to the data presented to the encoder?

Yes, the the bitstream is sent from a streaming server to a streaming client using a transport protocol. I did not mention this as it only adds complexity to the discussion.

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I quite understand. I am afraid that I am one of those deviants who likes a bit of technical complexity :frowning:


Me, too! I love the technical side. I try to restrain this tendency when posting/discussing.

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