Will they be the service that actually has the muscle to stream FLAC with a vast catalog? Or should we keep hopes with Quobuz or Deezer coming some day? Google certainly has the capital and resources to make lossless streaming a reality. Thoughts?
I was thinking the same thing. Unlike other startups, Google has a massive advantage when it comes to streaming. Their infrastructure is already set up. They will have vastly smaller issues getting such a service going compared to others. They have their own data centers, servers, disc space and the resources to pull this off. Especially that they don’t have the lease server space and pay the upcharge to stream the data from someone else’s data center. Google simply pays what it costs them, nothing more. The only other company similar (actually even better well off in this regard) is Amazon. I think if either Amazon or Google decide to offer lossless as part of their streaming services, the other will follow suit. Amazon, through their Amazon Web Services sister company, distributes and hosts nearly 40% of all streamed and cloud data worldwide. AWS hosts all of Netflix and all of Amazon Prime’s streaming services. Think about how big you have to be do be able to do that. Lossless music should be peanuts to them when you factor in how much data is transferred for video streams alone via Netflix and Amazon Prime. Google hosts about 10%, but that is still huge as well.
You have actually stated it much better than me, and I didn’t even think of Amazon until you correctly mentioned it. They are not limited by infrastructure at all, it all depends on their own interest to deliver or generate yet another revenue source.
It would definitely cost either company money to do it. Mostly in terms of software development and probably advertising. The issue I see is two-fold. They’ve done market research and have realized that:
1.) There is a stigma regarding lossless audio among the general population that you can’t hear a difference between higher bit rate lossy (from services like Spotify and Apple Music) and lossless audio. Which I think is mostly true via the garbage audio components the majority of people use.
2.) There is a market for lossless audio. ie us audiophiles, but realize that it’s so niche that there isn’t enough profit to be made based upon their judgement on how many people would actually pay to use it. They might deem the return on investment isn’t high enough.
But I, of course, hope this isn’t the case and we do see either (or both) of these companies bring a lossless audio tier to their streaming service(s).
Perhaps another possibility (some completely uninformed speculation):
Perhaps their market research has indicated a maximum price before the demand drops and they are already getting that. Then another offering will either a) (if priced higher) not sell because it’s higher than what the market will bear or b) (if priced at the max) perhaps force a lowering of the price for commodity product.
They know that people who would choose lossless have higher expectations of service quality and therefor will be harder to support. That support may cost more than the delta in price they expect they might get.
It’s worth noting that they offering an “Audio Only” option with their app. Optimism in me thinks that they’re being considerate of us people who are not videophiles first. It’s hope of course.
Like to watch music (i.e. concerts, documentaries) on youtube with tv optical connected to the DS
I don’t think Youtube multiplex’s the various components that make up the videos you watch on their website together into one container (video, audio subtitles, ect), which makes it easier for Google to access the audio files for their various streaming services. This also makes it so they can save harddrive space because they don’t need the same audio file multiplexed together with each video resolution option they offer (480p, 720p, 1080p, 4K, ect). I would imagine saving harddrive space for otherwise redundant information is the real reason they do this. But, yes, the audio only option is nice to have. It’s definitely not meant as a kind gesture for us audiophiles, haha!
Their recommended audio specs for uploads seems to be 320kbps and higher, if they want to output at 44.1 I’ll definitely subscribe. I tried their app and it sounds ala Spotify quality, not a big leap for them to do. Keeping a close eye on where it goes from where they’re at.
I do that too in several rooms. They will have multiple options ahead of the other streaming services.