I appreciated it when PS Audio included Spotify streaming in Bridge 2 and I expected Spotify would eventually offer a Hi-Rez (lossless) option, no doubt for a higher fee. But, so far, I’ve heard nothing. I’m curious if anyone at PS AUdio or in the forum community has heard any news about this. Thanks…
Nothing to report as of yet but if we hear anything we’ll let you know.
Thanks Paul. That’s disappointing to hear since the premium service I subscribe to just doesn’t quite cut it. I may unsubscribe until they get with it, which I hope is not too long…
Really? My Spotify stream sounds fantastic.
As you repeatedly have told us.
I have never otherwise seen anyone so excited by a 320kbps compressed data stream. Not that there is anything wrong with this.
I was skimming through some Tidal content last night and one track I played was streamed at 92 kbps. It sounded rubbish. I was surprised a paid streaming service would do that.
While I agree that the content quality of Tidal is not what it used to be recently there is something you might want to check with the desktop app. At least three times in the last couple of months after Tidal updates including today I started noticing more of the 92 kbs selections showing up. In each case even though I have been paying for the highest level service for over two years it had reverted itself to the lossless setting. Make sure you check that it did not happen to you after the last update.
I wonder if I’m getting (what seems to be) a good result with this 320 kbps streaming caper because of my AV optimized enterprise class network infrastructure? I’m using the top-of-the-line Pakedge RK-1 router and SX series managed switches which both support TruStream technology. I haven’t tried comparing routers to check if they influence sound quality.
It is seriously hard for me to imagine the router makes a difference but then I am routinely wrong about such things. The way it works, delivering packets of data collected up into a buffer, seems to me that how they got there (unless there’s something actually wrong) shouldn’t matter.
I’m certain that whatever you are doing it is working very well. Plus, 320kbps typically produces very good sound even if it is shy of Redbook.
It remains amazing to me that given the amount of data compression 320kbps sounds as good as it does. Very cool.
I’m curious if the Ethernet PHY plays a role similar to USB.
Don;t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Even lower rez sources can provide you value.
I wrestle with Sirius/XM. The sound is NOT good (not awful)… but I keep paying for it and using it and it does apply a nice sonic wallpaper when driving.
Flip this around: How many audiophile recordings do you own that are in your 2-die-4 list? For me? None.
I want hi-rez, hi-fidelity. But I love and use great music.
Bruce in Philly
I like your description “sonic wallpaper”. I have Sirius as well and in a car where the radio comes on automatically when you start the car. I have a disc and a USB in the car for times when I feel like a “Highway Star” but otherwise I’m on The Bridge, Watercolors, etc. Pandora and Spotify fill that wallpaper need as well indoors and sound pretty darn good. Roon and my collection jump in when I’m gonna sit down and give everything a listen. If Spotify had a hi-res version I would be tempted as I like it. Gonna definitely look at Qobuz if that pops up here…
HIGHWAY STAR!!! Wow… that is my favorite car/girls/d***s tune of all time. That tune has it all… great subject, killer guitar, rockin’ B9, even Jesus sings it. You da man for that one.
Bruce in Philly
Thanks… Love the old stuff. If you get a chance watch the documentary or read up on how they recorded that album. First spot they went burned down “some stupid with a flare gun”…) and they set up in the hallway of an empty hotel. Then they made some rock history…
Spotify Premium uses Vorbis to encode the audio. At 320kb/s it’s a much more efficient encoder than MP3. Apples to apples Vorbis can keep more of the original audio intact compared to MP3 at the same bitrate. There is nothing inherently wrong with compressed audio, but lossy audio does and can have some detrimental impact on sound quality. Compressed audio can still be lossless. However, there seems to be some debate over what type of compressed lossless audio format sounds best. For those who are deeply concerned about their compressed lossless audio library, they may as well convert their FLAC/ALAC files to WAV so decoding doesn’t degrade the sound slightly.
FWIW Flac supports uncompressed audio, with uncompressed flac files you still have checksums on the audio and reliable metadata handling both of which are missing on WAV files. Tho I can understand how the decompression process could change the noise generated by the device with the decoder and potentially the noise profile generated by reading less data I can’t see how uncompressed flac will be consistently worse (or better) than wav.
So in essence FLAC is just the container for the same PCM data that the WAV file would otherwise have when keeping it uncompressed, but with the added benefits of metadata and checksums you mention?
Yep, both wav files and flac files have a few small blocks of metadata and (usually) a few big blocks of data. But metadata handling isn’t standardize with wav files and wav files don’t have checksums. Somewhat ironically wav files support all kinds of compression, including lossy compression whereas flac files don’t support lossy compression. People usually think of wav files with uncompressed pcm and flac supports uncompressed pcm in a very similar manner.