News Why are some audiophiles so critical of Apple Music?

Niallivm

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Oct 28, 2019
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I can't understand the angry criticism some audio enthusiasts are aiming at Apple Music, which let's not forget is intended for music fans rather than high-end hi-Fi enthusiasts. It's not as if Apple are charging extra for it, and it does actually work well, albeit with some bugs and flaws. If people are happy to pay the premiums for Qobuz, Roon et al for their listening, that's their prerogative, but Apple are delivering Lossless and Hi Res to the masses, not the enthusiasts. (And don't expect Spotify Hi-Fi to be any different in its focus when/if it finally arrives.)
I've got a MacBook Air M1, Cyrus Soundkey DAC and wired B&W P7 headphones but my ears can't distinguish between Qobuz Hi-Res and Apple Music's. Okay, so I've not got high end audiophile equipment but I'm just not hearing anything superior from Qobuz no matter what the science says. (And don't get me started on twice-the-price Tidal.)
Personally, I would have been happy if Apple had limited AM to Lossless at 16/44 at launch then introduced the higher res service later, but they went for it, and all credit to them for lifting the bar and starting to retire Mpeg/AAC streaming. It's new and imperfect (ha ha) but Apple has elevated the standards for consumer streaming services even if there's plenty of room for improvement and enhancements to the product's first release. It will get better.
 
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gel

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I can't understand the angry criticism some audio enthusiasts are aiming at Apple Music, which let's not forget is actually a general market consumer product rather than an expensive high-end product. It's not as if Apple are charging extra for it, and it does actually work well, albeit with some bugs and flaws. If people are happy to pay the premiums for Qobuz, Roon et al for their listening, that's their prerogative, but Apple are delivering Lossless and Hi Res to the masses, not the enthusiasts. (And don't expect Spotify Hi-Fi to be any different in its focus when/if it finally arrives.)
I've got a MacBook Air M1, Cyrus Soundkey DAC and wired B&W P7 headphones but my ears can't distinguish between Qobuz Hi-Res and Apple Music's. Okay, so I've not got high end audiophile equipment but I'm just not hearing anything superior from Qobuz no matter what the science says. And don't get me started on twice-the-price Tidal.
Personally, I would have been happy if Apple had limited AM to Lossless at 16/44 at launch then introduced the higher res service later, but they went for it, and all credit to them for lifting the bar and starting to retire Mpeg/AAC streaming. It's new and imperfect (ha ha) but Apple has elevated the standards for consumer streaming services even if there's plenty of room for improvement and enhancements to the product's first release. It will get better.
I guess if you are paying for and listening to high quality HiFi products you can hear the difference. I often read people on here say Qobuz is the best. Either that or they just don’t like 🍏
 
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nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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Perhaps because it doesn’t seem to work ‘natively’ on the majority of Hifi streamers - in fact, maybe none? And because Apple may have no compunction to price it fairly and may aim to crush the more enterprising existing rivals, only to whack up prices once they dominate.
As for spatial audio, well that’s something we need as much as we needed MQA, not at all.

I like Apple hardware, which is excellent if pricy. But leave the music to others, please.
 

Niallivm

Well-known member
Oct 28, 2019
128
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670
Perhaps because it doesn’t seem to work ‘natively’ on the majority of Hifi streamers - in fact, maybe none? And because Apple may have no compunction to price it fairly and may aim to crush the more enterprising existing rivals, only to whack up prices once they dominate.
As for spatial audio, well that’s something we need as much as we needed MQA, not at all.

I like Apple hardware, which is excellent if pricy. But leave the music to others, please.
Interesting comments, but don’t you think though that Apple's music is service is primarily aimed at iPhone users rather than meeting the needs of audiophiles with expensive high end streamers? Qobuz is the company I feel sorry for as this market hots up. A good specialist service fairly priced, well integrated with Roon et al but undermined by weak apps and poorly structured data.
Apple are damned when they charge excessively and damned if they undercut the market? I think they are pricing it surprisingly fairly and I doubt they’ll increase prices any time soon. Even cheaper of course is Amazon Music HD (for Prime customer at least) but no one seems to take that seriously even though it‘s the fastest growing streaming service and has the deep pockets of the world’s biggest retailer.
I share your cynicism regarding Spatial Audio but don’t see why a company that revolutionised (and saved) the digital music industry with iTunes should “leave the music to others”, especially if the “others“ include YouTube and Tidal
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Interesting comments, but don’t you think though that Apple's music is service is primarily aimed at iPhone users rather than meeting the needs of audiophiles with expensive high end streamers? Qobuz is the company I feel sorry for as this market hots up. A good specialist service fairly priced, well integrated with Roon et al but undermined by weak apps and poorly structured data.
Apple are damned when they charge excessively and damned if they undercut the market? I think they are pricing it surprisingly fairly and I doubt they’ll increase prices any time soon. Even cheaper of course is Amazon Music HD (for Prime customer at least) but no one seems to take that seriously even though it‘s the fastest growing streaming service and has the deep pockets of the world’s biggest retailer.
I share your cynicism regarding Spatial Audio but don’t see why a company that revolutionised (and saved) the digital music industry with iTunes should “leave the music to others”, especially if the “others“ include YouTube and Tidal
I agree with you about Apple’s target market. Hopefully hardware will arrive soon which can take full advantage of their service…… The big benefit for me is that it brought about a big reduction in the price of Amazon Music HD! Still the best choice for me…..👍
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
946
601
19,770
Interesting comments, but don’t you think though that Apple's music is service is primarily aimed at iPhone users rather than meeting the needs of audiophiles with expensive high end streamers? Qobuz is the company I feel sorry for as this market hots up. A good specialist service fairly priced, well integrated with Roon et al but undermined by weak apps and poorly structured data.
Apple are damned when they charge excessively and damned if they undercut the market? I think they are pricing it surprisingly fairly and I doubt they’ll increase prices any time soon. Even cheaper of course is Amazon Music HD (for Prime customer at least) but no one seems to take that seriously even though it‘s the fastest growing streaming service and has the deep pockets of the world’s biggest retailer.
I share your cynicism regarding Spatial Audio but don’t see why a company that revolutionised (and saved) the digital music industry with iTunes should “leave the music to others”, especially if the “others“ include YouTube and Tidal
I forget the vast consumption of music on the move, I guess because I no longer commute I don’t witness it much. I’m more of a ‘turn the wireless on’ generation, I suppose! So, I realise that integration with iPhone is critical. Though you were asking what audiophiles think.

I had also never thought of iTunes as saving anything, but I guess you mean from piracy, in which case I guess that may be true too. How short our memories can be.
 
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millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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With apple music is all over the place, they care and they don't. I guess audiophiles don't seem to like it because its half baked lacklustre support. One example is that the Mac app cant stream bit perfectly and require the end-user to adjust the rather buried midi control to allow proper throughput.

And the other end of the market just really don't care as you say listen through their phones with apple air pods that do the job for 99%.

Apple to be honest have missed a trick they were perfectly poised to really upset the status quo but as it stands is more of a shot across the bow. Albeit a very big shot

It's just the little details that have let them down, Products that can't playback high res above 24/48 if that matters to you. And in all honesty its still a mystery to what has changed to the vast majority and some just don't understand (so that means not advertised well). the VP has openly stated that most people won't be able to hear the difference is he wrong heck most here bicker about it all the time. Basically in apple eyes, the world infrastructure is ready to deliver the full-fat quality that sits on there servers.

The big for audiophiles is the lack of support which I'm sure will change.

BUT given half a chance apple music is actually very good, I've been giving it a full 3 months trail and its now starting to learn my listen habbts. It sounds just as good tidal if not better in some cases (why wouldn't it) and doesn't require special DAC's or software to decode audio, making it easy to accommodate and has a full library, unlike qobuz. And actually offers incredible value beyond just music, for the same price as Spotify family subscription you can bundle apple music and a number of their other services including apple tv and bundle that into a family paln as well for 15 quid. no other service can offer that outside of prime.

For now, ill stick to using my phone and iPad which to be honest has its benifits (though i hope bluesound will support it). Ill watch the landscape unfold but i certainly won't be going back to tidal or qobuz.
 
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