With Apple and Amazon offering lossless streaming for no extra charge, what now for their rivals?

kenosha

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2019
5
5
525
My Cambridge CXNv2 connected to my stereo is the best way for me to listen to hi-res music. Neither Apple Music nor Amazon Music HD work natively on the CXN, so I will continue with Qobuz or TIDAL for now.
 

erbasically

Well-known member
Sep 26, 2012
25
2
18,545
Deezer just appointed a new CEO whose previous job was in online dating. He's said he's "passionate about music and podcasts". Being passionate about music is surely a good thing but podcasts? A bit worrying. Does anyone pay for a streaming service so they can listen to something that's legally available for free elsewhere? Or does this mean that lossless is going to be a loss-leader and the streaming services see charging for podcasts as the way to make money?
 

bristollinnet

Well-known member
Dec 21, 2014
60
15
10,545
The audiophile community to date has been served by a mix of slightly iffy streamers interspaced with an occasional gem. Gapless playback was an early issue not entirely solved by manufacturers, and software support and overall user experience has been (lets be honest) fairly poor, hence why something like Roon exists.

What Apple do is take something that isn't really that good, and make it semi-pleasurable. They integrate hardware and software in a way that bespoke artisan audiophile manufacturers can only dream about.

I've tried all the current hi-res providers over the years and find Qobuz the best for me. I'm on an annual subscription and am fairly happy with it and in all likelihood will renew for the next 12 months. I feed Qobuz from my Mac mini to Kanto YU2 active speakers for desktop audio when working from home, and when I'm bothered I'll stream Qobuz to my Arcam CDS50 and into my main HiFi. If I'm working at the office, I'll have Qobuz available through their iPhone app into wired headphones.

However, if Apple give me a sensible route to cut out Arcam (hardware good, software rubbish), I'd jump at it.
 

Hifiman

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
15
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525
Although the headlines are all about Apple making CD/hi-res more affordable (and good on them for doing so) I have a feeling the biggest long-term subscriber winner at this point will be Amazon, albeit only because their hand was forced by Apple.

I was already using Amazon Music HD because although I had tried Tidal and the like, its catalogue and audio quality were simply more than good enough for me and at a significantly lower cost. Now, as one of its 200 million Prime subscribers, this will be available to me at £7.99pm. None of the 200m can ignore that beyond some Apple users who wish to remain as close to Apple as possible. For the other Apple users (like me), and yet others who want a more agnostic platform than Apple can provide, Amazon will do just fine.

And Spotify? Their plan this year has been to explore - or implement - raising their prices. I can only hope the reason for this is that they got wind of Apple’s plans and decided on putting some subscriptions up because they knew it was likely their last chance to do so. But if they still have further rises in mind, or wish to charge a premium for CD quality, I think that could be a turning point for both them and Amazon.
 
D

Deleted member 188533

Guest
I've had Prime for over 10 years and am heavily invested in the Amazon ecosystem anyway. Amazon is cheaper than and has superior sound quality to Tidal.

Amazon's music app is a hot mess. No easy way to add songs to a master favorites list. Same with artists and albums. It requires me to put the app in exclusive mode manually every time I open it. Then the app has to close before you can play any audio from any other source. It doesn't remember the last song played much less have it queued up to play the next time you open the app.

They gave me another 3 months free when they dropped the price so I'm going to play with it some more but I wish they'd put some usability effort into the app.
 

Winter

Well-known member
Oct 28, 2019
41
10
545
amazon . say what you want these guys deliever . retail music .video . etc etc . they have played their trump card . as an amzon prime member this is for sure great news . amazon hd beats for me all the comp . ok spotify and tidal qobuz . they have to respond ? this is maybe not a nail but a big thorn in thier sides . !!
 

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