What service do you use for music playback?


#61

Does plex allow for hifi playback?


#62

Deezer has a pretty craptastic UI. You can get the lossless version for Windows and Mac now. I don’t have much else to say about it, wasn’t impressed when I tried it a few months ago.


#63

Haven’t tried it, so I can only guess that its lossless tier would be similar to TIDAL.

When I was first looking at lossless streaming services Deezer was still Sonos only in the US, which would make it only interesting for background/ambient music (and I don’t need lossless quality for that).

At this point a music service is going to have to be able to work natively with Roon, Audirvana+ and/or my main (Linn) speaker system for me even to give it a second look.


#64

If you use Sonos Connect - the piece that integrates with non-Sonos equipment, there is a digital coax and optical out. I could run this to my TEAC DAC, and drive headphones from that. Alternatively there was unbalanced (RCA) audio out as well. Wyred4Sound makes a Sonos connect upgrade that addresses any weaknesses in the SONOS electronics within the scope of nothing better than Redbook quality. That’s better than background quality.


#65

I suppose that depends on your needs, priorities, situation and benchmarks.

Back when Sonos was the only practical, wireless, multi-room solution I did use the original Zone Player 80 and fed that in to the main stereo (via it’s S/PDIF output and a better DAC than it has onboard). It was quite handy, and let the main amp/speakers be included as a Sonos zone.

Since getting the Linn DS, back in 2007, which is innately a high-end network streamer/DAC, that has been the primary source for my main speaker rig. It’s an entirely different level of product compared to Sonos, with markedly better performance (even compared to the Wyred4Sound upgrades).

As such, my Sonos setup has morphed in to about 20 of their all-in-one speakers … and as such is only used for ambient music (at parties) or background music. I’ve no reason to use it for anything else.

For proper listening, by which I mean all I am doing is sitting down to listen, then I’m either using my main speaker rig, or I’m using headphones (which generally means my fiancé is home and doesn’t need me blasting her with the speakers). And all of those systems are addressed with higher-end hardware, TIDAL and a massive local library via Roon (and sometimes Audirvana+). Roon controls the Linn, the headphone systems, and the Sonos from a single, gorgeous, fluid, interface.

And since Deezer cannot usefully participate in that system, it remains irrelevant to me. Putting Sonos back as a source for the main system just so I could use Deezer would be a solution looking for a problem - and one that I don’t have.


#66

Sounds as if we have some common solutions and perhaps tastes. I do think of Sonos as mid-fi, and started with a Play 1 in the kitchen as a replacement for a radio. We live in a poor reception area. Later added Play 3s and sub to my computer area, and the Connect to my main listening room so I’d have some streaming. I know your Linn is much higher quality.

However I do my serious listening either with a high end Rotel CD player, or more often using vinyl on a VPI Prime Scout with an Ortofon bronze cart. Like you, I prefer to listen in optimum position, with my speakers, but this gets limited by proximity to either a) midnight, and/or b) spousal controls.

A saving grace is that my wife claims that she married me for my stereo, and has then proceeded to upgrade it on occasion. Recently, I dragged her to a purveyor of audiophile esoterica, and she says she likes Wilson Audio speakers - I think she’s partial to their desert sand finish. However the price tag induced a toxic level of sticker shock.


#67

You do know that you are one lucky bastard? :wink:


#68

I do.


#69

Roon has been amazingly great for my needs.


#70

Sirius XM for the car or at home in the kitchen with a Sonos setup. I did try Murfie a couple of time last year but never really got into it much.


#71

Because of my setup(Musical Fidelity X-Can(v.3) Headphone amp, Musical Fidelity X-Ray(v.3) CD player,HD 600(headphones) and all powered by PS Audio P600,I do find that I use my 2000+ CD’s an the main source. I’ve had these a number of years. Been happy with it and my attitude has been “If it ain’t broke,don’t fix it.” I will listen to ITunes for more casual things(exercise,walking)


#72

I’ve bought a lot of CDs with Autorip from Amazon so I started using Amazon Music: very useful for having continued access to tracks that didn’t fit into storage on portable music players. It wasn’t long before I started subscribing to Amazon Music Unlimited, which easily pays for itself with the music I listen to where I’m just curious and can save myself the expense of the physical disc. I’m not sure how the library size compares with its competitors but a lot of what I’m looking for is there so I’m happy with it.

Unfortunately there’s no gapless playback, which is agony with some recordings.


#73

I use Spotify and prefer it over both Apple Music and Amazon Music. I subscribe to the premium option and feel that the sound quality is much better than Amazon and a little better than Apple. The user interface is fine on all three for me, but as I use Spotify most of the time it has become my preferred choice. As has already been said in some other posts Spotify has a great choice of music as well as being a great source for new music discovery.
-Paul-


#74

Our topic leader asks:

A real question is what and who will survive? How will you listen 3 years from now? 5 years? 10?

The music business is cutthroat. Many of the services operate at a loss or are barely profitable. If record companies jump on the MQA bandwagon to avoid giving out lossless Hi Res, then it looks pretty good for Tidal, but if we get into yet another format war, not so much.

I’m betting on APPLE MUSIC to survive. It ties into the whole Apple ecosystem, and is clearly on a stronger footing than the rest. Likewise, Amazon will survive if Amazon execs decide that this business will be profitable - they have an advantage in cloud server platform that others don’t have.

Spotify is the current industry leader, and it’s just viable.
Locally storing something - NAS, music servers, CDs, vinyl - probably will be a niche market, but I think stable. Maybe the media will change, but some customers always like to control their own assets.

What do you all think?


#75

I think streaming compressed media will be how most people with consume content for a long time to come. The players my change, but I agree with you on Apple and Amazon.
Streaming HD content I see as a niche market at least for some time to come; maybe like vinyl or home music servers.

That’s me, but I am probably a dying breed. I believe I recall Bruce Willis of all people suing (?) Apple over the ownership rights of this iTunes music library; he wanted to bequeath the library to his children (?). Anyway… interesting times.


#76

Note that Pandora still exists. It’s not even as bad off as MySpace which is now owned by Time, Inc.
Apple, Google, and Amazon all have big companies that are not primarily streaming. I’m sure that Alexa has a favorite, just like Siri does.


#77

It will become increasingly more difficult for players like Pandora or Spotify, etc. to compete with the likes of Apple, etc. as they will expand and improve their services. All the power to more new startups though. It must be a tough and exciting industry to be in.


#78

What did you use to rip your collection? I am thinking of redoing my collection to FLAC. I’m thinking of just using JRiver or Exact Audio Copy.


#79

I have a MAC. The ripping software for the MAC ain’t great. For most of my collection I used iTunes. Ripped to Apple Lossless. I figured that it was a CD and ripping to a higher quality isn’t going to make it sound better that it started.


#80

dbPowerAmp CD Ripper is probably the best way to go on the Mac.

The rip is compared against a database to verify it’s perfect (which isn’t really necessary … the CSRC is good enough to do that locally, anyway), it’s very flexible, fast, extremely configurable, and has lots of encoding options and utility functions.

The sample data it generates is identical to that from tools EAC and is provably perfect, so “quality” isn’t a concern (not that is is anyway a surprise to anyone that understands how CD data is encoded or read).

The package even comes with a really powerful batch conversion tool.