Disc music vs streaming

N

Nostromo

Junior Audioholic
Being a senior citizen, I have always been somewhat skeptical of the sound quality with streamed music. Yes, I know it is convenient and all that but I have always felt that there was a significant difference in sound quality between the two formats. Furthermore, I only use steamed music at home if I don't have the equivalent CD; outdoors, only while out walking through my mobile and Spotify Premium. I find any music to be quite distracting while driving and so avoid it.

The other day I decided to put my theory to test. I played the first 4 songs from Fleetwood Mac's album Rumours through Spotify Premium at home on my Cambridge Audio sound system and then did the same with the DVD-Audio of the album without altering the audio settings. The difference was amazing in favour of the disc.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
You compared a multich recording to a 2ch recording? I have this on both LP and SACD myself, altho both are very well done recordings so sounds good with various media releases IMO. If you used the 2ch track on the dvd (assuming it has one), what steps did you take to level match and do the listening test blinded?

Why worry about the sound quality as if it's a competition? Personally I stream Spotify (premium) all through my house on various systems, it's fine. I use Spotify to find new music and it does that fairly well. I still prefer to buy cds and other optical discs so I have a lossless version, tho. More a preference thing as well as I'm just a collector....I have playback gear because of the collection primarily. The difference in streaming my own ripped cd collection is minimal compared to Spotify, altho with the right material and volume I can pick out differences if pressed.

I'm also a senior citizen :)
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Samurai
I don’t think Spotify Premium is lossless. Has their lossless HIFI tier gone online yet? I love “Rumours” on DVD-AUDO. The 5.1 version is incomparable to anything else with an alternate version of “Never Going Back Again.” Say, does the SACD have that version? Anyway, the 24/96 two channel version via Qobuz streaming service sounds damn good. Yeah yeah, number don’t matter. Whatever Qobuz is doing, they are doing it right. Was the player bitstreaming or using multi channel analog outputs for the disc?

Oh, and the DVD-AUDIO of “Rumours” does contain the two channel version with the originally released version of “Never Going Back Again.”
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
AFAIK Spotify Premium afaik is still lossy (320 Ogg Vorbis?). I'm patiently awaiting it but seems like past info from Spotify, it's empty words so far :) The SACD version of Never Going Back Again have no idea if its the alternate version or not and nothing in the booklet with the disc that mentions that....what is the alternate version particularly?

@Nostromo , just what is your Spotify device you used for the comparison?
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Lossless is CD quality. You can’t really compare a compressed format streaming service to CD or SACD or DVD-Audio.

You would want to try Apple Music Lossless or Tidal HiFi, depending on what streaming options are available to you on your gear.

As far as multichannel goes, over streaming when they do provide Atmos, that Atmos title is a compressed version. Those same titles are always available in Lossless 2 channel though for the most part.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Samurai
All streamed audio is compressed. Some are lossless and some are lossy. All atmos over streaming is lossy DD+ with atmos metadata. DTHD/atmos is lossless but also compressed. It’s all about bandwidth. FLAC and ALAC are lossless but compressed. WAV and AIFF are lossless AND uncompressed but many do not have room for albums ripped in those formats.

Regarding “Rumours” DVD-AUDIO, the DVD-AUDIO layer is 24/96 for both the 2.0 and 5.1 versions. They can be accessed ONLY from a DVD-AUDIO player. Put in a DVD-VIDEO player, one can only play the 5.1 version in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 with no access to the two channel version.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Samurai
My apologies to @Nostromo for the hijacking of the thread. My ears perk up when that album is brought up. MLP on DVD-AUDIO is compressed DTHD in disguise. As for uncompressed audio, blu-ray discs with uncompressed multi channel PCM tracks are nice.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
My apologies to @Nostromo for the hijacking of the thread. My ears perk up when that album is brought up. MLP on DVD-AUDIO is compressed DTHD in disguise. As for uncompressed audio, blu-ray discs with uncompressed multi channel PCM tracks are nice.
MLP since I looked it up as I couldn't remember what it stood for, sort of an mqa prequel? :) But what's DTHD? Dolby True HD or DTS-HD MA? :)
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Samurai
Sorry, Dolby TrueHD and it is actually the other way around as MLP was around first for DVD-AUDIO to compress multi channel PCM. Blu-rays have more space and can handle uncompressed multi channel PCM tracks.
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
The cost is crazy high for a used DVD-Audio Rumours disc…. :)
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Samurai
No kidding. If mine stops playing I'll lose it.:eek: I can't bring myself yet to get a couple of atmos albums on blu-ray because of cost but I want Yello's "Point" album. I can listen to it in atmos on Apple Music or Tidal, though. It's just a fun album and really makes use of the format. But, Christmas is coming.;)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Sorry, Dolby TrueHD and it is actually the other way around as MLP was around first for DVD-AUDIO to compress multi channel PCM. Blu-rays have more space and can handle uncompressed multi channel PCM tracks.
Yeah, just meant a precursor of sorts from Meridian....it's more the DTHD predecessor....now you're going to have me looking at which of my music blurays have the LPCM and/or lossless Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HDMA thing....
 
C

corneileous

Junior Audioholic
Hmm, I really can’t tell the difference between CD or good quality streamed music.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
I’ve pretty much stopped buying cds after I got Apple Music Lossless on my Apple TV 4K. I still buy multichannel Blu-ray concerts though.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic Field Marshall
Being a senior citizen, I have always been somewhat skeptical of the sound quality with streamed music. Yes, I know it is convenient and all that but I have always felt that there was a significant difference in sound quality between the two formats. Furthermore, I only use steamed music at home if I don't have the equivalent CD; outdoors, only while out walking through my mobile and Spotify Premium. I find any music to be quite distracting while driving and so avoid it.

The other day I decided to put my theory to test. I played the first 4 songs from Fleetwood Mac's album Rumours through Spotify Premium at home on my Cambridge Audio sound system and then did the same with the DVD-Audio of the album without altering the audio settings. The difference was amazing in favour of the disc.
You could not have selected a worse piece of music to test. You have no knowledge of what Rumours release Spotify was streaming. I can tell you this, I have original LP as well as a 5.1 SACD. All the layers on the SACD are just unlistenable. The tone makes me want to vomit. At any rate, your preference is none of my business; but, please don’t commit to it from this Fleetwood Mac work.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Samurai
Well, I've not heard the SACD. So, I'm going to continue to enjoy the DVD-AUDIO.;)
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
I have a bunch of DVD-AUDIO music and it's all insanely awesome. I have one SACD because I just never had that format before buying my Sony 4k player. I have the Fire Straits SACD and it's also insanely amazing. It sounds just gorgeous. I really wish these formats had taken off.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Samurai
Honestly, I've played with so many services and apps between two different receivers, iPhones, an Apple TV 4K, Nvidia Shield Pro, Samsung Smart TV and a Mac that I can say, in my case anyway, that a good quality lossless stream sounds as good as a disc or ripped file. As for services, there is just something special about Qobuz. Their 24/192 tracks are clear as a bell. Apple impresses with quality over Airplay 2. It just sounds solid and I am really enjoying Spatial Audio(atmos) tracks in Apple Music. Tidal atmos has volume issues. So, while they are discontinued, Apple updated the Airport Express Gen 2 to support Airplay 2. They can be had cheap. For anybody with multiple older setups in their home and an iPhone that supports Airplay 2, they could get multiple Airport Expresses and play music to all of them at once from a streaming service app on their iPhone. But, keep it under your hats. They don't make 'em anymore.;) Oh, and if your are still using an old wireless G or N router, it's time to move on. We are on AX now with many folks holding Smart phones and tablets in their hands that can handle it or AC. So, get streaming! No, I do not work for Apple or I would have convinced them to bitstream all audio out of the Apple TV 4K by now.:D
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Hmm, I really can’t tell the difference between CD or good quality streamed music.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Most can't but really depends on stream, they're definitely not created equally over all the various services/streams out there. For some even a 192kbps stream won't set off their hearing alarms. There are ways to test your ability easily enough if really interested where you can try to hear where differences lay with the various possibilities. Generally streaming music is moving towards cd quality as a basic quality level altho Spotify is dragging heels but they have a very good 320kbps service in any case.....
 
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