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On 24/02/2021 at 8:30 PM, RankStranger said:


You can rest assured that part of the code that allows Tidal to run in Roon and other environments sends all the juicy data back to Tidal as sure as if you were running the app by itself. Aside from just being their business model about how they pay artists and such, it’s how they know what to recommend you listen to next (whether that’s successful or not). They wouldn’t cut themselves off from that just to keep and comparatively minuscule number of Roon users happy

I take your point, though I'm pretty sure a native app will send back more information in practice. The listen next information will necessarily be coming from app users, for the simple reason that the likes of Roon will not be reporting back when your next choice is from your own library and not from them (and of course as you say the number of Roon users is miniscule).

The other thing, which is related, is that the Spotify app will only show and make Spotify track suggestions. Neither it nor Tidal know what is on my NAS drives. So using the app keeps you engaged with them. WIth Roon, you're one step removed. (As an aside - if you use Roon, do you still get recommended tracks and albums from all those rappers using the same names as famous 1970s prog bands? That might push me in that direction)


I've always thought that things like MQA, high-res and device integration are ways of Tidal saying "we're higher quality" as their selling point. What happens to them if Apple Music finally releases their entire 96/24 library for public consumption as a response to this move from Spotify? Is Tidal's USP gone?

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Beat me to it. https://www.stereo.net.au/news/spotify-hifi-cd-quality-streaming-announced We have reached out for more information relevant to the Australian market.

On 24/02/2021 at 9:40 PM, April Snow said:

For anyone interested, I discovered that you can stream Spotify directly to your TV via Chromecast too - it is pretty cool the artist details come up on the screen, playing next, history notes etc - looks cool. Ok I know it is not perfect CD quality but if you have your TV connected to your amp, it is kinda fun for casual listening - I cast Spotty from my Mac Book Pro to the Chromecast.

I have Tidal running into my system from the TV app, but the sound quality is pretty terrible for some reason - might be something to do with the conversion to 48/24 optical, but the YouTube app generally sounds better. Maybe it's time to plug a laptop into the TV as a second source.
 

So here I am, finally get to something approaching a high end system, the whole world of great music a few buttons away on the remote, and what do I do? On to YouTube and start playing old episodes of "I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue"... sad, isn't it?

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48 minutes ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

I have Tidal running into my system from the TV app, but the sound quality is pretty terrible for some reason - might be something to do with the conversion to 48/24 optical, but the YouTube app generally sounds better. Maybe it's time to plug a laptop into the TV as a second source.
 

So here I am, finally get to something approaching a high end system, the whole world of great music a few buttons away on the remote, and what do I do? On to YouTube and start playing old episodes of "I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue"... sad, isn't it?

Unfortunately when you are streaming music via tv or YouTube you are no where near the hardware quality you need to determine the difference in sound quality of any streaming service.

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10 hours ago, RankStranger said:

 

 

Great insight and realistic views from John. Thanks for sharing.

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Wow that is a great video - nice and simply explained and I have heard that about Tidal before - it is not all High Rez - it was interesting hearing John Darko crunch the numbers too. I will stick with Spotify for streaming as I only use it for casual listening anyway, or previewing new artists before purchasing the physical media. 

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11 hours ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

I take your point, though I'm pretty sure a native app will send back more information in practice. The listen next information will necessarily be coming from app users, for the simple reason that the likes of Roon will not be reporting back when your next choice is from your own library and not from them (and of course as you say the number of Roon users is miniscule).

The other thing, which is related, is that the Spotify app will only show and make Spotify track suggestions. Neither it nor Tidal know what is on my NAS drives. So using the app keeps you engaged with them. WIth Roon, you're one step removed. (As an aside - if you use Roon, do you still get recommended tracks and albums from all those rappers using the same names as famous 1970s prog bands? That might push me in that direction)


I've always thought that things like MQA, high-res and device integration are ways of Tidal saying "we're higher quality" as their selling point. What happens to them if Apple Music finally releases their entire 96/24 library for public consumption as a response to this move from Spotify? Is Tidal's USP gone?


As much as an Apple tragic as I am, I don’t use Apple Music. I did the free trial for Apple Music after being a Spotify premium subscriber for years and the Apple interface is a hot mess. It’s much harder to find what you’re looking for and to control when you find it. It may have improved somewhat in the last few years but from what I read, it hasn’t sorted that stuff out, which is a bit surprising for Apple and also a bit not, I guess. The only benefit I saw was being able to say ‘hey Siri play such and such" in the car but you can currently do that with Spotify by adding "on Spotify" to the end and at the next update you’ll be able to set Spotify as your default music service like you can on Echo devices and you won’t even have to say that anymore. 

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9 hours ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

Unfortunately when you are streaming music via tv or YouTube you are no where near the hardware quality you need to determine the difference in sound quality of any streaming service.

The surprise is that Tidal is lower quality than anything else played through the TV. I know Tidal normally as a high quality service even when not streaming lossless, 

 

Some output from YouTube over the TV is surprisingly good, in fact. Which makes me think that the software quality rather than the hardware quality is the bigger limitation at least to a certain point.

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Whatever you think of Darko - and I happen to really like him but I know others don’t - he has always been very on top of the streaming services and their respective benefits, drawbacks and compatibilities. He understands that, among the hundreds of millions of Spotify users, there is some percentage of them that are potential audiophiles and quite a lot of his videos are speaking directly to them

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26 minutes ago, RankStranger said:

Whatever you think of Darko - and I happen to really like him but I know others don’t - he has always been very on top of the streaming services and their respective benefits, drawbacks and compatibilities. He understands that, among the hundreds of millions of Spotify users, there is some percentage of them that are potential audiophiles and quite a lot of his videos are speaking directly to them

I don't mind him either & it is interesting hearing other people's opinions too. The first video I watched of his was about his Kallax Hi-Fi - it was after one of my very early threads on Record Storage and kind people pointed out I had mine around the wrong way and I saw John Darko did too !! Was funny to me at the time.

 

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On 24/02/2021 at 9:40 PM, April Snow said:

For anyone interested, I discovered that you can stream Spotify directly to your TV via Chromecast too - it is pretty cool the artist details come up on the screen, playing next, history notes etc - looks cool. Ok I know it is not perfect CD quality but if you have your TV connected to your amp, it is kinda fun for casual listening - I cast Spotty from my Mac Book Pro to the Chromecast.

It is a bit of fun but can lead to a noticeable quality drop. 

 

I think things all get reseampled to 48kHz to go through standard AV formats. 

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7 hours ago, RankStranger said:


As much as an Apple tragic as I am, I don’t use Apple Music. I did the free trial for Apple Music after being a Spotify premium subscriber for years and the Apple interface is a hot mess. It’s much harder to find what you’re looking for and to control when you find it. It may have improved somewhat in the last few years but from what I read, it hasn’t sorted that stuff out, which is a bit surprising for Apple and also a bit not, I guess. The only benefit I saw was being able to say ‘hey Siri play such and such" in the car but you can currently do that with Spotify by adding "on Spotify" to the end and at the next update you’ll be able to set Spotify as your default music service like you can on Echo devices and you won’t even have to say that anymore. 

You managed to miss my point completely.

 

Apple have been collecting 96/24 files from labels for years. If they were to make that catalogue available for streaming in that format rather than the low quality lossy form it does today it leaps to the top of the hi-def tree in terms of the number of titles. Audiophiles are Tidal’s market and my care less about the interface.

 

If resolution is.what is driving Tidal sales with MQA down it goes. I note that some of the reviewers who were praising MQA a few years ago now quote Qobuz as the source for streamed music in reviews, and friends in the UK have switched, so I think Tidal could be the company to fall if the big boys weigh in with lossless streaming or what the market perceived as higher quality.
 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

lower quality than anything else played through the TV

You guys play your music through a TV?

Seriously?

Get away with you.

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15 minutes ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

You managed to miss my point completely.

 

Apple have been collecting 96/24 files from labels for years. If they were to make that catalogue available for streaming in that format rather than the low quality lossy form it does today it leaps to the top of the hi-def tree in terms of the number of titles. Audiophiles are Tidal’s market and my care less about the interface.

 

If resolution is.what is driving Tidal sales with MQA down it goes. I note that some of the reviewers who were praising MQA a few years ago now quote Qobuz as the source for streamed music in reviews, and friends in the UK have switched, so I think Tidal could be the company to fall if the big boys weigh in with lossless streaming or what the market perceived as higher quality.
 


no, I took your point. It just led me down another train of thought. Should’ve been more a comment than a reply :) 

 

yes, Apple have a huge catalogue in 24/96 but I disagree that they’re going to release that for streaming. Just looking at it practically, a high res album is say a GB on average. I don’t think Apple would expose themselves to the publicity disaster of turning all their Apple Music subscribers on to HD and then have them blow through their data cap in one commute. They currently have somewhere in the order of 100M subscribers. Less than Spotify but Apple are a very conservative company at heart. They don’t need Apple Music to dominate in order to pay the bills so I think there’s too many downsides and not enough upsides for them to do that. 
 

Sorry if I’m not articulating that very well. I’m not disagreeing. I wouldn’t say they’ll never do it but I don’t think it’s the right time now. We’ll see :) 

 

I definitely agree that when Spotify goes full quality Tidal is probably the service that will suffer the most

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10 minutes ago, Luc said:

You guys play your music through a TV?

Seriously?

Get away with you.

 

sounds great

 

TV%20Then%20and%20Now.jpg

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1 hour ago, Luc said:

You guys play your music through a TV?

Seriously?

Get away with you.

 

 

Save the sarcasm for them what are still scratching bits of plastic with stones to get noise. 
 

 

 

 

...am I banned yet?

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5 minutes ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

 

 

Save the sarcasm for them what are still scratching bits of plastic with stones to get noise. 
 

 

 

 

...am I banned yet?

I can see your  name still  so no,  not yet.

 

Enjoy that TV sound though. I'm not into the AV side of
SNA and yes analogue is the WTG for sure.

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If Spotify Hifi comes to fruition in Australia for as little (or even zero) extra as they're saying for Spotify Premium subscribers, I can't see myself bothering with my collection of CD rips. I won't discard them but I can't see myself accessing them very often.

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On 28/02/2021 at 4:12 PM, DrSK said:

It is a bit of fun but can lead to a noticeable quality drop. 

 

I think things all get reseampled to 48kHz to go through standard AV formats. 

 

I've the benefit of the ChromeCast going into the amp first then do that HDMI arc  wizardry thingo to pass the visual content onto the TV - best of both worlds

 

On 01/03/2021 at 10:33 PM, Chigurh said:

If Spotify Hifi comes to fruition in Australia for as little (or even zero) extra as they're saying for Spotify Premium subscribers, I can't see myself bothering with my collection of CD rips. I won't discard them but I can't see myself accessing them very often.

 

is that the plan? 

hard to argue with that

 

 

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25 minutes ago, wasabijim said:

 

I've the benefit of the ChromeCast going into the amp first then do that HDMI arc  wizardry thingo to pass the visual content onto the TV - best of both worlds

 

I could be wrong but had similar and thought that was where the issue was.

 

Fairly certain Chromecast outputs to the Amp at 48kHz in standard HDMI formats. My Chromecast was the HDMI type plug in type.

 

In any instance USB to the DAC was much better than Chromecast for Spotify and the DAC reads 44.1 instead of 48kHz. Chromecast was plugged into my Oppo 205, tried analogue out to the pre and digital out to the DAC and then to the pre. 

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25 minutes ago, wasabijim said:
On 01/03/2021 at 11:33 PM, Chigurh said:

If Spotify Hifi comes to fruition in Australia for as little (or even zero) extra as they're saying for Spotify Premium subscribers, I can't see myself bothering with my collection of CD rips. I won't discard them but I can't see myself accessing them very often.

 

is that the plan? 

hard to argue with that

John Darko suggested it may be no extra cost above Spotify Premium. I hope he's right, and they may do this as a differentiator against Apple and others. I suspect they'll charge more for it though, but hopefully it's only 25-50% more, not 100% more like Tidal. 

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51 minutes ago, Topman_Chief said:

John Darko suggested it may be no extra cost above Spotify Premium. I hope he's right, and they may do this as a differentiator against Apple and others. I suspect they'll charge more for it though, but hopefully it's only 25-50% more, not 100% more like Tidal. 

 

ahh... cheers, did not watch the vid (too many people watching now we're back in the office....)

this is getting more exciting

 

talking earlier about the jump in data download for mobile ph usage - I hope,  just as it is now,  its simple enough to switch between quality settings and that you can save the hi-res files for offline listening. 

 

Also, once upon a time Spotify on Android phones didn't play well with portable amp-DACs. Has that been sorted now? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, DrSK said:

 

I could be wrong but had similar and thought that was where the issue was.

 

Fairly certain Chromecast outputs to the Amp at 48kHz in standard HDMI formats. My Chromecast was the HDMI type plug in type.

 

In any instance USB to the DAC was much better than Chromecast for Spotify and the DAC reads 44.1 instead of 48kHz. Chromecast was plugged into my Oppo 205, tried analogue out to the pre and digital out to the DAC and then to the pre. 

 

so USB to the DAC is with Spotify running on a PC or a streamer with Connect? I'm not surprised that if the Chromecast with its HDMI does a lesser job, more so if it needs to pass thru several devises. 

On one system I can stream Spotify into the CC that feeds the TV that then has an optical connection to a Yamaha streamer/pre-amp. This itself has Spotify Connect which sounds much better than the CC-TV input (but obviously no track display on the TV).

 

In a few weeks i might hook the yamaha up to the other bigger integrated amp system and compare this to the CC via HDMI straight into the amp

 

 

 

 

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Until there's integration into Roon, this is purely academic for me. I may move from Tidal to Qobuz when it's launched here.

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Seems to me that if spotify hifi works well then in a few years the government will be fining spotify for creating a monolopy.

Who could compete?

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1 hour ago, warweary said:

Seems to me that if spotify hifi works well then in a few years the government will be fining spotify for creating a monolopy.

Who could compete?

Really?🧐

 

I very much doubt they could  care less.

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3 hours ago, wasabijim said:

 

so USB to the DAC is with Spotify running on a PC or a streamer with Connect? I'm not surprised that if the Chromecast with its HDMI does a lesser job, more so if it needs to pass thru several devises. 

 

Yep, massive improvement streaming off an MS Surface to USB. Then moved to a Microrendu. 

 

 

3 hours ago, wasabijim said:

On one system I can stream Spotify into the CC that feeds the TV that then has an optical connection to a Yamaha streamer/pre-amp. This itself has Spotify Connect which sounds much better than the CC-TV input (but obviously no track display on the TV).

 

In a few weeks i might hook the yamaha up to the other bigger integrated amp system and compare this to the CC via HDMI straight into the amp

 

Definitely worth play around with.  My Chromecast path was either to TV HDMI, then optical to a DAC on the second system or on the main system an Oppo 205 HDMI input to coax output to a DAC.

 

In both systems I dropped Chromecast for a streamer to each DAC for a solid improvement.

 

And as a first step used the MS Surface as discussed.

 

My main system is USB into the DAC, the second system is optical off the streamer into another DAC. The main DAC is a Gieseler Konverter, the second is a Gieseler Klein III. 

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I subscribed to Spotify first, then added Tidal about 2-3 years ago. I added Tidal because: 1. Our family was increasingly looking to stream music in two locations at once, 2. to get the extra playback quality, and 3. because Tidal pays the artists more.

 

This last point has been important to me, but Spotify remains difficult to drop. It's easier for the family to use (including better integration with BluOS), and has more content from less well-known local artists and live concerts in particular.

 

In terms of fair remuneration for the smaller artists who need it, I'm not sure whether Tidal has ended up making much of a difference. For a while it looked like artists might use Tidal as a way to regain a share of the pie, but I haven't seen that happen. I would be interested to get people's thoughts.

 

I noticed Spotify added a new family deal a while back. The way things are going, I might end up dropping Tidal. The bands will no doubt get more benefit through attending concerts and the odd vinyl purchase.

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On 28/02/2021 at 6:02 PM, Eggcup the Dafter said:

You managed to miss my point completely.

 

Apple have been collecting 96/24 files from labels for years. If they were to make that catalogue available for streaming in that format

 

Apple have repeated said they will never do this.... as they believe there is no SQ benefit (for a playback system) to frequencies above 20khz, and that lossy codecs are able to offer transparent encoding.

 

For an archival system of course, it is best to recive/store the audio in its original quality (as conversions could degrade the information stored - so it is important to minimise their number), which is why Apple store the sources in their original format.

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On 01/03/2021 at 11:33 PM, Chigurh said:

If Spotify Hifi comes to fruition in Australia for as little (or even zero) extra as they're saying for Spotify Premium subscribers, I can't see myself bothering with my collection of CD rips. I won't discard them but I can't see myself accessing them very often.

 

I'm not aware of what has been announced or hinted at ... but if true that would be a major pill to swallow for Spotify.   They would need to transmit at least 3x the data...  without an increase in revenue.

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3 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

I'm not aware of what has been announced or hinted at ... but if true that would be a major pill to swallow for Spotify.   They would need to transmit at least 3x the data...  without an increase in revenue.

True, but it wont happen overnight as most users don't even know or care what lossless is. I'd imaging the uptake will be slow.

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4 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

Apple have repeated said they will never do this.... as they believe there is no SQ benefit (for a playback system) to frequencies above 20khz, and that lossy codecs are able to offer transparent encoding.

 

For an archival system of course, it is best to recive/store the audio in its original quality (as conversions could degrade the information stored - so it is important to minimise their number), which is why Apple store the sources in their original format.

You're right, of course. But it wouldn't be the first time that Apple have done something they previously said "never" to. (see, for example, the iPad mini). They've quietly set up their own hardware and underlying software to allow it to happen should they need to. And I don't believe they have built FLAC, lossless and high resolution capabliity into their mobile products just to allow the opposition to use those facilities. They develop their ecosystem with their own future use in mind.

This is the point though... "need" to. The market would have to shift significantly to justify them actually streaming that much extra data. In fact, Apple are describing 256k AAC files made from 96/24 as "Apple Digital Masters". There's a marketing term for you. That word "Master" again. Outside of a subset of Tidal customers, though, does it really work?

This is worth a read: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiUuJqyr53vAhU3zjgGHRVJCREQFjABegQIARAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.apple.com%2Fitunes%2Fdocs%2Fapple-digital-masters.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1x0sUser-x8U6Tfa6yKmbQ

Effectively they are allowing mastering engineers to test their master against the resulting file from Apple's encoding. In the war of the big boys, we get "Apple Digital Mastering" then "Spotify HiFi" - the marketing war there may be about to turn into a bitrate war.

 

The mass market (i.e. not us) are caught up with something else at the moment. They are seeing differing picture quality from different 4K TV streaming services. I don't think higher resolution audio is going to work on them. The word they will understand right now, because of the 4K TV business, is "lossless". I'm getting the impression as well that smart TV is where some younger families are going for music - both voice assistant and at least the semblance of a decent speaker or speakers. I'm wondering whether things will re-converge around 48/24 because that is where they can claim "hi res", do lossless without too much of an increase over CD quality... and it's what TV optical outputs do.

 


 

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1 hour ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

I'm not aware of what has been announced or hinted at ... but if true that would be a major pill to swallow for Spotify.   They would need to transmit at least 3x the data...  without an increase in revenue.

True. It would be interesting to know why they are making this move now. They are number one at the moment, aren't they, and their product is the app and the freemium model, not sound quality. Either their subscription base is falling and they need something new, or they are reacting to a suspected market shift. The thing I can see that might scare them is AppleOne, converting all of Apple's other subscription service users to Apple Music subscribers. Then again, why fight that with lossless quality?

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1 hour ago, Tony B said:

True, but it wont happen overnight as most users don't even know or care what lossless is. I'd imaging the uptake will be slow.

Some of the opposition are part of larger companies that can absorb an increase in their music services. Indeed, this may be what the sale of a chunk of Tidal is about in part.
Spotify aren't in that position. Forget what 3x does to them, what does a 20% increase do?

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3 minutes ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

Some of the opposition are part of larger companies that can absorb an increase in their music services. Indeed, this may be what the sale of a chunk of Tidal is about in part.
Spotify aren't in that position. Forget what 3x does to them, what does a 20% increase do?

I'm sure they are already beefing up their bandwidth to accommodate the increase. It would be interesting to see what their peak demand is compared to say Netflix.

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25 minutes ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

True. It would be interesting to know why they are making this move now. They are number one at the moment, aren't they, and their product is the app and the freemium model, not sound quality. Either their subscription base is falling and they need something new, or they are reacting to a suspected market shift. The thing I can see that might scare them is AppleOne, converting all of Apple's other subscription service users to Apple Music subscribers. Then again, why fight that with lossless quality?

I believe I read somewhere they are doing it with artists in mind, not all of us nutty audiofools.

 

allowing artists to distribute their music in lossless so effectively increasing their cred as the top tier in streaming from both sides of the fence.

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44 minutes ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

I believe I read somewhere they are doing it with artists in mind, not all of us nutty audiofools.

 

allowing artists to distribute their music in lossless so effectively increasing their cred as the top tier in streaming from both sides of the fence.

That would be ever so nice of them... but that same nice Spotify pays less to the artist than any of the other main streaming services. Underpaid in lossless doesn't look much better.

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15 hours ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

That would be ever so nice of them... but that same nice Spotify pays less to the artist than any of the other main streaming services. Underpaid in lossless doesn't look much better.

Are the record labels themselves better in this regard?

 

Who agreed to Spotify's rates?

The copyright owner's who happen to be..... The record labels.

 

Who do you think is accountable?

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