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Thread: Music Streamers

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    Default Music Streamers

    I am more of a Physical Media person, but I am trying to downsize. Right now for Computer Audio I "Mac and DAC" but when Qobuz comes to the States I might embrace a streamer. I am not a Computer Geek. What do people recommend?

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Although I appreciate the convenience of today's technology of streaming radio and television, the overall sound quality, imho, still is not on par with what one gets by purchasing a CD or LP.

    I do use streaming radio frequently at my PC but prefer not to download/save audio files unless that is the only means available for a particular work.

    Kh ♫

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    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    I prefer to have my favored collections on CD, ripped as FLAC on my computer, but I've personally found Spotify quite useful for comparing different recordings/performances before deciding which version to buy. For example, I have a Spotify playlist with separate performances of Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony by 14 different orchestras (I haven't decided my favorite yet).
    Last edited by Kopachris; Sep-14-2014 at 14:55.

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    I've not heard of Qobuz, but I am just getting into Spotify. Not necessarily to replace CDs but to augment, for research. Currently I'm using the Free but may go for the Premium, particularly once I get my £50 bluetooth dongle to stream it through my hi-fi.

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    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. If I acquire any more cd's, I'm going to have to sleep outside.
    I use Spotify (free) on PC but as previously mentioned, the audio quality isn't anything to get excited about. It's good for testing before buying but it's no substitute for cd.
    This space for rent.

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    Qobuz is a streaming service that streams in true CD quality. So far it has only been in France. It debuts in the U.K. This year and I believe will enter the States in 2015. It's main content is Classical. Reports I 've seen indicate that with proper equipment it sounds the same as a good mid fi CD player. It will be expensive
    I use the paid version of Spotify now to screen CD purchases. At 320 bps it isn't CD quality but for an hour or so I can take it. It's great for background music.
    I've heard some streamers that sound pretty good when fed digitalized CDs. They basically are just DACs that are taking a digital feed from an Ethernet or wifi.

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    Although I think there is truth in the adage "rubbish in, rubbish out", I can live very well with low(ish) bitrate streaming pumped into a nicely colouring tube-amp.
    Vinyl will remain my primary source but YT, soundcloud, downloads and what have you, are very convenient for exploring new stuff, now and then also for serious listening. But, as you said, not for very long.

    Cheers,
    Jos
    Last edited by Jos; Sep-14-2014 at 17:21.

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    As with compressed audio (which streaming is) it's pointless to make any kind of generalization without talking about codec and bitrate. A streaming service that uses Frauenhofer 128 is going to sound inferior to a CD. One that uses AAC 256 VBR is going to be indistinguishable from a CD. You have to read the fine print. Some services offer low bit rate streams for free. People base their opinions on sound quality on that without realizing that if you pay the monthly fee, the quality is perfect.

    It's no big deal to stream perfect sounding audio. There are services that stream high definition audio with surround sound with a quality that rivals blu-rays, and that is a LOT more bandwidth intensive than a simple stereo stream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    People base their opinions on sound quality on that without realizing that if you pay the monthly fee, the quality is perfect.
    Probably an important point haha. It is a service after all.
    This space for rent.

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    After I made the OP yesterday , I was at my Brother in laws new house yesterday . He doesn't have any audio set up yet and is interested in Whole House Streaming. He wants a quality system for Classical Music, something better than Sonos or Airport Express.

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    He wants streaming that is better than CD quality? What is he going to stream?

    I have an Airport system around my house. It sounds as good as the original CDs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    He wants streaming that is better than CD quality? What is he going to stream?

    I have an Airport system around my house. It sounds as good as the original CDs.
    Do you use just 1 Airport Express, or 1 attached to each system?

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    There is an Airport base station that handles my wifi throughout the house, then there's an Airport express connected to each stereo system in the house. I can access the music library on any computer and play them on any Airport Express, and throw music from my iPhone or iPad to any stereo in the house. I keep my Mac Mini playing music 24/7 on random shuffle and just use my phone to turn music on and off and choose the tracks to play.

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    Tried to replicate the AE setup in my house that you use, bs, but had a lot of issues with drop outs, etc. Been fiddling with my wifi andethernet connections and I think that I have everything maximized but the problem persists.

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    Where you put the base station matters. In my house, the bathrooms have chicken wire in the walls, which is death to wifi signals. One way around that is to put the base station in the attic if that is convenient, or on the opposite side of the house, so there isn't a bathroom between the base station and the stereo. I have a corner bedroom that has an aquarium on the other side of one wall and a bathroom on the other side of that. I've given up getting a strong wifi signal in there. I'm going to run cat5 cable through the attic from the router to the room and just plug in.

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