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Thread: What Is Your Favorite Streaming Service For Classical Music?

  1. #121
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrapunctus View Post
    I'm a little unclear about how to use a music streaming device. My computer and audio system are in two different rooms. I know I need a streamer, such as this Cambridge Audio, to run through my audio system:



    And it would wirelessly connect to my computer (I hope!). So, then I connect to the streaming service on my computer, such as Primephonic, then what? How would I direct the Cambridge to communicate with my computer? Would I be able to search for the music I want to hear via the Cambridge? Would it use a remote app? Help!
    Here's a link to the Cambridge Audio Manual download page.

    https://techsupport.cambridgeaudio.c...451.1537097768

    From what I can read in the product description, it does not appear that you can stream directly from Primephonic to the CA product (as opposed to Spotify and Tidal, from which you can stream directly).
    It looks like you can stream from your iDevice to the CA product using Apple Airplay. From the support page:

    You can play any streaming service on your network player using AirPlay from a compatible Apple device.

    Choose “More Devices” and select the Apple AirPlay icon from within your chosen App, Control Centre or iTunes (PC/Mac) and select your Network Player.

    Compatible Streaming Services: Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, YouTube Music, Deezer, Amazon Music etc.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Sep-16-2018 at 13:20.

  2. #122
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    Thanks. I just used it as an example--I'll search for a Primephonic compatible device.

  3. #123
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrapunctus View Post
    Thanks. I just used it as an example--I'll search for a Primephonic compatible device.
    That may be a challenge as of now.

    https://primephonichelp.zendesk.com/...y-sound-system

    Let us know if you find one.

  4. #124
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    Airplay sends audio data in Apple Lossless format. If 44.1KHz/16-bit is good enough for you, then there should be no difference between direct (from Internet to 851N, for example) and indirect (through Airplay). Airplay downsamples A high-res 24-bit stream (which primephonic seems to support) to 16-bit.

    If you want to stream audio better than Apple Lossless, and if you cannot place computer close to the amplifier, probably an easier way is to get a cheap computer and connect it to Internet and a good DAC through USB. The computer connected to DAC/amp can be controlled remotely from another computer.

  5. #125
    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    I keep getting ads on my phone for Idagio, which claims to be "a music streaming service designed specifically for classical music lovers." Anyone have any experience with them?
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

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    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gardibolt View Post
    I keep getting ads on my phone for Idagio, which claims to be "a music streaming service designed specifically for classical music lovers." Anyone have any experience with them?
    No, I haven't heard heard about it. NML is devoted to classical. I use Spotify Premium. I like to have rock n roll and jazz and classical and whatever you can think of for a small amount every month. Some prefer tidal or Qobuz, but I haven't tried those.

    Here is a comparison of some streaming services:
    https://www.whathifi.com/best-buys/s...aming-services
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrapunctus View Post
    I'm a little unclear about how to use a music streaming device. My computer and audio system are in two different rooms. I know I need a streamer, such as this Cambridge Audio, to run through my audio system:



    And it would wirelessly connect to my computer (I hope!). So, then I connect to the streaming service on my computer, such as Primephonic, then what? How would I direct the Cambridge to communicate with my computer? Would I be able to search for the music I want to hear via the Cambridge? Would it use a remote app? Help!
    Raises the more general, but also more fundamental question: what is the best signal path?

    For example, while I completely understand the appeal of CDs in classical, I don't understand the appeal of the actual mechanisms that read the bits and bytes of which the music consists!!!

    Why, for example, do we need a laser beam to read the 1s and 0s? Wouldn't it be more accurate to read the wavefile more directly? Similarly with all other extraneous components in the signal chain that stands between the live performance and our eardrums.

    What IS that signal chain, exactly? And, notwithstanding the current state of wifi signal transmissions, wouldn's streaming be in theory perfectly acceptable as long as we get ALL the information (whether that's 128kps or one of the alternative gold standards)?

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant View Post
    Raises the more general, but also more fundamental question: what is the best signal path?

    For example, while I completely understand the appeal of CDs in classical, I don't understand the appeal of the actual mechanisms that read the bits and bytes of which the music consists!!!

    Why, for example, do we need a laser beam to read the 1s and 0s? Wouldn't it be more accurate to read the wavefile more directly? Similarly with all other extraneous components in the signal chain that stands between the live performance and our eardrums.

    What IS that signal chain, exactly? And, notwithstanding the current state of wifi signal transmissions, wouldn's streaming be in theory perfectly acceptable as long as we get ALL the information (whether that's 128kps or one of the alternative gold standards)?
    Many typos here. Mea culpa. Can barely figure out what I'm getting at. And I wrote it (while very much into a bad cold)! So, a little redux: I don't like 128kps. All the highs are gone. 320kps: I can manage that. 44.1 (wav file) even better. So the question/comment is this: as long as the same binary bits and bytes are there, what does it matter what FORM (CD or Streaming) the transmission of the 000s and 1111s takes? The DAC.... THAT of course matters; that's an important part of what I call the "signal chain." But that stage in the signal path is (correct me if I'm wrong) completely independent of the digital source material.....

    Correct?

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    You want to believe the DAC is an important part of the chain. Google Musicians and Hearing Aids. The DAC means that my hearing aids distort the sounds received on the microphone that feeds the hopelessly inadequate DAC. The same sounds streamed to my aids via Bluetooth are just fine. A soft stopped flute starts to warble at middle F with my digital aids. Analog aids are no longer available. I'm researching Bluetooth transmitters to plug into the headphone output of my digital organ, but that sure won't help when I want to listen to a real organ live and not on a recording.

    My reading on the web tells me that the DAC is deliberately chopping the higher frequencies so that voices sound more clear. That sure doesn't help me enjoy music on my instrument or in concert.

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    Junior Member DennyL's Avatar
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    I read this thread with interest. I have Amazon Unlimited music streaming service and I've been very pleased with it - I said to a friend that it's like having free access to the biggest CD shop in the World. But after reading this thread I compared an SACD with the same item on Amazon Unlimited (which I have set to the highest quality level). I listened the last three movements of Chailly's Mahler's third symphony, which has orchestral, solo instruments, solo vocal and choirs, and goes very load. (incidentally, I counted 85 recordings of Mahler's third on Amazon Unlimited!) Well, after this experience I don't think I'll bother to listen to classical music on Amazon Unlimited again. Compared to SACD, Amazon Unlimited was flat, uninvolving and dull, with curtailed highs and very limited dynamic range. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that, but it was a bit of a shock to experience it. I then went on to compare the CD layer and the SACD layer on the same CD. The CD layer sounded pretty good, but the SACD was clearly better, having more 'openness', 'immediacy' or 'rawness' on the vocals, and coping better with the high violin tuttis, where I heard better that separate violins were playing, rather than a steely mass of sound. I could live with the CD sound, but it has renewed my enthusiasm for SACDs and left me wondering what is the best way to stream classical, which is clearly the future. For anyone interested I was using a Unico hybrid amplifier feeding 2 x LS3/5A speakers and a REL Strata subwoofer. The CD was played on a Marantz CD6000OSE CD player feeding a Beresford DAC, and the SACD was played on a Philips DVD963SA through its own internal DAC because there is no digital output when it's playing SACDs, so the CD and SACD sounds did use different DACs. I did hear more bass from the CD, a bit exaggerated, maybe, as I don't hear it quite like that in a concert hall, but I though that may be down to the different DACs.

  11. #131
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    I restarted an older thread on TC several days ago and now see that this thread is more current. So I'll jump in here.

    This has been my experiences with classical music streaming.

    TIDAL
    After about 4 years with Tidal they began truncating track titles. For example, Spotify vs Tidal:
    Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 11.33.56 AM.jpg Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 11.33.18 AM.jpg
    I gave up my subscription when after several exchanges of support tickets it became clear that they did not care a whit about their classical music subscribers.

    PRIMEPHONIC
    Supports gapless streaming.

    They don't have a desktop app, but they do have a Chrome browser page that is accessible only after you have already signed up via their iOS app. You can't sign up for their service from your desktop computer.
    For $14.99/mo you get up to 24bit streaming, so high resolution is there if that matters to you.
    Only Airplay works for me. Unfortunately, Airplay throttles the bit rate to 16bits.
    No DLNA support.
    The sound quality is superb and I had no stuttering or stops.
    The search function yields no dates of album release information, mastering dates, copyright dates, etc.

    IDAGIO
    No gapless streaming.
    Excellent use of metadata.
    Dates of album release are confusing especially with reissues.
    Easier to search than PRIMEPHONIC.
    The sound quality is superb and I had no stuttering or stops.

    SPOTIFY (PREMIUM)
    Supports gapless streaming
    DLNA support via Spotify Connect (requires paid subscription)
    Only 320kbps rate
    Search is set up for popular music. (Don't try opus numbers)

    QOBUZ
    Currently unavailable in the USA so I have not been able to evaluate it.
    Supports DLNA and gapless
    General consensus on CA is that their search function is not very good for classical music.

    Conclusion
    I must have gapless, so IDAGIO is out for me. I will probably continue with PRIMEPHONIC once my 14 day trial is completed. I will keep Spotify Premium because of their vast library including jazz and popular music.

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    PRIMEPHONIC:
    With six days to go in my free trial, I know I won't be continuing my subscription.

    The search function is simply too frustrating to use... and... don't start an album playing and begin another search while listening. You will have to start the search for the album that is playing all over again to get back to it.

    Furthermore, I found that PRIMEPHONIC will do this to albums some of the time:
    Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 10.09.09 PM.jpgGood luck trying to figure out which sonata is playing.

    I found that If you are content to hang out in their homepage with their picks, new releases, etc... that you stand a better chance to enjoy the service. Not even their curated playlists are of much value since they include only excerpts from pieces. For example, a Bach 2nd movement followed by a Mozart 3rd movement.

    The whole experience is even more remarkable given that they promote themselves as a classical music enterprise.

    I do recommend that you give them a try. No credit card is required if you don't choose a plan during the initial 14 days.

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    Member Konsgaard's Avatar
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    Spotify is the fastest service on PC from my experience. And it offers gapless playing as mentioned by others.

    Apple music has the advantage of showing full album covers in playlists. Gapless playing only for the desktop app, the Android app doesn't support it. Also the responsiveness of the desktop app on a very fast PC is a but slow.

    I mention the above because last time I checked these two had the most comprehensive catalogue.

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    Senior Member gHeadphone's Avatar
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    Ive tried a few (Spotify, Apple) but as a classical fan my streaming choice for the past no of months (maybe a year now) is Qobuz. I like it for 2 reasons

    1. Classical Selection - it has great coverage of classical labels (other than Hyperion i think) with most new releases. I find the search facility to be really decent (nothing is perfect) for classical compared to other providers. You can even set a homepage filter on genre to classical so that you only get suggestions/playlists that are relevant.
    2. Sound Quality - I use the CD Quality version; you can get 24/96 and 24/192 but both are more expensive. The MP3 320 version is cheaper.


    It means that i don't spend so many hours rooting in an increasingly diminishing set of CD retailers when i visit any city, but i actually kind of miss that, so i do pop my head in now and again to reminisce!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gHeadphone View Post
    Ive tried a few (Spotify, Apple) but as a classical fan my streaming choice for the past no of months (maybe a year now) is Qobuz. I like it for 2 reasons

    1. Classical Selection - it has great coverage of classical labels (other than Hyperion i think) with most new releases. I find the search facility to be really decent (nothing is perfect) for classical compared to other providers. You can even set a homepage filter on genre to classical so that you only get suggestions/playlists that are relevant.
    2. Sound Quality - I use the CD Quality version; you can get 24/96 and 24/192 but both are more expensive. The MP3 320 version is cheaper.


    It means that i don't spend so many hours rooting in an increasingly diminishing set of CD retailers when i visit any city, but i actually kind of miss that, so i do pop my head in now and again to reminisce!
    Here in the USA we are eagerly awaiting Qobuz.

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