Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)

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dB Cooper

Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« on: 29 Sep 2018, 03:33 am »
Hello classical fans- Thought this might be interesting to the Classical contingent here. There is a new (to me) streaming service called Primephonic whose 'hook' is that their content is exclusively classical/orchestral and search functions are more in line with how you would search for particular Classical music. They also have great curated playlists (by genre, instrumentation, composer, era, etc) and suggestions like their 'Hidden Gems' list, where I already discovered an amazing viola/organ duet album by Benedicte Royer. I'd never heard of the artist or the music. You can also compare different releases of the same piece easily which seems pretty useful.

One thing you can't do- yet- (and that I already wrote Primephonic about) is search by conductor, so if you like to listen to music conducted by, say, Bernstein, you need some other info. Primephonic says they're working on this. Overall, however, their search and discovery are already both better for classical than, say, Tidal. Background information is available for many works too.

They claim to have 'virtually' every classical recording ever made which is stretching it. But they're very new. They stream in FLAC 'up to hi-res 24 bit' and (apparently) DSD  (not sure what max sample rate or DSD spec). Also haven't looked into 3rd party app support (they have a pretty good mobile app also.)

Rates are $7.99/mo. for 320k MP3 and $14.95 for lossless. They have a 14 day trial.
Check out the details at www.primephonic.com. One thing not as obvious as it could be IMO: If you do the trial and want to play through a computer and/or DAC, you do that from play.primephonic.com.

I'd be interested to hear what others think if they give the trial a go.I'd give them at worst a solid 'B' so far.
« Last Edit: 8 Oct 2018, 03:30 am by dB Cooper »

LesterSleepsIn

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Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service
« Reply #1 on: 29 Sep 2018, 11:12 am »
Looks very interesting DB. I’ll investigate further. Thanks for sending.

Cheers,
Lester

Tyson

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Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service
« Reply #2 on: 29 Sep 2018, 06:19 pm »
I did the trial a couple month ago.  It was good but I let it lapse after the trial because I just didn't use it enough.  I listen to my massive hirez collection when I'm at home and usually a book on tape when I'm out and about. 

dB Cooper

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #3 on: 8 Oct 2018, 03:56 am »
Updated because I just learned of another lossless classical streaming service: Idagio. They describe their content as 'CD-quality' whereas Primephonic claims content 'up to 24-bit' (without specifying sample rate) although like most 'high res' offerings, most of that probably originated as Redbook and was later transferred into a bigger bit bucket.

I haven't tried Idagio yet because I still have a few days on my Primephonic trial so no sense overlapping. But I will definitely try it before I commit to either.. As a plus, they are $9.99 a month as opposed to $14.95 for Primephonic. Don't know if there's much interest based on the thread but will report back anyway.

For anyone interested: https://www.idagio.com/

rpf

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #4 on: 8 Oct 2018, 04:27 am »
Definitely interested here. Qobuz launching soon presumably.

dB Cooper

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #5 on: 8 Oct 2018, 01:29 pm »
Qobuz is well behind their originally announced launch. Not sure why. They've been running in Europe for awhile.

One thing I like about Primephonic is that their artist payout model is based on playing time- good for classical where many pieces aren't three minutes long like they are in 'pop' music. Better deal for the musicians.

jtwrace

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #6 on: 8 Oct 2018, 01:52 pm »
I've been using Qobuz and I must say it IS a game changer.  I really didn't think it was possible to beat Tidal but this isn't even in the same league.  The difference is hard to believe as it's so drastic. 

dB Cooper

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #7 on: 8 Oct 2018, 01:55 pm »
Where are you based? I thought they weren't 'up' in the US yet (I signed up for notification).

Different in UI, you mean? Tidal definitely has 'opportunities' there...

jtwrace

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #8 on: 8 Oct 2018, 02:28 pm »
Where are you based? I thought they weren't 'up' in the US yet (I signed up for notification).

Different in UI, you mean? Tidal definitely has 'opportunities' there...
I'm in the USA.  Free 30 day trial (for now). 

dB Cooper

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #9 on: 12 Oct 2018, 02:48 am »
I find nothing for the USA- no trial, no sign-up.... nothing.

HAL

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paul79

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Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #11 on: 12 Oct 2018, 04:03 am »
I am wondering a bit....
I have Tidal and got the trial of Qobuz, and in my system and using the same app for both (Mconnect), Tidal is WAY better than Qobuz. More air, much better focused, richer, you name it. I compared several albums, and every time, I liked the Tidal version better, and not by a little. Am I missing something? I verified the settings and I verified that I am indeed getting hi res streams.

dB Cooper

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #12 on: 12 Oct 2018, 01:38 pm »
https://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/pages/preview

Works if you have a code, otherwise it just takes you to the update signup page.

I'll keep my ear to the ground I guess. Apparently full scale USA launch is not far off. I like Tidal but it could be better for 'discovery'. Search is also underwhelming.  I'll listen to apple sometimes when I'm out and about and bookmark things I find on Tidal for when I'm listening more carefully.

paul79

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Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #13 on: 20 Oct 2018, 05:13 pm »
Update: After a couple days, like a switch got threw, Qobuz sounds terrific now. I chalked it up to them making the transition to the US, and had their streaming compressed for a bit. It is quite excellent now though, and I enjoy exploring the Classical albums not available on Tidal!  Very cool.

paul79

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Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #14 on: 11 Nov 2018, 12:54 am »
Another update. After more time, comparing Tidal to Qobuz in my system, I find that Tidal is more ambient, resolute, although, less consistent. Sometimes Tidal sounds pretty bad. Qobuz sounds pretty good all the time, but not as good as the best times to listen to Tidal. Interesting stuff! Anybody out there? I think once Qobuz fully roots in the US, it will be an unstoppable force. It is too damn expensive though.

richidoo

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #15 on: 11 Nov 2018, 01:23 am »
In mid October I had 5 guys over my house. One guy ran a pseudo-blind test on each of us separately. Playing the track of our choice on both Tidal and Qobuz, using their own apps he tested each of us one at a time. Everyone every time preferred the Tidal version. We did not choose audiophile type tracks, just whatever normal tracks we listen to. I chose Anne Sophie Mutter's Beethoven Violin Concerto on DG from 1990. It is an early digital recording, sounds good, but nothing super special. But I could clearly and easily hear how distorted the Qobuz version was compared to Tidal. Before the test I was biased that Qobuz would be better so I was surprised to learn what I thought was Qobuz during the test was actually Tidal and vicey versey.

Consequently, I did not extend my free Qobuz trial subscription. But I will try it again after they're up and running with Roon integration and the full library like they offer in Europe. I have plenty of other issues with Tidal but I think the SQ was better than Qobuz, at least at that time. ymmv
Rich

dB Cooper

Re: Lossless All-Classical Streaming Service(s)
« Reply #16 on: 11 Nov 2018, 03:43 am »
I have found a number of things that I have bookmarked on Tidal that are not on Qobuz but nothing (yet) that is on Qobuz but not Tidal.

I am also impressed with the Idagio classical-only lossless stream srvice. Their slection coud use some beefing up, but their search and discovery are better than others for classical listeners. And they're only $9.99'mo.