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Amazon Rumored to Launch High-Fidelity Music Streaming Platform By End of 2019

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Apr 12, 2001
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Amazon is reportedly readying a high-fidelity music streaming service that's set to launch by the end of the year. According to Music Business Worldwide, Amazon is in discussions with various large music rights-holders regarding the upcoming launch of the new streaming platform, which is likely to cost $15 per month.

"It's a better bit rate, better than CD quality," one source told MBW. "Amazon is working on it as we speak: they're currently scoping out how much catalog they can get from everyone and how they'll ingest it."
Probably the best known hi-def music streaming service currently is Tidal's HiFi plan, which costs $19.99 per month and offers CD-quality lossless streams at 44.1 kHz / 16 bit. Subscribers to the plan also benefit from Tidal's partnership with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) to deliver guaranteed master-quality recordings directly from the master source, which is billed as "an audio experience that the artist intended."

The rationale behind this is that while HiFi audio is a superior sound, it's still limited to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit resolution, whereas MQA audio is the highest possible resolution (typically 96 kHz / 24 bit). MBW understands that Amazon has not partnered with MQA for its own HD tier, suggesting it will use a different audio technology. It's not clear though whether the hi-fi service will be a standalone platform or a new tier option to be offered as part of Amazon's Music Unlimited service.

Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files across the board and doesn't offer users a higher sound quality price plan, while Spotify uses the Ogg Vorbis format and lets Premium subscribers choose the bitrate depending on how they're listening. On mobile you can elect to stream in Low (24 kbit/s), Normal (96 kbit/s), High (160 kbit/s) or Very High (320 kbit/s) quality, which is handy if you're worried about using up your cellular data, but none of these options could be called "hi-fidelity" streaming.
[*]Apple Music vs. Amazon Music Unlimited
News of Amazon's plans for a hi-fi audio streaming service comes a week after Amazon launched a free, ad-supported music streaming service for owners of devices that support Alexa, but who are otherwise not Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers.

Article Link: Amazon Rumored to Launch High-Fidelity Music Streaming Platform By End of 2019
 

Intellectua1

Suspended
Jun 3, 2016
207
399
Seattle, Washington
I hope this challenges all services to add a Hi-Fi tier.
Funny thing, I got a free 3 month trial to Tidal from GQ so after running across some comments about the better sound quality I decided to use it thinking I'd be able to test the Hi-Fi version which is their main differentiator from other services but they don't even let you trial it so if I can't see how their sound is different from the others how do they expect me to switch.
 
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Scooz

Suspended
Apr 9, 2012
339
347
I hope this challenges all services to add a Hi-Fi tier.
Funny thing, I got a free 3 month trial to Tidal from GQ so after running across some comments about the better sound quality I decided to use it thinking I'de able to test the Hi-Fi version out which is it's main differentiator from other services and they don't even let you trial it so if I can't see how their sound is different from the others how do they expect me to switch.

Nobody understands their lazy marketing. Hifi/Mastered is their USP and they don‘t seem to push it appropriately. OTH you can just quit after a month, so, if you really want to know, it‘s just 20 bucks :)

Most people don‘t seem willing to pay for better quality (at least not to Tidal) so they probably try to keep at least the basic subscriber number high, which is something I‘d rather buy from Apple or Spotify. Seems that they just wait for Apple and others to also offer Hifi and plan to die a silent death here.

Right now I love Tidal‘s current Hifi offering and the family plan has 5 accounts or so for just 10 bucks more. Worth every penny. I am just afraid that they might not be able to keep the service running if the press is right about their probs. Until then though...
 

markm929

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2010
19
3
Apple already has all the files in master quality because that’s how it’s been collecting from labels for years. If only there was a will for change... no excuses anymore.
Apple will figure it out...they'll call it "Apple Music+" and charge more for it keeping the investors happy they are increasing revenue.
 
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dmylrea

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
3,188
3,990
I hope this challenges all services to add a Hi-Fi tier.
Funny thing, I got a free 3 month trial to Tidal from GQ so after running across some comments about the better sound quality I decided to use it thinking I'de able to test the Hi-Fi version out which is it's main differentiator from other services and they don't even let you trial it so if I can't see how their sound is different from the others how do they expect me to switch.

You're not looking in the right places. There are trials of their Hi-Fi Premium services all the time. I bet someone could get a whole year of Tidal Hi-Fi by just using trials. ;)
 

Nozuka

macrumors 68030
Jul 3, 2012
2,707
3,669
I actually expected Apple to launch a service like that when they released the iPhone 7... i thought they would release a solution to allow for bluetooth streaming in better quality at the same time..

3 years later and still nothing on both ends...
 

Defthand

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,351
1,711
Sign me up.
Apple already has all the files in master quality because that’s how it’s been collecting from labels for years. If only there was a will for change... no excuses anymore.

Apple won't bother. There's no benefit to users if their only hardware is their iPhone, tv sound bars, smart speakers, Bluetooth speakers, and earbuds.
 

P_Devil

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2019
25
28
I tested Apple Music and Tidal hifi together on my wireless Beats Studio 2’s and no no the greatest headphones... Tidal definitely sounds better! Which is I kept Tidal

Placebo. Unless you conducted a volume-matched, blind ABX tests, your results are flawed due to the placebo affect. Not only that but you listened over Bluetooth where listening tests have shown that it doesn't matter if your source file is lossless or lossy. It's all being re-compressed via AAC or SBC over Bluetooth anyways and doesn't matter. You'll need LDAC if you even want to attempt to hear a difference between lossy and lossless using Bluetooth, even then it's likely a wash.
 

GoodOne

macrumors regular
May 6, 2012
133
64
What you guys gonna listen HiFi music on? Your Bluetooth headphones?

Need a proper system for this sort of thing.

I use the TIDAL App on my Yamaha 1070 Amp hooked up to Martin Logan Motion 40 speakers.

And you don‘t Need to be a hardcore Audiophile to hear the difference between Apple Music via AirPlay vs. TIDAL Running Directly on the Amp.

I would Love to see Apple offering HiFi Quality but I guess they wouldn‘t Allow 3rd Party vendors like Yamaha to integrate Apple Music directly so we would be stuck with AirPlay which isn‘t Perfect in Terms of Audio quality or is it? I couldn‘t find any data on that.
 
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Intellectua1

Suspended
Jun 3, 2016
207
399
Seattle, Washington
Nobody understands their lazy marketing. Hifi/Mastered is their USP and they don‘t seem to push it appropriately. OTH you can just quit after a month, so, if you really want to know, it‘s just 20 bucks :)

Most people don‘t seem willing to pay for better quality (at least not to Tidal) so they probably try to keep at least the basic subscriber number high, which is something I‘d rather buy from Apple or Spotify. Seems that they just wait for Apple and others to also offer Hifi and plan to die a silent death here.

Right now I love Tidal‘s current Hifi offering and the family plan has 5 accounts or so for just 10 bucks more. Worth every penny. I am just afraid that they might not be able to keep the service running if the press is right about their probs. Until then though...
Yeah that's likely what I'll do, use this 3 months to gauge the app and service then if I like that I'll buy a month of HiFi later. I still need to find and purchase some top quality headphones, so instead of rushing out to buy them I have time to research and compare.
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
2,893
2,620
Glad this option may be opening up. Compression may be necessary but original quality needs to be more accessible for those who are willing to pay for it. I am one of those, except personally, I’m not one for streaming.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,437
Silicon Valley, CA
It’s shameful that Apple hasn’t already offered a hifi option. If they truly love music the way they have always claimed, this is a huge gap in their offerings. I will be very disappointed if they don’t address this at WWDC.

Please quantify out of Apple target customer base what exactly this "huge" gap is, and how many people care or even notice. Then please explain why it's "shameful" that they don't offer it, since I highly doubt they wouldn't offer it if there was a legitimate business case to make money from such an offering considering the expense involved (including messaging, marketing, etc).
 

sos47

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2016
193
173
bluetooth 4.0 has aac compression. wright?
airplay has what compression? i dont know.

i m interessted in great sound, i love my Dynaudio 20 (apple tv-> optical in and Bluetooth 4.0).
So for my Setup i need a tvOS app with lossless support. If Amazon support this, i give it a try. Tidal does not.

its tricky in these digital days.
 
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