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Spotify users waiting to learn when the service's delayed "HiFi" premium audio service will materialize currently remain none the wiser, after the company responded noncommittally to requests for more information on its user community forums.

spotify-hifi-still-waiting.jpg

Back in February, Spotify announced plans to introduce a "HiFi" premium tier by the end of 2021. According to Spotify, the feature will offer CD-quality music that will let fans experience more depth and clarity in their favorite tracks.

However, 2021 came and went with no sign of the high-bandwidth audio experience on Spotify and no update from the company on when it would launch. Understandably, Spotify users recently took to the service's community forums to ask for more details, to which Spotify responded:
We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you. We feel the same, and we're excited to deliver a Spotify HiFi experience to Premium users in the future. But we don't have timing details to share yet.
First reports that Spotify was working on a lossless audio version of its streaming service appeared almost five years ago, when the company started testing the option with a small group of users.

Back then, promotional screens pitched the "Spotify Hi-Fi" tier as a $5-$10 upgrade to a standard Spotify subscription. However, based on the wording of its latest update, Spotify looks unlikely to offer it as a paid-for upgrade when it does launch, especially given that Apple Music includes lossless listening options as part of its standard subscription price.

Add to that the fact that Amazon has since stopped charging extra for its own lossless music library, bundling its "HD" tier into all standard Amazon Music Unlimited subscriptions instead, which makes the idea of Spotify asking users to pay more for a similar service seem like a non-starter.

In May, a tantalizing hint emerged that Spotify was on the cusp of launching its lossless plan after a glitch in the Spotify app briefly surfaced a hidden HiFi media playback menu.

However, Spotify's unintentional teaser last year came to nothing, and users of the streaming service remain as much in the dark now as they did then about when the surface will eventually appear.

Article Link: Spotify Still Can't Say When Its Delayed 'HiFi' Streaming Service Will Launch
 
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211

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2020
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I've never used Spotify, but from that screenshot I can see the UI is better than the Music app. Shuffle, loop and Like buttons are all hidden away in 2 different places where it's not obvious they're there and not easy to access quickly on the go (eg. iPhone Lock Screen or Watch Music app)
 
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wabisabizo

macrumors member
Sep 28, 2021
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I've never used Spotify, but from that screenshot I can see the UI is better than the Music app. Shuffle, loop and Like buttons are all hidden away in 2 different places where it's not obvious they're there and not easy to access quickly on the go (eg. iPhone Lock Screen or Watch Music app)
Agree. Spotify UI is much easier to access the basic buttons (shuffle, like etc.) Apple Music should improve on it tbh.
 
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Johnny London

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2012
149
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I have Premium but as far as I know, the Very High setting is not CD quality. There’s no Ultra on my Mac app.
Ah I see, back in the days 320kbps was considered to be en par with CD quality, the currently highest setting in Spotify. They might bring out a new codec or something with more bandwidth (24bit/48Hz or smth).
 

JippaLippa

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2013
957
897
And yet everybody I know says "Apple Music is crap".
I personally love it; the icloud library (immensely useful in my case), the playlists and the soubd quality. All at a very fair price.
 

omglolbbq

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2016
58
419
Still no HomePod support either. I’ve canceled my family plan and moved to Apple Music.

Pretty tone deaf to their customers requests for a music streaming company. How ironic.
 
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EntropyQ3

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2009
641
659
And pretty much everyone else at this point has lossless audio. This has been delayed about 8,000 times now.



Lossless.
According to my own ABX tests (there is both downloadable software and if you are less particular, online resources) I have no chance in hell to hear the difference between uncompressed and high-quality compressed music.
Which was a given from a scientific point of view, but some things you just want to check with your own suspicious ears. Alas, I don’t have mutant super hearing, which would have been cool.

Bottom line - anyone who is interested in these things need to do controlled blind tests. If you don’t, well then you don’t really want to know do you?
 

twistedpixel8

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2017
788
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According to my own ABX tests (there is both downloadable software and if you are less particular, online resources) I have no chance in hell to hear the difference between uncompressed and high-quality compressed music.
Which was a given from a scientific point of view, but some things you just want to check with your own suspicious ears. Alas, I don’t have mutant super hearing, which would have been cool.

Bottom line - anyone who is interested in these things need to do controlled blind tests. If you don’t, well then you don’t really want to know do you?
Do you own audio equipment that can actually reproduce the audio of both accurately enough that it’s a fair test? Because if you did the test on a $50 Bluetooth speaker or something then that was pointless.

I can 100% tell the difference when comparing Apple Music Lossless and Spotify 320 on my Dali setup but I wouldn’t even bother doing a test on most other speakers.
 

dmylrea

macrumors 601
Sep 27, 2005
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Do you own audio equipment that can actually reproduce the audio of both accurately enough that it’s a fair test? Because if you did the test on a $50 Bluetooth speaker or something then that was pointless.

I can 100% tell the difference when comparing Apple Music Lossless and Spotify 320 on my Dali setup but I wouldn’t even bother doing a test on most other speakers.
So you agree that one needs very expensive equipment (not to mention excellent hearing) to discern the difference?

I would go out on a limb and say that a huge majority of Spotify users don't have either and that most of the time, they aren't sitting in an acoustically silent room to appreciate the nuances that one might be able to hear in a lossless recording. They're out on the streets, in cars, at work, on buses/trains, riding bikes, exercising, etc. With all the ambient noise in those environments, can one still tell the difference?
 

twistedpixel8

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2017
788
1,735
So you agree that one needs very expensive equipment (not to mention excellent hearing) to discern the difference?

I would go out on a limb and say that a huge majority of Spotify users don't have either and that most of the time, they aren't sitting in an acoustically silent room to appreciate the nuances that one might be able to hear in a lossless recording. They're out on the streets, in cars, at work, on buses/trains, riding bikes, exercising, etc. With all the ambient noise in those environments, can one still tell the difference?
Of course that’s the case. But people like me who choose to spend our money on audiophile-level equipment do want to enjoy the best quality source of audio on it.

For most people though, this “hi-fi” tier will be pointless, yes. They’ll claim they can tell the difference on their Amazon Echo and we will laugh at them like the audio snobs we are ?
 

QFace

macrumors member
Oct 19, 2003
98
16
Calgary, AB
Personally, I have not been able to tell the difference with loseless. I don't have the equipment for the highest level AM offers, but I can achieve 24-bit/48 kHz with the following setups:
  • Apple TV -> Onkyo Receiver -> Pioneer Andrew Jones Speakers (to be fair, this is not audiophile level equipment and the acoustics in the room aren't great due to lots of echo)
  • iPhone -> lightening adapter to headphone out -> bose headphones
I've tried changing the audio quality levels to see if I can discern a difference, and I cannot (maybe it's my crappy ears, or maybe my setup just isn't good enough, or something else).

That being said, my receiver setup is ATMOS (5.1.2), and the spatial audio on that setup is immersive and a lot of fun (definitely a better experience on my receiver setup vs headphones). IMO, this feature sets AM apart more than loseless.
 

MacKid

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2003
395
38
I love Spotify's UX and find the app and algo to be smarter than Apple Music, but Apple's Lossless tier sounds so consistently better than Spotify's max audio quality that when my credit card expired I didn't go through the effort of renewing my Spotify sub, which I had kept for years.

Not that Spotify is hurting for subscribers, but I can't justify reupping for a service with worse sound. I'd happily resub if they actually finish the hifi project.
 
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Abombito

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2017
43
34
I don't see why, from a technical perspective, this would be difficult to implement, so it has to essentially be a business decision at this point.
 
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