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Amazon HD Music goes live

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by BubbaMc, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Got a response from Qobuz about this:


    [​IMG]
    dmackta

    Hi all -- anything exclusive to Amazon is only temporary, Qobuz will have all the available 24-bit remasters from Warner and Universal after a short window. Not exactly sure how short.



    I am pushing the labels to give the good people of Qobuz something exclusive.
     
    AndyH, JediJoker and Staxus like this.
  2. rjpjnk

    rjpjnk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bolder CO
    Al little bit aside, but one thing that really bugs me is Amazon HD advertises it bitrate as 850 kbps whereas Tidal Hifi advertises as 1411 kbps, which gives the impression that Tidal is higher bitrate and potentially higher quality.

    But unless I am being misled by their advertising, this is impossible.

    As far as I can determine, both Amazon (HD) and Tidal (HiFi) are streaming FLAC encodings of a 16bit/44KHz input signal. This means the decoded digital signal in the listening device is an exact duplicate of the original CD stream in both cases. Otherwise it would not be lossless.

    What I suspect is happening is that Tidal is advertising the bitrate *before* compression and Amazon is advertising the bitrate *after* compression.

    This is based on the fact that uncompressed CD quality audio is by definition 2 x 16 x 44100 = 1411200 bps, (exactly Tidal's advertised rate). If they were really sending this bitrate they wouldn't call it FLAC because it is not compressed. They would call it PCM.

    Furthermore, FLAC compressions of audio are typically in the 50-70% range, which makes 850 kbps a very believable compressed rate for a 1411 kbps signal.

    So why would Amazon allow this apparent difference in advertised bitrate to persist? It could hurt their business. Searching online I find that many, if not most, review sites claim that Amazon's 850 kbps streams are "lower bitrate therefore lesser quality" than Tidal's 1411 kbps streams.

    Amazon should clarify their offering.
     
  3. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Amazon should sue Tidal for misrepresenting their product...
     
    rjpjnk likes this.
  4. rjpjnk

    rjpjnk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bolder CO
    Actually I think Amazon is selling themselves short. They should change to advertising the bitrate of the source prior to encoding (as it appears Tidal does). That is the number commonly used to compare quality. I doubt anyone really cares about the bitrate of the compressed stream over their network. All the compressed bitrate tells us is how effective the compression algorithm is (assuming we are only talking about lossless compression here).

    All stereo CD quality source material, for example, has the same bitrate 1.4112 mbps = 2*16*44100. The lossless compressed encodings of this will have variable bitrate that depends on the complexity of the music in general. Why advertise this rate? Am I missing something? Amazon is very smart so there must be a reason.
     
    JediJoker likes this.
  5. SKBubba

    SKBubba Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tennessee
    Maybe they do it to differentiate/contrast with 256 or 320 mp3 bit rates, which also expand to 1411.
     
  6. rjpjnk

    rjpjnk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bolder CO
    Yes, that is likely what they are doing, but I think Amazon is making a mistake taking this approach.

    Comparing Amazons HD's 850 number to MP3 rates (320/256) makes somewhat more sense because at least we are comparing compressed rates it both cases. But the industry seems to have already settled on the quality standards of CD as 16/44.1, and HD and UHD as (24,32)/(48,96,192), and all of these numbers specify source bitrates, not streaming rates. At least that is my understanding.

    Compressed rates don't really mean anything definitive quality wise unless the same lossy compression algorithm was used in both cases, i.e., two different MP3 encodings. Then we could reasonably assume that the higher bitrate is a higher quality rendition. Once we enter the lossless domain none of this matters.
     
  7. Rickyyy

    Rickyyy Well-Known Member

    Ultra HD is the new MQA "shakes head"
     
  8. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    Location:
    USA
    I've heard a couple of demos of Dolby Atmos music over the years, done right its stunning. Sounds like Amazon ponied up the cash to do stunning. I was a huge fan of DVD Audio, I wore out Buena Vista Social Club. from what I heard, Atmos can be even better with height and depth from fewer speakers.

    I haven't heard the Echo Studios but I would not be surprised that in a blind test, folks would probably prefer the Studio playing Dolby Atmos music compared to same tracks on dedicated hifi stereo.

    Maybe that's why Amazon isn't rushing to make AMHD backwards compatible with everything...they're skating to where the puck will be.

    I may just buy an Echo Studio to mess around.
     
    forthlin and mtrot like this.
  9. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Yes, DVD-Audio is a great format!
     
  10. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I miss DVD-Audio. Came to market too late. They should have launched it standard with DVD in '96.
     
    D700 likes this.
  11. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    Location:
    USA
    Right? I never understood that. Total waste of a platform. CD was king then though.
     
    shug4476, Runicen and sunspot42 like this.
  12. fezco

    fezco Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pasadena
    Amazon Music Client 8.0 for Windows -> Don't do it. It looks like Amazon just 'updated' the client to 8.0 and it is a huge step back in my opinion. Gone is list view... everything is tiled. Titles are missing. They added a 'filter' and that is the only way to separate 'my music' and the 'unlimited' library. I'm seriously thinking of dumping the service since my annual
    renewal is coming up.
     
  13. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    I just opened it and was not prompted to update to a newer version. My current version is 7.13.0.2210. How can titles be missing? Also, I don't even see a way to see a "list view" on my current version.
     
    gpaquet likes this.
  14. fezco

    fezco Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pasadena
    I still have a machine on the old version. so I can compare. My old version had a list on the far left that had some playlists, download link etc.... There was a list on the right that had all of my playlists. Now, it is all tiles and a 'filter' icon....
    Missing titles: A good example is with 8.0, there are only 12 or so Gary Numan albums listed under 'unlimited.' On 7.x, there are at least 20.... I think the AI for 8.0 isn't steering the search correctly and/or the database queries are botched.
     
  15. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Oh, okay. So, with mine, on the left there is a closeable sidebar, which has genres and locations, while, on the right, there is a closeable sidebar with playlists. Are you saying these sidebars are not there on the 8.0 version?
     
  16. fezco

    fezco Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pasadena
    Correct..... Nothing but tiles. Hardly any text.... They really dumbed it down. Fine if you only have a handful of playlists, but if you have a big 'collection,' it will be a problem.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  17. fezco

    fezco Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pasadena
    Here is a screen shot I managed to find...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Weird. I don't understand why they would eliminate the side bars.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  19. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Amazon. Cannot. Do. Software. They absolutely suck at it. They make Microsoft look like Apple.
     
    RunningWithScissors likes this.
  20. Calvin_and_Hobbes

    Calvin_and_Hobbes Active Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    +1, Amazon HD looks like the Wal-mart of streaming music to me. (Maybe that should be the Amazon of streaming music? Haha).
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  21. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    Location:
    USA
    but they are light years ahead in voice UI. Why Amazon hasn't jacked a 192/24 optical port out the back of an Echo Show is beyond me.
     
    SKBubba likes this.
  22. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    The AI teams clearly have nothing to do with their software developers, who are trash.

    Just bought a new little streaming PC for my stereo - a tiny box smaller than one of those portable hard drives - and got everything installed on it last night, including the new version of Amazon Music. While this little machine is an absolute screamer for under $200 and handles everything from 1080p video decoding to software installs in a flash without breaking a sweat, somehow the latest version of Amazon Music HD was gobbling up 50% of its CPU streaming a stereo song. How is this even possible??? I can playback 24-bit, 192kHz FLAC files using MediaMonkey on the same little machine and I'm lucky to consume 2% of the CPU.

    But I'm glad to see that - instead of fixing their utterly broken crap application - they spent their resources EFFING UP THE UI instead.

    Smart!
     
    Peter Duncan likes this.
  23. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    I'm running version 8.0.0.2229 and the filter function is driving me nuts (My Albums), is there any way to permanently change the default (album title) to artist? Also sorting by release date is absolutely useless because the individual titles have inaccurate release dates, some have 2036 as the year released!!. I haven't checked to see if they fixed the exclusive mode or not, I'll just assume it's still non functioning.
     
  24. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    They haven’t.
     
    Deuce66 likes this.
  25. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Can you confirm whether or not the sidebars on the left and right(Windows version) have been eliminated, as another member stated?
     

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