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Amazon HD Music goes live

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

  1. How do I hear Amazon Music Ultra HD?
    I've a few options. Amazon Fire Stick 4K or Macbook Air plugged into Oppo 205 or NAD T777 amp.
    The Fire stick is capped at 16bit.

    I would need to get a USB cable but will try the Macbook approach. Does that get me 24/192?

    I'd hoped for UPnP type wifi solution that worked with Tidal/Qobuz (Mconnect app) which although it was crashy and poor UX, at least delivered uncompressed audio.
    whatprogress likes this.
  2. I'm now listening to Ultra HD using MacBook Air USB to Oppo 205 USB DAC in.
    I'm adjusting Audio MIDI setup format for the Oppo based on the track. Most are 44.1k, but the Ultra HD are 96/192.
    Is manually adjusting to match the format the only way to avoid up or down conversion?
    (That'd be a drag)
    Surely there's an easier way to hear bitstream files at the highest resolution.
  3. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

  4. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Tyler, TX
    Hmm, since the last update(, the little box that momentarily appears in the lower right when a new track begins to play no longer shows the name of the song, but, rather, it only displays, "Amazon Music/Notification".

    Also, just tonight, I'm getting a buzzing raspy digital sound when I advance to the next track on an album. This has never happened before and I don't know if it is a problem with my Windows laptop, the Amazon Music app, or my DAC.
  5. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    It is the Amazon music app unfortunately. Started immediately after the last update. A pain in
    the ass. The only way to prevent it from happening (I believe) is to click out of Exclusive mode
    while advancing. Hopefully Amazon will correct the problem. Send them a notification through
    the app that it is happening-I did.
  6. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Tyler, TX
    Thanks, I just wrote to them through the app. I did remove my USB cable and listened through the laptop speakers, and I don't seem to be getting this phenomenon.
  7. aroney

    aroney Who really gives a...?

    Think I'm done with this.

    I get constant reminders to update and it never works and when I try to go to the home page I get a blank page and a "none of your music filters matches the filters you applied" message...

    It's gone nowhere (actually worse), in what, a year now?

    Off to try Tidal or something else...
    sunspot42 likes this.
  8. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Tidal is running a 4 month for $1 promo...
    HiFi Guy 008 likes this.
  9. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Sign up through Best Buy and get a year of HiFi for $89, discounted from $120. The full price is still 50% off their regular monthly rate, and is the only way to get annual pricing.
  10. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Better yet pay the extra $5/month for Qobuz over Tidal.
  11. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    Just fixed on an update that just came through to me a few minutes ago. If they could just get the bit perfect thing right (I haven't had a chance to experiment with that yet) it is a winner IMO as sound
    quality is very good on both regular HD and Ultra HD.
    sami likes this.
  12. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Tyler, TX
    I also just did that update but I haven't yet listened enough to say whether the problems are fixed.
  13. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    I officially cancelled AMHD. I can’t understand Amazon’s lack of understanding of the Audio market here.

    Amazon! Your market for HD audio is “replace the CD player”..don’t overthink it. Put a 24/192 capable digital audio output on an Echo Show and call it a day. This is not that hard....an unlimited CD jukebox I can talk to...sheesh.

    whoever made the call to let 3rd party equipment partners drive your HD service revenue is an idiot.

    note: going to Qobuz via my old Squeezebox 3s...will do everything I want except voice control.
    HiFi Guy 008, wgriel and sunspot42 like this.
  14. DozUK

    DozUK Active Member

    Here's my take, not sure if I'm right or wrong as I'm a novice. Im probably talking rubbish but it's how I see it based on what I've heard.

    There seems to be a lot of talk about numbers here and getting the max to be truly happy. Although it sounds easy to understand this based on higher bit rate meaning best sound........

    I started the trial and listened to the Bowie album ziggy startdust which maxed out at 24/48 on my android phone and my sony hi res headphones. Sounded amazing, wow, suberb. Definitley going to subscribe the music gave a huge improvement.

    I then listened to Kate Bush remastered albums which also maxed out at 24/48 on my android phone. This didn't sound as good, no where near in fact to the bowie album. After since listening to CD quality tracks 16 bit, the Kate Bush ones sounded on par to them.

    I've since listened to a lot more hd and ultra hd tracks and some sound really good and some sound ok. When I say ok, I appreciate the difference between 320kbs and HD but when I'm not getting is the numbers game when it comes to HD as a deciding factor. I've heard songs sounding better/clearer in HD than UHD in some cases.

    For me, the difference is the quality of the recording in the first place. If it's recorded poorly, it doesn't matter if it's 24/48 or 16 bit.

    So is the deciding factor this or is it still a numbers game?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
    Tim S, c-eling and sami like this.
  15. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    Mastering over bit/sample rate.
    These streaming services are using the latest compressed/eq'd bright remaster's in most cases if applicable.
    This is the reason why I won't support them.
  16. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    SHF 101... Mix/mastering > format.
    wgriel and sami like this.
  17. DozUK

    DozUK Active Member

    Here's another thing too....

    This weekend I got a trial with Tidal to check out their masters against Amazon.

    I found that they had a lot of masters for albums I really like that Amazon only have a HD so I thought great, this is cool. However when I listened to them I couldn't tell them apart.

    Having then researched this on Tidals web page I found this, which looks there is an overlap unless I'm missing anything?

    HiFi - Lossless CD quality (1411kbps or 16bit / 44.1kHz).

    While HiFi recordings are limited to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit, Masters will reflect the original source, which can range from CD-quality, to 96 kHz / 24 bit, and in some cases, ultra-high resolution files with sample rates of 192 kHz and beyond.

    The first line says Hifi is CD quality 16bit 44.1khz but the second paragraph says that Master can range from CD quality to 24/96 and in some cases higher. CD quality in two brackets?

    So, where I'm confused is how a CD quality track can be shown as a master (Hence my initial confusion between Amazon and tidal) as they say that CD quality is HIFI. Basically, I'm now thinking that the tracks on Tidal for these masters where Amazon are only showing HD are probably the same and I'm not getting anything better (For these instances) on Tidal which I originally thought I was due to the master label.

    Ho hum, I think I'll stick with Amazon as it appears that it's not a numbers game, they all sound good but can differ based on the original recording regardless of numbering confusion
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
    mtrot likes this.
  18. ghostofzuul

    ghostofzuul Harvester of Sorrow

    for what it's worth... i feel like someone at amazon is reading the feedback... even if it takes developers a while to get to it... for example... a while back.. i contacted them b/c on the desktop app for mac... when you clicked on an individual album... and then clicked on the "back" button to go back to the library... it would send you to the top of the library... ie. the very first album in your cloud. i have almost 4000 albums in my library so that was extremely inconvenient for me... imagine pursuing the "R's" and stopping to look at a track list... only to be brought back to the top... every single time... nightmare.

    anyway... that's fixed now... they have added stuff like direct out to DAC... which many here were clamoring for... myself included... it may not be the "best" service in the world... but they keep making improvements to the desktop and mobile apps... so i feel like it's still worth the monthly fee...

    i have recently gotten into making playlists... and exploring some of the playlists the algorithm has manifested for me... i have been somewhat impressed...

    anyway... just thought i would bring that up... since a lot of time is spent discussing the flaws and drawbacks of various streaming services... i figured i should mention what i view as a positive...
    wgriel and aroney like this.
  19. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    When they make a
    Agreed, there are positives. If/when they produce a simple voice controlled Echo device with HD Ultra output over optical, I'll probably switch back and never look back. They are missing a huge opportunity. Just give us an Echo Show 8" with 24/192 Optical Output and call it a day already. Throw in a programmable IR transmitter for power on and volume control if they're feeling frisky.
    vegafleet likes this.
  20. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I dunno. The app has gotten even glitchier and more sluggish the past couple of weeks both on my media PC and even on my main PC, which is a monster.

    Also, why don't they support outputting to another device running Amazon Music, the way Spotify lets you do? I can control playback on any of my Spotify-equipped devices, including my Echoes, from my iPhone. It's insane Amazon Music doesn't support this functionality yet.
  21. glennzo

    glennzo Forum Resident

    My pet peev is still not being able to sort an artist's albums in any way (preferably by original release date).
    It's great being able to explore complete catalogs, but it becomes a chore cross referencing albums so you can listen in order.
    Rockin' Robby, wvsteveo and sunspot42 like this.
  22. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    Has anyone tried using a new Firestick with an hdmi/Optical audio splitter? Will it pass 24/192 withou the hdmi output plugged into anything?
  23. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    When I trialed AM HD I noticed that a lot of their release dates were flat out wrong making their sorting function by release date useless. Check the release dates to make sure they're accurate.
  24. glennzo

    glennzo Forum Resident

    Fair point, can't say I remember noticing any errors so far.
    I'm guessing some errors may be down to differing release dates in difference territories.
    Expanded re-releases may also get the date of the new release, not the original album date.

    For some reason they also tend to lump isolated album tracks in with all the albums.
    I'm okay with that for EPs, but not "singles".
  25. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Never tested that but I would be shocked if it does. Especially the part about not plugging the HDMI "into anything."

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