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Amazon HD Music goes live

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

  1. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    To my ear the increased bit depth makes a much larger difference than the sample rate. 48 is high enough to get past the worst issues with brickwall filters. But if the hardware supports 96 and you're going to be upsampling a lot of material anyhow, might as well go with 96...
     
    D700, ClassicalCD, Kyhl and 2 others like this.
  2. musicarus

    musicarus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Saratoga, NY
    To my ear: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...frikkin’ tinnitus
     
    cdash99 and art like this.
  3. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I want exclusive mode pretty badly, but as is the service sounds very good and the catalog is way deeper than Quobuz. I'm jumping on the 5 dollar Tidal deal to see how good their catalog is.

    I'm running the desktop amazon app, OS resample to 24bit 96k (my DAC tops out at 96) - it sounds very good.
     
  4. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
    I kept getting the phone and non-phone guys confused. Before I spiked my Amazon trial, my Galaxy S4 would not do anything from Amazon above 24/48 anyway, so I figured... but what the Samsung did have was a digital path out thanks to MHL-->HDMI out (Samsung has abandoned MHL in recent years). It was good for what it was at the trial price I enjoyed. Still too all-around buggy for me to start paying $12.99 a month.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  5. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm finally giving Amazon HD a try. I'm using a Marantz ND 8006 and am sending its digital output to my Direct Stream DAC.

    Using the Heos app to control it, I find that that sound quality of the "HD" designated files (this seems to mean redbook resolution) seem to be nearly indistinguishable from a couple of CDs of the same material which I have had the opportunity to compare it directly with so far.

    And on a couple of "Ultra HD" files that I have tried, I am getting 24/96 out of my Marantz. And the sound of these, when compared directly to SACDs of the same recordings, sounded extremely similar.

    So the sound appears to live up to what one would expect to hear from such a service. My only gripe so far is that the Heos app has is relatively primitive interface to when it is compared to Amazon's own app. So it is not an ideal service for music exploration at present, at least when it is driven using the Heos app.
     
    Kyhl and Tim S like this.
  6. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I have recorded the stream of a sampling of albums and tracks labeled as HD on Amazon (supposedly CD-quality sound) and many fail to verify as lossless. Many do, but many do not... it's a mixed bag. Many albums come up as MP3's. So, either Amazon is knowingly defrauding HD subscribers or they are clueless.
     
    Shiver, sunspot42, Kyhl and 2 others like this.
  7. ClassicalCD

    ClassicalCD Make audio great again

    Location:
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Advertising something as a premium product about which you know or care nothing about and thus are unable to properly provide is defrauding your customers.

    This Amazon 'HD' episode has made me value my CD collection even more. There is something to be said for substance and reliable and dependable quality.
     
    allegro and vegafleet like this.
  8. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    How were you able to do this?
     
    TarnishedEars likes this.
  9. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    Location:
    USA
    Bring us the Echo Show 3 with spdif out and bit perfect streaming!
     
    Johnny Wong and telemike like this.
  10. wolfyboy3

    wolfyboy3 SpiderMonkey

    I tried this out on my iPhone last night with a pair of wired Sennheiser Momentum headphones. It sounded good to me, but most of the stuff I saw was at CD quality. Still good for laying around in bed and listening. $12.99 is steep though.
     
    sunspot42 and musicarus like this.
  11. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    there are any number of ways to capture audio from your computer. search Google and you will find...
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  12. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    true, but still I am enjoying the subscription but it is NOT an audiophile service to be sure. Maybe one day...
     
    sunspot42 and Kyhl like this.
  13. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    That's great, but I want to know how you did it and I want to know why you are confident in your results.
     
    sami likes this.
  14. scottabs

    scottabs Forum Resident

    I would take that to mean that you think it is worth the $7.99 for the regular subscription, but not worth the extra $5 for the HD option?
     
  15. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    But that didn't answer his question... Sure it's easy enough to capture the digital output of a streamer, or from a streaming app, via either software or hardware. But that wasn't what he asked. So I'll attempt to restate what he meant more clearly.

    How exactly were/are you able to verify that some of the Amazon's HD streams supposedly were/are in fact MP3s? Was this by using your ears alone, or do you have some special means of measuring 16/44.1 digital streams which can tell you definitively that it was derived from an MP3?

    I'm not sure if you realize this, but it sounds like you might be accusing Amazon of fraudulently representing some MP3s as being uncompressed "HD" content. Big claims such as this deserve some proof to back them up. So please tell us how to replicate your test procedure here so that we can either verify your claim, or so that we can find the error(s) in your methodology.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
    Billy Infinity, sami and Tim S like this.
  16. OpethPA

    OpethPA Embracing my inner geek

    Location:
    NJ

    Give an example of just one of those songs so someone else can validate your findings.
     
    Billy Infinity, Gaslight and Tim S like this.
  17. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    @OpethPA and @TarnishedEars

    Thanks, yes, this is why I posted that, thanks for "filling in the blanks" for me - I was way too brief.
     
    TarnishedEars likes this.
  18. sami

    sami Mono rules

    Location:
    Down The Shore
    Tell you one thing - if they are MP3's, then they're the best sounding MP3's I've ever heard.

    Dare I say, audiophile MP3's?
     
  19. Panama Jack

    Panama Jack Forum Resident

    Location:
    SLC, UT
    A few questions... I've always purchased my music and so I don't subscribe to any streaming services (yet). So please forgive my ignorance as to what are likely "dumb" questions. But with Amazon HD, are you able to download tracks to listen offline? Are the downloaded tracks lossless? I assume they're locked down with DRM?
     
  20. Gaslight

    Gaslight ⎧⚍⎫⚑

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    I think it depends on the device but yes offlline downloads are available as lossless. And yes they'd be drm locked.
     
    TonyCzar likes this.
  21. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    If I just recorded one track or even one album and verified the files, I would NOT be confident in my results. That's why I recorded six albums and many tested as lossy. I recorded the audio using two different programs to ensure it wasn't the recorder causing the problems. I used REPLAY MUSIC (Audio Recorder for Music and MP3 | Replay Music ) and Adobe Audition (Buy Adobe Audition | Audio recording, editing, and mixing software ), two well-reviewed products that record lossless. I ran the resulting files through Audiochecker ( Download Audiochecker 2.0 Build 457 Beta ) and Lossless Audio Checker (Lossless Audio Checker ). I have used these programs for many years to verify music files and although the results are not always 100% accurate, they are reliable on a larger sampling of files. In other words, they may be wrong sometimes so that's why I tested more than one or two albums/tracks.

    Many of the albums and tracks verified as true lossless but many did not. I had an online friend do two of the albums using the same programs and his results were similar. He recorded a few others and came up with the same, some lossless but many not.

    Here are two albums that came out as close to 100% CDDA (lossless):
    Aaron Weinstein - 3x3
    Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays - Side By Side Sondheim Duos

    Here is one album that came out 100% lossy (mp3):
    Keely Smith - You're Breaking My Heart

    Here is one album that came out as 8 tracks lossless, 3 tracks MP3:
    Cy Coleman - If My Friends Could See Me Now

    Here is an album of 24 total tracks, 12 analyzed as lossless, 12 as MP3's:
    Margaret Whiting - Too Marvelous For Words

    As I said, many tracks verified as full lossless, but again, it's a mixed bag. I truly believe that a lot of the music on Amazon's HD service is not CD quality. That's the point I am trying to make. As I said, I am enjoying the HD service because a lot of the music IS lossless, especially newer releases.

    I hope that answers the questions as I do understand that I didn't provide any facts to back up what I am saying. I hope some of you can perform similar tests and report your results.
     
    jeffsab, TonyCzar, Tim S and 5 others like this.
  22. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC

    sorry, you are right. Have a look at my explanation and let me know what you think
     
    TarnishedEars likes this.
  23. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I agree with that also, the sound is good. I never said the sound was bad, only that some of the files are not true CD quality as verified objectively using programs that perform such tests
     
  24. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    by the way, the friend I mentioned who also did some testing... he subscribes to TIDAL and recorded 4 albums, all verified close to 100% CDDA (lossless).
     
    Tim S, allegro, sunspot42 and 2 others like this.
  25. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I'm not surprised by this, given the wonky metadata many of us have observed with many of the albums on offer on Amazon Music Unlimited (HD or otherwise).
     

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