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Amazon HD Music goes live

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

  1. vegafleet

    vegafleet Forum Resident

    I cannot dispute Scoredaddy's results, as he seems to know what he is doing, and I have no way to either replicate or negate his results. Yet, I will defend the Amazon HD service as (at worst) incompetent, or (at best) buggy. I do not believe they are trying to defraud the users. I just think the service is not yet free of bugs, has very erratic metadata, the bit rate jumping still happens to me mid-song, albums with tracks that don't belong to it or have UHD and HD tracks mixed together (as Amazon defines them in the context of their HD service). The service is far from being ready-for-prime-time. It may never be bug free before Amazon gives up on it.

    But I do not believe they are trying to defraud us on purpose. That is why they gave out the generous 3 month free trial, we are the beta-testers. It is up to each of us as informed consumers to decide when to opt in or opt out of the service, to pay or not to pay, knowing how the service works or doesn't work for you.

    I have until Jan 11 to decide.
     
  2. sami

    sami Mono rules

    Location:
    Down The Shore
    This.
     
    vegafleet likes this.
  3. Enjoying playing UHD both from ipad, and a surface pro using a dragonfly black 1.5 (maxes out at 24/96), to Marantz line in PM7005 integrated amp to KEF Q150s and sub.
     
  4. Robsonschoice

    Robsonschoice Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ipswich UK
    My Amazon free run ends on the 26th and I haven't renewed....not because its not what it says it is etc etc but its not supported by my Mind2 Simaudio app therefore cannot support the high res files (when they are!!), linked through my mobile is not the best way to listen but the only way that was available to me. Can't use the 5 month for $5/£5 as its seems as if I had a free trial earlier this year so its pay up to one of the three that are supported...Quboz, Tidal, or Deezer...a decision for 2020 now...
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  5. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Thank you! I hope to check these tracks myself - I'm going to have to learn some new things in order to do it. I feel like I can learn and I have a good enough technical background to do a good job. How long it will take, I don't know. I'm a trained scientist, so I'm really thorough - I'm also slow. Anyway, you've given me the data and thanks again!

    p.s. I really, really like that you had a friend do the same tests, that's important. I hope others here who are interested will do their own testing and report back.
     
    scoredaddy likes this.
  6. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I can't dispute them either, I just want to try and replicate the results. I think I have the ability to do that, we will see.
     
    scoredaddy likes this.
  7. AndyH

    AndyH Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I've decided not to renew.

    Positives:

    - Improvements to iOS app during trial, specifically with regard to crashes during offline playback
    - An equivalent to Spotify 'Discover Weekly' recently introduced
    - Nearly everything I found via Spotify was available in HD or better
    - HD/UltraHD sounded good, although on the whole it is a subtle improvement over Spotify in my opinion


    Negatives:

    - Battery drain on iOS
    - Frankenstein track listings
    - My personal views on Windows Store as a delivery mechanism, i.e. it is terrible!
    - Limitations around playback, e.g. iOS limited to 24/48, lack of Windows exclusive mode
    - Not an equivalent to Spotify in terms of features that are key to me such as Discovery Weekly, Release Radar and general playlist support / management

    On balance, what I pay for and get from Spotify outweighs the benefits of HD/UltraHD quality for me.


    Final point - It still irks me that streaming hires audio seems more expensive, complex and full of compromise compared to streaming 4k video (which can include lossless audio)!
     
    danner, TarnishedEars, Shiver and 2 others like this.
  8. Big Jack Brass

    Big Jack Brass Two Separate Gorillas

    Location:
    Leeds
    There's no reason why Amazon would intentionally defraud anyone, given their position. Hanlon's Razor should not be overlooked:

    "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
     
  9. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    You're probably right. I doubt that they ever verify the integrity of the files provided to them.
     
    Big Jack Brass likes this.
  10. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I would be eager to learn of your results
     
  11. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I am thinking of covering this in its own thread, I'm anticipating a lot of technical back and forth and don't want to bog this thread down. Sounds like it interests at least a few of us.
     
  12. Many good points. I get 24/96 on my ipad with external DAC. Also, maybe 10 - 12 hrs of hd play time. I do turn off almost everything but wifi on the ipad (e.g. bluetooth and nfc off, screen low) to get this run time though.

     
  13. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    Location:
    USA
    What cable/interface are you using to connect iPad to DAC?
     
  14. I'm using the lightning to USB-A camera kit adapter, to Dragonfly black 1.5 (these use very little power of the iDevice), which goes to 3.5mm line out to RCA analog in on integrated amp.

    My amp, a Marantz PM7005, has USB B DAC in, but I haven't bothered trying that with the ipad, does work great with Surface pro with a standard USB A to B cable though.

     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  15. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    FWIW: I have only been a subscriber for 5 days now, and I already experienced some of these issues. Wrong songs tied to some albums. And some files which were at best 16/44.1 (as reported by my DAC) but which were labeled "Ultra HD" (meaning above CD resolution).

    I've also found that the selection of material which is labeled Ultra HD is extremely limited, and I can't help but wonder if it might have been sourced from DVD-A and BluRay Audio rips. This is due to the fact that the only material available in Ultra HD seems to be titles which were released on DVD-A or BluRay disks. So it doesn't spear that they have anything like the HD Tracks library at their disposal, which is disappointing.

    I've also noticed that some HDCDs seem to have been transferred without any decoding. This also makes me think that the source of much of this material is likely from ripping.

    One example to check-out is material from the band Fresh Air. The Fresh Air III shows the cover from the HDCD, and yet the output is only 16 bits (according to my DAC), which clearly indicates that it has not been HDCD decoded. But this title was not listed as Ultra HD, merely as HD, so the lack of HDCD decoding is not a shock.

    Frankly I doubt that I will be continuing with it once my 30 day trial period is over.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  16. allegro

    allegro Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    Someone on another forum is claiming that with the November 26 Windows 10 1909 update the latest version of Amazon Music HD is able to autoswitch sample rate. I don't like to upgrade to new versions of OS until they have been around for a few months and debugged. Still running 1809. Anyone confirm this?
     
  17. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    Are you positive that HDCD has peak extend? If not it would be a moot point, meaning the same compressed mastering, only in padded 24 bits.
    For HDCD's with peak extend, that would be kinda funny if they were just ripping them without proper decoding :laugh:
     
  18. update - ipad with camera adapter usb dongle direct to Marantz PM7005 lets me play 24-bit 192khz from amzn hd. Lots of Neil Young, Alan Parsons, Joni Mitchell, DCFC, Foster the People, Travis Scott. After the app on ipad launches, I can turn go to offline mode, turning off wifi, and using airplane mode.

     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  19. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    Well it looks like Amazon made the decision for me. My free trial ended and the payment was declined - probably because I'm not using an US issued credit card.

    I didn't use the service a lot during these 3 months, it was something falling in the category of "nice to have" but it failed to provide a paradigm shift experience.
     
    ClassicalCD likes this.
  20. sami

    sami Mono rules

    Location:
    Down The Shore
    Well, I'm going to stick with Amazon. It's only $5 a month really, since we had the basic service anyway, as my wife listens to it daily on the Echo or her phone. The sound quality is mostly very good, and I'll hold out hope they will include exclusive mode eventually and/or hook up with UAPP.
     
  21. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I have not checked the features on that particular HDCD recently. The odds are that it probably lacks peak extend. However my own decoded HDCD rip of this disk is recognized as an 18 bit stream by my DAC. And this tells me that they did not decode it, whether it was necessary or not.

    So one could argue either way here. Either:
    1) They were smart enough to know not to bother with this particular disk, or
    2) They are clueless about HDCD decoding, and haven't even bothered to decode any of their their rips.

    Personally my money is on the latter scenario though.
     
    vegafleet and c-eling like this.
  22. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Well, perhaps that would explain what I was seeing last night when I was listening to Amazon Music HD and checking the track quality info box for each track. In the past, it would play at whatever setting I would choose in the Windows drop down list in the sound settings. Last night, it seemed that it was playing at whatever the track quality was listed as in the Amazon app. I was quite confused as to what was going on.
     
  23. scoredaddy

    scoredaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Just tested a newly added ULTRA HD album, "Jack Jones - A Time For Us"
    11 tracks total, tracks 1-5 and track#10 is HI-RES, the rest are standard, falsely labeled as ULTRA HD

    I have NOT tested lossless integrity of these files yet, but this is VERY disappointing
    This album just came out on hdtracks.com and was added to Amazon Unlimited, but NOT fully HI-RES as advertised.
     
    TarnishedEars and ClassicalCD like this.
  24. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Are you saying that Amazon Music does not indicate "currently playing at 24/192" while the tracks are playing? All the tracks do show 24/192 for me while playing, sounds pretty good for such an album from 1964.
     
  25. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Would you test about 5 where your results show that some are as labelled and some are not?

    Then PM me what you tested - but don't tell me your results. If your friend can test them, that would be good, too. Again, don't tell me results.

    I'll have some more questions for you via PM if you are ok with doing it that way.

    I can't pay for any of these "capture" programs and only one of them will let me use its full functionality, and it's limiting me to a total of 25 songs.

    With the testing I want to do, 25 isn't near enough, but that's what it will let me do.

    Are you able to compare files you saved streams of with an EAC rip of a pressed CD, SACD, BR, or HDCD?

    Oh yeah, don't share results with your friend either - yours or his.
     

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