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How do you think about Qobuz store?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by sangbro, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. sangbro

    sangbro Active Member Thread Starter

    Costa Mesa

    I’ve been considering Qobuz Download Store to purchase buy music digitally.

    As a classical music listener, I find Qobuz’s selection is wide and updated well.

    Here are couple points that I perceive as Pros / Cons

    - Pros

    1) If I subscribe its Studio Sublime ($21/mon), Qobuz offers discount(usually 50%) on Hi-Res albums.
    After discount, purchase makes financial sense compared to buy CDs from Amazon with discounted $.

    2) As far as I understand (at this point) I can choose quality / format of download. This appeals to me. I want to download files as Aiff, and so far this is the only store proving this sort of service.

    3) DRM Free, seems NO restriction after purchase. I can have files just like personally ripped files from CDs.

    4) Also, even just for streaming part, Qobuz is the only service that specifically shows its streaming quality. (For other services, I can choose the quality in the set up, but some people suspect that the service providers change the quality depending on streaming situation.)
    This applies to Streaming Offline Download feature. Qobuz provides hi-res offline download. (as a part of streaming service extension)
    I wish more streaming services specify their download quality.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m new to this service, and this service changes its policy/price/feature without clear notice.

    - Cons

    1) Qobuz can chagne its price / plan in the future (It has been changing prices / membership structure couple times already) - Maybe not critical, but still I feel little annoyed.

    2) My intension is NOT to debate this part but think I need to mention.
    - Myth? Psychological effect? Or Reality? - it’s a common issue for all streaming services, not just Qobuz.

    Quite number of people constantly point out that Qobuz’s upsampling quality (most common) 24/96 does not sound good as their CD rip. Even higher resolution does not sound better than their CD rips.

    Some even point out that streaming services have couple different mastering versions and use it randomly. (still show the same album cover, so it looks like the same.) Any insider informaiton?

    Some people has a hypothesis that this sort of experience comes from clipping of streaming service sides. So once listeners sort things out properly, then both really sound identical.

    Most widely available quality such as 24/96 does not show any noticeable difference for normal listening. (At least Qobuz’s discount with sublime membership cancels out this factor.)

    Briefly, the point is, Qobuz’s download store sound worse than CD rips. (Or at least not identical)

    3) For classical music, the search function is not great, and requires some tricks. This is a common problem for most streaming music services. I’d like to note that Idagio’s search has been most useful.

    Is there any Qobuz user? Especially Sublime user shopping at its Download store?

    I’d like to know other listener’s experience.

    Disclaimer: As I specifically stated above, this is not about Quality difference debate. (I have experience couple scientific reason based difference, and also found fix. I know this can happen.)
    If one experience any difference, please respect each other, and don’t simply say “NO they are same”.
    Some other factors can affect the result.

    Happy new year.
    angelo73 likes this.
  2. JorgeGvb

    JorgeGvb Senior Member

    Virginia Beach
    I have Qobuz and I think it sounds great. I use it via Roon and I cannot tell any major difference between my rips and most Qobuz offerings. The only real downside is you have no idea which mastering they are using, but you know that going into it.

    I have a Sublime subscription and have bought a number of albums. Sublime is not worth it if you do not buy much music, in that case just get the regular subscription. I cannot speak to classical offerings, but I find there are lot of great deals on Hi-Res and standard albums. Best prices tend to be on what would be multiple CD titles and deluxe editions. The new John Lennon Gimme Some Truth Deluxe release in 24/96 is only $15.49 for what would be 4-CDs. They have sale items too. Like McCartney's new album is $8.49 for 24/96. I have even found radio broadcasts of live old concerts for just a few bucks (non-Hi-Res of course). Yes, you can choose nearly any format you want on Hi-Res offerings. You can also preorder upcoming releases.

    Fridays are something to look forward to with new releases. Nothing like playing about bunch of brand new releases on Day 1 and checking out new music that you may be unfamiliar with too.

    No streaming service is perfect. I am sure there are plenty of people here that will bad mouth it, but the cost is about a new CD a month. I would not expect perfection, but you will get a lot of enjoyment out of it. You can download the app to your phone and play it on the road too. There are a lot of way to get your monies worth out of a subscription.
    sangbro likes this.
  3. sangbro

    sangbro Active Member Thread Starter

    Costa Mesa
    Thank you for sharing experience.

    Not sure yet, but it seems the big downside is Qobuz does not allow users to listen to music offline (by download, not purchasement) without sublime membership.

    So, streaming basic subscription can only work with internet connection. In case of Apple music, I can download the music offline (not purchasement, temporary download) with the same streaming quality. But the streaming quality isn’t hi res. In case of Idagio, they allow download buydon’t specify download quality, so I don’t think it’s 16/44 streaming quality.
  4. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    never heard of this...I am going to check it out as I am most def winding down on my CD purchases...I just have an
    over abundance..
  5. owsley

    owsley Senior Member

    Has anyone purchased digital downloads on Qobuz? Their website claims they offer downloads in a number of different file formats but the ones I am interested in buying are only listed as being available only in 'CD quality' , 16 bit 44.1Mhz. One item of major interest is a stereo/mono reissue of the Koobas '69 lp. It is available from Amazon Digital Music but only as mp3's. I am afraid that Qobuz is carrying the exact same .mp3 files as there's no way to know for sure what exactly I'm buying from Qobuz based on their limited item description. If anyone has purchased something listed in 'CD' quality, what were the file types that you received?
  6. ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) 16 bit 44.1 kHz red book standard.
    Galley and owsley like this.
  7. owsley

    owsley Senior Member

    Did the tracks you purchased sound like high 'cd' quality to you vs reformatted .mp3's? I have to ask because I recently got burned purchasing flacs of the recent 'Nazz Acetates' collection from a Canadian company. The .wav's sound exactly the same as the .mp3's of the same tracks on youtube so it appears someone just reformatted the .mp3's into .wav's to give the false impression they were better resolution. I hope Qobuz doesn't do stuff like that. I haven't seen FLACS of that Koobas album for sale on any of the other hi-res stores so I'm cautious/skeptical about what Qobuz is carrying for that title. Thanks for your help
  8. Yes, they sound just as good and are also comparable in file size to ALAC rips I made from CDs out of curiosity. I think — and hope — Qobuz is a reputable company that doesn’t risk cheating its customers.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
    owsley and Chilli like this.
  9. Taxman

    Taxman Senior Member

    Fayetteville, NY
    Can I ask a dumb question. Where on the site is the Qobuz store. I am a Studio subscriber. I cant find my way to the store. Thanks
  10. millbend

    millbend Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
  11. JorgeGvb

    JorgeGvb Senior Member

    Virginia Beach
    Links do not seem to work.

    Just go to the Qobuz.com website and click on the download store link at the top of the page.
  12. Galley

    Galley Forum Resident

    This particular album is only 24/44.1, but these are the available formats.

    owsley likes this.
  13. JayDog

    JayDog Active Member

    I've bought a good handful of albums but abandoned the idea as I found quite a few times it's cheaper to buy the CD then the download so rather rip my own bit perfect copy and have a physical backup as well. Also metadata not 100% on some which is annoying.
  14. That’s true. However, I think even the metadata that is automatically loaded from the Internet when ripping a CD is really satisfactory in only very few cases. I have been used to manually adjusting or entering metadata for many years.

    In my native language German, mixed upper and lower case is used. I find the use of the “title case” Common in English For Song and Album Names Irritating and Ugly, so I’m used to changing this data for that reason as well. As a former typesetter, manually typing and entering data on a keyboard is nothing unusual for me. Most of the time I am surprised by how lazy many people are nowadays and accept without contradiction the data automatically suggested by a computer or IT system and do not even think of changing or entering data themselves from scratch.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  15. owsley

    owsley Senior Member

    I bit the bullet and purchased 'CD' quality files of the Koobas mono/stereo reissue I was hoping for a lossless FLAC when purchased from Qobuz. I had no file format options to choose from and it was only after I purchased the files did I know what they were: wma files. They were identical sounding to the mp3's of the same album I purchased from Amazon Digital a few years ago: both inferior sounding to the CD release of that album. So much for their advertised 'CD quality'.
    Qobuz does not appear to offer any digital sonic lossless upgrades of releases found elsewhere, they simply sell the same stuff as their competitors. If an album is only available on Itunes or Amazon or Spotify in a lossy compressed format, Qobuz sells the exact same stuff. Some of the interesting new digital only comps I saw on Qobuz ended up also being available on every other other digital download site like Tidal, Spotify, Deezer.
    So with all that said Qobuz is 'no-buzz' in my book. Their streaming service may be cool but I was looking for hi-res upgrades of some titles not found elsewhere and Qobuz doesn't offer me anything the other download sites do not
  16. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    I love high quality streaming from Qobuz. I don't bother downloading from them, no particular reason...

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