Apple Acquires Primephonic

I haven’t followed the techniques of creating Atmos for binaural, which implies headphone listening. But if you want to play a binaural mix on a stereo system, you need crosstalk cancellation. Otherwise you’d need to go back to the mix/mastering stages and create a stereo mix for loudspeakers.

Yes I know well, I had already mentioned that in the post.
About 12-13 years ago I tried cross-talk cancellation software available for Tact digital preamplifier 2.2XP from their site as an experiment. Back then I was using BW 802 Diamond in a good attic room, already with excellent stereo soundstage. it did work at somewhat enlarging and precising the stereophonic scene, but to the detriment of timbric aspects, sound textures deteriorated and sounded even more digital, more artificial.

But, never say never, the compute power available now compared these years is about 64 times more, following Moore’s law.

Again, if the business model could be modified to allow not only huge companies to step in that technology, it would for sure generate a blossom of products and initiatives with potential audio interest along a variety of lines from pure software to mixed approaches…

Or should we start some group action from Roon Community ?

Those are the problems in cross talk cancellation that Edgar Choueiri’s Bacch Filters solve :blush: Not a cheap solution though. There is more to good cross talk cancellation than computing power, and timbral shifts are a well known problem.

I assume there is no extra cost for Apple Music? I currently have Tidal for Roon and Amazon Music for the family.

I certainly will evaluate Apple Music as a substitute

I use CDs and Roon/Qobuz for myself. The household and the office uses SONOS/Pandora. Years ago it was XM-radio. My car has Apple Car Play so what do I listen to in the car? News. If SONOS supports Primephonic, I shall drop one of my Pandora accounts.

Apple just bought Primephonic! Maybe there’s not even a need for Idagio anymore!

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Hi Robby,
I don’t think anybody said Spatial Audio is a format.
Dolby Atmos, is a format, supporting spatial audio. And this is a commercial format for which you need licensed equipment. Licensing costs for hardware make sense only for big firms, which is why I believe an additional entry point as a per end user license, or per piece of music, would allow a more open market for not only a few multinational software and hardware firms.
Regards, CD

Open markets and formats will only be supported by Apple when hell freezes over. Where one no longer has any significance, one can and will open up and also adopt broader standards by necessity.

Open formats, codecs and standards that did not come from Apple were important for the broad development of the market.

But we also want to acknowledge the achievement with iTunes, iPod and the old downloads, which could be used freely later even without DRM.

Apple pioneered Qobuz here and Qobuz can now better serve Primephonic customers.

Hi Uwe thanks for this perspective.
However Apple is not alone supporting Dolby Atmos - at least in its broader use beyond music, that is movie audio. I found this good summary here. So who knows ? After all movie business is larger than hifi, so there should be sufficient room and leverage for several business models to coexist…

For those of you Primephonic lovers, you know, there’s still Idagio. Personally I’ve always preferred Idagio and have been a subscriber for a number of years.

Yes, it doesn’t work with Roon, but if you liked Primephonic, you’re already used to leaving the Roon ecosystem.

I don’t know whether Apple’s acquisition is good or bad for classical music. I’m not holding my breath. But one can certainly kiss goodbye to any integration with Roon.


Sample takeover statements:

For anyone with more than a casual interest in music, streaming without the right metadata is a disaster.

Perhaps Apple is afraid of the fact that integrating music streaming with audio hardware is a mess of conflicting protocols.


Apple is removing all audiobooks from German Apple Music and making even fewer friends. It would be wiser to expand the offer and look at the best solutions in the market, but Phrimephonic’s better solution is now shut down by the buyer.

Hmm, according to the referenced article, a small company with (supposedly) excellent metadata and an understanding of future trends is bought by Apple.

Sound like any other company out there?

yes but this functionality, service… is gone

If the business reasons for acquisition have anything to do with metadata handling, formats, etc then there is no reason why Apple would acquire more than one such. Qobuz are of no further interest on that account. But Apple have been involved in downloads and streaming for two decades; why would they need someone to teach them about formats? Industry contracts and links possibly.

Just referencing the premise of the linked article. Did you read it?

Were Qobuz ever of interest to them? You only buy the companies that have something you want. Primephonic were clearly a market leader in classical music metadata. I’m not sure Qobuz ever had that sort of attraction. But looking at other attributes listed as essential in the article then in my opinion that is Roon. Curation, discovery and quality.

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Interesting link, thank you. The important point of view as expressed in the article, though, to my mind, is: " But why would the world’s largest company be interested in a closely held startup with a relatively small user base, a few dozen employees and no startling technological innovation to boast of?

The answer: Primephonic understood the future. Apple has realized that streaming services will succeed or fail depending on whether they master the four things the tiny company, along with its classical-music peers such as Idagio, have figured out: metadata, discovery, curation and quality. And that will hold true for video streaming, too, not just music. With the buyout, Apple is hoping to absorb Primephonic’s DNA."

On another, though related note, here’s what a professor of music has to say about Apple Music’s rivals for classical music: “Qobuz is likely toast given that their competitive advantage was all about sound quality, and now Apple has mostly matched it,” Howard said. “Naxos is expensive and is an outgrowth of their label/publishing company, and seems more focused on education/institutions. Idagio is a decent product in terms of curated/exclusive content and sound quality, but their catalog is relatively small.” (How Apple’s Purchase of Primephonic Could Benefit Classical Music Lovers)

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Apple is big on marketing, was big with iTunes 800,000,000 customers, was itself always ahead in the market and has not maintained this position despite many purchases MOG-Beats-Apple Music. They were already in business at the turn of the millennium with MusicMatch and blew it. If there is something on the table that is even better than the now closed Primephonic, the cards will be reshuffled. Buy and shut down doesn’t really help.

Is „professor of music“ a supposed evidence of expertise in this matter?
No. It sounds more like wishful thinking. All these experts predicting the demise of qobuz and tidal…. I have not heard a single convincing argument why they should be toast. Especially in an emerging market there is always a place for smaller players. Let’s wait and see.