Apple Music High Res

There was already a culture war between vinyl and digital recording on CD and later on downloads. Now it only continues, but it is important to keep an eye on the payment of the artists. We can only buy, rent, go to concerts several times and hope the artists’ contractors pass on a lot of it. Meanwhile, the music market is probably almost doubled again and many millions are paid for artist packages. But the small ones are exploited here as well.

TBF I’ve always thought that the labels were greedy ***s :wink:


For me the question is not whether Tidal is too expensive in relation to the cost of CDs — from that perspective Tidal is dirt cheap. For me the question is why I would want to pay 20 $/€ for a service that doesn’t offer anything special (hi-res is available through Apple Music, Qobuz, Amazon). I never pay more than I have to do for the SAME thing; I do pay more for something special. It’s like spending 100 $ on a pair of shoes and then you see the same pair at half price in a different store. That’s the kind of stuff that would make me angry, regardless that in Tidal’s case it’s only a 7.50 - 10 $ difference. Pocket change, if you will, but it’s the principle that counts for me.

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Thats a good point…

We all make choices based on value, that does not make something one does not choose too expensive… For me Tidal and MQA hits the spot and is well worth the money.
A Ferrari could be described as too expensive if one can’t afford it; that doesn’t meant said Ferrari is too expensive, they cost what they cost, but it does mean one cannot or chooses not to afford it.

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Whilst many artists were not “overpaid” in the past, they certainly got better remuneration from CD and vinyl sales than they do from streaming revenue.

I think most threads in this forum should include this line…! (and substitute bourbon or other libations for beer!)


True, true, except that in the case of a Ferrari (should you be able to afford one) there is nothing like that out there except another Ferrari. With hi-res streaming services, it’s different – lots of them offer the same thing. That’s why I don’t quite understand why one would want to pay double. If, however, Tidal offers you something no other service does (UI, sound quality, exclusive artists…), then it’s different. In my case, there’s nothing on Tidal I can’t find somewhere else for cheaper.

Music services are not the same!

For each customer there are selection criteria that sometimes fit better and sometimes worse.

With Apple, you hear arguments like staying in the same eco-system (95% probably don’t do that for understandable reasons).

With Qobuz or Tidal, we have hi-res integration with Roon (all other services lack that)…

With Spotify we have podcast, EchoNest, Spotify connect, third party services, largest play database, open metadata, almost worldwide availability…

AAC, MP3, OGG is not lossless, lossless is not Hi-Res and Hi-Res again knows many quality levels, only who climbs all of them may advertise to have the best sound quality…

The catalogs are differently far converted, technology differently far developed, devices in your availability for different music services differently supported by current brand manufacturers…

1455 Post = Apple “Hi-Res” is a very special marketing idea :rofl:

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All is does is give one a choice of MP3 or Flac. It does not say what the resolutions are on the Flac files. That isn’t good enough.

This must be a special US offer. In Europe, it is more than double your price. (around $284)

According to Apple, after a 3 month free trial it’s $9.99 a month.

In the US the MP3 version is $9.99 a month and the High Rez version is $19.99 a month. Maybe he got some kind of discount.

I just now looked at the desktop Qobuz app for the first time in awhile. They’ve added the autoplay feature that the other services have had for some time . Also noticed the My Weekly Q playlist(maybe an unfortunate name) which I’m listening to right now through and iFi dac attached to my Mac through Sennheisers. I have to say it sounds fantastic straight from the app. I do have an approx. 70,000 track local library but I’m starting to think maybe I should cut out the middle man and fall back to Jriver for the local stuff and Qobuz to stream. I also have Apple Music through the bundle, forget what they call it, but this is a demonstrably better sound than the AM desktop app and it auto-switches as well.

Here is Apple Music U.S. pricing:

Here’s a little context on streaming revenues. The YouTube take is interesting/alarming

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Made by: David Lowery (musician) - Wikipedia

Certainly a fighter for the artists, with economic and also legal expertise, who in the fight formulates some position in such a way that it is easy to open clever other views and back them up with better facts. From this proven mathematician I would have expected sometimes more serious calculations. In the fight for rights, however, it makes sense to exaggerate one’s own position before making the intended comparison. There is certainly justified criticism of the payment. It just sometimes hits the wrong opponents. Both Napster and Spotify are the pioneers of paid streaming, not the gravediggers for what is more up for distribution today. The billion-dollar increase in customers and money is no longer coming from Apple Music or iTunes. They’re going that route now: up to 14 months of apple music fake-hi-res for free. Until then we will see more technology that can really do Hi-Res. Remember lossless is not Hi-Res. Qobuz does it better!

for more read here:

and now apple music more than one year for free…

I’d be careful with claims like this one. To my ears Qobuz does NOT sound “demonstrably” better than Apple Music, Amazon, Idagio, or Tidal. They all sound the same, as they should. If one service sounded “demonstrably” better, it would be the only game in town (for Redbook anyway).

  1. Why is Apple Music “fake” hi-res? Do you hear a difference compared to, say, Qobuz or Tidal? If so, you’re one in a million. If not, why should it matter? It seems to me that audiophiles want it both ways: trust your ears and not scientific measurements (e.g. ethernet cables, switches, re-clockers,…) AND trust scientific measurements and not your ears (fake hi-res…). That’s the hallmark of an ideology (structurally impervious to rational argument).
  2. What these graphs tell us is that the vast majority of people don’t give a hoot about lossless, let alone hi-res. Lossy music cheaply delivered with plenty of social media stuff gets you the ear-plug crowd. So expect more bells and whistles with no improvement in sound quality. The only ‘improvement’ that streaming services will care about is spatial audio – because even with ear-plugs you can hear a difference.
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Whether or not you agree, one’s ability to hear a difference between music played on one streaming source and another depends to at least some extent on the equipment you use for your comparison.

Of course, you are absolutely right in that the vast majority of people “don’t give a hoot about lossless, let alone hi-fi” nowadays. Similarly back in the 70s and 80s, hi-res was something for the enthusiast with some money to spare. Most people back then were content to listen to music from public radio stations through cheap mono transistor radios. That doesn’t mean to say that ‘lossless’ (Redbook or hi-res) music is irrelevant. Many people do hear the difference and are of the opinion that the difference is worth paying a premium for.

Admittedly the gap between ‘lower fi’ systems/devices and so called ‘audiophile’ systems has narrowed significantly since those early days. However, if you compare lossless music with lower quality music through the internal DAC of your mobile phone or laptop and cheap ear-buds as opposed to through ‘decent’ DACs, amplification and speakers/headphones it is hardly surprising that some of the nuances of the respective music streams are lost to you.

Of course, I do not know what devices/systems you have used for your comparisons, nor what age your ears are. My comment may not be applicable in your case. I personally have no desire to move to Apple music, and it has been a while since I gave up on Apple music. However, I moved from Spotify (MP3) to Tidal (lossless) a number of years ago specifically because Tidal sounded significantly better on my main hi-fi system (less so on less good devices). I thought the difference worth the extra money it cost me.

I would contend that if your ears are relatively young and healthy and you have a decent music playing system, then it is not too difficult to hear differences between lossless and compressed music streams. Of course, whether or not you believe the differences justify a premium cost, whether or not you actually enjoy listening to music or actually care about the sound quality of the music you listen to is an entirely different matter and entirely up to each individual and their individual circumstances.

I am not as young as I used to be and my ears consequently not as discriminating, so it could well be that in a few years time I could potentially be happy with Spotify or Apple music. ‘Unfortunately’ for me, I cannot envisage music listening without Roon, and so I am probably locked in to Tidal or Qobuz for the duration.