Idagio integration?

(Tony) #5

Very interesting service. Tightly managed by venture capital who will want results so maybe not a bad thing. Odd revenue share for artists as well, based on per second per track. A very telco way of doing things. Almost as if partnership with the telcos is the next stage of this. Really has the air of a service starting to snowball.

Really like the “mood” service and curated playlists. 40 out of 70 staff are hand-grooming the metadata. Also really like the look of search on their apps. Roon looks far behind to me here but there have been strong hints from roon that search will have a high priority in coming releases in the new year. Will be interesting to see who pulls of search better as they seem to be taking very different approaches.

Struggling also with the hardware integration. I saw a few threads on CA trying to get HQPlayer working but wasn’t clear if that was possible. Only real obstacle for me.

(JohnV) #6

I just called up Idagio’s one-page website. Ugh. It contains a teaser price, four bullet points, and then…


Sorry, if first impressions count, I agree with @Ludwig : no sale. No offense to-Idagio fans here. I gotta believe the reality is much better than the perception.

But I’m one of those old dinosaurs; easily ignorable. :slight_smile:

(Dick Vliek) #7


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(Tony) #8

You can sign up without your credit card and get a low-rez preview mode. They just want an email address. It’s enough to snoop around. Search and metadata have been put front and center so compared to roon that is very strong. Much more basic in terms of hardware integration.

(JohnV) #9

Well and good; just seems a “low rent” way of marketing. First impression…

What have you found out about the mood feature and the playlists. I hadn’t thought about classical in mood terms before. Do they work for you?

(Tony) #10

They have had 500k downloads since launch. They are converting these to subscriptions at about 18%. A lot of VC interest. Some very interesting youtubes on the business model out there.

Yes, the mood service and curated playlists, discovery, really work. Some common sense in that in these modes single parts are sequenced, a mood is sustained and there is still variety and surprise. The contrast with roon radio couldn’t be starker. Search works too and they have real experts QA’g the metadata.

Those are my priorities if I am going to sign up to a subscription service of millions of albums. Otherwise it is just an incomprehensible swamp. I really weary of the level of manual intervention needed with roon TBH and I still cannot radio to work.

I don’t know if they plan changes in future releases but at the moment it is a very different approach to roon maybe reflecting economic changes in Europe since the financial crisis. Their youtubes talk in terms of insourced manual processes managed by a generation of university educated young musicologists and yahoo technology for some reason whereas roon often seems to talk in terms of outsourced manual processes to legacy metadata suppliers and internal AI and machine intelligence and google technology. There has been a lot of talk on the search thread about new search and radio functionality from roon in the new year so it will be very interesting to see what general approach works best.

Idagio needs to improve HW integration for sure but high rez and all that stuff is personally of very little interest to me. I used to waste far too much time and money on audiophoolery but age is a great leveler and now I cannot hear anything above 11khz (I mean absolutely nothing).

No local library management either. But TBH I question just how important that is to me but that was the point of the original post.

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(Tim Chapman) #11

No support for hardware eg ASIO or DLNA.
Limited catalogue.
Qobuz seems far superior.
Thanks for the information, though.

(Mike O'Neill) #12

They were offering a 14 day demo thro the Apple Store , in my case R 60 (=$4) a month thereafter

I may just have play on my iPad and Dragonfly it seems a comprehensive collection so far

(Mike O'Neill) #13

Qobuz haven’t looked too far south on the map yet so not a lot of use to me (South Africa)

Meanwhile IDAGIO worked when I tried it

(Tony) #14

The Germans have often been slow out of the blocks but they understand value chains very well. Won’t be long before they address the hardware integration issue, probably via their automotive industry I suspect. A lot of industrial synergies the Germans can call on.

I can’t see them giving up on this when there is such a long history of dominance in all parts of the Classical music reproduction chain from composers, performers, instruments, labels, artists, publishers, conductors, orchestras and concert halls.

I’m mostly experimenting with Chromecast at the moment. I don’t have a soundbar but it’s a cheap easy way to get a TV centric system working that may work for you if remote operation is important. Since my JRiver days I always had the habit of using a bluetooth keyboard to the TV in theater mode. Mostly use roon that way as well and Idagio is much the same. Sounds fabulous. Now if I can only get HQPlayer working as well.

(Mike O'Neill) #15

I’m going to do the R 60 experiment soon

(Mike O'Neill) #16

How does it work with IDAGIO and CCA do you cast from the Idagio app to the Chromecast

(Tony) #17

Pretty much. I don’t even have a CAA, just a regular HDMI one,

CC->TV->Optical Out->Upsampling DAC/Pre Amp->Active speakers

But having a wobbly with main roon core at the moment. Cannot get it to boot. Very tired of the whole computer audio thing to be honest.

A couple of things though about Idagio. On the one hand it doesn’t do gapless. That’s bad. On the other, the better metadata means that catalog coverage (which I think is good for classical only and getting better) is a little academic. You can find things on Idagio you cannot with the other streamers because their metadata can make it difficult.

(Mike O'Neill) #18

I bit bullet

I put my CC, hdmi into the sound bar, Idagio cast to it no problem

Then I Airplayed to my Cambridge Audio CXN, only AirPlay but fine, this connected coax to my Audiolab mdac a d headphones so I get Idagio as flac on my phones

So all is well, I don’t need the CC other than Roon displays which works fine too

I will now see what’s in IDAGIO that isn’t in Tidal, not much so far but early days. I didn’t realize it’s not gapless


(Tony) #19

Yes, I was surprised about gapless too. They have prioritized the metadata at the expense of a few things it would seem. Looks like you just can’t have everything.

(Ludwig van Marbach) #20

Not gapless? That’s pathetic.

(Tony) #21

Apparently Qobuz with it’s native app is also not gapless but when integrated with various players it is.

I have absolutely no way of knowing whether a roon integration could accomplish the same but that is the point of the OP.

The lack of gapless and technical integration in general is disappointing for sure. The lack of anything above redbook I personally have no interest in. But on the other hand I find roon metadata, search, radio and discovery equally disappointing.

(Mike O'Neill) #22

2 days in

I am comparing albums of specific artists between Idagio and Tidal so far it’s a pretty close match, what are you seeing in Idagio that’s not in Tidal

There is little or no metadata other than track specific timings, no artist bios etc, no composition descriptions , unless I’m missing it

It’s looking like a non starter, the only bit better than Tidal is the layout of new releases, most if not all are in Tidal if a bit hidden by the multi genre nature of Tidal

(Tony) #23

I don’t have Tidal so I cannot really comment. But I am interested in your comments on coverage.

There is little or no metadata other than track specific timings, no artist bios etc, no composition descriptions , unless I’m missing it

Yes, I cannot see any artist bios, composition descriptions etc. either. Neither do I see any production credits (unless I am missing them). But neither do I see annoying pictures of tops of heads or centered text totally mismatched to centered background graphics. It is a very spartan workman-like interface to be sure.

In general hierarchies and metadata are presented differently depending on whether you are on a work or an album page. On a work page Idagio will do hierarchies to at least three levels (as opposed to roon’s two). This is particularly noticeable with more complex vocal music. For example an Opera or sacred music like a Mass. I find myself endlessly editing WORK/PART tags in roon and resorting to workarounds when the hierarchy is greater than two. This appears not to be necessary in Idagio because they have (manually I assume) done this for you as part of their label ingestion process. Also all the performers and their roles are presented upfront on the work page instead of hidden on a credits page as in roon. A refreshing touch I find is that European artists are properly accented and common European orchestra and chorus equivalents are used by default rather than Anglicisations which I have only become aware of using roon.

Out of the box, I don’t think you can go directly to an album (could be wrong). The way it seems to work is that initially you get to albums via a work drill down and then you add albums to your favorites so you can directly access them there. I quite like that idea. It replicates how I (and perhaps more importantly, my wife) used to listen to physical media. We always had 20/30 albums/ CD’s in easy reach that we listened to most and this approach sort of digitally replicates that habit.

Presentation of an album is very different to presentation of a work. Not sure why that is. Now the hierarchy is flat instead of indented and if you want the metadata there is a tiny “down arrow” icon against each track you need to open. Then all the metadata is all there, artists and roles at a track level with no manual intervention. Something similar can be done in roon for sure but my experience is that with more complex albums with multiple composers, artists, soloists, conductors, orchestras etc. mostly this level of detail is missing from roon and requires a great deal of manual intervention.

I really like the simple, logical drill down approach of the search UX. Technically it is probably considered some kind of enhanced “folder view”. But I like the way there is always 4/5 scrolling “views” on the library laid out in a very clear way. So starting with the genre “Sacred Vocal”, a favorite of mine, in just a few clicks I was exploring some unfamiliar recent recordings by contemporary composers. There is a very simple “share” option. I don’t know how this works or if you need an Idagio account but check this link out. Beautiful.


Agnus Dei you can hearing also on Qobuz.