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RE: Spotify choice.

chebby wrote:

CJSF wrote:

MajorFubar wrote:

 

I'm genuinely intrigued and would love to know why your experience of Spotify has been so bad. Through my meagre set-up there is a clear difference between the CDs I've ripped and their Spotify equivalents, but I certainly haven't found it to be night-and-day in the way you describe.

Perhaps i'm deaf, or perhaps it's somehow linked to the fact that I access Spotify from its desktop app on a Mac Mini feeding a HRT II+ DAC, not an iThing app via Airplay. Who knows?  Very intriguing. Certainly here, it sounds easily as good as the radio stations you've mentioned. Usually much better in fact.

Interesting this, I only have the £5pm service, dont have iplayer, andriods and the like . . . I'm happy with what I get for my money. I have picked up on MF's post as I also use an HRT DAC, direct feed (avoiding sound board) from my PC, through HRT DAC straight into 'line in' on my ST40, works very well IMHO. CJSF

It's not a matter of what DAC or amp etc. is employed.   I am, after all, getting excellent results (with the same kit and in the same way) with other streamed content and my own 320K  rips from CDs. The suprise was that Spotify 320K Premium didn't sound as good.

It's not a debate about your system, my system, his system, this DAC, that DAC, AirPlay vs direct  etc etc. because I was comparing like with like.

Anyway, I am happy for you (and the major)  that you are getting your money's worth. I just decided I wouldn't be. It seemed a good idea at the time.

 

 

Apologies Chebby if my experience with Spotify and relating the same, upset you . . . ? As you are aware, I'm not into listening to rubbish or poor quality, it has to be said, I dont find all Spotify offerings good to listen to . . . one regularly press the button to move on to another track/album.

. . . I also find this on vinyl and CD :? One has recordings in both mediums that are not worth the shelf space, even BBC Radio 4 has its off days I notice . . . and as for modern vinyl/CD's . . . thats another story currently covered in another ongoing thread :wall:

It is your choice Chebby to do what you feel is right in your situation, enjoy your music mate.

CJSF

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RE: Spotify choice.

Typical innit?

http://www.whathifi.com/news/spotify-introduces-new-look-interface-with-improved-features

.... I cancel it and the next day they improve it!   

No mention of anything more than layout / looks / user features though. 

I'll give it some more time and re-visit the idea another day maybe. It's just possible I got unlucky with - or wasn't careful enough to research - the different versions of the tracks I compared.

Maybe I am just being too 'picky'. Maybe my ears are too attuned to AAC (although I didn't think it should make so much diiference at 320k).

Anyway, I got something out of the experiment. I have re-acquainted myself with a whole raft of Phil Manzenera music (accidently) that resulted in orders for two of his CDs. It was music I was listening to well over 25 years ago and had totally forgotten about.

 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Spotify choice.

chebby wrote:

I'll give it some more time and re-visit the idea another day maybe. It's just possible I got unlucky with - or wasn't careful enough to research - the different versions of the tracks I compared.

Maybe I am just being too 'picky'. Maybe my ears are too attuned to AAC (although I didn't think it should make so much diiference at 320k).

Maybe if there is a 'next time' for you, and you have a way of linking your computer to your 603's optical in, try the desktop app instead. I know no technical reason why it should sound better than Airplay from your iPad, but I do know that when using the desktop app on my Mac Mini I don't encounter the huge qualitative differences you have described.

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RE: Spotify choice.

I use Spotify via a Squeezeserver 3rd party Spotify plugin controlled using iPeng on my iPad.

I haven't noticed any SQ issues but I find the search function within iPeng far superior to that within the official Spotify iPad app.

I listen almost exclusively to classical and more often than not I can find specific recordings but sometimes I have to have more than one attempt with alternative search words.

My two biggest (slight) annoyances with Spotify are non-gapless playback on many albums and occasional chopping off the last couple of seconds of a track.

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RE: Spotify choice.

MajorFubar wrote:

chebby wrote:

I'll give it some more time and re-visit the idea another day maybe. It's just possible I got unlucky with - or wasn't careful enough to research - the different versions of the tracks I compared.

Maybe I am just being too 'picky'. Maybe my ears are too attuned to AAC (although I didn't think it should make so much diiference at 320k).

Maybe if there is a 'next time' for you, and you have a way of linking your computer to your 603's optical in, try the desktop app instead. I know no technical reason why it should sound better than Airplay from your iPad, but I do know that when using the desktop app on my Mac Mini I don't encounter the huge qualitative differences you have described.

The optical input is fully employed by being connected to the TV for sound from TV, Blu-ray, DVD and Humax PVR.

One of the biggest reasons for wanting Spotify Premium was the ability to stream from the app (via AirPlay) as I do with most other things. Using AirPlay has never affected quality with anything else (even playing my ALAC 'masters' from the iMac and comparing to CD 'native' replay on the Marantz.)

I am not going to sit in front of the computer to play music. (Or keep getting up to do playlists / favourites / searches etc.)  I might as well just go back three years and run a cable between the computer and a stand-alone DAC with a seperates system and all that entails.

Besides which, music (in and of itself) is only a portion of what I listen to. (Radio plays, radio documentaries, comedy, podcasts, sound from movies and TV.)

I am not going to jump through hoops for just one thing that I tried out with less success than I expected and less pleasure than others have experienced. It didn't cost me anything to try.

I'll get over it Smile

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RE: Spotify choice.

No need to jump up and down to/from the computer, there are a few third-party smartphone/tablet apps which remotely control Spotify from your armchair. My favourite is Remoteless and I use it a lot, though I remain bemused as to why there has never been an official Spotify remote control as yet.

Phileas wrote:

I use Spotify via a Squeezeserver 3rd party Spotify plugin controlled using iPeng on my iPad.

....

My two biggest (slight) annoyances with Spotify are non-gapless playback on many albums and occasional chopping off the last couple of seconds of a track.

No idea if those two things there are linked, but I have to say that I haven't encountered these issues either. But then again I have 'Gapless playback' ticked on the Spotify 'Preferences' pane, which presumably you cannot do on your setup.

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RE: Spotify choice.

Well, I have been thinking and researching this a little more.

Delving around the Spotify community pages (after searching google for 'Spotify quality') I found a few mentions of a  'volume normalisation' setting in preferences.

I downloaded again but couldn't find settings.

I re-read the comments and realised this settings reside in 'preferences' on the desktop client so I downloaded that again.  Found it ...

 

... it seems that Spotify settings default to ... "Set the same volume level for all tracks". Hmmm.

Apparently with this setting ticked Spotify also ramps up the volume by 3 - 6 dB too ...

http://news.spotify.com/uk/2009/02/05/volume-normalization-now-optional-in-spotify/

Sooo.  When I get the time, I am going to re-subscribe to the 30 day Premium trial and load up the iPad / iPhone apps and see if their settings were defaulted to 'set the same volume level for all tracks'.  I only remember seeing sound quality levels and picked 'extreme' to get 320K. I don't recall seeing anything else on the apps.

Can this actually be turned off in the iPhone / iPad apps?  Where? (If not in 'Settings'?)

As for 'Hardware acceleration', what's that about?  Could that be detrimental too?

 

 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Spotify choice.

I've just checked and these options aren't available on iPad/iPhone.  Like many others here, I am surprised you had such a bad experience with Spotify's sound quality.  I find the difference between CD and Spotify very subtle.  My biggest improvement was - a few years ago now - when I added a (relatively inexpensive) V-DAC between the Airport Express and my amp.  I hope things go better if you try again!

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RE: Spotify choice.

Sorreltiger wrote:

I've just checked and these options aren't available on iPad/iPhone.  Like many others here, I am surprised you had such a bad experience with Spotify's sound quality.  I find the difference between CD and Spotify very subtle.  My biggest improvement was - a few years ago now - when I added a (relatively inexpensive) V-DAC between the Airport Express and my amp.  I hope things go better if you try again!

Okay thanks. So that setting would only apply to the desktop app (that I wasn't using anyway).  Never mind. 

(I know that the desktop apps and iPad / iPhone apps 'talk' to each other regarding which one is playing and syncing favourites etc. so I just wondered if settings were shared too.) 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Spotify choice.

chebby wrote:

Well, I have been thinking and researching this a little more.

Delving around the Spotify community pages (after searching google for 'Spotify quality') I found a few mentions of a  'volume normalisation' setting in preferences.

I downloaded again but couldn't find settings.

I re-read the comments and realised this settings reside in 'preferences' on the desktop client so I downloaded that again.  Found it ...

 

... it seems that Spotify settings default to ... "Set the same volume level for all tracks". Hmmm.

Apparently with this setting ticked Spotify also ramps up the volume by 3 - 6 dB too ...

http://news.spotify.com/uk/2009/02/05/volume-normalization-now-optional-in-spotify/

Sooo.  When I get the time, I am going to re-subscribe to the 30 day Premium trial and load up the iPad / iPhone apps and see if their settings were defaulted to 'set the same volume level for all tracks'.  I only remember seeing sound quality levels and picked 'extreme' to get 320K. I don't recall seeing anything else on the apps.

Can this actually be turned off in the iPhone / iPad apps?  Where? (If not in 'Settings'?)

As for 'Hardware acceleration', what's that about?  Could that be detrimental too?

 

 

 

 

 

The same volume setting is very slow acting and quite subtle in my experience. Doesn't seem to affect sound quality in any significant way (unlike Radio 2 FM's optimod type dynamics crusher) and a great boon if you listen to your own playlists. I can't find a way to turn it off on my android app, it is always on,  but not a problem as I only use it in the car.

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RE: Spotify choice.

Notice that some of the posters on here have some fantastic kit, do you not feel Spotify just lacks that quality?

I find a huge differnece between the 320k of Spotify and the CD playback of the same track.

I use it to discover music i would never have heard otherwise and for reminiscing with albums from my youth that sadly got lost along the way.

 

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RE: Spotify choice.

TrevC wrote:

... (unlike Radio 2 FM's optimod type dynamics crusher) ...

I'm not a big fan of R2 (Trevor Nelson sometimes but that's about it).

I know the 'crusher' used to get switched off after 'drive time' and before the evening 'speciality' programming started. (Presumably R1 have it racked up to the max permanently.)

I seem to remember a Barry Fox article about this subject years ago. (What's he up to nowadays? Always enjoyed his articles.)

 

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RE: Spotify choice.

chebby wrote:

TrevC wrote:

... (unlike Radio 2 FM's optimod type dynamics crusher) ...

I'm not a big fan of R2 (Trevor Nelson sometimes but that's about it).

I know the 'crusher' used to get switched off after 'drive time' and before the evening 'speciality' programming started. (Presumably R1 have it racked up to the max permanently.)

I seem to remember a Barry Fox article about this subject years ago. (What's he up to nowadays? Always enjoyed his articles.)

 

 

Daytime radio 2 is unlistenable because of the dreadful playlist as well. Awful new 'music' and the same old played to death oldies.

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RE: Spotify choice.

MajorFubar wrote:
Phileas wrote:

I use Spotify via a Squeezeserver 3rd party Spotify plugin controlled using iPeng on my iPad.

....

My two biggest (slight) annoyances with Spotify are non-gapless playback on many albums and occasional chopping off the last couple of seconds of a track.

No idea if those two things there are linked, but I have to say that I haven't encountered these issues either. But then again I have 'Gapless playback' ticked on the Spotify 'Preferences' pane, which presumably you cannot do on your setup.

It's nothing to do with my set up, it happens with the Spotify iPad app also. It's just that a lot of albums where tracks run into each other are not gapless on Spotify yet. As I understand it, tracks need to be re-encoded to play gaplessly and that job is incomplete.

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RE: Spotify choice.

chebby wrote:

TrevC wrote:

... (unlike Radio 2 FM's optimod type dynamics crusher) ...

I'm not a big fan of R2 (Trevor Nelson sometimes but that's about it).

I know the 'crusher' used to get switched off after 'drive time' and before the evening 'speciality' programming started. (Presumably R1 have it racked up to the max permanently.)

I seem to remember a Barry Fox article about this subject years ago. (What's he up to nowadays? Always enjoyed his articles.)

 

 

You'll find Barry is a contributor on Hifi News these days Chebby.  

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