Qobuz


#1

Qobuz is my third streaming service. I started with Spotify, then Tidal, now Qobuz. tl;dr - Qobuz is the best.

I cannot express how happy I am that I no longer get the Tidal recommendations. I fucking hated them. They were probably just all Jay-Z’s mates. Tidal was entirely useless as a music discovery system for me.

Qobuz has a recommendation section that is way more diverse. So in their library section there’s Kendrick Lamar, Terry Riley, Weber, Handel, Wilco, Mary J Blige, Aretha, Joe South, Flamin Grooves, Sonic Youth, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, John Adams, Ali Farka Toure… Lots of things that I fancy trying. I actually want to explore this. I don’t know if it’s better than Spotify, but I know it will be better for me.

They also have Panoramas, where they explore something in some detail. It’s mostly but not all classical. May be a composer, but may the Coen brothers films or Nils Frahm. They are fairly long articles with a playlist. Cool.

I transferred my playlists and favourites from Spotify and Tidal using Soundiiz, which cost $4.50 (you pay for a month and make sure you cancel the repeat). It worked OK, some cleaning necessary but nothing too bad. Almost everything I have was on Qobuz; the only thing I’ll miss is Red Priest - Baroque Bohemians, which I’ll buy.

The interface is clean but somewhat buggy. I had thought that the playlists hadn’t transferred, but it was just the program not updating. Sometimes bits don’t update correctly, but playback is fine.

The mobile app (Android) seems fine. You can simply click import on a playlist album, and it asks you whether you want it CD quality or 320mb/s. It has crashed a couple of times, but I think that’s my phone, which has been fucked today.

Audio output is working perfectly via ASIO. Compared with Tidal, which had been quite a pain (it had specific issues with the J River WDM), it’s pleasing. The single worst thing about Tidal for me was the way it worked badly with J River; I would usually miss the first few seconds after pressing play, while Tidal turned the stream back on and J River started up. Qobuz keeps the stream live. I think it sounds better than Tidal, but I’m sure that’s just me getting over the hate I have for Tidal.

I don’t know what the terms say on multiple users, but I’ve had it streaming on computer, Squeezebox and mobile simultaneously (different tracks on each), so it’s nice not to have to buy a family subscription.

Overall I’m delighted with this change. I’ll add some more later when I’ve explored the catalogue more.


#2

To save me looking it up how much per month?


#3

£20 for lossless, same as Tidal. Month free trial.


#4

I’ll look into that, ta


#5

But but but but Quboz are French…

What about Brexit? They won’t be allowed to stream across our borders will they?
Bet you hadn’t thought of that :grin:


#6

You can also pay for an annual Sublime (pr. subleeem) subscription which gives very good discounts on hi res downloads.


#7

You can, although I’m totally over ‘owning’ music. I prefer the idea of paying a subscription tbh.


#8

I’m not and won’t be, which is also why I will never go streaming only.


#9

There is also a Sublime plus which is 350 per annum and allows hi res streaming, although that’s what Tidal claims MQA Masters to be.


#10

MQA is the biggest pile of horseshit in digital audio. It’s a contrived system of lossless CD quality plus lossy hi res, and its only benefit is to reduce bandwidth, when bandwidth is simply not a problem nowadays. It does have the happy side effects of providing Meridian with royalties in several areas, providing stupid sales people with a product, and allows people who know nothing about digital audio to preserve their ignorance.

It’s indicative of all that is wrong with the audio industry. It can fuck off all of the way.


#11

I have just found out one of my CD’s is worth £70!


#12

CDs


#13

One minor failing is in the Qobuz Connect system. What I want is fairly simple - I want to control the music playing on a PC from my phone.

Spotify works brilliantly in this respect - Spotify Connect does just this. Tidal is completely useless. Qobuz is in between - it is compatible with Google’s Chromecast. However, it’s not a Chromecast I play from.

I can probably sort out some kind of kludge using DLNA and BubbleUPNP. I did this with Tidal, and it works but means you don’t use the native app for Tidal/Qobuz, and hence miss out on the discovery (and a fair bit of user-friendliness).

It’s frustrating for anyone who runs a computer for audio that you can’t cast to it. I understand this to be a restriction from Google - in order to be a trusted device, they need to know that the stream can’t be intercepted and recorded. This will never happen for PCs.

This then puts the obligation for remote control onto the owners of the streaming system; so far only one has come up with a decent system.


#14

I’ve just found that you can get three months’ free sub to the sublime+ hi-res streaming by using the code CEDIA2018 - simply apply to your (already free) account. Cool.


#15

The hi-res didn’t play well with J River WDM, so I upgraded J River while there’s a discount on. New version didn’t help, despite one of the things in the change log being lots of work on making the WDM work better with streaming services while changing sampling rates.

A few minutes fucking about with ASIO4ALL has it sorted. Usefully, both Qobuz and J River report the sampling rate used, so it’s easy to know that it’s working correctly.

Sounds marvellous on HD, but then I put on a 16/44 album and that sounds great too.

I’m really enjoying the music discovery system with Qobuz, it knocks Tidal into a cocked hat.


#16

It’s a major bollock ache that Qobuz doesn’t work with Roon.

I got a Linn DS as that works with Qobuz, like fuck does it, Linn streaming is an utter pile of steaming shite.


#17

I had a Linn Akurate DS ages ago. Sounded good, but the software was very simple, just a DLNA renderer. Makes you realise just how advanced Sonos and Squeezebox were when they came out.

There is talk of Qobuz working with Roon this year. It’s a play that Roon need to make, they can’t be tied to Tidal forever.


#18

I seriously hope so. leaving aside the shitty interface, I am sick to death of being offered Jay-Z style toss incessantly by TIDAL.


#19

Nice one, I’ve now got 3 months free Hi-Res as well. I’ve yet to pay the full price for a streaming service, I just cycle between the free/99p offers from Spotify/Deezer/Google Play Music/Tidal etc.


#20

For UI, catalogue and music discovery, I still haven’t found anything the equal of Spotify.