If you’ve been a Spotify user for years, you’ll have noticed that your service has gone through a major revamp in the later part of last year. You’ll now have access to lossless tiers that let you listen to your favorite songs without any interruptions. The best thing about this is that it will make your music listening experience a whole lot better. However, there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind.
Apple Music announced a new lossless audio format last month, but not many details have been released. The company has not disclosed how much of the 75 million song catalog will be available in this high-quality format. However, if it’s anything like the “Mastered for iTunes” content that Spotify offers, we’re looking at tens of millions of songs.
Apple Music lossless in ALAC format starts at 16-bit at 44.1 kHz. This is the same quality level that you’d expect from a CD. When the file is played through a USB digital-to-analog converter, it goes up to 24-bit at 48 kHz. To stream this lossless audio, you’ll need a DAC.
Meanwhile, Spotify hasn’t revealed what its “lossless” CD-quality songs are, or whether it will charge extra for the feature. In fact, the free tier doesn’t even offer the highest quality streams.
Spotify’s free tier does offer a number of non-music streaming perks. You’ll get access to Siri, a Beats 1 radio station, genre-based radio stations, and more. It’s not exactly the most comprehensive music service out there, but it’s still better than nothing.
In May, Apple Music announced the rollout of Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos to its service. This will allow users to stream a large collection of songs in an immersive sound.
There are two types of playlists in Apple Music: New Music and Favorites. Each playlist is personalized for you based on your tastes. Some include tracks curated by DJs, while others are based on genres.
Apple Music offers a number of features that make it competitive with Spotify. Those features include deep integration with Apple devices, automatic synchronization, and an easy-to-use interface. Plus, the company’s lossless audio is a big deal for audiophiles.
While Spotify may have the most innovative feature at the moment, Apple Music is still the clear winner. With its HiFi tier coming later this year, the company could provide an even better music experience. But the service is a step behind Tidal, which has long supported lossless audio.
Tidal is a new subscription service that launched in the US, Canada, and UK in 2014. It has more than 90 million songs in its catalog and uses lossless audio technology. This method allows for the delivery of music at a higher quality than other services.
Tidal’s first tier is free. With this plan, users can listen to full-length playlists, including artists’ albums. There are no ads and there are limited interruptions.
Tidal’s Hi-Fi tier costs $10 per month. It offers Dolby Atmos, MQA, and Master quality tracks. TIDAL also features a radio feature, a video library, and live performances. The service’s video library boasts over 450,000 videos, including music videos, movies about music, and live performances.
Tidal’s third tier costs $20 per month. With this plan, users get the same high-quality music as the other tiers, as well as exclusive access to live performances, meet-and-greets, and virtual reality concerts.
Spotify’s free tier only offers low-quality 96-Kbps audio, which can be upgraded to 160 Kbps. However, Premium subscribers can stream at 320 Kbps.
While most popular music services use lossy compression to save storage space, Tidal specializes in lossless audio. This type of sound relies on MQA to compress the content, which prevents distortion when played uncompressed.
Unlike other streaming services, Tidal also gives music fans ways to support their favorite artists. With the company’s new Direct Artist Payouts program, artists receive up to 10 percent of the monthly subscription fee. They’ll be able to keep track of how much money they’re receiving, and how they’re being spent.
In addition to paying out royalties to artists, Tidal has introduced a new feature called My Activity. This gives subscribers daily insights into their listening habits. If you choose to share your listening habits, the information will be available to others who have signed up to the service.
While Tidal’s changes may not be enough to persuade subscribers to switch, the company is making efforts to improve its service. Some of the changes include a free tier, direct artist payments, and the introduction of a user-centric payment system.
Amazon Music HD
Amazon is launching a new music streaming service, called Amazon Music HD. The service will offer high definition streaming, hi-res audio, and lossless content. It competes with Apple Music and Spotify.
Amazon has a huge library, with more than 70 million songs. This includes high-res albums, podcasts, and radio stations. You can listen to the music on a PC, iOS, Android, or Echo device.
The service is available in the US, Japan, and Germany, as well as in the UK. There’s a 30-day trial available, so you can try it out before signing up.
In the first three months, users can stream about 60 million songs in HD quality. These include about two million in Ultra HD quality. If you subscribe, you’ll receive unlimited skips, a personalized streaming radio station, and thousands of curated playlists.
But if you’re looking for high-res content, you might be interested in the HiFi tier that Spotify will be launching later this year. However, it’s unclear how the HiFi tier will function, and whether or not it will support immersive audio streams.
The free trial will allow you to listen to 75 million songs in high definition. That’s a pretty good sample size, and is better than the 30 million songs that you’ll get with a free trial from most streaming services.
If you want to upgrade to the full Premium tier, you’ll need to spend $9.99 per month. As a Prime member, you’ll get a discount on that rate. After the initial trial period, you’ll be charged $5 less per month on future billing cycles.
You’ll also get access to the site’s Playlists for You feature, which presents you with a suggested set of albums from a particular artist. This feature is similar to Spotify’s “Customers Also Listened to” feature, but it’s more difficult to access.
The service is compatible with many hi-res devices, including the Amazon Fire TV, Sonos speakers, and Sono speakers. It also supports offline playback.
Ultimately, if you’re an audiophile, you may prefer the more expensive option. Nevertheless, if you just want to listen to your favorite tracks, you might be better off sticking with the standard quality.
Spotify HiFi is a subscription tier that will upgrade the quality of your music. The service will allow you to enjoy CD-quality audio on your phone, laptop, or speakers, through Spotify Connect.
Spotify has already announced plans for a new subscription tier, but hasn’t talked much about the tier’s price. According to CEO Daniel Ek, the company has not yet settled on a price. He also said that licensing issues have held up the HiFi tier’s release, but he wasn’t sure when it would come to market.
Spotify’s new lossless tier will be available in select markets later this year. It will cost an additional fee on top of your current Premium subscription. Depending on the device you own, you’ll need to purchase a special HiFi acoustic speaker or Bluetooth headphones to access the feature.
Although Spotify does not own any hardware, it’s working with the world’s leading speaker manufacturers to get HiFi enabled products out to the public. Those who have Connect-enabled speakers may have access to HiFi before older devices.
However, this could change in the future. Spotify is still in talks with music labels about the new feature. As such, it’s unclear if the feature will be included in the standard Spotify app, or if it will be a separate option.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to HiFi. Many devices support Bluetooth, which allows you to stream music wirelessly to a compatible speaker. Other options include Amazon’s Music HD and Tidal.
Spotify hasn’t talked a lot about the tier since it was first announced, and it’s unclear when the feature will become available. Some Reddit users believe that it has been built, though the company hasn’t confirmed that it’s coming.
Currently, all of the songs on the Spotify website are compressed, meaning that they are limited to 320kbit/s of audio. This means that they’re not able to fully convey the detail and nuance of the music. However, with HiFi, the tunes will have more depth and clarity. In addition to that, you’ll be able to take your tunes with you anywhere you go.