Spotify has released a lossless tier year after year but hasn’t made much headway in getting the music industry to adopt it. This is a major problem for both artists and listeners. But what is the solution? One possible solution is to use a lossless audio codec like ABX and then allow users to play it on their computer or phone.
ABX test for lossless streaming
When it comes to lossless streaming, you’ll find plenty of services to choose from. Spotify has a lossless streaming tier, but it’s not the only one. Amazon Music Unlimited offers lossless streaming, and Tidal also provides lossless audio streaming.
If you’re a fan of high-fidelity music, then you’ll want to keep your eyes out for the release of Spotify HiFi, which promises lossless audio. It won’t be available until later this year.
Despite this delay, you can test your audio equipment for the lossless-friendly ABX Test. This is a simple test that measures the difference between audio files. You’ll be given two audio files, and you’ll need to decide whether A or B is better than X.
As you’d expect, the ABX Test measures the audio quality in lossy and in lossless. The good news is that it’s a statistically-sound measure of what the difference between audio files is.
If you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, you can already stream at a maximum of 320 kbps. However, you can expect even better sound with the HiFi tier. To get the most out of your listening experience, though, you’ll need some decent audio gear.
If you’re on the hunt for a high-quality stream, you should consider getting Spotify Connect, which has Bluetooth headphones and speakers that support a variety of protocols. In addition to the Bluetooth protocol, you’ll need to be using an internet connection to receive the best possible sound.
While Spotify has been tease about a lossless streaming tier, it hasn’t provided any pricing information yet. If you’re eager to test the waters, though, you can take the Digital Feed ABX Test.
The digital feed ABX test is a great way to test the difference between lossy and lossless audio. You’ll be given two audio files, one of which is a 320 kbps track, and the other is a lossless file. After comparing the two, you’ll know whether a higher quality track is worth the extra cost.
Spotify has also recently introduced a “Wrapped” experience that gives users information on songs, albums, and artists. Among other things, the wrapper is a reminder that you may be missing out on some of the finest music around.
‘Platinum’ service is not a priority for Spotify
If you’re a Spotify subscriber, you might have missed the news that the company has dropped the Platinum tier. The service, which costs $20 a month, used to include everything you’d need to enjoy the service, including Playlist Pro, Headphone Tune utility, and Audio Insights.
It was previously rumored that Apple was going to add Lossless Audio support to the AirPods Pro 2. While this was not the case, many consumers started to pick up wireless headphones, which are now more affordable.
Those consumers have turned their attention to other services that offer lossless audio. Streaming services like Tidal and Amazon have been offering high-quality streaming for years. Unlike Tidal, Amazon doesn’t charge extra for better audio.
That may explain why Spotify hasn’t released HiFi, its new lossless-audio streaming tier. Initially, the company said it would launch it in February 2021. However, Spotify executives said it would roll out to Premium users later that year.
After the delay, rumors swirled that it was because of competition with other streaming services, such as Apple. But it also appeared that Spotify was waiting to release the feature until they could afford the hardware it needed. Ahead of the launch, the company tested CD-quality audio streams.
This, of course, didn’t stop consumers from asking when the feature was coming. Eventually, the company confirmed it would roll out the feature in “select markets” in 2021.
However, the delay left consumers feeling let down. Some even began comparing Spotify to rival lossless-audio services, such as Tidal. Others began asking whether it was time for the Platinum tier to come back.
It’s now unclear whether or not the company will return to the platinum tier. Until it does, it may not be worth paying double for a service that doesn’t offer the quality you’d expect.
Regardless of its future, if you’re a Spotify user, you should keep checking back for updates. And if you’re a former subscriber, you might be interested in taking a survey to determine if you’d consider rejoining the company in 30 days.
Spotify HiFi was originally announced at a Stream On event in February 2021. During that event, the company promised a significant boost in audio quality. Originally, Spotify said it would release the feature in select markets by the end of that year.
HiFi tier could be a project that Spotify is content to tinker with
In February of this year, Spotify announced plans for a new “HiFi” tier of its Premium subscription service. This tier would offer lossless audio streaming. At the time, it was expected to launch by the end of 2021.
Spotify is known for its extensive library of music and podcasts. However, the company has been facing growing competition from other music streaming services. Among the competition is Apple Music, which recently introduced Dolby Atmos to its service.
Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek, has been clear that he wants to weaken Apple’s hold on the App Store. He says that his company has been testing and experimenting with features, including HiFi, for some time.
Whether or not this new feature will be a success is up in the air. But if it is, it could mean a major shift in the company’s pricing strategy. If this happens, it could also mean the demise of the Car Thing, a small touch screen display for the dashboard of your car that allowed you to stream Spotify on the go.
While Spotify hasn’t officially launched its HiFi feature, it’s still live on its website. There’s even a hidden menu in the app that looks like it’s ready to deliver on its promises.
As of now, there’s no word on whether the HiFi tier will be available at a discount for a limited time or as part of an upgraded premium subscription plan. However, it’s possible that the company may be planning an announcement.
The new tier, which will come with high-quality music streams, is a big step in Spotify’s attempt to compete with rivals such as Apple Music. Although it’s still not completely clear what will be included in the tier, a number of Spotify users have speculated that it will include higher-quality audio tracks.
With Apple, Spotify is in a very tight spot. Both companies have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s hard to tell which one will prevail. Having a large music catalog and a smart revenue model can help Spotify, but the company may not have enough in the way of hardware or wearable devices to compete with the iPhone maker.
Streaming giants not charging extra for hi-fi audio
Streaming giants have not been charging extra for high-res audio for quite a while. This is because they are aware that charging for better sound quality is a bad move. The fact is that most services offer higher-quality streaming for free with their premium subscriptions, so why charge?
Spotify was initially planning to introduce a hi-fi feature for an additional subscription fee, but has since pulled it. Instead, it is working on a new service for artists. It will automatically generate transcripts of podcasts for listeners. At the same time, it has been generating “audio-references,” or transcriptions of recordings, which can be viewed by a click on a hi-fi icon on the player. However, it has not yet disclosed when or how much the service will cost.
During the last few years, Spotify has come under a lot of scrutiny in the music industry. This is due to the fact that royalty rates for the service are among the lowest in the market. Moreover, the service prioritizes artists who accept lower royalties. For these reasons, it is likely that the company will have to revise its pricing strategy to keep up with its rivals.
Streaming services such as Apple Music and Tidal have been offering high-res audio streaming for free, and Amazon has also dropped premium pricing for the service. However, this did not leave Spotify in a strong position, as it continues to fall behind Apple in lossless streaming. As a result, the company could be forced to follow the latter’s lead and charge for improved audio.
However, this might not be the end of the story. In fact, the company plans to launch its high-res audio tier before the end of 2021. It is expected to include a range of CD-quality tracks, which will work with Spotify Connect-enabled speakers. There has been no official announcement of its pricing plan or any other details, but we can expect that the company will eventually reshape its strategy to keep up with its rivals. After all, the economics of streaming are back to square one.