Do we have a list of digital streaming sources/services?

msgmsg Posts: 4,967
edited January 2015 in Going Digital
Do we have a list of digital streaming sources/services anywhere?
Was thinking maybe a sticky for this would be a good idea? Maybe there already is, and I've missed it somehow.

Something simple - Service Name, brief description, quality, and whether subscription based or not, and what subscription service gets you. Or maybe we can pull together a shared Google Spreadsheet and assign some managers, or set it up with some method for taking suggestions?

I've been using streaming services for a few years now, but it was limited mostly to headphones and computer or smartphone. About a year and a half or so ago I started to get into better home audio, and added a Squeezebox, and started building my system.

I typically use Spotify, Pandora, and TuneIn, and a handful of internet radio streams. I just recently started playing with Digitally Imported and ended up going with a subscription after a free trial. they totally got me; quality difference was readily apparent on their free vs subscription services. Anyway, for those who don't know the service, they apparently have deejays who hand-manage the different channels they offer. This particular service, DI.fm, is primarily for variants of electronic music. I just realized last night, however, that the account you set up for DI.fm also includes access "sister" station, RadioTunes, which used to be Sky.fm. RadioTunes has more "popular" types of music genres, and again, apparently handpicked by real channel managers.

As most streaming services go, subscriptions get you better quality and no commercials. In the case of DI.fm and RadioTunes, the higher quality option gets you up to 128Kbps AAC or 320Kbps CBR, your choice. Anyway, I only stumbled across the sister station by accident (a single subscription grants access to both). I wouldn't have known this otherwise, so I was thinking it would be nice to have all of this sort of information available for others' education.

I know there are also some other better quality streaming services out there that I don't know anything about, like Tidal, for example. Should we document this somehow?
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Comments

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,211
    Probably bordering on too many to list. Some of the more popular ones are Spotify, Rhapsody, Deezer, Tidal, and many more. Like all services though, quality-price-performance, options, may differ some. A simple google search would turn up most of them.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,967
    thought it would be good to get some feedback on them, who's used what, etc., general knowledge share. for instance, I didn't even know what Tidal was until a few months ago when @ambiophonics posted up with an announcement. I thought I was pretty set as far as streaming goes and so wasn't really looking, and here was a service I'd never heard of that's supposed to be pretty good. this kinda thing.
    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/164511/tidal-hifi-launched-today-cd-quality-streaming
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,211
    I use Rhapsody along with my personal downloaded cd's. I find their library exceptional and rock solid dependability....as in no dropouts, which can get aggravating with some other services. I've used Spotify before but their library at the time wasn't as good and experienced too many drop outs.

    All depends on what you want....Tidal seems to get the most attention these days due to their cd quality streaming....but they also charge double of most other services.

    Google music is another people seem to enjoy, haven't tried it though. Like I said, depends on what your looking for, the gear you want to use, quality you want, user friendly, etc. To list every service and what they offer though is like listing every receiver out there and what their bells and whistles include.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • scotvlscotvl Posts: 88
    Do any of these services sound good enough for 2 channel in home listening? I've only used streaming services for talk or sports on my portable devices.
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    Tidal seems to be the favorite so far amongst audiophiles. It's full CD quality FLAC files, should sound great. I've done some brief testing against some FLAC files I've ripped down and if I try really hard I can hear a difference on some songs when flipping back and forth, and that's on a revealing system and I have excellent hearing.

    The vast majority of people won't be able to hear a difference and even for those of us who can, it's not something you'd detect in even serious listening sessions...you'd really have to sit down with both options and flip back and forth in order to compare.

    I personally don't really like any of the streaming services as they exist today. I like the approach taken by Beats with a curated means of finding music vs a computer recommending music. I think a human or group of humans can do a better job of making suggestions based on my listening habits and/or searches than an algorithm can. The problem with Beats is they don't have lossless quality, so while it's fine for background music it's not ideal for serious listening.

    My ideal option would be the back end, music selection, and services of Beats with the sound quality of Tidal. Apple really needs to get off their **** and get the service upgraded with lossless quality, may as well go ahead and fix iTunes while they're at it. We're already getting Beats headphones with much better sound quality in this latest round of product updates, let's get the source material updated as well.
  • scotvlscotvl Posts: 88
    Tidal seems to be the favorite so far amongst audiophiles. It's full CD quality FLAC files, should sound great. I've done some brief testing against some FLAC files I've ripped down and if I try really hard I can hear a difference on some songs when flipping back and forth, and that's on a revealing system and I have excellent hearing.

    The vast majority of people won't be able to hear a difference and even for those of us who can, it's not something you'd detect in even serious listening sessions...you'd really have to sit down with both options and flip back and forth in order to compare.

    I personally don't really like any of the streaming services as they exist today. I like the approach taken by Beats with a curated means of finding music vs a computer recommending music. I think a human or group of humans can do a better job of making suggestions based on my listening habits and/or searches than an algorithm can. The problem with Beats is they don't have lossless quality, so while it's fine for background music it's not ideal for serious listening.

    My ideal option would be the back end, music selection, and services of Beats with the sound quality of Tidal. Apple really needs to get off their **** and get the service upgraded with lossless quality, may as well go ahead and fix iTunes while they're at it. We're already getting Beats headphones with much better sound quality in this latest round of product updates, let's get the source material updated as well.

    Thanks I'll have to give Tidal a listen, I just went to their site and noticed they have a 7 day free trial.
  • coolsaxcoolsax Posts: 1,755
    I had Tidal for a month back in October... Just isn't really convenient with a squeezebox touch, but I may re up my subscription now that i'm going to switch to the Blue Sound Node. Tidal has really great quality and you can stream on your smart phone as well.
    2ch -
    BlueSound Node or Onkyo CP1050 TT->Ethereal optical cable->Peachtree Audio Nova 150->GoldenEar Triton 2+
  • I did Tidal for the trial and then subscribed. I just have too many loading issues to justify the cost. I am really not sure what the issue is as it is random and across several devices. I get long pauses between songs and drops in the middle of songs on my PC which is ethernet, macbook Pro which is wireless and a Asus T100 which is wireless. I really like Tidal as the sound quality is really nice for a streaming service but we can run Spotify premium and watch Netflix on several computers in the house and never have an issue with bandwidth. I have 35/35 Fios and usually have 45/45 when I run speed tests so everything should be fine.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,211
    scotvl wrote: »
    Do any of these services sound good enough for 2 channel in home listening? I've only used streaming services for talk or sports on my portable devices.

    That all depends on the dac your using. You'll definitely want a dac in the mix with streaming services.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
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