Which streaming service?

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Len_Z
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Which streaming service?

Post by Len_Z » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:32 am

Being oh so very conservative, especially where my music and cinema collections are concerned, I have never subscribed to any streaming service, because the mere thought of paying for something as immaterial as a digital recording that I would never be able to hold in my hands turned me off. I have always preferred the physical media such as LPs, CDs, DVDs, etc. But now the space limitations of my apartment have really caught up with me, plus I more than often find myself disappointed with a lot of new recordings I was only curious about but had to purchase them anyway just to give them one spin and then agonize over how to dispense of them. But being really unfamiliar with various streaming services, I wonder which one the members of this esteemed forum prefer. The price is a factor, as is the quality and the depth of catalogue for classical recordings and new films. Any information and or advice will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

The Other Len:)

Belle
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by Belle » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:48 am

Len_Z wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:32 am
Being oh so very conservative, especially where my music and cinema collections are concerned, I have never subscribed to any streaming service, because the mere thought of paying for something as immaterial as a digital recording that I would never be able to hold in my hands turned me off. I have always preferred the physical media such as LPs, CDs, DVDs, etc. But now the space limitations of my apartment have really caught up with me, plus I more than often find myself disappointed with a lot of new recordings I was only curious about but had to purchase them anyway just to give them one spin and then agonize over how to dispense of them. But being really unfamiliar with various streaming services, I wonder which one the members of this esteemed forum prefer. The price is a factor, as is the quality and the depth of catalogue for classical recordings and new films. Any information and or advice will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

The Other Len:)
I do understand your predicament; I avoided having to go 'digital' myself until my sister bought a state-of-the-art sound system for streaming and I had to have one!! This is complementary to my conventional sound system at the other end of the house. I subscribe to MediciTV and I think the Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall is good, though I'm not so fussed on its incoming music director. I think I'll drop the service in December when it is time for renewal. I'm not interested in Spotify and won't pay for that service as I have many CDs myself and some recordings I've seen on there don't interest me. There's another service, Mezzo, but I'm unsure about its quality and what is offered. I got my MediciTV subscription for half price in a 24 hour period during Verbier when they were having a promotion. It expires in July, 2019 and is automatically renewed unless I cancel it myself (which isn't ideal!).

Good luck with your decision but I think you'll experience another level of musical enjoyment through streaming music services. Even U-Tube links are improved in quality for me with my mini DAC and new HEOS speaker (I'm buying another one for another part of the house). Installation was a nightmare and the salesman had many phone calls to me where he had to 'talk me through' the process!! (I heard him say to the owner of the shop after he thought I'd hung up, 'she lives on another planet'!!)

This came through with really good sound quality last night, but not-so-hot vision. It is AMAZING and I've shared it with friends. It roars through my house!! (No close neighbours and I can play it at any hour of the day or night, and frequently do!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bYvZEpHEMA

This sounds STUNNING too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V4fJ5OlnKw

John F
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Re: Which streaming service?

Post by John F » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:02 am

You don't say whether you want a streaming service that's like an extensive record collection, such as Spotify, or one that carries live performances in real time, such as the Berlin Philharmonic's.

Of the former, a friend advocates strongly for Spotify, whose classical repertoire goes far beyond the standards; it seems limited only by what commercial recordings are currently in print.

As for me, the streaming service I use constantly is YouTube. No doubt its repertoire is less extensive than Spotify's, but in areas that matter to me it nearly always provides what I need, and of course it's free.
John Francis

Len_Z
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:47 am
Location: New York, NY, USA

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by Len_Z » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:29 am

Sorry, I meant something like Spotify. Is it preferable to, let's say, I-tunes? And is the choice really between these two and Youtube or is there something else out there that I am not aware of?

Thanks a lot for your responses, Belle and John F!

Best regards,

The Other Len:)

CharmNewton
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by CharmNewton » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:49 pm

I'm a paid subscriber to Spotify and I like the service.

I initially signed up for the free version to listen to new releases, but they have a vast amount of classical music available (for example, Leonard Bernstein's complete music for solo piano in a new DG, download-only release by Katie Mahan who is a wonderful pianist, quite a discovery). I opted for the paid subscription for the higher streaming rate (although I don't detect a difference in quality) and to eliminate ads (which can be jarringly loud). Ads always came between tracks and never during one, although listening to an opera will have many interruptions.

I've been listening to Yo-Yo Ma's new recording of the Bach Suites for Solo Cello and so far (Suites 1 and 6 complete and movements of the other four), I'm very disappointed. Nothing special about his sound and often he sounds like he's sawing wood. At least his intonation is still good. That is something that can't be taken for granted today.

John

Belle
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Re: Which streaming service?

Post by Belle » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:55 pm

Spotify is of no use to me because I have an extensive CD collection, most of which I never seem to get around to playing anyway. Unlikely to pay for another service which renders them redundant.

John F
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by John F » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:48 pm

Len_Z wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:29 am
Sorry, I meant something like Spotify. Is it preferable to, let's say, I-tunes? And is the choice really between these two and Youtube or is there something else out there that I am not aware of?
Google on music streaming services and you'll find more, plus reviews.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Which streaming service?

Post by Belle » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:26 pm

This is excellent too and I use it all the time. They're working their way through all the works of Bach:

http://allofbach.com/en/

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by barney » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:35 am

Someone mentioned another streaming service with vastly better sound quality, and recordings much less compressed. I will try to find out what it is, and post it here. Spotify does compress files quite a lot, I believe. I too am in the CD camp, and not interested in streaming, though I do love historic performances on YouTube.

maestrob
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:09 am

barney wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:35 am
Someone mentioned another streaming service with vastly better sound quality, and recordings much less compressed. I will try to find out what it is, and post it here. Spotify does compress files quite a lot, I believe. I too am in the CD camp, and not interested in streaming, though I do love historic performances on YouTube.
Yes, barney, I agree with you and Belle, sound quality is indeed an issue for me, although for older recordings I'm fine with youtube. CDs have the best sound, and with my extensive collection, I simply don't have the time for listening to spotify (for example). Occasionally youtube and the BBC have sound that's nearly good enough, and so I listen, but I will not download and create a CD from amazon, as the sound in that case is limited to the quality of the downloaded file.

Beckmesser
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Location: Columbia/Westchester Counties NY

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by Beckmesser » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:15 pm

I had planned to pose this question myself, so I'm glad to see that Len has done so.

I spoke with a friend recently who said he wondered why he was buying CDs when he can enjoy a lot more music with a streaming service. My friend chose Apple music. I might have considered that option until I read this review highlighting the shortcomings of Apple Music as a source of classical music. Apple Music was obviously designed for popular music; classical music was probably an afterthought. The author recommends a service called IDAGIO, which doesn't have as many recordings as Apple Music but makes it easier to search.

In a different review, the author recommends a streaming service by the name of PrimePhonic. The service streams a catalogue of over 100,000 classical music tracks, available in CD quality 16-bit FLAC format. An unlimited subscription costs £14.99 or $14.99. The author praises the scrupulous attention to the data that helps the user navigate the collection.

I might give one of these a try.

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by barney » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:33 am

I have checked with my friend about the streaming service he mentioned, which had been highly recommended. It is called Tidal. He says it has an emphasis on classical and huge repertoire. And the premium service offers streaming at full CD quality.
So I hope someone tries it out. Streaming is not for me at this point.

Len_Z
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:47 am
Location: New York, NY, USA

Re: Which streaming service?

Post by Len_Z » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:39 am

Thank you, everybody! At this point I decided to give Spotify a try - the first month is free anyway. I'll take a look at Tidal as well, but am always open to other suggestions.

Thanks again! You've been a terrific bunch!

Tha Other Len:)

John F
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Re: Which streaming service?

Post by John F » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:20 am

"The platform claims to have nearly all classical music ever recorded." Definitely hype, and they must know it. The complete Fonotipia and Phonotype catalogs? What a dream! But still...

Dedicated streaming service for classical music launches with over 1 million tracks
By Jessica Gelt
Sep 10, 2018

A new streaming service devoted exclusively to classical music has launched in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Called Primephonic, the platform claims to have nearly all classical music ever recorded, with over 1 million tracks available at the push of a button.

Catalogues on offer include those from Warner Classics, Sony Classical, Universal Music Classics, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI, in addition to more than 400 other labels worldwide. Users can search by composer, title, artist, musical period and genre; and background information, including colorful anecdotes about the artists and recordings, is also available.

Another interesting feature uniquely tailored to the classical music listening experience is the option to compare different recordings of the same work side-by-side. In a genre of music that dates back hundreds of years and has often been recorded many different times by all sorts of artists, this can give listeners crucial perspective on the evolution of the art form.

In addition, the team of classical music fans behind the service has created a variety of specially curated playlists that allow listeners to take deep-dives into obscure corners of the classical canon, including medieval compositions and minimalism.

In a news release, Primephonic CEO Thomas Steffens said the company’s goal was to usher in a new era for classical music in the digital age.

“As a classical music lover myself, I have often experienced the frustrations of listening to classical music on today’s existing streaming services,” Steffens said. “Streaming has revolutionized the way the world listens to music, but it has failed to revolutionize classical music.”

Another chief concern for Steffens was a sustainable business model that provides fair revenue for classical artists. To this end the company has developed a pay-per-second model that takes into consideration the long-form nature of classical compositions and compensates accordingly.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ar ... story.html
John Francis

Len_Z
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Re: Which streaming service?

Post by Len_Z » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:16 pm

P.S. I have tried 'Tidal' last night and must admit I'm completely blown away by the sound quality that is eons superior to 'Spotify'. I did compare same recordings on both services side by side.

The only thing I can't figure out yet is if it's permissible to download and how to go off-line.

The depth of the catalogue is quite impressive, and for $20 a month you get unlimited, ad-free CD-quality recordings to listen to at your convenience.

Thanks again to everybody who was kind enough to participate - I think I've found exactly what I 've been looking for.

The Other Len

Holden Fourth
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Re: Which streaming service?

Post by Holden Fourth » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:08 pm

I've also tried Tidal and yes, there are recordings on it in CD quality or FLAC/ALAC, but not that many and only a small percentage are classical. The rest of their recordings are the same as Spotify's at 320 kbps. Considering that Spotify is considerably cheaper and has a lot more content it's a no-brainer. Now if Tidal uppped their game and produced everything as either FLAC or CD 44.1 then I'd go for it.

Primephonic looks interesting.

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