Who's listening online? And with what?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by satkinsn, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    Also, AccuRadio isn't a replacement for your CDs and vinyl, in the way Spotify can be for some people. AccuRadio (and Pandora and Slacker and Jazz/ClassicalRadio) is the 21st century version of radio. I bring a different ear, and different expectations, to radio-like services than I do to on-demand streamers.

    s.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  2. rkgren1

    rkgren1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Listening to Jackson Browne's Live Acoustic Album 1&2.
    Playing through an Onkyo TX-3000 into Yamaha YH-1 headphones.
     
  3. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    I'm trying to listen to their Cool Jazz station, but I've always had an issue with their quality. Artifacts are VERY noticeable, I'd be surprised if this is even 128K, sounds like 48K or so. Like back in the day, trying to get that fringe FM station on a cheap tuner; highly distorted.

    Cool Jazz station from Amazon Music, OTOH, sounds like a CD. I think it's 256K AAC, sounds terrific.
     
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  4. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    Odd. I'm not hearing what you're hearing, though in fairness, my hearing ain't what it used to be. I listen on the Play:1s, not closely, and haven't been jarred.

    s.
     
  5. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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  6. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

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    I use both from time to time, but mostly Spotify Premium these days as it sounds better than either one of those by far.

    Eric
     
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  7. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    Earlier today in my office, a Play:1, SiriusXM, the POTUS channel. In my professional life I pay a lot of attention to politics, and I find POTUS, which is SiriusXM's non-partisan all-politics station, pretty good listening.

    It's interesting also that in my office using a Sonos, or any other networked player, is challenging. As good as Sonos is, even it doesn't play well with a wireless internet that pushes everything through an industrial strength firewall. I often have to click on a station 8-10 times to get it to play, and sometimes even that doesn't work. This is categorically not a Sonos thing; I had the exact same problem when I had my Squeezebox at the office.

    s.
     
  8. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Some rational whys & possibilities....
    1. A nominal 128k vs. 256k. Sure, why not?
    2. Not all streams are 128k?....very likely
    3. Errant cruddy rip(s)? ...very possible
    4. A free Ad supported independent vs. an Amazon subscription via their aMazing CDN? ...completely understandable.

    [​IMG]

    So to be fair, given the above caveats, SQ wise...it is what it is. ;)

    IMO, the reductive bottom line critique here should be gauged on overall programming. In that vein, Accu is on par with other XYZ radio services. That said, certainly there are equal and/or better services about. Too many to count actually.

    Personally, I've not noticed any overtly objectionable "skweak/squalk" artifacting on my "background music" rigs. .....& FWIW, their app ain't bad and is above average, so that's that.:dunno:






     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  9. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    The Jonathan Channel from WNYC, John Pizzarelli's show. Sonos Connect:Amp -> QUAD ESL-63s. Started by Alexa. So convenient, lol.

    Per IceCast, this streams at 128K mp3, but sounds perfectly acceptable. No noticeable artifacts.

    http://wnyc-iheart.streamguys.com
     
  10. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    ClassicalRadio, the Beethoven channel, through the Play:1s. Since ClassicalRadio has no Sonos app, I'm loading it thru' TuneIn. No idea what the stream rate is, but it sounds ok across my family room.

    s.
     
  11. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    The Free version is 40k AAC+
    The Premium version is 320k MP3
     
  12. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    Yes, I know, but sometimes - with Pandora, for instance - having the premium service doesn't give you the premium streaming rate on devices. So I'm not clear what's coming out.

    s.
     
  13. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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    JazzRadio.com appears to be interesting :idea:... first time I ever read about it was today.

    You can select their premium service and get access to the other stations on their network ... which includes Classical Radio.com.
     
  14. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    Yes, and the quality - as +48V notes - is quite good. I subscribed for a year and it cost me $60 something. That said, AccuRadio offers at least as much in the way of selection, stream quality aside.

    s.
     
  15. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    I assume by "give" you actually mean it does not display the bit rate...not that it is less than "Premium" quality.

    As for accessing Classical Radio via TuneIn on Sonos or otherwise, it's 40k AAC+.

    Looks like you need a Premium sub. :idea:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    Taking your second point first, I have a premium subscription to ClassicalRadio. As noted, it does not have a Sonos app. The workaround is to load individual channels through TuneIn, as the ClassicalRadio/JazzRadio sites note. That's how I have several channels configured.

    Now I have no way of knowing what the stream is - it could be the 320K high rate setting you could get in your browser with a paid subscription. My only point was, some services - and I cited Pandora specifically - don't give you the premium rate on a third party hardware device, even if you are a paid subscriber, as I am.

    A slightly dated grab from Pandora's support pages: "Pandora on the Web plays 64k AAC+ for free listeners and 192kbps for Pandora One subscribers. All in-home devices play 128kbps audio, and mobile devices receive a variety of different rates depending on the capability of the device and the network they are on, but never more than 64k AAC+" .Apr 1, 2014

    s.

    Edit - And let me expand on this a bit. Sometimes you don't get premium audio, even when you're getting premium audio. I subscribed to Slacker for a while, and even though it offers a premium bandwidth of 320k I wasn't getting more than 128k on the classical and jazz channels I listened to. After a little back and forth, a Slacker rep told me that not all channels will stream at 320, and if I recall correctly, third party hardware was limited as well.

    i canceled.

    Edit, edit - In fairness, Sonos now says a paid subscription to Pandora gets you "higher quality audio" though the wording is a little tricky. And Slacker's Sonos page says it streams "thru http" at 320, though again I'm not sure that translates to 320 on a Sonos, or 320 on all Slacker channels.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  17. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    No app? OK....Interesting. Being that they bark about Sonos hardware support under their Apps link, it's reasonable to assume that meant they had native integration with Sonos. Thanks for clearling up their muddy stream info regarding Sonos.

    That said, as a Premium subscriber you should be privy to Classical Radio's "direct" stream urls. Armed with that could you not just use Sonos custom url feature and load the 320k MP3 feed into your Sonos rig?
    Dated indeed. There's no mention of their Pandora Premium tier which does deliver higher bit rates than what's noted in that support page.
    While it's not displayed on devices or disclosed publicly, paid subscribers to Pandora's Premium tier do receive better than a 128k stream. (it's adaptive up to 256k) :)
     
  18. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    I'm not sure, but I don't believe there's a difference between Pandora Plus and Premium when it comes to how audio quality is handled. As noted in my addendum above, Sonos does now kinda, sorta say you get high quality audio if you're a paying subscriber.

    s.
     
  19. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Candidly, neither am I. But technically there is a difference...at least from what I've been told by folks inside the castle regarding Pandora's backend.

    P-Plus is capped nominally at 192 and the P-Premium pipe is nominally capped at 256; with plans to go up to 320. All streams are adaptive for overall QoS, so several factors can and will throttle/affect the the user's ultimate end point rate. Even if both tiers were using CBRs with an end to end delivery pipe, it's likely the actual sonic difference between 192 & 256 AAC+ streams would be indiscernible anyway.

    In any event, I'm honestly not trying to argue with you or split hairs for split sake. Just relaying my experience and what has been conveyed to me. :) /end of my can-o-worms thread derail.

    Give the custom url deal a whirl. At least you'll have assurance that your're at least tapping on Classic Radio's 320k feed. o_O
     
  20. satkinsn

    satkinsn low end audio Subscriber

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    No, no worries. You know a lot about this stuff and are always worth reading.

    s.
     
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