CD v Streamed




Uncompressed CD audio will take about 10.6mb per minute to play, to stream that takes big space and dollars to stream an album, see what your streaming company’s takes mb per minute to stream, find out and post up here.

I hear CD’s are better, I get better dynamic range from CD every time it’s A/B to me, now that could be that the streaming companies are using the "later compressed re-issues" of the same albums, you can find that out here https://dr.loudness-war.info/
Or that the streaming process itself compresses the music to save "streaming size" to save big dollars even if in small amounts.

Here’s a video from the CEO of Disc Makers Pty Ltd, yes he probably also biased because he manufacturers CD’s and vinyl, and is a very bad dancer.
https://youtu.be/YHMCTUl2FQo?t=1

Cheers George
D4dc97ae e7a1 4118 bfe9 5604576a5f82georgehifi
OK you hear opinions.   BFD 
I think that hearing music is the only thing that is important here. Play the best format that you have available and stop fretting. If you hear that a local track sounds better than streaming, it is illogical to stream unless you don't care. Most of the public does not.

It’s why the opening of the thread says.
"Uncompressed CD audio will take about 10.6mb per minute to play, to stream that takes big space and dollars to stream an album, see what your streaming company’s takes mb per minute to stream, find out and post up here."
Lets get some hard measured facts, instead of hearsay banter, yet again back and forth.
This is why I want members participation to get those proven hard facts from their streaming companies, and post them up

Still doesn’t mean that the best version is streamed as many of the new re-issues are woefully compressed, the only way to find that is find which issue they stream and compare to older issues here https://dr.loudness-war.info/

Cheers George
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Why are there the always the same clowns that have nothing constructive to say, instead of trying to sort this out, and stop the multitude of threads on the subject.

As it will if streamers here check the mb’s of a 1min live music stream, list the album /performer and album cat no. of what they’re streaming. Then it can be checked if their streaming company is compressing or they use compressed version of the album.

Cheers George
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So they're not so much streaming as dribbling...
OP, what device(s) do you use to stream? What streaming service? I hear no difference and much prefer the variety offered by streaming over buying physical media.
Thanks George for taking the time to post those links as well as your helpful participation here. I've benefited from it on a number of occasions.   







crn3371185 posts05-10-2021 9:47amOP, what device(s) do you use to stream? What streaming service? I hear no difference and much prefer the variety offered by streaming over buying physical media.
I do it here at a friends place as he has access to many pieces of eqipment, Edgar Kramer ex 6 Moons reviewer now owner of Sound Stage Au, this is his own system.
At the moment he has a $8kaud Auralic Altair G2.1 Streamer to listen to, I "may" get around there this week to hear it.

Cheers George
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OK George if facts is what you want fine.
I want music listening enjoyment.
Sorry to troll your scientific quest.
Please excuse my lack of seeing any purpose except for trying to "prove" that one topology is "better" than another.
With total disregard of which sounds better to the customer.

Cherry
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@georgehifi - has your friend at Sound Stage Au done a review on either Australian made, The Gieseler Company DAC or Lenehan Audio loudspeakers?

Yeah I haven't been bothering streaming, I have 500 cds loaded on a dedicated SSD, on a fanless PC.

Eventually I will move over to something like the Auralic which is apparently pretty much state of the art now. I have listened to hi res, and the difference hasn't proven to be night and day for me, as some people have experienced themselves.

I am strictly digital at the moment, I have not had a streamer and I have heard music through a Cambridge Audio Azur 851N, and dedicated music server PC, the sound was ok.
Thank you for sharing this info, interesting to know. I remember we used to sit around listening when I was on the Goldie in QLD, comparing MQA and standard quality, and sometimes it was a little better, sometimes not. Often the MQA was remastered and it wasn't apples for apples at that point, it wasn't about a format being better or not, it was the guy remastering.


Time is money to these corporations! Bandwidth is finite. So it is logical to squeeze as much data into a limited space - i.e. compression!
My Innuos Zen 3 through the Denafrips Pontus sounds excellent. It stores CDs on its hard drive and I also use it to stream from Qobuz. Qobuz is handy but even hi-res files don’t sound as good as CD.
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@georgehifi - has your friend at Sound Stage Au done a review on either Australian made, The Gieseler Company DAC or Lenehan Audio loudspeakers?

Not sure, have a bit of search though here,
https://www.soundstageaustralia.com/
he’s done a few, and if older than around 4 years look at the 6 Moons site where he was head reviewer, before starting up SoundStage Australia

Cheers George
I am not sure why the need to choose.  I prefer CDs, or CDs burned to a HD, to streaming content from the likes of Qobuz.  The only measurements I have are my ears.  It doesn’t require much imagination to see why the content provider or the ISP have incentives to compress sources and throttle bandwidth.  I think that Qobuz sounds inferior, but it isn’t a night and day, it’s a subtle difference.
   However, do we need to argue it?  We can have it all.  Play CDs, burn them to a HD, or stream them.  A streaming subscription costs the price of a decent download.  Don’t want a dedicated streamer?  Use a PC.    We live in a time of fantastic sonic replay.  Live and let live
I am not sure why the need to choose.  I prefer CDs
However, do we need to argue it?

I think so to get some "measured proof" of what so many of us hear.
Instead of these continual threads that pop up asking which is better, but with no real answers to give.

Cheers George
Since when have measurements  proven what anyone hears?
ASR don't listen to nuttin'.
Transport with the right DAC Magnifico!!! Good to burn to HD.
Good streamer very enjoyable . Dedicated Mac mini gives me a lot of leeway.
It does not take 'big space and dollars' for a company to stream individual FLAC files.   Even streaming video, which requires much faster streaming rates, costs very little.  
For my ears and system, Qobuz/Primephonic streaming sounds better than my CD player a good 80 percent of the time.  The way I figure it, Q & P simply have better hardware than I've got -- a suitably vintage Sony 5400 ES.
I like my vinyl but was very pleased with my Lumin music streamer ... all the albums I could think of at the push of a button and decent sound quality.  Then someone posted something recently about the tips and tricks of getting the most out of streaming: direct and not wireless, fiber optic internet, cables etc etc all the way to the lovely but expensive Innous network products.  Now the only “simple” aspect of my system has been infected with the audiophile equipment bug.
georgehifi

Great idea for a thread. The measured proof would become provided via these server/streamer companies. Much like our cable or satellite TV companies(bandwidth, reception upload/upstream capabilities).
As above, all technology is finite in the digital realm. Compare/contrast against your favorite CD/SACD player(s). I have yet to hear a server/streamer below $20K that beats (no pun) my Reference spinners.

Happy Listening!
Streaming makes money by using inferior sources and reformatting to stream data. Money is based on file size. NOT quality of the file. Garbage out, money in. 
I stream mostly from my NAS to my Roon endpoint (PS Audio Directstream DAC) via fiber optic using gigabyte wifi/internet.  I also have a Qobuz subscription that integrates nicely with Roon (used mostly to explore other music before I buy it).  In my case the sound quality of the CD might barely edge out the streamed version (less potential interference or things that can go wrong with the data stream including processing), but not enough for me to be concerned about it.  I’m also more engaged with the music when I pull a CD off the shelf - a better listening experience for me overall.  I’m not convinced that Hi Rez always sounds better than standard CD resolution either for various reasons, but that is another debate for another time.
Is this not just a subset of the analog vs digital, vinyl vs streaming, tubes vs solid state, my $250,000 system vs your $20,000 system, and on and on. There is and always will be one thing that will sound better to one person than to 59 others. I guess for me it is at the end of the day about the music. I listen on four or five different systems and all are delivered from different sources. Do some sound 100% better than others yes they do. Do I care not really as I listen to what I can at that time and place I am at. Do I enjoy my reference system better than my Pioneer smart speaker? Hell yes, but does my smart speaker work for the situation I need it to. Hell yes!
jafant13,429 posts
georgehifi

Great idea for a thread. The measured proof would become provided via these server/streamer companies.
Yes it would be good, but nobody as yet has come forth with any measured proof, to the threads opening paragraph question.

Uncompressed CD audio will take about 10.6mb per minute to play, to stream that takes big space and dollars to stream an album, see what your streaming company’s takes mb per minute to stream, find out and post up here.

Cheers George

CD vs Streamed?

My preference is CD. 
I Stream to find music that I enjoy.  Then I purchase the CD.

Measurement = My Ears and Wallet.
IMO, there are far bigger differences between the quality of the sound engineering from recording to recording than there are between streaming vs. CD.

And, you can’t be sure that the version of a piece that you’re listening to on the CD was engineered the same as the version you’re getting while streaming.  Probably wasn’t.

In the end, probably not a productive thing to worry about.
And, you can’t be sure that the version of a piece that you’re listening to on the CD was engineered the same as the version you’re getting while streaming. Probably wasn’t.
If you can find out your streamed versions cat no. then compare it to other released versions here https://dr.loudness-war.info/
Usually the later the version the more compressed it is, and that’s mainly what streaming companies use.

Cheers George
Same DAC. Esoteric N-01XD. Has a top quality streamer built in.

Cd playback via a Transport (Esoteric p-05x) is better than Qobuz and Tidal streaming (Roon Nucleus + server). Every single time.

I don’t know why. I don’t know what to measure, don’t have the measuring gear. That is what ears tell me.

Streaming has long ways to go IMO
Agree with @ thyname. comparing the same music my transport playback is better than Tidal streaming via my T+A SD3100HV.
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@thyname,
Wrote, "I don’t know why. I don’t know what to measure, don’t have the measuring gear. That is what ears tell me."

"Streaming has long ways to go IMO."

Maybe not as long a way to go as you think. If your streaming service is using the more compressed version of recordings, that's a significant bottleneck.  If they made the commitment to stream only  the least compressed versions of available recordings it would be a big step forward. 

You do not  need to measure anything.  You can inquiry and request information from your streaming service company  as explained earlier by the OP. He's right concerning the deleterious effect of compressing recordings. 
Charles 
The all important measured proof...

Just curious, what kind of wires is your friend using in his set up?
George,
I've done some experiments with this.  I've compared CDs from my collection that I've ripped to Tidal's version of the same recording.  I've figured out a way to download from Tidal, then I look at the DRs calculated when I import the Tidal rip into JRiver.   In most cases, you're right that Tidal tends to have a recent remaster, or lately, an MQA version only....if you search by artist.   But if you search by album name, I've found as many as 6 versions of the same recording, and these are mostly all different.  This is a laborious process, but if I find this, I download all 6, listen to each, then compare the DR values.   Usually I wind up marking the version with the highest DR and I stream that one from now on.  I also look at the files in Audacity to see which have clipped peaks, and which don't.  I haven't found a faster way yet to do this.   Some of the DR results are wildly different.
Dave

Wow that's what I call being persistent, but as you now also find the vary different DR's of the same album.
And when you look at the Dynamic Range data base site https://dr.loudness-war.info/, it's mostly the older recordings with the better DR, and this is what I do to get the CD with the best DR use it's cat no and go search for a cheap used one on one of the used CD sites, ebay etc etc

As for the compression of the streamed ones, it would still be great if someone can measure the 1min size of the streamed version vs the 10.6mb size of a 1min CD being played
   
Cheers George
"I am not sure why the need to choose.  I prefer CDs, or CDs burned to a HD, to streaming content from the likes of Qobuz.  The only measurements I have are my ears.  It doesn’t require much imagination to see why the content provider or the ISP have incentives to compress sources and throttle bandwidth.  I think that Qobuz sounds inferior, but it isn’t a night and day, it’s a subtle difference.
   However, do we need to argue it?  We can have it all.  Play CDs, burn them to a HD, or stream them.  A streaming subscription costs the price of a decent download.  Don’t want a dedicated streamer?  Use a PC.   We live in a time of fantastic sonic replay.  Live and let live"
I guess I agree with mahler1234. I see the point in what numbers and data can provide but what would one do if the measurements point to better sound with "source A" but when one listens..... "source B" sounds better? Compressed, not compressed.... I guess it's not too important to me unless there is a big difference in sound quality. I have a friend that has a great turntable and luvs the analog sound over digital. But even when playing clean records the occasional pops clicks or hiss is hard on my ears..... we all have our own tastes?

I would think some people would then convince themselves to like what sounds inferior?!?
A streaming service streams the file you request. (As an aside note that compression of a file and compression of music in the mastering stage are two completely different things).On Qobuz you may have an option of a CD quality file or a higher quality file. The resulting file is streamed at the bit-rate of the file. There is no ’downgrading’ in Qobuz, there is no point as the streaming costs are so small.  If you are experiencing different dynamics that is down to the master used, not the streaming rate of the file. Compression of a file will not compress the music.  These compressions, as noted, are completely different things.   Here’s the explanation from Qobuz re bit rate. 


“The Bitrate, the flow of binary data, expresses the speed of information per second. It is measured in bits per second and is calculated fairly easily. For CDs: 44,100 samples per second, each one sampled over 16 bits, everything over two channels (left-right stereo). We therefore get a bitrate equal to 44,100 x 16 x 2 = 1,411,200 bits per second: the bitrate of a CD is equal to 1.411 Mb/s.
In the case of streaming, the size and therefore the quality of the files should be chosen depending on the bitrate of internet available. With a theoretical maximum bitrate of 13 Mb/s, an ADSL is adequate for CD quality streaming (at 1.411 Mb/s). For Hi-Res sound streaming at a bitrate of 9.2 Mb/s, it is clear that you can quickly reach the ADSL limit. A fiber connection would therefore be preferable. For smartphone streaming, most platforms offer an MP3 format with a maximum bitrate of 320 Kb/s.”
If you are experiencing different dynamics that is down to the master used
We've been saying that all along also, as they usually use the later versions/re-issues of albums which are normally more compressed than the originals.

But what we want from different streaming companies, is a 1min live streaming size in mb, to see how it compares to CD's 10.6mb for 1min

Cheers George 
@duckworp, 
I appreciate your comments.  In fairness, George has been quite consistent in pointing out that the fundamental issue is streaming providers opting to stream the more compressed "mastered"  versions of recordings. 

Simply correcting this pattern and offering instead the lower compression (Usually the earlier versions)  recordings would result in a noticeable improvement of the streamed sound quality. This could be implemented easily. 
Charles 
Psyop

 so, do you feel a need to “re-educate” people that they shouldn’t be enjoying playback that you subjectively view as inferior?  Let’s keep in mind that we are not talking about something like the difference between mp3 and lossless here. We are essentially comparing relatively small variances in lossless playback
It’s complicated. My experience with regards to digital is downloaded hi res files are tops followed by CD.  FLAC files from CDs on my server SSD are pretty much indistinguishable from CD.  I have a very good CD transport and DAC.  I use Qobuz. Streaming 44.1,16 bit is not even close to CD or FLAC.  24 bit files on Qobuz sound as good as CD, sometimes slightly better.  I enjoy streaming Qobuz for quantity although quality is oftentimes on par if in hi res.  I downloaded a hi res file last week that was recorded at 11.5MHz it said.  It is very good.  The cymbals were like liquid.  The highs were the closest to vinyl that I have heard yet.  
I’ll clarify what I mean about the differences between streaming 44.1/16 bit and FLAC on my SSD. The most notable difference is the soundstage. CDs already have a smaller, less holographic soundstage compared to vinyl- in general. Some CDs are surprisingly good. Streaming leaves them flat. 16 bit streaming generally has a 2D soundstage and the images are flat. If I compare the same CD song to the streaming version I hear weaker bass on the streaming version. The highs can be more brittle sounding too. But hi res streaming can have a holographic sound stage and good sound at both ends. It would seem to me that hi res streaming is more demanding of the internet and my server. Makes me think it is not a streaming issue for 16 bit files. What some of you are saying is making sense to me- it’s more to do with the source.
do you feel a need to “re-educate” people that they shouldn’t be enjoying playback that you subjectively view as inferior?  Let’s keep in mind that we are not talking about something like the difference between mp3 and lossless here. We are essentially comparing relatively small variances in lossless playback
And yet we "audiophiles" of this website spend thousands of dollars on interconnects speaker wire etc etc  for just incremental improvements.

What we ask is the music itself and the way it's sold to us is also involved with that improvement path and not to go backward with being compressed the later it's recorded or being streamed

Cheers George 
Seems like reasonable subject matter to be aware of as a consumer of music, considering the cost of the playback systems people here are using.

Consumers are paying for access to music, where streaming of files like MQA are supposedly offering superior playback, when in fact it may not be the case.

If someone prefers not to be informed; perhaps this forum, or at least this thread is not for you??
do you feel a need to “re-educate” people that they shouldn’t be enjoying playback that you subjectively view as inferior?
It seems that the growing collective experience is it's not just his subjective view, it's something that I and others also claim from listening.