It looks like Amarra 3.0 supports streaming capabilities. Amarra sQ is an application that makes streaming services sound great.
I am trying to determine how this works but it looks streaming services will be routes thru Amarra. Please see the Amarra press release and tell me if I am correct.
Amarra 3.0 is expected sometime in June.
Amarra sQ is a separate app that breaths life into any streamed content service. sQ integrates a mastering-level four-band EQ with linear phase filter technology and advanced dither that allows users to tailor the tonal output with an extremely intuitive user experience. Content from Spotify, YouTube, Beats Music, iTunes Radio, and video services such as Netflix and Hulu sound significantly better when used with Amarra sQ.
For Immediate Release Contact: Sonic Studio firstname.lastname@example.org
Sonic Studio Debuts AmarraTM Version 3.0
Introduces All New Amarra sQTM Streaming App, Amarra ClarityTM Noise Elimination Technology, iRC(b) Impulse Response Correction, and Support for DSD Playback
(T.H.E Show - Newport Beach, California) May 30, 2014 - Sonic Studio, LLC today introduced Amarra 3.0, the latest version of its award winning and industry acclaimed music playback software. Amarra 3.0 includes a range of new features and updates that define a new benchmark for quality and innovation. New features include DSD playback, real-time sample rate conversion, a new noise elimination feature called, Amarra Clarity, and iRC(b) impulse response correction designed to control bass anomalies in listening rooms. Sonic Studio also introduced a new streaming application called Amarra sQ that enhances the quality of experience for all Internet content services. Targeted for delivery in June, the combined feature set of Amarra version 3.0 plus the new Amarra sQ streaming application delivers the most significant release of Amarra to date.
ÂWith Amarra 3.0 we have broadened the scope of what is possible with high quality music playback. The sonic improvements of integrated streaming and Amarra provide an amazing sound experience when used with services such as Spotify, YouTube, Beats Music, Netflix, iTunes Radio and more. Combined with a new modern look and increased stability, Amarra 3.0 achieves a level of playback enjoyment that is noticed from the very first beat,Â said Jonathan Reichbach CEO and chief engineer at Sonic Studio.
New features in Amarra 3.0 include the following:
Â Amarra sQ: Amarra sQ is a separate app that breaths life into any streamed content service. sQ
integrates a mastering-level four-band EQ with linear phase filter technology and advanced dither that allows users to tailor the tonal output with an extremely intuitive user experience. Content from Spotify, YouTube, Beats Music, iTunes Radio, and video services such as Netflix and Hulu sound significantly better when used with Amarra sQ.
Â DSD Support: Amarra 3.0 now includes support for .dsf and .dff two channel 2.8224 MHz content.
Â Real-time Sample Rate Control: Amarra 3.0 integrates our mastering-level real-time sample rate conversion technology that has been used on millions of commercially recorded tracks. With real-time sample rate conversion, Amarra 3.0 enables users to play any high resolution content, with any sample rate up to 384kHz and DSD, and be assured of both the compatibility with their existing digital to analog converter and the quality of AmarraÂs processing engine.
Â Amarra ClarityTM: A new noise reduction capability in Amarra 3.0 that enables users to significantly reduce artifacts and noise caused by highly compressed streaming. Amarra Clarity is based on Sonic StudioÂs EmmyÂ® and Academy Award winning NoNOISE IITM technology.
Â iRC(b): a frequency and impulse timing analysis and correction capability designed to eliminate low frequency problems in listening rooms. Developed in conjunction with Swedish company Dirac Research, iRC(b) provides an excellent solution to low end audio issues found in typical listening spaces.
Sonic Studio plans to release Amarra 3.0 in June. Sonic Studio will be demonstrating Amarra 3.0 at The Home Entertainment Show in Newport Beach, California from May 29 through June 1st. Visit www.theshownewport.com for more information about T.H.E. Show.
Thanks for the info. That's great news.
Amarra sQ will be part of the Amarra 3.0 upgrade but is a separate app that is installed as part of the process.
To use Amarra sQ after initial setup, all you really need to do is have it running, launch your browser and head to your favorite streaming audio site. The output will be routed through Amarra and get the great Amarra sound on playback.
This is great news.
to your original question, hdtracks offers much higher resolution that spotify premium, which streams at up to 320kb and, i expect, would sound much better. however, i'm finding that even at the lower resolution spotify's sound quality is more than adequate--better than the late, lamented mog. i'm led to believe that the audio codec used by spotify (ogg orbis) preserves a wider range of frequency and sounds less compressed and more transparent at the same bitrates than comparable codecs.
I had MOG for years and kept it til the end. I immediately signed up with Spotify Premium and was surprised that it seemed to sound better than MOG. I don't know much about the different "codecs" but I like what I hear.
Do you have any experience with Beats...what codec they use and how it sounds in general?
I agree that Spotify seems to actually sound better than MOG. Spotify also seems to have much better selection of classical music and jazz than MOG which caused me to jump ship. Strange since MOG bills itself as being for audiophiles yet skimps on the two genres audiophiles most often listen to.
Taking the digital out of my iPhone into an external DAC makes Spotify sound fantastic on my home setup.
onemug, i did try beats for two weeks--like mog, beats streams "up to 320kb" mp3, although they use a different streaming protocol. alot of people complained that beats doesn't sound as good as mog did ("more compressed" and "artificial highs" being the common refrains). note that some of the criticism may have been during beats' beta testing, and may no longer be valid. personally , i didn't hear much difference between beats' and mogs' sq--beats sounded very good, and immeasurably better than, say, pandora. all that said, i am finding spotify's sq to be a little better on most genres (more detail, range), although the difference is subtle and one might easily prefer one over the other.
Loomisjohnson...Thanks. You are very fair in you in your observations.
Larrybou...Doing the same i.e.,iDevice>dock>dac and also streaming via Sonos>bridge>controller>dac. Sounds surprisingly good.
you're welcome, onemug. a few parting rants, then i'll leave this subject alone:
1. i still mourn mog's demise, but all good things must pass...
2. compared to mog, spotify may have a better library--it has some artists (led zep, aimee mann) who were conspicuously missing from mog, altho it also omits some of the alternative/obscuro stuff i found on mog.
3. spotify's "discover" feature, which recommends artists based on your previous selections, works very well and is updated more frequently than was mog's.
4. likewise, spotify seems to post new releases more quickly than mog.
5. spotify's customizable radio mode is ok, but not as cool or easy to use as mog's "mobius technology" (which let you select how much of a particular artist you want to hear by moving the contiuum slider, and thereby tailors the radio station much more precisely to what you want to hear).
5. spotify's offline mode is decidely inferior to mog's--it's easy to download music for offline listening but difficult to find specific artists or tracks you downloaded.
6. the big advantage of mog was its interface, which was extremely intuitive and easy on the eyes. even after a month or so i find spotify's interface difficult and confusing--it often requires scrolling through different menus, and most maddeningly, presents everything against an almost unreadable black background, which is difficult for me to see, let alone navigate.
I have Spotify Premium, and I'm very happy with the sound quality. I have downloaded some songs from HD Tracks, and there is a difference between the HD Tracks songs and the sound quality on Spotify, the HD Tracks stuff that I downloaded sounds amazing. But judging Spotify on its own, I think it sounds great.
When I first got Spotify I did a rather unscientific comparison...ran the USB from my computer into my Peachtree integrated (it has a Sabre 9018 DAC), and connected an Onkyo universal player using Coax into the Peachtree's dac as well, so the DAC was doing all the work albeit from different connections (computer through USB vs. CD player through coax). I then queued up a song on Spotify, and the exact same song on CD, and started them at the exact same time so that all I had to do was change the input on the Peachtree to go back and forth and hear the exact same song, in the exact same place, from Spotify to CD. There was a difference, but to my ears, in my room, it wasn't big enough to override the convenience of Spotify. If I was doing critical listening of a piece of music, I'd listen on CD, but the convenience, library, and quick easy access to music on Spotify far outweighed any difference in sound quality between the two. Spotify has spoiled me...the ability to quickly shift gears from one artist to another, one song to another, at the click of the mouse, much more fun than having to get up, change CDs, deal with handling discs and CD cases everywhere.
Hope this helps...