Non-Compressed Alternative of CDs


I have been away from this forum for quite awhile. So please forgive me if this is a worn-out topic. I have an extensive CD collection. But as you are aware, many new releases are no longer available in CD format. I have been reluctant over the years to download music from sources like Apple since the compressed format compromises the sound quality. That being said, are there any other non-compressed music sources (other than vinyl) for me to transition toward given the demise of the CD is inevitable? Thank you so much for your input.
kitjv
I don't listen to that but there are Tidal and Qobuz and Spotify and I am sure others.
Can I assume that music downloaded from these sites are non-compressed?
Hi kitjv. No you can’t assume anything. It’s all on a case by case basis. The dynamic range database:

Album list - Dynamic Range Database (loudness-war.info)

can give you compression info on specific releases. Music other than rock and pop is less likely to be overly compressed.

You can also get information on the sound quality (including compression) of specific releases at the Steve Hoffman Music Forums.

(3) Music Corner | Steve Hoffman Music Forums

You will probably have to do some searching and reading to find what you’re looking for there. Good Luck!
Thank you for the information. I'll do my research.
There is a ton of posts out there about this topic.   I'm in the middle of working through this myself in recent weeks and this is what I've experienced so far.

I choose two platforms,  Apple and TIDAL.  Apple because SHAZAM is well integrated and I still use SHAZAM a lot and my millennial children swear by Apple and Spotify (Spotify is a great platform but is terribly fatiguing low res quality)

I choose TIDAL because of the HiRes hype and it also is integrated with WAZE,  which I use as my preferred GPS.  (I speed a lot)

My system for evaluating is modest,  AKG K712 Pro,  iMAC, and Cayin iDAC-1 through Cayin HA-1A mk2 amp.

My home system is Nottingham Hyperspace, Lyra Kleos, Rogue Ares, Rogue Hera, Rogue M180 Dark, JPS interconnects and power cords,  Vandersteen Quattro.  I do run a Cayin CD player and believe it or not Magnum Dynalabs radio (here in NJ there is still good FM Jazz programming)

I listen to just about everything,  electronica, all rock, classical, jazz, reggae...

My humble observations so far:

Apple ACC:  is actually enjoyable for most recordings and revealing of the quality of source material which speaks volumes over mp3.   Apple AIFF ripped CD's is better than ACC.  Both have a Apple "house sound" are more forward in presentation and... hard to explain but seem to level the sound stage.

TIDAL:   I'm still choking on Tidal's 20$/month 2x what most services provide.  BUT that said,  I'm enjoying the sound much more than from Apple.  Even my cheapie blue tooth speakers for garage listening are more enjoyable with TIDAL.  TIDAL is more about relationship to the Artist, they have much better links for research than Apple.  TIDAL also does not integrate ripped CD's which is a bummer.  

I still have not decided yet,  and have both Apple Music and TIDAL and i'm building duplicate play lists in both, going back and forth.  I'm finding most artists are in both platforms,  but every now and then,  one is missing from one or the other.   I'll let you know when I finally decide!   I hope it helps and keep us posted!


Thank you for sharing your experience. This definitely will give me some direction. One quick clarification:  When you say that "TIDAL also does not integrate ripped CD's which is a bummer", are you suggesting that CDs cannot be ripped from the downloaded computer files?

Hello @kitjv ... CD's can still be managed with computer in all the usual ways.  You just will not be able to import and listen to these files while in TIDAL. 
Apples and oranges. Compressed bit rate? Yes for Spotify. Compressed program? Loudness wars, limited dynamic range.
Vinyl per se is not immune to that. The vast universe of music is mostly available on streaming. Just specify red book or better quality.
"Integration" is referring to adding you local files to the streaming library. Spotify can do that but the bit rate is compressed. Roon does that but you pay them for it. What’s wrong with having seperate source libraries?
Tidal and Qobuz do not use compression when digitizing/uploading tracks. But you are at their mercy as to which version of an album release is in their library.
I joined Qobuz a year ago and there were many original issue Redbook available. Over time, compressed remasters have been added or have replaced the originals.

I listen mainly to classical and most sound excellent, but I also like 60s to 90s music and the latest remasters have been added which are highly compressed. It's very disappointing to experience the Loudness Wars on a streaming service. To hear a good quality version I'll listen to my CDs.

Some newer releases recorded at 24/96 or 24/192 sound very good in Hires on Qobuz.

For now, I tend to concur with lowrider57. I will likely continue to purchase CDs whenever possible.
In addition to discogs.com, are they other recommended sources for CDs? In the past I have used Amazon & CD Universe. But often certain CDs are not available from them. (Of course, I realize that it's often not cost-effective to cut CDs since the rest of the world has moved on to streaming services).
Kitjv, CDs are still big in Japan and friends from the UK tell me CDs are still popular.

Discogs is great since they list all issues of vinyl and CD. For rock I buy the original releases from the 80s and 90s. They have the lowest compression, of course some of them were bettered by remastering. These were remastered to improve quality of old  recordings and not to make them louder. Discogs provides the dates of reissues and you can stay away from the
compressed Loudness Wars releases.

As stated above, use the Dynamic Range Database to see how much compression is used on digital releases.

As you know, buying from Amazon you never know what version of CD you'll get. Ebay has many earlier releases which have low compression. I hope you don't mind buying used. That's all I buy now unless there's a classical release on one of the better record labels. 



Thank you so much for the information!