Can I assume that music downloaded from these sites are non-compressed?
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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!
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!
- 13 posts total