I got the Beta e mail a few days ago and signed up but haven’t heard
Just got my "acceptance" email today and am now playing Qobuz using thru my Squeezebox Touch using the Qobuz plugin for LMS.
I look forward to your impressions of how user friendly Qobuz is, the audio quality and ease in setting up playlists and if will it automatically play similar music at the end of a play list.
They told me I wasn't going to be a beta tester and I have to wait with everyone else.
Keep in mind that while I do use the Qobuz desktop app to browse, I'm using the 3rd party Qobuz plugin for controlling playback on the LMS server (I'm pretty wedded to the LMS ecosystem). USB Transport in my big rig is a Raspberry Pi 3B. I did test a bit using a direct USB connection from my macbook to my Vega DAC.
Impressions so far:
- Sound great! I haven't tried to do any kind of A/B with Tidal.
- Tracks are in the correct order! (A constant Tidal problem).
- Their classical selection is excellent but doesn't seem that different from Tidal. They are missing some things that Tidal has and vice versa. For example, they have new Chandos releases whereas all the releases that Tidal has are about 5 years old. I'm only a few days in and will have a better impression of the selection after a few weeks.
- Search is better than Tidal, but Tidal sets a low bar. You can search Qobuz by label, for example. But you see some of the same problems, for example something not coming up because the conductor's name is not in the search data.
- The Qobuz desktop app is easier to use and browsability is much better than Tidal (again, that low bar). You can click on Display Track Details and get a sheet of info with hyperlinks that will display matching albums (e.g. Label, Composer, Conductor, etc.)
- However, the Tidal app on Mac is technically more sophisticated in that it allows you to connect directly to hardware rather than having the OS upsample everything (sampling rate manually set in Apple's Audio Midi Setup utility; has Apple fixed this dumb thing yet?)
- At least for classical, their default listings for genre and new releases are more informed than Tidal. Not all Bocelli and pretty young things.
- Again, metadata is more complete and useful. You can also read booklet notes in the app. I haven't done a thorough survey to see how many discs do have notes.
- I don't use playlists much, so haven't tried that yet.
- Most things marked as Hi-Res are only available in Hi-Res for download. Qobuz is aware of the problem. They really need to fix this before official launch or they are going to piss a lot of people off. As it is, the "Studio" plan doesn't seem worth the extra money for some occasional hi-res streaming albums. I'd get either the standard FLAC service or pay for the Sublime level that has discounts on high-res downloads, if you are into that.