Spotify launching 'HiFi' lossless streaming later this year

JohnVF

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In my small part of the world, my friends and I didn't ditch LPs for cassettes, rather we all installed cassette decks in our cars (late 70s). So we either recorded whole albums on a cassette, or made mix tapes. It was great having something other than FM radio in our cars. And of course the recording required us to get home audio cassette recorders. I don't think I ever bought a prerecorded cassette.
Part of it in Ohio was finances. We weren’t poor but we weren’t rich. The rich kids in the next school district over had CDs. We existed on tapes, and had a kind of black market for dubbed cassettes amongst our friends. We’d agree on who would buy the legit release of whatever album and then dub it. I was in demand there because my Aiwa cassette deck made great dubs. Nobody wanted Gary’s tapes because he would record on a boombox from the speaker of another boombox. This was late ‘80s so well into CD era but I didn’t own a CD until 1991 when a rich girl I met at a state student council camp mailed me a Pink Floyd CD as we’d bonded over the band. I promptly dubbed it from my parents CD player onto tape.

I got into vinyl albums around this time as the flea market had them for $1. My record player sucked but the cheap cost of used vinyl and the coolness of the artwork was a big draw. Nobody else except my flea market record friends had vinyl.

I really miss that time. Discovering all the music, not caring much for sound quality beyond realizing Gary’s tapes sucked.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Part of it in Ohio was finances. We weren’t poor but we weren’t rich. The rich kids in the next school district over had CDs. We existed on tapes, and had a kind of black market for dubbed cassettes amongst our friends. We’d agree on who would buy the legit release of whatever album and then dub it. I was in demand there because my Aiwa cassette deck made great dubs. Nobody wanted Gary’s tapes because he would record on a boombox from the speaker of another boombox. This was late ‘80s so well into CD era but I didn’t own a CD until 1991 when a rich girl I met at a state student council camp mailed me a Pink Floyd CD as we’d bonded over the band. I promptly dubbed it from my parents CD player onto tape.

I got into vinyl albums around this time as the flea market had them for $1. My record player sucked but the cheap cost of used vinyl and the coolness of the artwork was a big draw. Nobody else except my flea market record friends had vinyl.

I really miss that time. Discovering all the music, not caring much for sound quality beyond realizing Gary’s tapes sucked.

CDs and affordable players were far in the future when I was in High School (Class of 79). We were not rich in my Warren, Michigan neighborhood either, but when I turned 16 I had to get a job to pay for car insurance if I wanted to drive. So when I got my hand-me-down 1971 Dodge Demon from my brother, the first thing I spent my money on was a Clarion radio/cassette deck and some Jenson Triaxle speakers. My brother had the Cassette Recorder/Player for making our tapes.
 

JohnVF

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CDs and affordable players were far in the future when I was in High School (Class of 79). We were not rich in my Warren, Michigan neighborhood either, but when I turned 16 I had to get a job to pay for car insurance if I wanted to drive. So when I got my hand-me-down 1971 Dodge Demon from my brother, the first thing I spent my money on was a Clarion radio/cassette deck and some Jenson Triaxle speakers. My brother had the Cassette Recorder/Player for making our tapes.
My first car-cassette deck was a Clarion, too. This would have been 1990 though, which is when I turned 16. It went into an ‘81 Chevy Citation, which originally had a sideways AM/FM unit. So the Clarion was always sideways until it went in my next car. That was a great sounding little car stereo.

I had a wall covered in ads for Alpine car stereos as they had Lamborghinis in the ads. I thought they had to be the best... years later I heard a stock Alpine system in a fancy car from back then and it was laughably bad. Car stereos have come a long way!
 
The average person around me ditched albums for cassettes for sound quality reasons, such was the state of the average vinyl setup in the mid 80s. I remember when record stores were 50/50 CDs and cassettes for a bit. This was Ohio, not sure what it was like everywhere else.

In the late 70's I bought a Nakamichi 600 cassette deck with a tax refund. I'd record new LP's and shelve them. I could not tell the difference between the recording and LP. You didn't have to flip the album. :cool: I had a Dual 1229 with a Sure M91ED. Spent a lot of time at Tower Records in Houston. Never bought a pre-recorded cassette.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
In the late 70's I bought a Nakamichi 600 cassette deck with a tax refund. I'd record new LP's and shelve them. I could not tell the difference between the recording and LP. You didn't have to flip the album. :cool: I had a Dual 1229 with a Sure M91ED. Spent a lot of time at Tower Records in Houston. Never bought a pre-recorded cassette.

My brother had an early cassette deck in his car that didn't have auto-reverse. You had to flip the tape. :)
 

JohnVF

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Staff member
In the late 70's I bought a Nakamichi 600 cassette deck with a tax refund. I'd record new LP's and shelve them. I could not tell the difference between the recording and LP. You didn't have to flip the album. :cool: I had a Dual 1229 with a Sure M91ED. Spent a lot of time at Tower Records in Houston. Never bought a pre-recorded cassette.
The state of turntables in the late '80s probably had a lot to do with our adoption of cassettes. Mine was part of a Panasonic all-in-one setup, a mostly hollow plastic box that was made to look like a stack of components. The platter was plastic, the tonearm was plastic, the cart was ceramic. I'm surprised that records I played on it still sound ok. My parents Elac 50H had an ancient worn-out needle on it and the arm didn't track well...but we only had about 10 records left. I would, however, get records from the library and use the 50H to dub them onto cassette, as it still sounded better than the Panasonic one.

I miss the -effort- put into new music back then as it led to me appreciating each new album more. I'm trying to get back to that, by using streaming like I used radio back then.. to open my ears to things to buy on physical media.
 

adaug

Awaiting Updated Member Status.
I miss the -effort- put into new music back then as it led to me appreciating each new album more. I'm trying to get back to that, by using streaming like I used radio back then.. to open my ears to things to buy on physical media.
this hits a nail on the head. back then, unless a friend had it, the only way to preview a new record was to buy it. and the cost of records compared to my available funds was very high. since less records were available and affordable, each one had to be carefully considered and then meant a lot more. very different from now with vast amounts of music available in an instant to stream.
 
I bought only a small number of prerecorded cassettes back in the day. Like, I could count them on one hand and have fingers left over. (I bought a couple dozen at a thrift store around 2008, only because I had to drive a dumpy Impala as a company car that only had cassette.)

But I recorded dozens to play in the car. Up until either 1985 or 1986 when the Sony CDX-R7 in-dash CD player came out, and I installed that in the car since the factory in-dash cassette player died after just a few months, and my old cassette in-dash was the ancient dual-shaft variety where the opening in the car was a single-DIN. Even with the harman/kardon deck, the sound of mass-duplicated pre-recorded cassettes still couldn't match LPs, and I hung with those until CDs started to become commonplace. (I bought many early CDs but even then, titles were hard to come by, and I had maybe a couple dozen until the floodgates opened in the mid 80s. I was one of those early adopters who bought three CDs months before I owned a player. 😁)

I knew someone that had record stores in San Antonio in the early 80's. We discussed the forthcoming CD revolution. His take was that the move was made because CD's were cheaper to produce, cost less to ship, and took less display real estate than LP's. It was never about sound quality.
For the record labels, it was a huge money grab waiting to be exploited--they could reissue tons of back catalog with "perfect sound forever" and the public would repurchase their collections in the new format. Many did, dumping their LPs. I stupidly did that for some of my records as well, and to this day, I'm still trying to buy back some of those titles on vinyl that I gave away or traded in.
 

JohnVF

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this hits a nail on the head. back then, unless a friend had it, the only way to preview a new record was to buy it. and the cost of records compared to my available funds was very high. since less records were available and affordable, each one had to be carefully considered and then meant a lot more. very different from now with vast amounts of music available in an instant to stream.
I certainly auditioned by buying CDs through the 2000s, as evidenced by the thousands of CDs I ripped to my server that I debated even bothering with because they had maybe a song or two at most that I wanted to hear. Around 2003 I threw away all of my pre-recorded cassettes, just dumped them in the recycle bin. Probably over a hundred of them. Nobody was buying them, and I was moving and needed space.

I stream in the car and love it, its like my own personal radio station that, thanks to the uncanny Spotify algorithm, plays music I really really like. Tidal, on the other hand, tried to force KD Lang on me the other day, ,at which point I gave up on it and decided to investigate other high res streaming options.
 

JohnVF

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Many did, dumping their LPs. I stupidly did that for some of my records as well, and to this day, I'm still trying to buy back some of those titles on vinyl that I gave away or traded in.
My teen and early 20-something self thanks you and all of your generation for dumping their records so that I could buy them for a few bucks back then. Not for sound quality reasons but because records were cheap cheap cheap.
 
My teen and early 20-something self thanks you and all of your generation for dumping their records so that I could buy them for a few bucks back then. Not for sound quality reasons but because records were cheap cheap cheap.
We're only a decade apart, so maybe we'll agree on "half a generation." 😁

I similarly bought up a lot of vinyl once we got into the 90s. My thing back then was that I thought a lot of the older records I wanted would never see light of day on CD (some still haven't), so I would head over to Car City Records at lunch (painfully, it was just a half mile away from the office) or take a weekend trip over to Encore in Ann Arbor every so often. I filled out quite a few artists that way. So while the more common stuff ended up being traded in to fund the CDs, I was raking in a lot of vinyl that wasn't all that popular, at very fair prices. Vinyl was also how I sampled some CD reissues prior to buying them.

I also use streaming to figure out what I want to buy in physical media (usually vinyl, sometimes CD/download). Thinking about how much money I used to spend blindly taking a gamble on CD after CD, with probably 75% getting one full listen then into the rack...
Funny, I wrote elsewhere about that very same topic. In other words, I have a few hundred well-intentioned purchases sitting in storage that I'll likely never listen to again...and the money lost on those would pay for at least 20 years of Qobuz at current prices.
 

JohnVF

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Funny, I wrote elsewhere about that very same topic. In other words, I have a few hundred well-intentioned purchases sitting in storage that I'll likely never listen to again...and the money lost on those would pay for at least 20 years of Qobuz at current prices.
I must have 1000 CDs that I will never listen to again. Which maybe averages out to $10,000 worth of plastic sitting in boxes in storage and as data on my server that never gets accessed.

Maybe the cost of streaming better represents the actual worth to consumers? I have nothing against artists and no desire to see them struggling to live, but it's a very small percentage of musical artists that are creating something that I, personally, want to pay $20 to listen to. This is, again, proven out by the sheer number of CDs I have that I've maybe listened to once all the way through. And so that one-time-listen is costing me more than a single-viewing of a movie, which costs a LOT more to produce and involves the work of many more people. Beyond that most of it is going to the damned labels anyway.

So I guess I'm here rationalizing streaming, at least as a means to discover the artists I actually want to invest more money in...while weeding out those who I just want to hear a song from and then move on.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
I must have 1000 CDs that I will never listen to again. Which maybe averages out to $10,000 worth of plastic sitting in boxes in storage and as data on my server that never gets accessed.

Maybe the cost of streaming better represents the actual worth to consumers? I have nothing against artists and no desire to see them struggling to live, but it's a very small percentage of musical artists that are creating something that I, personally, want to pay $20 to listen to. This is, again, proven out by the sheer number of CDs I have that I've maybe listened to once all the way through. And so that one-time-listen is costing me more than a single-viewing of a movie, which costs a LOT more to produce and involves the work of many more people. Beyond that most of it is going to the damned labels anyway.

So I guess I'm here rationalizing streaming, at least as a means to discover the artists I actually want to invest more money in...while weeding out those who I just want to hear a song from and then move on.

I sold off some of my CD collection for the same reason, they only had a couple of songs I cared for. I never had a collection nearly the size of yours though. Right now I have maybe 75 left, and I am much pickier on what I purchase now. Streaming for me too has led to a few purchases of artist's work that I probably never would have bought otherwise.
 

JohnVF

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I sold off some of my CD collection for the same reason, they only had a couple of songs I cared for. I never had a collection nearly the size of yours though. Right now I have maybe 75 left, and I am much pickier on what I purchase now. Streaming for me too has led to a few purchases of artist's work that I probably never would have bought otherwise.
I was in an unhappy relationship in the early 2000s and there was a Tower Records and The Good Guys (similar place) on the way home, so instead of going home to my always-angry girlfriend I'd buy CDs. Then a few years later I moved to Chicago and, alone and board, I was within walking distance of of a couple of great used CD stores and there was a Borders Books and Music at the end of my block so..more retail therapy. Streaming saved my finances :)
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Many did, dumping their LPs. I stupidly did that for some of my records as well, and to this day, I'm still trying to buy back some of those titles on vinyl that I gave away or traded in.

I dumped my LPs on my brother and I honestly don't miss them. I considered (briefly) getting back into vinyl when I retired my multi-channel home theater set-up to concentrate on 2 channel, but the cost of reentry at this point in my acquisition phase is too high. CDs when recorded well sound terrific to my ears. For now and the foreseeable future they will be my physical media of choice. And have you checked out the price of used CDs? I have bought several recently at a local store for $3 each.
 
I only ever bought a single pre-recorded tape in my life. It was the summer of '83 and the Police had released their magnum opus Synchronicity. While every radio station played "Every Breath..." to death, most of the audio stores were demoing systems using "Walking in your Footsteps" and "Tea in the Sahara".

But my favorite track was only available on the cassette - "Murder by Numbers". I didn't have CD yet so I was forced to actually buy a tape. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a chrome tape with Dolby and sounded pretty close to my own tapes (usually Maxell XLII-S chrome made on my Akai GX-F51).
 
I never thought "Murder By Numbers" fit well with the theme of Synchronicity, but don't mind it as a "non-album" track--I actually preferred the slightly stranger "Someone To Talk To" (an Andy Summers B-sider) to "Numbers." All those B-sides make for a great compilation though! That was the highlight of the Police CD box set from the 90s, which included all the albums plus the B-sides. In that context I prefer to hear "Numbers" with all the other. (Back in the early CD days, they had to include bonus tracks to entice those who already owned the LP to part with their money to upgrade to the CD.) In fact, I think those two tunes, plus "I Burn For You," are part of the 45 RPM 4-song import EP that was promoting "Wrapped Around Your Finger." So they sound excellent there!

The original vinyl was one of those I stupidly gave away, after playing the heck out of it. The first pressings were on the slightly purple translucent KC-600 vinyl and sounded excellent--it took me about a year to find one sealed with an original hype sticker, and it sounds as good as I remember it. The SACD probably comes closest to the vinyl.

Maybe the cost of streaming better represents the actual worth to consumers? I have nothing against artists and no desire to see them struggling to live, but it's a very small percentage of musical artists that are creating something that I, personally, want to pay $20 to listen to.

This is true. One of my favorite groups is a good example of how I'll support an artist. I probably discovered them about five years ago, and over time their releases trickled in here. I didn't realize they had new recordings but, when I visited their site, I saw I was a little behind. An EP from 2018. New full album in 2020. An 8-song compilation from 2018 that was released on vinyl this year (already had the tracks but hey...vinyl!), plus an album of remixes this year also on vinyl (but not due out until May). Needless to say I ordered all four that night, right from Bandcamp, where they get a bigger slice of the pie.

Yet for each "binge" like this, there are probably a few dozen I've sampled on Qobuz. I had my fill, and moved on. None really grabbed my attention. Pittance though it is, they still got a few pennies (or fractions of pennies) for my having visited their music briefly, which is more than they'd get if I heard them on the radio.
 

JohnVF

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Synchronicity was actually one of my most recent physical-media purchases. I've had it on vinyl for years but recently found the MFSL gold cd at a record store and bought it. Murder By Numbers is on it, but I feel it kind of sticks out oddly tacked onto the 2nd side (were it the album) that's filled with the tasty pop songs.
 
Since we're on this topic, if you are a Synchronicity fan the absolute sound quality champ is the SACD. I have 7 copies of the LP, plus the tape, plus the MFSL Gold CD I got back in the day. Those "Quiex" LPs are indeed very good, but the SACD is the champ here and that doesn't happen often at chez JBLnut. The LP is normally king....

And if we're talking tracks that should have not made it on that release...HELLO MOTHER ! Are you effing kidding me ? :-)
 
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JohnVF

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Staff member
Since we're on this topic, if you are a Synchronicity fan the absolute sound quality champ is the SACD. I have 7 copies of the LP, plus the tape, plus the MFSL Gold CD I got back in the day. Those "Quiex" LPs are indeed very good, but the SACD is the champ here and that doesn't happen often at chez JBLnut. The LP is normally king....

And if we're talking tracks that should have not made it on that release...HELLO MOTHER ! Are you effing kidding me ? :-)
I usually skip all of side one. I'm not the world's biggest Police fan but side two has my favorites, and then I'm good. I play it, repeat King of Pain, then I'm off.... :)
 
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