Streaming Services

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 26, 2017
If you've been waiting for the right time to dip your toe(s) into Tidal, now's the time.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 13, 2016
Neil Young and Pono are back in the news after a long hiatus of newsworthiness. Rolling Stone reports, "He's [Young] working with a Singaporean company on a method to 'maintain our quality level when we go to streaming.'" My best guess is that Singaporean company is none other than OraStream (who else would it be?), the company behind the Naxos high-res classical service.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 08, 2015
Of course we care about sound quality at AudioStream so it's kinda pointless for me to dig into the Apple Music service because you can get better sound quality from Tidal Hi-Fi, Qobuz, Deezer, and others including hi-res streaming from Naxos/OraStream. But seeing as I lasted the 3 hours+ of the Apple Show, I'll say some more.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 22, 2015
I was holding up on talking about this story until it seemed like a real story. Well it does. Here's the crux of it; Apple charges a 30% fee to streaming services for every iOS customer that signs up for their service through the Apple App Store. So services like Spotify, Tidal, and Rdio bump up their regular $9.99/mo pricing to $12.99/mo in the App Store so they don't take the 30% Apple hit. Which makes Apple Music's $9.99/mo competitive streaming service a comparative deal. To add insult to injury these same streaming services cannot point out on the Apple App Store that you can get their service for $9.99/mo if you just buy direct. Nor can they include a link to their respective websites, offer a free promo (Apple Music does), or a family plan (Apple Music does) according to Apple's App Store guidelines. Is this fair?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 11, 2015
image credit: Bandcamp

Bandcamp, which was founded in 2008 by Ethan Diamond and Shawn Grunberger, reported it has paid out $100 million to artists selling music on the Bandcamp site.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 12, 2017
image credit: OraStream

From the press release:

Singapore (Newswire) April 12th, 2017 – OraStream Private Limited launches BRIO by OraStream ("BRIO"), a next-generation consumer music streaming server.

BRIO is a novel personal music server for consumers to stream music at native resolution. It lets users stream 16 bit/44kHz up to 24 bit/192kHz resolution audio, which delivers all the digital information to bring true musical reproduction.

Did I hear someone ask for hi-res streaming without the "special sauce" (see: Neil Young back in his Pono days)?
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 02, 2019
Primephonic, one of the two music streaming services devoted exclusively to classical music, announced on May 1 that its iOS and Android customers can now use the Primephonic phone/pad app to download tracks to play offline without need of an internet connection or cellular data.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 19, 2016
But if you want their CD-quality streaming service, Deezer Elite, you can only get it through Sonos (sigh). So what are we getting from Deezer? Another $9.99/mo. 320kbps lossy streaming service (there's no free tier for US customers).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 27, 2014
DG just launched their new Discovery App on the Apple App Store. Initially consisting of 450 albums "in high quality audio streams" (no specific bit rate provided), the label says they hope to add up to 20 new albums per week. The service costs $3.99/month or $35.99/year if you pay in full up front. "Every week Deutsche Grammophon’s editors will present new listening recommendations in the form of hand-crafted playlists and artists and composers in-focus as well as featuring articles telling the story behind the music, made available to the app by Sinfinimusic.com."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 05, 2017
Yes, you read that right. HDtracks, the grandfather of hi-res download sites, will be launching their own streaming service, HDmusicStream, which will feature all MQA-encoded music all the time, later this year.
Rafe Arnott  |  Jul 04, 2019
Going out shopping for new music was easy when all we did was buy vinyl or CDs. Record stores have a ‘New Releases’ section clearly marked, so finding the latest music was a no-brainer. You walked in and looked around. Not so online.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 11, 2018
Blake Morgan wrote:
"Webster’s English Dictionary defines the term 'golden goose' as a continuing source of wealth or profit that may be exhausted if it’s misused. Sadly, Spotify’s ongoing crisis of misuse begins and ends with the fact that they don’t know their only product is music. They think it’s themselves, which explains each and all of their stunning mistakes and missteps. They’d be well-served to ask any first-semester business student what the difference is between a 'brand' and a 'product.' But I don’t think they will, and I don’t think it’d help them at this point. I think their goose is cooked."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 01, 2019
Idagio, one of the two streaming services that specializes in CD-quality classical music, is now in the midst of a big launch push in the United States. Begun in Germany in 2014 by a group of young classical music lovers who had grown frustrated with struggling to conduct adequate classical music searches on the major streaming services, Idagio is geared specifically to the needs, wants, desires, and curiosity of classical music lovers worldwide.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 26, 2017
"I'm going to make this disappear."

Neil Young is back!, touting high-res again, but this time things are going to be different. Better...

As you might imagine, I found it difficult to raise more money for this model: delivering quality music at a premium price to a limited audience that felt they were being taken advantage of with the high costs.

So now, sadly with Pono gone, for more than eight months I’ve been working with our small team to look for alternatives. Finding a way to deliver the quality music without the expense and to bring it to a larger audience has been our goal.

The alternative? High-res streaming!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 03, 2016
According to Ben Sisario of The New York Times, Apple is not buying Tidal. Seeing as Sisario covers streaming, and more, for the Times, I'd imagine his highly-placed sources are, well, highly placed. Time will tell.

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