I’m rather slow to many technical things

This Spotify is rather good, isn’t it?

Might well, next time I upgrade the computer and sound system, pay for the higher quality though some rather larger speakers.

So, I’m what, 5 years late to this party? That’s actually early for me in matters technical.

And they’ve got JJ Cale albums I’ve never even heard of!

31 thoughts on “I’m rather slow to many technical things”

  1. I have a rather large CD collection, so I prefer Google Play Music (you have an option to upload your own music and not pay at all, or you can pay about the same as Spotify for a similar service), but that’s just me being tight. The whole music streaming thing is great!

  2. Don’t play the music through the pc. Use the Spotify smartphone app and link it to your existing hifi speakers. The missing piece is a Bluetooth receiver which costs maybe £40. Now you have upgraded the old speakers for way less than a pc upgrade and the music sounds way better.
    Happy to recommend a Bluetooth receiver if you are stuck.

  3. Spotify still isn’t profitable. The consumer surplus is huge, but the value just isn’t there. Personally I’d stay away from the forthcoming IPO. It’s a fiercely competitive market: Apple, Google, and Amazon all offer unlimited music packages at the same price point; and they offer better vertical integration.

    Ultimately there comes a point when you realise you’re paying £120 a year to listen to the same dozen albums that you liked when you were 17. YMMV.

  4. There are many ways of connecting it to your existing hifi. And use wifi, not bluetooth. There are loads of dongle type things that will do this for you.

  5. I may be the only person in the world who subscribes to Tidal Hi-Fi. It turns out you don’t have to listen to anything by its investors, though it’s pushed at you pretty hard. I had Spotify for 2 years or more previously.

    Mostly I listen on Sennheiser headphones and the quality is excellent.

    I have also discovered lots of new music from their playlists, though I have a rule – anything which is rap (much of it) is an immediate ‘next’.

    They even have a fair bit of classical music…

  6. I have Google Music, it’s rather good. You can share the account with family members too for a small amount more.

  7. I’d recommend Tidal. The sound quality is a lot better than with Spotify and Google. It does cost twice as much, but the improved quality means you get absorbed in listening rather than losing interest and wandering off.

    Before Tidal started I used Qobuz, which sounded just as good and had a much better classical selection, but its library was a mess to navigate and contained lots of defective tracks. I don’t know if it’s better nowadays.

    For hardware, I use Bluesound Node and Node 2 boxes to connect to proper hi-fi. These sound excellent, and are cheap by hi-fi standards. They also stream Spotify plus a bunch of other streaming services I haven’t tried. And will play from a local server if you’ve ripped your own music.

    Bluetooth is fit only for phone calls. Please don’t use it for music.

  8. Bluetooth has poorer sound quality than wifi-based solutions.

    Chromecast Audio is occasionally on offer for £20 or so, and you can get multiple units to plug in to various line-in/optical-in units you might have around the house and stream to them as a group. It’s really cool for parties. It supports both Spotify and Google Music.

    The Amazon Echo can do similar things AFAIK, but doesn’t support Google Music.

  9. Have an example of a cable that should allow you to connect your existing stereo and computer. This uses the computer’s headphone jack and so is a quick connection. If you are looking for a cheap, effective, option that is primarily used in one location this may be a good solution.


    Disclaimer: I don’t recommend the specific part. It just happened to be the first link that has the appropriate design.

  10. Agree with Teacake about Qobuz – high quality sound but flaky in a charmingly gallic sort of way.
    There are umpteen ways of setting things up. I use an offboard Digital Audio Converter (dac) to connect a pc to an old hifi amplifier so that I can switch from vinyl to digital at the press of a button (I’m a man of moods)
    Youtube is a good way of browsing for things that you didn’t know existed – There is no substitute for that serendipity thing,

  11. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I just listen to Internet radio. I found a good site and if I like a track then hey, there’s BitTorrent.

  12. Diogenes, I have a Sonos system with a Deezer subscription. The best feature is the “related artists” – I have discovered some great new bands I’d never heard of before which resulted in me and Miss Bannister going to see Shovels and Rope in Manchester on Sunday night.

  13. I use a RaspberryPi with the Volumio 2 package and a high quality DAC connected to the hifi. Controlled by a web interface on the home network, i.e. from any connected phone tablet, tablet or PC. Supports internet radio and Spotify and the sound quality is about as good as it gets.

  14. Fine if you like your music compressed and sampled. For most pop/rock/indie/etc stuff it won’t make any difference because it’s all created that way anyway.

    But if you like real music and are used to proper Hi-Fi, you need to stick to your vinyls.

  15. Heh, I think it’s a case of what you’re used to. Learning to listen to CDs took me a long time, and I still prefer vinyl. I grew up with its imperfections and can ignore them.

    If you can tolerate CD, things like Tidal and Qobuz sound just as good — but there’s a huge number of ways to screw up the sound, and they’re not all obvious.

    Clearly, you have to avoid lossy compression like MP3, and the lossy schemes concealed under modern container formats. That’s Spotify and Google Play Music out. And Bluetooth.

    Even supposedly lossless mechanisms like Airplay sound like crap. Apparently Airplay resamples/reclocks everything whether it needs to or not, and does it badly.

    Then you have to get the analogue side right, a whole other can of worms.

  16. Buying decent speakers to listen to Spotify is a bit like eating a microwave meal with your silver service.

  17. Streaming services are all well and good until you buy a classic car and find that the audio technology is stuck in the cassette tape era and that you threw all your tapes out last year!

  18. Another vote for Sonos + Spotify. Also TuneIn radio integrates with Sonos. And you can stream your ripped CDs too, for the times when quality matters. And I have an optical audio out from the Sky box to the Playbar.

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