High Quality Streaming Music

By: William Sikkens
Host, User Friendly 2.0 Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

Audiophiles, and you know you are, listen up!

If you are anything like me when watching high quality media the audio is as important as the video.  Our enjoyment grows for things like 4K video streams,  but if you pair that with low quality audio, it will diminish the experience.

Digital audio is convenient and easy to bring with you, but many will argue it lacks the quality of the original.  After all, anything digital by definition is a reproduction.  Vinyl record sales have been increasing for 15 years because it is argued they are an actual recording, not a digital duplication.

Streaming media services are offering new features to combat this.   Later this year Spotify is launching a service called “Spotify HiFi” which will feature high quality lossless compression.  Digital streams are compressed to allow them to fit on your Internet connection.  There are two types of compression.  Lossy, the most used and oldest, works by removing information that is then put back when the stream is played.  Since this is the “best guess” of the player, it isn’t always accurate.  When the compression doesn’t work or removes too much data, music will start to sound “tinny”.   Lossless compression works without the need to remove data.

Spotify is late to the party with this innovation.  Amazon offers a feature that will play audio with Dolby Atmos through some of their smart speakers.  Both Amazon Music and Tidal offer high quality audio.

Announced at the Spotify Stream On virtual event, it was said Spotify HiFi will be available later this year and “will deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers, which means fans will be able to experience more depth and clarity while enjoying their favorite tracks.”

Will this new technology be able to finally replace actual recordings?  This is a question that only you, and your ears, can answer.

William (Bill) Sikkens has been an on-air technology expert since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  Article edited by Gretchen Winkler, who along with Jeremy Winkler are the co-hosts of User Friendly 2.0 here on The Answer Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

Links and brand/store information provided are for information only and are not endorsed by Salem Media Group, KPAM or the shows hosts.   Material for this article from Wikipedia.

Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw