When even Pros don't know what they share

Hey guys,

wanted to share something interesting that I came across today. I will not say what company, who, etc. but it’s really funny that even those guys don’t know what they are writing in their posts, so don’t inform themselves??? I don’t know…I mean it was just funny…so…

I got an email where you can listen to a high-quality-mix" in 96kHz/24bit on SoundCloud.

Okay, I read again: “A high-quality-mix on SoundCloud in 96/24…”

My first thoughts: Have a missed something? Do we really have finally a platform that started to stream in high-resolution?

So, I quickly went to SC and checked again their quality-standards. But…nothing has changed. They still run a max of 256kbps AAC (similar to the quality of 320kbps mp3.) But that’s not everything to the story. Because they do have a Go+ account that costs $9,99/m, they downgraded the free account to 64kbps – it was already two years ago.

So there are two points that I ask myself:

1.) Why do Pro-companies say something like high-quality sound, but stream it on Soundcloud to show the listeners that it’s not true. And

2.) Why are streaming services downgrade the already existing poor sound-quality of 320kbps?

What I do take out for myself is still that listening to bought CDs is still the best experience that not only musicians but consumers can do today. There are some interesting studies about how low-quality sound is making us sick, depressive, and aggressive. So as a producer and composer, I almost never listen to music on the internet, only to listen to the tracks once to buy and enjoy through my audio-interface, where no algorithms are reducing CD quality.

And what do you think guys?

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It’s definitely a better sound on a CD than it is on Spotify. but Spotify is cheaper.

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I don’t buy records anymore. Maybe it has to do with that I’m working full time with music myself. I don’t know. Don’t spend as much time as I did before just listening to music.
Remember 30 years ago when I could spend hours at piles of records.
But, where’s the local record store?
Mostly listen on reference tracks, appreciate silence, Spotify’s playlist’s good enough for me and my wife when we’re making dinner in the weekends.
Another problem, much of the music I listen to ain’t released on physical CD’s.

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Well, times obviously have changed, and probably there will be some changes soon in terms of quality on the web, new algorithms like FLAC for WAV, but less storage needed, who knows. A CD is not always an option but for especially for reference tracks it’s a must if you need high-quality resolution. I bought some tracks from Beatport and was surprised that even if they stated that it’s a WAV file, my ears tell me something else. A lot of harshnesses, and not clean low-end all the time, that only tells me that it’s more a converted mp3 into WAV. I hope I am wrong, as this would clearly work against the terms & conditions that you don’t sell what you have offered. So I try to stay as far away as I can from only purchases when it comes to music and try to find CDs if they are available, even if I need to buy one CD for only one track. There is more great music on a CD that we always think there is that we didn’t know about…:slight_smile:

Could the quality have to do with the kind of account you have on Soundcloud?
https://checkout.soundcloud.com/go

As I have said before, the Go+ account goes up to 256 AAC playback, which is not CD quality. It okay for checking out tracks, or playing them back from a device, but not really for using as a reference or enjoying with high-resolution headphones or speakers. I believe that if this would be a great deal for many people, they would have probably changed it, but as long as everyone is happy with playing back crappy quality, all is fine I guess. Of course, it’s handy and cheap, no question about it, but usually quality comes with a price…

I’ve read somewhere that every day like 40k+ tracks are added to Spotify, so as long as people don’t pay $50 for music a month as a subscription, the chances are pretty low that we will have high-resolution files to stream, as they take 10 times more space that costs money to hold…

Found this: https://www.whathifi.com/best-buys/streaming/best-music-streaming-services
Tidal seams to stream in high quality

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I’m trying out Tidal and yes it’s better than Spotify. Spotify is harsh comparing to Tidal.
Thank you Alexey. If it hadn’t been for this thread I would have continued with Spotify. I read about Tidal’s quality some year ago but didn’t try it out then but now it’s goodbye Spotify for me.

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I’ve read before that Tidal had the best service in terms of sound quality, but it wasn’t the point here, as I just wondered whether SC had improved its sonic quality (remember the email I’ve got from a pro website)…but it wasn’t the case…and Soundcloud is not really a streaming service for me in the first place. I don’t upload actually anything more there. I went back to the roots and made my own site for clients where they hear CD-quality of my work.

I actually wonder now why more people don’t do it? Or what people hope to get out of SC really? To be heard? To be found? To be contacted? To be hired? I mean, there are far better ways to promote yourself a better way, starting with BandCamp where you don’t have a limit how many songs you can upload. Even YouTube does have better streaming quality. And YouTube is owned by Google, so if you put in some tags, people have a much higher chance to find you and your work.

are you not listening to online streaming music because of quality of sound? If so, then I think the majority of listeners might not be thinking the same way, as spotify and pandora, etc are leading listening methods , people using spotify even while driving instead of CD , etc. Even if soundcloud and others improve the sound quality to match CD, you’re still listening , majority is playing back the music through devices that don’t enhance the listening experience like monitor speakers or stereo speakers.

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Yes, you are totally right. Even if you listen to CD on average audio systems, you don’t listen to the almost pure sound. That’s why I don’t listen to Spotify, and Co. I don’t listen to music much, compared to 10+ years ago, as I do it only for two reasons: Reference work, someone gives me music that I need to write similar stuff, or I take the time to sit for half an hour and enjoy CD quality through my studio HPs. There are many, many composers out there who don’t listen to music a lot too. It can cause or trigger the “copy-effect, or even plagiating” and I don’t want to have this as well.

If you are driving a car, you can’t expect good quality too, because you have a lot of noise around you. When it comes to E-cars, maybe it will change that people will understand what good sound is and what not. As I have said, there are already studies that proved that low-quality makes as sick, and obviously I don’t want to support something like that. Music should always be available to everyone, because music makes people happy, but music should be enjoyed as something special and not like a “product” that is “just there”. I know it’s the case right now, but if nobody in the industry don’t do nothing against it, music will become even more “unspecial”, if you know what I mean. Everywhere I can, I always tell other people who are not in the business, what is going on, so they understand what is going on. If more people would do it, we would have more appreciation in the industry that music is not just something that is “just there”, but something that is responsible for much, much more than “normal” people think it is.

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So why is spotify popular, to give artists more exposure and recognition even if for almost no money and because its cheaper for listeners to get songs?

they said some places in U.S. will require sales of e cars only- not fuel run cars in about 5-10 years

No matter what we do as musicians, producers, composers, we will always come across platforms that we need to research and make sure they’ll fit us. I don’t deal with Spotify and Co. because it’s not my personal plan to get noticed, collect streams, or to be found. My focus is only on writing music for myself, feel happy when doing it, and for a reason, like film, library, or an artist production. I’m totally fine with having an album on Bandcamp that nobody knows about. Sometimes we just need to deal what we are given, so maybe some things will change in the future, or maybe not. We don’t know, but we’ll see where it all goes :slight_smile: on the other hand I do understand why some major artists stay away from these platforms. It’s already a sign that something went wrong. There are definitely pros and cons. Depends on your personal view.

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I think more new music is being discovered on youtube as much as spotify if not more. Since very few people buy CD’s if you want your music to reach new audience or if you are an unknown artist, I kind of see what the attraction is for spotify, it’s reaching an audience that wouldn’t have otherwise ever known about you. Once CDs and stereo CDs become popular again, maybe things will change but if you’re looking to earn some fan base, audience or money off of your music seems unfortunately we have to adapt to the changing atmosphere. Everything is a trend in a few years spotify will no longer be a trend and it will be onto something else- that might be back to CDs or Vinyls but ya like you saying its up to what you enjoy and makes happy and comfortable doing as a composer.

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Yeah totally agree with it.

Back in the days, no matter if composer, producer, artist, it was so hard to get your foot not only into the business but just start creating…

Today we have so many different opportunities that are being given to us, and it’s up to us to get something out of it or not. We just need to find what works for us. For example, if I would be into “Hey, I want to find new fans, I would totally jump on the Spotify and Co. train”, but that’s not my goal, not my dream, not what I am about, at least for now.

However, I have to say too, that I am doing some collaborations now that will lead us to Apple Music, as far as it is planned for now. And when we thought about the idea, it was only because my team-mate has some cool contacts in the business, so it makes sense to use it to get more traffic to the music.

One important thing we need to understand: Music is our passion, it was, it is, it will be forever. But with passion you can’t earn money, you need to look for business opportunities. And if Spotify makes sense to get new fans, to start collecting them, playing gigs, sell merch, etc. it can work out. It really depends on the direction and how you see your project. If the project is something more serious, then why not going and trying to get new contacts to make business. If the project is more fun and passion orientated, then going for the Spotify journey makes more sense. Everyone has always a different perspective on things, and that’s how it should be. If there would be just a “one-way” kind of thing, it would be super boring too.

I was asked by many artists what they should do to start their career etc. and there is no such a copy-paste principle, as it depends on the vision of the artist too, what they want, what they prefer, goals, vision,…there are people out there who earn tens of thousands on Streaming Platforms, but those people have a really huge fan-base and it’s possible as we see, but it took them years to get there where they are. Other artists make only sync-licensing, and it works out for them as well, as they don’t want to be famous or what, just make a living writing music. Other people do only service type of things, more client stuff, the other only live-gigs, what the people do, if they are happy and it works out for them, all is fine. There are so many talented people out there too, who don’t want to be famous at all. It’s just their character. I’ve met those people and some of them are insane but doing music as a hobby type of thing.

Unfortunately I have to 100% agree with you. :zipper_mouth_face: :+1:

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