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I just ran this news through Google Translate and it does indeed say what I thought it says: the Qobuz hi-res streaming and download service is preparing to launch in the USA next year!

https://www.rtbf.be/culture/pop-up/detail_qobuz-prepare-son-arrivee-aux-etats-unis?id=9772232


Many have signed up from outside the current service area via VPN (then streaming without VPN once set up), but this will make it official.

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Great news.

 

The last part suggests they are in this for the long haul:

 

"Qobuz has a turnover of 9.1 million euros for 2016-2017 and a negative gross operating result of 4.8 million euros.

He expects to achieve profitability in 2020-2021 with a turnover target of 108 million euros."

 

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Yes, I switched from Tidal to Qobuz ... if you're a jazz lover, the Qobuz catalogue is superb and includes many European jazz titles not available anywhere else. No MQA or DSD (currently) ... but no big deal for me. Their Sublime package also lets you buy HiRes downloads at lower prices in many cases. I also value their online magazine about music and equipment.

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8 hours ago, sockpit said:

it is awesome right down to the app, which is as good as it gets outside of Roon

 

When I checked a few weeks ago, the Mac app was nothing but a standalone web browser, so there was no difference between using the app and going to their website in a browser.

 

Is the Windows app more sophisticated?

 

(I'm trying to figure out how to stream the audio from the web browser on my laptop to the Mac Mini across the room that's connected to the DAC.  I may have figured out a solution using Soundflower, Jack, Liquidsoap, and Icecast.)

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Many network player from e.g. Linn, Auralic or Sonore support the Qobuz streaming service, but I don't know if they will work with a VPN. 

 

Like @Charente I switched from Tidal to Qobuz Sublime as well, primarily because of the significant discounts on HiRes downloads.

 

Their streaming catalog is not identical to Tidal, I agree with Charente that for Jazz and Classical lovers, Qobuz is the better choice. For me, as a friend of Indie, Alternative and Progressive Rock, both have huge gaps but Tidal is slightly better sorted.

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9 hours ago, Charente said:

I stream Qobuz via Audirvana 3.1 ... better sound quality than via app or web

 

My experience is that Audirvana only accesses purchased albums.  Is that true, or am I missing something?  Would the entire Qobuz catalog appear in Audirvana if I upgraded to a Sublime subscription?

 

My interest in streaming is to browse the Qobuz website to preview potential purchases.  I also want to see prices, especially the pages of current promotions, which I assume is impossible in Audirvana.

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@#Yoda# after you've signed up, you can turn VPN off and stream directly.  Or am I misunderstanding your assumption?

 

@Bob Stern there are Qobuz apps for Mac now: http://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/applications And unless something has changed since 2015, yes you can stream from Audirvana using any level of Qobuz account. This was posted before Sublime+ even existed: http://blogsv2.qobuz.com/qobuz-blog-en/2015/12/24/qobuz-now-embedded-in-audirvana-plus-2-3/

 

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@Bob Stern There is a bypass for the regional restrictions of Qobuz. If you browse Findhdmusic.com on your computer and click on the Qobuz links you'll get to the specific country site you've chosen. There you can see the prices, quite often they are very different between the three given options in Europe.

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@left channel By the way, I wouldn't be too optimistic for the availability of Qobuz in the US. Qobuz announced in March this year that they will be available in Italy, Spain and Poland until summer but the people there are still waiting. 

 

Qobuz was always great in announcements but sometimes poor in delivery, service and reliability.

 

There are reasons why Qobuz had been in insolvency proceeding recently and a court found a new last minute investor, so far.

 

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@#Yoda# you may be right but the new investor and CEO seems to have done a solid, fiscally conservative job of relaunching the service. A U.S. launch event at CES is not cheap and requires quite a bit of long-term planning by itself, so unless they're doing that just to look good (hey, it happens) the EU expansion delays may be unrelated. Fingers crossed.

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1 hour ago, #Yoda# said:

There is a bypass for the regional restrictions of Qobuz. If you browse Findhdmusic.com on your computer and click on the Qobuz links you'll get to the specific country site you've chosen. There you can see the prices, quite often they are very different between the three given options in Europe.

 

Cool!  I have two Qobuz accounts purportedly in England and France.  I want to compare prices and availability of promotions before deciding which one to elevate to Sublime.  So far the differences are small, but Brexit might change that.

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14 minutes ago, Bob Stern said:

 

The Mac app is merely a wrapper around a web browser engine (probably WebKit, the basis for Safari).  Its GUI is identical to browsing the Qobuz website in Safari.

 

Well that's disappointing. So nothing like the output device control offered by the Windows app, as shown in the attached image? Looking forward to hearing about streaming from Audirvana then.

 

 

settings.jpg

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28 minutes ago, left channel said:

So nothing like the output device control offered by the Windows app, as shown in the attached image?

 

The player window in the Mac app looks completely different but, based on your hint, I discovered it does have a popup to choose the audio output device.  I had never tried clicking that icon before because it is unlabeled and is the icon normally used on the Mac to "share" (forward) a link.

 

Both the website (in a regular web browser) and the Mac app have a popup menu to choose playback sample rate as in the Windows app.

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Here's a screen shot from the Qobuz UK site showing current pricing. (Click it to enlarge.) The audiophile tier is not cheap, and for a moment I was hoping with the US launch they would introduce mass-market prices for the high end. But perhaps that is exactly what they should not do.

 

I read somewhere that since the receivership and relaunch, compared to other streaming services Qobuz has been earning 5 to 10 times the revenue per user, targeting a small customer base that pays instead of attracting everyone and figuring out how make money later.

 

The article I posted above mentions they have a net profitability goal in sight for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Meanwhile their competitors are chasing ears the way dot-coms were chasing "eyeballs" in 1999, and we all know what happened next. Pardon my French, but it's déjà vu at Tidal all over again.

 

subscriptions-uk.jpg

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I don't understand the description for the Premium tier.  "All the difference of Qobuz?" By comparing it to the other plans, I guess it means lossy streaming only.  But can customers purchase downloads without any of those subscriptions?  It could have been explained more clearly.

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