Does It Make Sense To Pay More For A Hi-Res Subscription?

The world of music streaming is constantly evolving. This is a natural process because streaming platforms are constantly fighting for new users, trying to attract them to their ranks with new effective features.

A few months after the announcement of Spotify, another great contender in the music streaming arena, Apple Music, is also emerging in the same role. Apple Music’s offering also focuses on lossless and high-resolution audio support, in addition to Dolby Atmos-based Spatial Audio music.

It’s an object-based surround sound technology that gives you a more immersive and enveloping listening experience than HD (which Amazon and Tidal have also switched to). While listening to the track, it seems that the sound comes from every point around the user: a kind of head immersion in the harmonic and melodic pattern of the piece of music. An interesting move that destabilized the competition to a minimum is the decision to keep the previous price for upgrading to HiRes.

This decision also shares Amazon Music, which offers two options through its standard offering: one in high definition (HD) up to 850 kbps, which is about double the normal bit rate, and one in Ultra HD up to 9.216 kbps (more better sound in CD quality).

Summing up, we can say that high resolution is becoming a competitive element not only to attract a new audience (especially adult music lovers), but also to diversify the offer in a crowded market.

But does it make sense to pay more for a Hi-Res subscription? This depends on several factors, most notably the listener’s ability to recognize differences and therefore capture the sonic details that affect the ear when listening to high quality music. Even the usage habits of the platforms and the needs of users influence the choice of subscription: once they try to stream in high definition, fans of good sound will no longer be able to do without it, especially when using high definition. a satisfying existence even with premium formulas. In short, once again the choice is quite subjective.

The gears of the streaming world are represented by algorithms in the field of artificial intelligence. However, there is a strong human component behind the whole mechanism. This is where music curators come in, flesh-and-blood people who take care of choosing the songs and artists that users listen to the most based on the data collected by the algorithms.

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Apple Music was one of the first music streaming platforms to focus on human curation, creating a team of experts who rely on data gathered by its system’s algorithms to select favorite artists and songs and insert them into the platform’s personalized listening suggestions.

Spotify also relies on an editorial team that, among other things, plays a critical role in developing the playlists offered by the platform, which have become the flagships of the popular streaming service.

At this stage, the inevitable question is: which platform is appropriate to choose? Although there are exclusive offers in this sector, the choice is never clear and is rather shaped by the individual needs of users: audiophiles will focus on the highest sound quality, omnivores on the vastness of the catalog, aesthetes on the interface. to their liking, families on shared subscriptions, tech monogamists to pieces to fit into their favorite ecosystem, and so on.

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