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I was just looking at the Vienna State Opera live streaming facility. It is beautifully presented. While you watch the opera on your television you can simultaneously have the libretto and sometimes the score (keeping time with the music) on your iPad. You can also view the Programme book for the performance.
Paul, Chris, I do understand your dilemma about Qobuz and/or Tidal. Whether £40 is too much to pay for streaming or not, the extra £20 for the relatively small amount of material that is not common to both is obviously not such good value!
Is £40 monthly too much to pay. I guess most people would say it is too much. But would much less be sufficient to fund classical music recording at its present rate. I suspect not. I reckon I spend more than £20 per month on CDs, and many enthusiasts (not only Parla) spend very much more yet I doubt they would be willing to put the same sums into streaming.
Chris, like you I find streaming services (I can get Spotify and Deezer) a very valuable resource for trying out possible future purchases. In fact the 320kb rate of Spotify is more than good enough for that purpose, and like Andrew Everard (in this month's Gramophone) I'm still Luddite enough to like owning my CDs (along with many of my other possessions).
Just in passing, whereas with streaming one does not 'own' any of the recordings, and with CD one obviously does, what about downloads; does the purchaser own them or not? There has been some discussion on this on the web.
I've had responses from Tidal re my questions on gapless playback and booklets. In both cases, they say they're looking at it (and apparently gapless is the most requested missing feature), but are totally vague about timing. I think if I had to choose right now, Qobuz would shade it on these grounds. But I certainly wouldn't be tempted to pay a year up front at a discount - too much is likely to change over the next twelve months.
2 or 3 years ago, I was somewhat freed of the burden of getting what I consider unsubstitutable recordings, as I pretty much got what I could. With more dispensable recordings, streaming has become more attractive for me now.
I suppose my list of must-have recordings has not and likely will not increment substantially for quite a while, because I am focusing on unfamiliar composition rather than interpretation.
Unfamiliar compositions are well served by modern (and older, to a good extent) recordings of high quality productions. However, I can understand that streaming might allow you to explore more at a lower cost. I only hope all these marginal items (often coming from more independent, local and obscure labels) can be well represented by the streaming companies.
A $$$ suggestion for the unfamiliar (by all means not necessarily marginal) can certainly be considered, especially if from previously utilized sources (shadow or otherwise), but its essential appeal is often not immediately apparent.
Much the same as Paul's, saying that they're aware of the two problems and are working on it. I'm still trying to find an album in that doesn't have the Album Overview tab greyed out in the Tidal desktop.
I wouldn't want to pay for more than one subscription as I still like buy or download some music, but at the moment I'm still completely undecided.
Have just signed up for the free trial of tidal. Certainly qobus has far more historical recordings.min an initial search I couldn't find the L.P.O kleiber pastoral or van beinum's beethoven 2, both of which are available on qobus. Another omission is Peter Pratt's mikado. However the sound is first class.
maybe it is better with more modern recordings. I have just finished enjoying harnoncourt's last three mozart symphonies whilst looking at the search.
So far I think I will remain with qobuz, certainly can't justify both.
however I have a month to trial and perhaps when I get to grips with the search facility which I find less user friendly than qobuz I may be in a better position to decide. And the absence of gap less playback may well be a deciding factor.
N.B I have subsequently found the recordings I mentioned above, more by luck than anything else. I have not got to grips with the search facility yet.
Have now hand a couple of weeks to consider and compare tidal with qobuz.
Qobuz seems more up to date with new releases. I cannot find the vienna symphony Strauss recital conducted by manfred Honeck and the callas opera recordings do not seem to be the 2014 remasterings. Equally I have now found the beethoven van beinum, one version with the original mignon coupling originally on Philips classical,favourites L.P From the sixties.
which brings up an issue with Tidal. Their search facility is not user friendly. If you are looking for early LPs it is hit and miss whether you find them. However the library is vast and much is there. I particularly like the number of ace of club recordings even if the transfer often comes from warn copies.
So which to choose. For nostalgia probably Tidal, for serious listening possibly qobuz if only because there is a better chance of finding what you are looking for.
In both cases the sound is good.
At this stage it's pretty even for me.
The search is better in Qobuz, as is gapless playback (though not perfect in Qobuz), album information and general classical-music-friendliness.
The big plus with Tidal is the inclusion of Chandos recordings (and here the booklets can be downloaded from the Chandos web site), plus many more of the latest Gardiner Bach chorale recordings. It even has some new releases that Qobuz doesn't have, e.g. The Bells of Dawn by Dmitri Hvorostoksky - listed on Qobuz but with the tracks greyed out.
Sound seems equally good to me, and both players are reliable. Two weeks to go to a final choice...
Another week on and I've decided to stay with Qobuz for the moment. The lack of gapless playback in Tidal is just too annoying and offsets the advantages of the Chandos catalogue. Also, the Qobuz catalogue seems better in many ways for classical music. I read somewhere that Qobuz's financial situation might become clearer at the end of this month, as should their plans to expand beyond Europe, so fingers crossed for their future.
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