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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Support your favourite artists. Qobuz, Tidal, Band Camp or others?

    So there's all this big companies now scrambling to get into this changing market. Apple moving to subscriptions and attempting to sell speaker hardware, Sonos selling speakers and doing subscriptions, Spotify -the new kid on the block- selling subscriptions, Tidal going for the wealthier high-end audio crowd, Amazon convinced that being able to talk to your speakers is the best thing since sliced bread. But also more niche market players like Qobuz and Bandcamp...

    After having used Apple (Itunes/Airplay multiroom) for almost 15 years I decided to move to the Squeeze universe only a few months ago. My main reason was that Apple stopped supporting the airport devices - I had 6 running- and had been aggressively pushing their subscription based music services (Oh, and continued messing up my Itunes library along the way..). It's been a bit of a journey though, but I made it my COVID project and managed to enjoy my music Apple free since last week. What I love about the LMS platform so far is that it seems to enable us to make our own choices: I can own my hardware, I can own my music, and there's an amazing community of open source developers providing the software to make it work.

    In the course of this project I also discovered Qobuz, which allows me to stream, but also buy the music I love. And they seem to have pretty much everything I enjoy listening to. But I also appreciated the fact that Qobuz supported the artists during COVID, and my general impression is that buying albums (through Qobuz or somewhere else) is a much better deal for the artists. I found it (surprisingly) hard to find any reliable information though about which service is best for supporting artists.

    Especially now, when COVID is hitting hard in the cultural sector, I wonder if anybody here has any ideas or suggestions on this. Should I buy albums on Qobuz? Or are there other similar services? What can we do to make sure we pay a fair price and enable artists to continue doing what we love them to do? Where do I go to make sure a fair share of the price I pay goes to those artists and not to some hedge fund platform operator?

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    (4 of the 6 decommissioned airplay devices)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    One musician with several albums in print told me that he does not think Spotify is good about compensating recording artists. He did not say anything more specific than that. He recommended Tidal. This was before Qobuz was available in the USA.

    Nothing very definite in that, so I hope you'll get some more data points.
    LMS 8 nightly running on Raspberry Pi OS. Mostly virtual players, occasionally with SB Radio, Boom or Classic.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Toronto area, Canada
    I'd love to have access to Qobuz, but sadly it's not yet available in Canada. I did have brief moment of euphoria when I just did a search on "Qobuz Canada" and got a hit telling me I could download! But, sadly, it was about a band called Canada, not the country.

    I do regularly use Bandcamp, which is home to a ton of musicians, most of whom are, um, "starting up". However, I frequently find independent musicians there who I know and revere, and sometimes very high profile folk. I just bought a new Rory Block album there.

    I gather that Bandcamp provides a good monetary return for artists compared to other services, and all content is available as lossless flac.

    Last edited by RonM; 2020-10-13 at 18:02.
    LMS on a dedicated server (FitPC3)
    Transporter (Ethernet) - main listening, Onkyo receiver, Paradigm speakers
    Touch (WiFi) - home theater 5.1, Sony receiver, Energy speakers
    Boom 1 (WiFi) - work-space
    Boom 2 (WiFi) - various (deck, garage, etc.)
    Radio (WiFi) - home office
    Control - Squeeze Control (Android mobile), 2 Controllers (seldom used), Squeeze Remote (on Surface Pro 4)
    Touch x 1 - spare
    UE Radio x 1 - spare
    Boom x 1 - spare
    Controller x 1 - Spare
    Duet Receiver (backup)

  4. #4
    I have a Spotify account, which works really well with LMS and seems very robust. However, I think the payment model is complicated and not particularly beneficial to artists who don't muster huge audiences. I guess it's the difference between a radio broadcast model to a mass audience and a streaming model which serves up a track to an individual user.

    However, one of my principle motivations in subscribing to Spotify was to audition music before I buy it - I prefer to own a copy of music I like than to rely on a streaming service. I probably buy too much music. I don't know ow many people share this practice, but I do think that assuming people just listen to streaming services doesn't capture the complexity of the market.

    I buy music from a variety of sources: Bandcamp, Qobuz, and Boomkat are probably my main sources. Bandcamp instituted Bandcamp Fridays back in March to offer additional support to artists.

    Home: Raspberry Pi 4/pCP7.0/LMS8.1.2/Material with files on QNAP TS-251A
    Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 > Rega Fono Mini; Naim CD3)
    2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired), 1 x SqueezeAMP
    Office: LMS8.0.0 running on Raspberry Pi3; Raspberry Pi 3 player with touchscreen/piCorePlayer/IQaudIO DAC and Amp
    Portable: Raspberry Pi 3B/pCP7.0.1/LMS8.1.2/Material, files on Seagate portable drive, powered via power brick

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