You are sure you are playing High-Res? Please add sample rate and bit depth to 'Now Playing'!

Comments

9 comments

  • braino

    I'd like to see resolution displayed as well though in my experience and to my ears, far too much attention is paid to the sample rate and bit rate rather than the quality of the recording. I own many 24/192 recordings which are excellent but also many 16/44.1 which are fantastic. A lot of musicality can be expressed in 16/44.1, more important  is the entire signal chain.

    <begin unsolicited rave> 

    I'm a recent convert to Roon and would encourage those who have the requisite equipment to give it a trial, it's DSP functions actually improve the signal path and the sound. In so many ways it improves the user experience whether streaming or playing local files.

    <end rave>

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  • PaulW

    Hi Braino,

    I copy you on Roon, I currently do not use it. I am not sure Roon shows resolution on the playing now screen? On June 15th a community/roonlabs user is asking: Please show bit depth & sample rate on bar at bottom.

    I got your point about overestimating resolution. It depends. I do not go beyond 24/192 because of my DAC limitation. But my point is we should be able to see in 'Playing Now' what resolution is playing in BlueOS regardless of quality (or not). In a perfect world it would be nice to see what resolution is coming in AND what is going out. Maybe I'll ask that in a few years.

    But how do you know your BlueOS system is playing your 24/192 files with the right resolution, and not 16/44.1 for example, without looking it up under Technical Info? Maybe it sounds already good to you, maybe it could even sound better!

    Great you confirmed you would like to see resolution displayed as well. Let's see. 

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  • braino

    Higher resolution doesn't always signify better sound. Many files are simply upsampled or digitized recordings from vinyl sources. Many factors contribute to quality audio and while resolution is an important one, it is not the only or necessarily the sine qua non of good audio.

    Roon display what they refer to as the Signal Path from source to output, showing inputs in the chain. Following are 2 examples, the first from Tidal MQA to a Pulse (ORFS means original file sample rate), the second from a local 24/192 file to a Node 2i.

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  • Derek Stratton

    I'll add my $.02 which is that many "24 bit" sources are (so I have read) merely 16-bits of info with 8 bits of "padding" (all 1s or all 0s) to push the sample size to 24 bits. YMMV

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  • PaulW

    Resolution is system and ear dependent, no doubt. Each (original) music file comes with a specific resolution. The streaming process does affect the quality of the sound until it can stream lossless where in theory the streaming does not affect the quality of sound. Whether or not people can hear the difference is a topic for another discussion. I'm just making sure I can play the music in its original form.

    When streaming services can call anything Hi-Res and charge a premium for their best sound files, I prefer to verify for myself if I can put the Hi-Res label on the file I am listening to.

    The feature request above is about showing sample rate and bit depth in BlueOS in Now Playing screen. It is up to BlueOS users how to treat this information, or they can ignore it, but should you? More and more music files will become Hi-Res. Eventually streaming companies will be more clear about quality of different sound files, specially if clients can easily verify resolution of the sound file they receive.

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  • Sound Stage

    I’m still very annoyed by their obstinance to not show this info in plain sight somewhere on the now-playing screen. Their stance on this issue is not in line with those who play high-res music (we want to know the bit-depth and Sample Rate). I don’t mind the CD and HR icons as a way to de-cutter the info on screen; but let that be a clickable icon that shows the actual bit-depth/SR info.

    Cheers

    P.S. In general though, I really like the evolution of the app, such as the inclusion of album art for each song in the queue. You guys keep making it worthwhile to have my Node 2i still plugged in even though I’ve bought a couple high-end streamers recently.

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  • Blake Patterson

    I'll chime in here - this is a no-brainer for premium audio equipment. The quality of the source material and how many times it has been re-encoded before being offered on a streaming service is irrelevant. This feature is all about showing the user that their equipment is functioning the way it is supposed to.

    This should be displayed for dolby/movie content as well (we all spend so much time on these damn product forums tyring to get our music or movies to play the correct/best audio).

    The business case is this - if it works correctly, Bluesound will get a few less customer support requests since users will actually see that they are getting the correct playback.

    It's amazing we have time left over to actually enjoy the art we want to experience using these products!

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  • Deniel

    Great customer service Bluesound ( NAD )!!
    7 months since @PaulW posted this and no official response from Bluesound.

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  • PaulW

    Thanks Deniel,

    Indeed it does not feel like anyone from Bluesound NAD is taking a look here. I'll update my comments for this year below, we never know.

    The point of my post : ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE PLAYING HIGH-RES? is that I still suspect BlueOS is either not playing the original bit-depth or there is some sort of processing within BluOS. Sound quality from the same files played with my NAD C 658 and BlueOS is not on par with the other two players I am using (Euphony OS and JRiver) and both for a fraction of the cost.

    In 2021 (*update 2022 ) streaming services offer audio files with greater than CD quality (see minimum stream rate table below *) but that's not always what you get. Also without knowing, users can limit and reduce the offered quality depending devices and connection quality.

    Why not a simple way, without leaving the main Now Playing screen and see live that the highest quality sample rate and bit depth is being played?

    This is a very common feature on other players I am currently using. You can see a few examples below. It only does take up a tiny bit of interface space.

    If others can implement this, I do not understand why BlueOS is not incorporating this?

    Could you please advise what is withholding BlueSound? Or, if mine and many other users (repetitive) requests are able to convince Bluesound, when can we expect to be sure BlueOS will play Hi-Res with zero loss in sound quality?

     

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