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Pandora >Tidal>Amazon Unlimited >Spotify, and now Google

Discussion in 'Streaming Services' started by Alobar, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    P.S. Does anyone know if Google Home Max paired with Google Play Music would do a better job playing classical music via speech recognition (i.e., compared with Google Home Max paired with Spotify)? (I haven't tried Google Play Music.)
     

     

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  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    I've been getting some of my classical fix from Tidal (and sampling other albums) and I strongly agree--the rap nonsense has to go. They're trying to push their product to audiophiles who also, I'm sure, don't need to see this stuff either. One day I logged in to the word "motherf***er" splashed across the screen. Yeah, really nice. Quite frankly I'm fed up with them between that, the watermarked music files, and hopping into bed with mqa...
     
    Alobar likes this.
  3. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    I signed up for Pandora premium yesterday. I had hopes for Google being the one because I had entered a bunch of music I liked from their questioner forms but I found the algorithms a little weak and wasn't finding music I wanted to hear.

    From several years ago Pandora somehow managed pretty good radio for me, but the music was limited to what they had, and I couldn't play particular music on demand. Now that seems to be overcome and they have as much music as anybody else I think. Issues now are Pandora Premium can only play through a smartphone so far and the resolution is not 320 yet. I've been working on the house and I have a small Bluetooth speaker though and I have been streaming to it and it sounds good enough on it. I'm hoping that they get a desktop app up and running soon and can get the resolution bumped up better. I'm not sure what it is now maybe 128 or 256??

    they are they are running the two months free trial and I think maybe even a better free trial for people who have not had Pandora before. Might be worth trying out.
     
  4. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    What? Pandora Plus works on all Android devices. I use a tablet for it because my computer isn't always on and my phone isn't "Chromecast Optimized"...but are you saying that Premium is more limited?? Also SQ is almost uniformly impressive with the jazz music I favor. When I switch to rock it's more variable for some reason. Maybe the economics of it are such that compressing the more popular music makes sense? My brow is furrowed as I type that, though. I don't know.
     
  5. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Yes Pandora Premium is more limited in that it only is available on Android or Apple smartphone and tablet products. There is no way to play it through a web browser and they do not have a application for Windows yet. They say it is coming soon however so we'll have to see how that goes. This pretty much shoots it down for playing on my stereo as I draw the line on smartphones plugging into my amplifier, but when I'm out working on the house I'm away from my stereo anyway so I use a Bluetooth speaker and it's a way to get exposed to some music I might not hear otherwise

    This was just this was just the first day I used Pandora Premium and I had to keep giving thumbs down on James Taylor, I don't know why they keep pushing him on me I have never like his voice! Maybe it's my demographic or something I don't know. I figure if I give him a thumbs down every time they try to play him eventually they will figure it out and stop doing that!
     
  6. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    I know you've been on a tear the past year trying out different streaming services. I've mentioned this before in other threads but it's worth repeating. Algorithms are well... algorithms; the more you put in the more you get out.

    Please consider the following as well-intentioned advise, not as a "you're approaching it all wrong" retort. :)

    Selecting genres out of the gate (like some offer) is a starting point. But to actually realize the song recommendation engine prowess of any particular service, you gotta feed it a healthy diet of what appeals to you. This entails more than up/down thumbing and/or hearting songs in a given "radio" que for a month or two or three. Otherwise you're not gonna get much beyond "best popular guesses" based upon the genres/artists you selected.

    The more you give/use/work it and the larger your collection...the smarter and much better it gets "knowing" you. This has been my overall well-heeled experience (to varying degrees) with ALL services.

    So, the next crucial step beyond initial selection of artist/genre preference and thumbs/hearts is to ADD a plethora of titles/albums from your present music library to your service library. Some services are indeed better than others recommending selections by tapping into/seeing your existing library. But the more inventory it has, the more it will draw upon for new to you/discovery cuts and suggestions. While it may seem unnecessarily redundant, this is key intel for "the algorithm". Sounds like a lot of "work" eh. Well, it can be. But over time the dividends can and will be your wildest discovery dream huge. :)

    Note: My Spotify collection has 15,000+ tracks. And it rarely disappoints when it goes to non-library radio mode. For the outstanding cuts that bubble up...it's a one click operation to add it to the library or a playlist.
    :music:
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  7. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Some good points and ideas.. I will start entering more stuff I like and see where that takes me. I have only fiddled with Pandora Premium for a day so haven't given it any chance at all. It is a tough thing for any service to be expected to do. 40 million tracks is like looking at an ocean, and figuring probably 50% of it is crap by any standard, and of the other 50, probably for whatever reason 45% of that isn't what I want .. Finding those gems out there that I want to buy and play is what I am looking for in a streaming outfit.

    If anything, most streaming companies start out not very daring in the selections. If I give a thumbs up for a Pink Floyd (I hesitate doing it so to skew the results) then I am sure I will be swatting typical "classic rock" type music that you hear on any rock radio between commercials the rest of the day at least. Same with Jazz, just about lifeless, boring, way too smooth, or every track sounds about the same and I get bored with it and switch to some other station..

    I really had hopes for Google Play Music. It asked me what I liked in pages and pages of artist and I put check marks on probably a hundred different ones. But when it came to offering suggestions it was in the form of radio stations, like "It's A Beautiful Day" station, or God forbid, a Pink Floyd station. I don't listen that way. I want it all mixed up, (with an occasional PF in there so long as it isn't "Money") different genre's decades, mix it up! I suspect most don't like that, and want to play either whole albums, or at least the same era, genre etc.

    The old Pandora would allow this. It offered me the ability to create different thumbs up lists or you could put it all in one or 2 big lists which I did. It actually worked for me that way to an extent, but I never kept with it.

    Here is what I am listening to while I am writing this: It is randomized list based only on my personal rating, 4 and 5 stars (sort of like my own top 100 chart which changes as I take away or add stars) These ratings fall off to 1 or 2 or zero as I burn out by it. Sometimes I use lots of parameters, but most of the time I just want to fire it up and play music I like currently. I of course want to add tons more to this! But this is typical for how I listen.. If I could get a streaming outfit to do this with suggesting material I would like that very much!
    Capture.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  8. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Ha! Caro Emerald is a guilty pleasure here, or do I simply mean a pleasure?

    Appropo of nothing, my Pandora / Chromecast Audio does the weirdest thing, with complete regularity. After I've been listening for awhile to Pandora Plus via my Nexus tablet, I presently perceive that the tablet is playing a different stream through its tinny little speakers than what I'm listening to over my stereo system. So I look at it and sure enough it says it's stopped casting. So I switch Pandora off. I understand this--it's casting directly through my router to the CCA units.

    But here's the weird part: I close Google Home and it has no effect. Then I shut my Nexus tablet completely off. The music keeps streaming, though of course I no longer have any control of it (that's the annoying part). The only way to get it to stop playing (and casting) is to shut off the router and wait for the buffer to empty out. The weird part is that Pandora Plus thus permits me to run two instances simultaneously if I desire (though I don't). Normally that's absolutely verboten.
     
  9. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Yep. Hence why I'm suggesting that you build a sturdy lighthouse and take the time to sow several taste buoys offshore of your locale. Port in a storm mate....:)
    Most certainly, they play it safe. But they do so with good reason. Generally, people prefer familiarity. Get too "daring" out of the gate and most will run away.
    Indeed most don't like that. Numerous studies have shown that "we" form a long lasting and strong affinity for certain types of music in our early teens; tailing off in our early twenties. And most casual listeners, especially in time constrained environments, find it very comforting to stick close to "the date" that brought them to a new dance. That's exactly the main reason most commercial FM radio is the way it is. It's a broadcast, targeting a broad genre based demographic. My gut tells me that's pretty much where you've been "stuck"/disappointed spinning your diversity wheels with streaming services. Well, pick up the damn phone and call the DJ. :D

    On-demand streaming has exponentially more power to tailor a station or playlist to an eclectic, "mix it up" sort such as myself & yourself than a broadcast. But initially/statistically it's in their best interest to have broad appeal based upon what you've given them at first vs. running you off with daring "deep cut" content. Without significant intel from you personally and time trodden usage, it's at best a loaded (artist/genre) dice roll for them.

    IOW, just as JRiver got better for you over time by starring tracks which were already personally selected songs/albums, on-demand streaming can deliver this level of satisfaction and more. Feed it, work it.
    Very nice list. :thumbsup: Now imagine getting the same sort of playlist(s) netted and landed in your boat with new to you tracks; all from the ocean of 40 million feesh. Sure you're gonna reel in some trash...but over time you'll find yourself having to dump less and less.

    Getting back to the eternal teenage wheelhouse, I have my heart string favs just like anyone else. But I've come to realize over the years that I also possess a much more forgiving/exploratory tolerance for music than not only my peers but also folks that are pubescently rooted 35 years +/- my generation.

    To what degree the "personal classics" get peppered in with any given auto-list varies. Ultimately, just like JRiver, it is up to you to manually add to your liking if necessary. Again, I'm not saying streaming should be a replacement for your own finely honed and favorited music collection. But I can say that from an "old salt" like me that's been at sea as long as I have, by using streaming in tandem with my own aged library has made the journey of expanding my musical horizon most automatic and extremely enjoyable.
    #piginshit
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  10. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Sounds good, but probably part of the troubled waters for me. I have tried searching within Pandora for music I have in hopes of new suggestions but what happens is a list of albums I already either have or heard and rejected, but either way I really don't actually want to stream it, mostly because I already have it! Now that I have searched (as you suggested), where will the suggestions based on the searches manifest? All I see is individual radio stations based on each search. How can I make it blend and meld please! This is part of my beef with all the streaming outfits I have tried thus far. Also instead of making me search, why not do the work for me with some sort of an app, a Shazam sort of thing that will monitor the music I am playing from my own library and build the musical database just for me based on that? Seems like there is a lack of imagination on their part for this sort of 21st century stuff.

    Yeah well just chalk it up to another area where I break the "norm" mold! I almost never play the music I was listening to in my 20's. Time moved on and so did I!

    Obviously there is no right or wrong way to enjoy music here, but a system that is too ridged is not the best, at least for those who paint outside the lines, or, in keeping with the maritime theme, are wanting to explore out far away from the shipping lanes.. Of course I could end up with in some very polluted water too, as there is a ton of crap within that 40 million and I really don't have time for weeding through that!

    This is what I want as well, but have not found much of it thus far. I certainly do not want it to replace my own music, what would be the point in that? I want it to extend and build my collection, perhaps take me in new directions that I never knew about. Then just call me Ferdinand! :bigok:
     
  11. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Simply searching (with Pandora) will just pull a list of similar artists or songs stations, what I suggested was to ADD albums/songs from your existing collection to your streaming library. This will help the suggestion engine.

    i.e. Search for The Motels, scroll down to the albums section and ADD the albums you like. Rinse & repeat....Load it up. Create and listen to stations based on your favorite songs or artists. When something comes up you like...ADD it to "My Music". The more you add...they deeper it will reach when creating stations. Create a Playlist for ALL your new and old tracks. Shuffle that list when you want "your" music... "all mixed up".

    That said, as an on-demand service, Pandora Premium is pretty piss poor. I had high hopes for PP, but it's painfully limited and clumsy on the feature and functionality front compared to others. See my latest post here. Others like Apple Music and Spotify are much more adept and offer "discovery" playlists based upon your listening habits, Shazam/SoundHound integration, yada, yada.... Much easier and productive. :)

    Once your PP trial ends... it may be worth revisiting Spotify again armed with this knowledge/tips. If interested, PM me and I'll send you a link for a 60 day trial. ;)

    PS. I think Apple Music is still offering a 90 day trial for new subs.

    PPS. Pandora just opened up their premium tier to the desktop via web interface. This should make things easier to manage than the phone or tab.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018

     

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  12. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    For fun, I shut everything down (computer, tablet, phone) but my router and just let it keep playing. As an experiment. Well it's three days now and it's still playing. I shut down all the zones but one while sleeping. Even the Pandora Plus service that I use will eventually pause after several hours without user input. But that's the thing--I'm not connected. Except that I am. As a further experiment, I've tried Pandora in my car via Bluetooth and it presents no conflict. The implication seems to be that I could cancel my service and still enjoy endless streaming at home, although naturally I wouldn't be able to interact with the service. Again, I wonder if the mgmt knows of this glitch. It could cost them money.
     
  13. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Chromecast has long had that issue, where the casting controller loses sync with the streaming device. I gave up on Chromecast due to this and the lengthy connection issues, long ago. Sounds like it hasn’t improved.
     
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  14. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Well it's easy to fix: just restart your Google Home app. I'm just letting it play for fun.
    And yes, the fix is temporary so I understand your frustration.
    No connection issues since I got a dedicated tablet.
     
  15. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Indeed. And Pandora's implimentation in particular is especially wonky with Chromecast. . :whip:
     
  16. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    @OP-what did you find lacking in Spotify? I listen to whole albums on Spotify regularly and so far in this thread that was the only complaint I heard. I find their app to be much superior UI wise to Tidal or Google Play Music, at least on Android.
     

     

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  17. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    The mutual-disconnect thing is now happening within a few minutes of turning it on. I keep the volume on my tablet turned up now so I can hear when it starts playing a different program from what it's casting. Now I just switch off the tablet then, but of course this eliminates all possibility of controlling the music I'm hearing.

    As a test the other day I left it playing when I went out on errands, using Pandora in my car. No glitches in the car, and it was still playing the other program when I got home. You'd think the bean counters would address something which permits two instances of their program to be used at once--they don't permit it 'officially'.

    Separately, contrary to what I wrote in March I have intermittent connection issues all the time now, but that seems to be a router/chromecast issue not a Pandora issue.

    Well....now I see that only the first and last sentences of this post actually add anything to what I wrote in March. Sorry [​IMG]
     
  18. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    After a brief stopover to the latest from Pandora (only works on phones thus far) I am back with Amazon unlimited. I was hoping for an easier way to buy CD's that I like from within their streaming app, something like a link would be nice, but thus far there isn't any real advantage in that way over any other streaming players. You would think a "Buy CD Now" button right from their app would dovetail right into their CD's and Vinyl business but evidently they have never heard of people who stream actually buying anything music wise. Oh well, perhaps that new one from France will be next for me. I hear they do offer to sell hi def downloads of the stuff they stream.
     
  19. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Funny... Pandora does not work on phones for me, which is why I bought the Nexus 10 (tablet) dedicated for that purpose only. Yes you'd think Amazon would make it very easy to buy CDs etc. Now what's this about France? First I've heard of it, but I'm not very plugged-in to the streaming world, which is probably no surprise from someone using Pandora....
     
  20. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Available in the US this summer sometime.. Hi Rez without the need for yet another DAC.
    Qobuz streaming
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qobuz
     

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