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Free Music From Qobuz

news - August 2020


Free Music From Qobuz


This great music service offers hi-res audio streaming and downloads!


By George McClure

Sony 8K TV graphic
 

ONE OF OUR RECURRING THEMES here at Technology Designer is that a high-performance sound system is an essential ingredient for every luxury home. We’ve talked a lot about speakers and other components that deliver a premium audio experience, and we recently featured an article on the importance of using the highest quality source material (Consider the Source).In this article we’re going to continue this theme and briefly talk about some of the history of online-based audio, as well as introduce you to one of the newer online music services, Qobuz.

from free to not free

Some of you may remember the early days of Napster, which was originally a free peer-to-peer service which allowed people to easily share their MP3 files with other participants. It operated in this form between June 1999 and July 2001, when it was shut down over copyright violations. (The Napster brand survived after the company's assets were liquidated and purchased by other companies, and today it is a conventional paid streaming music service).

When iTunes and the first iPod hit the scene in 2001, consumers were required to pay for compressed downloads of albums and individual tracks. This platform was obviously hugely popular, but many music enthusiasts were not enthralled with the sound quality. So an outfit called HDtracks later began offering uncompressed, high-res music downloads — again on a pay per track or album basis.

streaming comes of age

Also back in 2001, Rhapsody became the first on-demand streaming music subscription service to offer unlimited access to a large library of digital music for a flat monthly fee. Although it took a while to catch on, this subscription-based model has now become hugely popular. Over the years a number of other streaming services, such as Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and others have sprung up, and of course some of the biggest players are now in the streaming game, too, such as Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and YouTube Music. All offer access to millions of songs for a monthly fee.

 

Samsung Q800T

what’s the buzz on Qobuz?

One of the newest services in the North American market is Qobuz (pronounced koh-buzz), a French-based company that has been operating in Europe since 2008. Qobuz not only offers lossless streaming, but better-than-CD quality music for recent releases. It also lets you buy and download music outright. There are a few things about Qobuz that differentiate it from other streaming services, but the most important one is that you can stream high-resolution FLAC files: Up to 24-bit resolution and sampling rates as high as 192kHz.

If you have a client with a high-end sound system who hasn’t yet listened in high-res or is dubious of any advantage it offers over CD-quality, here’s a chance to get some choice high-res albums from Qobuz absolutely free.

The Summer Music Gifts promotion lets you download from a selection of seven classical music releases. Four of the titles are available in 24-bit high-res FLAC format, while the others are CD-quality offerings. Sorry, a free download of AC/DC’s Back in Black, which just celebrated its 40th birthday (!) isn’t part of the Summer Music Gifts promotion, but you can always buy a high-res version of that from Qobuz, or access it anytime if you subscribe to the service.

It’s necessary to create a Qobuz account to download the free albums, but you won’t be required to enter credit card information — which is nice. The Summer Music Gifts promotion runs through August 15. Check out the details and the selection of free recordings here
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