🔊 Audio Qobuz 2021: Pricing and Packages

Good news for anyone considering Qobuz--they've had a price change, and their plans are even more affordable now. A pleasant bit of news this morning! My subscription renews in November, but I may decide to bump up to a family plan, or the Sublime, as I have a backlog of downloads to purchase.

Individual plans:
  • Studio Premier Annual (streaming up to 24-bit, 192kHz): $10.83/month, billed annually at $129.99
  • Studio Premier Monthly: $12.99/month
  • Studio Sublime Annual (streaming to 24/192, up to 50% discount on hi-res purchases*): $15.00/month, billed annually at $179.99
Family plans (up to six household users):
  • Studio Premier Family Annual (streaming to 24/192): $16.67/month, billed $199.99 annually
  • Studio Premier Family Monthly: $19.99/month
  • Studio Sublime Family Annual (streaming to 24/192, up to 50% discount on hi-res purchases*): $29.17/month, billed $349.99 annually
* Both Sublime packages include a discount for as much as 50% off of high-res downloads. One neat thing with Sublime is that the discounted high-res downloads are often less expensive than the CD-resolution version.

Plans: Enjoy unlimited music streaming with Qobuz- 1 month free.

Also, you can purchase downloads from Qobuz without having a streaming subscription. Prices are on par or slightly less than physical CDs, and in some instances you can purchase individual tracks. You can download in resolutions from 192-bit/24kHz lossless all the way down to 128kbs MP3/WMA/AAC, and your lossless files can be downloaded in whichever file format you choose. (Higher resolutions will appear in the drop-down list if available.)

1630547394838.png

One distinction to Qobuz vs. some of the high-res retailers (like HD Tracks) is that you can re-download your purchases at any time--there is no time limit.



Questions or comments? Leave 'em below. 👇
 

Stevenj

Well-Known Member
I'm keeping an eye on this. I signed up last night and already spent 200. I need to think about the subscription but I'm waiting for a response from support about issues with Audirvana.
Good news for anyone considering Qobuz--they've had a price change, and their plans are even more affordable now. A pleasant bit of news this morning! My subscription renews in November, but I may decide to bump up to a family plan, or the Sublime, as I have a backlog of downloads to purchase.

Individual plans:
  • Studio Premier Annual (streaming up to 24-bit, 192kHz): $10.83/month, billed annually at $129.99
  • Studio Premier Monthly: $12.99/month
  • Studio Sublime Annual (streaming to 24/192, up to 50% discount on hi-res purchases*): $15.00/month, billed annually at $179.99
Family plans (up to six household users):
  • Studio Premier Family Annual (streaming to 24/192): $16.67/month, billed $199.99 annually
  • Studio Premier Family Monthly: $19.99/month
  • Studio Sublime Family Annual (streaming to 24/192, up to 50% discount on hi-res purchases*): $29.17/month, billed $349.99 annually
* Both Sublime packages include a discount for as much as 50% off of high-res downloads. One neat thing with Sublime is that the discounted high-res downloads are often less expensive than the CD-resolution version.

Plans: Enjoy unlimited music streaming with Qobuz- 1 month free.

Also, you can purchase downloads from Qobuz without having a streaming subscription. Prices are on par or slightly less than physical CDs, and in some instances you can purchase individual tracks. You can download in resolutions from 192-bit/24kHz lossless all the way down to 128kbs MP3/WMA/AAC, and your lossless files can be downloaded in whichever file format you choose. (Higher resolutions will appear in the drop-down list if available.)

View attachment 6898

One distinction to Qobuz vs. some of the high-res retailers (like HD Tracks) is that you can re-download your purchases at any time--there is no time limit.



Questions or comments? Leave 'em below. 👇
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
I'm still debating a family plan, or the Sublime+ so I can get the high-res titles at a discount. I figured I stay with Sublime+ for a year, buy up the backlog I've been saving in a list, then cut back to a normal account. Some of the Sony Legacy titles I want (some RCA albums from the 50s and 60s) sound better than any digital mastering I've heard thus far. They finally did the Mancini catalog justice, and that's just one of many I'm looking at. If I can get those for $7 or $8 each, it's worth the extra subscription cost.

Let me know what happens with Audirvana. I know a couple of pals might be using it, and I can ask if they have had similar issues.
 

Stevenj

Well-Known Member
I'm still debating a family plan, or the Sublime+ so I can get the high-res titles at a discount. I figured I stay with Sublime+ for a year, buy up the backlog I've been saving in a list, then cut back to a normal account. Some of the Sony Legacy titles I want (some RCA albums from the 50s and 60s) sound better than any digital mastering I've heard thus far. They finally did the Mancini catalog justice, and that's just one of many I'm looking at. If I can get those for $7 or $8 each, it's worth the extra subscription cost.

Let me know what happens with Audirvana. I know a couple of pals might be using it, and I can ask if they have had similar issues.
Yeah, Audirvana doesn't really give support. LOL. It's going alright but still get a loud screech at the end of a song hear and there, but I really am enjoying the streaming service. The service is a nice way to determine if you really want the entire CD in your collection or not. I'm still buying files to add to my server for the ease of creating playlists.
 

Rudy

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At least Audirvana is better than what I used to use--JRiver Media Center. It couldn't do gapless playback, and would crash a few times per day. Each version added features and never fixed the crashing (and that was on three different OSes--Win10, OSX, Ubuntu). That and there were way too many settings, and nobody could ever verify I would get bit-perfect audio into any of my devices.

With Roon, everything just sort of fell into place and worked reliably. I don't really care to pay a subscription for music software but on the other hand, a month's worth is still less than what a new CD would cost me, so it's not really an issue. It's not perfect either, but it's been the best of those I've tried so far.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Welp, I took the plunge -- though not as a subscriber, but as a purchaser of "CD quality" files in a la carte fashion. As a test run, I purchased two of the three Mason Williams WB LPs that were never issued to CD. Happy to report the audio quality was just fine...and with that, I launched a whole new music-acquisition platform!

Qobuz is definitely 1960s-RCA-heavy, so I'm quickly diving into Al Hirt, Mancini, Waylon Jennings, Connie Smith, Chet Atkins and Norma Jean. In the case of Connie and Norma their entire catalogues were ignored for CD release. Most of these artists have nearly all their RCA releases available (although it's seems spotty with the Camdens).

In addition, I purchased the K&JJ, both Nat Adderleys, and the recently unearthed Tamba 4 issue. Otherwise, I've been acquiring downloads from LPs lost to time and it's been a gas to start to have all of these. I've burnt them all to CDs to file in my library. (I just make simple spine labels for "slimline" CD cases -- which is a D- in the art department compared to Harry's A+ cover art re-creations).

With Qobuz the purchaser owns the file; so, they may re-download it as often as desires -- which is very convenient given my only copies are my CD-Rs. There's also an LP front cover file available for download as well.

Thanks, Rudy!

Question: Are there any other comparable downloading sites? (As wonderful as Qobuz is, there are titles they don't currently have and I wonder if there are any other similar services out there that are as convenient to use.)
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Well I just checked out the Qobuz site thanks to you mentioning that it was "1960s-RCA-heavy" and to my surprise, there was an album that I've been looking for on CD for about 30 years or more: Hugo Montenegro's People...One to One (from around 1970, I think) which contains one of my all time favorite instrumental tracks, a remake of Neil Diamond's "Lordy." So that album is downloading as we speak. I just KNEW it would become available somehow, somewhere!
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I was really hoping Head East's Get Yourself Up would have been on there but....well you can't have everything!
 

AM Matt

Forum Undertaker
Head East "Get Yourself Up" along with "U.S. 1" & also "Inward & Onward" from 1982 & "Choice Of Weapons" from 1988 are not on Apple iTunes.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
"1960s-RCA-heavy" and to my surprise, there was an album that I've been looking for on CD for about 30 years or more: Hugo Montenegro's People...One to One
...and don't forget Peter Nero. Here's where the Qobuz shines. A great example is the cult RCA LP, Autosalvage (1968): you can't touch an NM LP for under $80 and a comparable CD is usually about $50; yet, one can download the music for round about $10. Another bernefit is the option to only purchase individual selections from an LP -- essential when negotiating 1960s c/w music. (After all 1960s c/w was formulaic to the hilt with the same subject matter re-told and similar musical elements re-used countless times on successive LPs. Heck, I'd wager there were probably only about two dozen truly original compositions in theme and music in all of RCA-Nashville...and the writers continuously re-cycled and edited the same story lines and musical elements for many of the artists. Waylon was probably the first to break away from the countrypolitan machine, which is why his LPs are normally a good listen...)
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Head East "Get Yourself Up" along with "U.S. 1" & also "Inward & Onward" from 1982 & "Choice Of Weapons" from 1988 are not on Apple iTunes
Yeah, they don't seem to be anywhere, that was my point.

The Qobuz interface is a little confusing at first but I've got my Montenegro files lined up and ready for a listen ASAP.
 

Rudy

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Thread Starter
Question: Are there any other comparable downloading sites? (As wonderful as Qobuz is, there are titles they don't currently have and I wonder if there are any other similar services out there that are as convenient to use.)
7Digital is another I have used--I bought two titles there which I couldn't find on any other service. (One was a compilation by Magnifico, a Slavik rock/pop dude from Yugoslavia, and I can't recall the other--it's been several years, long before Qobuz became available in the US.) They might be good for a longshot, although it is at the point where most services have most of the same items, with a few outliers in each.

7digital United States | High quality DRM-free MP3 music downloads

Tidal I think also has a store, but then you really don't know if they are pushing lossless or trying to force all their customers to get MQA. Deezer offers lossless streaming, but I don't think they have a download store.

HDTracks offers high-res downloads, but I don't remember if they offer CD resolution files. What I don't like about them is that you can't download your purchase at any time in the future--I can't recall but I think you had 45, 60 or 90 days to download.

An unusual choice is Bandcamp--artists who have recorded for small, boutique and/or independent labels often use Bandcamp as a means to distribute and/or reissue their music. A band I follow, Four80East, sold their albums on their own label (Boomtang) which was distributed by another company, but they recently added their entire catalog to Bandcamp where the albums or entire catalog can be downloaded, or CDs purchased. For their CDs, minimum price is $15 each, and downloads are a minimum $10; buyers can add more to support the artist if they wish. Another artist who had records in the IRS Records label, Tom Robinson, has his catalog on Bandcamp, including a reissue of his 1982 album North by Northwest. It's worth checking there for oddball items that turn up occasionally.

I don't mention itunes since 1) everything is proprietary, including their audio format and 2) one has to download their malware and install it, and it takes over all the audio functions on a computer if a person isn't careful. As an I.T. person, anything they do goes against what I believe in.

With Qobuz the purchaser owns the file; so, they may re-download it as often as desires -- which is very convenient given my only copies are my CD-Rs.

That is why I've liked Qobuz's offerings--if I lost a file or found something corrupted, I can download the title again without limitation. (Unlike HDTracks which I mentioned earlier.)

I was really hoping Head East's Get Yourself Up would have been on there but....well you can't have everything!
Just looking at Discogs, it has never had a digital release. But then again, neither did Gettin' Lucky or Head East, but those are on Qobuz. I'm thinking that either the master tapes are lost, or someone in the band doesn't want it reissued.

However, check this out for A Different Kind of Crazy...for reasons that are unclear.

1655520127255.png


Qobuz is definitely 1960s-RCA-heavy, so I'm quickly diving into Al Hirt, Mancini, Waylon Jennings, Connie Smith, Chet Atkins and Norma Jean. In the case of Connie and Norma their entire catalogues were ignored for CD release. Most of these artists have nearly all their RCA releases available (although it's seems spotty with the Camdens).
Well I just checked out the Qobuz site thanks to you mentioning that it was "1960s-RCA-heavy" and to my surprise, there was an album that I've been looking for on CD for about 30 years or more: Hugo Montenegro's People...One to One (from around 1970, I think) which contains one of my all time favorite instrumental tracks, a remake of Neil Diamond's "Lordy." So that album is downloading as we speak. I just KNEW it would become available somehow, somewhere!

I've been finding some really good sounding high-res downloads thanks to Sony's generosity with their catalog. The Mancini titles I've downloaded have never sounded better in digital form, and a few other scattered titles I've grabbed are similarly excellent sounding (Joao Donato's The New Sound of Brazil, etc.). If RCA is good, Columbia and any other Sony-owned label are also pretty good with the reissues. Heck, they had the Pete Jolly album on Columbia, something I never thought I'd see. There is certainly more available than I could ever afford to buy! 😁

One thing to note is that availability on any digital platform is up to negotiations between the streaming/download service and the record labels or distributors. That explains how some platforms have some titles but not others. And it can also vary with territory--the UK or EU versions of Qobuz may have titles not available in the US, for instance. Qobuz started in France 15 years ago; 7Digital has been around for 18 years. So, neither are newcomers.

Glad you're enjoying the selections! 👍👍 It's a great alternative when the CDs are long out of print, or the album has never been available digitally until the download and streaming version became available.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Rudy -- and can't thank you enough 👍 for your endorsement of this retailer, which has opened a whole new musical world for me!

Here are the gems what I've picked up to date.


Adderley, NatElectric Eel (aka "You Baby")
Adderley, NatCalling Out Loud
Baja Marimba Band(s/t)
Chandler, LenTo Be A ManColumbia
Chandler, LenThe Lovin’ PeopleColumbia
Como, PerryThe Scene ChangesRCA
Como, PerryLightly LatinRCA
Dodson, MargeIn the Still of the NightColumbia
Dodson, MargeNew Voice In TownColumbia
Faith, PercyPlay Continental MusicColumbia
Faith, PercyBouquetColumbia
Faith, PercyExotic StringsColumbia
FargoI See It NowRCA
Gault, JonnaWatch MeRCA
Harden, ArleneSings Roy OrbisonColumbia
Hartford, JohnIron Mountain DepotRCA
Hurley, JohnSings About PeopleRCA
Hyman, DickMirrors - Reflections of Today
Jones, Tamiko — Herbie MannA Mann & A Woman
Lonesome Rhodes, TheSandy & DonnaRCA
Luboff, NormanThe Latin LuboffRCA
Luboff, NormanSongs Of The SeaColumbia
Mathis, JohnnyJohnny’s Greatest Hits (monaural)Columbia
May, BillySorta-May
May, BillyJimmie Lunceford In Hi-Fi
McCoy, VanNight Time is Lonely TimeColumbia
McFarland, Gary — Gabor SzaboSampatico
McKay, StuartReap The Wild WindsRCA
Pipe Dream, TheWanderers - LoversRCA
Severinsen, DocTempestuous Trumpet
SkyDon’t Hold BackRCA
Tamba 4California Soul
Tolliver, CharlesPaper Man
Williams, MasonMusic
Williams, MasonHand Made
Winding, Kai — Johnson, J.J.Israel
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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Those Adderley titles were a surprise to see there. I keep hoping Stonebone (J&K) will get a digital release one of these days. The Tamba 4 came out the June following its November release, but nothing on Stonebone yet.
 

AM Matt

Forum Undertaker
NOT the Canadian pop rock group Stonebolt (debut album) which the song "I Will Still Love You" went to # 29 in October of 1978. Cannot believe that their albums are not on Apple iTunes.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Those Adderley titles were a surprise to see there. I keep hoping Stonebone (J&K) will get a digital release one of these days. The Tamba 4 came out the June following its November release, but nothing on Stonebone yet.
Indeed. The first Adderley sort of makes sense given it was part of A&M's early '80s audiophile LP series; Calling Out Loud, on the other hand, was unexpected. For J&K I'm pulling for Betwixt & Between.

I also noticed all of Nancy Wilson's 1960s Capitols (close to 30 LPs) are available, which begs the comment: the small number of LPs that are not available for Al Hirt, Connie Smith and Norma Jean lead me to conjecture that they were not found. Of course, I have no idea how the logistics of these things are managed, but it would seem that when Qobuz released Hirt, Smith, and Jean they simply released their entire available holdings (as they did with Nancy Wilson) as it seemingly makes little sense to hold back 2 or 3 LPs from a 15-LP run, for example.
 

Rudy

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I would agree--unreleased titles out of a large run of albums probably relates to some issue with their availability.

I don't have a way to check at the moment, but I think even the Soul Flutes album is available there, along with Glory of Love. Neither one I'd go out of my way to get (the LPs are fine) but interesting to see what the label chose to release.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Well, I'll be! Soul Flutes is available. I think we're all in agreement that it's actually Mann's 2nd and final A&M/CTi. Not as strong as Glory Of Love; and I have no plans to go after that one. Right now I'm getting my House of Mancini in order!
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
...notably:
-The Latin Sound Of Henry Mancini ('65)
-A Warm Shade Of Ivory ('69)
-Six Hours After Sunset ('69)
-Mancini Country ('70)
-The Cop Show Themes ('75)

As Well as both albums he cut with Doc Severinsen ('72, '73) -- although I files those under Doc.
 

Rudy

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I bought a few of those Mancini titles on CD way back in the 90s, when someone from the USC bookstore used to sell them. (An online acquaintance via the Compuserve forums, if I recall, as many of us were into west coast jazz and he stocked the music department at the bookstore.) They were released by BMG in Spain, under the guidance of Jordi Pujol. Somestimes the masters weren't the best, or they only had the mono masters, but they were not given access to the original tapes from the US, so they made do with what they had. For osme of the Mancini titles (and other RCA albums I liked), they were plenty good enough. Got many RCA titles, some I've never seen subsequent reissues of. (I haven't checked, but there was a Bobby Troup "Stars of Jazz" CD I bought, which has essentially the same jazz musicians as any of those early 60s Mancini and Shorty Rogers LPs...great stuff, if you can find it!)

So it's nice to see this continued via the downloads. What I think is attractive to labels is that they can now do these vault releases at very low cost--there are no manufacturing, distribution, warehousing or marketing costs as they would have with physical product. Lower cost means they can do more releases. Yeah, I know that some collectors still want a physical product, but in this economic climate, I'd rather be offered any chance to own the music I otherwise wouldn't have access to, than go without having it.

I made the leap to media-less playback several years ago and it does help with playback of the downloads and the streaming, but it's a big (and often confusing) leap for many. I still have all my physical copies, but the playback, cataloging, searchability, etc. far exceeds anything I've had earlier in life. I need to do a proper series of articles about it in the near future.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
So it's nice to see this continued via the downloads. What I think is attractive to labels is that they can now do these vault releases at very low cost--there are no manufacturing, distribution, warehousing or marketing costs as they would have with physical product. Lower cost means they can do more releases. Yeah, I know that some collectors still want a physical product, but in this economic climate, I'd rather be offered any chance to own the music I otherwise wouldn't have access to, than go without having it.
Agreed. This is why I finally made the decision to go this route...and I couldn't be happier.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I began to go this route more in recent years as I'm pretty much out of room when it comes to physical product and since I put my Cds into my computer and made several backup copies to SD cards for my tablets with a couple more SD card backup copies stored away for good measure it is much easier and quicker to access but the physical media still comes in handy for my weekly radio show gigs especially those that the station doesn't have
 
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