Digital Music Streaming for HiFi

As with all new technologies there are advantages and disadvantages to moving to Digital Music Streaming technology for your HiFi, however we are confident that the advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages, especially if you are on the search for the best sound possible.

The Most popular media for music over the last 20 years has been the CD. When a CD is played, the player has to retrieve the music data from the disk in real time, and if there are any errors encountered due to scratches or dust etc. the player just has to make the best of it.

In the land of Vinyl (still often considered by many to be the best of all possible sources), the Studio Master used as the source for the Vinyl is usually digital, but at a far higher bit-rate than fits onto a CD. The Move to digital streaming technology allows you to play these files in their native resolution with a number of other advantages, including:

  • When CDs are loaded, they can be read a number of times to ensure the data read from the CD is perfect, whereas when you play a CD it is only read once in real time.
  • The CD music data is stored on a remote computer hard disk to be retrieved easily and perfectly every time.
  • The CD music data can be played more accurately & the player has no moving parts to wear out.
  • You can download and replay the full Studio Master recordings without losing any quality.
  • You can have near instant access to pretty much any music by downloading it, or using an internet music service such as Napster,  Spotify, Qobuz or Tidal .
  • You can search and play your music far more easily (Note 1).
  • You can easily create and play playlists of your favourite music.
  • You can back-up your music collection for security.
  • You can have access to album art and all the CD insert information plus more from the Internet.

The disadvantage really is only in terms of having to get used to the new technology. However if you have Broadband Internet in your house, you’re half way there already!

We can install a Digital Music Streaming system attached to your Broadband router, where usually all you have to do is select your music using a tablet, and press play. To load a new CD onto the system you insert it into the CD slot on the Server, the system rips it, looking up all the information needed on the Internet, and then ejects the CD when it is done. It’s that simple!

Here is a great detailed introduction to Digital Music Streaming from Linn.

Make sense of the jargon used with our Digital Streaming Glossary

Note 1 – Most Music databases have real difficulty with Classical Music, so some care has to be exercised here: sometimes Artist refers to the Orchestra, sometimes the conductor and sometimes the soloists etc. The easiest way is to search by composer, and then refine it by artist… Linn have introduced a completely new Streaming Server, and Control point called Kazoo specifically to help with sorting out classical music.