Bit Perfect engineer and friend, Tim Murison, sent me an interesting note about a strange artifact added to about 1/4 of all the music we stream.
In a blog post from software engineer, Matt Montag, he describes the following:
“A while ago, I wrote about my confusion regarding Weird Spotify Compression Artifacts. It turns out the artifacts I was hearing are not due to compression, but a result of audio watermarks that Universal Music Group embeds in digitally distributed tracks. This watermark is embedded in UMG tracks on Rdio, Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, and others. The watermark can also be heard in Universal tracks broadcast over FM radio. Universal Music recordings make up about 25% of most online catalogs, and its labels include Interscope, The Island Def Jam, Universal Republic, Verve, GRP, Impulse!, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen, etc.”
While subtle, it surely ain’t nothin!
If you’re interested in discovering more about this added distortion to the music you’re downloading, go here for the info and examples.
I have long suspected something’s going on because to me Tidal doesn’t sound as good as Qobuz and Qobuz doesn’t sound as good as my stored original rips. Something’s afoot and perhaps this is the beginning of uncovering the truth.