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1/12/19
Google Play Music vs Youtube Music Audio quality 0 Recommended Answers 12 Replies 76 Upvotes
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Last edited 1/15/19
Just wondering which sounds better.  Youtube Music Premium streams at 256kbps AAC.  Most people will say Google Play Music streams at 320kbps MP3, but looking in media internals in chrome, its actually 320kbps AAC.  In my testing, google play music sounds slightly better than youtube music.  Why doesn't youtube have plans to get 320kbps?  Also, what have you guys found testing youtube music and google play music side by side in terms in audio quality?
All Replies (12)
1/12/19
Hi HighQualityAudiomuster,
 
As Brandon mentioned in this thread, YTM is currently using 256 kbps AAC, which is supposed to have the same quality as GPM's 320 kbps CBR mp3, while using less data. At this time they haven't announced any plans to provide an even higher quality.
 
I just checked on GPM and it looks like it is using the same quality now as YTM (based on requests send to server). I cannot say if that has changed recently, as I haven't used GPM before the wider rollout of YTM. Personally I'd say that most people with average desktop/laptop/phone speakers or average headphones wouldn't hear much of a difference between the 256 and 320 variants. With a trained ear and/or higher end speakers or headphones, that is a different story of course.
 
Hope that helps,
Felix
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1/20/19
So they have deliberately reduced sound quality on GPM. Well isn't that wonderful?
Last edited 1/20/19
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1/26/19
I still had YTPremium sub last month and I though it sounded a bit tin canish lately.  YTMusic app always sounded like crap but Play Music did sound great at 320kbps but now it is downgraded to the same bitrate as Apple Music but sounds worse than Apple Music makes me think they Google just transcoded the MP3 to HE-AAC.

Apple Music sounds great using AAC but they also use masters.  Listening to Jazz sounds rich and deep now Play Music Jazz sounds like a tin can not true 256kbps AAC but more HE-AAC or 128kbps MP3 transcoded to AAC.

So glad I did not renew my sub
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3/14/19
Weren't they already using transcodes on GPM? That's what I had heard anyway. I really wish they would have taken this whole makeover as an opportunity to do things right. But they obviously just don't care about sound quality, do they? Which is fine I guess, it's not everyone that cares about these things anyway, but it just means that this service is not for me.
Last edited 3/15/19
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3/17/19
I like the cut of your jib.
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5/3/19
I totally agree with you, GPM sound a little better than YTM, is quite unrecognizable, I was an spotify user and I had to do the comparative with my own headphones (which are not the best)  and I can see the difference between Spotify and YTM, but I cant find any difference between GPM and Spotify, for me... I am the average user, but anyway I can see a these differences.
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5/20/19
Just tested.. GPM sounds definately better (even using the normal quality setting) than YTM (using high quality)... Thats pretty bad..
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6/3/19
Not an expert but Sharpness is more on 320kbps.... 190 and 256 soothe the ears...
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6/21/19
Really though, Youtube Music's "Normal" setting is terrible (Like I can barely stand it) and its "high" setting seems about the same as say, Pandora's normal setting. As far as I am concerned this needs to change, it's just not really acceptable. I do plan on going elsewhere if I find a good option, at this point it's kind of ridiculous that I have to pay for quality that is free pretty much everywhere else.
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6/23/19
Lagu campuran Indonesia 2019.
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7/2/19
I am pretty well going to make sure I get all my thoughts out on Youtube Music vs Play Music, so lets get on to audio quality.

Provide a higher quality service in Youtube Music, or leave Play Music alone and with the higher quality bitrate encodings we've had.

It is quite logical that you would need to compress audio streams to keep audio + VIDEO in a predetermined bandwidth envelope, however if you are degrading quality across the board to unify the services the results will be people leaving your services and finding other distributions (legal or otherwise).

I haven't listened to much music in the past month, or even months, but when I do I want the ease, access and quality of the Play Music service we had. I simply wont continue to pay for a service which offers lower quality, it's an insult to music lovers.
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7/28/19
Just as casual observation, GPM is higher in volume (not louder as in "Loudness War") than YTM.  Whenever I switch between the two on Google Home, I have to turn up the volume for YTM.  This might create a perception that YTM quality is lower.
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