Originally launched in 2007 as digital download platform for the French market, in 2013 Quobuz left it home borders, becoming the first CD-quality streaming service in United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. It was launched in the US back in 2019.
The majority of streamed music - especially from popular services like Spotify and Apple Music - use compressed audio formats which yield worse sound quality than CDs or vinyl. Qobuz is one of a few options for lossless streaming, competing with Amazon Music HD, Tidal HiFi, and Deezer. In 2021, Qobuz has over 70 million tracks in Hi-Fi quality and over 424,000 albums in Hi-Res quality. For a long time we didn't pay attention to this service, but such rapid growth of the library caught our attention.
The streaming service can be accessed via a web player, or by using a desktop player for Windows. The program window shows five tabs across the top: Discover, My Playlists, Favorites, Purchases, and Offline Library. Hi-res albums are clearly flagged with the familiar "Hi-Res Audio" logo, both in the library interface and playback bar.
When you listen to a song while online, Qobuz automatically downloads it onto your device for offline listening in the same quality you listened to it in - this is called cached music. Unfortunately, you can't use cached music in other applications, you need a paid subscription to listen to it. For listening on other devices without limitations, you can purchase and then download music from the Qobuz download store. Purchased music can be downloaded in AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, or WAV formats.
But wait, why don't you have to pay to download every track? In the midst of a pandemic, not everyone has money to spare for entertainment. If we have already paid for a subscription and can listen to music in high definition, we can record it. In most countries it is legal for personal use. The standard Windows recorder won't work, so you have to choose something more advanced.
i-Sound is a multifunctional audio recorder that supports high-resolution audio up to 192KHz. It supports most popular audio formats and can automatically save metadata such as artist name, song title, album title, and artwork. When you buy a recorder you pay once for the ability to save an unlimited number of songs to any streaming service. Sounds good, right? Now let's try to record a song by following a step-by-step guide.
1 Get i-Sound Recorder
Click the "Download" button below the screenshot to download and install the free trial version of i-Sound Recorder on your computer. After installation is complete, please follow the instructions we show you in the next part to start recording Qobuz music.
2 Customize Output Parameters
Before you start recording music with Qobuz, you need to set the output parameters. Click on the "Settings" button and select the "Codecs" tab. You will then be able to define the output format. Since we are recording hi-res music, we need a lossless format such as FLAC and a 24/96 recording mode.
3 Record Songs from Qobuz
Recording audio using i-Sound is very similar to transferring a vinyl record to a digital final in that it is done in real time. Thus, if a track is ten minutes long, it will take ten minutes to record the track to a file. Open Qobuz and start playing the song you plan to save. You can start the recording manually or set it to activate automatically in the program settings. In automatic mode the recorder will recognize silent pauses between songs and save them as separate tracks.
4 Manage your recordings
Open the Recordings Browser and select the audio track, you will see the saved ID3 tags. You can edit them manually, if necessary. If you have already installed the sound editor as a free add-on, you can trim the silence at the beginning and end of the recording.
As you can see from the above, the useful i-Sound Recorder tool allows you to capture and download Qobuz audio tracks whether you are a free account holder or a paid Qobuz subscriber. You can save the songs you like on Qobuz without paying and upload to any media players of your choice. Keep in mind that Tidal sounds better than Qobuz, and while Qobuz has more tracks in high definition, its competitors boast large shared music libraries. You can read about the different ways to download or record high-resolution music in our other guides.