A new music platform has invaded the United States. Qobuz – founded in France but which has already expanded to the UK and elsewhere – is now streaming in the United States and has opened up a beta release for new users here.

Qobuz (prounounced “co-buzz,” and as Wikipedia helpfully points out is different from the “Kobyz,” an “ancient Kazakh string instrument”) specializes in so-called “hi resolution” streaming, offering tiered packages that begin at 320kps quality and escalate upwards in both quality and price. While the lowest tier is comparable in price to its competitors ($9.99/month for “Qobuz Premium,” which is kind of like calling a small cup of coffee a “tall”), it escalates up to “Qobuz Studio” which promises FLAC 24-bit up to 192KHz quality for $24.99, or $300 per year.

Qobuz has aligned itself with a number of high-end audio companies and places significant emphasis on its classical, jazz and (of course) French-language offerings.

Unlike it’s competitors, Qobuz also offers a download store and the “Studio” tier offers a significant discount on file purchases from it. I’m not sure of the rationale here or why this would matter for anyone other than DJs – after all, “offline” access is promised for every Qobuz tier.

Qobuz does not have a free ad-supported tier. And while Qobuz is offering a free 30 day trial, you must sign up for a paid tier and enter your payment details before it becomes active.


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