320kbps on certain streams? How do I get my own tracks to play back at 320?

  • 14 September 2017
  • 6 replies

One of my big frustrations withs SC is the mostly lame stream quality at 128kbps.

But there is some music that is so great that it's still worth listening to, even the lack of quality. But very much to my surprise I just came across this a mix where I was surpised it didn't sound as shitty as SC usually sounds: https://soundcloud.com/the-joy-boys/the-joy-boys-bachstelzen

Note, I'm playing back through the VOX player for OSX, which integrates SC.

Then on further inspection very much to my surprise I noticed that the stream was actually a 320kbps stream. Which contradicts the widespread opinion that everything on SC is lame 128kbps. But why this stream? Certainly I always upload my tracks in 320, but when they playback they are streamed as 128kpbs stream.

Hence the question:
- Why this stream?
- And what can I do to get the same quality for my listeners?


6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi there,

Hmm, may I ask how you got the idea that this is streaming in 320kbps? All of our Streams are still playing at 128kbps to be sure streaming is possible even in regions where the internet isn't so good. We're forwarding all of the feedback we get to the relevant product team, so I'll be sure to forward yours, too.

I'm playing streams via a desktop app that consumes the streaming API. The app gives me the data on the stream quality. Currently I'm listening to a beautiful stream that runs uncompressed in 24bits: https://soundcloud.com/jake-basker/jake-the-rapper-dj-set-burning-man-2017-disco-knights

I'm measuring my network traffic and the data I get from the OS also checks out: AIFF 2117kbps, 24bit, 44.1kHz, Stereo

fyi: I'm located in San Francisco, and I'm a software engineer with ears.
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi couzteau from SF with ears,

Thanks for the info. Good thing you mentioned an example track. It looks like this track has downloads enabled. I would assume that the app downloads this in order to play at a higher quality. If you could let the community know which app exactly you're using, we could try and investigate this further.

Mathis (also with ears, not a software engineer though.)
Using VOX - https://vox.rocks/mac-music-player
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Thanks @couzteau,

Double checked with the app and a track from my likes that has downloads enabled - it was the same bitrate as the downloaded mp3 file, so yes, it looks like Vox downloads the track for you (probably into a temporary cache of some sort) in order to provide the music in higher quality.

Be it as it may, I will be sure to pass on your feedback and request to be able to stream in higher bitrates to the product team, no doubt.

Confirming that it has to do with downloads being enabled or not. Verified with one of my own tracks.