Tidal HiFi

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by mikjnsn, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. mikjnsn macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2014
    Anyone using the Tidal streaming service...I'm looking for input on the lossless quality and the overall experience.

    Also, how's the selection of music?
  2. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Are we about to find out by way of a stealthily dropped spammy link?
  3. mikjnsn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2014
    Ah, thanks for the welcome luap... I'll take that as "no, we don't answer any questions if you're new".

    I have no connection to any streaming service...but thanks for your insight.
  4. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Well forgive me for my cynicism, but it seemed a bit odd to register on a Mac forum to enquire about a non platform specific streaming service.
    It would't be the first time such posts have turned out to be spam.. :eek:
  5. cycledance Suspended

    Oct 15, 2010
    then why does your about me advertise other audio stuff?
    seems all fishy to me.
  6. Uofmtiger macrumors 68010


    Dec 11, 2010
    I have compared it to Rdio on my website...but the conclusion was that I decided to stick with Rdio. The inability to choose the bitrate independently for cellular and wifi was the feature that was lacking and I think it is absolutely needed for lossless bitrates. The service is also seriously lacking in the interface in comparison.

    They have plenty of selection, but the catalogs available are different from service to service and change as the services renew contracts. Spotify seems to have the most exclusive deals, though.

    Lossless sounds good, but for me, the trade offs of features in addition to double the price were enough to make me stick with 320k that Rdio is using now.
  7. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Tidal is about to relaunch. They just cut their $19.99 service for HD FLAC streaming to $9.99.

    You were dead before you were alive Beats. RIP Spotify.
  8. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    According to Tidal's press release site it is 2 tear service for $9.99 and $19.99. If the $9.99 is for lossless too then what is the $19.99 service offer?

  9. Gofre macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    The $9.99 service sheds the lossless playback but is otherwise the same (on their website they differentiate the packages on "standard sound quality" AMD "lossless high fidelity sound quality"). I can't find any confirmation yet but I assume the "Premium" service is capped at 320kbps streaming, which would in line with Spotify Premium. But from what I can tell, right now if you aren't going for the lossless option there's not much reason to choose Tidal over Spotify.
  10. capuzino macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2013
    Tidal's Premium service is capped to 320kbps AAC a.k.a "High Quality" according to their FAQ (though their subscription page says Normal Quality), while Spotify uses 320kbps Ogg Vorbis.

    But Spotify is the only one offering desktop app at the moment.
  11. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Ya, the site that I got the info from has no scratched that out.

    I'm still on Spotify, but using Tidals free trial. I hear no difference. Never could when I was doing CD to 256kbps tests years ago. I can tell at 192k and below, but at 256k, it's hard to tell 95% of the time.

    So I see no real reason to switch. I use Spotify in conjunction with iTunes downloads, so I have plenty of music. Spotify is for trying out new stuff or listening to old stuff. iTunes for stuff I want to really buy and "own". It's really hard to let go of iTunes since I grew up buying CD's.

    So unless you call using more storage space, longer wait times to download and 2x the price a benefit, stick with what you already use.
  12. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    Has anyone done the Tidal audio test? I was interested in seeing how good my ears/audio setup were.


    Supposedly I got 4/5 songs right (picked the high-quality option) but with my pair of Audio Technica 30x's I only felt like I could tell the different on maybe two or three of the songs.

    I'm just annoyed that there's no iTunes plus redux where I can upgrade my old 128KBps purchases to Apple Lossless. I care a lot more about that then my streaming options.

    At the very least with the test you can check your system and see if there actually is any benefit for you personally.
  13. Torq macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    Audio quality, for the tracks that are actually available in 44.1KHz/16-bit, is what you'd expect from a CD. Which means any meaningful benefit over a 320Kbps lossy file (AAC/MP3/Ogg) has more to do with the mastering than the delivery format.

    Not everything seems to be available at CD-quality.

    The web-player needs Chrome, so that's a non-starter.

    The "Desktop App" is an Adobe AIR application, which is a long way short of ideal (if you have to ask why, it doesn't matter for you).

    It works okay with my Linn gear and my Sonos setup.

    Spotify is better for music discovery, and seems to have better coverage in terms of available music. I tend to find new music there and then buy it either on CD and rip-it, or buy it directly in high-res formats from HD Tracks, Linn, etc.

    It's a promising start, but for $20/month, it needs everything to be Red-Book standard or, preferably, 96/24 or better.
  14. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    I don't buy the bit about artists about not making any money.

    In fact, I never hear about artists complaining about their record label not paying them enough. It's rare if there's any news on that. If they do complain, they are sitting in a Ferrari, outside of a mansion, while walking to their private studio.

    Furthermore, the streaming model works. I don't care what anyone says. These streaming services are popping up everywhere. There are more streaming services than download stores, so record companies are fully behind streaming. Probably because it gives them control of their content and they don't have to really give it to you but are glad to accept payment.
  15. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    What are you talking about? There are tons of artists out there who are seeing their living disappear, because the amount of revenue they get from streaming is nothing compared to the direct cut through song purchases. This isn't a figment of anyone's imagination.

    There's certainly an argument to be made that the big names that head up Tidal aren't the poster children for this uncertain reality, because if you have tens of millions of fans ready to stream your work, the financial hit might not be that great. It remains to be seen if Tidal's profit sharing is really that much better than Spotify and competitors. And, in some cases, there's a legitimate argument to be made that it's the labels that prevent streaming revenues from being life-sustaining for artists.

    But to act like the problem doesn't exist, and artists aren't facing the loss of their livelihoods over streaming, is incredibly naive. Has it occurred to you that most of those threatened aren't going to have the clout to get press pieces written about them?
  16. Torq macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    I wouldn't claim that streaming services aren't putting a crimp in the income of smaller artists, but I would dispute that it's a problem - at least in the broader sense (i.e. affecting anyone but them).

    Customers vote with their wallets and they've, largely, decided that music isn't worth as much to them as those making/distributing it want it to be. Golden rule ... those with the gold make the rules ... and in this case that's the music-listening public.

    I appreciate that doesn't sound very sympathetic. It's not. Markets change constantly, and what made money last week isn't guaranteed to do so next.

    So those artists will have to adapt or find a new way to earn a living. Maybe that's by not making their music available on the streaming services (which has its own set of issues) and just selling directly/via performances.

    I'd love to make a living diving, or through photography, or even through my music, but those avenues simply don't offer close to enough income potential (at my ability/talent/exposure level) to be even vaguely realistic ... I'm not willing to take the massive drop in flexibility and standard of living those would entail.

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