We’re very excited about Tidal, a true flac lossless music streaming service, launching in Canada. Finally we have a true digital audiophile service to match the gear (headphones. IEM) we spend so much money on. We’ve been trialling the service for a few days and have to say, we’re impressed. We never thought you could get such great audio quality over the internet.
If you live in Canada the chances are you currently listen to Spotify, Grooveshark, Rdio or similar, to get your music fix, outside your normal mp3/flac/alac/lossless collection. There are some great features about each of these servers including music discovery, range and convenience. Spotify boasts up to 300kbps audio quality and we say it sounds pretty good, especially if listening in the office is your thing. But once you spend 10 minutes with Tidal you realise why you’re paying an extra $10 a month. Streaming quality is flac 1411kbps. Tell us you’re not going to love that.
We’ve got the iOS app, Mac OS client and have tried the browser version. Personally the browser version and mobile app are the most polished user interfaces. The MacOS client works absolutely fine but after using Spotify for so long it feels like they haven’t quite got that polished up yet. None of that matter though, it’s the audio quality and range of music that matters here. We haven’t yet managed to deep dive into the catalog, there are lot’s of rarities we have managed to find and haven’t been denied a search yet. They also offer curated playlists and mood based playlists which is great for discovery, or when you just don’t know what to listen to.
It offers an offline option also which will help close the gap for those of you on the road travelling a lot. If bandwidth is a concern for you, you can dial back the quality to High (320kbps) and Normal (96kbps). Scrobbling to Last.fm is also possible if that is something you’re into
The great thing about Tidal is that is smart beyond the music, meaning there are curated articles, videos and more by music journalists. If you want you’re pop culture it’s all here - but if you want some deep reaching info and insights into the music scene and artists it’s here.
If you like good hifi gear - either IEM’s. headphones or home stereo hifi then this service is for you. We’re not sure how far ‘quality’ can go over digital waves but so far this is about as close to heaven as we have experienced.
You're going to get the best out of Tidal with a set of Shure SE846 or Westone W60
- Audio quality is awesome
- Range of music
- Journalistic content
- HD Videos
- Navigation (esp. in Mac OS)
- Search could be tweaked a little
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