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Tidal Ups the Ante to Appeal to Audiophiles

Dave Parrack 06-01-2017

Tidal has a new trick up its sleeve in its efforts to wrest you away from Spotify or Apple Music. Not content with merely offering high-fidelity audio, Tidal is now adding what it calls “master-quality recordings” of some of your favorite albums and tracks of all time.


For the uninitiated among you, Tidal is a streaming music service. Tidal was launched in 2015 by owner (and part-time rapper) Jay-Z and some of his wealthy friends in the music industry. Which didn’t go down too well when Tidal was being pushed as a service set to give artists (even) more money.

Still, despite its early woes, and a distinct lack of good news ever since, Tidal is still in business. And its latest offering could increase its chances of success, especially amongst audiophiles Are You an Audiophile? These 10 Questions Reveal the Truth You might think you are an audiophile, but in reality very few music lovers tick all of the necessary boxes. Are you really an audiophile? Or are you just a great pretender? Read More .

Master-Quality Recordings

Tidal is now offering master-quality recordings of thousands of the albums and tracks in its catalog. These are as close to the mastertapes as it’s possible to get, which, according to the Tidal Masters FAQs means the music is “exactly as the artist intended it to sound”.

So, what’s the difference between the HiFi audio Tidal already offers and the new master-quality audio? Tidal’s HiFi audio offers CD-quality lossless streams with a resolution of 44.1 kHz/16 bit. Tidal claims the new master-quality audio ups the resolution to 96 kHz/24 bit.

Tidal is offering master-quality recordings to all HiFi members. Unfortunately, Tidal HiFi currently costs $20-per-month, or double the price of Spotify or Apple Music. Tidal is offering “over 30,000 tracks” in high-quality audio, and promises to “add more master-quality content over time”.


Make Jay-Z Feel Better

We’re not big fans of Tidal here at MakeUseOf. After launch we compiled a list of reasons Tidal is doomed to fail Why Jay Z's Tidal Music Streaming Service is Doomed to Fail Jay Z recently relaunched Tidal, the music streaming service he acquired for $56 million. Tidal has 99 problems, and the pitch is one. Read More . Then, one year later, we pondered whether Tidal was worth a second listen Is Jay Z's Tidal Music Worth a Second Listen? We weren't impressed by Jay Z's TIDAL at launch. Now, one year on, we thought we’d check in to see if TIDAL is worth using... Read More , deciding that it probably wasn’t.

However, Tidal may appeal to some people who see the value in high-fidelity audio. If you’re a true audiophile then the lure of master-quality recordings may be enough to get you to switch to Tidal. And doing so would certainly make Jay-Z feel a little better about himself.

Are you a Tidal subscriber? What made you sign up to use Tidal? Did you switch from another music streaming service? If you’re not a Tidal subscriber, are these master-quality recordings enough to tempt you in? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Audiophiles, Streaming Music.

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  1. Dave
    July 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I've subscribed to Tidal since its inception.
    Played via my laptop into a high quality dac(Audiolab M-dac) it knocks Spotify out of the park.
    Also I have discovered loads of new music through it.
    I haven't bought a cd in years which has also meant I haven't wasted loads of money on cd's that may only have two or three decent tracks on them.

    • William Shankle
      July 20, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      First I could care less who owns it, as soon as I heard that it was HiFi I subscribed all so veterans get HiFi for almost half the price, does any other service do that.

  2. someone's comment
    May 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    They should really add ibookpile.com. you can download real, paid ebooks from there for free. They come as an epub file. It might not be exactly legal, but who cares, right?

  3. Neil
    January 18, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I'm a Tital subscriber. I went through Rdio, Tidal, Spotifiy, back to Tidal. Spotify doesn't allow unlimited album downloads to a device. It caps you at some point. I have never been limited by Tidal. I also like the app and desktop client for Tidal, though I do feel they should offer it for Linux for those who want to make custom streaming boxes. Tital is an excellent service and at some point in the future I may upgrade my DAC and get the audiophile subscription. I like the idea of a service with a focus on audio quality and have all of the other hardware at a level were I want my library curated for quality and maximum engagement.

  4. likefunbutnot
    January 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Anything that's encoded in a lossless or high-res format is interesting, but unless the format actually exceeds what I can get from a Compact Disc AND costs less than a CD, I really don't care. I'll continue to buy my quasi-exotic SACDs when they're released and get the physical discs for music I feel is important enough to own, since Amazon will do the "work" of putting a low-fi copy in my streaming library for free anyway.
    What does Tidal bring to the table, again? Exclusive artists that I don't even a tiny bit care about? An ecosystem that isn't tied to any other service I use? No particular Set Top Media Box access? It's no wonder it's a dying also-ran.

    • William Shankle
      July 20, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      I am a jazz lover and some r&b it's easier to talk about what it doesn't offer. In those categories, when I hear something on Pandora I go tidal for full album and they're always there.

  5. Nate
    January 7, 2017 at 1:33 am

    If they dropped the subscriber fee to the same as spotify I would be more likely to switch. Considering all apple products and many android phones downgrade a hi resolution audio track to 44.1 kHz/16 bit when it passes through the headphone jack, it is really only suitable for people with a good DAC hooked up to a PC. Saying that, its a great solution to those people, however at $240 a year for a service that is limited the pricing maybe high.