Disappearing Tidal albums - I spent Christmas buying CDs and downloads

I got a nasty surprise a the end of the year when I found that something I wanted to listen to had disappeared. A little investigation opened up the can of worms that is the disappearing Tidal albums problem.

Luckily I “only” had 276 albums on Tidal and I could see which ones had gone missing using the Tidal app on my phone so the problem was manageable. As an aside, why can Roon not flag the missing albums in some way - the data must be there somewhere because the Tidal app shows them (greyed out)?

So, I have done two important things now:

  1. I have filtered my library to show only Tidal albums and then exported it to a spreadsheet so that I can run a comparison in future to flag missing albums.

  2. I have bought downloads or physical copies of albums I really don’t want to lose and added them to my local storage (This eventually led me to getting out my CDs with are in boxes under the bed and sorting them out!).

Another aside is, if I have a local copy why can’t Roon use that if the Tidal version disappears?

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It’s not only tidal. If you don’t own it then you may lose it.

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Agree 100% with @garye .
Nothing that is available to stream today is guaranteed to be available tomorrow!

So if you really like something you see you have a few options.
Find someway to actually download it to your hard drive like Qobuz, Bandcamp etc.
Go and physically buy it as you have been doing.
And thats it.

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Generally there will be an “unavailable” label (in red?) under the track.

Found this the case for a few albums/tracks in playlists.

Sometimes the label/distributor (ahdunno) removes an album from streaming, but it’s replaced with the exact same album. So it’s there, if you search for it, but the one specific one you saved to your library, might be gone.

Think of it as a pressing that goes out of print, but a new one is released to take its place.

Other times, it might be totally gone, but try a search, just in case.

Not sure why, exactly, but it happens.

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Licensing and contractual dictates are a bigger reason than actual new releases, I suspect.

There are a whole lot of ifs in the answer. Where these tidal albums in your library. And if so, was your local copy the primary version or was the Tidal the primary?

I believe I made a feature suggestion 4 years ago to give us a list in the library section where the other file deletions are noted.

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At first glance this seems like a logical solution but it is a much thornier problem to solve than it looks. Though they may be named identically, albums, tracks and releases vary by date and region. From a computer’s perspective each track has a unique identifier though it may share the same name as one in a local library. As well, Tidal and Qobuz likely use differing identification schemes.

If a streaming track in a playlist disappears from the streaming service identifying a substitute in one’s local library isn’t so easy. Not saying it couldn’t be done – but automating it may be an enormous task.

This is one of several reasons why I prefer local files (downloads).

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Always best to continue to buy music and support the artists the best way. Streaming is great but I buy if I really like it and can’t do without it. Just got a few CDs I put on my Xmas wishlist myself to replace the streaming versions. Unfortunately no Bandcamp vouchers I asked for.

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I have no problem supporting artists I like financially (as a former musician I can tell you a thing or two about it).

Of course, there are also middlemen who also get a piece of the pie.

This is one reason, for example, why I prefer Bandcamp for downloads (there, the artists still get a relatively high share of the sales price).

However, we should also be aware that as Roon users we are most likely not poor and can afford to spend some money or other. This is of course a matter of opinion and I don’t want to chalk up your personal point of view herewith in any way.

Another great option in my opinion, although not very cheap, is Qobuz Sublime. Of course you have to pay a relatively high amount annually, but if you prefer (especially hi-res) downloads this is a good thing. The annual cost paid for itself relatively quickly in my case.

Some more points why I prefer downloads:

  • I have the waveform in my display
  • I have the possibility to expand or edit metadata
  • I can edit/add song lyrics
  • I can group songs

I tried for a while to get along with streaming services only (to minimize the maintenance of my music collection), but one of the main reasons for choosing downloads (again) was that every now and then albums on streaming services disappear or are replaced by other versions (which I might not want).

Otherwise, I wish you all a happy new year.
I don’t know if I’ll find time to write again today.

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Right, that’s why I don’t like streaming. Two reasons really - your favorite items can disappear, and also its hard to know the exact provenance (e.g. remaster, etc.) of the recording.

I’ve been collecting CDs for over 30 years and I still buy them, as well as downloads from HDTracks, Bandcamp or artist sites. I would rather own the items I really enjoy as well as compensate the artists more directly.

I have over 4500 albums in my local Roon library. I subscribe to Tidal, and I use it to fill in the blanks on things I’m marginally interested in, and also to check out new things before deciding whether I want to buy them. I have about 500 Tidal items in my Roon library.

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oh, absolutely.

Too bad Roon can’t be set up to identify and play the same song from a different version, rather than just skip and say ‘too many failures.’

If it wasn’t for high quality streaming there’s no way I’d be able to afford being into HiFi. I don’t have the money to spend on my system as well as buying physical media or downloads, so I spend on my system and am happy listening to whatever Qobuz has (which is quite a lot!). I never really have the feeling of I HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS RIGHT NOW. If something is missing (as e.g. Neil Young’s MTV Unplugged was recently) I’ll listen to something else. Thank you Tidal and Qobuz!

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3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Treatment of artists by streaming services

I completely agree with your provenance comment, but I’m curious if/how you feel HDTracks addresses this. It drives me crazy that it’s difficult at best to track down a specific mastering on HDTracks, and most often (for me, anyway) it’s impossible. Have you found that HDTracks is doing a better job ID’ing their sources? I mostly stopped purchasing anything that’s not new or 100% known sourcing (such as the Beatles’ remasters) from them for this reason.

I’m also a huge supporter of Bandcamp and purchased a lot of music during Bandcamp Fridays (hoping those stick around in '22) where 100% of the proceeds go to the artists.

With HDTracks, its hard-they don’t do a good enough job with the details. I will only buy from them if I know for sure what the mastering details are because its stated somewhere or its apparent due to the track list. Examples would be the recent Pink Floyd catalog, Frank Zappa. You could be pretty confident in the Beatles box sets or the recent boxes from The Band. But I bought those as the physical box sets, since I wanted all the packaging and they include a hi-rez blu-ray which I can rip. I usually check in on https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/ to see what people are saying as well before buying.

In some other cases I will buy a brand new release (hence, there is only the original mastering available) from Qobuz in standard definition if I don’t feel the need to physcially have it on CD and I don’t care about it being hi-rez, e.g. I bought recent new releases by Aimee Mann, The Killers, My Morning Jacket, and they’re all fine for me.

But Roon could keep the picture and name and say: not available anymore. I lost albums that I can’t remember the name of (my Japanese is not that good) which I found out after an hour or more looking for it.
But buying on cd is also not the best solution, somehow when it’s not on Tidal anymore, Roon doesn’t want to recognize it.

I didn’t know that the album would just simply disappear. For a software relying so much on streaming like roon, it’s unimaginable that a feature to just keep the metadata in your library and tell you that it isn’t available anymore on the streaming source you had doesn’t exist. :neutral_face:

Managing your library is the all point of roon, outside of playing music. :dizzy_face:

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If it’s rented it isn’t your library.

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