I don’t have Tidal so I cannot really comment. But I am interested in your comments on coverage.
There is little or no metadata other than track specific timings, no artist bios etc, no composition descriptions , unless I’m missing it
Yes, I cannot see any artist bios, composition descriptions etc. either. Neither do I see any production credits (unless I am missing them). But neither do I see annoying pictures of tops of heads or centered text totally mismatched to centered background graphics. It is a very spartan workman-like interface to be sure.
In general hierarchies and metadata are presented differently depending on whether you are on a work or an album page. On a work page Idagio will do hierarchies to at least three levels (as opposed to roon’s two). This is particularly noticeable with more complex vocal music. For example an Opera or sacred music like a Mass. I find myself endlessly editing WORK/PART tags in roon and resorting to workarounds when the hierarchy is greater than two. This appears not to be necessary in Idagio because they have (manually I assume) done this for you as part of their label ingestion process. Also all the performers and their roles are presented upfront on the work page instead of hidden on a credits page as in roon. A refreshing touch I find is that European artists are properly accented and common European orchestra and chorus equivalents are used by default rather than Anglicisations which I have only become aware of using roon.
Out of the box, I don’t think you can go directly to an album (could be wrong). The way it seems to work is that initially you get to albums via a work drill down and then you add albums to your favorites so you can directly access them there. I quite like that idea. It replicates how I (and perhaps more importantly, my wife) used to listen to physical media. We always had 20/30 albums/ CD’s in easy reach that we listened to most and this approach sort of digitally replicates that habit.
Presentation of an album is very different to presentation of a work. Not sure why that is. Now the hierarchy is flat instead of indented and if you want the metadata there is a tiny “down arrow” icon against each track you need to open. Then all the metadata is all there, artists and roles at a track level with no manual intervention. Something similar can be done in roon for sure but my experience is that with more complex albums with multiple composers, artists, soloists, conductors, orchestras etc. mostly this level of detail is missing from roon and requires a great deal of manual intervention.
I really like the simple, logical drill down approach of the search UX. Technically it is probably considered some kind of enhanced “folder view”. But I like the way there is always 4/5 scrolling “views” on the library laid out in a very clear way. So starting with the genre “Sacred Vocal”, a favorite of mine, in just a few clicks I was exploring some unfamiliar recent recordings by contemporary composers. There is a very simple “share” option. I don’t know how this works or if you need an Idagio account but check this link out. Beautiful.