Is Tidal in trouble?

(Paul Williams) #528

I persisted with Tidal for quite a while - mainly due to their integration with Roon. However, their mishandling of a significant proportion of their classical albums finally got too much for me. The problem is tracks out of order. One of the solutions that they implemented was to treat individual compositions as separate albums - so a 20 track album would appear as 20 albums. However, there were still too many albums where this problem remained. I have returned to using Qobuz and the inconvenience and less than optimal sound quality that this entails.

The one point on which Qobuz outguns both Tidal and Roon is the quality of the supporting information - in particular the access to the album booklet - which is essential when listening to opera etc.

The ideal world would be a Roon Qobuz integration. I would have thought that this would be of benefit to Qobuz as it seeks to extend its services as it would provide them with a ready made client base in their new territories.

(Mike O'Neill) #529

I agree but they do have a lot of good classical stuff

I got around the multi album bit in a lot of cases by importing to library then Edit> identify etc

You can often merge it back to a normal album


(Andrew Cox) #530

A post was merged into an existing topic: What are you listening to now?

(Sean) #531

While I don’t get too tied up in speculation (although sometimes it can be fun), seeing things like this doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. At the same time, you can’t read too much into it.

This is the web shop for Tash Sultana (multi-instrumentalist). If you don’t know of her, ask your kids or grandkids :grin:

Anyway her music is on Tidal but she hasn’t even bothered to direct link it to Tidal.

I’ve seen this with many popular artists over the past 24 months.


When I tried out deezer i was severely hampered by the 1000 limit on everything it seemed, albums, tracks, playlists and such. Good system otherwise. I liked the advanced radio system. That was quite cool

Have the limits been lifted? Oh and the fact that lossless was only available on the beta desktop app, has that changed also?

(Sean) #533


Not sure if / how this would apply if Deezer integrated into Roon.

On top of that, we don’t know if this limit will disappear altogether.

Lots has happened at Deezer’s end this past 12 months, including the ending of the Sonos exclusivity for their lossless streaming, so you never know what could be around the corner.

(James Newman) #534

I love Roon, I find it worthwhile purely for the wonderful way it manages my personal collection. I bought it first about 18 months ago before I had tried Tidal, and I’m still happy I did. Surely there are lots of users out there who feel similarly.
I stream Apple Music because my family uses their family subscription. It would be nice if it integrated with Roon; it would be nice if it streamed in lossless; but the fact that it doesn’t has no bearing on my appreciation of Roon. There are other audiences out there that benefit from Roon besides Tidal streamers.
Although I don’t subscribe to Qobuz, I have trialed it. It was great, despite my having a very very slow connection (7 Mbps), and that surprised me. If I was streaming just for me rather than the family, I’d go with that. It would be great if it integrated with Roon, but I’d happily make those two decisions (Roon and Qobuz) separately if need be. Lack of integration doesn’t make either of them useless.

(Christoph Longree) #535

Why did you prefer Qobuz over Tidal? I tried out both, made out no significant difference in SQ and found TIDAL to have the greater music-catalogue. Also I like MQA - donˋt get all the negativity towards it…

(James Newman) #536

I don’t prefer one over the other, actually. I buy most of my downloads from Qobuz, so when they offered me a 3 month trial, I tried it and liked it. I haven’t really investigated Tidal.
I haven’t even heard MQA, though my equipment does happen to support it. But I also don’t get the hating on it, and look forward to trying it at some point.

Qobuz is particularly good with jazz and classical, but I think not as good with pop and rock other than European pop and Rock. I’ve assumed Tidal is the other way around, but like I say, I haven’t really tried to make a serious choice.


I clearly prefer Qobuz over Tidal. I can stream Qobuz 24/24h without any hickups, no bandwidth issues like I have with Tidal, mainly on weekends and earlier in the late evening (21h-23h). Maybe it‘s because I live in France,but it should not be. Also with Qobuz I know that I get lossless, with Tidal sometimes it‘s only compressed. First I thought when playing my favorite album by Biffy Clyro that Qobuz has better SQ, but imagine Tidal did not offer it in lossless thus the clearly audible SQ difference. Moreover with Qobuz sublime I pay 220 Euros a year, with Tidal 240 Euros. With Qobuz I can purchase then Hires at a price of mp3 and stream the purchased music at the purchased hires resolution. I already bought about 200 albums and feel supporting the artist, which I don‘t feel by feeding Tidal to be able to stream using Roon and my room correction filters. I rather feel to double pay the content management firms and the labels. So a Qobuz integration into Roon in whatever integration depth would safe me money or more probably spend more at benefit of artists due to purchases of hires material.

(Christoph Longree) #538

Wow - thats quite a strong statement in terms of SQ. Are you sure you got all the settings right when comparing the two? I only had the hifi free-trial with Qobuz and so I only compared some 44.1 FLAC files - really cant remember the differences to be this drastic… also - when I imported my files from Tidal to Qobuz with Soundiiz alone in the Indi/Alternative genre it was missing 200 songs - the catalogue Tidal has with Rock/Pop/Indi/Alternative/Punk seems to be much bigger…

… here`s a review I found on the internet - which actually goes confirm with my own findings:

Using both services via their webplayer platforms there are some surprising differences in what you hear, Qobuz is distinctly louder than Tidal, which suggests some kind of compression is being used, its streams also suffered from drop out whereas the Tidal site can be slow to load new pages but delivers a smooth stream. Sound quality wise Tidal is the more neutral of the two on the webplayer while Qobuz has a juicier sound with fuller bass, at least this was the case with Esperanza Spalding’s ‘Judas’. Comparing the two with an Innuos Zenith SE server as source and CAD 1543 MkII DAC there was very little difference at all, both sound pretty good if not in the same league as material stored on the server itself.
The bit/sample rate of lossless streaming offered by both is CD standard 16-bit/44.1kHz but both have high res options, Tidal uses MQA to encode its Masters series releases which are generally 24-bit and either 44.1 or 48kHz but go up to 192 with some material. On the PC you need Tidal’s desktop app in order to play Masters resolution files, all hardware based systems include it as part of the package.
Qobuz’s premium service Sublime+ offers material at up to 24/96 without MQA decoding, again you need to use the desktop app on a PC, or audio hardware to access it. The other bonus for those looking for maximum sound quality is that Qobuz sells downloads of high res material and discounts its prices for Sublime+ customers, Tidal is purely a streaming platform.”

… from:

… also:


Maybe you misread my post. What I meant is that Tidal did not have the lossless version of Biffy Clyro‘s Opposites album and played the album compressed as some MP3 with some variable bitrate but did not indicate it in the Spark software I used to compare Qobuz with Tidal. The SQ difference was very obvious, mainly in the cymbals. The point I wanted to make here is that Tidal in lack of a lossless offer quite often plays lossy formats and pretends to have a large library of lossless which they do not or at least did not have when I tested Tidal. They did not indicate that they stream inferior file formats to what you have subscribed at extra cost.

#540 seems to be a quite funny reviewer. Lossless CD quality is lossless CD quality. There is no compression. They might have compared two different masterings of the same album. But there is no fault of the streaming service when one mastering is made like this or different. For me hires albums in general are less fatiguing when played at high volume compared to CD quality. Else I do not hear much difference. But there are huge differences between different masterings. This is also the intension of those that remaster an album. They think the album is not anymore sounding like it is currently ‚en vogue‘ or they remove tape recording specific noise. Overly used compression is also something that is often made in remasterings. This might have some advantage on low quality speakers.

(Christoph Longree) #541

So you are implying that Tidal is a scam/fraud?

If so - what convinces you that this is so (and Qobuz on the other hand not?).

Also - this would say a lot about the differences in SQ - as Tidal would have millions of subscribers & reviewers fooled who never made out a sonic difference (and I am not talking your standard MP3 teenager but audiophiles with beautiful setups - as can be seen & discussed in diverse audiophile forums).

Be it as it is - I make out no (or if so only very minimal) differences between the two (when comparing 44.1 FLAC none, MQA is a little superior to 44.1 in my ears) - could live happily with both in terms of SQ - it`s the really limited catalogue Qobuz offers in Indi/Alternative/Punk/Rock that puts me off.

I`m not really into Classic or Jazz - otherwise Qobuz might have been for me.

(Bartek) #542

I’m also not into Classical or Jazz (although I like to listen to it from time to time) and I don’t have a problem with Qobuz music library. Sure there are some albums missing as in any streaming service but it is not a deal breaker for me. Sound quality is the same (for me) on every streaming service as long as we talk about the same master playing. I really think that when choosing streaming service the most important part is to choose one that is fun to use :slight_smile:

(Jeff) #543

I don’t think he said that. He just mentioned you want to be careful because there still is the odd mp3 only album. I assume these are far and few between, unless someone else says otherwise.

(Christoph Longree) #544

Ah - okay, maybe I misunderstood…

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #545

In my experience maybe 5%-10%. Depends on genre. Lots of punk is mp3 or AAC.

(Henry) #546

A fair amount of reggae is MP3 too. Not huge amounts but if I go to a particular producer if I like their stuff a lot of it can be AAC. In my earliest days of Tidal membership there were also 22k AAC files but I haven’t seen any of those in a while.

(Sean) #547

I was sad to bump into one just the other day. I wonder if it’s a mistake? It seems odd to have the rights to an album but only in ultra crap SQ? I should email Tidal Support - may just be something that accidentally slipped through the cracks.