Leaving Tidal at last

It was fun while it lasted, but I finally ditched Tidal. Somehow, we never really got along. Was it the hot, compressed sound of too many of the offerings? Was it the ever-changing licensing, with tracks or even albums suddenly becoming unavailable? Was it the limited interfaces of their apps, highlighted by the garish spinning ‘disc’ visual on the phone app? Whatever it was – I had enough.

I was excited as anyone by the deep integration of Tidal in Roon. But somehow I struggled with its use case: when to add an album to the library when most of the music ever made is at your fingertips? I rarely found myself listening to the ones that made it. Somehow value diminishes when everything is readily available (anyone remembering saving up for that gatefolded new LP, struggling in the wind to get it home safely, putting it on the pick-up with trembling hands and playing it over and over again may sympathise).

Since I still had a free Spotify Premium subscription grandfathered in to my DSL account, I started using it. And liked the app – very much. Contrary to Tidal’s latest bling showcasing, within a few days it became MY music app, filled with suggestions and playlists I could relate to.

I got myself a Chromecast Audio for next to nothing, plugged it into my MiniDSP using the optical connection – et voilà: Dirac room corrected Spotify. Friends and family happily pipe their music into the main system easily, while I throw in a playlist or two or preview new music. Does not sound too bad too – even though there may be low expectation bias at play here.

Yes, I still love Roon to pieces - perhaps even more so without Tidal. It hosts my own personal library (mostly highres) with all of the music I truly care for. It only contains music I actually listen to. It sounds fabulous and offers a great experience interfacing with it. It still accounts for the other 90% of my listening time. I’ll continue to buy the music I love. Horses for courses.

But here I sit, holidaying at the Dutch coastline, staring at the sea and listening to a nicely curated Jazz playlist through my iPhone on my bluetooth Bose earbuds. Far from HiFi, but boy – does it sound good…


I agree with this. At least somewhat. While I’m nowhere near leaving Tidal (and grateful to all who share what they’re listening to because so much of it is awesome) I sometimes feel like a glutton, absorbing dozens of artists without an appreciable ‘digestion’ of what I’m experiencing. Since this isn’t like a drug or alcohol addiction, I don’t have plans to quit. But I did want to add my appreciation of Rene’s sentiment.

I finally pulled my vinyl out of storage and have to set aside a few hours to go over my collection that began 40 years ago and lasted about ten years before the convenience of CDs made me stop buying vinyl. (Remote control was the killer app that killed vinyl for me.) I never felt the sound quality of CDs equalled what I got from vinyl but I needed the convenience and cds were a lot less susceptible to vibrations because my “listening room” was also a family room which, in retrospect, was really like a combination kid dance studio and gymnasium.

What made me bring up vinyl is how small the ten year record collection is (compared to ten years worth of CD buying) and how careful I was buying music on vinyl before CDs. A new album might get six or seven “listens” before leaving the turntable. I think I savored the music more then. Or at least I think I did. (Other, mind-altering behavior going on then too. So I can’t be sure.)

On the other hand, there’s SO MUCH GOOD MUSIC out there to listen to. And Tidal brings most of what I want to hear. (My main beef with Tidal is the ECM catalog embargo but I don’t blame Tidal for that. Instead, I respect ECM’s business practice. I’ve bought 3 ECM albums in the last six months.

If I knew what was good for the pocket book I’d leave Tidal as well. I use it more for reference than anything. I think I’ll disable it for a time and see what happens.

I don’t think we’ve ever lived in a time when there’s just been so much great music out there. It’s a blessing and a curse, the latter because I find I don’t immerse myself in albums the way I did when there was less choice and loads more time.

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Some great points, but I am finding with Tidal I’m expanding into stuff I only casually listened to 25-30 years ago. When I really like it, off to amazon I go for the CD. Now if I only had Rene’s view of the Dutch coast!

(AWESOME PIC - Thanks!)


There you go:


Where the waves?

If I lived that close to the tide, I’d be giving up on Tidal too. We need a new music streaming service for Rene’s house. My name idea: Pontunes.

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Low tide. And remember it’s the North Sea, not California. :slight_smile:

And sadly it’s a rented holiday home, but hey – here’s to another week!


I’m thinking along similar lines. I’m just about to get my LP kit out of storage and have been buying albums in anticipation. Since I don’t get that much time listen to music at home I would rather have a more meaningful experience with it, if you see what I mean.

Instead of cutting off Tidal altogether though I will be considering reducing to a compressed version, which I can use on the tube (my main listening environment now…) and at home to decide if I want to invest in it on download, CD or LP. A tenner a month saved will allow for plenty of new stock to clog up the shelves.


Yup, that’s my strategy - lower cost monthly subscription in order to identify downloadable keepers…

I reckon most of us would have a wonderful experience turning streaming off for a while to rediscover the music we’ve bought and cherished over many years. Some music is timeless but forgotten as we rush out to hear the next new release.

As a self-confessed music glutton I’ve benefitted immensely from the musical exposure and access that’s come about since the proliferation of the Internet and I can count thousands of albums I’ve enjoyed in my collection from artists I’d never heard of but for the Internet. It’s fair to say my tastes have been broadened quite significantly, but it’s come at price…I’ve lost my musical roots. If I’m asked today what music I listen to I’m stumped as I don’t know where to start, not even a genre comes to mind. Yet, when I was in my mid to late teens and even in my 20s I found great pleasure in listening to and completely immersing myself in what was then a much smaller, narrower selection of music. I wonder whether there’s more joy and meaning in the comfort of an old friend or the company of a new acquaintance.


Exactly the same thing I experience.

Yes this is a (sort of) problem in this modern age. We have so much choice of media to consume, but because it is readily available, I find myself consuming less than in the old days where LPs had to be saved for and carefully picked to avoid wasting money. If any particular LP eventually proved to be not to my taste, at least it would have had a few listens. In this modern age I would probably reject an album and move on to a different album before giving the rejected album a fair chance to impress.

It’s a similar problem with movies, I have bought many DVDs and Blu-Rays which I have not yet watched. I have instead watched other movies from SKY TV broadcasts, kidding myself that I have all the time in the world to watch my purchased DVDs, but that time never seems to become available. And now we are in the streaming age for movies and TV it will be even more difficult to find time to get round to watching my own collection.

I absolutely agree with your statement ‘I sometimes feel like a glutton …’. Whenever I browse Tidal, or Qobuz for that matter, I feel overwhelmed by the enormous number of choices one has. After a while I tend to just scroll through my favourite music genre and go back to my own music collection. It’s almost feeling like safe ground under your feet. I have the same feeling with almost all of the streaming services, also with Netflix.
I started out listening to music with vinyl LPs, went to CDs, and now to electronic media, I do think one should take more time in evaluating what to add to one’s own library. In that case, the newly revived surge into vinyl is not a bad one, even though it’s intentions are different. I am very much feel tempted to re-try vinyl after such along time, even if this means quite some re-adjustment in my audio chain.

Interesting point of view and beautiful viewpoint as well.

It is absolutely relevant to be free of Tidal “dilution” when exploring the local library of high res etc, while at the same time have available - if one chooses - the meta information that flows in via Tidal, but for the local library. This is clearly a value add for your local library.

At other times, it is good with Tidal because all the LPs and CDs that I sold not-knowing-better, they are now once again a part of my music library.

In this context I would like to refresh an earlier suggestion to create a Tidal toggle on/off, and besides a high res toggle and a few other similar buttons in the roon dashboard. Why? Because Roon dashboard should be designed in such a way that it is supereasy to do such selections, since we are quite a few users with this type of user behaviour.

It is a little bit surprising that the Roon designers do not show more “respect” for this need, but instead assume that continuous Tidal presence is something every user always want. SOMETIMES WHEN EXPLORING LOCAL LIBRARY THE ENDLESS LIST OF TIDAL ALBUMS IS PURE DILUTION!

This dilution soon had me spend time creating bookmarks with such functionality. This works as I want, but with such a great tool as roon, why not go the last mile and create dashboards that correspond better with (some of the) the subscriber’s preferences?


This is the one big error in the roon strategy, the other being that I have to confirm any order that I have given roon to play a track. Why on earth is that extra click a good thing to do 100 000 times? Is it fancy? Is it a blunder not yet corrected? What is it? Why is it there? I don’t get it.

The rest of Roon is mostly super.


@Carl_Henrik_Janson Can’t you use inspector to focus on tidal albums and then set to - to exclude all Tidal albums?


I don’t quite understand this, since presumably you have explicitly added each of these Tidal albums to your library yourself. It’s surely a “problem” of your own making? And anyway, as Ratbert points out, it’s easy enough to use Focus to just show your own non-Tidal albums.

The “One-Click Play” discussion has erupted many times in these forums. It’s a religious war. See also Big-endian vs Little-endian.

The presumption is not entirely correct, and why not? Because as you initiate the subscription, there is (at least it was) an offer to have Tidal add albums (cannot recall the terminology used). This causes a flooding of albums from Tidal, album to which you have no relation other than them being possibly in a genre category. Hence it is dillution as explained. This feature is formulated in a manner that is not alarming, at least I accepted it. Then I had to learn to create filters and make “get rid of tidal” bookmarks. This is the point, Roon should do all this in software, not me. To make roon work according to my preferences was a timethief. So, I just want a polished “TIDAL” button that is self-evidentally toggle. ++

Even if talking with spirit, I will in a non-religious manner ask why this religious war is accepted? If there is a war going on, then it means that a lot of people are involved. From that it is easily derived or at least suspected that there could be reasons to consider WHY there is a war. Could it be something related to user preferences? IOW: Why (on earth) is there not available a setting to disable this extra play-click for those preferring that?

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@ratbert, I have bookmarks for all my particular needs: Tidal, non-tidal, highres only, etc. So my point is not that I could not spend time creating those focus or bookmarks (some months since I did this and thus I can no longer remember what is what, but I have the bookmarks and I am happy). My point is that it would be less than an hour programming to create these buttons in software. Then why not do that, instead of filling this forum with newbies asking the same questions, and old-bies helping out?

Anyway, thanks for your response!