Mp3 albums in Tidal HiFi?

Roon Signal Path can be very revealing. I was playing some jazz albums from Tidal and suddenly I noticed that the signal path light was yellow. I had never seen that before!

Changing to another album:

Anyone noticed mp3 albums in Tidal Hifi - or is it something in the communication between Roon and Tidal?

I have seen one or two before, usually older and maybe obscure. I wonder if things change as the play count brings it to someone’s attention.

not every album in Tidal Hi-Fi is FLAC. Some are still mp3.

Bob Reynolds album is on the label “Fresh Sound New Talent”. Just for fun I looked in their catalogue and randomly picked another older album:

And that is also in MP3!

Yes there are a few MP3 albums in there. In tidal the HIFI indicator goes grey when they are MP3. However, I have noticed that some previously MP3 albums are now HIFI. Good on tidal, they are upgrading their catalogue where possible it seems.

In all honesty there are very few, I went though and logged some of my albums in my collection via Tidal and I counted about 6 in 1200 which were not HIFI, ie MP3

This looks odd to me.

While I know that there are Tidal albums which are not available in lossless quality, even if the user has a lossless HiFi subscription, I expect those albums to show up as either 320kHz AAC or 96kHz AAC instead of MP3:

hmmm. yes, I see that now. That is odd!

Can it be that the label, at least during a period, only supplied Tidal with MP3s? Sound very strange, but if that’s the case I am glad they didn’t convert to another lossy format.

I’ve just done further testing for the album in post #1 using Tidal API:

soundQuality setting as LOSSLESS gives 256kbps MP3
soundQuality setting as HIGH gives 256kbps MP3
soundQuality setting as LOW gives 96kbps AAC

Does not feel so good to know that Tidal is re-converting and re-compressing already compressed files.

That is highly illegal practice as all content on Tidal is copyright protected for a reason.I think posting this breaks the rules of the forum.

Tidal do not use DRM they stream music and you can listen, if you want to own it, buy it.

I have not read everything in this thread. But a good approach if you find MP3 albums in Tidal Hifi; contact Tidal and complain. Those I have found have been fixed (new version in FLAC were made available).

Or subscribe to Qobuz.