Really dumb question from an avowed Luddite re downloading Tidal music

I have used Roon very happily for years. I also have a Tidal highest resolution subscription. Throughout this period I didn’t think there was any point to downloading any recording from Tidal to my Roon Nucleus, however, from what little I can understand from the knowledgeable Roon Community, I believe that there are many users who do download Tidal tracks to their Roon library. Is there any sound reason for doing so given the availability of the particular track on Tidal? I would really appreciate some clarity on this. Many thanks in advance!

Hi David
Maybe some confusion here.
You add tidal albums to your library and stream them, not download them. They then become part of your library for all intents and purposes.


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I think when users are talking about downloading from Tidal or Qobuz they are refering to purchasing the album.

The streaming services do allow you to download within their mobile apps, but these are encrypted/DRM and can’t be used outside the apps.

Why do users purchase albums when they also have access to streaming services? - lots of reasons: collecting/ownership, usage free from DRM on other platforms (as above) or internet outage, etc…

I would suggest the most important reason would be that the streaming services could cease trading and/or lose licencing rights.

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Since you have a Roon account and a Tidal account, you should go to Settings - Services in Roon and link your Tidal account. This will allow you to stream from Tidal to Roon and listen using your Roon end-point devices. You will probably find that in some cases, Tidal has better masters or higher resolution than what you have in your local library. You will probably find that Roon Discovery and Roon Radio work much better with an added streaming service and you’ll discover new music you would not have found otherwise.

Thank you Mike. To clarify, first, please try to ignore my use of terminology. What i meant to convey is that my Tidal subscription, which i have linked to Roon, is available to me at all times. So, i just wanted to know what advantages exist, if any, to downloading any particular tracks from Tidal to Roon if i already have access to them via Tidal? Since i wrote my post i have received several additional replies that have provided me with the insight i require. Thanks for taking the time to do so.

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Excellent! This is precisely what i was looking for and it makes abundant good sense. I’m very grateful.

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Thanks Jim. That’s the way i have it set-up now. It is very convenient.

But, you are not downloading tracks, you are streaming them. If you add a track or album from Tidal to your library, you are simply adding a link to that track or album. You can go into the Roon setup and click on show hidden albums if you want to see the Tidal albums in your library. For instance, I have no music files, but I have both Tidal and Qobuz accounts. I want to see both…

David I picked up on what I thought you said not maybe what you wanted (it was late at night)

Tidal is s bit funny with when you favourite tracks. It really wants you to favourite Album’s.

I went a year without a music streaming service on Roon and then at the start of lockdown, I tried the 4 months of Tidal for £4 and within a day or two I realised that Tidal (or Qobuz} complete Roon and fill in the gaps in your library.

Like many since my free tri ended I have been paying almost £30 a month for high resolution family plan. I still buy a lot of music, but I get to play so much more.

This is very interesting Jim. So, I can “add a track” from Tidal to Roon by merely establishing a link to it in Tidal rather than purchasing the track from Tidal? How is this done?

Thanks for your post Michael. I too have the family plan, which in itself is somewhat anomalous considering my kids have left home and are pursuing careers elsewhere so it’s just my wife and me at home. The important fact I learned from my posting and the speedy replies to it is that one has to purchase a track or album, as the case may be, in order to copy it to his library. I do realize that the only constant thing in nature is change and that Tidal may disappear one day, however, I believe that hi-rez music streaming will always be available from one source or another. Although some advantages have been identified for purchasing music, money is an issue so I think that generally, I will not purchase Tidal music offerings for my library given existing availability and ease of access.
Thank you so much for your comments. All the best and stay safe!

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Do a search in Roon for the artist, album, or track you want. Roon will find it if it’s in your local library and will also find it on Tidal if it’s there. Click on versions to see what versions are available on Tidal. Find the one you want to link to and click the plus sign.

Alternatively, you can go into the Tidal app and “like” or “heart” an album or track and it will show up in your Roon library relatively soon.

One aspect was seemingly missed in the other replies: You can download albums/tracks within the Tidal app (not in Roon). This is useful for:

  • download to a phone/tablet if you expect to be without internet access for a while (e.g. during plane travel, can anyone still remember this?)
  • download while connected to wifi to listen later on the move, if your phone data plan is very limited and does not exclude Tidal from the download limits.

(These downloads are not purchased and are only accessible as long as you have the Tidal subscription)

Very cool, Jim. Thanks!

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