The ongoing Tidal Saga...I think I've broken free!

After another 5 months trying to live with Tidal, I have, yesterday, converted (again) from Tidal to Qobuz. Before the New Year, I was tempted away from Tidal for a month free trial with Qobuz simply because I was getting glitchy streaming with Tidal via Roon or the Tidal Apps on PC or on Android.

I liked very much the rock-solid streaming and visible buffering which Qobuz offered. I liked also very much the great offline facilities available for mobile apps and PC. This ensured glitch free playback wherever I was, even abroad when data is at a premium. Cool.

The only problem was that I was getting the reviews in French :-(, and not quite as a diverse content as with Tidal. Bummer.

After a month I crawled back to Tidal, fiddling yet another free month to see if Tidal had overcome it’s streaming glitching which I was experiencing previously, to my surprise, the experience was much better than before, so I cancelled my Qobuz trial and continued until now with Tidal.

Over the last months I’ve been fairly satisfied with Tidal but always there’ve been moments when Tidal refused to stream, and the on the go experience using the android app is less than satisfactory as one can’t drill down into one’s own collection of favourites ever with Tidal; sort of makes a personal collection within Tidal pretty redundant.

I’ve been finding that I’ve just been avoiding listening to Tidal albums, period. Apart from the odd MQA comparison check or using Tidal for offline playback on the go, it’s been woefully underutilised.

I’ve analysed where Tidal is going wrong for me, and it’s really 2 main features:

  1. Offline playback on PC
  2. Lack of search within favourited items - completely cripples Tidal for making a personal collection.

Both of these are offered by the (in many ways) inferior Qobuz service and are deal breakers for me.

I hope that Roon may address both of these in the future and of course the search features within Roon desktop are exemplary, integrating Tidal, but we have a huge hole in the mobile market.

I have also tried to think about how I can use the streaming service better, and as an essential part of my day to day listening rather than as a sort of frowned upon black sheep sitting in the corner, asked to come into service only when there’s no alternative.

To this end, I’m going to assign Qobuz as the primary interface for sampling new music. Ill be adding new albums to Qobuz, making each available offline for listening on portable devices and PC. Once I’ve digested the new albums, I can decide whether to ditch them or purchase for permanent use via Roon. Or perhaps even make them a permanent part of my new Quobuz collection. Will see where it leads.

So, Tidal’s lost a customer. I think ultimately, for this customer at least, the function and features within the software are far more important than minutae of sound quality.

At the moment I subscribe to both. From time to time, Tidal does horrible things with classical music albums with tracks out of order (this has got much better in recent times, but remains a problem). The only reason I continue with Tidal is its integration with Roon. One of the big advantages of Qobuz over Tidal is that for most new releases, you can seamlessly access the booklet - indispensable for opera and lieder. As well, if you are a Qobuz Sublime subscriber (only a few Euros more than the monthly premium subscription), you can purchase many albums in Hi Res at considerable discounts. Heaven would be for Qobuz to agree to be integrated with Roon - I would then ditch my Tidal subscription.


I have never had a streaming issue with Tidal using Roon. Maybe a 200mbs ISP download speed and a direct Ethernet connection to my router is key. I am very happy with Tidal - the $20 per month to me is well spent.

I have signed up with Qobuz to be alerted when they are availble in the USA. If they do show up I hope Roon adds that service.


I have both Qobuz (Sublime) and Tidal. I’ve never had any streaming issues with either of these services. I only use Tidal because of its integration with Roon.

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Hi Don,

yep, i think you’re probably right. I’m using a mobile cell network 100% of the time (due to hopeless landline supply here), and it does fluctuate. On the whole it’s pretty darned good, consistent at around 50mb/s which is great for a cell network, but then it drops occasionally to “barely adequate” at around 6-7mb/s perhaps, which screws everything up for a few hours, especially as I am using the network with other family members. It’s enough to put me off considering streaming directly as a “proper system”.

Qobuz does offer the visible buffer bar, which is great, and the offline content option for the PC which is a game changer.

I hope Qobuz does arrive in the US soon, but as for Roon’s integration, it’s a long and political road as I understand it from other threads here. May take some key change of personal and vision their side to facilitate further talks in that regard. Maybe the fact of wishing to penetrate into the US market, targets to reach and such, will impact on negotiations :slight_smile:

yeah the thought had occured to me to keep both going, but Im going to monitor both usages this next month and pick a winner. I can’t see my Tidal usage suddenly taking a leap forward, it must be said.

I may be wrong here, but i recall @brian saying that Tidal content IS buffered in Roon? Each song is completely buffered a few seconds into the song. (how quick the buffering is completed must obviously depend on your ISP performance though)

I am sure that there is buffering with Tidal, but the point is, in Qobuz, it’s visible buffering. There’s a 2nd fainter line visible so you can clearly see if there’s a network issue causing cutout issues or some other glitching. I’ve had times when there’s stuttering with Tidal when my network’s been good enough or so I thought, but no realy way to know.

This would be a great troubleshooting tool.

I recently had a streaming problem with Tidal that was actually not. I could not get the Jade Jackson album to stream. Every other Tidal album I tried would stream. Darned Tidal. But then I tried other 44khz MQA albums and they would not play either.

Finally I determined that I had to disconnect one unavailable RAAT endpoint that was grouped into the zone I was listening to, but was unavailable (computer off), and that allowed this subset of MQA Tidal tracks to play. I don’t know if it was because the zone is unavailable or if there was some setting that would need to be changed for that zone that I could not change with the computer off.

Either way I view this as a minor obscure bug within Roon. In terms of troubleshooting Tidal vs network vs. something else, I do with Roon error messages were a little more specialized and provided a better clue towards what is happening.

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What I disliked about Tidal was the (seeming) inability to to call up ALL available classical albums. Searching for specific ones worked but you needed to know they existed in the first place. Experimenting at random through the entirety of the Tidal offering was almost (if not totally) impossible. The “New Classical Albums” link was fine but what about the older ones not thought new enough to be included under that heading? The classical playlist link was full of generic “Best of” and “Classical Blah” rubbish.

yes its like netflix, if you know what you are looking for it’s ok, but otherwise you are proposed a smattering of “blah”.

Regardless of technical differences between Tidal and Qobuz, Tidal has upper hand in one very crucial area for people in many countries around the world; it actually is available in most countries around the world!


Very true! Ah these first world problems we have. Im thinking Ill probably keep both for the moment. See how I get on. Ive been comparing and there is quite a lot of content missing off Qobuz which Tidal has by contrast :frowning:

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I agree with you on the Tidal search capabilities. Pretty poor.

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