Tidal & AK Players

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re all well.

I don’t know how many of you own an Astell&Kern player, but I do hope that all of you who do are taking full advantage of Tidal in offline mode on your player. I spoke to Andrew Wu with iRiver (cool guy) and he informed me that as long as you download Tidal from the APKpure.com website, you’ll be good to go. Here are some instructions that should prove helpful: Open APP Service Instructions – Astell&Kern US Online Shop
Installing APK and XAPK Files on Astell&Kern Players - YouTube
The YouTube video is great.
What a game changer it is to have access to so much hi-res content on a portable device.
Well, happy listening.

It’s not clear if the apk app is doing full MQA decoding wheras the embedded app makes it very clear. Unfortunately the embedded app has no offline mode. I have SP1000 and Kann Alpha. I love the roon integration.

This is great news. Streaming tidal was its Achilles heal. Have you found that your A&K is playing without stopping with Tidal offline?

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Hi Steven,

I haven’t experienced any interruptions while playing downloaded music to-date. You might want to verify that all download attempts are complete. If there are pending downloads, depending on which model player you have (I have the Kann Alpha), you simply need to swipe down from the top while connected to wifi to determine if there are still any downloads working in the background. Hope this helps.

Hi Progisus,

The Kann Alpha’s LED volume wheel should provide accurate playback information. For example, while listening to Neil Young’s Greatest Hits, the volume wheel is lit red, which is consistent with the file’s 16/44 FLAC format.

At least, this is my experience while listening in offline mode.

It’s my understanding the led only shows bit depth. 16,24,32. In the Tidal apk app the only indication of MQA is the highlited Master legend. In the embedded app and roon integration it shows all the mqa info.

Hi Progisus,

Don’t bit depth and sample rate correspond? For example, I’ve never seen/heard a 16/96 audio file. It stands to reason that if your say seeing 32 bit coloring on the LED, you should be getting 48 kHz or above. What do you think?

Hi David,

I started to recheck my info on Head-Fi and there seems to be some confusion as to the LED showing different things when playing from sd card or streaming. I need to revisit this later. Thanks for the heads up.

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With a quick check,

Embedded Tidal or Roon - red 16b, green 24b or 32b, no MQA LED indication but data on now playing

APK Tidal - red 16b, green 24b or 32b, blue MQA but no data

So in my experience the LED cannot be used for sample rate indication. Please correct me if I got it wrong.

You’re welcome. I hope everything works out in your favor.

Hi Progisus,

I want to state for clarity’s sake, that 24-bit/44.1 kHz is a valid file format. That being said, this doesn’t hold true for 16-bit/48 kHz or the like. For that reason, if your AK player is green/purple you should be hearing an MQA recording. Let me know what you think.

Hi David,

This is from the most current manual, for what it’s worth,

“LED light indicates information of the music currently playing and the volume level.
16-bit: Red / 24-bit: Green / 32-bit: Blue / DSD: Purple”

So no sample rate indication and no MQA indication. Only the word bit length.

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Hi Progisus,

We’re going to have to get to the bottom of this.

I’m invested.

Have a good day.

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