Tidal Performance Problems

Hi to all, new Roon user here. I have spent a couple of weeks familiarising myself with the various parameters. There is an ongoing issue with Tidal dropouts that I cannot resolve so far, despite carrying out many diagnostic checks over the last week.

I have the following setup which I have simplified as much as possible to try to get to the root of the issue:

Roon server running on Win 10 laptop Core i7 2.4Ghz (2015 vintage)
Nuforce ICON HDP Dac connected by USB into laptop
Local music stored on QNAP NAS (also tried files on same SSD as the Laptop running Roon server)
Rasberry Pi running Ropiee, connected to Chord Mojo Dac via USB
All above devices hard wired with CAT 5 directly to my BT Hub router (I am UK based). Everything is located in my office for ease of testing.

I also have two Naim devices in other rooms. Their networks are connected by CAT5 to a Netgear GS108 8 port switch, which in turn is connected to my BT router by CAT5:
A Muso connected via a Netgear ORBI mesh system (Muso hard wired to an ORBI node). This plays Roon via Airplay.
An NDS and a Sonore UPNP bridge, both connected by CAT5 to a CISCO 2960. I have checked this with and without the CISCO in place - no difference apart from SQ which takes a major leap with CISCO.

All local music up to 24/192 seems to work fine on all the devices. Irrespective of whether on local SSD or via NAS. I can apply DSP for headroom and convolution no problem, although processing speeds for DSP on 192 material drop to around x8-x10.

All Tidal music will skip on all devices EXCEPT the local NUFORCE Dac on the laptop (which will suffer only the occasional dropout in between tracks). For the rest of the devices, I am not describing an intermittent problem, Tidal might play one song and then skip 4 before it recovers, sometimes it stops entirely and occasionally it might play 10-40% of a track before giving up and skipping to next track. This behaviour was consistent all day yesterday, last attempted at midnight before giving up. Roon will occasionally give a message “Tidal media loading slowly, may indicate network or connectivity problem”. The problem seems to be regardless of 16/44 or MQA material, although I have tested extensively using Jenny Lewis “On The Line” album in MQA which core decodes to 96/24 for all my devices.

In terms of checks, I have done as follows:
Simplified network to the office only (as above)
Multiple reboots of Core, Ropiee, Dacs, PC and Router
Tried different core settings - DSP on/off, track analysis Throttled/off
Log out of Tidal, restart Core and log back in.
Checked general internet performance (34 mbps). Flawless streaming on HD video over Orbi via WiFi or hard wired connections.
Checked all other apps on laptop are off, background process are minimal in terms of CPU and network activity.
Checked Tidal desktop app, Naim Tidal app, iphone Tidal app - all flawless performance
Check Signal Path in Roon

Finally I made an analysis of Roon server using Windows task manager whilst the problems are occuring - the CPU never goes much beyond 30% utilisation in running Roon (typically only 5-10%), however the ethernet activity results are interesting:

When playing directly to the NUFORCE dac locally, the data received is as expected - in the first 30-60 seconds of each track, data is received at 10-35 Mbps and apparently buffered, then the incoming data stream drops off whilst the track plays out. This pattern repeats for the next track an so on.

When playing to any other device (but mostly tested on the Ropiee for easy replication / simple network), the data received pattern is completly different. It will vary between say 80Mbps and just a few Kbps, as if it is struggling to buffer. This creates a very “spiky” graph in the ethernet performance section of Task Manager. The data receipts are clearly struggling to keep pace with data output at a steady 4-6 Mbps. In most cases, the data output fails and Roon tried to skip to next track.

After many hours trying to understand this, I decided to take a free trial of Qobuz Studio, and guess what, completely flawless experience! Tried on all devices streaming their 96/24 version of the same Jenny Lewis album, then tested well with many other random tracks. Monitoring this in Task Manager, the data reciepts look “textbook” ie. the track is loaded within the first 30 seconds, then receipts drop off until the next track is required.

Sorry for such a long post, I have tried to be as detailed as possible to get the full context across. I think there is some issue with Tidal when Roon is streaming via ethernet. Any help greatly appreciated!

1 Like

I’ve been experiencing stuttering issues with Tidal lately. Qobuz is working fine. Where are you located in the world ?

Me too, the last ~3 weeks.

I’ve noticed similar comments on a couple other forums also…

And this is independent of Roon for me. The official Tidal apps has issues for me.

I suggest everyone drop Tidal support an email at support@tidal.com

Im in UK. We have local fibre but copper from nearby exchange to the house.

Hi @Freddiekaberman,

Thanks for contacting us regarding this issue and for listing the extensive list of troubleshooting you have performed so far.

It seems that the TIDAL issues are only occurring on your networked endpoints but local zones work as expected, as a test to further verify this, can you try connecting your Chord Mojo DAC directly to the Core and let me know if you still experience any streaming issues?

Can you reproduce this issue on one of your networked zones and let me know the exact local time in your country (e.g. 2:43) that you experience this behavior? I’d like to take a look at the diagnostics from your Core to see if they perhaps have any additional debugging info.


Probably not related to this support thread (feel free to move) but I got word from Tidal Support today, to remove Tidal desktop app completely (including it’s cache folder), reboot, then re-install.

Maybe you can try the same with Roon (sign out of Tidal, clear cache, then sign in again).

Will monitor for the next few days. I want to get the Tidal desktop app working fine before I test with Roon. Leave’s less room for Tidal to point the finger at Roon.

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