TIDAL Tracks Crackling / Popping

Breaking this up into a few posts, since new users can’t post enough images or links to make my topic comprehensive.

(POST 1)

Ok guys, let’s kill this one off. I see a bunch of similar complaints on the forums regarding TIDAL tracks crackling, though the symptoms seem to be all over the place. I love Roon, and something like this is really a killjoy.

I’ll try to provide as much specific data as possible, since I know there can be a number of factors in this sort of issue. Let me know if there are any other details which might help point to a solution.

I have reproduced the issue on two different systems now, and verified on numerous systems that it does not happen in native TIDAL.

The two systems are:

System 1

  • 4x 1TB SSD Drives (shared with system #2)
  • Roon Server (QNAP TVS-471 NAS Running Roon) (shared with system #2)
  • WiFi Connection
  • Raspberry Pi
  • HiFiBerry Roon Image
  • HiFiBerry DAC+ PRO XLR
  • XLR Interconnects to Amplifier
  • Theta Digital Intrepid Amplifier
  • Loudspeakers

Soundpath for System 1 looks like:

System 2

  • 4x 1TB SSD Drives (shared with system #1)
  • Roon Server (QNAP TVS-471 NAS Running Roon) (shared with system #1)
  • WiFi Connection
  • Raspberry Pi
  • HiFiBerry Roon Image
  • HiFiBerry Digi+ PRO
  • Coaxial Digital Interconnects to DAC
  • Emotiva DC-1 DAC
  • Headphones

Soundpath for System 2 looks like:

(POST 2)

The track I’ve been using, as it is a very consistent example of the problem, is:
Artist: Karen O
Song: NYC Baby
Timestamp of Artifact: 1:58-2:10

File information for TIDAL Version of Karen O / NYC Baby:

There are other songs which exhibit this issue, all of them so far on TIDAL. For reference, my non-TIDAL songs are encoded FLAC. Here’s the file info for an example of what all my non-TIDAL music looks like, format-wise:

Things I have tried to remedy this so far:

  1. I disabled all DSP processing in Roon. No effect on crackling.
  2. I disabled all volume leveling in Roon. No effect on cracking.
  3. I cleared all TIDAL cache. No effect on crackling.
  4. I logged out and back in to TIDAL in Roon. No effect on crackling.
  5. I updated libav-tools on the Raspberry Pi devices. No effect on crackling.
  6. I updated the firmware on the Raspberry Pi devices. No effect on crackling.

(POST 3)

Here’s from my Roon “Audio” tab… “System 1” above is “Main System” here, and “System 2” above is “Headphones” here:

(POST 4)

Settings details for System 1 / Main System:

(POST 5)

Settings details for System 2 / Headphones:

(POST 6)

DSP Settings are identical on both, so here’s one of them:

I’m kinda out of ideas. This is a diversity of configurations but with similar issues. That said, there are still plenty of shared components in software and hardware which could be the issue.

Any ideas, all?

Let me know if you need any more info. I suspect solving this would help a bunch of people I see on these forums, so I’m happy to help nail it down.

Hey @Neil_Carson – Thanks for the detailed report, and apologies for the delayed response here! Your post was in the “Uncategorized” section of Community so I moved it over to the “Support” category.

Based on your report it appears that you are experiencing the same behavior that we are investigating as seen below:

There are some details in that thread about updating FFMPEG. I definitely recommend giving that a try.

We also have a ticket open with our development team regarding this behavior. I can’t currently promise and specific timeframes for this solution, but I can say that the team is hard at work on this! I can promise that I’ll be sure to keep this thread up to date as new information becomes available.

Kind regards,

It’s been a while since I checked my messages, but just in case anybody is still paying attention, yes, this is totally fixed, so I suspect it was that build 334. Thanks all!

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