*Official* Tidal music streaming thread - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 397 Old 11-02-2014, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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*Official* Tidal music streaming thread

Didn't find one, so decided to go ahead and create one. From their website: "Introducing the first music service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial." Tech Radar has a well-informed review here: http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/...1270607/review

I'm on day 2 of my 7 day trial and am impressed/pleased with the service. I'm using the OS X app streaming to my Pioneer SC-57 via airplay. "Sound, actual" is provided by a pair of Goldenear Triton One speakers. My previous experience with streaming is limited to Pandora and Google Music. I appreciate the ability to play whole albums of music. IMO, this is where the service will pay for itself. While I don't pay all that much per CD, I quite easily spend $20/mo. on disks.

The sound quality seems to be as-advertised, 1411 kbps CD-quality. I say "seems" because (so far at least) I haven't found exactly how to measure what's coming down the wire and going into the receiver. Regardless, the sound quality is vastly improved from the other streaming services I've sampled. So far I've played one album I'm extremely familiar with via the service, and could hear no difference between it and the CD version.

There have been a few cases of dropped connections, but nothing more than a few seconds at a time. For the most part whole albums stream effortlessly over my (basic-level) Verizon Fios connection. Playback is not "gapless," with pauses between 1 and 5 seconds between tracks being typical. However, this could be caused by my SC-57's lack of gapless support, so don't take my word about that.

The OSX app is well-designed, allowing me to knock about and find stuff pretty much at will. The selection broadly matches my (admittedly very conventional) tastes. The older acts/artists (Clapton, Sinatra, & etc.) have albums available that I've not heard before, and all of my favorites have at least one thing I've not heard before. Folks with more stringent and/or esoteric tastes may find the selection more limited, but it's my understanding the library is a moving target, so what's not there today may appear tomorrow.

As far as I'm concerned, something I've been waiting for ever since I picked up my SC-57 in late 2010 is now here: high-definition streaming has FINALLY arrived.

Main website:
http://tidalhifi.com
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post #2 of 397 Old 11-02-2014, 08:57 PM
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Sounds interesting, but $20/mo is way too steep for me. I'm paying for Pandora and the sound is decent, and I use Spotify free, sound is only OK but I'm not paying for better there. At some point, I'm there now, people are going to get tired of all the user fees. At $4 or $5 /mo it's not too annoying but when it' jumps to $11 or $20 then you start to notice and decide if you really want it. In this case I'm out.
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post #3 of 397 Old 11-03-2014, 04:11 AM - Thread Starter
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If existing streaming options work then that's fine. For me, the sound quality was so poor I could only listen to pandora (128kbps) for about fifteen minutes at my preferred volume. Google music (320kbps when paid) was tolerable to me for only twice as long. As noted above, I purchase my music on disk to this day, perhaps 4-6 disks a month. Even buying used and making sure to use Amazon prime, I'll break even with this service after the 4th album I play on it.
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post #4 of 397 Old 11-03-2014, 06:05 AM
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I have been trying Tidal as well. On my office system, (windows 8.1, geekout 1000, KEF LS50) it does sound better than Spotify and very close to the actual CD quality. The same is true on my portable work system (Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Geekout 1000, NAD Viso HP50) as long as I have a solid wifi or wired connection. On my phone (Android Samsung Galaxy S4, UE TripleFi 10) the quality is lower than CD regardless of the network connectivity.
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post #5 of 397 Old 11-03-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you use an external DAC with your phone? In theory, it should sound the same regardless of the source, as long as they're all set to "hi fi" at any rate.
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post #6 of 397 Old 11-11-2014, 10:59 AM
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I heard rumours a few months ago that Qobuz are suffering from financial difficulties. Whilst they currently offer gapless playback and digital booklets, I wonder if they'll have to cut back on future improvement if the rumours are indeed true.

What is interesting is how quickly Aspiro have managed to build hardware partnerships for TIDAL after seemingly being ambivalent during the roll-out of WiMP. We'll see in the next few months whether they can improve the core performance of the service, and I e-mailed them with my own questions (their e-mail support is very responsive when the messages get through, but seems to have a very strict spam filter so I had to send to all the below addresses):

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabotsonline / Nicholas Polydor
general AT tidalsupport DOT zendesk DOT com,
kristin DOT eldnes AT tidalhifi DOT com,
service AT tidalhifi DOT com,
support AT tidalhifi DOT com

Dear all,

Firstly, I've signed up to the 30-day TIDAL trial and it's excellent! Congratulations to you all for your hard work.

1. The Pulselocker streaming service available through the 'Splyce' iOS app has a large catalogue of niche dance music and some interesting playback effects for mobile DJing. However, I would love to see TIDAL support in the 'DJ Player' iOS app ( http://djplayerapp.com ) with its fully-featured timecode support, and I feel that its developer, Gábor Szántó, might be interested in a partnership. I would also love to see TIDAL support in desktop-based DJ apps: Traktor, Serato, Virtual DJ, Cross, djay, Deckadance etc. Is there any possibility of this?

2. I notice that you have AirPlay support in your iOS app - what about Google Cast support in your iOS and Android apps? Will you also be updating your Android app to support Android TV? What about Apple TV, Xbox One, Playstation 4?

3. Lots of mobile operators are now rolling out LTE-Advanced, and CEntrance - not to mention Sony, Denon and OPPO - are aggressively expanding their range of portable DACs. Genelec and JBL Professional have recently made exciting announcements, and I'm sure CES and NAMM in January will reveal yet more products promoting great audio quality.

I note that Deezer has just launched in the US with their 'Elite' service in collaboration with Sonos and featuring the same streaming as yourselves: 16-bit/44.1kHz CD-Quality. This is the same fidelity that Qobuz use in other countries and, crucially, they also offer up to 24-bit/192kHz digital downloads if the studio masters were recorded in such resolution (as do HDTracks, Pono Music etc).

However, do you have plans to offer *streaming* at 24-bit/192kHz at some point soon? What about streaming of 5.1 and Dolby Atmos?

4. Also, it is expected that Google Music Key and YouTube Music Key will offer hi-fi sound with HD music videos very soon, building upon their existing Play Music All-Access service. There are also rumours that Apple will leverage the Beats Music editorial curation to launch a new hi-fi music service in concert with the Grammys next February, perhaps including streaming. Spotify have gone on record to say that they are watching all these developments closely and will be prepared to raise their bitrate above 320kbps when necessary.

How do you intend to differentiate the TIDAL proposition amongst this landscape of keen and extremely well-funded competitors?

Kind regards,

Nicholas Polydor (based in the UK)
And their response (via general AT tidalsupport DOT zendesk DOT com ):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik @ TIDAL
Hi Nicholas,

Thank you for your feedback.

1. We are talking to a lot of both hardware and software manufacturers, but I can unfortunately not reveal any names before it is official. I will anyways forward your request to our Partner Team.

2. We are working on Chromecast support in our Android app. No timeline to share yet.

3. We have already done some testing with 24bit/96kHz together with Bluesound at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest - works well. No ETA.

4. We believe in our own service, but we will welcome other streaming services as well. Competition is healthy.

I hope I was able to assist you sufficiently.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Best,
Fredrik
Has anyone seen any reports of the 24-bit/96kHz streaming collaboration with Bluesound at RMAF 2014? I've searched and found the following tangential mentions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer Holbert
PRIMER: ROCKY MOUNTAIN AUDIO FEST 2014

... word on the street is that we will see 96kHz/24-bit streaming in late 2015. This is huge.
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/arti...dio-fest-2014/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyll Hertsens
The Tide is in...And Tidal Lossless Streaming is Rockin' This Boat

Redbook masters
Submitted by tidalpal on November 6, 2014 - 1:03am

How can giving you access to 2.5-3 million albums in redbook quality, masters coming directly from the mastering houses (we don't rip anything) for $20/mth be a rip-off?

To clarify
Submitted by tidalpal on November 6, 2014 - 1:08am

The lossless option in 44.1/16 is available on all our clients. Our clients not including Windows Phone as there is no native lossless codec there yet and we use the native media renderers in the platforms normally.

This means
- Lossless in Chrome. We will add more browsers but Chome is so far the best at letting us do some memory management in the background to optimize playback. This is also a good option for Linux. (FLAC)
- Lossless in PC/Mac client. This option is still the most robust for sending to an external DAC, unless you have some other re-routing going on in OSX or Windows. (FLAC)
- Lossless in Android (FLAC)
- Lossless in iOS (ALAC).

When you write hi-rez, even though I would like that to be true already, we are streaming lossless redbook 44.1kHz/16bit. In my world, the high-resolution world starts at 88.2kHz/24bit, or perhaps more common 96/24. We have also demonstrated streaming at these rates, but there's still quite a bit on the business side before this is a fully released product, Tyll.

WiMP
Submitted by tidalpal on November 6, 2014 - 1:41am

TIDAL is the same as the WiMP HiFi product in EU. Not only Bluesound & NAD, but these were communicated as partners at launch with many more to come already: Anthem, Airable by Tune In Media, Astell & Kern, Audeze, Audiovector, AudioQuest, Auralic, Aurender, Bel Canto, Dan D'Agostino, Definitive Technology, Denon HEOS, DTS Play-Fi, Dynaudio, Electrocompaniet, Harman Omni, HiFiAkademie, ickStream, JH Audio, Linn, McIntosh, Meridian, MartinLogan, Paradigm, Polk, Pro-ject, PS Audio, Raumfeld, Simple Audio, Sonos, Steinway Lyngdorf, Wren Sound Systems.
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content...ng-rockin-boat

I, dabotsonline / Nicholas Polydor, am part of Panasonic UK's 'VIERA VIP Club': a group of six bloggers and forum posters receiving special access to information and events for the TV product range. Costs for activities are covered by Panasonic (no cash is involved). However, I can assure that this will never compromise my integrity or objectivity as an ethical conscience is something I have always and will forever hold very dear to my heart.

Last edited by dabotsonline; 11-11-2014 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Added link.
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post #7 of 397 Old 11-11-2014, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the notes! This service just gets better and better!
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post #8 of 397 Old 11-11-2014, 09:04 PM
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If we could listen offline on PC and Mac this service, would be essentially perfect. It works great on mobile devices in that we get gapless sound, but on the PC the buffering between songs, especially with classical music is a little short of perfect. Sounds great though. I just gave up Spotify.
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post #9 of 397 Old 11-12-2014, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
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They talk often about offline use in the docs. I haven't used it yet, so I'm not sure if it's restricted to mobile devices only?

Yep, gapless is one of those "not a deal breaker but I would like to see it go" sorts of issues, IMO.
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post #10 of 397 Old 11-12-2014, 06:20 AM
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I am compelled to give up Spotify as well. Sigh. I copied a Blues playlist I created from radio on Spotify into the Tidal PC application. Looks like about 90% of the tracks were available on Tidal (although some titles had substitutions from live recordings). I then flipped back and forth from Spotify to Tidal listening to the same tracks open in 2 separate windows. Sonic differences are undeniable. I have listened to tracks ranging from Buddy Guy to Schubert Piano Sonatas. I can't go back to Spotify.

Also, no drop out problems at all. I am on a Time Warner 50Mbps plan. For me well worth the money.

Willie
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post #11 of 397 Old 11-12-2014, 02:57 PM
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Is Tidal available on Sonos yet?
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post #12 of 397 Old 11-12-2014, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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WiMP, the European version of the service, is (apparently) available on Sonos, so if not now I'd expect it to happen soon.
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post #13 of 397 Old 11-13-2014, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dscottj View Post
They talk often about offline use in the docs. I haven't used it yet, so I'm not sure if it's restricted to mobile devices only?

Yep, gapless is one of those "not a deal breaker but I would like to see it go" sorts of issues, IMO.
If the offline feature is available on the desktop I haven't found it. On mobile devices it renders the gapless playback perfectly.
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post #14 of 397 Old 11-20-2014, 10:07 AM
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The service has really improved. The "gap" between the songs caused by buffering has really shrank and you can tell that it does indeed support gapless. Still, it would be nice to eliminate it.
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post #15 of 397 Old 11-22-2014, 02:52 PM
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Just started my trial a couple of days ago. Running off a Windows 7 laptop into my Bryston BDA-2 DAC via USB. McIntosh MX121 & MC205 balanced XLR all the way through. So far I'm very impressed. Gap between continuous play songs is pretty short, but gapless would be appreciated.

Having a purpose-built pc-based media server build for my home system. I will definitely load the Tidal PC client and between ripped files, hi-rez files, and Tidal I should be covered! Goodbye Spotify!
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post #16 of 397 Old 11-26-2014, 09:00 PM
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Another Tidal trial here for 14 days. Day 2 now. Listening on my PC has no issues with freezing, studder, pop etc, however on my Galaxy S5 listening through some Sennheiser headphones, I'm having some issues. When it's working it sounds terrific though, but I'm having bandwith issues even when WiFi is full bars. I have 50/50 for internet connection.

I do love the service, however I am not sure about the 20 a month price tag.
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post #17 of 397 Old 11-27-2014, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll get occasional drop-outs. More annoying are the times when my receiver "loses lock" on the airplay system. I have to escalate power-cycling things until I figure out the combo that works. Once I had to restart everything, that was annoying.

I haven't figured out a pattern to it. Tidal tech support says the desktop clients were released a bit too soon and that subsequent releases will improve reliability quite a bit.
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post #18 of 397 Old 11-27-2014, 09:14 AM
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I am on week 3 of my Tidal Music service. I use a Mac Book Pro via usb to a Cambridge Audio DacMajicPlus then to a Marantz AV8801 via Coaxial output.
I think the sound quality is leaps an bounds ahead of the others I have tried. I have not noticed any dropouts, or freezing.
The artist variety is not quite as large as Spotify, but I am sure it will grow and expand.
I also use the IOS app on my iPhone streaming via bluetooth in my car. I have had only a few freezes. I also had the app crash once which restarted my iPhone.
All in all, So far so good.
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post #19 of 397 Old 11-27-2014, 09:37 AM
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An Audiophile Setup Week 3

Using a Logitech Media Server ( LMS ) and the Ickstream plugin for Tidal running on an Unraid server or Windows Home Server with output to my Logitech Transporter. I feed the output to an Exasound E28 DAC.
Absolutely the best streaming I have ever experienced.
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post #20 of 397 Old 12-01-2014, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwmusicman View Post
I am on week 3 of my Tidal Music service. I use a Mac Book Pro via usb to a Cambridge Audio DacMajicPlus then to a Marantz AV8801 via Coaxial output.
I think the sound quality is leaps an bounds ahead of the others I have tried. I have not noticed any dropouts, or freezing.
The artist variety is not quite as large as Spotify, but I am sure it will grow and expand.
I also use the IOS app on my iPhone streaming via bluetooth in my car. I have had only a few freezes. I also had the app crash once which restarted my iPhone.
All in all, So far so good.
Curios, I am also using Bluetooth through my Miniboom speakers. Question, does bluetooth streaming carry the full resolution of the Tidal audio? I assumed that you would lose that via bluetooth. is that true?

thx
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post #21 of 397 Old 12-01-2014, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C*Tedesco View Post
Curios, I am also using Bluetooth through my Miniboom speakers. Question, does bluetooth streaming carry the full resolution of the Tidal audio? I assumed that you would lose that via bluetooth. is that true?

thx
You are correct. You do not get full resolution audio via bluetooth.
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post #22 of 397 Old 12-05-2014, 03:44 PM
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I just got a new car with the Harman Kardon premium sound system which reveals just how bad the Sirius/XM SQ is. I'm anxious to give Tidal a try.

*************************
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post #23 of 397 Old 12-05-2014, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holt7153 View Post
I just got a new car with the Harman Kardon premium sound system which reveals just how bad the Sirius/XM SQ is. I'm anxious to give Tidal a try.
Go for it Steve! I'm an official Tidal subscriber. Sounds great on the home system.

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post #24 of 397 Old 12-06-2014, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scirica View Post
Go for it Steve! I'm an official Tidal subscriber. Sounds great on the home system.
thanks, Steve-I just might. I played around with it in the car last night and I'm pretty impressed with the quality.

*************************
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post #25 of 397 Old 12-09-2014, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwmusicman View Post
You are correct. You do not get full resolution audio via bluetooth.
If I use my aux cable from my iphone, will that allow full resolution audio ? I have a decent auto sound setup and had Spotify and MOG for awhile. MOG wasn't bad, but like you said, you don't get full resolution with bluetooth.
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post #26 of 397 Old 12-09-2014, 09:21 AM
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I really wanted to like Tidal. But after paying for one month, I'm out. I'll stick with Qobuz for now. I am tired of dropouts and long buffering times. I have now used Tidal with four different internet providers in two countries (all speeds above 50 megs) and like many others (as reported in many audio forums) the dropout problems continue. Despite the fact that Tidal has existed for some time as Wimp in Europe, it doesn't appear to be ready for prime time. Maybe I'll try it again sometime in the future.
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post #27 of 397 Old 12-16-2014, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post
I have been trying Tidal as well. On my office system, (windows 8.1, geekout 1000, KEF LS50) it does sound better than Spotify and very close to the actual CD quality. The same is true on my portable work system (Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Geekout 1000, NAD Viso HP50) as long as I have a solid wifi or wired connection. On my phone (Android Samsung Galaxy S4, UE TripleFi 10) the quality is lower than CD regardless of the network connectivity.
I came across this which might explain the quality on the S4:

Which Android versions are not compatible in HiFi-mode?


TIDAL Support [EM] October 22, 2014 09:51



Samsung with Android version 4.3.0 - 4.4.3

My S4 is at 4.4.2. Also rocking the TF10
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post #28 of 397 Old 12-16-2014, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdolen View Post
I came across this which might explain the quality on the S4:

Which Android versions are not compatible in HiFi-mode?


TIDAL Support [EM] October 22, 2014 09:51



Samsung with Android version 4.3.0 - 4.4.3

My S4 is at 4.4.2. Also rocking the TF10
S4 user here, and yeah looks like the versions might not work for me since I'm 4.4.2 as well.

This is the response I got from Tidal Support regarding some of their mobile devices

Hello,

Thank you for contacting TIDAL customer support.

We are aware of some mobile devices having playback issues. Our operations team is working on our delivery of our service to make sure it is as efficient as possible to enhance the reliability of our music stream. Mobile devices tend to be more unreliable in terms of buffer times than the PC. We are hoping to have this issue resolved within the next few weeks.

We thank you for your patience and early support.

Best Regards,

Colin
TIDAL Support



On my PC with direct ethernet connection, no problems. Also, Ipad 3rd gen, no problems whatsoever.

Just the S4 with some hiccups, but looks like there was an update today. I'll check and report back if issue is still there.
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post #29 of 397 Old 12-21-2014, 03:46 AM
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Tidal Mac problems

Tidal problems with mac - tidal does not seem to be able to stream HD for more than a few minutes - streamlining via Web results in hic-ups. Little jumps - tidal know of these problems but judging by the lack of fixes regard it as low priority - so we have a streaming service who prime advantage of rivals is HD quality - which they are unable to deliver effectively - had to cancel subscription as a result.

Would it on have been better for Tidal to fully test the service fully before launching it & accepting subscriptions for customers?

tidal helpdesk/customer service is poor -2 to three days for a vacuous response.

It's a shame - I would be more than happy to subscribe to Tidal if they could get their act together - in the absence of this ill probably wait for Spotify to introduce CD quality streaming!!
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post #30 of 397 Old 12-21-2014, 04:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Drop-outs seem to have become an issue for me as well. However, in my case at least it's not the stream that's failing, it's the Airplay connection to my receiver. Lately it eventually "loses lock," but when it does it merrily plays out of my laptop speakers without loss of service.
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