Aimed at audiophiles, Tidal offers CD quality streaming music for $20 a month

Himanshu Arora

Posts: 902   +7
A Swedish company named Aspiro has launched a new streaming music service that claims to offer CD quality streaming using the "Free Lossless Audio Codec" or FLAC. Dubbed Tidal, the service is now available in the US and the UK on...

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$20 a month? That's a laugh. Even raw 320 Kb/s tracks never come close to Internet traffic of online movies, ones available for about 1/4 of the price.

But if we are not being charged for the traffic, that means they want $20 just to listen to the music? Since when music is suddenly 4 times more expensive than movies? Must be another joke.

And considering that fresh music garbage comes out faster than low-rate movies, it should be anything but more expensive.
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Posts: 3,836   +1,183
Read the part where says that this is not meant for everyone this is meant for those audiophiles and their hifi high end equipment, and even then there are half a million paying users already.

So your baffling is uncalled and unnecesary.
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Kibaruk, CD quality streaming is NOT for audiophiles - that is still low quality.
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I thought CD quality was like 192kb?
It might be higher than the quality of some services but I doubt audiophiles would be impressed with it. I see later on the article mentions 1411 kbps. So I think CD quality was used as a comparison by accident.


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20 bucks a month, yeah right. Even if you are a so called audiophile (I doubt such a thing even exists) you'll have to stream 24/7 to get your money's worth so when are you gonna find the time to work to earn the money to pay that extortionist fee?


Posts: 3,836   +1,183
Lol to the guy that says $20 is extortion.

A pizza in the states is what??

I think you are just making a huge fuzz when there is no need for one.


They reference CD quality when saying 1411 kbps because if you rip a CD to an uncompressed format, like .wav, the resultant file(s) will be 1411 kbps. Most will claim 320 kbps mp3's to be "CD quality" based on the fact that presumably many people can't tell the difference between 320 or 1411 when listening. In my experience this is greatly dependent upon the type of music and of course the equipment you are using to listen to the music on. I rip all my CD's to digital and uncompressed because a. I like to, and b. I will sometimes use the music in home movies where the file get rendered down. If you use a compressed (horrible sounding) audio file going in and then render the movie, including the audio file, down even further it will sound like crap.

As far as streaming 1411 goes..... it is probably not for me. I stream a good deal, but it is mostly when having guests over or just for the purpose of having background music in the house. If it is music I really care for then I always buy the CD anyway.
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It won't be 1411 anyway, FLAC compresses it losslessly, in reality you'll get a VBR file that will average in the 500-900 range* depending on the type of music.

I too kind of laughed when I first read this, but the convenience of having all your CDs (I don't know what their library is like) available on any device without taking up space, this might be ok considering it is cheaper than buying 2 CDs from the store each month.

*based on my personal library of FLAC


Posts: 428   +44
A few things:
1 - I can only tell the difference between 320kbps MP3 and lossless FLAC at night when it's really quiet or when it's really loud.
2 - the analogue audio out on Apple products isn't the greatest and generally doesn't have the SNR you and Ohm to drive proper headphones. The rMBP 13 struggles to drive my Sennheiser HD598's. Really struggles.
3 - The price is high considering the costs to stream unlimited movies and series etc in the US. But It's still cheaper than buying 2 CD albums every month for the same quality.

tl;dr I would opt for this if the data on my mobile service was cheaper and if I had better quality coming out of my iphone and macbook.
Maybe pairing this service with the Pono player would be a killer solution.


Posts: 422   +292
You can fix the files but you can't fix the music. Music today is produced to be as compressed as possible negating any gains you might achieve with a better file format. How much better can bullshit music sound?