First Look: TIDAL

November 05, 2014

TIDAL is a new music streaming service that offers lossless quality in the US and UK. I have signed up for TIDAL due to this, and these are my first impressions.

Sign Up Process:

Signing up for TIDAL was very simple. I received an email inviting me to a 30 day trial as I am a VIP member due to signing up for their mailing list at an earlier time. Once I clicked on the link, I was presented with a page where I entered my email and password. After that, it asked for payment information, where I just used PayPal.

Application:

After signing up, I downloaded the TIDAL Mac application. This took far longer then it should have, but the servers were probably being hammered at that time. Installation was simple as it came packaged in a disk image. Once installed, the app started up fast, and I was able to login successfully. The app has a clean UI, with features you’d expect right in view. The search function is quite good, and works as well as any other streaming music service I’ve tried.

TIDAL Mac Application

The app also has a playlist feature that allows you to build a playlist easily, so you can have one to jump into depending on your mood. TIDAL also has a recommendation engine that recommends music based on your frequently played artists or songs. It then builds a radio based on recommended songs. You can also choose favorite artists, albums, or tracks.

Sound quality:

It’s amazing, what’s more to be said? On high end equipment in my opinion there is a noticeable difference between 320Kbps Ogg/MP3 and the FLAC/ALAC quality streaming that TIDAL provides. It’s one of, if not the first HiFI streaming service in America right now. However, don’t expect to ear much if any difference if you use dollar store earbuds driven from a phone, or any source for that matter.

Price:

TIDAL is more expensive then your usual music streaming service. TIDAL will cost you $19.99 per month. However, I believe this price is justified given the quality of the stream, and the fact that it uses substantially more bandwidth.


I will be writing an in-depth review soon, that will also include the web and iOS clients. Stay tuned for that!


The image used in in the header is the property of Aspiro AB.

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