Among all the applications that I install on each phone I test, and there are several each month, a set of essentials is never missing without which I cannot leave home. Twitter is among them, also other apps like Telegram, Netflix, Instagram, some game like Mario Kart Tour (I recognize that he has me) and the relevant application to listen to music. Always by subscription service, I don't use lists with MP3 files or similar.
I started being from Spotify even before there were mobile applications. I have attended the evolution of this excellent music subscription service and how audio playback changed forever. With its success, and the ease of listening instantly to all kinds of songs, there have been several companies that tried to make it competitive, each with its own values. It is the case of Tidal, the service that I have been testing for more than a month and that ended up replacing Spotify on my mobile
My perception of Tidal prior to the test was that of a Premium subscription service with less content than Spotify and characterized by the music without any compression, as it leaves the mixer. The second is true, I have corroborated it. The first not.
Tidal's music catalog has nothing to envy to other services, such as Spotify or Apple Music
Thanks to the fact that I love music, and that I cannot spend a day without several hours listening to songs, one after another, I have not only experience with streaming services over the years, I am also paid to several. I'm in Spotify, payment Apple Music, until recently I had Youtube music (with YouTube Premium) and now I have Tidal HiFi.
With so many different services I can say that, at least in terms of catalog, there are no exaggerated differences: what you can find in Spotify is also in Tidal, and vice versa. Yes it is true that each platform has some exclusive artists and / or albums, but it is not something that is noticed unless you are looking for very specific music. So, if you were one of those who believed (like me) that Tidal had a reduced catalog, you must change your mind.
More than 60 million songs, the vast majority of artists, a collection of albums with which you would need several lives to listen to them at least once … And a multitude of accessories that Notoriously enrich the experience with Tidal. These are:
- Videos. The streaming platform offers music videos apart from music. In numerical terms, the service ensures that more than 250,000 music videos are included. In high image quality, audio and without any advertisement. The pity is that they cannot be downloaded to view them offline.
- Shows and podcasts. Tidal offers different shows and podcasts performed side by side with the artists. They are exclusive to the platform and public podcasts are also included.
- Tidal X. Festivals and concerts exclusive to the platform. In video and with the option to listen only to the audio when the screen is off or the application in the background.
- 360 Reality Audio. Music that is heard in 360 º, in binaural format. There is not much available, but it is a curious effect to listen to it with headphones.
As you see, Tidal is much more than music. And it leaves well marked its biggest argument: it is the best platform for those who want music without any artifice since they can listen to the songs at maximum quality. In HiFi and also in master, the original recording as it leaves the mixer. Not all songs have these options, yes.
High sound quality is the key to Tidal, but not the only
Tidal's main claim was always the HiFi music, so it is an aspect that the company cannot neglect. In this sense, I confirm that the platform is one of the best for listening to music without loss of quality (Qobuz would be its main opponent, much less known): download a master album, or HiFi quality, and listen to it with a compatible mobile and headphones With high resolution music (and quality in the DAC), it is a delicious experience. Now you must have a very trained ear to appreciate palpable differences between the highest quality of Spotify and that of Tidal.
Have the option of download the digitalized master of recordings It is a positive aspect for those who own a reproduction equipment at the level, but it brings inconveniences. The main one is that the songs take up much more space, so you need a large storage phone if you want to listen to the songs offline or without an Internet connection. In addition, Tidal is not compatible with SD cards, so it only consumes the space available on the phone.
As you can always choose the quality for downloading and streaming (both mobile and WiFi), it is very easy to adapt the storage of the phone, and also the rate, to the needs. Of course, be careful with marking master quality for streaming on mobile data: Tidal was ventilated more than 2 GB in an hour. Something logical given the size of each song.
Although audio quality is the key, Tidal does not force you to acquire a HiFi plan (much more expensive): you can settle for a high quality audio (9.99 euros). If you want the HiFi plan, with a master quality option, you have to pay twice as much. In all the plans (there are also family members, for students and for the military) the same catalog is given and no ads available.
What I like the most: the Tidal recommendation system
I said before that it has gone through almost all music streaming services, starting with Spotify. Although they seem to me of great quality as a whole, while they offer a catalog of songs and artists that are unbeatable, the maximum differences in my opinion are usually the different recommendation systems. Since you have millions and millions of songs, why always listen to them?
I recognize that I tend to repeat playlists, with the same themes, over and over again. Mainly, because I put on the music while I work and prefer the familiar sound to run the risk of getting confused with songs that I have not heard before. Now, every day I spend some time discovering new music. And nothing like recommendation systems.
I never liked the algorithms of Spotify: you just have to go into the weekly list on Mondays to ask yourself what the AI is taken from the platform. The automatic recommendations of Play music not bad, especially custom radios; algorithms that inherits Youtube music. Apple Music I really like their recommended lists because they are made by hand and it shows; even if they are too short and do not change frequently. Y Tidal… Let's see.
Tidal offers different recommendation lists depending on the themes. Pop, Rock, Hip-Hop… Each category has news, successes, music videos and the aforementioned lists with, say, different styles associated with a type of music. These playlists are very successful and constantly changing, so offer fresh music which is very close to what I usually reproduce. Placing one of them guarantees me that I will listen to new music (when you have been several days they always tend to repeat themselves) without needing to be aware.
Another aspect that I love about Tidal is that it offers suggested songs depending on each theme that sounds. Simply move the playback screen from left to right to fall for these recommendations: music that is related to what it sounds like. And one last aspect: just like Spotify does, Tidal creates automated lists with songs to the user's liking. They are called My Mix.
So much so that you know the songs you want and that you are looking for new music to feed your ears: Tidal makes it easy and most importantly, effective. It is the streaming platform with which I had less to press the forward button just because the recommended song did not fit my tastes.
Tidal is a music streaming platform to keep in mind, whether you want HiFi audio like not
I had not used this service for a long time since I tried it after a few months of its launch. Y the change of the platform has been brutal: Without losing its essence, it has managed to make a well-deserved gap based on a huge catalog, introducing exclusive content, adding music videos and developing a system of recommendations that makes it easy to discover related music. Further, Tidal is cross platform: use it on your Android mobile, iOS, through the browser … Or launch the music to your Chromecast, is compatible and as easy to control as in Spotify. Chromecast does not play in master, "only" in HiFi.
Yes, Tidal is much more than an alternative to Spotify, for me it is better in almost the entire service. With this I do not mean that the platform is perfect, I have found some inconveniences:
- The price of the Hi-Fi plan is too expensive. And you need a good team to take advantage of it in conditions.
- You can download music and listen to it offline, but not mark songs as favorites while disconnected. Something that seems impractical.
- The master quality is a barbarity that is not appreciated in most cases. Without this implying that it is not worth it, of course.
- Tidal allows a maximum of 5 registered devices to download offline music. For someone with many mobiles, tablets and computers it can be a problem: you have to be adding and removing.
- I miss having the lyrics accessible in each song. Apple Music is brutal in that, for example. Play Music also has them (Spotify only pieces of some songs in its Genius function).
- Music videos cannot be downloaded.
For me, and according to my experience during the last month, Tidal remains as my favorite streaming service and header. Many lights, some shade and some recommendations that work. If you want to try it, Tidal gives a HiFi plan month with the registration. Enough to know if it's for you.
Discover Tidal on its website