Tidal’s iOS App Gains Masters Quality Audio Support

Tidal today added support for its Tidal Masters Quality Authenticated audio tier on iOS devices, bringing master quality music to iOS devices for the first time.

Master audio was previously available on Android, but hasn't been available to iPhone and iPad listeners.


Tidal's highest studio quality audio option is limited to certain tracks (Tidal says there are 150,000 of them) and you'll only hear higher fidelity audio if you're using appropriate hardware, aka, a wired connection. Full release notes for the new Tidal update are below:
- HiFi users can now access over 150,000 master-quality tracks - audio as flawless as it sounded in the mastering suite.
- CarPlay improvements
- Minor bug fixes
Tidal master quality songs are available to those who subscribe to its Tidal HiFi service, which is priced at $19.99 per month. Tidal does offer a 60-day free trial for new subscribers.

A full list of albums that feature master quality recordings is available on Tidal's website.

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This article, "Tidal's iOS App Gains Masters Quality Audio Support" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Music vs. Tidal

Apple Music and Tidal are well known for their exclusive releases and both streaming services have been around since 2015. In that time, Apple Music has become the most popular streaming service in the US, but Tidal has a dedicated subscriber base for a variety of reasons.


Dubbed as the artists' music platform, Tidal is owned by Jay-Z and a variety of other successful music artists, and the company makes a point of paying artists more per stream than Apple Music. But is it a better service for the average listener? Read on to learn what both have to offer.

Subscriptions and Plans


An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Membership means you can stream Apple's music catalog, download music and videos for offline listening, and get exclusive access to new releases and exclusives, as well as a back catalog of shows broadcast on Apple's Beats 1 radio station.

Tidal also offers a $9.99 per month individual subscription, although again prices may vary in other regions. For the audiophiles out there, Tidal also offers a $19.99 per month individual subscription with lossless "High Fidelity" sound quality and high definition videos.

Apple Music price plans

An Apple Music student subscription costs $4.99 and requires you to sign up using your educational institution credentials. Tidal offers two student plans: $4.99 for the Premium service and $9.99 for the HiFi service. Note that students need to re-verify their eligibility every 12 months for both services.

Apple Music's family plan costs $14.99 a month and allows up to six people to access the services using a personal account for each family member. Members can also share iTunes purchases amongst each other in addition to catalog content, but using the same credit card is required to verify the family status. Tidal's Family plans are $14.99 for the Premium service and $29.99 for the HiFi service. In a unique offering, Tidal also offers special individual subscription rates for active military personnel, with the Premium and HiFi plans priced at $5.99 and $11.99, respectively.

Both Apple Music and Tidal memberships automatically renew each month, but you can cancel renewal at any time and your subscription will last until the end of your current billing cycle.

Free Trials


Apple Music offers a free three-month trial of its paid service, which converts to a paid membership unless the user cancels before the trial period is over.


Tidal currently offers a shorter 30-day free trial, which also becomes a paid membership if not canceled before the trial period.

Libraries and Offline Listening


All paid Apple Music and Tidal plans give you access to a huge catalog of songs when you sign up. Apple Music boasts 50 million songs in its catalog, while Tidal subscribers get the pick of over 57 million songs, so regardless of which one has the most content, both allow you to build up a large collection of music.

In addition, Tidal also boasts over 200,000 high quality music videos, which is a more extensive catalogue than any other rival streaming service, perhaps with the exception of YouTube Music Premium, so this may appeal to you if you like to consume your music with a visual element.


Apple Music and Tidal have battled for exclusive artist rights in recent times, so if it's important to you, Apple Music is currently first to get albums from Drake, Taylor Swift, and Pharrell Williams, while Tidal gets first dibs when it comes to Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Rihanna.

Apple Music users can download a maximum of 100,000 songs to their library, and thanks to Apple's iCloud Music Library feature these can be synced across devices signed in to the same Apple ID. With Tidal, you can download as many songs, albums, and playlists as you want for offline listening, and these will be synced to any device using the same account, but you can only use five devices in offline mode simultaneously.

Streaming quality


Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files across the board and doesn't offer users a way of changing the sound quality. It's a different story with Tidal, which caters to the audiophile more than any other music service. Tidal subscribers on both Premium and HiFi plans can choose between Normal and High quality streams.

In addition, Tidal has partnered with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) to deliver guaranteed master-quality recordings directly from the master source, which is billed as "an audio experience that the artist intended." The rationale behind this is that while HiFi audio is a superior sound, it's still limited to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit resolution, whereas MQA audio is the highest possible resolution (typically 96 kHz / 24 bit). These MQA recordings come included with the highest tier $19.99 HiFi plan mentioned above.


Apart from audiophiles, most listeners probably won't notice much difference between the highest-quality streams of the same song, but Tidal's option to select the bitrate can come in handy if you're worried about using up your cellular data.

Mobile, Desktop, and Web Apps


The Apple Music catalog is accessed from within the Music app, which has a clean white interface and comes pre-installed on every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and also is available as a separate downloadable app on Android devices. The mobile app is organized into tabs to access your music library, browse the Apple Music catalog, and listen to radio stations, while a "For You" tab lets you check out suggestions based on your listening preferences.

The Tidal app, available on both iOS and Android, has a slick black interface, but a more minimalist feel, with tabs for checking out new releases and recommendations, browsing Tidal music, searching the catalog, and accessing your music collection.

The Tidal app also includes an offline mode so that only downloaded content appears in the app, as well as helpful overlay tips for using the app the first time you launch it. By contrast, Apple's Music app isn't as easy to get familiar with, with some options hidden away in 3D Touch menus and off-screen panels that you have to swipe up or long press to access.

Tidal (left), Apple Music (right)

Both apps include fullscreen media players that showcase album art as you listen. These screens also put add-to-playlist, sharing, song queuing, create station, and audio device options at your fingertips.

Apple Music in iTunes (available for PC and Mac) is largely based on the same format as the mobile app, but it's not quite as pretty. It's also a little less navigable, but it does have one trick up its sleeve: Smart playlists. These can be automatically generated by iTunes based on genre, date added, loved/disliked, and so on, meaning you don't have to manually build playlists yourself if you don't want to.

Tidal desktop app

Tidal also offers apps for Mac and PC. They recreate the mobile interface for desktop well, and are slimmer and easier to navigate than iTunes, which feels bloated in comparison. In addition, Tidal offers a handy web player for accessing the service from any web browser, which is convenient if you want to access the service on a computer that doesn't have the Tidal app installed (your office PC, for example). Apple Music still lacks an equivalent, but subscribers can use a free third-party web player called Musish, although it's currently in development and still missing a few features.

Discovery Features


When you sign up for Apple Music, Apple asks you to select some of your favorite artists so that the service can get a sense of your tastes. Using this information, Apple Music populates its regularly updated For You section with new releases, daily mixes and playlists to appeal to your preferences. Playlists can take on a style (pop or jazz, for example), a particular artist, or even a particular activity like studying.

Tidal doesn't have an equivalent system to learn your music tastes immediately, although most users choose the service because it tilts towards hip hop and its sub-genres, so this isn't usually a big issue. Besides, it doesn't take long for the service to learn your preferences once you've started to add to your collection. You can also block tracks and artists from mixes and radio stations and Tidal does a good job of learning from these interactions.


In terms of Tidal music discovery, the app's Home tab is where it's at. The Home screen showcases new arrivals in a top carousel, with suggested new tracks and albums for you below, along with popular and featured playlists/albums, top charts, video playlists, podcasts, music shows, and concerts. Home also features TIDAL Rising, dedicated to lesser-known artists from around the globe who have passionate fan bases and want to reach a wider audience with their music.

Apple Music's non-personalized content lives in a separate Browse tab showcasing trending artists and playlists, top charts, and music videos. Browse is also home to a TV and films section that features Apple-made programming like Carpool Karaoke and artist documentaries.


Apple Music's Radio tab features curated music stations tuned to your listening habits as well as Apple's Beats 1 radio station. Beats 1 offers live radio 24 hours a day, and also plays a big part in the platform's music discovery. The Radio tab also has an archive of the most popular Beats 1 radio shows and playlists from years past. Tidal doesn't have any radio programming, but it makes up for this lack with its music-focused podcast library and original music documentaries.

Music Sharing


Apple Music allows you to follow friends who are also subscribers and share playlists with them that you've personally created. Apple Music's For You tab will also show you what your friends are listening to if you've connected to them.

Tidal doesn't have native equivalent social features, but the service does allow you to connect to Facebook and so you can see tracks from friends who subscribe to Tidal. You can also share song links via text or over social media and link to last.fm to log your listening habits.

Speakers and Voice Assistants


As an Apple Music subscriber, you can use Siri as a personal DJ to control song playback, queue up songs, find song facts, add songs to your library, play your favorite playlists, or even play something new. This is a big advantage Apple Music has over Tidal, which requires a more complicated solution through Siri Shortcuts and lacks many equivalent features.


Apple's HomePod speaker is designed to be used in conjunction with Apple Music. In fact, one of the main uses for Siri on HomePod is to control your Apple Music collection. There are Siri voice commands for accessing content like playlists, genres, moods, liking or disliking songs, playing more music based on something you've heard, starting a new radio station, and much more.

None of these functions will work with a Tidal subscription. You can stream audio to HomePod from a device running the Tidal app, but that's it. On the other hand, Tidal supports Chromecast, Android TV, Sonos speakers, and Squeezebox, while Apple Music only works natively on HomePod and Amazon Echo devices.

Listening in the Car


Apple's CarPlay system supports Tidal and, of course, Apple Music. If a car doesn't have CarPlay, most newer models have their own entertainment systems, which often make it easy to connect your chosen streaming service. Usually you can do so either direct from a built-in app, over Bluetooth, or via a cable connection. You can also listen to Apple Music and Tidal through your vehicle with Android Auto.

Apple Music highlights

  • Seamless integration with Apple's eco-system

  • Beats live radio and archive

  • Human curated recommendations

  • Social features

  • Support for uploading/matching your own music files

  • Works natively with HomePod


Tidal highlights

  • Emerging artist category

  • Optional lossless plan

  • Extensive video content

  • Official web player

  • Larger music catalog

Summing Up


Tidal holds a unique place in the streaming market, thanks to its HiFi streaming plans and its efforts to showcase emerging artists. Tidal's alignment with the hip hop scene is also a big draw, with curated playlists from the likes of Jay Z and Beyoncé. In addition, the service offers one of the largest collections of music videos, concert videos, and a good selection of original music-related programming.

On the other hand, Apple's service tends to be quicker off the mark with its music suggestions, while its content is more balanced in terms of appealing to various music tastes. Apple Music is also probably a better choice if you're invested in the Apple ecosystem. At the end of the day, both Apple Music and Tidal are solid streaming services, and which one you decide on will likely come down to your musical tastes.


This article, "Apple Music vs. Tidal" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Collaborative Album Launches on Apple Music After Two Days of Tidal Exclusivity

On Saturday, Beyoncé and Jay-Z launched a new collaborative album called "Everything is Love" exclusively to Tidal subscribers, the streaming service that Jay-Z owns. Just under two days later, Everything is Love has now launched on Apple Music, Spotify Premium, and Amazon Music Unlimited, making this a very short timed exclusive for Tidal (via Variety). In two weeks, the album will be available on Spotify's free tier.

In relation to Apple Music, The Carters have had a somewhat rocky relationship with Apple's streaming music service. Beyoncé's "Lemonade" album never launched on Apple Music and remains available for Apple customers only as a $17.99 paid download in iTunes. Although Jay-Z quietly removed many of his albums from Apple Music in April 2017, most eventually came back, and his own album "4:44" had one week of Tidal exclusivity before appearing on Apple Music last summer.


Tidal has had a rough couple of months as well, beginning with a report last December that claimed the company was facing money problems due to "stalled" user growth, and could run out of working capital in six months. Nearly six months later, Norwegian news site Dagens Næringsliv reported that Tidal was months behind on its royalty payments to record labels.

Furthermore, Tidal last month confirmed to its customers that it was investigating a "potential data breach" on the platform. The company said it had gone so far as to hire an "independent, third party cyber-security firm" to find out what happened. It's still unknown how widespread the potential breach was and what aspects of Tidal users' data might have been compromised. Tidal CEO Richard Sanders said that the company would share the results of the security firm's discoveries "once completed."

Amid the turmoil, Tidal exclusives have grown short or ended completely, as with Kanye West's latest album "ye," which launched on Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal on the same day. In 2016, West launched "The Life of Pablo" as a Tidal exclusive, but eventually allowed the full album to stream on Apple Music and other services.

Years later, West reportedly sought to end Tidal's exclusivity rights over his new music and break from the service. West claimed he was owed "more than $3 million" because his album "resulted in 1.5 million new subscribers to Tidal, for which he was supposed to get a bonus", but Tidal never paid. At the time of those claims, sources close to West said the artist successfully ended exclusivity rights with Tidal and cited "Tidal's failure to honor its financial obligations."

Tidal's subscriber base isn't known, but it is believed to be much smaller than Apple Music (50 million including those on free trials) and Spotify Premium (75 million). Major exclusives like The Carters' new album likely help increase the company's paid subscriber count for both its $9.99/month standard sound quality tier and $19.99/month Hi-Fi tier, despite the short exclusivity window. Still, with a 30-day free trial and no confirmation of subscriber numbers, it's unclear how many new users will stick around.

Tidal subscribers will have one advantage over other users, since the bonus track "Salud" remains a Tidal exclusive.


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Tidal Investigating ‘Potential Data Breach’ After Reports of Late Royalty Payments and Inflated Streams

A few days after Norwegian news site Dagens Næringsliv accused subscription music service Tidal of being months behind on royalty payments, as well as falsifying and inflating streaming numbers, Music Business Worldwide now reports that Tidal has learned of a "potential data breach" on its platform.


Tidal CEO Richard Sanders said in a statement that when the company learned of the potential data breach it "immediately" began trying to uncover the source, while also reporting it to authorities and taking "proactive" steps to strengthen the service's security. Tidal's measures in the wake of the discovery also include hiring an "independent, third party cyber-security firm" to find out what happened.
“Additionally, we have engaged an independent, third party cyber-security firm to conduct a review of what happened and help us further protect the security and integrity of our data. We are proud of the hard work, devotion to our artist driven mission, and tremendous accomplishments of our over one hundred employees in Norway and fifty more in the United States.
Since so little is known about the potential data breach, it's unclear how widespread it might have been and what aspects of Tidal users' data could have been compromised. Sanders mentioned that the company looks forward to sharing the results of the security firm's discoveries with its employees and partners "once completed."

Dagens Næringsliv's report earlier this week called out Tidal for being months behind on its royalty payments to record labels, after it previously said in December that the streaming company was facing money problems and would run out of working capital within six months. Additionally, the site investigated Tidal and claimed the company has been inflating streaming numbers, particularly those related to Kanye West's The Life of Pablo album and Beyonce's Lemonade album.

Sanders commented on those claims today, leading into the company's potential data breach discovery:
"We reject and deny the claims that have been made by Dagens Næringsliv. Although we do not typically comment on stories we believe to be false, we feel it is important to make sure that our artists, employees, and subscribers know that we are not taking the security and integrity of our data lightly, and we will not back down from our commitment to them."
Tidal is one of the streaming music rivals to Apple Music, offering both a $9.99/month standard sound quality tier and a $19.99/month High Fidelity tier. At one point rumors swirled around Apple's potential acquisition of Tidal, but the Cupertino company eventually ended those rumors and in early 2017 Sprint bought a 33 percent stake in Jay Z's streaming music service.

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Apple Music Competitor Tidal Allegedly Months Behind on Royalty Payments

Subscription based music service and Apple Music competitor Tidal is months behind on its royalty payments to record labels according to a report from Norwegian news site Dagens Næringsliv that was translated by Music Business Worldwide.

Multiple sources have said that Tidal has not making timely payments to "three major international companies," claims confirmed by two Norway-based labels: Propellor Records and its distributor, Phonofile, a company owned by Sony.


Phonofile CEO Sveinung Rindal said that reports of delayed payments are correct, while Propeller Recordings CEO Frithjof Boye Hungnes said the company had not been paid since October. "People are talking about withdrawing [their music from TIDAL]; I think there is a pretty upset mood," said Hungnes.

Tidal in December was said to be facing money problems due to stalled user growth, and reports suggested that it could run out of working capital within six months.

Dagens Næringsliv has been investigating Tidal in recent weeks and has also accused the streaming music service of falsifying and inflating streaming numbers for Kanye West's The Life of Pablo album and Beyonce's Lemonade album.

Tidal claimed that Kanye West's album achieved 250 million streams within 10 days and that Beyonce's album reached 306 million streams within 15 days, figures that were said to be false following a year-long investigation conducted by Dagens Næringsliv and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Center for Cyber and Information Security.

During the time that Tidal announced the Kanye West album figure, for example, Tidal said that it had 3 million subscribers. At 3 million subscribers, to each that streaming number, each Tidal subscriber would have needed to play the Kanye album more than eight times per day, as Music Business Worldwide points out.

Tidal has called the claims a "smear campaign" of lies and falsehoods, constructed from stolen and manipulated information. "We will fight these claims vigorously," the service said in a statement.


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Tidal Adds Pre-Save to Library Feature for New Album Releases

Tidal has added the ability for users of the music streaming service to automatically add new albums to their music library as soon as they become available.


The new "pre-save" feature ensures albums are displayed in album collections the moment they're uploaded to Tidal servers on the official release day. The feature is launching in tandem with Deadmau5's new album Where's the Drop?, which can be pre-saved in advance of its official release next week.

Apple Music already offers a similar feature for pre-ordered albums purchased through iTunes. Spotify also has an equivalent feature, but so far it's only been used in artist/label marketing campaigns and requires a direct link to the album to use it, as noted by The Verge.

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Tidal Offering Free 12-Day Trial Starting on Christmas, Including High Fidelity Tier

Tidal today announced that starting on Christmas Day anyone will be able to try out its music-streaming service for free for a period of 12 days. This free trial will include the company's $19.99/month High Fidelity tier that includes lossless sound quality, and it does not require a credit card for you to start so all you will need is an email address (via The Verge).

Tidal's new Apple TV app

To celebrate its free trial, Tidal will release exclusive content every day of the 12 day trial. The content will range from four new original shows to interviews, music videos, and documentaries on Rapsody and Trombone Shorty. Additionally, free trial users will have a chance to win concert tickets, but to which specific show was not mentioned.

Tidal has been in the news recently for its reportedly dire financial state, with the company believed to have enough capital to last only another six months. In the wake of that news, Tidal launched a new app for Apple TV and Android TV devices so users can listen to music and watch videos on a larger screen. With the new free trial, more users will have a chance to check out the service's features and potentially bump up its "stalled" user growth.

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Tidal Rolling Out Apple TV App on tvOS App Store

Tidal today unveiled apps for both Apple TV and Android TV devices, which will let subscribers listen to their music and view videos on their television. The Apple TV app will be rolling out throughout the day, according to The Verge, so users might not see it immediately within the tvOS App Store.

With Tidal for Apple TV, you get the same High Fidelity experience you've come to expect from Tidal directly on your television. See the latest music videos, concerts, and your favorite video playlists in HD. Listen to the latest albums and tracks from your favorite artists. All from the comfort of your living room.
The launch of a Tidal app for Apple TV follows a report from last week that said the company was facing money problems amid "stalled" user growth. Specifically, Tidal was said to have enough capital only to last another six months, after which the future of the company could be in jeopardy if its subscriber count doesn't increase. The addition of more ways for users to interact with Tidal content, particularly on larger screens, could be the next step in the company's plan to gain new users.

Similar to Apple Music and Spotify, Tidal is a subscription-based music service that allows users to stream music and watch videos on-demand at a price point of $9.99/month for standard sound quality. A premium tier of $19.99/month is available and brings lossless High Fidelity sound quality to its subscribers. Both tiers, as well as numerous other family, student, and military options, support high definition music videos, which users can now also watch on Apple TV.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
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Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Apple Music Rival Tidal Reportedly Facing Money Problems Amid ‘Stalled’ User Growth

Streaming music service Tidal is facing money problems and could run out of working capital within the next six months, according to a report this week by Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (via The Verge). The report stated that the money issues likely stem from Tidal's user growth, which is said to have "stalled" recently.

Sprint bought a 33 percent stake in Tidal this past January, and at the time Jay Z’s business partner and Roc Nation Sports president Juan Perez mentioned that the carrier's investment gave Tidal "sufficient working capital for the next 12-18 months." The Jay Z owned service is said to have lost around NOK$368 million (around $44 million) before taxes in 2016, and Tidal reportedly claims that it will break even and achieve profitability in mid-2018.


Regarding the new claim of Tidal's money and subscriber problems, a company spokesperson told The Verge the following: "We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year."

It isn't clear exactly how many people are subscribed to Tidal since the service has refrained from releasing such a count following the Sprint deal. At that time, Dagens Næringsliv again reported on Tidal, this time focusing on a claim that it was inflating subscriber numbers as far back as when Jay Z acquired it in 2015. The newspaper said it obtained internal reports from Tidal that showed it had 350,000 subscribers in September 2015, at which time Jay Z said it had gained 1 million subscribers.

Subsequent inflation numbers surfaced in March 2016, and afterwards the company hasn't provided any data regarding the amount of its subscriber base. As a point of comparison, Spotify remains in the lead for music streaming services with over 60 million paid subscribers as of July, while Apple Music follows with over 30 million as of September.

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Skype, Tidal, VLC, Feedly and Other Apps Optimized for iPhone X

A handful of popular apps have been optimized for the iPhone X over the past few days. We've rounded up some of the notable ones below.


Each of these apps now support the iPhone X's new screen size, rather than having a letterboxed design with black bars at the top and bottom.
  • Skype
  • VLC
  • Tidal
  • Feedly
  • LINE
  • Viber
  • PlayStation Vue
  • Bank of America
If you have an iPhone X and use any of these apps, check the App Store's Updates tab to ensure you have the latest version installed.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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