Hot on the heels of TIDAL arriving in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users, Plex has announced integration with the high-quality music service in its media tool.
You don't need a paid-for Plex Pass to enjoy TIDAL in Plex, but there are special subscription deals available if you do have one. There's also no need to have a server set up -- you can access TIDAL from within the Plex apps.
Windows 10 is terrible these days for many reasons. It started out pretty great, but the quality of the operating system has been rapidly declining with every passing update. The only thing seemingly worse than Windows 10 is the horrible Microsoft Store -- an embarrassing collection of low-quality apps with a handful of decent ones sprinkled in.
Earlier this year, Apple brought its popular iTunes to the Microsoft store, and today, another music app shows up there -- Tidal. Yes, rapper Jay-Z's struggling streaming music service now has an app for Windows 10 in the Microsoft Store. Does anyone really care, though?
During Consumer Electronics Show 2017 yesterday, in licensing partnership with MQA, music streamer Tidal announced the new audio-fidelity tier "Masters", which is available for free to existing HiFi subscribers. Early album selection is extremely limited as is access option: macOS or Windows application. Both will expand in time.
But wow! I tested skeptically, wiring up my studio cans—Audio-Technica ATH-R70x—to 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to hear the difference. Hehe, if any. I deliberately started with Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" from album "Rumors", which released 40 years ago on February 4th. Tidal claims that Masters recordings deliver "an audio experience exactly as the artist intended". The band spent nearly a year painstakingly recording and engineering the disc, making any, or all, the songs great test cases.
As a Tidal subscriber, I welcome Apple acquisition—assuming lossless tracks are made available through the fruit-logo company's music services. Not that anyone should seriously believe the rumors. But one can hope.
Merger talks are typically silent affairs. When they're serious, you don't hear about them until there is a deal. Reasons are many, with regulatory being among them when public companies are involved. Acquisition rumors often mean something else: Principal party leaks information about preliminary or ongoing discussions to gauge customer and shareholder reaction; one side or the other is dissatisfied with progress/terms and seeks to apply pressure.
April 1st marks my first-year anniversary subscribing to Tidal, which relaunched the same day last year, under new ownership of Jay Z. I love and loathe the music streaming service, which I cancelled at least five times and always renewed—typically before the billing cycle ticked over. But checking archived emails, I see that my sub completely expired thrice but not since July.
Gotta ask: What fool starts a business on April Fools, and what does the day foreshadow; if anything? Apple did it, 40 years ago today. Many commentators have called Jay Z the fool for buying Tidal, which competes against established players like Spotify and newcomer Apple Music. The service claimed to have 540,000 subscribers when acquired last year. This week, Tidal revealed globally there are now 3 million subscribers. Someone correct my math—456 percent increase, right? If Jay Z's the fool, gimme some of that foolishness.
Here we are, days before Christmas, and you're thinking about last-minute stocking stuffers. I've got an eclectic selection of things I would want to get or give for December 25th. Some of them will demand rushing online to take advantage of last-minute shipping offers. Others require no shipping at all, like music subscription services. Confession: Some items will require a larger stocking but no wrapping.
I present the list alphabetically, and in no order of preference.
As Christmas comes closer, it's time to think about rewarding your ears, or someone else's, with exceptional audio experience—headphones that I would ask Santa to bring for myself or deliver to another. If big, booming bass is your thing, read no further. Buy Beats, Sony, or another brand boasting barreling lows that shake your skull as well as eardrums.
My picks deliver broader audio range, each with warmer mids and highs and amazing detail, depending somewhat on the source of your content. Highly compressed AAC or MP3 tracks lack lots, but these cans will get a little more fidelity from them. CD or lossless source might change how you listen to music forever.
Music streaming service Tidal seems to be going back to the old school ways, as well as morphing into an e-commerce site as it has now started selling physical music formats (i.e. CDs).
Prince is selling his new album, HITNRUN PHASE ONE, exclusively on Tidal, both in physical format copies and through downloads on the site.
Yesterday, I joined the 61 percent. The figure represents the people who, in a MusicWatch survey of 5,000, had turned off auto-renew on their free Apple Music trial, which for all ends September 30. Unless something really big comes out of this week's media event, where new iPhones could debut and iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan receive release dates, I will listen elsewhere. For now, I will stream higher-fidelity tracks from Tidal, and expand my musical horizons at services like SoundCloud.
Strange thing: I don't dislike Apple Music. Curated playlists are "frak me" good. Family pricing, $14.99 per month, is very reasonable. The library is voluminous; if I want to listen to it, Apple Music likely has it. Then there is the benefit of easy access to my own library of about 14,000 tracks alongside juicy fruit picked from the orchard.
Seventy-one percent of top music executives believe that Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal will fold in a year or less.
Following Jay Z’s acquisition of the streaming platform in March for $56 million (£36 million), the company’s valuation spiked to a reported $250 million (£162 million) just a month after.
One of the most prominent skeptics of digital music, Prince has surprisingly been off the radar on the whole music streaming debate, until now.
The Minneapolis sound pioneer removed all of his songs from Deezer, Spotify, Rdio and Apple Music earlier this week, while keeping music on Google Play and Tidal.
On June 3rd, music streaming service Tidal updated its Android app, which in my extensive testing over the weekend resolves a catastrophic bug that skips songs. The previous version jumped tracks before they finished playing on my Nexus 6 or 9. Last week, the lossless listening provider acknowledged the problem. The fix is in, and I am satisfied.
Tidal delivers HiFi streaming—1411kbps Free Lossless Audio Codec—at the premium price of $19.99 per month. For a music streamer charging more, about double other paid service competitors, the glitch was inexcusable. I first reported the erratic behavior nearly a month ago.
My third month as a Tidal subscriber started today, but nearly not at all. Last week I prepared to cancel the pricey, streaming service after encountering a disastrous functional flaw listening on either Nexus 6 or 9. Songs skip to the next track part way through playing, which is unacceptable behavior—made more so because of expectations that higher audio fidelity and loftier monthly subscription fee set.
I would have stopped subscribing yesterday, at the billing cycle's end, if not for Tidal offering a free month of service. Whether or not our paying relationship continues depends much on the music streamer resolving an app problem. "There is a bug with Nexus and Sony phones with Android 5 unfortunately", according to a tech support specialist, "We are working on fixing this. Mostly after 26 megabytes have been streamed, it skips. So for now we do not have a solution yet",
On May 1st, Tidal billed my credit card for the first month of music streaming. Yesterday, my subscription to Google Music ended. I should be satisfied with the switch, given how much more I enjoy 1411kbps lossless listening over the more typical 320kbps compressed streaming music. But recent, recurring service problems put my customer continuation into question.
Quality of content, or available selection of it, isn't the problem. I find plenty of music to enjoy, and the default playlists are smartly curated. The high-fidelity is just that. But slow starts, drop-offs, and song skips disrupt the listening experience -- and for a service costing twice as much as major competitors, like Beats, Rdio, or Spotify, I expect more but get less. There is no customer support option that I can find, either.
Lossless leader Tidal has a problem. Last month's splashy relaunch let critics control the narrative, defining the streaming service as a tool for pampering the bank accounts of already successful musicians. But Tidal is something else: Affordable HiFi streaming for the listening elite—those people who want to enjoy music the way it was engineered, produced. The streamer should be the coolest thing, but the Jay Z ownership team fraked up the marketing messaging. Problem is fixable, but correction requires aggressive advertising, promotional pricing, and extraordinary exclusives.
For more than three weeks, I have listened to nothing but Tidal, and the service should challenge everyone signing up for the 30-day trial to do likewise. There is no other way for the majority of people to appreciate the aural benefits. The majority of potential subscribers are too accustomed to the muddy, mushy, overly-bassy sound of compressed, low-fidelity AAC or MP3 files. The brain and ears need to be freed from the habitual crappy sound to which they're accustomed. iTunes is a prison. Spotify is another. Tidal will liberate you. But you must want freedom to attain it.