Thursday, October 30, 2014

TIDAL Starts The Streaming Race To The Top

TIDAL Web player image
While Spotify may be the current king of the hill when it comes to interactive music streaming, and Apple and Google threaten to enter the fray in a big way, a new kid on the block may have changed the game for everyone. This week the Swedish service WiMP launched its new TIDAL service and from here on out, streaming music is not going to be the same.

So what does TIDAL have that the other services don’t already? Real CD quality audio for one, with 44.1kHz/16 bit tracks streamed in either FLAC or ALAC compression formats, depending upon the device you’re listening on. TIDAL is also the first streaming service to be able to stream this level of audio quality to a mobile device, with apps available for both iPhone and Android.

To be fair, you can also get roughly the same sound quality with the new Deezer Elite tier as well, but that only works if you have an Sonos audio playback system available, which means that at least at the moment, it’s not available to the masses.

As good as TIDAL sounds, the downside is that it costs $19.95 a month, which is way outside the comfort zone of most music consumers. For audiophiles, it’s probably a no-brainer, but I don’t think you’ll see the average music lover subscribing given what’s available for a lot less or even free. For some, sound quality is just not that important. Read more on Forbes.

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