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 Post subject: Tidal Music Streaming
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:12 am 
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It looks like the sole non lossy compressed streaming Tidal is having severe troubles.

Since this is the main source for audiophile streaming it could be bad news for the high end streamer market if Tidal goes under or is acquired by say a telecom company (Sprint was recently sold a significant part of Tidal). It's unlikely Sprint would continue the expensive higher data storage and data feed costs of FLAC files and would likely default to lossy MP3 to save money. And most certainly their Sprint mobile customers would careless.

Here are a few links to Tidal's issues:
Tidal is dead on arrival, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
http://host.madison.com/daily-cardinal/ ... 5d41c.html

Is Jay Z's Tidal a music revolution or dead in the water?
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/episode-22 ... -1.3019704

Quote:
So they're offering this lossless audio at twice the price of a Spotify subscription. How do those two services compare?
I honestly don't think people are going to pay double the amount of money for high quality audio. We have to remember too that Spotify's advantage isn't just that they have 60 million subscribers right now - admittedly many of those are free subscribers.


Tidal May Have Been Wildly Inflating Subscriber Numbers
http://fortune.com/2017/01/21/tidal-sub ... inflation/

Quote:
The inflation was achieved in part, the report claims, by re-activating tens of thousands of old accounts. The numbers may have been further goosed by the inclusion of users on limited-time free trials. The April subscriber report came shortly after the release of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, which was for a time a Tidal exclusive, and the death of Prince, whose catalog was also exclusive there. Those events drove a groundswell of interest in the service. But analysts have since used financial data to estimate that, minus those on free trials, Tidal had only around one million paying customers.
The “three million subscribers” claim was widely reported in the media, including by Billboard and Time.


Quote:
Last March, Spotify announced that it had signed up 30 million paying subscribers, and is now approaching profitability. By contrast, Dagens Næringsliv claims Tidal is losing tens of thousands of dollars a day, and is having trouble paying royalties and other expenses.


Kanye West pulls out of Jay-Z's Tidal streaming service days after 4:44 track
http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/mus ... x3iux.html

Quote:
The brewing feud between the world's two biggest rappers has taken another hit, with Kanye West reportedly departing Jay-Z's Tidal music streaming service.
"Kanye has complained the company owes him money – more than $US3 million ($3.9 million)," TMZ reports, citing unnamed sources connected to the platform.


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Tidal may have been inflating its subscriber numbers
Tidal may be doing worse than we imagined

https://www.theverge.com/2017/1/20/1433 ... ing-report

Quote:
And when Tidal announced it reached 3 million subscribers back in March, its monthly report to the music labels stated it had 1.2 million activated accounts and 850,000 subscribers, according to the publication.


TIDAL Brings Former Sony Music Exec On Board As 4th CEO In 2 Years
http://www.hiphopdx.com/news/id.44305/t ... in-2-years

So it looks like they are having a very hard time competing with Spotify, and now with Apple's purchase of Beats - and the launch of their streaming service Apple Music...and Amazon Prime Music(free with Prime), Amazon Music Unlimited and Youtube (free) - it's just a matter of time of Tidal's demise. This is becoming a very competitive place. These other companies can leverage off their music streaming to sell other non-music products. Tidal so far hasn't.
Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Amazon Music Unlimited: Which Is Best?
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/spotify-ap ... unlimited/

Quote:
As with Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music allows you to download music for offline use as long as you continue being a subscriber.


Bottom Line Spotify Premium, Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited the first and last stream lossy MP3 at an estimated 320kps, Apple uses ACC at 256kps. And do the Millenials care? Nope. That's the bottomline.
Apple Music bitrate dependent on connection, new iOS 9 seed due early next week
http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/07/01 ... c-bitrate/

Quote:
On the other hand, it should be noted that although Spotify uses a higher bit-rate, they’re streaming song files in the MP3 format, as opposed to Apple Music and iTunes Match that use the AAC format which offers better quality at 256kbps than MP3 streaming at 320kbps.

Songs purchased from the iTunes Store are delivered in 256kbps AAC as well.
[/quote][/quote]


Last edited by Tubelover2 on Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:36 am, edited 9 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:32 am 
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The other big issue with downloaded music and streaming is not just the cost but your rights regarding the music you spend good money for.

When you buy a physical CD you have much greater rights then when you download the music or worse stream it (where you have no rights unless you continue paying for the subscription).

Who owns your digital downloads? (Hint: it's not you)
http://www.zdnet.com/article/who-owns-y ... s-not-you/

Quote:
Steve Jobs once said, "People want to own their music." Someone better tell the folks who run the iTunes Store and its competitors. When you pay for a digital music track or album from an online service, you get a limited set of rights and you most assuredly don't own those downloads. Here's why that matters.


Quote:
Steve Jobs once said, "People want to own their music."

Someone better tell the folks who run the iTunes Store and its competitors. If you buy a digital music track or album from the iTunes store or one of its competitors, you don't own it. Instead, you're buying a license to play that track or album, and that license comes with an extremely limited set of rights.

Why does it matter? If you buy a CD in the United States, Section 109 of the Copyright Act gives you very specific rights under the first-sale doctrine. Fred von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains those rights:

[O]nce you've acquired a lawfully-made CD or book or DVD, you can lend, sell, or give it away without having to get permission from the copyright owner. In simpler terms, "you bought it, you own it" (and because first sale also applies to gifts, "they gave it to you, you own it" is also true).


Quote:
But the first-sale doctrine only applies to tangible goods, such as CDs. Digital music downloads (just like movies and TV shows and books) come with a completely different, much more limited set of rights. If you buy a digital album from an online service such as the iTunes store, Amazon MP3, or eMusic, you have no legal right to lend that album to a friend, as you could if you had purchased a CD. If you decide after a few listens that you hate the album, well, tough. You can't resell it. You can't even legally give it away.


Streaming right are even worse - in that once you buy a music download you can theoretically play it forever - without charge. Not so with Streaming music downloaded to play 'offline' no active subscription no music.

So let's say you subscribe to Tidal for 5 yrs from today (assuming they'll be around streaming lossless in 5 yrs). At $240/yr that equals $1,200. If you stop paying (of course the streaming services can raise prices at any time - but assume they don'f for the 5 yrs), you have ZERO music!

Now if you buy used CD's (as quoted above perfectly OK to buy used CD's) at say an average $8 a CD that equals 200 CD's. You can sell the ones you don't like and replace them with ones you do. And you own these forever without paying a dime.

Seems crazy to me to pay for Tidal.


Last edited by Tubelover2 on Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:46 am 
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Great topic Bob

I can recall the transition period (in retail) between vinyl and CDs. Was it from around the mid-80s. Anyway, at the time I loathed digits. Whenever I heard a CD, it always sounded brash, harsh. Also, I loved records for nostalgic reasons. They are of their time. When you hold Heartbreak Hotel - even on shellac - there is something more "real" about it. Oh I know that can sound a bit precious. But, surely, listening to music is a subjective experience, affected (sic) by goodness knows how many influences - many of which may translate into rhapsody from the subconscious. Well - I used to buy records - not CDs - when they were producing them in small numbers for reticents like me. I recall Neil Young's "Lucky Thirteen" and "Mirrorball" as examples - along with a lot of Bob Dylan stuff. I look after everything I own, and those records became surprisingly valuable later. I never thought that CDs could be much of an investment.

Roll forward - what - a few decades let's say. Like you Bob, I came round to PC-generated music slowly - driven greatly by the convenience factor (cf. playing vinyl). I realised that music on a PC played through a Firewire device (a Presonus Inspire 1394 I had purchased for other purposes) gave pretty solid results. Then I discovered EAC (taking goodness knows how long to research how to exploit it fully) and then fb2k. Now - just like you - I have a massive digital library set up exactly the way I want it. (Unlike you, I like flac, as the advantages in the library of tags outweighs any purist SQ argument as far as I am concerned: plus - should I ever need to - I can roll out wavs from flacs with hardly any effort.) I love fb2k because it has a neutral personality. I can make it look and behave exactly as I wish. It doesn't nag me. It doesn't require anything of me. It's not so much control-freakery at the fore - as that I just don't want my mind to be corrupted by anything that I haven't invited in - when I listen to music.

I like to think (and feel) for myself.

So - in addition to all the points you make already about Tidal (and any other online music resource - especially anything that requires me to pay a subscription or attend involuntarily to adverts), my 2 cents is, "Don't let the sharks in!" Music must rank comfortably alongside cleanliness as a close subordinate to Godliness - and I simply cannot see how a third party with a financial motive intruding upon my rapture can bring me any closer to the angels. Discover music without paying anybody else to do it for you! Don't pay anybody anything for a worthwhile ouctome! If you can't do it yourself - join (or start) a club! If we take this approach in sufficient numbers, who knows, CDs could hold a little of their value in time - free of DRM as you have already said Bob. I have no interest in sampling rates above redbook (bar the odd tweak in fb2k). Your various equipment projects over the last few years have demonstrated the pointlessness of rabid multiplication of kHz. Even if CDs pass by the way in terms of market value, I am sure that they still represent the most reliable way of enjoying music now and for the foreseeable future.

Keep up the good work!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:11 am 
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quote="Iving"
Quote:
Great topic Bob
Thanks great post!

Quote:
I can recall the transition period (in retail) between vinyl and CDs. Was it from around the mid-80s. Anyway, at the time I loathed digits. Whenever I heard a CD, it always sounded brash, harsh. Also, I loved records for nostalgic reasons. They are of their time. When you hold Heartbreak Hotel - even on shellac - there is something more "real" about it. Oh I know that can sound a bit precious. But, surely, listening to music is a subjective experience, affected (sic) by goodness knows how many influences - many of which may translate into rhapsody from the subconscious. Well - I used to buy records - not CDs - when they were producing them in small numbers for reticents like me. I recall Neil Young's "Lucky Thirteen" and "Mirrorball" as examples - along with a lot of Bob Dylan stuff. I look after everything I own, and those records became surprisingly valuable later. I never thought that CDs could be much of an investment.
Yes I still have a large collection of LP's in storage - precisely becasue they tend to go up in value - man look at the price for those Classic 200gm records today. But CD's can appreciate even more - and really wish I had bought more of those Mobile Fidelity 'Original Masters' I never really thought they sounded much better - but now command $75-$100 prices! A download will always command a used price of ZERO. No matter DSD double or quad rate or DxD to higher PCM.

Quote:
Roll forward - what - a few decades let's say. Like you Bob, I came round to PC-generated music slowly - driven greatly by the convenience factor (cf. playing vinyl). I realised that music on a PC played through a Firewire device (a Presonus Inspire 1394 I had purchased for other purposes) gave pretty solid results. Then I discovered EAC (taking goodness knows how long to research how to exploit it fully) and then fb2k. Now - just like you - I have a massive digital library set up exactly the way I want it. (Unlike you, I like flac, as the advantages in the library of tags outweighs any purist SQ argument as far as I am concerned: plus - should I ever need to - I can roll out wavs from flacs with hardly any effort.) I love fb2k because it has a neutral personality. I can make it look and behave exactly as I wish. It doesn't nag me. It doesn't require anything of me. It's not so much control-freakery at the fore - as that I just don't want my mind to be corrupted by anything that I haven't invited in - when I listen to music.
Yes I too started with a EMU 1394 then moved to a RME FF800 1394b - then onward from there.
In the early days of ID tagging - there were issue with the tags getting corrupted. Once ID tags get corrupted you're screwed. So I built from the beginning a fool proof method of titling and organizing my music. Just used Windows folders. Main folder the Genre, the sub folders for Artist, then in 'Artist' further sub folders for each album. In that folder are the music tracks and album art. The Windows file name is the track name, actually more - it goes Artist-Album Title-Track number- Song title. This can be set-up to load automatically in EAC using the dBase feature. Once burned the tracks are just copied to that newly create Album folder. In Foobar is a tremendously powerful Playlist feature. You can build playlist by adding 'files' or 'folders'. So I can build a playlist containing say all my JAZZ albums, with two clicks! Another nice feature all Genre, Artists, Albums are automatically alphabetized by Windows - I have to do nothing it's automatic. Makes finding music a breeze. I can also alpha or not in the Foobar playlist with the sort function. Using Windows "Folder Properties' function I can find the exact number of albums and tracks for any Genre, Artist or even the whole collection in seconds. Very powerful for large music collections.
Quote:
I like to think (and feel) for myself.

So - in addition to all the points you make already about Tidal (and any other online music resource - especially anything that requires me to pay a subscription or attend involuntarily to adverts), my 2 cents is, "Don't let the sharks in!" Music must rank comfortably alongside cleanliness as a close subordinate to Godliness - and I simply cannot see how a third party with a financial motive intruding upon my rapture can bring me any closer to the angels. Discover music without paying anybody else to do it for you! Don't pay anybody anything for a worthwhile ouctome! If you can't do it yourself - join (or start) a club! If we take this approach in sufficient numbers, who knows, CDs could hold a little of their value in time - free of DRM as you have already said Bob. I have no interest in sampling rates above redbook (bar the odd tweak in fb2k). Your various equipment projects over the last few years have demonstrated the pointlessness of rabid multiplication of kHz. Even if CDs pass by the way in terms of market value, I am sure that they still represent the most reliable way of enjoying music now and for the foreseeable future.

Keep up the good work!
Good point on the 'suggestions' function of streaming services - I find them annoying. But if I did want a 'suggested' list. Just enter the album name into Amazon - they'll give you all kinds of suggestions. And for 'Liner notes' and Artist info - Wikipedia is hard to beat - with hyperlinks to every possible facet of that music imaginable. I use a Asus tablet for that while listening to the music sometimes.

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:46 pm 
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Tubelover2 wrote:
In Foobar is a tremendously powerful Playlist feature. You can build playlist by adding 'files' or 'folders'. So I can build a playlist containing say all my JAZZ albums, with two clicks! Another nice feature all Genre, Artists, Albums are automatically alphabetized by Windows - I have to do nothing it's automatic. Makes finding music a breeze. I can also alpha or not in the Foobar playlist with the sort function. Using Windows "Folder Properties' function I can find the exact number of albums and tracks for any Genre, Artist or even the whole collection in seconds. Very powerful for large music collections.

In fb2k, the "Filter" facility is useful too - towards similar ends - once the lingo is grasped.

Tubelover2 wrote:
Wikipedia is hard to beat.

Exactly - along with the rest of the www.

So much music, so little time!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Yes so much music so little time!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:16 am 
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Pretty sure we are getting the stick's wrong end [as we Brits say] here...

Tidal hi-res, in Canada -
I listen to 4 to 8 hrs of cd quality music each day for 66c [in CAD$]; it just depends on my mood, since I could have 16 hrs!, then sleep.
I find over 90% of what I'm looking for here on Tidal, and I love it.

Regardless of whether I own the music or not, I have it NOW. All I can take actually.
The best 2/3 of a dollar anyone can ever spend - to me it's priceless!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:42 am 
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natedog wrote:
Pretty sure we are getting the stick's wrong end [as we Brits say] here...

Tidal hi-res, in Canada -
I listen to 4 to 8 hrs of cd quality music each day for 66c [in CAD$]; it just depends on my mood, since I could have 16 hrs!, then sleep.
I find over 90% of what I'm looking for here on Tidal, and I love it.

Regardless of whether I own the music or not, I have it NOW. All I can take actually.
The best 2/3 of a dollar anyone can ever spend - to me it's priceless!
Well for your sake I hope they stay in business.

BTW .66c a day = $240/yr, $1204 5yrs, $4816 over 20 yrs. I've been collecting and listening to high end audio over 30+yr = $7200+ if it was all Tidal based and assuming they NEVER raised their prices. I plan on another another 30-40 yrs at least of listening - add in another $10,000. I'd rather spend that money on better gear. I will occasionally buy a CD here or there (used for $5-$6) - but really over the last 5yrs I have bought very little. In the car or gym I stream free Youtube, or free Spotify, or listen to USB sticks with MP3's.

Most of the music I really like to listen to I already OWN - so it's all free from here out. I suppose when I die my family can recoup my outlay by selling my LP, CD and SACD collection.

And from a SQ point of view - I find Tidal does not equal a EAC archived CD. Some other folks have posted the same, noting that the Tidal Masters are very good. But it makes sense - those Tidal FLAC files have to find their way through thousands of miles of SMPS switches and routers.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:27 am 
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Some of those links you posted are over 2 years old dude. Sprint just bought a a 33% share in Tidal for $200 million dollars. I think Tidal will be just fine.

BTW...LOVE ME MY TIDAL!!!

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"Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?"
-Rob Gordon-


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:59 am 
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MrAudio wrote:
Some of those links you posted are over 2 years old dude. Sprint just bought a a 33% share in Tidal for $200 million dollars. I think Tidal will be just fine.

BTW...LOVE ME MY TIDAL!!!


+1
Glad you saved me raising that.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:27 pm 
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I don't use Tidal for music ownership ... most of my interest is classical, and for 66 cents a day I have rights to access this large library. I have a decent library of classical music, but most of it is older CDs, and I have listened to those performances thousands of times in the last twenty years. Tidal is new and fresh, and I don't have to shell out a bunch of money up front for new classical releases (and be disappointed with them 50% of the time).

I purchase about one album a month, which costs me sometimes much more than $20 (with shipping, import duties). IMO Tidal is very reasonable for the music lover.

And should I decide to cut Tidal in the future, I can always purchase the music which I have learned to love on Tidal.

Really, we complain because we have too much. Some use Torrents to get "free" music, which is stealing from the artists that need our support. Hopefully through Tidal they are being remunerated (although perhaps not to the same extent as when physical media was the only option).

And the sound of Tidal Hifi quality is excellent. I have a half-decent system of Canadian made speakers and separates, and the sound is indistinguishable from compact disc.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:02 pm 
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L-Man wrote:
And the sound of Tidal Hifi quality is excellent and the sound is indistinguishable from compact disc.


+1

_________________
"Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?"
-Rob Gordon-


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:06 pm 
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MrAudio wrote:
Some of those links you posted are over 2 years old dude. Sprint just bought a a 33% share in Tidal for $200 million dollars. I think Tidal will be just fine.

BTW...LOVE ME MY TIDAL!!!
The kill shot for Tidal was Kanye breaking away and actuallysuing his buddy Jayz. The vast over reporting of paying subs, is a sign of the desperation by the management (former managements?). The turnover of CEO's another symptom of the death spiral. These are all 2017 articles. But even back in 2015 most eveyone could see this coming.

Sprint just wants the subscriber list to market to most likely. Wonder what sub numbers they were shown before investing? Anyway it's doubtful Sprint would continue to stream at lossless compression. For the mobile phone market large down load music file sizes is a major disadvantage. And 99% of genX or Millennials really could care less about lossy vs lossless compression.

Unfortunately Tidal as it stands today, has a very dim future. It would surprise me if they made it another year as an independent organization.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:16 pm 
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L-Man wrote:
I don't use Tidal for music ownership ... most of my interest is classical, and for 66 cents a day I have rights to access this large library. I have a decent library of classical music, but most of it is older CDs, and I have listened to those performances thousands of times in the last twenty years. Tidal is new and fresh, and I don't have to shell out a bunch of money up front for new classical releases (and be disappointed with them 50% of the time).

I purchase about one album a month, which costs me sometimes much more than $20 (with shipping, import duties). IMO Tidal is very reasonable for the music lover.

And should I decide to cut Tidal in the future, I can always purchase the music which I have learned to love on Tidal.

Really, we complain because we have too much. Some use Torrents to get "free" music, which is stealing from the artists that need our support. Hopefully through Tidal they are being remunerated (although perhaps not to the same extent as when physical media was the only option).

And the sound of Tidal Hifi quality is excellent. I have a half-decent system of Canadian made speakers and separates, and the sound is indistinguishable from compact disc.
Those with better digital chains can clearly hear a major difference in SQ. I live betweemn Seattle and Tacoma, and have access to three great commerial free Classical/Jazz stations, and a 'super tuner' Kenwood KT-5020. With a good antenna dead quiet, and even it has better SQ then Tidal.

And those stations have pretty amazing programming directors finding great rare music. But it‘ s only for office background listening. Serious listening is only from my music server WAV files.

If you're paying $20 for a CD, you don't know where to buy CD's from.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:02 pm 
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MrAudio wrote:
L-Man wrote:
And the sound of Tidal Hifi quality is excellent and the sound is indistinguishable from compact disc.


+1



Tidal is great for sampling many albums every week. I was a subscriber since the first month the service went live. Tidal is a revelation compared to any other streaming service available in the US.

The best I could get the system to sound with Tidal was using a dual Windows 10 PC configuration with JPLAY set to 1 Hz DAC link, Ultrastream with the audio PC connected with a 5ft CAT7a to the control PC and the Audio PC in Hibernate Mode within the JPLAY panel. CAT5, 5e, 6, 6e, 7a each offered subtle differences in presentation between the linked PC's.

BubbleDS Next App for Android on my Nexus 5 provided a seamless control point for the JPLAYStreamer function to run Tidal.

Additionally,
Running Fidelizer Pro (Purist)
But, within Advanced settings under Fidelizer Features:
All are selected except,
"Processor core resource assignment for multi-core
optimizations"
and
"Allow core optimizations to run automatically on startup"

Running Process Lasso (ProBalance enabled), with "Bitsum Highest Performance" delivers a more relaxed presentation.

Audio PC provided USB output to the audio front end.

For a while this was outstanding and beyond anything I had experienced from computer audio. This configuration outperformed Redbook and SACD from the EMM CDSD with the linked world clock to a EMM DAC6e out to a Bel Canto PRe6.

Example test albums:

"Exactly Like This" - Doug MacLeod (Reference Recordings)

"Organ Polychrome" - Jan Kraybill (Reference Recordings)

"Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet" - Fink (Ninja Tune)

"Come On In This House" - Junior Wells (Telarc)

"Master of Chinese Percussion" - Hok-man Yim (Naxos)

From first day Tidal Master Quality streaming became available, switching to the 24bit 44.1 or 48kHz input on the EMM demonstrated immediate improvements in air, depth, clarity and overall refinement.

"Theorbo & Lute" by Jonas Nordberg (Eudora Records) is particularly exceptional.

The big turnaround came when I started loading my EAC ripped albums into a RAM Disk (using SoftPerfect to create the RAM disk) and using Hysolid Player with Hysolid App on Nexus 5 or using Foobar to play files from the Foobar RAM disk component.

In every comparison,
Hysolid or Foobar on a single PC with Fidelizer (Purist & Audio Profile: Network Player), Process Lasso, without JPLAY, outpaced Tidal with JPLAY in dual PC configuration/Fidelizer (Purist & Audio Profile: Audio Player, without network connection), Process Lasso.

Foobar and Hysolid offer more natural, refined and spacious presentations compared to Tidal. The gap widens when I load my collection of 24bit 96kHz albums from 2L, Soundkeeper Recordings, Reference Recordings, Chesky (from HDtracks) and others.

All of these albums "should" be available in Tidal. Though, that's my issue and why I discontinued my subscription two months ago. Listening to "Stripped" - Macy Gray (Chesky Records) on the day of it's release was exceptional. This album has some of the most sumptuous bass of anything I've heard.

A few months later, I queue a playlist containing this album and numerous others simply weren't available anymore. This occurred every few months since beginning my subscription. Tidal is continuously exchanging material and depending on your musical preferences, your favorite selections may be cut the next time you run Tidal.

Tidal Masters may have more to offer with a MQA certified DAC. Presently, I do not see much to gain migrating from the EMM as Tidal has a very limited Masters catalog.


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