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Optimal Tidal streamer interface


OKO

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It's time to ask: What's the very best way of getting Tidal (Wimp) streaming service over to the DAC ?

I've used Wimp HiFi for more than a year. And I love it ! (I'm Norwegian, as is Tidal)

I use a modified Sonos connect over to my Concert Fidelity DAC. Not bad.

But; I'm seeking 'optimal sound' (of course).

Tidal is Redbook (CD quality) so HiRez is not really necessary.

Auralic Aries is getting popular in Norway, and talkes 'fluently' with Tidal.

 

Does anyone have a suggestion for 'the very best result' ?

 

Best regards. Ola

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One thing to bear in mind is that Tidal have announced a hook-up with Meridian MQA so will be offering hi-res streaming (but in a cd size package.) To be able to exploit this when it comes, you will need a DAC/streamer that can decode the MQA stuff. It's not clear yet who will be offering such decoding (apart obviously from Meridian). Might be worth sticking with your Sonos (which does Tidal redbook) until things get clearer.

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I have had very good luck with Airport Extreme (firmware version 7.6.1) / iPad (iOS 8) / Airplay.

 

I have not compared SQ with another streamer though. The most obvious choice for my NAS > Rendu > DAC setup would be the Aries because it would replace the functionality of the Rendu and provide Tidal.

 

I would really like to hear from anyone that has made a comparison with the Airplay approach vs Aries.

 

Edit: I should mention that I use the Toslink output from the AE.

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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Here's a bit more information about the Tidal/MQA hook up. Obviously, time will tell exactly how much music will actually be available in this format, and how easy it is for vendors other than Meridian to decode.

 

You may want to bear in mind that MQA is not lossless in the conventional sense. It is lossless in the sense that it is inaudible to hear that information has been lost.

 

In other words, you lose some bits during the compression process that cannot be recovered during decompression, unlike with FLAC and ALAC for example.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have now used Tidal (lossless) with three different non-desktop interfaces on three different non-desktop sources.

1) Aries. It's a good interface and seems quite stable. I don't like that you have to pick Tidal or NAS/local files (i.e get completely out of Tidal or completely out of your library..but it's not a huge deal.

2) Sonore Signature Rendu. Tidal sounds great but requires an Android app (currently) named BubbleUPnP to be your control point. And Tidal doesn't have the same integration and browse features as Aries implementation. You need to first set up your favorites elsewhere. But it sounds great through the Rendu.

3) Just last night I upgraded my Aurender X100L to its newest firmware and app upgrade (Aurender Conductor). Tidal integration is basically flawless. You use the exact same library features as browsing and selecting your library, and you can switch back and forth seamlessly, even having NAS-based music and Tidal music in the same playlist/queue. A great implementation! The early benchmark for me, to-date.

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I find downloading TIDAL songs or "Offline" (as verb) them to your Android or iOS Device gives the best results. Use what ever wireless output to get signal to a DAC. In my case iPad to (using Airplay) Apple Airport Express, miniTOSLINK to Optical into my DAC.

 

Having the songs in local storage reduces any dropouts or quality of service issues.

 

Second to that, like the original post said..

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I have now used Tidal (lossless) with three different non-desktop interfaces on three different non-desktop sources.

1) Aries. It's a good interface and seems quite stable. I don't like that you have to pick Tidal or NAS/local files (i.e get completely out of Tidal or completely out of your library..but it's not a huge deal.

2) Sonore Signature Rendu. Tidal sounds great but requires an Android app (currently) named BubbleUPnP to be your control point. And Tidal doesn't have the same integration and browse features as Aries implementation. You need to first set up your favorites elsewhere. But it sounds great through the Rendu.

3) Just last night I upgraded my Aurender X100L to its newest firmware and app upgrade (Aurender Conductor). Tidal integration is basically flawless. You use the exact same library features as browsing and selecting your library, and you can switch back and forth seamlessly, even having NAS-based music and Tidal music in the same playlist/queue. A great implementation! The early benchmark for me, to-date.

 

I asked on an Aurender thread and didn't get a response, so I'm hoping you can provide some user experience insight. I returned an Aries because its implementation of Tidal is poor. Could you (or any Aurender/Tidal user) confirm that the following Aries issues do or do not exist on Aurender?

 

1) Various Artist albums do not display individual artist names (or when applicable, their respective album names either).

 

2) Individual artist names do appear on Tidal-curated playlists, but not on playlists I create.

 

3) In addition to missing artist names on playlists I create, their respective albums are missing (the latter applies also to Tidal-curated playlists).

 

4) On any various artist album display, I want to be able to link to any artist and/or album on that particular album. This includes Tidal-curated playlists (which does include individual artists, but the names/albums are not linkable.)

 

5) Related Artists section on an artist page is missing.

 

6) Artist description is missing (when Tidal provides one).

 

7) Album overview is missing ( when Tidal provides one).

 

Thanks for any help.

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The Tidal interfaces on these portable apps are not the Chrome web interface, so my recommendation is to set your sites on the units sq first, then Tidal integration...knowing that Tidal will not be as flexible as accessing it via the broad web-base player.

 

To answer your questions:

Artist description is included, but not an album overview (that I've seen). There are hot spot links in the description (to specific albums or other artists mentioned in the description.

There are no links within albums

Various artist albums (like the compiiations in each artist discography list) show each artists name, but no links to those artists or albums.

Playlists show artists names, but again no links to the artist.

No related artists section

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The Tidal interfaces on these portable apps are not the Chrome web interface, so my recommendation is to set your sites on the units sq first, then Tidal integration...knowing that Tidal will not be as flexible as accessing it via the broad web-base player.

 

To answer your questions:

Artist description is included, but not an album overview (that I've seen). There are hot spot links in the description (to specific albums or other artists mentioned in the description.

There are no links within albums

Various artist albums (like the compiiations in each artist discography list) show each artists name, but no links to those artists or albums.

Playlists show artists names, but again no links to the artist.

No related artists section

 

Thanks, exactly what I needed to know.

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I've been having success with running Tidal through an Apple TV (toslink out). Once configured while hooked up to a television, the Apple TV can be unplugged and moved to a listening room without a video screen. You can then run Tidal on any idevice to Airplay lossless ALAC to your DAC.

 

This does not remedy at all the daily network drop offs, interruptions, etc that I experience with Tidal. Since I've never had wifi bandwidth problems with hdtv or internet at home, I don't think the problem is on my end. Hopefully Tidal will improve its network reliability.

Aurender N100H

Lampizator Atlantic Plus

Magico S3 Mk2

Blue Circle Preamp

PS Audio BHK 300 Amps

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I've been having success with running Tidal through an Apple TV (toslink out). Once configured while hooked up to a television, the Apple TV can be unplugged and moved to a listening room without a video screen. You can then run Tidal on any idevice to Airplay lossless ALAC to your DAC.

 

This does not remedy at all the daily network drop offs, interruptions, etc that I experience with Tidal. Since I've never had wifi bandwidth problems with hdtv or internet at home, I don't think the problem is on my end. Hopefully Tidal will improve its network reliability.

 

Don't use Wi-Fi. Use a UTP cable instead. Streaming for TV works very different to streaming from the web for audio as the buffer for video is much larger. At least using a UTP cable will establish for you whether the problem is your internal network or it is outside of your home (does not necessarily have to be Tidal either).

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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I had been running Tidal via the iOS app on my iPad streamed to my Mac Mini via wifi , and experienced the dropout problems.

 

I have 125 mb internet speeds and an excellent wifi network, so no problem there.

 

Tried running tidal via Chrome browser on Mac Mini, and ethernet cable directly connected to Mac Mini, and dropouts vanished.

 

YMMV, but this works great for me.

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And from Tidal:

 

The lossless option in 44.1/16 is available on all our clients. Our clients not including Windows Phone as there is no native lossless codec there yet and we use the native media renderers in the platforms normally.

This means

- Lossless in Chrome. We will add more browsers but Chome is so far the best at letting us do some memory management in the background to optimize playback. This is also a good option for Linux. (FLAC)

- Lossless in PC/Mac client. This option is still the most robust for sending to an external DAC, unless you have some other re-routing going on in OSX or Windows. (FLAC)

- Lossless in Android (FLAC)

- Lossless in iOS (ALAC).

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  • 2 months later...

After a few months of running Tidal off of my iPhone streaming by Airplay to an Apple TV feeding my DAC via Toslink, I bought a Mac Pro. The sound from a hardwired USB connection is many magnitudes superior to Airplay/Toslink connection. In addition, the Airplay connection had a tendency to be inconsistent. It would drop out and stutter at times. God forbid somebody run the microwave. By contrast, the USB connection from MacBook is flawless. BUT, the old method didn't require a computer. Too bad it doesn't work very well.

Aurender N100H

Lampizator Atlantic Plus

Magico S3 Mk2

Blue Circle Preamp

PS Audio BHK 300 Amps

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I'm pretty happy with my Tidal source for my hifi system. I'm running LogitechMediaServer (LMS) and Squeezelte under an ARM Archlinux build on a Cubox-I4 Pro, which has an ickStream beta Tidal pulgin. It ran flawlessly (and sonically beautifully) for about 6 months, until a few weeks ago when it stopped working. It is beta after all. And ickStream has got it up working flawlessly once again.

 

And for those unfamiliar with LMS, it's not just a platform for supplying a Tidal music stream, it's also a pretty capably platform for streaming locally stored digital music. All controlled by LMS's web interface. Not as slick as Tidal's Chrome implementation to be sure. But get's the job done in a tiny, low powered, dedicated music server. Not bad for roughly $400, including a Dragonfly V1.2 DAC.

 

Plus, the good stuff from Tidal sounds GOOD. ;-)

 

COMPONENTS

DragonFly DAC v1.2, $150

Cubox-I4 Pro, $130

MicroSD card, 16GB, class 10, $13

Schitt Wyrd, $99

Two AmazonBasics USB cables, $10

Archlinux, armv7 hard float, 3.10.30-22, free

LogitechMediaServer, v7.8.0, free,

Squeezelite player, armv6hf, free

ickStream plugin, free

Access to PC or Mac with an SD or MicroSD read/write slot and some SSH client software (like PuTTY)

 

If anyone is interested in trying this setup, I'd be happy to provide my step-by-step (idiot proof), tested instructions for setting it all up. :-)

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My vote for Roon as the optimal Tidal streamer interface.

 

Blends seamlessly with one's own music ( i.e.. my music files on my NAS ).

 

Great search and selection capabilities. Great meta data. Leverages the "Roon experience".

 

A job nicely done.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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What about dropouts on Tidal with Roon?

With the Tidal-Apps (Mac, Chrome) i have constant glitches and even stops.

 

Is this gone when you use the Roon software?

 

Is it possible to show only "HiFi" tracks from Tidal in Roon?

In the Tidal-Apps you can't exclude the countless "Non-HiFi" tracks.

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I have had no drop outs in Tidal while using Roon. Bear in mind I have been using the two together of two days, but I have played hours of music in that time.

 

Previous to Roon I was playing Tidal via my Auralic Aries. Didn't use it as much but no drop outs.

 

I have not used Tidal for more than 10 minutes with either Safari or Chrome on my Macbook Pro or Mac Mini.

 

I don't know if bandwidth makes a difference with Tidal. I have good wifi connectivity in my house (for 802.11n the TX rate averages 400-450Mbps) and my internet provider provides a solid 90-120Mbps download speeds. I suspect it helps, eh?

 

As far as I can tell Roon doesn't seem to have the a feature for only showing HiFi tracks from Tidal, but it could be I am wrong.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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eternaloptimist & OKO-i use amarraSq ver 2.0 no dropouts no pops crackles BOTH tidal and qobuz sound great-i use the mac/google chrome app/desktop for both tidal and qubuz USB out to new schiit gungnir DAC no issues whatsoever

bobbmd

 

Hi Bob,

I'm back subscribing to Tidal. I tried it again after what I understand was a significant infrastructure upgrade. Is now very stable with no dropouts. Am very happy with the service after the early teething issue I experienced.

I would really like an iOS controller.....

Roon / JRiver with Audiolense XO -> Chord Hugo TT2 -> Cyrus Mono x200 Signatures -> Audiovector Si3 Avantgarde Arretes

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I don't know if bandwidth makes a difference with Tidal. I have good wifi connectivity in my house (for 802.11n the TX rate averages 400-450Mbps) and my internet provider provides a solid 90-120Mbps download speeds. I suspect it helps, eh?

 

The big difference is your stable wi-fi. Test your ping times and package drops. Especially the latter is responsible for the cut outs. In my house, which is an appartment block, I have so much interference that simple 802.11G would not do. N is more stable, but there are all kinds of corners in the house where I have drop outs. Best thing is to hardwire things. So, at home everything uses CAT7 cables or D-Link.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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