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Fridolin

Tidal sucks

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2 hours ago, Fridolin said:

I tested the list of albums again with my Aries Mini and got the same results as @wklie.

 

320kbps AAC:
Joanne Shaw Taylor|Almost Always Never
Joanne Shaw Taylor|Diamonds In The Dirt
Joe Bonamassa|A New Day Yesterday
Joe Bonamassa|Sloe Gin
 
96kbps AAC:
Núcleo - José Luis Gutiérrez Trio
Jimmy Ponder|Jimmy Ponder

Jimmy Ponder|Steel City Blues
Joanne Shaw Taylor|White Sugar
Joe Bonamassa|Had To Cry Today
Joe Bonamassa|So It's Like That

 

All files were AAC, no Mp3.

 

That means i have to scan all my "LoFi" playlist again to separate "LoFi" albums from "SuperLoFi" albums. Sigh. 

 

Ok, well at least it from this small sample the AAC streams are consistent for the various country accounts, so it's probably safe to assume the region doesn't make much difference, if any.

 

If you can get the ickstream/LMS platform working at least you should get most of the albums streaming 320 kpbs MP3, with some 'MidLoFi' 256 kbps MP3 ones (also seems to be proportionally less of these than the 96 kbps AAC ones).


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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2 hours ago, Fridolin said:

@jhwalker. It would be interesting, if Audirvana plays the AAC 96 kbps titles above with 320 kbps.

 

The 15-day trial version of Audirvana Plus is supposed to be full featured, so you could always test it for yourself:

https://audirvana.com/?page_id=3397

 

Unfortunately, I don't have a Mac to try it myself.


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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Yes, i will buy it anyway because it is effectively for free. 

Three months of free Tidal plus one month of free Qobuz when you buy Audirvana is an offer that i can't resist.

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17 hours ago, Cebolla said:

Are you also able to get the same MP3 streams for those albums using the TIDAL API and are their bitrates the same?

 

I tried two versions of API and cannot get those MP3 320kbps streams, not even for the album in the Roon thread I checked 9 months ago.

 

Based on the various reported test results I'd conclude getting the AAC stream is normal, while getting MP3 is an exception, since Tidal documentation always refer to AAC instead of MP3 for lossy streaming:

http://tidal.com/lp/about/

 

If a device gets MP3 streams instead of the AAC streams the other devices get for the same account, then I speculate that the former device is using yet another different version of API, or Tidal server is (not) doing something for that device.


Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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I have the Audirvana app installed now and have to say: WOW!

 

But the Tidal-affair gets even worse.
Not only have the bad quality albums only a bitrate of 96 kbps but also the sample rate is at 22.0 kHz! All that 96 kbps BadFi tracks show this behavior.

 

I think that's an absolute No-Go for a service that calls itself TIDAL HiFi.
Even 256 kbps mp3 would not satisfy me.
If you subscribe to the Premium service (the worse one), you get 320 kbps and 96 kbps @ 22.0 kHz. That's a shame!

So i have to rework literally all of my numerous playlist with the help of Audirvana.


Audirvana at the other hand is THE app for me to play Tidal. That alone would be worth the money. The user interface in light colors pleases my eyes (don't like black interfaces) and reacts very fast. A lot to learn about Audirvana now.

 

I have been a JRiver subscriber for longer than a decade. But they stubbornly refuse to integrate Tidal into their app. So now in turn i will refuse to subscribe to their app.

Anyway, there is no movement in audio development at JRiver any more. They prefer to develop for video and "smart home stuff" now - good luck! 
 

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1 hour ago, Fridolin said:

I have the Audirvana app installed now and have to say: WOW!

 

But the Tidal-affair gets even worse.
Not only have the bad quality albums only a bitrate of 96 kbps but also the sample rate is at 22.0 kHz! All that 96 kbps BadFi tracks show this behavior.

 

I think that's an absolute No-Go for a service that calls itself TIDAL HiFi.

 

Wow indeed - how could @jhwalker have got it so wrong?

 

Are you certain all the album tracks in @wklie's list are streaming 96kbps AAC at reduced sample rate of 22.0kHz with Audirvana Plus, using a TIDAL HiFi account?

Have you checked to see if that it's not due to some odd configuration setting in Audirvana that's causing this?


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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Only those 96 kbps AAC titles have the 22.0 kHz sample rate.

Those in the list above and hundreds of others that i have in my playlists.

 

The other "LoFis" are at AAC 320 kbps, 44.1 kHz.

The "HiFis" are Flac in higher bit- and sample rates - that's ok.

 

I did just install the Audirvana app without changing any settings.

So i think the settings are ok - at least i would not know yet what to alter.

 

Does anyone else use Tidal via Audirvana?

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FYI -- I tried Joe Bonamassa | Had to Cry on my system -- Roon Rock streaming to a NUC running Win10 -- and the album streamed at 320kpbs AAC.  First time I've seen something not stream losslessly on Tidal (I listen to mostly classical and jazz).


source:  intel nuc8i5 (audiolinux, roon core) > intel nuc6i5 (win10, ao, fidelizer pro, dirac live, roon) > schiit yggdrasil (gen 5, analog 2)
headphone rig:  bryston bha-1 > senn hd600
two-channel rig:  luminous audio axiom ii xlr walker mod > parasound a21 > monitor audio gx100

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8 hours ago, wklie said:

I tried two versions of API and cannot get those MP3 320kbps streams, not even for the album in the Roon thread I checked 9 months ago.

 

Based on the various reported test results I'd conclude getting the AAC stream is normal, while getting MP3 is an exception, since Tidal documentation always refer to AAC instead of MP3 for lossy streaming:

http://tidal.com/lp/about/

 

If a device gets MP3 streams instead of the AAC streams the other devices get for the same account, then I speculate that the former device is using yet another different version of API, or Tidal server is (not) doing something for that device.

 

Many thanks for doing this, Peter.

 

Presumably, you no longer have the API version that you used 9 months ago and also the Lumin is using a different (latest?) API version.

 

Agreed - TIDAL's own documentaion and the majority of devices streaming AAC instead of MP3 makes it the norm. Interesting that you speculate that the TIDAL server may or may not be "doing something" for the device to stream MP3. That does imply that if it's not doing something for MP3, then MP3 must the source format and AAC is derived from it. This would make the majority of devices streaming audio in a lossy format derived from another lossy format - certainly making the non-ideal situation of those 'problem' albums even worse!

 

There is actually good evidence to support that the original formats of the 'problem' albums in TIDAL's catalogue are MP3 (and not AAC) - MP3 is the only format offered by TIDAL for purchase of those albums in the download store, eg:

Buy Jimmy Ponder by Jimmy Ponder on TIDAL
Buy Steel City Blues by Jimmy Ponder on TIDAL

Buy Almost Always Never by Joanne Shaw on TIDAL
Buy Diamonds In The Dirt by Joanne Shaw on TIDAL
Buy White Sugar by Joanne Shaw on TIDAL

Buy A New Day Yesterday by Joe Bonamassa on TIDAL
Buy Had To Cry Today by Joe Bonamassa on TIDAL
Buy So It's Like That by Joe Bonamassa on TIDAL
Buy Sloe Gin by Joe Bonamassa on TIDAL

Buy Núcleo by José Luis Gutiérrez Trio on TIDAL

 

BTW, the 'good' albums that are streaming in a lossless format from a TIDAL HiFi account are available in both FLAC and MP3 downloads, eg:

Buy MEMORIES DON'T DIE by Tony Lanez on TIDAL

 

John


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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1 hour ago, jcn3 said:

FYI -- I tried Joe Bonamassa | Had to Cry on my system -- Roon Rock streaming to a NUC running Win10 -- and the album streamed at 320kpbs AAC.  First time I've seen something not stream losslessly on Tidal (I listen to mostly classical and jazz).

 

That's very interesting, first time an album that was reported as streaming 96kbps AAC is seen streaming 320kbps AAC.

Plus it looks like Roon is now also using a TIDAL API that's providing AAC streams for the 'problem' albums using a TIDAL HiFi account; it was reported to be providing MP3 streams ~ 9 months ago. Are you certain it's AAC and not MP3?

 

Can you test the rest of the albums with Roon in the list, especially those reported as streaming 96kbps AAC too, for completeness?

 

Thanks.


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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4 hours ago, Fridolin said:

Only those 96 kbps AAC titles have the 22.0 kHz sample rate.

Those in the list above and hundreds of others that i have in my playlists.

 

The other "LoFis" are at AAC 320 kbps, 44.1 kHz.

The "HiFis" are Flac in higher bit- and sample rates - that's ok.

 

Ok, so Audirvana Plus streams exactly the same AAC bitrates as reported for majority (Aries, BubbleUPnP, Lumin, couple of TIDAL API versions, etc) for those albums in the list and the only difference is Audirvana streaming with 22.0kHz sample rate for the 96kbps AAC albums.

 

 

 

4 hours ago, Fridolin said:

I did just install the Audirvana app without changing any settings.

So i think the settings are ok - at least i would not know yet what to alter.

 

Does anyone else use Tidal via Audirvana?

 

May be @jhwalker can do a 'proper' test on the list with his Audirvana this time and report back :).

 

 

I did a quick online search and found this post on the Steve Hoffman forums, confirming the 22.0kHz sample rate for 96kbps AAC albums using Audirvana Plus with a TIDAL HiFi account:

Tidal - not all "HiFi" music is Lossless

 

"I'm new to Tidal. Most of what I've listen to sounds really good and I like the service! However, I've found a number of titles (mostly older releases) stream at a lowly 96kbps AAC. I'm streaming with Audirvana plus 3 set to "HiFi/Master Lossless FLAC". Most titles come in at FLAC 16/44.100 but look at these:

 

A Tribute to John Hartford - Live from Mountain Stage - 96 kbps 16/22.0 kHz
Preservation Hall Jazz Band - New Orleans Preservation, Vol 1 -96 kbps 16/22.0 kHz

 

Perhaps that is all the labels supplied Tidal with..... disappointing."

 


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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9 hours ago, Fridolin said:

Only those 96 kbps AAC titles have the 22.0 kHz sample rate.

Those in the list above and hundreds of others that i have in my playlists.

 

The other "LoFis" are at AAC 320 kbps, 44.1 kHz.

The "HiFis" are Flac in higher bit- and sample rates - that's ok.

 

I did just install the Audirvana app without changing any settings.

So i think the settings are ok - at least i would not know yet what to alter.

 

Does anyone else use Tidal via Audirvana?

 

Yes, I've seen this behavior as well: 96 kbps AAC at 22.0 kHz in a recording of Messiaen organ works. In this case, there was nothing that A+ could do to improve the SQ. I've also seen other instances, mostly in older releases.

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I did a further research on my playlists:

 

From 160 "LoFi" albums, i considered consumable before, there are

 

- 155 in AAC 96 kbps 16/22.0 kHz

- 5 in AAC 320 kbps 16/44.1 kHz

 

So far i scanned only a few of my "LoFi" playlists.

If Audirvana is right with its display, i can only say:

 

TIDAL, are you kidding us?

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23 hours ago, Cebolla said:

Presumably, you no longer have the API version that you used 9 months ago and also the Lumin is using a different (latest?) API version.

 

The old API still works, so I redid the test using the same API, the same type of Tidal HiFi US account, the same Lumin product, and seemingly (*) the same album: 9 months ago I got MP3, now I get AAC.

 

(*) - I cannot be sure it is exactly the same album.  If a different encoding of the same album with the same cover art and tracks replaced the one I tested 9 months ago, I would not know.


Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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On 2/28/2018 at 10:57 PM, wklie said:

 

 

320kbps AAC:

Joanne Shaw Taylor|Almost Always Never

Joanne Shaw Taylor|Diamonds In The Dirt

Joe Bonamassa|A New Day Yesterday

Joe Bonamassa|Sloe Gin

 

96kbps AAC:

Núcleo - José Luis Gutiérrez Trio

Jimmy Ponder|Jimmy Ponder

Joanne Shaw Taylor|White Sugar

Joe Bonamassa|Had To Cry Today

Joe Bonamassa|So It's Like That

 

 

@Cebolla, I tested the above. Using Roon Rock going to NUC with Win10 running Roon Bridge.

 

* all of the files listed as 320kbps played as AAC 16/44.1k

* all of the files listed as 96kbps played as AAC 16/22k

 

I think my math was off originally.

 


source:  intel nuc8i5 (audiolinux, roon core) > intel nuc6i5 (win10, ao, fidelizer pro, dirac live, roon) > schiit yggdrasil (gen 5, analog 2)
headphone rig:  bryston bha-1 > senn hd600
two-channel rig:  luminous audio axiom ii xlr walker mod > parasound a21 > monitor audio gx100

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@Cebolla It is not unusual for Tidal to have various versions of the same album.

 

Search( Robert Silverman. You'll find three copies of Starry, Starry Night. One of them is 16b/96kbps Apple Lossless, one is 16b/1411bs Flac, and the other is 16b/1411bs Flac. That is what my iPad (Lumin App) shows.  My DSDAC shows the 16b/96bps as 24bit/ 44.1KHZ with format "UNK". The other two show as 16/44.1 FLAC. 

 

Who knows why Tidal has three versions of the same album and why two of them are seemingly the same bit/bit rate.

 

I do know that what is displayed on Lumin App is different than what is displayed on the DSDac.


 

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

 

 

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Here is yet another problem I have been encountering with Tidal (notice the tracks to the Symphonies are out of order):

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 9.08.09 AM.jpg


 

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

 

 

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On 3/4/2018 at 1:30 AM, rodrigaj said:

Search( Robert Silverman. You'll find three copies of Starry, Starry Night. One of them is 16b/96kbps Apple Lossless, one is 16b/1411bs Flac, and the other is 16b/1411bs Flac. That is what my iPad (Lumin App) shows.  My DSDAC shows the 16b/96bps as 24bit/ 44.1KHZ with format "UNK". The other two show as 16/44.1 FLAC. 

 

Who knows why Tidal has three versions of the same album and why two of them are seemingly the same bit/bit rate.

 

I do know that what is displayed on Lumin App is different than what is displayed on the DSDac.

 

Using Lumin player and app, I found the three albums:

 

AAC 96kbps - first track is 10:09

FLAC - first track is 10:04

FLAC - first track is 10:07

 

It is very common for Tidal to have multiple versions of the same album.  It can be Tidal Master (not the case here, and there can be multiple versions of Tidal Masters too), or different remasters or (re-)releases.

 

None of the albums show up as UNK when using Lumin player hardware.  Please note that the Lumin app display of codec is not determined by the Lumin app itself - it is determined by the renderer and reported to Lumin app for display.


Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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@wklie Thank you for clarifying. Having multiple versions of the same album is part of the frustration of dealing with Tidal, especially as the only way to tell which version you are dealing with is by playing it. At least with Masters, the little symbol is visible in the library.

 

Thank you also for clarifying the display on Lumin App. Interesting that my renderer (Bridge II) reports Apple Lossless / 16b /96Kbps to Lumin App and the DSD display reports UNK / PCM 44.1K / 24 b. Presumably both should be getting the same information. 


 

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

 

 

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For the 22kHz issue, I don't see it with Lumin player using a Tidal HiFi US account.

 

Lumin shows 44.1kHz for the 96kbps AAC for the first track of Joanne Shaw Taylor | White Sugar.

 

To confirm it is correct, I retrieved the music and checked it using VLC, Audacity, and foobar - all these software report 44.1kHz.


Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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On 3/2/2018 at 8:00 PM, Fridolin said:

I have the Audirvana app installed now and have to say: WOW!

 

But the Tidal-affair gets even worse.
Not only have the bad quality albums only a bitrate of 96 kbps but also the sample rate is at 22.0 kHz! All that 96 kbps BadFi tracks show this behavior.

 

For the 22kHz vs 44.1kHz sample rate of Tidal 96kbps AAC stream issue, does Audirvana support HE-AAC SBR?  @damien78


Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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I tested a typical AAC, 96 kbps, 16/22.0 khz example (Ottmar Liebert|La Semana|#3|Caballada) with the MusicScope app, that i normally use for testing HiRes files.

 

I played the title in Audirvana (that showed it as AAC, 96 kBit/s, 16/22.0 Stereo) let MusicScope run in Audio Input Mode (Default Audio Device, 44100, 16) and made a screenshot (see below).

 

In the picture you can see that there is no activity beyond 10-11kHz (22 kHz /2).

This is typical for this kind of titles. 

 

AAC, 320, 16/44.1 titles show some activity at least to 16 kHz, Flac files even more.

 

MusicScope.jpg

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17 hours ago, Fridolin said:

I tested a typical AAC, 96 kbps, 16/22.0 khz example (Ottmar Liebert|La Semana|#3|Caballada) with the MusicScope app, that i normally use for testing HiRes files.

 

Please check Tidal desktop app instead of Audirvana.  Set Quality to Master.  Use Exclusive Mode if possible.


Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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