Spotify - Tidal - How do you get your Music?

So I’ve been a Spotify premium user for ages.

I decided to try Tidal HiFi. It is fine, but I can’t get past a few nuances that I bug the crap out of me. Though there are quite a few “Master/Studio quality” tracks, the majority of what I normally listen to isn’t in that format that justifies the high cost. I’m not going to continue the trial as I don’t think its worth $30 for the family plan.

What do you guys use if want to stream or listen?

If you aqcuire flac files, what is the media player of choice?


Tidal for mqa over Android app “USB Audio Player Pro” out of my Samsung S8+ (or Tablet) over ifi xDSD connected with ifi OTG cable and the same app for my own flac Files
Spotify Premium on low volume option for the most dynamic soundquality
Both are not perfect- wish they would merge but on the other side it is good for the market that these 2 exist.
We have over 1500 CDs. I have 5% ripped as Flac.
It would cost so much time to do them all.

On our smart tv there is a Spotify app but no tidal.
So we listen at breakfast to Spotify for example.
Cars have spotify connect but no Tidal.
So if I would have to choose I would take Spotify.

You are right. Most master quality on Tidal is not my cup of tee but I search for master quality and find new music- that opens up my horizon :slight_smile:

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I subscribe to spotify, only because i got a good deal when i started the payed subscription, so after everything was set up i was reluctant to change to tidal, even though i would like to try their hifi stuff as it should be quite a bit better than spotify when it comes to quality.

I typically use spotify on the computers in the house (desktops and laptop) connected to various combinations of speakers and amps, and i use it on my phone. In the car i use an usb stick with mp3s and flac even though i could just as easily connect my phone up to the Bluetooth in the car, but i prefer just browsing through the file structure on the usb stick rather than fiddle with the phone and spotify when driving.

When i find an artist/album i like though, i normally try to get hold of the CD so i can rip it to FLAC. I do have quite a bit of music bought on iTunes, and a few albums from too, and i guess if i can buy the music online in a lossless format, that would be the way to go for me. That way i can support the artist in a better way than the streaming services (hopefully) and would avoid the hassle of ripping them myself :slight_smile:

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I use tidal, as a student I pay 9.99 for the master quality. Which as mentioned above is not mostly what I like. But even having the hifi option is nice. The sound upgrade was significant over spotify premium max setting. I like both but I have chose to continue my subscription with tidal rather than spotify for the hifi music and occasional master track I find.

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Do any Tidal Master subscribers have an MQA dac for the final “unfolding”? The MQA tracks listened to via iOS and Mac OS Tidal apps sound better to my ears. I’m looking to purchase some MQA dacs, Dragonfly Red for mobile, and not too certain for home listening. Any recommendations?

I own the ifi Black label which supports MQA. But the tidal desktop client will decode MQA for you. So I’m not aware of any reason you’d need hardware support on PC (unless you have purchased MQA files).

Personally I use Google Play Music / YouTube Music. Value-wise I’d argue it’s the best of the services because of YouTube Premium (I still pay $10 a month). While I don’t like the app design, the catalog is solid. In my experience, Tidal has notably fewer artists. However if it wasn’t for YT premium, I’d go with Spotify because the music recommendations are definitely better.

I used to use Google Play Music until Spotify, but now you got me curious with YT Premium/Music. I might give it a try at some point. If it was a part of You Tube TV, I would switch right now.

Its interesting to see that the Spotify has better recommendations, I definitely like it much more than Tidal’s. I know that Songza was a decent recommendation service until Google folded it into their service.

Another feature that I love about Spotify, (I used to do this with Google Play Music years ago), is that I can import my own music. So if I made my own play list on my PC that consists of ALAC/mp3 files, I can import it to play list, then download it Spotify through on my phone or other capable device.

The downside about YT premium now is the price got raised to $12 a month ($10 for just music). I really hate ads, so that’s main reason I stick with it. If I can keep my $10 a month rate, I don’t imagine I will ever switch.
When you download your playlists to your phone, does it actually stay as a FLAC?

Use Spotify Premium for song recommendations, and the easy of use through all my devices. Any song that I really like i just purchase the FLAC wherever they are.

Try Tastebreakers on Spotify. Great at finding new recommended songs.

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My understanding is the the actual dac converting the pcm has to be certified by MQA (registered fingerprint) in order to do the final “unfolding”. The apps do the first unfolds and the dac does the final.


No I’ve confirmed today Tidal (downloaded) client will completely decode MQA. Also check this article
MQA info article
“You will need compatible hardware, such as a music streamer or portable music player, or software such as the Tidal desktop app, to decode the MQA files.”

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My bad. In haste I put Flac, and I meant ALAC and MP3. Spotify doesn’t support FLAC, and I doubt they ever will at this point.

I converted some from FLAC to ALAC, it’s a big pain, which is which why I’m curious what everyone uses as a local player. But the feature to upload your own music is still a feature I love.

I do have a PLEX media server that will direct play Flac. But I hate using the Plex app for audio.

I can’t believe Spotify supports ALAC but not FLAC. Like WHY?

Anyway for local files on Android, PowerAmp and BlackPlayer are great apps. BlackPlayer has extra features for Hi-Res playback and is very customizable. If your particular about your music app like I am, expect to spend a lot of time digging in the settings though.

Are you specifically trying to stream your FLAC collection? I’m not aware of a good way of accomplishing that.

The App is a “Renderer”, fist two folds. The dac is the “Full Decoder”. Third and final unfold. As per MQA’s website.

Using the app you do get to partially hear MQA and to me it sounds really good. That’s why I’m interested to hear it fully decoded (unfolded).

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Correction: the App is a “Core Decoder”. You need a “Renderer” or “Full Decoder” to hear the full MQA files. Though it’s a bit confusing in their explanation of the differences between renderer and full decoder.

Google play. I’m not terribly worried about the slight difference in feeds. I’m 55, so I know my ears can’t discern the difference like they once would have.

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You can upload your physical mp3 library to Spotify like you can with Google play music? Do you need premium to do that? Because Google play let’s you do it free. Also can you upload it directly from iTunes like you can for Google play? If it can do all that for free I might switch from Google play because of the interface, otherwise nah I ain’t paying for a subscription.

Also protip to all you youtube premium subs who are only subbing for no ads, Google YouTube Vanced. Follow the instructions and you can get the app running on Android, no root necessary. YouTube Vanced has built in ad blocking and let’s you play audio with the screen off, no subscription necessary

I’m not a fan of paying for internet related things other than a seedbox. Could stream through the seedbox I suppose, but I don’t keep my entire library on that of course.

Personally I have a NAS that I can stream from. I almost never do it though since my DAP has a large memory card. If I forget it, can’t carry it, or my batteries dead having the NAS to stream from does come in handy, as I don’t have to worry about what music is stored on my phone. I just keep a modest amount of absolute favorites on it for the rare occasion when I need to use a phone for music and I don’t have signal.

Could stream through the seedbox I suppose, but I don’t keep my entire library on that of course.

I don’t like most streaming services, since none of them have everything, so I set up custom server to stream. I use VPN, to connect to my server and then use Neutron or UAPP[or you could use anything else, that supports SMB protocol], to access my library and stream it from anywhere.