Streaming or storage

Hi experienced streamers and downloaders,  

Some months ago I posted a question about what I needed to stream music and to digitally archive my records and CDs. The Agon members answered a lot of questions and I decided to use TIDAL to get on line music. I am enjoying my TIDAL subscription played through a Bluesound NODE2.  I use the Bluesound control app to access MY PLAYLISTS on TIDAL. Most of the time I use my Android phone as the controller. The sound is great (TIDAL HiFi is really good). Here are some questions: if I am really just streaming and I find the sound quality so good, why should I consider downloading?    Sound-wise, what will downloading give me that streaming won't? Isn't the listening process easier if I just stream music as wanted instead of downloading and needing lots of storage?  Is there a chance any given song, album or artist will be removed from a streaming site so I should download just to make sure I always have the music I want?

Thanks for your advice,

Since using Tidal I no longer download. Once in a while an album is removed from Tidal but I don't care. Of course if you are into hi rez you might want to download but I find that hi rez files usually do not sound any better than streaming from Tidal. Of course if Tidal goes out of business you lose everything but somebody will replace them
Hi @rayd

My experience is similar to yours.

I've noticed that my music download purchases have dramatically decreased since subscribing to Tidal. Nowadays I will buy music - usually a CD, sometimes used via Amazon -  when the album is not available on Tidal and I MUST have it.

It seems that artists recording on the ECM label ECM have been getting a lot of my purchases lately; much of their library appears in Tidal but I presume embargoed for streaming in the USA.

I agree with @ahendler in that Tidal's streaming sound quality is quite good and I'm not as motivated as I used to be to invest in a hi-res download. 
Since using Tidal I no longer download.

Tidal’s streaming sound quality is quite good and I’m not as motivated as I used to be to invest in a hi-res download.

Add me to this list.  I still and have always have bought a lot of vinyl, but my CD days are more or less over.

In the YMMV catagory, I have a serious aversion to monthly subscriptions for anything.  I have a small mortgage (7 years left)  I do pay Verizon monthly, but I get my video hardware from TiVO, with a lifetime subscription (no monthly fee).  I own my cars (no monthly fees), I use a free cell phone provider.  I do pay for Netflix monthly, but only for what I need.  I stream music for background only, either Pandora or internet radio, both of which are free, even though the quality means I would not listen to these sources when listening as a destination activity.  Call me a ludite, but I am leary of services that can raise subsciption rates, drop content, or reduce quality to save money.  Not to mention legal challenges they might face that will affect the services they offer.

When I rip a CD or an LP to my server, I know it is mine forever (I have two backup drives), I know I like the music (all of it), and I know I am not relying on a paid service to continue to offer what I like at a price I can afford.  In these days of downward mobility for many in this country, keeping the total dollar amounts of monthly fees to a minimum is just being smart and disciplined, IMHO.

Good point @bondmanp 

It's something I think about every month. When I researched my spending on music, including subscriptions, the conclusion was that having an artist/album available on demand on Tidal has greatly reduced my monthly outlay on music purchases. For now, it's cheaper.

We need to watch out for those "creeping" recurring expenses/subscriptions. 

And I also agree that, from a purely subjective viewpoint, music I own sounds better than music I stream. More emotionally involving I think. 
It's amazing how everything is going subscription based these days- even the software side, like Photoshop and Pro Tools.

Still something comforting about owning a hard copy :)
I am hanging on to my rare, hard to find SACD and CD titles. Since subscribing to Tidal last year, I have not bought any CD's. 

The streaming catalog is growing but no one has all the titles or songs.  
Thanks for all the thoughts and comments.  Even with a monthly subscription I get more music for less money AND, if after a few months I lose interest in an album I can simply delete it if I downloaded it.  I don't have to resell it or give it away.  The management time is so low.  On the flip side (record pun) I have the same idea as lalitk: I'm hanging on to some records and CDs.  

Last night I listened to the Stones' "Their Satanic Majesties Request".  I had that album years ago.  The cover was the 3D version....very cool.  After listening last night I found I only like two or three songs.  I probably won't listen to that album again for many years.  For that, streaming is great.
The $20 bucks a month you pay for tidal should be a requirement for a decent sound system.  I, too, no longer buy CD's (tape and albums and maybe a hi res download but no need to ever by another cd). Tidal rocks and for $20 a month, saves you a TON of cash and gets you (for no additional costs) unlimited exploration of NEW MUSIC.   Don't be penny wise and music foolish. 
I'm in step with poster "Bondmanp" 

As others have said above, I also like listening to Tidal Streaming music because it is easy to use and I love the variety.  Of course, the BEST part is their excellent uncompressed sound quality.   In addition, I can change my mind on an album and quickly find a different album to listen to. The flexibility and sound quality of Tidal is a big listening plus for me.


Tidal music selections are improving and additional albums are always being added.  Tidal also offers various play lists you can select or you select your own album. Another advantage with Tidal is that you can select an album and then page down to see additional albums by that artist.

Another useful feature is the distributor, On Higher Note, publishes their demo playlists on Tidal.  One example playlist is named “Box of Fun”, and it is terrific.

You can go to the genres tab, and then select classical music, jazz, country, etc. Here you will see a variety of content.

You need to decide if the Tidal $20 per month charge is worth it.  I feel the Tidal sound quality is well worth the $20.  I recommend you give Tidal Streaming a try for one month and then decide.

"The $20 bucks a month you pay for tidal should be a requirement for a decent sound system."
This is silly. There are many paths to high end audio. Tidal is but one of them.

Tell me how someone who just bought a new system can have 25 million tracks available to them, on the fly, at 44.1k for $20 a month while they figure out what they like?  Cheapest way to high end.  

While I understand the "penny pinch your way through life" philosophy -- though I don’t agree with it -- services like Tidal aren’t going to last long if people are agonizing over $20/month. A drink at Starbucks can cost $5... Seriously folks. I have stayed away from Tidal as of yet but am going to try it out via the Mac Desktop. How does sound quality compare to iTunes or similar audio player? I have been using Decibel.
I enjoy TIDAL as well and have stopped buying CD's. However, I have ripped my favorite CD's to my 64 gig iPod using the Apple lossless iTunes setting. This works great for me as I can take my favorites on the go. Also, I can just insert my iPod into my Wadia 171i iPod dock and then have fairly quick access to my collection favorites. However, I find myself rarely using or ripping new tracks to my iPod/Wadia solution ever since signing up with TIDAL. So, I guess I no longer have a reason to download music or rip CD's anymore.
Equating your question to video entertainment, I recommend both streaming and local.

If you’re paying for a service which advertises certain content and entitles you to access certain programming, then that content ought to be available when YOU want it, not when it’s convenient for them based on the whims of whether or not they were able to renegotiate a license agreement. Your monthly payment is billed regularly like clockwork, what you paid for should likewise be there when you want it.

Just my two cents; spend it wisely. ;-)
Thanks everyone.  It's HIGHLY unlikely I will be buying new records or CDs.  Looks like I will sell most, but not all, of my records and CDs.  I can't find everything I own on streaming services so I will keep my turntable to play those "special" records.  I have found so much great music on TIDAL and Spotify, mostly TIDAL.  The TIDAL HiFi quality keeps my toes tapping and makes me smile.  I believe the $20.00 per month subscription is a great purchase.  I easily spend that in one month on records or CDs and I have to allocate a lot of time/travel to do so.  TIDAL is easy.  Again, this is what is now working for ME.  I understand the feeling a listener gets while holding the album cover, reading the liner notes and getting drawn into the listening "event".  I've had that feeling thousands of times.  It's good.  It's satisfying.  I know what it's like to hit the record stores and the flea markets and the garage sales.  You find the album, hold it in your hands and start smiling.  I now have a different but satisfying experience when I search TIDAL, find an album, read the artist/album info, hit PLAY and wonder how I didn't know the album existed or why I waited so long to give it a listen.  The result is the same: I get to listen to great music!!

Tidal is awful for Classical Music.  However, we have always been a marginal piece of the market.  Someone has to keep the SACD industry afloat
As a long-time user of iTunes, I'm wondering how playlists are handled using TIDAL.  Can you save your own playlists?  Does TIDAL have anything approaching the Genius feature of iTunes?  I find that I seldom listen to entire albums since switching to iTunes years ago.