Tidal, Deezer


Could someone with experience with music subscription services please advise. My confusion is that these music services advertise that you can download music for offline listening. Wouldn't that be putting music files in your storage...creating a music library? I have had itunes and rhapsody, both of which you can download music files into your computer. Surely there must be others you can do the same? Thanks for any advice
easola01
I have Spotify and Tidal "premium" subscriptions.  Haven't done the "download for off line listening" with Tidal, though I think it is very similar to that offered by Spotify.  With Spotify, YES, you can download whole albums (or individual tracks) to your device for off-line listening.  This allows listening to saved music while out of range of WiFi or not connected to cellular.  With Spotify (not sure about the Tidal requirement) it is necessary to log on to Spotify periodically (at least once in 30 days, I believe) in order to keep the downloaded files.  Of course, their app must be on the appropriate device (e.g., iPhone, iPod) to store and access these files.  I'd also note, you don't "own" the files in any way that allows you to copy them or export them to other storage media (short of using pirating software).  I haven't bothered with downloading in Tidal since I mainly use Tidal when connected and "streaming" through the main two channel system where the improved sound quality is evident.  Tidal SQ advantage is just not evident outdoors while listening with earbuds.  In either case - both Tidal and Spotify - I have saved dozens of albums to personal music libraries that are accessible every time I log on to the respective service BUT not all of those saved albums have been downloaded for off-line listening.  Hope that is helpful.
Keep in mind that the download option is only available for mobile devices and not PC or Mac.
Thanks everybody. So, if you "download" into a library for offline listening from tidal or spotify, if and when...let's say...Brian Eno is removed from the streaming list for licensing disagreement, is it also gone/removed from that library? If so that's no good!

Also, again, with itunes or rhapsody, you can download music into your computer. Why they allow this I don't know, but are they the only ones that do that? I mean, you can put the actual music files physically into your computer and have your own library...and do it for a $9.99 a month subscription. Trouble is, it is in alac (not good for metadata right?) and lossy.
Correct. You aren't getting a high fidelity output file.

Though, I have to say having the ability to cue up just about any album I want makes streaming so delightful. 
If you really want to have the music saved to your catalog, then just buy it. -Like we used to do.
B
easola - 
re your first paragraph - YES.  If the service loses rights to an artistist's album, it is no longer available - whether previously downloaded and whether currently connected or not.

re your second paragraph: DOWNLOADED Spotify music files ARE stored on your local device.  They just can't be played back independent of using the service's app located on your device.  

I have large music libraries in both Spotify and Tidal.  Not all the albums in these libraries are downloaded.  To access all content in these libraries, I must have a live, real time, streaming connection to the service (in my case, either Spotify or Tidal) via their app.

ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) is not lossy (though compressed).  The AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) format used for Apple iTunes Music service files is lossy and compressed.

Agree 100% w/gdnrbob - we are living in a Golden Age of music accessibility.  Spotify (preferred for it's larger library and - to me - cleaner interface design) & Tidal (preferred for superior sound quality) are treasures and fantastic avenues for discovering new music.  Still, if I find a gem that rewards repeated listening, I will purchase the CD and then rip to hard drive for playback through an Auralic Aries Mini.  To my ear, this format is better than Spotify, Tidal or the CD.
    




Ghosthouse....a few questions as you are very thorough in your knowledge and answers:

1) Why do you have tidal and spotify? Do you find very many tracks on one and not the other...therefore between the two a more complete selection?

2) Do you come across dropped licenses very often in these two services?

3) If I use itunes to develop a library, as I said it can download songs into your storage, what would be a really good metadata for AAC?

Thanks a bunch
easola1 -
Don’t be impressed. I try to be thorough (and accurate) but my technical competency with these things is pretty limited. I had Spotify first. I got used to it. Liked the layout and really like the Browse/Discover function. That introduced me to a lot of new music. I’m sure Tidal has something similar. Spotify also has a high success rate for containing the music I’m looking for. Tidal’s SQ is definitely better (even apart from the MQA files) - I prefer it to that of Spotify but I’m regularly unable to find albums on Tidal that are found on Spotify. I also encounter buffering delays (in the middle of songs, sometimes) with Tidal - especially at night - but never with Spotify. When listening on the main system, Tidal is the "go to" but I use Spotify as backup if an album can’t be found on Tidal to if buffering problems strike.

I do think Spotify’s SQ has improved in the years since I first started subscribing thought I’m sure the experts will tell me that is not the case. Anyway, at $10 a month for the Spotify subscription ($0.33 a day?) it was worth keeping Spotify even after I finally got the Tidal HiFi subscription. With either subscription, a dropped artist license is fairly rare...but it does occasionally happen. Go to play something from the library and find it grayed out, "That track is no longer available" (or words to that effect). Rare and nothing I get too concerned about. Like I said, if a recording is that important to me, I’ll just buy it.

Apart from using the iTunes player, I have nothing to offer on alternatives for managing AAC metadata. Don’t know if Roon does AAC (don’t have it). That should be something easy to learn, however. Good luck in your explorations.
Thank you, this is brand new for me and quite exciting I must say
My whole family uses Tidal a lot.  The sound quality is great and they have a fairly good selection. 
I "off-line" a lot of content.  It is stored on your phone but you need Tidal with a valid subscription to listen.  It's really easy to download music.  When you find a song or album or even a playlist, you will see a little toggle to click to off-line the music.  You can even create a playlist and off-line it.
So, why off-line it?  I download the data via wifi which doesn't use data and is usually faster.  That way when I'm driving or flying I have a library to listen to that doesn't need an internet connection.  And to be honest, Tidal can be quirky and not always get a good connection.  Having music store on my phone helps to avoid interruptions.
Okay Elevick! Well, I guess I can use itunes to build a library. There is one big problem for me. If the files are asc, how do I apply good metadata to the tracks that will give me good cover art? Thank you
I have been a convert to Tidal for the last year or so and all I can say is ... should have done it sooner!

As long as you have a paid subscription (9.99 or 19.99 for hifi) you have access to so much music it is incredible.
Downloading it to play offline is ridiculously easy although obviously it takes up storage space on a phone say, possibly a tablet may be better?

I did try Spotify and I guess I just got so used to Tidal I found its interface and search and play functions to be a little clunky although it seems the majority think it is Tidal that is inferior...lol go figure.

Do not even start with the huge debate raging over Tidal available MQA files, all I know is to my ears the sq is noticeably superior. 
Okay, getting closer to figuring this out. Getting maybe 2 services to provide different functions and greater selection is very appealing. It looks like tidal and deezer elite are great choices for streaming...SQ and all. But I would like to do my offline listening through my computer. Tidal...I don't know about deezer...only goes to your phone or tablet for offline listening, so does spotify go to your computer for offline listening? If I have to give up SQ to do offline through computer I will. 

As I said before, I can do this with itunes, but as I understand it AAC files are no good for metadata? Spotify does mp3, and that would work for metadata provided I can play through computer. Any suggestions? Perhaps a music subscription/streaming not mentioned?
I'm looking at the Spotify app as displayed on a MacBook Air.  Downloaded albums are listed under "Playlists".  When I turn WiFi OFF, these are still available and playable.  I expect something similar will be true for Tidal as well, just haven't tried with it. 
Tidal states offline is only on smartphones and tablets...but your spotify goes on to your computer for offline listening?

I found Tidal SQ to sound the same as the same local music file, but the SQ is highly dependent on the player software. They all sound different: Roon, Jriver, Audirvana, Twonky, Kazoo. The most live and accurate sound I have found is Linn Kinsky and Minimserver running on a Mac. All freeware. You need a DLNA/UPnP endpoint to take advantage of this. The Raspberry Pi with Digione is a cheap way to try it out, but that is a bit buggy IME. Kinsky does not allow for Tidal streaming though.  You need BubbleUPnP  server and Kazoo control software to do Tidal.  Both of these are also freeware.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio


I have just verified on my laptop that Tidal does indeed NOT allow offline downloads to a "normal" pc.
Bummer......
Tidal states offline is only on smartphones and tablets...but your spotify goes on to your computer for offline listening?

Repeating myself here...
downloaded Spotify albums that are listed under Playlists are available/playable off-line on my MacBook Air.   
@ghosthouse

It sounds like Spotify does work on anything offline then.

I am fairly sure if I added Tidal to my old Samsung Galaxy tab it would have offline available there but it is NOT on my laptop.
Hey uberwaltz - 
You might be right but I have to stop short of saying "anything offline" as I've only tried offline Spotify access with iOS devices...MacBook, iPhone and iPod.  I'm kinda surprised about Tidal not working in similar fashion. I wonder if it has to do with file sizes.   Ogg Vorbis format used by Spotify crunches things down to a pretty small file size.  
Can anyone tell me what the fascination is with "downloading files"?
I guess owning music? Is better than streaming music? I find that by exploring hundreds of artists on the fly and listening is very enjoyable.
I don't see any benefit to building my own library of music, when I have a much bigger, growing library of music at my fingertips ready to be streamed??? Especially with the quality of many Tidal MQA albums...
I've heard very good things about Qobuzz, better SQ than Tidal.  Anyone have direct experience?
I don't see any benefit to building my own library of music, when I have a much bigger, growing library of music at my fingertips ready to be streamed???

that is fine as long as Tidal stays in business...


Steve N.

If not Tidal there will always be somebody else.
Whether we like it or not streaming is here for keeps and will only get faster, higher sq, more variety.
Its what they call progress even if  not all of us like and embrace it.......
Reason for music library:

You go to your streaming service one day to listen to your favorite Brian Eno album, and it is gone. Eno is gone, because of licensing changes/disagreements. The idea of streaming is wonderful to me for discovering new music, and also for listening. But I would hate to lose my favorite music just because my streaming service dropped my artist/album.
I enjoy Google Play Music the most for their recommendation algorthims and better mobile app. The SQ on Tidal is slightly better, but i find the app is super buggy, the interface very annoying, and the recommendations to be just plain stupid - like most times it recommends other tracks from the same album I’m listening to! 
Google play. I have heard, but you don't see or hear much in the way of that streaming service. Will look at it. Does it offer offline listening from your computer? Or is it just phone/tablet like tidal? Does it have over 30 million tracks like the better services offer?
I have to say I have zero issues with the tidal app being "buggy" either on phone or desktop.
Not sure what you are running it on.
Just my preference obviously but I found it to be a very easy user friendly interface.
As for recommendation, possibly as I never use that, I always play something I have searched for or previously saved
@easola01 the google mobile app allows downloads but not the computer interface. Not sure why. 

@uberwaltz just this morning, and this is my main problem with Tidal, it just stops playing in the middle of an album! When running in the background on my phone this happens all the time. Have to go to the app and select the next track and then go back to the track it was trying to play. Very frustrating and never happens with Google. 
I tried Deezer, but songs would play up to a point and then return to the beginning. I contacted customer support and found it to be lacking.
1 email per day, back and forth, telling me to uninstall/reinstall etc..
It never worked properly so I dropped it before the 30 day trial expired.

Spotify and Tidal have much better customer service-When I needed help.
B
@leemaze. 

Most odd and disturbing. I can honestly say I have had zero issues on mobile phone Tidal playback unless in very spotty reception area, I stream it constantly in my car via Bluetooth to my car radio.
Not sure if that may be more phone specific issue? 
Can anyone tell me what the fascination is with "downloading files"?
I guess owning music? Is better than streaming music? I find that by exploring hundreds of artists on the fly and listening is very enjoyable.
I don't see any benefit to building my own library of music, when I have a much bigger, growing library of music at my fingertips ready to be streamed???

FLAC, that's why.  If I could stream native WAV files, then I would be willing to pay for such a service and use it every day.  The other reason is the player software that allows for streaming does not deliver the sound quality as what I'm using, Kinsky.  For me it is all about achieving the maximum sound quality possible.  This is when the music really moves you.

I know, those with lesser systems will attack now claiming that FLAC is the same as WAV.  It is, but only statically.  On-the-fly playback software somehow corrupts this, all of them.  I have yet to find one that does not.  I can plainly hear the difference.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

Post removed 
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to answer some of the questions:
Metadata-who cares.  I'm listening, not looking
Why download/offline-I travel a heck of a lot.  Can't get data at 30k feet or when driving in the back country.  Also, my turntable doesn't work in my car.
Quality-it's quite good.  Remember the limitations in car audio or $200 headphones.  At work I have a nice system and actually stream tidal through my Chord Hugo and it sounds very nice.  Yes, I can get better resolution at home with my main system but my turntable works fine there.
Finally, I like playlists, either streaming or offline.  Sometimes I'm lazy or preoccupied.  
Don't like iTunes audio files, Tidal and Deezer music are music streams, which are cache files. You can download them as local files via the official way. 
If you'd like to locate Tidal music on your computer, you need to look for an excellent tool for Tidal to figure this out. AudFree Tidal Music Converter is such a wonderful Tidal converting tool that can not only download Tidal music to your computer but also convert Tidal to MP3, FALC, WAV, AAC, etc. So that you can enjoy Tidal music world without a problem.