TIDAL is a music subscription service for audio and video files such as Spotify, Apple Music, Rhapsody, and Rdio. TIDAL charges $9.99 per month for unlimited basic streaming such as Beats music. It offers no free options, only a short free trial. What sets the track apart is its premium option for an extra ten dollars a month. It promises to provide high-quality sound or, as it is called, lossless high fidelity sound. Flack files are free lossless audio codecs, which means that your audio is played back at a higher bit rate, namely 1411 kilobits per second, resulting in CD-quality sound.
TIDAL’s song library offers a selection of 25 million songs, compared to 30 million for Spotify. Although with the title, you also get Taylor Swift. In addition, most services play at a lower bitrate of 320 kilobits per second, which compresses and slightly alters the sound of your music. Free streaming is usually at an even lower bitrate, up to 96 or even 64 kilobits per second.
Tidal offers 320 kilobits per second at its $9.99 price, but as you can see here, the $10 is not insignificant, but will you notice a difference? It’s not so sure that there’s an audible difference between the higher and lower bitrates, you’ll need high-quality hardware to make the most of the latter option. Also, everyone’s ears are different, so even with very good equipment, you may not be able to hear the difference. According to current CEO Andy Chen, the service isn’t for everyone, so if you take the plunge and pay the extra 10 bucks, it’s probably not the case unless you’re a hardcore audio file with a lock on your house.