So you want to switch music platforms.
Not that I ever Spotified, (put me in the Neil Young old fart category) I appreciate the info on Tidal. In for 1.2 pennies a pound, and will forward this on to my son. Who will reply, “dad every body knows that” …”not I will proudly rejoinder!” Out damn Spotify!
TIDAL made its reputation as a kind of "United Artists" for hiphop musicians, no? It was Jay-Z's streaming service, right? Now owned by I-Used-to-Run-Twitter Jack Dorsey?
Can you actually _hear_ the difference in audio quality with a medium-priced headset, or do you need expensive headphones?
The BIG artist who's no longer on Spotify is actually Taylor Swift!
Yer talking to the wrong guy. I have well over 4000 CDs, and I gotta have the liner notes, credits, dates and artwork. The box sets. I only ever get something digital if it's NOT available as a physical object, or it's something I need to hear for some purpose, but probably won't actually like. My music is for sale on Spotify, and I've never got a dime from it (of course, I'm not as well known as Neil Young).
In the event there are other mega Sonos users out there, when I scrolled the list of music services to add, Tidal didn't show up -- but it did when I searched on the term. Looking forward to exploring!
I use iTunes, mostly as a framework in which to store my hard copies of CDs that I own but also with a number of things I have either purchased from iTunes or creators who don't offer hard copies. Have to say it galls me that soon much of what I "purchased" will be taken from me when I have loaded one or two newer devices. I don't recall ever buying a book and having the publisher come to my home to take it back after I had put it in a new shelf five times. Just seems wrong. Thanks for the suggestion to look at TIDAL, much appreciated. I will continue to buy hard copies (which I can share with other as I/we please) and hope for a change to what I consider abusive treatment from Apple.
thanks for this, that’s really helpful! I try to limit my Spotify to when I’m not in the house (out walking around, etc.) but that still means I listen to it pretty regularly. I had heard good things about Tidal and this is definitely more reason to try to switch over.
I made the switch to Apple Music this weekend. I like Spotify fine but it's wonderful to be reunited with my old playlists from iTunes, and to upload the music on my hard drive to the iCloud. Just a learning curve to get with the new interface and I get six months free to explore and decide.
I hadn't considered Tidal and then read something about a lawsuit, but that appears to be old news. I may still check it out. I want to put my money toward companies I am more aligned with. I buy local where possible, Keep my money in the community. It's not perfect by any means -- I'm still on Amazon Prime and it's past time I left. I did leave Facebook and all its products last year. WhatsApp was hard to let go of but fortunately I wasn't in too deep.
I certainly don't see any of this as censorship. That's government interference. This is old-fashioned capitalism. They offer the product and I choose to buy it or not. Vote with my dollars, right?
Ty - Your article today has changed my life ! *Hyperbole alert *
I just signed up for a Tidal trial. The difference in sound quality is dramatic ! I played 4 different songs on Spotify (paid premium subsc)/Pandora (free subsc) and Tidal (Hi Fi subsc). Tidal’s audio quality is far superior when playing from my iPhone thru my Sonos speaker(s).
I’ve used Spotify premium for years because of the conveniences you’ve noted in your piece. I knew about their Scrooge-like artist payments (my son’s old band ‘Winona and the Ryders’ has a few albums on there). But I always chose to ignore Spotify’s poor practices. Thanks for providing us with a well researched alternative.
PS I enjoy TB’s Watch List immensely.
I don't use Spotify, though it was on my computer when I purchased it in 2020. But, I prefer to download/purchase the albums of the people and groups that fit my taste. Why have a "streaming platform"? Why not build your own?
I recently submitted a number of my albums ( both as label owner and composer) to streaming services, using the portal Distrokid - they allow you to submit to many, most , or all the services at the same time - it will be interesting in a few months to see which of these services have the most plays, or generate some ( or any) income. Having just arrived on Spotify, I'm loathe to leave it, but we will see how my social conscience fares in combat with my ambition. As usual, good column, Ty..........
I just had someone decline to subscribe to my Substack newsletter over the same issue: Covid misinformation. Are you not hearing the same?
Thanks also for the well thought-out research on alternatives to Spotify. I don't stream yet, but if I change my mind, I appreciate everything you've laid out here.
I'm in the process of evaluating Tidal as well. I was happy enough with Spotify which I have connected to an actual stereo system. It's not that Spotify Premium wasn't good, it's that Tidal if you pay for their top quality, sounds several levels above in terms of sound quality.
Do most people need that? Mmmm...probably they don't. But if you're listening on anything decent (even a modern car radio), you will immediately notice the difference. And if you're listening on an actual stereo, it's hard to justify sticking with Premium Spotify when you can have what Tidal offers.
The thing holding me back from really committing is I don't know anybody on Tidal with whom to share music. I may just start publishing the odd playlist and see if people are willing to give it a shot who most likely don't care that much about sound quality.
I listen to Cds, still the best way to hear the whole recording, in the intended sequence of tracks. Occasionally Pandora. Thank you, Ty.
A thousand thanks for this! I could not have imagined life without Spotify, but now I have the courage and knowledge to try another service. The comparison chart is helpful; I had no idea there were so many music streaming services! And who knew Napster is still around?
Amazon is no slouch either. From Soundguys.com
Amazon Music HD isn’t playing around: it’s a top-tier service that supports lossless FLAC audio. Amazon Music HD tracks stream up to 850kbps, and according to an Amazon representative, most devices receive Amazon Music HD files for playback. Amazon Ultra HD tracks top out at an impressive rate of 24bit/192kHz, but usually devices require the assistance of an external DAC.
Spotify Premium supports the compressed, lossy Ogg Vorbis audio format and streams at 320kbps when at the Very High setting. Other settings are Low (24kbps), Normal (96kbps), High (160kbps), and Automatic (adjusts depending on network connection). On February 22, 2021, Spotify announced Spotify HiFi, a lossless audio streaming tier that’s set to level the playing field against services like Deezer, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz, and Amazon Music HD. Little is known about the new tier except that it will offer CD-quality lossless audio, and likely won’t offer any higher quality audio
Useful and timely info. I appreciate your efforts and the way you put words together. Really enjoyed Phantom Threads recently, though that title is kind of weird. What a world, what a world….