The Tidal Wave of Streaming Hits Australia

Posted on 30th March, 2015

The Tidal Wave of Streaming Hits Australia

Tidal, one of the first music (and video) streaming providers to gain widespread attention for it's lossless (flac) quality has hit Australia, and we're excited.

At the time of writing, you'll have to wait just a little longer (officially), but many savvy enthusiasts may have already been accessing this service via VPN workarounds. StereoNET has been part of the pre-release testing program and have enjoyed extended access to Tidal for some time, however due to embargos in place, prevented from talking about it, until now!

Based in Oslo, Norway, while not the first 'HD', or 'lossless' service, they are in fact the first lossless streaming service with HD music videos and additional curated editorial content. Since the initial October '14 launch in selected countries, Tidal now offers a library spanning 25-million tracks, 75,000 music videos, and a heap of original content.

Tidal streaming launches in Australia.

So how does it compare to Spotify, Deezer, Pandora and the other mainstream services? Well for this Hi-Fi nut (and I imagine the majority of our readers), there is no comparison. Spotify (my stream platform of choice until recently) was a convenient source for the car, the kitchen, even out and about. But maxing out at 320kbps, it just couldn't cut it on the HiFi rig, that is of course unless I was content with background music.

TIDAL streaming launches in AustraliaThe waves quite literally roll in with Tidal, at 44.1kHz / 16bit (FLAC/ALAC), or for the newcomer, the equivalent to CD quality.

Fortunately on launch, there's a myriad of ways to get Tidal. With dedicated apps for iOS and Android, there's also a web player for PC and MAC. We did note Tidal states 'HD' playback is only available on the web player via Google Chrome browser however.

Tidal also told StereoNET:

Support for a wide range of home music network players includes: Anthem, Airable by Tune In Media, Astell &Kern, Audeze, Audiovector, AudioQuest, Auralic, Aurender, Bel Canto, Bluesound & NAD, Dan D'Agostino, Definitive Technology, Denon HEOS, DTS Play-Fi, Dynaudio, Electrocompaniet, Harman Omni, HiFiAkademie, ickStream, JH Audio, Linn, Lode, McIntosh, Meridian, MartinLogan, Paradigm, Polk, Pro-ject, PS Audio, Raumfeld, Simple Audio, Sonos, Steinway Lyngdorf, Wadia, Wren Sound Systems with more to come.

Ad free, lossless streaming does come at a price however. On launch a monthly Tidal subscription is priced at $23.99. At first thought that might seem quite an investment, but when you consider the library you have access to potentially for the rest of your audible life, it could be a small price to pay.

Just to clear the air, this ain't no paid promo. It's just great news for Aussie music enthusiasts, and we're just ensuring you're armed with all the right information to decide whether Tidal is for you.

We're sold. With bandwidth and data cost limitations of ISP's downunder, it's unlikely that 'high-res' streaming will take off in Australia any time soon. So for now we're more than content with CD-quality streaming. For me, Tidal is a welcome platform that gets a daily workout via my smart-phone (just watch those service provider data limits), but also via the Ickstream plugin for my DIY based Wandboard streaming solution in the HiFi rig.

The Tidal app is available in the iTunes App Store, and Google Play Store now.

Stay tuned for our more comprehensive review of Tidal.

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    Marc Rushton's avatar

    Marc Rushton

    StereoNET’s Founder and Publisher, born in UK and raised on British Hi-Fi before moving to Australia where he worked as an Engineer in both the audio and mechanical fields.

    Posted in:Hi-Fi
    Tags: tidal  streaming  lossless 


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