Survival without Tidal

Thanks to @Stevesky for lifting the lid for us on the can of worms that is software development and maintenance. It’s pretty to use, but a really tough job to keep things elegant on the inside. And what’s happened lately is that High End SQ and Mass Market Convenience have become tied together. As @Oxbow says, both customer sets have valid requirements, though different.

But they are tied together because if you can make successful £500 products, as well as £5,000 and £50,000 products, you might stand a better chance of funding the S/W development - which is the same software across all products. So I have this notion that the biggest will survive and the smallest won’t be able to play in this space as the costs become ever more dominated by the S/W.

As a Venn diagram, I’d say the Mass Market requirement is a subset of the High End. SQ lovers will mostly get hooked on the convenience and if they are music lovers (not just SQ junkies) they will love the way streaming helps you explore the vast world of music. And over time, Low End users will buy better systems, just like they want 4K TVs, because it’s there.

Hey, it was Cyrus who suddenly and sadly disabled Tidal on their own App.

Let’s wish all HiFi makers well in this, especially the Naim we love, as they negotiate a difficult change in the business model.

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Just use Qobuz. It’s literally the same as Tidal in terms of catalogue and SQ.
Failing that, use Roon where your Tidal subscription can be integrated to feed your streaming device, which should be Roon compatible.


due to an ongoing problem of piracy via streaming services, the record industry has forced through a fundamental change to the protocol that Tidal uses to authorise logins to their service

I find that quite interesting, I’d have thought that streaming for the average consumer would have virtually eliminated any attempts or tempation to copy the audio - surely it’s just not worth the time/effort/storage involved? Maybe it’s organised groups in certain countries doing it then selling pirated copies???

The problem with the 4k TV analogy is that the features in demand become standard expectations, and while it’s good that people can enjoy more features on progressively cheaper hardware I think many will be happy and won’t really aspire to high-end equipment any more which may make it less viable overall to produce and sell.

I was in Tesco the other day and they had a 70" 4k TV for under £600 as one of their offers - might be a fine set, who knows?

I was going to mention just as their support page describes that there will be workarounds such as other apps (mConnect etc) that can get Tidal to their devices albeit more cumbersome than native support, and similar to how certain services can be used on older Naim streamers which don’t support some services natively due I believe due to hardware constraints.

No it is not. Catalogue differs and Qobuz is most likely is worse for some genres/artists, though it depends on what you listen to. As for SQ it’s probably better on average.


Most likely

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there’s more to security than protecting the product from thieves.
Hacking back doors, and so on…

Yes but it said “piracy via streaming services” explicitly

mconnect is an interesting example of the problem of SW development cost.
The Chord streamer, “2go” does not have its own control App.
Chord recommends mconnect, and have to hope that mconnect keeps working.
Perhaps in future the smaller (or niche) HIFi vendors will get together and create a single shared App and one streaming SW Stack that they can all share? thus sharing the cost,…

We accept this in hardware components like DAC chips, but I wonder if a shared software platform (even if branded) would spoil the “mystique” of the brand names, revered as they are by audiophile?

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That sort of already happens. Naim use StreamUnlimited, as do a bunch of other manufacturers. Albeit, I assume, as a subsystem, integrated and optimised into the broader Naim NP800 streaming software ‘product’

See links below, and if I understand correctly!!

[edit, sadly their GitHub repo doesn’t have much in it :stuck_out_tongue: ]

I’ve got to the stage where I really only use the Naim app for internet radio. For other streaming I prefer bubbleupnp as that lets me stream from NAS and Qobuz to any device on my network be that the Naim streamer or Sonos speakers with one consistent interface. If Naim stopped providing an app it wouldn’t bother me at all using a common 3rd party app shared between other manufacturers. Heck I already use Linn Kazoo on my Windows laptop to control the ND5 XS2

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Thought A&K had also dropped Tidal?

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I’m very happy with BubbleUPnP too, but I do run a first gen streamer (UQ1) and so have no choice - in this post though there’s some rationale for using the integrated Qobuz app where possible, not necessarily against BubbleUPnP, but the same arguments might apply

No it works on a lot of their stuff still, older models Tidal has dropped support for older Android OS so they can’t use the new authentication model so it will be EOL for those. You can install the app on all current models which will be how they will likely carry on with and abandon thier API access as it’s not really needed anymore. The app brings along offline play so is much better overall than using any of the API players on these DAPs.

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Ah, fair enough.

Yes, I am with you.
Have been waiting patiently for my Amazon HD family subscription to be supported, having been erroneously told by Sevenoaks hifi that it already was when I bought my uniti.
It has been promised “within the next 12 months” around 8 months ago now, so I hope things are progressing.
Re Tidal - I used the 3 month trial, but my understanding is that Naim doesn’t support their mqa lossless files, so it will sound better with Amazon anyway once integrated.
If we could all give Naim a gentle nudge to get on with it, that would be nice :slight_smile:

I use both streamer n core

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I’ve been surviving without Tidal since they changed their login and I’m glad they did b/c I didn’t realize how much better Qobuz sounds through my legacy streamer. The content gaps were mostly a wash and I got some new music out of the deal.


Agreed, @ElMarko, I just registered for Qobuz and now enjoying some treats such as Cream’s Disraeli Gears at 24:192 with such a lot more ambient space around the previously heard close-miked sounds.
Also Ahlam by NES where the percussion is revealed to be a cahon played with precision.
So many of my 16:44.1 CDs are in Qobuz at 24:96 that it’s a media upgrade.

By the way, Cyrus support says it’s only Cadence (their own app) that’s disconnected from Tidal, and recommends mconnect.
I may be doing something wrong but regardless of track density I get “User not permitted to access this bitrate” even when fetching Tidal to Cyrus using mconnect.

… I’m not complaining or denigrating; it’s just an example of how difficult it gets when you’re supporting products you built when they have to work with products you didn’t build!

I do not envy any software developers this difficult task. However, I will observe that Logitech made their (inexpensive) Squeezebox system capable of automatically downloading and installing software updates over internet. No need to return to dealer (or factory) for software updates!

So. I don’t mean to be bashing Cyrus, who have given me great music, flexible upgrades, accessible pricing, for decades, but in general the lessons are that streaming software is

  1. subject to unpredictable external changes;
  2. will need updates to address security and API changes as well as new features and bugs;
  3. and carries a support cost that is multiplied unless you can standardise across the range.

I’m looking forward to soon becoming a Naim streaming user. I’m sure there’s no perfect products but Naim seem to have taken streaming (and streaming software) seriously from the beginning.

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