TIDAL buffering via cellular (NZ)

Hi all

Really this is detected at NZ members on the off chance they have a similar experience to me.

Nothing to do with Naim or Naim kit, to be clear!

I’m enjoying TIDAL via WiFi. All good.

But when streaming on my mobile phone through cellular 4G/3G, it stops regularly to buffer for a bit. My phone is connected with Vodafone NZ. I have TIDAL on the lowest Normal setting for cellular. It pauses every 3-20 minutes or so to buffer. Happens if I’m still (so connected to one cell tower), moving (cycling) and in different parts of the country.

It’s frustrating because I want to switch from Spotify, which I have used for years, since TIDAL sounds better.

Had anyone had a similar experience? It’s like Vodafone NZ is throttling it. I’ve never had a problem streaming video Netflix etc let alone Spotify, so it’s not a local bandwidth issue.

Android 9 on Samsung S8
Latest TIDAL app 2.33.6 (updated yesterday)
I have forced the app to stop
I have cleared the app cache

I’ve submitted a support ticket to TIDAL but figure there must be something odd happening…

Anyone else? I can’t easily try it via another cellular provider but that’s probably the next experiment.

Thanks in advance, Ian

So you are trying to play tidal on your phone?.. but works via wifi, but not by mobile?

Ok it’s unlikely anyone is throttling anything, assuming you have the mobile signal capacity and throughput on your cell… the most likely thing is you have increased latency via your mobile network, and if your phone has limited TCP windows memory, then increased latency can cause dropouts.

With these application, unless bandwidth is critically low, it’s latency which can be the determining factor.

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Yes to all

I agree it seems unlikely that there’s something going on in the middle

But latency mmm I can see what you mean, I’ll see if I can find someone at Vodafone to check that. It’s a pain that it affects just TIDAL of the streaming services I’ve used

After a bit of back and forth with TIDAL support, I got this response from their technical support team. I’m interested in any opinion you might have on this, as they recommend using a VPN but I’m not sure what that entails nor if it is a good suggestion.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Our Tech Team does believe this is coming down to data throttling on your cellular data.

It may just be right at the point where it’s being throttled low enough to affect the amount of data the TIDAL app audio qualities need for solid playback.

They do recommend using a VPN if you plan to use cellular data frequently as that can help you route around any localized data throttling.

Enabling a VPN before switching the cellular can help you alleviate some of the issues you’re having.

Have you carried out a speed test when and where this has happened while you’re stationary? That might give some clues.

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Sorry, unless you have breached your acceptable use policy or the amount of data throughput you have subscribed to with your mobile provider, this is unlikely, certainly in developed markets. Mobile data is increasingly used as broadband connections, and throughput for services can increasingly be significantly higher than the low bit rates required by Tidal such as hidef video. I would contact your mobile operator and ask them… you may find you get a direct answer.
I would not usually recommend a VPN, as latency can increase and through put reduce for a given bandwidth, but if your mobile operator in your country says it reserves the right to limit access to services, change mobile or try a VPN, but you may find if your mobile operator as repressive terms of service that they don’t permit VPNs.

Of course your local cell might be busy, so just like wifi, as your radio space is contended you may have reduced throughput, or even low signal strength however a broadband speed checker would confirm that.

I suspect it’s busy cell or increased mobile latency.

Tidal use global CDNs along with most web media services these days, and so nothing here is very unique to Tidal… in fact it’s how much of the web is operated these days.

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