Tidal’s Masters Quality Audio Support for iOS: A Weird Move

Tidal, a subscription-based music service launched back in 2014, has taken upon itself to expand its little market share. While services like Spotify, Deezer or even Saavn hail the market share, Tidal exerts its expertise in lossless audio. This is a good approach to set them aside from the competition but strictly limits their user base.

To overcome the gap between it and other services, Tidal has taken a few steps. They have included a service called Tidal Masters. It was recently introduced as part of its “Music for Professionals” approach. An initiative in collaboration with Master Quality Authenticated to deliver the best quality lossless music. The service was started recently and it was available to all premium users. Initially, it was only available to users on PC but was later made available for Android devices too. Finally though, Tidal as made the service available too, a move to capture more users.

apple spotify and tidal
Apple; Spotify; Tidal

Although it may be seen as a step ahead, to some extent it is, but it should be noted that it’s not all good. It should be noted that Apple devices, the latest ones lack the headphone jack. Anyone who is considered an audiophile knows that music over Bluetooth is never “lossless”. Users would need to purchase an extra dongle, which isn’t given in the box. Secondly, to enjoy the complete experience, you need studio monitors, something not everyone has. Additionally, an audio DAC would be required as well, one that is compatible with the iPhone. For tidal, they’re aiming for a small number of users who’d actually have iPhone AND would appreciate lossless music. In addition to that, their library lacks the vastness of variety contained on Spotify.

All these problems should be addressed while seeing this step. Nonetheless, it is a good move. If anything, it would mean more users for Tidal’s service but with a fee of 20$ per month, it is hard to argue why users wouldn’t simply go for Spotify or even Apple Music.