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Tidal and in car audio with 2021.40.x

Tony Hoyle

Active Member
May 7, 2019
1,349
893
Stockport, UK
Ugh. Hopefully they download at a decent bitrate then..

I'd quite happily stick a bigger SSD in the car if I didn't have to cope with 96kbps any more..

Edit: Actually, having read it it's two separate statements.

"TIDAL streaming is now available from the Media menu with a TIDAL account."
"You can listen to TIDAL playlists or albums in high-quality audio by connecting to Wi-Fi and pressing Download on the selected content."

I read that as you can stream in low quality and download in hifi quality. We'll see when the update lands.
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,946
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Surrey, UK
Tidal is lossless CD quality and high resolution MQA Masters (omitting the speculation of whether MQA is lossless or not - I happen to know one of the inventors of MQA and met the other - format started off at Meridian who know their stuff). Different price plans for hifi and masters.

It’s been available here for ages and is a go to format for streaming master quality audio. The quality is absolutely stunning and gets even better on kit that can cope with the high bandwidth that MQA delivers.

I really cannot see it being in Tidals interest to deliver audio quality below what they currently offers. Tidal also allows both streaming and download content for all their material. Streaming can cope with lower quality connections but download content is at the full resolution of the material and chosen plan.

Note that masters does not necessarily mean high resolution- it very much depends on what the official master was recorded at. But there is more going on with masters than just the resolution numbers game so a masters recording will sound true to the original recording no matter what the resolution.
 

Epyx

Member
Nov 3, 2020
355
230
Tervuren (B)
'Scuse my ignorance, but will you really notice the difference with all the ambient noise in the car whilst driving?
Good point.
I reckon, while driving, you will still hear a difference between 96kbs (Spotify) and Tidal HiFi anyway.
But between Tidal HiFi and Tidal MQA, I don’t think so. At least at my age, I’m over 50🤫
Anyway, I’m a Tidal subscriber and can't wait to see/hear the difference.
 
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Tony Hoyle

Active Member
May 7, 2019
1,349
893
Stockport, UK
There was a version a few months ago where they 'accidentally' upped the spotify bitrate. It made a massive difference even with the road noise... to the point where I was listening to stuff I hadn't listened to for years just to hear it.

Road noise is mostly low frequency and I think I'm mostly sensitive to differences in high frequencies - other people may vary in this.
 
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Tony Hoyle

Active Member
May 7, 2019
1,349
893
Stockport, UK
Tesla only supports SBC and AAC, nothing higher quality like aptX and LDAC.

In theory AAC can be good quality but it isn't guaranteed.. depends on the source (I've not been particularly impressed personally, but I've heard it's better on iphones as it's an apple (ish, as in they're the only ones who seem to do it well) standard).

The best way to get lossless would be to download the lossless track onto a USB stick/ssd and play it directly in the car.
 
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Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,891
2,875
Bath, UK
There was a version a few months ago where they 'accidentally' upped the spotify bitrate. It made a massive difference even with the road noise... to the point where I was listening to stuff I hadn't listened to for years just to hear it.

Road noise is mostly low frequency and I think I'm mostly sensitive to differences in high frequencies - other people may vary in this.
Would be nice if they enabled higher bitrate stuff for Premium Connectivity subscribers, as a perk (although there would be no reason to cripple it on tethered WiFi except punitiveiy)
 

GRiLLA

Active Member
Jul 5, 2020
1,116
1,171
UK
That's worrying as it suggest they've nobbled the DAC on the car to be only good enough to cope with low bitrate spotify and there's no way of improving it. I really hope it's not like that.
It will play flac content from a local drive, so there is no lack of capability. I assume the bit rate was to reduce the cost of data/increase reliability.
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,946
6,528
Surrey, UK
A while ago, when Tidal was first announced, so probably a year or so, Tesla upped the audio playback capabilities of the car to 96/24 (that's resolution not bit rate, CD is 44.1k/16bit for comparison) and possibly 192/24. I don't believe that this was just a coincidence.

As mentioned earlier, tbh, no point with Tidal Masters unless you use it at home and ideally have kit that can decode MQA (its backward compatible with non MQA kit). I would like to be wrong, but I really do not believe that the car will decode MQA and have the necessary high bandwidth electronics to take full advantage of it.

However, there is more to Tidal Masters than just resolution which may be of interest to some. Some of this is the provenance of the recording hence the term master which guarantees that the track was taken from a first generation master and contains hints to compensate for the ADC used during the original recording that MQA can then use to produce, along with compensating with the characteristics of the output DAC to give a playback that is as close to the original genuine master recording as is possible. No dodgy tracks of dubious authenticity or sample rate. This does mean that not all tracks are high resolution as many were originally recorded using relatively meagre capabilities, but the end to end process knows those capabilities and allows what comes out at one end is as true as one can get to what went in at the beginning - which is not always a good thing as subsequent mastering may have tweaked the sound giving a different audio rendition that is not true to the original recording. One of the thing that MQA capture is the correct timing of the track which is imho more important than any detail contained within high resolution tracks. You may A/B test an MQA encoded track and not hear any difference, but your toes will tell you there is a difference. This may sound all snake oil, but the two authors of MQA are really top of their game with many years experience and a long track record - some of their work (MLP) formed the basis of the audio codecs used by Dolby on DVD and blu-ray material. If anyone is interested, look up Bob Stuart.
 
It will play flac content from a local drive, so there is no lack of capability. I assume the bit rate was to reduce the cost of data/increase reliability.
It really should be reliable though - I use PlexAmp to stream uncompressed Flac files from my home Plex server, which uses a 4G router (as openreach refuse to fix my dead landline). The quality and stability is perfect!
 

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