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Is "HiRes" FLAC from Tidal really a thing ?

VintageFlanker

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Edit : solved by @SKBubba :

Hi folks,

About two months ago, Tidal announced the support of "Hires" FLAC for Hi-Fi Plus subscribers. A decision that obviously comes next to the financial troubles surrounding MQA sooner this year. At the time, Tidal communicated about their plans to integrate HiRes FLAC in addition to the already existing MQA tracks (Which by the way, are still remaining by today).

I mainly used Qobuz this last couple of months, so I did not realise until a few days ago...

... Where are supposed to be these so-called "HiRes FLAC" tracks, which I assume are at least 24 bits /44.1kHz and above ? I found none of them so far. None.

More worrying, I feel like the Tidal mobile app is deliberately lying by labeling some tracks as HR FLAC while they absolutely aren't. Let me explain...

The Tidal app is clearly distinctive about regular 16/44 FLAC:
1000019526.png
MQA (could be either 16 or 24 bits):
1000019527.png
And the lastest addition, HiRes/24 bits FLAC :
1000019528.png


Please note that supposedly HiRes content is displayed in yellow colour, which is misleading to begin with, since it also applies to 16bits MQA tracks (and yes, there're a lot of these).

Now, what are these HR FLACs exactly. The app doesn't say if it is 24b 44/48/88/96/192, as Qobuz does. What's interesting is that I couldn't find anything close to HiRes/24 bits, while playing the same tracks in tiers-apps such as Roon or UAPP.

Let have a look at the New Arrivals : Tidal HiRes playlist:

1000019489.png


Whatever track I take in that list, I couldn't verify it as some "HiRes" file in tiers apps. Here is what Roon tells me :
1000019530.png

The exact same file is indeed a regular 16b/44.1kHz one... Note that there still are MQA 24bits, but no sign of common 24 bits FLAC.

Same goes for UAPP:
1000019492.png


You get the MQA but no sign of 24 bits FLAC anywhere.

That is not supposed to be a proper investigation, yet, I think that should raise some red flags:

- What the heck is going on ? Are other apps simply not supporting 24 bits FLAC yet ? It would be kind of weird, indeed, since either UAPP and Roon have no issues playing 24 bits FLAC from Qobuz at all...
- Is Tidal deliberately lying to us ? By tagging some of their 16/44 files as HiRes while they are not?

For now, I'm just wondering. Open to thoughts or suggestions...
 
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GD Fan

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Same questions here. Looks like FLAC in Tidal is 16 bits, not 24?

Screenshot_20231007_200927_BubbleUPnP.jpg


Edit: Between this and (especially) the price increases I'm strongly considering switching to Qobuz.
 

Matias

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Here is an example I remembered that really is high res. The WiiM app shows it clearly.

Screenshot_20231007_211816_WiiM Home.jpg
 

SKBubba

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Roon, wiim, connect devices, other third-party apps have not been updated to support tidal max/flac. Tidal says later this year. Until then you will still get mqa all over the map, even basic hifi 16/44 tier.
 

boxerfan88

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Yup, only the blue light is real. ;)
 

SKBubba

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Thanks, that explains a lot.

Any source about their statement?
Roon statement here...


Audirvana statement here...


Wiim statement here...


Cambridge Audio statement here...


Etc.

There was also something from a Tidal employee on reddit, but don't remember where exactly.
 
OP
VintageFlanker

VintageFlanker

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Roon statement here...


Audirvana statement here...


Wiim statement here...


Cambridge Audio statement here...


Etc.

There was also something from a Tidal employee on reddit, but don't remember where exactly.
Thanks.

Case closed, then !
 
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heraldo_jones

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There is a program called Tidal-GUI with which you can download songs. With it, you can see that sometimes within the same album that is rated as MASTER, there are songs that actually aren't. Besides, there are also MASTER quality albums with lower bitrates than others in HIFI quality. In the end, it all boils down to how well or poorly the album was donde in th whole process (producing, recording, mixing, mastering).
 

Snoopy

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Back to qobuz sublime soon and I will keep buying the stuff that I really like in high Res and on CDs, sacds, Blurays.

tidal is just a mess.
 
D

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Click the numbers to see if you are able to hear any difference.

>>Lossy vs. lossless tests no. _1_ / _2_ / _3_<<
 

Ron Texas

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Some people can hear the difference between Red Book and 24/96 because they know what to listen for. Evidence is lacking on whether 24/96 really sounds better. Some people can easily recognize pre-echo and can pick out lossy tracks nearly every time. Some research indicates that at low bit rates music becomes less satisfying or has less impact.
 
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D

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Some people can hear the difference between Red Book and 24/96 because they know what to listen for. Evidence is lacking on whether 24/96 really sounds better.
That's why you should test yourself. I consider myself lucky in the way that I can't hear it and settled for Spotify Premium.. :)
 

Esss

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Edit: I discovered something - a playlist that I downloaded before the whole FLAC thing did not update. I went to clear data and redownload all playlists against for the change to reflect. Also, it doesn't matter if you play the song from your playlist or just do a search, it will always play the downloaded version.

Here are a few albums you will find in high res FLAC

1. Boney James - Detour - 24/96
2. Boney James - Solid - 24/96
3. Bob James - 2080 - 24/48
4. Rick Braun - Can You Feel It - 24/44.1
5. Brian Bromberg - The Magic of Moonlight - 24/96
6. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life - 24/96 (MQA version of this is still available for third party apps at 24/196)
7. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (Mono)
8. Adele - 30 24/44.1 (this should be something many will be familiar with)

This is the MQA version still available on Tidal: This version is 24/192 when unfolded
embed


Here is the FLAC version
embed
 
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VintageFlanker

VintageFlanker

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Here are a few albums you will find in high res FLAC

1. Boney James - Detour - 24/96
2. Boney James - Solid - 24/96
3. Bob James - 2080 - 24/48
4. Rick Braun - Can You Feel It - 24/44.1
5. Brian Bromberg - The Magic of Moonlight - 24/96
6. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life - 24/96 (MQA version of this is still available for third party apps at 24/196)
7. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (Mono)
8. Adele - 30 24/44.1 (this should be something many will be familiar with)
None are available as such with third-party apps. All are either MQA or 16b FLAC when seen from Roon or UAPP. That was the all point of post #1. ;)

Anyway, @SKBubba solved the problem: We just have to wait...
 

Esss

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Eish - I missed it. that question has been asked and answered multiple times. FLAC rollout is only with Tidal's own apps at this point.
 

Sebby

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Edit: I discovered something - a playlist that I downloaded before the whole FLAC thing did not update. I went to clear data and redownload all playlists against for the change to reflect. Also, it doesn't matter if you play the song from your playlist or just do a search, it will always play the downloaded version.

Here are a few albums you will find in high res FLAC

1. Boney James - Detour - 24/96
2. Boney James - Solid - 24/96
3. Bob James - 2080 - 24/48
4. Rick Braun - Can You Feel It - 24/44.1
5. Brian Bromberg - The Magic of Moonlight - 24/96
6. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life - 24/96 (MQA version of this is still available for third party apps at 24/196)
7. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (Mono)
8. Adele - 30 24/44.1 (this should be something many will be familiar with)

This is the MQA version still available on Tidal: This version is 24/192 when unfolded
embed


Here is the FLAC version
embed

Very strange...
Mine just says "Flac" or "MQA". It doesn't give me the values like it does on Qoboz
 

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