Review: Tidal - a Music Streaming Service Relaunched

I have been checking out Jay-Z’s new music streaming service Tidal since I read about the drop in price for those who don’t want to pay $20/month for Hi Fidelity music. My untrained ears can’t tell the difference and I probably don’t have any speakers that would do lossless streaming any justice anyways. Now that Tidal is $10/month like it’s competitors, I thought I’d give the 1 month free trial a run.

The above shot of the web player demonstrates how smooth and well thought out everything is. Not just on the web but across all of Tidal’s applications.

Even on the iPhone, you get that smooth almost cool to the touch feel. This attention to detail and intuitive interface surprised me.

What I think really hooked me is the offline playlist features. One of my biggest complaints about applications like Beats, Google Play Music, and others, is how they handle offline playlists. Tidal seems to have paid attention and done it right. Lists sync seamlessly across web and iOS applications, and when a song is added to a playlist on the web, if that playlist is designated as “offline” on iOS, then next time the iOS app is opened…Bam!…the song is downloaded. Perfect. Until now only Spotify did this to my liking.

Another thing that Tidal offers, that for some reason Spotify still does not, is playlist sorting…basic sorting…but at least it’s something. This leaves me wanting a little more but it’s still better than what Spotify offers.

It feels easier to add music, albums, and playlists to my own music library. When you want to do that with Tidal, you just star the desired item, and then it’s part of your music library. Pretty simple. Then if you want it to be offline there’s a check box for that right in the same screen. Even better, if you just mark it for offline access, it is automatically added to your library and starred. Like I said, intuitive.

Playlist browsing is included too, so you can get your workout playlists, rainy day playlists, or relaxing playlists right there in the app.

It has a neat audio search feature that acts like an in app Soundhound or Shazam. As I sat in Starbucks I just fired it up and it returned pretty accurate results.

To wrap up my brief experience with Tidal - I think I may have found a service to replace Spotify. There are some exclusives that are offered in Tidal, the app is well thought out, and browsing for new music is easy. Time will tell but right now I'm inclined to start paying for this service once my free trial ends.