Streaming services such as Spotify and WiMP are becoming as ubiquitous as Dr. Martens at a 1980’s punk concert. Unfortunately the audio quality is often not far from that either; the boots. When Swedish Aspiro, who are the powers behind WiMP, announced Tidal, a new streaming service for audiophiles, it was not without a certain anticipation and definitely not without a certain skepticism from audio boffins. In September and October they touched down in USA, UK and Canada, and with limited access in a number of other countries. Likely a judicial matter. Judging from their web page, they are now getting ready to take on mainland Europe as well. “Can I get it now, or must I hesitate?” to quote one song, “First we take Manhattan…” to quote another.
Tidal is available on major platforms, Android, iOS, Windows and Mac, and integrates with Squeezebox, Sonos, Linn and Simple Audio. Highest streaming quality is Flac at 1411kpbs, which amounts to 16bit/44.1KHz. Not hi-res but definitely a major leap in online audio.