Qobuz vs. Tidal

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by zottel, Feb 8, 2024.

  1. zottel

    zottel Friend

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    I just started a test month on Tidal, now that they ditched MQA and Roon supports the Max tier. I’ve been a Qobuz user for years now.

    So far, I’m underwhelmed.

    The only artist I know that isn’t available on Qobuz is Apashe. While his music is available on Tidal, I can’t find my favourite song (Sand Storm) there, either. Only available on Spotify, it seems.

    While I yet have to find anything that is available on Qobuz, but not on Tidal, lots of music is available in better resolution on Qobuz. Many classical albums, but also stuff like Michael Jackson’s Thriller (Q 192/24, T 96/24), Moop Mama’s Alte Männer (Q 96/24, T 44.1/16), Polyphia’s New Levels New Devils (Q 48/24, T 44.1/16), Jockstrap’s Love Is the Key to the City (Q 44.1/24, T 44.1/16), Hidden Orchestra’s Dawn Chorus (Q 44.1/24, T 44.1/16), Within Temptation’s Bleed Out (Q 96/24, T 44.1/16), Snarky Puppy’s Empire Central (Q 96/24, T 44.1/16), to just name a few. It’s not just a single album here and there, but really a lot in my library. I only found one where it’s the other way round: Pink Floyd’s The Wall (Q 44.1/16, T 96/24).

    But as I have used Qobuz exclusively for years, I’m probably not aware of some stuff that can be found on Tidal but not on Qobuz.

    Could someone give me pointers to stuff on Tidal I might be missing when I only use Qobuz?
     
  2. Huhnkopf

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    If you want to find something that's not on Qobuz then just get Spotify. It doesn't have Lossless unless Supremium hits (if ever), sure, but the catalogue is vastly superior to Tidal and the algo is pretty good in my book.
     
  3. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    This appears to be true. While I do not use Qobuz yet, a few quests have brought their own laptop and played music from Qobuz. Qobuz has recordings of the same artist / group that Tidal does not have and sometimes vice-versa. I liked the Qobuz recordings more - longer, less of the radio edit vibe.
     
  4. zottel

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    I already have Spotify because the rest of the family want it. But I can’t use it with Roon and haven’t managed to use it with HQPlayer yet (though that might be possible).

    I had hoped that Tidal would be more or less Spotify for Roon, but already I found some stuff in my old Spotify favourites that is available neither on Qobuz nor on Tidal, specifically the Apashe song (and that whole album) I already mentioned and the album Ferris Wheels by The Swingle Singers.

    I found some stuff this way that is available on Tidal, but not on Qobuz:
    • Backini (Q only has the newest single, but not the album and the other single)
    • Apashe
    • Club des Belugas
    • Tape Five
    • One of the four albums by Xploding Plastix
    • Some of the stuff by Elisabeth Fraser
    • Some of the stuff by Stephen Simmonds
    But that’s all I’ll find myself, as I can’t find stuff I’m not aware of. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2024
  5. zottel

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    Hm, what Roon shows as available resolution in Tidal seems to be off at times. Just saw by chance that Polyphia album New Levels New Devils is labelled as 44.1/16, but it’s actually 48/24 like in Qobuz (visible when opening the signal path display in Roon).

    I then had a look at the various Thriller versions available in Tidal. One of the two “96/24” versions is actually 44.1/16 MQA (but none is actually 192/24 like in Qobuz).

    In the Tidal app, I only found the possibility to show the resolution while playing, not before, so it’s hard to tell if that’s a Tidal problem or a Roon problem (Roon gets it right while playing, too, after all).

    Not that it’s that important in the end, but stuff like that doesn’t make it more probable that I’ll keep the subscription after the trial period.
     
  6. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    I've done comparisons between Qobuz and Tidal using their Windows software versions before and while the updates certainly changed their sound (Qobuz was kinda steely in the beginning, Tidal got phatter over time), the last time I did so I much preferred Qobuz. This was on an album that both had available as 16/44.1 only, same version, etc. I think my impressions should be here somewhere.

    Could be interesting to compare via Volumio/Pi2AES.

    There used to be thing I missed on Qobuz after switching. But it seems that their library is a lot bigger now.
    Most of my digital playback is via Qobuz nowadays.
     
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  7. Wilewarer

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    Qobuz is definitely missing more artists than other streaming services, but sometimes I wonder if some artists just look like they aren't there because of their god-awful filing. It's so much worse than I remember seeing on any other streaming service. Some of the mistakes are just them being unable to cope with the concept of multiple bands using the same name, but some of them are weirder than that - you could look up Victor Borge, Dreamcatcher, or Kano for examples of how weird it can be, off the top of my head.

    Would not be surprised if some artist that seems missing actually just got all their work filed under Kenny G or something.
     
  8. crenca

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    Is that actually true in fact and not just in marketing? I still come across album's that Roon identifies as MQA. Also, how did they actually switch all those albums back to real PCM 16/44 so quickly...perhaps they were always 16/44 and they had an on-the-fly processing that automagically made them MQA when they streamed them?

    I only keep Tidal because they have some electronica that Qobuz does not, and those artists/labels never did jump on the MQA bandwagon to any significant degree. Still, I probably should have canceled out of principle...I think I said I was going to here on SBAF, I lied ;) In any case I would drop Tidal before Qobuz and will in the future, unless I'm lying again.
     
  9. zottel

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    Re MQA, I think they are not 100% through yet. Many or most of the files are MQA free, or there’s at least an MQA fee version available, but not 100% always.

    Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ll ditch Tidal again after the trial. Should I really find stuff I can’t live without, I’ll just buy it. Much cheaper, as 99.99% of what I want to hear is available at Qobuz, anyway, often at better quality, for less money.
     
  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Half my library is on Tidal but not available on Qobuz. And I absolutely hate how Qobuz just lists every single album by an artist together instead of separating out the millions of singles and EP’s. Might not be a problem with Roon but when using Bubbleupnp it’s a nightmare of clicking over and over just to find actual albums. Ridiculous. I could never use Qobuz exclusively. I only use it for classical, ambient and jazz which they’re pretty good about as far as their catalog but still worse than Tidal. And I only do that so I can at least have some sort of organization of my music even if it’s only 2 groups (Qobuz music and Tidal music which are basically two moods -Qobuz is all more chill/calm music)

    I really wish these services would allow users to put artists into genre/folders to organize them.

    And I don’t care about high res the Yggdrasil is redbook only.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2024
  11. ilikebananafudge_

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    The Yggdrasil accepts up to 24 bit/192 kHz, actually.
     
  12. internethandle

    internethandle Almost "Made"

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    Yeah. I mean you can go with the Stereophile “obsolete because only 20 bits” stupidity if you want, but A1/GS, A2, and MIB will play hi-res. LIM is a bit different because it’s 16 bit, but it’s not as if it/megacomboburrito will reject the hi-res its fed, you’d just need someone smarter than me to explain what it does in the face of hi-res vs the other DACs.
     
  13. internethandle

    internethandle Almost "Made"

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    Re: filing, TIDAL’s search function, at least, can be pretty bad for more obscure stuff — I can search for an artist, sort by “Artists” when it doesn’t come up at first, and my actual search term will be buried under adjacent spellings or variations. Also sometimes an artist’s listing won’t have the album I’m looking for, but searching for the full album and artist will bring it up filed under a separate entry. Again, this seems like less of a problem for well known or popular-ish artists, more one for stuff that gets put on there by distro algorithms or whatever.

    Re: MQA they definitely are not done with converting everything to FLAC, and you’ll find plenty of Max stuff still in MQA. It isn’t really clear that they are planning on doing that with the entire catalog, either, at least not from what I’ve read, although I have seen a couple of things I remember being in MQA being available in Max FLAC now. I have definitely noticed that anything that is a newer release uploaded since they announced the change is in FLAC and is not available in MQA, though (see: something like the new remaster of The Replacements’ Tim from last year).
     
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  14. zottel

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    Could you list some of the stuff you don’t find on Qobuz and that you would really miss? I know, that’s asking for a time consuming job that isn’t fun, so if you and everyone else have better things to do, I understand. :) Personally, while I have found a few albums and the artists listed above, it doesn’t seem to be very much that’s missing—but I might not be looking for the right stuff as I just don’t know it.

    Yes, EPs/singles are no problem for me, being a Roon user. (Though I would personally appreciate if Roon put EPs among albums, not among singles. It’s only the singles I’m not interested in.)
     
  15. abalone

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    I would have to caveat that Spotify's catalogue for classical is dissapointing (most tracks would be there, but the choice of recordings is limited mostly to newer ones). That is really the only reason for me to keep Qobuz. In fact, where I found the largest collection for classical, at least a few years ago, was really on youtube, but with an audio quality that was not to audiophile standards. I wish all these historic recordings would be available in greater quality!

    The same comment applies, to a lesser extent, to jazz.
     

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