Jesse Dorogusker, CEO of music streaming service Tidal, revealed via a Reddit post that the app has initiated the deployment of hi-res FLAC streams across its platform. FLAC, an acronym for free lossless audio codec, presents high-fidelity audio streams up to 24-bit/192Hz. Given that these files are substantially larger – approximately four times the size of an ordinary MP3 – this format is seldom encountered on mainstream streaming platforms.
The newly introduced feature is presently in an early access phase for iOS users. Tidal asserts that subscribers can select from over six million tracks in the high-resolution FLAC format, with fresh content being supplemented every day. To access this feature, users with access need to update their beta app and select the “Max” quality setting. Dorogusker has stated that Tidal is awaiting user feedback before expanding the accessibility of these features. He also noted that this new streaming option would become available to all users, including Android users and those not participating in the company’s early access scheme, by August.
Tidal previously utilized MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio for hi-res streaming, which is more akin to an upscaling method rather than a specific file type. While Dorogusker did not discuss the future use of MQA, he indicated that the company aims to “support multiple formats” of high-resolution audio.
This increased access to high-resolution audio is accompanied by a steeper price point. A HiFi Plus subscription, required to access FLAC streams, is priced at $20 per month. Tidal recently augmented the cost for standard subscriptions from $10 to $11 per month. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that industry titan Spotify is planning to launch its own high-fidelity tier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tidal Hi-Res FLAC Streaming
What is the new feature introduced by Tidal?
Tidal has introduced high-resolution FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) streams for its HiFi Plus subscribers.
When will the high-resolution FLAC streaming feature be available to all Tidal users?
The high-resolution FLAC streaming feature is expected to be available to all Tidal users by August 2023.
What do I need to access the high-resolution FLAC streams on Tidal?
To access the high-resolution FLAC streams on Tidal, you need to have a HiFi Plus subscription, which costs $20 per month.
How do I access high-resolution FLAC streams if I am part of the early access group on iOS?
If you are part of the early access group on iOS, you will need to update your beta app and select the “Max” quality in the settings to access the high-resolution FLAC streams.
Will Tidal continue to support MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio?
While Tidal’s CEO, Jesse Dorogusker, did not specifically address the future of MQA, he mentioned that Tidal plans to support multiple formats of high-resolution audio.