Tidal To Begin Rolling Out Hi-Res Lossless Audio

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Tidal has begun its rollout of hi-res lossless audio, where starting today, select subscribers can access the catalog designed for hi-res lossless audio, using the open source FLAC format.

CEO Jesse Dorogusker has claimed the hi-res FLAC tracks are available to the company’s Early Access Program (EAP) users on iOS, in up to 24 bit/192kHz.

He also claims the company would like feedback from this group before the official rollout spanning more widely. All HiFi Plus subscribers have been expected to gain access by August.

EAP members can access the content by updating the beta app and selecting “Max” quality in the Audio & Playback settings screen.

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When this was first announced in April, speculation surrounded what it meant for the MQA format. The announcement today still doesn’t answer the question, however Jesse said, “we’ll continue to support multiple formats to make sure we have as much hi-res content as possible.”

He has indicated that Tidal chose FLAC as the preferred format for hi-res audio, not providing MQA fans with much confidence in the longevity. He even indicated a strong preference for FLAC’s open source technology.

“It’s open source, allowing greater access for artists and fans, and aligns with Tidal’s support for open platforms. Pairing accessibility with best-in-class audio quality directly aligns with our purpose of empowering artists to run thriving businesses in the economy.”

Beginning today, EAP users can access over 6 million hi-res, lossless FLAC tracks, with Tidal indicating it actively works with distributors, labels and artists to add content everyday.

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Apple Music and Amazon Music offer a lot of their music category in hi-res lossless format, with Amazon Music offering FLAC format, and Apple Music offering ALAC, which is its own version of lossless audio encoding.

Spotify is still an outcast, being the only streaming service not offering lossless audio.

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