As you may already know, Tidal’s latest app update has apparently made Hi-Res FLAC files available to stream through it’s iOS, Android, Web and Desktop clients.
They have changed the top quality tiers from Hi-Fi (16/44.1kHz) and Master (MQA) to Hi-Fi and Max, which is intended to include both FLAC up to 24/192 and MQA files.
Eager to test, I looked for albums that have been reported to be in 24/192 (on Reddit) to try them out on Volumio, only to find that they are all still bearing the MQA icon and are only effectively playing at 24/48, unfolded through the DAC as MQA.
Do Volumio and the official client apps connect to the same servers and album repositories?
On a side note, using Tidal Connect from the desktop app on the same Max quality album will send it to to Volumio as Hi-Fi only and play at 16/44.1. Doing the same from the mobile apps will send it as Max, and it will play as MQA unfolded through the DAC.
Any thoughts on what could be happening?
Does your DAC support MQA unfolding? Volumio does not and passes the stream as is.
Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, my DAC supports MQA.
My question is two-fold:
Does Volumio connect to the same servers as the Tidal mobile/desktop/web clients?
and, if so; if pure hi-res FLAC albums/files (no MQA) are currently available to play, as they appear to be through the Tidal mobile/desktop/web clients, then,
why aren’t they visible through Volumio or playable through Tidal Connect?
Take, for example, Pink Floyd’s 2023 mix of The Dark Side of the Moon. Before the public launch of the new Hi-Res FLAC update, this album played as either MQA or 16/44.1 FLAC.
Today, both the desktop and mobile apps play it as hi-res PCM through a fully-MQA-capable USB dac with pass-through enabled, without engaging MQA.
Through Volumio’s UI, however, this same album will still only show 2 entries: an MQA version, which will play as such through an MQA-capable DAC, and a 16/44.1 FLAC.
Tidal Connect is another matter: when the same Hi-Res album is sent to Volumio via Tidal Connect from the Tidal mobile app, i’ts passed on as MQA, and not as the hi-res, non-mqa version it’s supposedly playing. And when it’s sent from the Tidal desktop app, it’s only passed through as 16/44.1 FLAC.
What do you think?
I think @volumio have to answer you on this, either Tidal does not support it yet for 3rd parties or they have to do changes in their own systems to support the new FLAC streams from Tidal.
I have established communication with Michelangelo. Volumio has not been notified of this development, and they are currently investigating the matter as we speak. It is plausible that this issue could be linked to the discontinuation of MQA by Tidal.
I am interesting in doing an tidal ab . I do not use tidal connect If I am using only the ui from Volumio , hi res flac will work ?
Well, there may be some conditionals:
If the Tidal mobile/desktop apps and Volumio currently connect to the same servers and catalogue repositories with the same access permissions, and if you can find a Hi-Res non-MQA FLAC source within them; then it should work, if you’re using a capable DAC.
If the first condition is met, but the second isn’t, you’ll only get what’s available on the catalogue passed on through to your DAC as-is by Volumio.
And if the first condition isn’t met, then maybe Tidal Hi-Res FLAC isn’t available yet to Volumio, Tidal Connect, and probably other third parties.
So Mqa and hi res flac will coexist on Tidal ?
Sounds a little bit complicated .
Maybe just use the native tidal app and don’t worry about volumio for if playing hi res MQA.
I just have tidal max for 1 month and hi res songs are just in 48 or 44.1 with 24 32 bits , I can not find one with 192 kHz … . All known mqa songs now appear as 48khz not 192 as I expected
Even now qobuz sounds better
According to Tidal, yes, HiRes FLAC and MQA will coexist.
Through Volumio, all MQA files will appear as either 48/24, 44.1/24, or even 44.1/16 depending on the file resolution. A 48/24 file will usually be “unfolded” to at least 96/24 by your DAC if it can do full decode, but it all depends on the file itself.
For more info, please take a look at the following thread which also reaches a similar conclusion:
I can’t get tidal to see my Volumio, the connection was lost three days ago, nothing happened in between, I don’t see the Volumio icon on my mobile, PC or my wife’s mobile.
Is there a way to force the reconnection? My Tidal account is operational, I restarted all the devices several times, I don’t know what else to do…
This will be good - at least it will stop the cranky-old-man comments regarding MQA as soon as someone mentions Tidal.
My PC and Android app still only show MAX (Up to 24-bit, 192 kHz), I thought I saw somewhere the app was displaying FLAC (could be the Apple app).
In other news it seems Tidal subs are getting cancelled the next billing date for those not in Argentina :(.
I think so too. And I’ve also seen reports of users comparing Qobuz Hi-Res files to Max quality, Hi-Res FLAC files on Tidal, and have found them to be the same file and master - so there’s that as well.
Regarding Hi-Res availability on Tidal Connect, Volumio, and other 3rd party software:
- Tidal’s API needs to be updated to allow these extensions to see and access the new catalog (Hi-Res FLAC).
- From what’s been published, Tidal is expected to make this available by late 2023, so (hopefully) they are (already) working with 3rd parties to make this happen as soon as possible.
Maybe the team at @volumio could confirm this, and let us know? (thanks!)
I realize this was a month ago, but did you manage to fix it? I’ve seen this happen and all that was needed was a reset (or two), and to verify that your device is effectively signed on to your My Volumio account.
thansk @TubularBells for bringing this up. And yes, we have some news to share.
About 2 weeks ago TIDAL contacted us providing the technical informations required to implement Hi-Res FLAC in TIDAL Connect. And guess what, we are working on it
We don’t have yet an ETA for when this will be released, as we must follow TIDAL’s indication. But rest assured that we want to be the first to have it out
Thanks for the quick reply and the great news!
Happy to hear that this is in the works and coming soon. We’ll be eagerly waiting and enjoying the music!
Fantastic news indeed…
Should work out well, as I didn’t bother with an MQA enabled DAC in my main setup (RPI 4 - RME ADI 2), and I think only 48 kHz is the maximum. 96 kHz would be good (Qobuz did hi res but not from the native app).
I see many are cheering for the total disappearance of MQA from our streaming systems then
Yay haha. Althought didn’t mind it on the iFi Zen DAC but easier if it’s consistent and have always used FLAC.
ps. Have just noticed the proper logos in Tidal PC app, FLAC
Still quite Annoying the Tidal app doesn’t show kHz on the playing screen. All depends on your hardware I guess- I can trust the iFi device in Exclusive mode. Can confirm 192kHz Playback (search for Hi-Res FLAC - 24bit/192kHz playlist).
Been trialling Peace APO EQ on different headphones, seems to display 96kHz in non-exclusive mode (and not a true indicator). Not really an issues as the 192 kHz selections is mostly selected classics (boring) and getting some buffering.
Will just have to sort out Tidal again in a few days