I’ve been using Apple Music for more than a year and like it. Paying less than $4 per month and I can listen to anything on iTunes Store. As I’m from the cassette era, from the world which had Tower Record, I really enjoy the experience that I have access to any albums I can think of … any albums that show up as recommended.
Two months ago, I tried Tidal. Basically, it’s another online service which allows us to listen to anything in their music pool “in Hi-Res”. Paying approx $10 a month for hi-res music isn’t that interesting, but I’d love to try the free 30-days.
After a few weeks with Tidal, I like many things on it. The first thing is its UI. Apple Music needs iTunes, and iTunes can do way too many things. iTunes UI is not that bad, but it’s too much for people those who need just to listen to music. Next is the audio quality which is an advantage of Tidal. No need to say much about this, listening good music with good pair of headphone or monitor speakers is lovely.
The handicap of Tidal is, the music library is not as big as Apple Music, period. This is clear. By the way, Tidal’s music library is big enough for me … for now.
One last thing I’d like to mention about the difference between Tidal and Apple Music is their algorithm to recommend related album. Apple has good algorithm to recommend albums those are related to the songs we listen. This is handy. But I just don’t like it. As I mentioned above, I’m from the cassette era, I look at this kind of service as I can walk into Tower Record and be able to put any albums into a player and listen to it. I love to explore, want to randomly pick albums. The algorithm on Apple Music works similar as ones on Amazon and Google Search. They try to serve us what they think we like. It’s good, but it narrows us one way or another. I started to feel like being offended by Big Data for a while. Don’t get me wrong. Big Data is very interesting and there are many ways to make it useful for the world. But this is music listening. I love to explore, so I don’t need “related album” or “recommended album” based on what I listen. Tidal doesn’t have this … so I like it 🙂