Tidal wave: new deskop app, ticketmaster partnership, and student discount coming soon

tidal desktop app
Jay Z’s streaming service, Tidal, offered a slew of announcements today in an effort to entice more users to the service, including a beta version of Tidal’s first desktop app, discounts on subscription fees for students, and a partnership with Ticketmaster, all of which will be arriving in “a few weeks.”

The desktop app appears to essentially be a port of the web player, for better or worse. Users can search through the 30 million songs on Tidal, but the new app still won’t allow users to search through Tidal’s library of 75,000 high quality videos. The app does include gapless playback, as well as compatibility with Apple’s AirPlay for wireless streaming over compatible devices, as well as the ability to recognize Digital Audio Converters (DACs) through the app from exterior audio components.

Tidal is also tinkering with its mobile experience. The company is working to improve the design and search functionality, including the addition of a new, more visible button for the “offline mode,” making it easier for users to cache music for offline playback. However, there’s no word on whether the offline playback will be added for videos, which would push it further into the space of YouTube’s yet-to-be-launched Music Key streaming service.

The music streaming industry is about to get a lot more crowded with impending releases from both Apple and the aforementioned YouTube service, competing with newly released features like video and podcasts from the on-demand industry champ, Spotify, which owns a massive market share of over 60 million users.

In order to stand out, Tidal is planning to expand one of its distinguishing features — live performances — with its new partnership with Ticketmaster that will enable Tidal users to track future concerts and purchase tickets from the Tidal app. This also means Tidal users will have access to exclusive ticket giveaways, pre-sales, and discounts.

The subscription-only service, which offers no free tier, is also aiming to attract one of the most active groups of music listeners: students. Students eligible to sign up will be able to do so at Tidal.com for a 50 percent discount which brings the service’s standard tier down to $5/month, and the higher resolution “Hi-Fi” tier to $10/month. Tidal partnered with online eligibility verification service, SheerID to ensure those signing up were current students. To verify status, students will need to upload either their student ID card, class schedule, transcript, or a school document with their full name.

Spotify also offers student discounts but, requires students to renew the discount every year or revert back to regular pricing. Spotify’s student program also only allows for four one-year sessions on the student account, whereas Tidal makes no mention of any restrictions on its student discounts.

Less than a week before Apple’s rumored reveal of the re-branded Beats Music service, Tidal continues scaling up its business and hoping to make a inroads in the market in the coming months.

Home Theater

Apple Music encourages subscribers to give friends a free 1-month pass

It's no secret that Apple has its sights set squarely on Spotify's enviable subscriber count, but how will Apple Music grow? By using existing customers to recruit new members by letting them send friends a one-month free pass.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

The best new music this week: Robert Ellis, Golden Daze, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: Brand-new music from Robert Ellis, Broken Social Scene, and Golden Daze.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.

Schubert left Symphony No. 8 unfinished. A smartphone’s A.I. just completed it

We all know computers can be used to make music, but can artificial intelligence be used to not only generate music, but complete one of the most famous unfinished symphonies of all time? Huawei has used its A.I. to find out.

Spotify could terminate accounts of listeners using ad blockers

Bad news for those who block annoying ads on Spotify -- the company has updated its Terms of Service to explicitly ban ad blockers. Consequences for users found circumventing the rules include suspending or terminating your account.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.

Donald Glover is (somehow) first rapper to win a Grammy for Song Of The Year

Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) has become the first hip-hop artist to win Song Of The Year, an award that had illuded countless other popular rap artists for decades.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

The 25 best love songs on Spotify for your wooing pleasure

Valentine's Day comes but once a year, but love is forever. If you're hoping to impress your significant other -- or if you're trying to procure one -- we put together a list of the best love songs for your wooing pleasure.

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.

After Twitch ban for using homophobic language, musician Deadmau5 apologizes

Electronic musician Deadmau5 has been suspended from Twitch after using homophobic language during a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds match. The musician later said he wouldn't be returning.