Messing with Tidal

After reading a little about how much artists make per stream from the various streaming services I started messing with Tidal. Jen and I had an account when they first launched but, despite the focus on audio quality, it wasn’t quite up to speed enough to make us want to switch away from Apple Music.

They have a free account now, and I don’t think they did before. What the hell, let’s play with the free account. Spotify’s free account is obnoxiously add heavy, might this be a little better? I know artists get a bigger cut (though it’s still insultingly small) so let’s try it.

I created a new account through the iPhone app. I played around with UI mostly, not really getting into the music at first. That was two days ago. Yesterday near the end of the work day I started listening through the web app. I picked one artist, Robert Cray, and shuffled the catalog. I got three plays before an add. I guess all of their adds are actually adds for Tidal’s paid services rather than paid commercials, but whatever. It’s still an add. After the first 30 second add I heard two songs before the next add. Then I heard one song before the next add. Oh for crying out loud.

Today I tried changing my password. I used something generic to start with but I wanted to change it to something more random. I opened up my account settings and changed the password to something my password manager generated for me. It seemed to work. I then went into the iPhone app to re-log in and it told me my password was incorrect. Sigh. It then took me about four tries to get my password reset. The web app kept acting like I was actually signed in. It wasn’t kicking me out even though I had changed my password, had the password change fail, and was clearly logged out. The iPhone app kept me logged out fine.

Finally I got through the password reset process and tried to log in and the log in failed. Not because of the password, it just failed and said to try again later. I tried a private browser window and it told me I was blocked. Come on, guys. What the hell. I went back to a normal browser window and it finally worked. What an ordeal.

I picked one of their auto-generated user-specific playlist things and the first song it gave me was Pekin Spring by Mission of Burma, so I guess that was Tidal’s way of appologizing.

So far I have gone three plays, a 29 second add, now another three plays. This time though, the second of the three songs was an artist I don’t like so I clicked the little block icon and it skipped to the third song. Does Tidal have a limit on the number of songs you can skip like some of the others do? I don’t know. Does blocking an artist from an auto-generated playlist count as a skip? Did I just break the internet?

We’ll see.

After the third song I got another 29 second add. I have to go do something else soon, so I’m going to have to stop this dumb experiment, but the next song is Mission of Burma again, That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate. Arguably the best 2:05 in rock history.

Another thing to mention for the web app. Coming out of commercials it has a REALLY hard time getting into the next song. It plays the first fraction of a second a few times before righting the ship and fixing itself. When I skipped a track it was even worse. It did the same thing when I was listening yesterday. I think we need to submit a bug for that one, kids.

Okay. Burma’s ending. Time to go find the elusive glass punch bowl that is somewhere in the cellar. Talk to you later, New Years kids.