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Tidal finally has a desktop application

Richard Easton
3 Jun 2015
Tidal full screen desktop application
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Tidal has finally released a desktop application but it's not drastically different from the web-based player

Tidal, the JAY Z-backed high-resolution music streaming service, has finally released a desktop application for Windows and Mac. Previously, Tidal desktop users only had the web-based player available alongside the mobile apps, but the new desktop application brings some parity with the service's main rival Spotify. The application is available today for both Windows and Mac users.

I got an advanced look at the Tidal app, which I've been using for the past 24 hours. It is labelled as still being in Beta and seemingly for good reason as there are still features that feel missing. As it stands, there's not a lot different from the web-based interface save for a new menu bar across the top of the application.

Tidal change audio output

Delving into the Settings menu, the main new option you get is to have the application start alongside Windows as well as being able to select your sound output device from within the application. This will be useful if you have an external sound card to take advantage of Tidal's higher quality streaming, for example.

Tidal change video resolutions

The other addition is the ability to change streaming resolution on videos on Tidal; up to 1080p on certain videos down to 240p if your internet speed isn't up to the task (which might make Tidal not the ideal streaming service for you).

Tidal missing jump list controls

However, one of the reasons I prefer to use a desktop application rather than a web-based player is the Windows jump list media shortcuts to control the music from the taskbar. This is irritatingly absent from the Tidal application so there's no way to pause or skip tracks without opening the application up. I'm hoping this comes in an update but right now it's a major omission. Media shortcut keys on my keyboard also didn't work with Tidal, whereas I've never had a problem controlling Spotify. 

The desktop application is a reasonable start, but it's far from perfect. Tidal will need to step up its game if it wants to catch up to its rivals after a slow start since its re-launch. If you're in the market for a new streaming service, check out our guide: Best music streaming service - which should you subscribe to?

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