review

My Thoughts on Tidal

As a fan of different music genres and theories, it’s always a treat to come across a really nice streaming service that answers my needs, music selection and overall design considered. When I first heard of Tidal years back, I didn’t really consider it an option.

First, it’s not available in the Philippines, second, I wasn’t a fan of Jay-Z (who owns the company), and third, I had heard reports about it being expensive as hell. More than Apple Music & Spotify combined, in fact.

What you see when you visit  tidal.com

What you see when you visit tidal.com

Converted to Philippine Peso, the base monthly plan starts at P522 and gets up to P1,044 for the HiFi subscription. (That would already pay for a Family Plan on any of the other streaming platforms!) Being the sucker that I am for new things, I caved and got the HiFi plan (‘cause why not?).

What I Love

Using Tidal is super easy. The user interface is simple, direct, and beautiful. While I had always disliked Spotify’s dark colors, Tidal gets away with it by balancing the dark with colorful album covers. (This must be why Spotify had recently started adapting and learning from them.)

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The iPhone app is also very beautiful, with no distractions at all when you pull out a track into full-screen mode. Very sleek. I also love that it took me less than 5 minutes to set things up just the way I wanted. From “collecting” albums to creating playlists, the experience was smooth.

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Their claim to provide lossless audio for HiFi accounts was accurate. There was a period where, to test the quality across the three platforms (Tidal, Spotify, Apple Music), I’d play the same song on the fullest, highest settings available on all of them. To give the two a fair chance, I temporarily set Tidal to play at Standard quality. Tidal came out a tad bit better. More bass and a fuller sound.

Just like the other platforms, you can save songs for offline listening via the app and all the nice features you expect to come with the service. Unlike Spotify, they have videos that you can save to collections - kind of like a personal video playlist. They also house music-themed podcasts, which i also like.


What Could be Better

So, Tidal is great. I never said it was perfect, however. For one, the desktop version of the app doesn’t allow downloads for offline listening. I’ve tried exploring the interface but I haven’t found a way to do that. While that disappointed me, it wasn’t a deal breaker.

Desktop app for Tidal. Can’t see a download button anywhere.

Desktop app for Tidal. Can’t see a download button anywhere.

Secondly, I was hoping that their podcast directory wouldn’t be music-based only. One of the things I love about Spotify and Apple Music is that there’s a huge selection of podcasts ranging from music, to self-improvement, to language learning, and more.

Thirdly, their global music selection is incomplete. Similar to Spotify, not all K-Pop or J-Pop tracks are listed. Apple Music has an advantage here, but also, the platform isn’t complete in itself.

Lastly, I hate the fact that it’s so damn expensive. Like I mentioned earlier, a single user on Tidal could be paying for a whole family subscription on any of the two platforms. (I’ve found a trick though: pay annually so I don’t feel the money slipping away every month.)

The Verdict

Considering all these pro’s and con’s, I’d still recommend Tidal. It has more of what I love than hate, I love how it looks, I love its simple interface, and I’d be willing to give it more money on my next annual bill.

Have you ever tried Tidal or thinking of getting a trial subscription? Sound-off in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Bye!

App Review: Sleep Orbit

Hello everybody! So today, I'll be talking about an app I recently downloaded on the App Store called 'Sleep Orbit', and according to the developers, it's a 'unique 3D sound concept' that'll help you relax and/or sleep through layered sounds. 

I recorded a short review video for you, so you can really experience the sounds before you download the app. (Earphones recommended!)

Helpful links/ASMR sources:

App Download for iOS | Android

The ASMR 101 article

 

There you go, I hope you guys will want to download the app and try it out for yourself. I'll update if I ever decide to go Pro with the app. 'Til then, I'll be confined to my little orbits of ASMR goodness. 

Quickdraw With Google

I love games, and if my Steam library is not an indication of that, I don't know what is. Of course, I don't limit myself to just PC/Mac games, but for this post, I'd like to show you a game similar to "Draw My Thing", if you're familiar with it. Instead of humans guessing your drawing from the other side of the globe, it's Google's AI. Introducing, Quickdraw.

So what does it do? To play the game, you must draw the object given in under 20 seconds. As you draw, Google's AI continuously spews out words to guess the object. There's 6 drawings per set, and after each set, you can see which items the AI wasn't able to guess and why.

Last week, the game told me to draw something impossible. Right after giving me the object to draw, it crashed, making me think that it was an error and the system had never intended to give me that task. 

Like, how the hell am I supposed to draw the friggin' Mona Lisa in under 20 seconds?! Holy cow. Even my workmates found this funny. I haven't come across this ever since that first time, and I'm really curious about how people went ahead with this. If this was part of the system, how did it determine if the drawing was The Mona? 

 

So yeah, if you have time to check it out, I suggest you contribute to this little AI study Google is conducting and help technology get a better grasp at intuition and logic. :)