There are lots of music streaming options available, but out of them, Tidal is the only major service that offers high-fidelity sound.
A quick lesson on audio quality, especially regarding songs streamed over the cloud: Both Spotify and Apple Music compress audio to deliver acceptable, decent-sounding quality at low bitrates. In fact, almost every website with audio does this, YouTube included. Why not just stream Hi-Fi music, then? Well, that would mean streaming uncompressed audio, which is much larger than compressed ones and would require more bandwidth and data.
Amazon Preparing Hi-Fi Music Streaming Tier
Tidal's Hi-Fi tier streams uncompressed, lossless audio, but because of the increased data requirements, this costs more than a regular tier. Amazon is apparently trying to develop a similar music streaming service, which comes less than a week after the company launched its first fully free music streaming option for Amazon Echo devices all over the globe.
Amazon is reportedly talking with a number of large music rights holders about the potential launch of its Hi-Fi streaming platform, according to Music Business Worldwide. At least one major record company has hopped onboard.
The publication cited "several high-placed music industry" people as its source, who claim the price of Amazon's new Hi-Fi tier will likely hover somewhere around $15 per month — less than Tidal's $20 fee, which lets users listen to CD-quality lossless streams at 44.1 kHz or 16 bit. As for the sound quality of Amazon's service in question, one source said:
"It's a better bit rate, better than CD quality."
Amazon is currently scoping out how much catalog it can get from everyone and how it'll "ingest" it, the source added.
Tidal's "Masters" range is made possible by its partnership with MQA, a digital high-definition music company. Amazon, however, apparently has not partnered with MQA for its Hi-Fi streaming service.
If this turns out to be true, Amazon would have all the bases covered: free, ad-based streaming, a full Spotify or Apple Music rival care of Music Unlimited, and finally, a Hi-Fi option. On top of which, it also sells CDs, vinyl, and other merchandise. Amazon isn't necessarily looked at as a major player in the world of music, but as it turns out, it might actually have more power in this area than originally thought.
"We haven't seen anything near what they're capable of in music yet," one U.S.-based music industry source said.
Spotify and Apple Music have yet to offer a lossless streaming option, although the former has previously been rumored to be working on such a tier. As always, make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.