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Apple Music vs. Tidal Music: What're the Differences?

Tidal, launched by Norwegian public company Aspiro in 2014, is subscription-based music, podcast, and video streaming service that combines lossless audio and high-definition music videos. In the second year, Apple launched its subscription-based music streaming service – Apple Music, which has over 90 million songs currently. It is also an excellent music service that lets users stream music from its server and access all users' music in one place, whether it is purchased from iTunes, copied from CD, or downloaded from the web.

Both music streaming services are popular and have a large number of subscribers. Thus, you might be confused about choosing the most suitable one between them. Don’t worry! Today, we are going to compare these two music streaming services in terms of the subscription, free trial rules, audio quality, compatibility, and user experience, so as to help you make a decision.

Apple Music vs Tidal

Apple Music vs. Tidal Music: Subscription

Apple Music only provides one subscription for subscribers, which costs $9,99 per month for individuals, $14,99 per month for Family subscribers with up to 6 Premium account, and $4,99 per month for students (College students only. Verification required.). With the Family subscription, you need to share your iCould with your Family. You may find the price is lower for Apple users when you order Apple One bundle with other Apple subscriptions.

Tidal provides two subscriptions for subscribers to enjoy its service: the Premium plan and HiFi plan that cost $9,99 per month and $19,99 per month. Like Apple Music, Tidal also provides Family subscriptions for Family subscribers costing $14,99 for the Family Premium plan and $29,99 per month for the HiFi plan. The difference between Tidal and Apple Music is that Tidal provides a 50% discount for students and provide a 40% discount for US Military and First Responder. With the Tidal Premium plan, the subscribers can enjoy Tidal music with standard sound quality, high definition music videos, and expertly curated editorial. But with HiFi plan, you can get lossless High Fidelity sound quality, Sony 360 Reality Audio, and Dolby Atoms Music.

apple music subscription

Apple Music vs. Tidal Music: Free Trial Rules

Apple Music provides a 3 months free trial for new subscribers, but Tidal only provides a one-month. That means, simply sign in an account on them, you can stream all the songs on Tidal and Apple Music for free without paying and subscribing to them first. How to subscribe to the free trial month? It is pretty easy. Just go to their apps or website and click start free trial to get a free account, then you can enjoy millions of songs. Please note that you have to enter your billing information to subscribe to the free trial subscription, and do remember to unsubscribe from the service before the billing date for the second month if you decide not to continue using them.

tidal music subscription

Apple Music vs. Tidal Music: Audio Quality

The audio quality is the most significant difference between these two music streaming services. Tidal is obviously the winner in the battle of audio quality since it focuses on providing high-end music quality. Tidal provides different audio quality for Premium and HiFi plan subscribers. Tidal Premium subscribers could enjoy music with quality up to 320 kbps, which is appreciated by most users. Apple Music provides its music with an AAC codec locked at 256 kbps, but it is similar to Tidal Premium’s 320 kbps audio quality.

For subscribers who need to enjoy music with higher audio quality, Tidal provides the Tidal HiFi plan for them to enjoy music at CD-quality 1411 kbps FLAC, with MQA (Master Quality Assured) encoding. The performance of Tidal HiFi is much better when you listen to the right music in high quality, hi-res audio headphones, or stream to a higher music system. The music sounds brighter, cleaner, and more realistic. Meanwhile, High-Resolution tracks on Tidal are signposted by a Master logo beneath the artist listing. The App offers rails dedicated to Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) albums and playlists, simplifying access.

Apple Music vs. Tidal Music: Compatibility

The Apple Music subscribers only have access to the service on its App or iTunes. Apple Music App is available on iOS (iPadOS) devices, Android OS, and macOS Catalina or later. If you have a Windows computer, you need to install iTunes to access Apple Music songs. Of course, Apple also adds Apple Music app to most other devices, including Apple Watch, Apple TV, Apple CarPlay, and Apple HomePod. There is a limitation for Apple Music users that they can only access higher audio quality when their devices are connecting a WiFi, even though the cellular connection is good enough.

Tidal Music subscribers can access music via its App or web player. And its app is available on various devices and platforms, including Audio systems (more than 65 kinds of devices supports Tidal), Smart TVs & Streamers (Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, etc.), Auto (Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, Volkswagen, Apple CarPlay, and android auto), Mobile & Tablets (iOS and Android devices), Amazon Alexa, Samsung Gear, and Desktop & Laptops. If you would like to enjoy music with standard audio quality, simply find and install Tidal app, you can enjoy millions of songs from Tidal. But notice that, HiFi subscribers can only access HiFi audio quality (CD-quality 1411 kbps FLAC) on Tidal web player.

Apple Music vs. Tidal Music: User Experience

The user experience could be different for subscribers with different devices. Apple Music probably is the default music app for iOS users, and for some Android fans. It could be the best choice for people who have an extensive collection of music downloads since Apple Music is the only App for you to upload the downloaded music. Tidal's overall design is easy to use, and Tidal is good at the personalized feature that it knows what users are interested in and recommend music on relevant.

However, Tidal music has a disadvantage compared with Apple Music, which is that Tidal subscribers cannot download music from Tidal on a computer. You can only download music from Tidal within the mobile App on your Android or iOS devices.

In conclusion, Tidal provides a better music streaming service since it offers higher quality audios for subscribers to enjoy music. When you subscribe to the Tidal HiFi plan, you can enjoy music at CD lossless quality or master audio quality. Tidal is recommended for those who are pursuing higher audio quality headphones or speakers. For those who have several Apple devices, Apple Music could be a great option, as it will help you build a wonderful music connection that allows you to stream music on any of your Apple devices.

How to Download Tidal Music on Computer?

As we mentioned above that Tidal does not allow users to download music on computer, which is a sad story for many who would like to play Tidal music offline on PC. Don’t worry! Today, we are going to introduce a tool to download music from Tidal on your computer with up to HiFi audio quality.

The professional tool we will use is TunePat Tidal Media Downloader, a reliable and practical program to download songs, playlists, and albums from Tidal and convert them to common formats such as MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF or ALAC. With the assistance of TunePat Tidal Media Downloader, you can download Tidal music at 10X conversion speed with ID3 tags kept. Most importantly, you will get the audio files with lossless audio quality after conversion. If you are a Tidal Hi-Fi tier user, the program can help you get Hi-Fi sound quality. With no need to install the Tidal App, you are able to get Tidal music downloaded on your computer directly and transfer them to any device for offline listening.

Step 1Sign in Your Tidal Account

Install TunePat Tidal Media Downloader on your computer and launch it, and the program will ask you to log in to Tidal. Then, please enter your account and password to let TunePat access your library.

log in

Step 2Customize the Output Settings

Click the "Settings" button that looks like a gear on the top right corner of the screen, here you can set the output format (AUTO/MP3/AAC/WAV/FLAC/AIFF/ALAC), audio quality, the download location, and choose to organize the output files by Artist, Album, Artist/Album, Album/Artist, or Playlist.


Step 3Select Tidal Music to Convert

Choose a playlist/artist/album, click the blue Add button on the bottom right corner of the interface and select the songs you want to download from the pop-up window.

add music

Step 4Convert Tidal Music

After selecting songs, click the "Convert" button to start converting the music to the format which you have chosen before.

convert Tidal music

Step 5 Check the Downloaded Music

Once the conversion is done, click the “History” button to find the converted files.

conversion history

Now, the Tidal music is downloaded to your computer, and you can transfer the music files to other devices or iCloud library. Then, you can find those downloaded Tidal songs within your Apple Music App and play them offline.


With TunePat Tidal Media Downloader, you are able to download Tidal music with up to CD-lossless audio quality for offline playback on your Windows or Mac computers. TunePat Tidal Media Downloader is the best choice for you to download Tidal songs faster with lossless audio quality kept. Try it now! It is definitely a helpful tool for you to download Tidal Music for offline playback. Here to find out more information about TunePat Tidal Media Downloader.

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