Tidal Desktop App Changes - Surprise!

I saw the message on Thursday morning at 8:18 AM on my Facebook feed from the "MQA Audio -Developments and News," which is a closed group - "Interesting - I just opened my Tidal app which came up with their new user agreement and so forth. I clicked through the whole mess and a new user interface came up...one noticeable difference is that I no longer see the "What's New - Masters" section. In fact, I cannot seem to find a way at all to just go look for new/current tracks solely on the basis of them being Master Quality." 

AR-DTC3a.pngAs I quickly discovered when I opened my Tidal App, things had changed, and not necessarily in a good way. First, I had to go through the new user agreement with the required authorization clicks, and after a bit a new Tidal interface greeted me. My first thought while scanning through the new top menus was, "Who cut Tidal's' balls off?" 

Why the negative reaction, Steve-o? Because Tidal's "Settings" section had disappeared from the main menu. I spent several minutes trying to find out what had happened to settings...I finally resorted to the "human mine detector" method, where you click every line of text, looking for something that takes you somewhere else. Finally, after a couple of minutes I found what I was looking for - the settings. Where were they? Where most folks wouldn't think of looking for them - you get to settings on the new interface by clicking on your own picture! I'm sure whoever came up with this idea assumed it was a no-brainer. Of course, EVERYONE knows to find personal settings you should always click on your picture, right? 

AR-DTC5a.pngHaving found the new location for settings you would assume that all was well and life could continue on, but that would not be true. Within the settings pane is the "Streaming" pane, which is where all the important options used to be located - all you had to do was click on the gear icon to open a pane that let you choose whether to use "exclusive mode" where the music playback DAC becomes dedicated to the Tidal app, "force volume" mode where the app bypasses its volume settings, and finally "passthrough MQA" where you can designate whether your DAC is MQA compatible. On the new control surface there was no gear icon! Once more I went to clicking anywhere that might take me to that last settings pane. The slightly greyed out text "more settings" got me where I needed to go, finally... 

Now obviously these little issues are relatively minor within the worldwide scheme of life, but for longtime Tidal users in the Facebook group it took several minutes to get over the initial panic of loss and begin to poke around the new interface. After rediscovering "settings" I, too, noticed the dedicated "Masters" section in "New Albums" was also gone. Also missing was the "Genres" discovery section that I often used when looking for new releases. When I scrolled own I finally found a new, dedicated "Masters" section. No Genres, however...

AR-DTC7a.pngAgain, after pushing every button to see where it would take me I found the "Genres" section had been moved to the "Explore" sub-menu. And instead of the nice graphics of each music type, now there were not only the names of music genres, but moods, such as "Love," "Relax," "Workout" and "Party," added the more traditional categories like "Metal," "Country" and "Folk." These new moods remind me of the SenseMe mood algorithm from Sony, which Sony has been using on various devices for several years. 

Two features that remind me of my Amazon Prime home page, are the new sections below genres called "Suggested Albums for You," and "Suggested Artists for You." What was a bit odd was that over ½ the albums suggested for me were already part of my album lists. I found the Artists section also had the same level of redundancy. Thanks, Tidal, for telling me things I already know... 

AR-DTC8a.pngFor Tidal users who own and use Roon as their primary payback app, good news! - the Roon app still has a separate "Masters" section within its Tidal menu and they have not followed Tidal's lead and decided to move stuff around. 

I'm sure that any physical media fan who has read this far is feeling that slightly superior feeling, the one you get just before a gloat, that they never have to experience cha-cha-changes like this with their CD players and turntables. But part of being on the cutting edge of technology is that occasionally, you get to bleed a little... 

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