When you think about people who use TIDAL to stream music, you probably imagine they're mostly into hip-hop. After all, the streaming service was created by Jay-Z, among others, and has exclusively released albums by Kanye West, among others. However, there are many metal lovers who solely use TIDAL rather than Spotify or Apple Music.
There are good reasons for this, which might convince you either to switch to TIDAL or find another alternative to the more popular streaming services. If you live in a country where TIDAL is still not available, you can use a free VPN server to gain access to it, by setting your location as the United States.
So what is it about TIDAL that makes it a more attractive option than Spotify and Apple Music? And why should it appeal to metal lovers?
One of TIDAL’s main selling points is that the sound quality is better than any other streaming services. And when you look at the difference, you'll see it’s more of a chasm than a gap.
Apple Music and Spotify Premium have reasonable sound quality, at 320kbps. However, TIDAL goes much further with lossless music quality or FLAC. This means that you will hear everything that the musicians and producers wanted you to hear. Each instrument will be clear and crisp. The EQ that the producers carefully perfected will come through, rather than you having to adjust it according to your device’s settings.
Remember that if you don’t have good quality headphones, you won’t really hear the difference, but if you're a music lover you should certainly invest in them.
But why is music quality particularly important to metal lovers.
Metal and TIDAL
Many of the artists with the highest quality recordings available on TIDAL are in fact metal artists. There's good reason for this. Fans of metal don’t listen to music like the average music fan. We don’t focus on the vocals alone, with everything else serving as backing. Rather, we want to hear the musicianship, including masterful drumming, electrifying guitar solos, and incredibly effective and clever bass.
Many metal fans are aspiring musicians themselves, playing at least one instrument. We want to hear what each instrument is doing and we want it exactly as the artist intended.
This does not necessarily mean you need to pay the $20 a month TIDAL demands for their highest tier. There are other services out there which provide FLAC or lossless music. Often, you'll need to buy an album direct from the artist, and you will need a FLAC player on whatever device you use, as your default music player won’t support the format.
The problem with these sites is that you need to get each album independently, and may end up spending more than you would on the $20 subscription fee. On the other hand, not all the music you listen to needs to be this high quality. If you limit your purchases to the bands whose music deserves to be appreciated in its ultimate form, this may be the perfect option.