Tidal vs. Apple Music: Which One is Better?


By Jack Lin

Update on

Tidal vs. Apple Music
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Tidal and Apple Music both are well-known names in the music-streaming industry. On one side, Apple Music is the most popular brand in the US, and on the other side, there is a strong subscriber base possessed by Tidal.

Both of these streaming service providers have captured the attention of music streaming lovers by making various exclusive releases.

Below I have provided a comprehensive comparison of Tidal vs. Apple Music so that you may easily conclude which one is better for you. So just keep reading till the end.

Subscription Plans – Tidal vs. Apple Music

Tidal and Apple Music offer subscriptions or memberships renewing each month automatically. In case you intend to discontinue the subscription, you can cancel the subscription anytime to stop further renewals.

But remember that, even on cancelation of the subscription, you will not get the refund for the current month you have already been charged. But once you have canceled the subscription, it will not get renewed for the next month.

Based on subscription plans offered, Tidal and Apple Music streaming services can be compared in the following way:

Tidal’s Subscription Plans

Various types of subscriptions offered by Tidal with their respective prices are as follows.

  • An individual subscription plan offered by Tidal costs $9.99/month. And there is also an individual plan for Audiophiles, which costs $19.99/per month. This plan for Audiophiles offers the lossless sound quality of “High Fidelity.” The videos offered in this plan are in high definition.
  • Tidal also offers two types of student plans: Premium and HiFi. The premium student plan will cost you $4.99/month, and the HiFi student plan will cost you $9.99/month.
  • Two types of family plans are also offered by Tidal: Premium and HiFi family plans. For the premium service in a family plan, you will need to pay $14.99/month. And, for the HiFi service in the family plan, you will need to pay $29.99/month.
  • For military people, Tidal offers special rates. There are also both the premium and HiFi military subscriptions costing $5.99/month and $11.99/month, respectively.
  • Tidal also offers a 1-month free trial of its paid subscription. But remember that it will get converted into the paid subscription automatically unless you cancel the subscription before the trial period ends.

(Note: The prices mentioned above are the prices offered in the US. In the other regions of the world, you may find slight variations.)

Apple Music’s Subscription Plans

When I looked at the various types of subscriptions offered by Apple Music streaming services with their respective prices, I ended up collecting the following facts.

Apple Music's Subscription Plans
  • There is an individual subscription plan offered by the Apple Music streaming service. This plan costs $9.99/month.
  • As far as the student plan of Apple music is concerned, it will cost you $4.99/month.
  • And the family plan (up to 6 members allowed) of Apple Music costs $14.99/month.
  • There is no special plan for military personnel, as we noted in the case of Tidal.
  • You will also have a 3-months free trial of the paid subscription. Unless you cancel the subscription before the trial period ends, it will get converted into a paid subscription.
Apple Music 3-month trial

(Note: The prices mentioned above are the prices offered in the US. In the other regions of the world, you may find slight variations.)

Tidal vs. Apple Music – Songs Library

Regarding the collection of the number of songs, Tidal possesses a total of fifty-seven million songs. And Apple Music, on the other hand, offers a catalog of fifty million songs.

Tidal vs. Apple Music – Exclusive Rights Of Artists

It may be important for you to compare Tidal vs. Apple Music based on the exclusive artist rights. Tidal is the first to receive stuff from Beyonce, Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West.

And on the other hand, the albums by Taylor Swift, Drake, and Pharrell Williams are first offered by Apple Music.

Exclusive Rights Of Artists

Tidal vs. Apple Music – Offline Listening

You can download as many songs, playlists, and albums as you want from Tidal to listen to them offline. But Apple Music has put a limit on downloading. You can download a maximum of 100000 songs for offline listening.

The music content (songs, albums, etc.) you have downloaded from Tidal for your offline listening purpose can be synced to any device that uses the same account.

But only a maximum of 5 devices simultaneously can be made use of for offline listening. On the other hand, in Apple Music, downloaded content can be synced to other devices with the same Apple ID.

Tidal vs. Apple Music – Quality of Streaming

Streaming quality in Tidal can be adjusted (ranging from Normal to High) as per your requirement and choice. And this facility is available in both the Premium as well as HiFi plans.

Moreover, there is also an option for selecting bitrate, which you can use in order to manage the usage of your cellular data smartly.

Another important thing that grabs the attention of Tidal users is its partnership with the MQA which is “Master Quality Authenticated.” And it makes it possible for the recordings of master quality to be directly delivered from master sources. Isn’t that great?

Of course, it is. The reason is that MQA audio is at the highest resolution (96 kHz/24bit), which can be possible.

And, without MQA, the audio, even in a HiFi subscription, is limited to only 44.1 kHz/16bit (however, it is also very high, but not the highest). The MQA is only included in the HiFi plan of $19.99.

It simply means that if you want to take advantage of MQA, you will have to subscribe to the HiFi plan costing $19.99.

Quality of Streaming

And on the other hand, when it comes to streaming quality, in the case of Apple Music streams AAC files at 256kbps. And you are not allowed to change the quality of the sound. Rather, it will remain fixed.

Recommendation Features

Tidal has a good system to sense your preferences and choices. Once you have started adding stuff to your collection, it becomes straightforward for the system to understand your taste.

Moreover, other interactions (like blocking artists and tracks) made by you also help Tidal to sense your preferences.

On the other side, Apple Music’s capability of sensing the user’s taste is far better than that of Tidal. It asks you to choose your favorite artists at the time of signing up. Hence just from the beginning, the system starts getting an understanding of your choices and preferences.

And, it is necessary so that more and more new content matching your choices can be recommended and suggested to you.

With the use of this information provided by you at the time of sign-up, the “For You” section is populated and updated with all the new releases, playlists, and daily mixes. Isn’t that really cool?

Mobile Applications

Tidal offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices. The interface of the application is very slick and black in color.

In the app, there are different tabs provided to make you easily search the catalog, check out the recommendations and new releases, access the music collection made by you, browse Tidal music, etc.

Tidal’s app also provides an offline mode. With this offline mode, the content that you have already downloaded will be served to you in the app.

Moreover, in this offline mode, there will also appear some useful tips that you can read for learning how to use the app. These tips can be constructive for you if you have opened the app for the first time.

Tidal’s app also offers a full-screen media player that, when opened, displays the album art while playing it. On this screen, you can easily perform the tasks like “add-to-playlist,” song queuing, sharing, creating station, etc. There are also options for audio devices.

On the other hand, when it comes to the mobile application for Apple Music, you can use the music catalog offered by it through the Music app available on your phone. This Music app is already installed on each and every iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad as well.

And you can also download it separately if required. In this app, you will find tabs for accessing the music library, listening to the radio station, checking out suggestions for you, browsing the catalog of Apple music, etc.

And compared to Tidal, the Apple Music app is not so easy to use. You will also have a hard time getting familiar with it. That’s because some hidden options may be a little bit confusing for you to find out.

Tidal Mobile Applications
Tidal (left), ‌Apple Music‌ (right)

In addition, just like Tidal’s app, Apple’s Music app also offers a full-screen media player that displays the album art while playing it.

On this screen, you can easily perform the tasks like “add-to-playlist,” song queuing, sharing, creating station, etc. And there are also options for an audio device.

PC & Mac Applications

For PC & Mac, Tidal also offers an app you can install easily. The app is very slim and easy to use.

Moreover, in case Tidal’s app is not installed on your PC, and still, you want to consume Tidal’s music on your computer, it is also possible.

That’s because Tidal also offers a web player to make it possible for you to access its content in such situations.

PC & Mac Applications
Tidal desktop app

On the other hand, Apple Music offers iTunes that you can install on your PC or Mac.

But this app for PC and Mac offered by Apple Music is not as slim and as easy to use as that of Tidal.

There is an option of “Smart playlist” that automatically generates a playlist for you based on date added, genre, loved, etc.

And, when it comes to the web player that you may need in case the iTunes app is not installed on your PC or Mac, Apple Music doesn’t offer such a player, unlike Tidal.

So in this aspect, Tidal can be said to be better than Apple Music.

Discovery Features

The discovery feature offered by Tidal is really worth appreciating. In the home screen’s top part, you will see new albums and tracks suggested to you.

And, below, there are video playlists, top charts, music shows, podcasts, etc., along with featured and popular albums/playlists.

There is also a “Tidal Rising” section dedicated to the content created by new and less popular artists.

Discovery Features

And in Apple Music, there is a separate tab (named “Browse”) for showing non-personalized content.

This is the tab that shows the trending playlists and artists also. There are also music videos and top charts as well.

Through the “Browse” tab, you can also access the film and TV section.

Apple Music Features

Moreover, there is a “Radio” tab also in Apple Music. This tab offers music stations based on the listening habits you possess.

This tab also features Apple’s radio station (Beats 1). There is also an archive having the most popular shows on Beat1 radio. And it offers past years’ playlists as well.

Voice Assistant

As a DJ, you can make use of Siri in case you are using Apple Music.

With Siri, you can easily perform tasks like adding songs to the library, controlling song playback, playing favorite playlists, finding song facts, etc.

But on the other hand, this is not so easy with the Tidal streaming service.

Music Sharing

It is possible to connect Tidal to Facebook. So after connecting, you will be able to see your friend’s tracks if they have subscribed to Tidal.

But Tidal doesn’t have its own internal social feature. Moreover, sharing the links of songs through social media is possible. You can also simply send them through text.

And, in the case of Apple Music, you can follow your friends on it if they are also subscribers. It simply means that there is an internal feature of social connectivity that you can make use of.

You can also share your own personally created playlists with your friends. In the “For You” section provided by Apple Music, there will also be recommendations of the music that your friends are listening to.


With a device that can run the Tidal app, you can easily stream music to the HomePod speaker. Moreover, the various speakers supported by Tidal are Squeezebox, Sonos Speakers, Chromecast, etc.

And on the other hand, Apple Music works very well with the HomePod. You will also be happy with its perfect compatibility with Amazon Echo devices.


PS: Is it possible to cast Apple music from iPhone to Chromecast? click to learn more.


  1. Can I use Tidal or Apple Music on Android devices?
    • Yes, both Tidal and Apple Music have Android apps available for download, allowing you to enjoy their music streaming services on Android devices.
  2. Does Tidal offer a family plan?
    • Yes, Tidal offers a family plan that allows multiple users to access Tidal’s features at a discounted rate. It’s a cost-effective option for households with multiple music enthusiasts.
  3. Can I transfer my playlists from Apple Music to Tidal?
    • Yes, there are third-party tools and services available that allow you to transfer playlists between different music streaming platforms, including from Apple Music to Tidal.
  4. Does Tidal or Apple Music offer a student discount?
    • Apple Music offers a discounted student plan for eligible students with a valid education institution email address. Tidal also offers a student discount in select countries.
  5. Is Tidal’s lossless audio worth the higher subscription price?
    • The value of Tidal’s lossless audio depends on your appreciation for high-fidelity sound and the audio equipment you use. If you prioritize superior audio quality and have a compatible setup, Tidal’s lossless audio may be worth the higher subscription price for an enhanced listening experience.

Final Words

With its HiFi plans, Tidal has gained huge popularity in the streaming industry. And on the other hand, Apple Music offers more balanced content as compared to Tidal.

And, it depends on your own choice, which one is preferable for you. I hope the Tidal vs. Apple Music comparison provided above will be very helpful for you in making your final buying decision.


10 years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.