Tidal vs. Apple Music: Which One is Better?

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.

tidal vs. apple music

PS: here are the top Spy Microphones and the full Tidal vs. Spotify comparison for your reference. And also find out how to Sync iPad Music to a Computer easily.

Subscription Plans – Tidal vs. Apple Music

Both Tidal and Apple Music offers the subscriptions or memberships that renew 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 for which 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/month. This plan for Audiophiles offers the lossless sound quality of “High Fidelity.” The videos offered in this plan are of high definition.
  • There are also two types of student plans offered by Tidal: Premium and HiFi. 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 plan. 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 service with their respective prices, I ended up collecting the following facts.

  • There is an individual subscription plan offered by 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, family plan (up to 6 members allowed) of Apple Music costs $14.99/month.
  • There is no special plan for military personals, 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 the paid subscription.

(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

As far as the collection of the number of songs is concerned, 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 first to receive stuff from Beyonce, Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West. And, on the other hand, the albums from Taylor Swift, Drake and Pharrell Williams are first offered by Apple Music.

Tidal vs. Apple Music – Offline Listening

You can download as many songs, playlists, and albums as you want from Tidal for listening 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, album, etc.) that you have downloaded from Tidal for your offline listening purpose can be synced to any device that makes use of 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 also, downloaded content can be synced to the other devices also 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 that 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) that can be possible. And, without MQA, the audio even in 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.

And, on the other hand, when it comes to the streaming quality in case of Apple Music, it streams AAC files at 256kbps. And, you are not allowed to change the quality of 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 sign 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 both for Android and iOS devices. The interface of the application is very slick and of black color. In the app, there are different tabs provided for making you easily search the catalog, check out the recommendations and new releases, access the music collection made by you, browsing Tidal music, etc.

The 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. In 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 the tabs for accessing the music library, listening to the radio station, checking out the suggestions for you, browsing the catalog of Apple music, etc.

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

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. In 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 also, Tidal offers its app that you can install easily. The app is very slim and easy to use. Moreover, in case the Tidal’s app is not installed on your PC, and still, you want to consume the Tidal’s music on your computer, it is also possible. That’s because Tidal also offers a web player for making it possible for you to access its content in such situations.

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 on the basis of 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 top part of the home screen, you will get to 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, which is dedicated to the content created by the new and less popular artists.


And, in Apple Music, there is a separate tab (names as “Browse“) for showing the 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.

Moreover, there is a “Radio” tab also in Apple Music. This tab offers the 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 of 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 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 its 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 the recommendations of the music that your friends are listening to.


With the 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 the Amazon Echo devices.

Final Words on Tidal vs. Apple Music

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 to make your final buying decision.