Tidal has some big news for lovers of hi-res audio: Starting today (June 29), there are now 6 million songs available in FLAC on iOS.
These tracks will first be available to members of Tidal’s Early Access Program (EAP) with a full rollout to all HiFi Plus users in August.
The announcement of the rollout was made on Reddit, where Tidal CEO Jesse Dorogusker explained that the FLAC format — which stands for free lossless audio codec — embodies what the company is all about:
“It’s open source, allowing greater access for artists and fans, and aligns with TIDAL’s support for open platforms. Pairing accessibility with best-in-class audio quality directly aligns with our purpose of empowering artists to run thriving businesses in the economy,” Dorogusker said.
How to get FLAC tracks on Tidal
So how do you start streaming FLAC? It turns out it's pretty simple.
Before starting, keep in mind that FLAC files are first being rolled out to Early Access Program subscribers. If you're not already a member, you can sign up on Tidal's website. Once you're signed up, download TestFlight and the TidalBeta app. (If you already have them, make sure they're up to date.)
Open the app, then select Max quality in the new Audio & Playback settings screen.
Finally, make sure you have wired headphones connected to your iOS device. If you're using wireless headphones, the audio will get compressed over Bluetooth.
That's it. That's all there is.
If you aren't part of the Early Access Plan, no worries. As mentioned above, Dorogusker says that HiFi Plus members should expect to get access starting in August.
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Nick Pino heads up the TV and AV verticals at Tom's Guide and covers everything from OLED TVs to the latest wireless headphones. He was formerly the Senior Editor, TV and AV at TechRadar (Tom's Guide's sister site) and has previously written for GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade. Not sure which TV you should buy? Drop him an email or tweet him on Twitter and he can help you out.