Buying Lossless Downloads Is for Suckers (At Least if You Buy from Tidal)

Tidal, that streaming music company purchased by one Mr Z, and launched in confusion some time ago, also sells some music by download now. One of their headline titles is the new album by Rihanna, Anti. You can buy this album in two formats: MP3 and FLAC. If you choose the former, you pay (in the UK store), the same price as the iTunes Store: £11.99.

Anti mp3

But if you want the lossless download, the price nearly doubles:

Anti flac

Other albums are priced similarly. For example, Coldplay’s latest album is £8.99 for MP3, and £16.19 for FLAC. David Bowie’s Blackstar costs £6.99 and £12.59.

There’s no reason for them to charge that much. Tidal is just treating people like suckers.

12 thoughts on “Buying Lossless Downloads Is for Suckers (At Least if You Buy from Tidal)

  1. Isn’t this one of those things called “the stupid tax”? Why not to charge that much if audiophools are willing to pay that

  2. Isn’t this one of those things called “the stupid tax”? Why not to charge that much if audiophools are willing to pay that

  3. Why are people suckers? I missed the point of the post.
    Are you suggesting said suckerdom for paying over the odds?

      • What should the cost difference be between the file formats? How might it be realistically measured?

      • I’m shifting from replies as they appear too skinny on my iphone5s…..

        Although some conversions are fairly straightforward (lossless is in the most part), lossy is less so. Unless done properly and checked, you get what’s known as intersample peaks that can cause audible distortion. This is partly why Apple introduced the MFiT format. It’s a small issue for the most part but worth mentioning.
        You’re right about the perception of quality, but there’s also an element of mystery, coupled with convenience, with other formats. It depends on your setup to some extent.
        It’s nice to be offered a choice.

        Note – With contiguous mixes, live concerts or dj mixes, if split lossless tracks are converted to lossy, the new lossy files will inheret a tiny space at the beginning and end spoiling the continuity. Those are best burned to cd first and ripped, or buy the properly split tracks from the seller.

  4. Why are people suckers? I missed the point of the post.
    Are you suggesting said suckerdom for paying over the odds?

      • What should the cost difference be between the file formats? How might it be realistically measured?

      • I’m shifting from replies as they appear too skinny on my iphone5s…..

        Although some conversions are fairly straightforward (lossless is in the most part), lossy is less so. Unless done properly and checked, you get what’s known as intersample peaks that can cause audible distortion. This is partly why Apple introduced the MFiT format. It’s a small issue for the most part but worth mentioning.
        You’re right about the perception of quality, but there’s also an element of mystery, coupled with convenience, with other formats. It depends on your setup to some extent.
        It’s nice to be offered a choice.

        Note – With contiguous mixes, live concerts or dj mixes, if split lossless tracks are converted to lossy, the new lossy files will inheret a tiny space at the beginning and end spoiling the continuity. Those are best burned to cd first and ripped, or buy the properly split tracks from the seller.

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