I recently bumped into your comparative review of Tidal vs. Qobuz.
Something that caught my interest was that you mentioned Jordi Savall, and that Qobuz has a larger selection of his albums than Tidal. Since I really like early music, I wanted to note that I am unable to find Savall’s album The Forgotten Kingdom on Qobuz, but it is offered on Tidal.
Even so, I think Qobuz is the better option than Tidal, but as my example shows, not all Savall’s music is available on Qobuz.
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for your inquiry. There have been some major developments since we published that feature in November, the main one being Qobuz’s US launch in February. When I wrote the article, I was using a demo account for Qobuz’s European service. As I noted at the time, streaming services have to negotiate agreements with rights-holders for different regions, so the selection of music available through Qobuz US would likely be different from what I was then experiencing. That has proven to be the case, at least in the genres I listen to most -- classical and jazz.
When I was writing my feature, my European demo account showed 153 albums by Jordi Savall, 38 of them in high-rez. Like you, I’m a big fan of Savall’s incredible recreations of early music. Unfortunately, only a few of these albums are available through Qobuz in the US. As of March 10, Qobuz USA had six albums by Savall, none of them in high-rez.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked Qobuz about the discrepancy between its European and US services, citing this very example. Dan Mackta, Marketing Director of Qobuz USA, said that most of the music I could access when I had a demo European account will be loaded onto the US service “over the next weeks and months,” but added that for some music, Qobuz has been unable to obtain US rights.
I also asked about the number of albums and tracks -- CD resolution and high-rez -- available through Qobuz US. Last fall, Qobuz claimed to have 40 million tracks, with two million in high-rez, on its European service. Regarding the number available in the US, Mackta said he didn’t have a number, and that the total count “is still being sorted out.”
Another development is the release of Roon 1.6, which now integrates Qobuz as well as Tidal. I wrote about that capability in my feature on customizing Roon, published on January 1.
Finally, Tidal has released new Android and iOS apps that perform MQA decoding in software, so that users can get high-rez playback on mobile devices. As I wrote in my feature, Qobuz’s mobile apps also support high-rez.
Hope this information helps.
Thanks for your reply. I live in Italy and subscribe to the Studio version of Qobuz. Currently, Qobuz shows 158 albums by Jordi Savall, including the newest one, Ibn Battuta.
All the best,