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Tidal in Teslas is great, but we need MORE music streaming apps

Spotify's not enough either

Tidal in Teslas is great, but we need MORE music streaming apps
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
Story by

Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

For those of you who own a Tesla and have been wishing for an alternative to Spotify, we have some good news: Tidal is now supported.

The new in-car app is part of Tesla’s 2021.40 software update, released on Tuesday. 

Here’s the release note:

TIDAL streaming is now available from the Media menu with a TIDAL account. You can listen to TIDAL playlists or albums in high-quality audio by connecting to Wi-Fi and pressing Download on the selected content.

For audiophiles Tidal’s integration is a BIG improvement. While the two platforms offer about the same selection of artists, Tidal is simply better in terms of sound quality.

Spotify’s audio tops at approximately 320kbps, even with the Premium subscription, which basically results in MP3-quality sound.

In contrast, Tidal’s most expensive plans, HiFi and Master, offer lossless audio quality at 1,4111kbps and 9,216kbps, respectively. This means that you get high-res CD quality.

Spotify is also planning to go HiFi, but that hasn’t happened yet.

But to be fair, there’s a lot more than just streaming quality that factors into choosing the right music platform. Music discovery features, pricing, and ease of use (especially while driving) all play a big part. And finally, you might not even be able to tell the difference between normal streaming and lossless audio.

Why stop at Tidal? Give us MORE.

It’s a bit ridiculous that Tesla owners are stuck with only two options for music streaming — especially when we’re used to the wealthy smorgasbord of video streaming services at home, like Netflix, Hulu, Plex, Disney+, and more.

And on top of that, I feel there’s a bigger room for creativity when it comes to creating new methods to serve drivers their favorite beats than with video streaming at home. It’s a completely different experience listening to music on your phone while walking, compared to blasting it in your car stereo — both in terms of operating the platform and its vibe.

Let me suggest here the integration of Amazon Music and Apple Music. They offer high-res audio quality similar to that which is currently offered by Tidal Hi-Fi, and are also cheaper. 

So I’d like to see more services take a crack of making more use of Teslas’ music listening capabilities, starting with Amazon Music and Apple Music.

I feel like they have the in-house capabilities of overhauling the experience, and it doesn’t hurt they both offer high-res audio quality similar to that which is currently offered by Tidal Hi-Fi, just cheaper.

Other features of the software update

But besides the inclusion of Tidal, the new Tesla update introduced some nifty features:

  1. Cold weather improvements, such as defrost
  2. Active road noise reduction
  3. Rear display improvements
  4. Traffic-aware cruise control chime, which was previously used only in China
  5. The addition of British English as an official language

You can find the summary of the updates here.


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