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#267187 - 2017-08-24 14:13 Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
Trying to find the best portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline.

Obvious choices would be e.g. Pioneer XDP100R or Onkyo DP-X1, but some users used to report issues playing Tidal offline from the external memory cards in these (I've posted on relevant forums to find out if it's currently fixed, but no responses yet). Does anyone here own one of these?

Are there any other choices out there right now, or is that pretty much it? I'm not an iPhone so no chance of hi-res there, I don't think, and I don't really want the clunkiness of an external DAC/headphone amp to carry around.

Has to be able to do offline Tidal as my main usage will be on the Portsmouth-London train where phone signal is crap.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#267191 - 2017-08-24 15:00 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,378
GMT Offline
Working on the ultimate question
GMT Offline
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,378
Loc: Cambridge, Cambs, UK
Just to clarify - are you looking for a solution that allows you to play cached Tidal files that have been synchronised to a device and then potentially played without the need for an internet connection?

Cheers
Tom


Main: G68J, 218 HD621, 3*5200s (2 SE L&R),DSW, 2* Reviver, 3200s,SBT, PS4, Amazon TV Fire, Dune Base 3.0, Xbox, NUC (Roon server & Kodi)
Kitchen: 5200s, SBT, Chromecast
Office: A330i, G41, Explorer2,Velodyne CT120
F80s, M60s
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#267196 - 2017-08-24 17:33 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: GMT]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
Hi Tom,

Yes exactly that. I know the Pioneer and Onkyo players can do this, but there appears to be some confusion as to whether the offline playing of Tidal files stored to external memory cards is still causing playback glitches.

Any other solutions or ideas very welcome!

Cheers,

James


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#267197 - 2017-08-24 17:46 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,378
GMT Offline
Working on the ultimate question
GMT Offline
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Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,378
Loc: Cambridge, Cambs, UK
Hi James

These two devices are Android devices and I believe that they don't support Tidal/MQA files. Unless things have changed and I missed the announcement MQA from Tidal is only currently available through the Desktop App (which didn't sync local data last time I checked).

Cheers
Tom


Main: G68J, 218 HD621, 3*5200s (2 SE L&R),DSW, 2* Reviver, 3200s,SBT, PS4, Amazon TV Fire, Dune Base 3.0, Xbox, NUC (Roon server & Kodi)
Kitchen: 5200s, SBT, Chromecast
Office: A330i, G41, Explorer2,Velodyne CT120
F80s, M60s
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#267200 - 2017-08-24 18:18 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: GMT]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
Hi Tom,

In fact it's now only Android which Tidal support for offline files. The lower priced Pioneer XDP30R isn't Android based and thus there is no offline support. Apparently this was due to a licensing agreement of some kind.

Cheers,
James


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#267202 - 2017-08-24 18:28 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2002-09-29
Posts: 199
RGraham Offline
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RGraham Offline
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Registered: 2002-09-29
Posts: 199
Loc: London, UK
I can stream MQA via an OTG cable and USB Audio Player Pro from my Samsung 7 Edge, but it doesn't work for any Tidal download.

I thought the Pioneer and Onkyo were the same?

We really need an Astell & Kern or similar to buy in, and play cached files.

Richard


Zone 1: 861v8+ID41, 818V3, HD621, DSP7200SE, DSP5200SE
Zone 2: 818v3, DSP7000, Cavalli Liquid Gold, Hifiman HE-6
Zone 3: 818v3, Roon ROCK/NUCi7, Densen B-330, Monitor Audio PL 200
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#267204 - 2017-08-24 18:39 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: RGraham]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
Yeah agreed about A&K, although as I understand it they'd have to adopt an Android based OS to be allowed by Tidal to cache offline.

The Onkyo and Pioneer Android based DAPs can definitely do this and apparently play fine from the internal memory, but e.g., the XDP100R only had about 25GB left after the OS, which isn't a lot of albums. They allow 2x256GB memory cards as expansion, and you can set the Tidal app to save to one of these as your offline cache, but early users were getting intermittent stuttering on playback from the memory cards. Some users now report no issues, but I'm trying to get clarification over whether this was either a Pioneer or Tidal FW/software update, or whether those people are using different memory cards, etc.

I was just wondering if anyone here had any experience of these or any other solutions to doing this with different hardware.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#267214 - 2017-08-24 22:29 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: RGraham]
Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,378
GMT Offline
Working on the ultimate question
GMT Offline
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Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,378
Loc: Cambridge, Cambs, UK
Do you use an Explorer 2 in the Samsung s8 scenario?
I did think that MQA from Tidal was only available on the Desktop app.

Cheers
tom


Main: G68J, 218 HD621, 3*5200s (2 SE L&R),DSW, 2* Reviver, 3200s,SBT, PS4, Amazon TV Fire, Dune Base 3.0, Xbox, NUC (Roon server & Kodi)
Kitchen: 5200s, SBT, Chromecast
Office: A330i, G41, Explorer2,Velodyne CT120
F80s, M60s
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#267219 - 2017-08-25 08:29 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: GMT]
Registered: 2002-09-29
Posts: 199
RGraham Offline
Hitchhiker
RGraham Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2002-09-29
Posts: 199
Loc: London, UK
I was surprised too when the blue light lit up, but the app is bit perfect, so the MQA still comes through. Haven't managed to get the Android Tidal app to do the same.

For reasons of size/less cables I have been using an Audioquest OTG cable, Jitterbug and Red Dragonfly, and for around £200, the results on Wifi are excellent with decent IEMS. I think I got the Explorer to work, but dislike the extra cable and bulkiness of the Explorer on the move.

Better than a top A&K or Hugo 2...not sure, but then a whole lot cheaper, and money saved cold go on some nice Noble Katans or similar.

Richard


Zone 1: 861v8+ID41, 818V3, HD621, DSP7200SE, DSP5200SE
Zone 2: 818v3, DSP7000, Cavalli Liquid Gold, Hifiman HE-6
Zone 3: 818v3, Roon ROCK/NUCi7, Densen B-330, Monitor Audio PL 200
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#267222 - 2017-08-25 09:24 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: RGraham]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
The Tidal app works well with offline material on my iPhone 7 Plus, as I've been streaming it via bluetooth to my car stereo (not MQA of course).

Is there a DAC which works well with the iPhone for MQA, though? The only portable DAC I heard so far with it that I actually liked the sound of was the Chord Mojo, but it's a very odd size/shape to strap to the back of an iPhone, requires the Apple Camera Connection Kit, and not MQA compatible. And, like all Chord gear, it looks like something the BBC props department designed for the set of Blake's 7, circa 1978.

Does beg the question of whether MQA trumps DAC/amp/implemetation quality, though. My guess is not, past a certain point, but where you'd cross the line I have no idea in this kind of area/price range.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#267973 - 2017-09-23 21:08 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2017-09-04
Posts: 8
Tennant Offline
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Tennant Offline
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Registered: 2017-09-04
Posts: 8
Loc: London, UK
Has anyone got to the bottom of this yet? I’ve become addicted to MQA and need a portable solution for when I’m not able to use my 7200SEs. I have an Explorer 2 which is great, but often not convenient to have to have my MacBook with me too. Does the Pioneer unfold full MQA and have the stuttering issues been resolved with cached Tidal tracks? Is the XDP-300R worth the extra in cost over the 100R in terms of sound quality?

Anyone any experience of the new Sony NW-ZX300? Is that full MQA and can it cache Tidal files?

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#267977 - 2017-09-24 07:58 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: Tennant]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
I contacted MQA over this and one of their representatives very kindly asked Pioneer on my behalf. He said they'd be in touch, but I haven't heard back yet. I've just asked him if he'd mind chasing them and will post back when I hear.

The Sony is a no-go for Tidal and offline, I'm afraid. Shame, as it looks nice. I think it's almost weird offering MQA at this point unless a device is Tidal (or I guess now Deezer) compatible, given the dearth of material to buy.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#267979 - 2017-09-24 10:26 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2017-09-04
Posts: 8
Tennant Offline
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Loc: London, UK
Some of the forums I’ve been reading seem to suggest that the Pioneer units (both 300R and 100R) only support MQA from locally stored FLAC files, not Tidal streamed/cached files. This is (apparently) because Tidal streaming requires the Tidal app and the Android OS means the app can’t pass the data straight through to the MQA-capable hardware DAC, D to A is done in the basic DAC built into the main processor.

If this is the case then that is a deal breaker. Does anyone here have one of the Pioneer players and can confirm whether or not they get MQA via Tidal streaming?

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#267980 - 2017-09-24 10:37 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: Tennant]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
This is one of the questions I've asked, and which I'm still waiting for Pioneer to respond to. I've not yet read any forum or post which has a definitive answer, (i.e. not just guesswork) so decided to approach the source for real information. I'll update here as soon as I hear back.

I have learned that when dealing with companies advertising MQA compatibility, you do have to be very specific about what you ask, and somewhat persistent to get correct information. E.g., I contacted NAD about one of their Masters series to be told it was capable of full MQA unfold, and after many emails back and forth with me being specific and even having to send links about the levels of unfold, etc., it turned out it wasn't and that you'd have to buy a Blusound add-on board. I advise caution and questions when approaching this. MQA and all their partners could (need to?) do a considerably better job of this.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#268505 - 2017-10-11 01:02 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2009-11-20
Posts: 59
OldDogCan Offline
Mostly harmless
OldDogCan Offline
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Registered: 2009-11-20
Posts: 59
Loc: New Mexico, USA
I just saw the new nano Black Label DAC with MQA decoding from ifI at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver. Battery powered like the Chord, but somewhat smaller and much less expensive at $199 SRP, so a good portable option. Expected to ship by the first week in November


ODC

Theater: C61R, DSP5200SEs,420s,33s, NHT amp/subs, HD621, 218, DigiOne, OPPO 203, JVC RS500, Fire,Apple,DirecTVs, Mac Pro 2010+, MF V-LINK II, REGEN and iFI conditioners

Also: 598DP, 568.2mm, 565, DSP5000.2s, Roon endpoints incl Allo USBridge, Explorer², iFi nano iDSD BL, Audeze LCD-X, AudioEngine spkrs, M&K sub, Apple MBP, OPPO BDP-83
Edited by OldDogCan; 2017-10-11 14:09.
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#268529 - 2017-10-11 15:02 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: OldDogCan]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
Sounds cool! Do you know if it will do offline Tidal playback?

Has anyone heard any iFi gear?

I know it gets good reviews, as does the high end part of the company, AMR, but I’ve never heard any myself.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#268875 - 2017-10-17 08:38 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
Right, after much chasing by Ken at MQA (who’s been most helpful) I had a response to my questions from a Pioneer/Onkyo representative yesterday. So here goes, straight from the horse’s mouth -
Quote:
- All audio from either the 2.5mm balanced or 3.5mm analog outputs uses the Sabre DAC.

- I did experience the occasional glitch playing Tidal offline content on my XDP-100R, but have not experienced those glitches with the DP-X1A I am currently using, that being said I did switch my microSD cards from a no name brand to SanDisk. The operating system between the two players is the same so I would think the issue I was experiencing was due to the microSD cards.

- For the XDP-300R and the DP-X1A Tidal is accessed via the app you download from the App/Play Store. Those apps must be updated in order to play Tidal Masters (MQA), streaming content or offline content. We have no control over when that will be, Tidal will be the only ones who can answer that. We have shown our smaller DAPs (XDP-30R / DP-S1) playing Tidal Master, however that was a technology demo and that update will happen for those players in the future. Neither of those players will work for you as they do not have the capability to download Tidal Offline content.

The first two points are good news. The third is frustrating and concerning, I feel, in terms beyond these specific players. Here the Tidal app isn’t allowing playback of MQA material, even when the player is capable of fully rendering MQA. This highlights the need for the entire, growing MQA catalogue to be available to buy and own, as well as stream. The streaming companies have proprietary software, and it’s a nightmare trying to get a portable player which can stream offline content, let alone MQA (in fact, in light of the above answer, I believe there are NO portable players which can do this, and in fact none which can stream MQA online either). Given that the portable market is so huge, this could potentially even make or break the format.

I will email Tidal and advocate them updating their app, I would urge any other interested parties to do the same, and also to encourage MQA to parity release MQA encoded files for purchase.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#268967 - 2017-10-18 19:59 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2017-09-04
Posts: 8
Tennant Offline
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Registered: 2017-09-04
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Loc: London, UK
That’s disappointing, although in line with what my own research had suggested.

Looks like I won’t be buying a portable player just yet.

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#268969 - 2017-10-18 20:01 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: Tennant]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,668
Loc: South UK
I’ve emailed Tidal first to see when they’ll be updating their app to support this.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#270043 - 2017-11-20 02:34 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2009-11-20
Posts: 59
OldDogCan Offline
Mostly harmless
OldDogCan Offline
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Registered: 2009-11-20
Posts: 59
Loc: New Mexico, USA
The iFI nano iDSD Black Label is not a decoder, but a renderer. So it works well with desktop apps (Tidal and Audirvana) that provide the first unfold. It is only portable if you are willing to carry a laptop (since smartphone apps don't decode at this point).


ODC

Theater: C61R, DSP5200SEs,420s,33s, NHT amp/subs, HD621, 218, DigiOne, OPPO 203, JVC RS500, Fire,Apple,DirecTVs, Mac Pro 2010+, MF V-LINK II, REGEN and iFI conditioners

Also: 598DP, 568.2mm, 565, DSP5000.2s, Roon endpoints incl Allo USBridge, Explorer², iFi nano iDSD BL, Audeze LCD-X, AudioEngine spkrs, M&K sub, Apple MBP, OPPO BDP-83
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#270044 - 2017-11-20 06:13 Re: Portable solution for Tidal/MQA offline playing [Re: OldDogCan]
Registered: 2012-12-04
Posts: 449
JaapJan Offline
Paranoid android
JaapJan Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2012-12-04
Posts: 449
Loc: Land van Maas en Waal, Netherl...
Very curious to see how LG wil make MQA streaming possible with their new V30 model.it is not written in the specsheet but the newsmakers write about it.


System 1: MC200, 818v3, DSP7200SE
System 2: DSP5000.1, Monarchy DIP24/96, Squeezebox Duet.
Office: MS200, STAX SRM-323II, SR303
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