Tidal Firmware Update?

Does anyone know what the current status of the (delayed?) Tidal firmware update is?

Has it gone back to beta testing? Can the beta testers reveal anything yet?

As a lover of Tidal (and the new artists it has opened my eyes to), I would very much appreciate a further uplift in SQ that the anticipated update promises to provide.

Original Post
Ardbeg10y posted:
Dozey posted:

I am considering getting a Sonos connect to feed my NDS for tidal.

Why not using a ChromeCast Audio? Digital == Digital ... As long as you use the optical connection.

Why you need sonos or chrome cast for Tidal in NDS? 

Perhaps not an ideal solution, but Naim have welcomed many forum members to the Beta program...which has a focus on Tidal streaming and sound performance at the moment.

So if your Tidal experience is poor and you are willing to try out firmware that is not yet up to general release level (but certainly works and sometimes has features Naim are still trying out), then I recommend that you send a note to Naim service and ask to be admitted. There is a lull in test candidate evaluation at the moment perhaps due to summer and perhaps due to the "non testable" builds being evaluated in-house at Naim headquarters...but joining the Beta Test Program would allow you to see whether the fixes incorporated to date are an improvement for you, which is also valuable input to the Naim software team. Just an idea for those whose patience is wearing thin after these many months of solution development with no new production code released. 

Regards alan

hi guys

the R&D team poked me to say that update required, and being very honest, i thought i had updated you at same time as i updated the beta team a few weeks back, but obviously this didnt get posted. sorry for that.

status is that after alot of listening to alot of variants of different products, we are currently not satisfied that the sound meets the standards we expect, so the situation at present is that its back with R&D and a new internal release is expected this week, to re-review where we are.

once again, i apologise for the apparent missing post, not sure if i forgot to press "post reply" or it got lost in a wifi connectivity issue when travelling. will be in touch

Trevor

update as a nice member of beta forum poked me over a typo!

Dozey posted:

Because of drop outs. Using Sonos there are no drop outs.

The Sonos is ok, but as we know Digital is not the same across all transports  and the lack of precision in the Sonos transport clock does let the side down, but it is certainly better than nothing or where a Naim streamer might be currently unusable in your setup.

Dozey posted:

Because of drop outs. Using Sonos there are no drop outs.

So we buy a 7k£ streamer with tidal and had to add sonos because the 7k streamer is not delivering what is advertasing! You should send the sonos invoice to Naim! You should get a can of gas and call the press, burn the NDS in front of Naim building

Nooo that can't be true. You just killed my dream ...

charlesphoto posted:

Or you get a Sonore microRendu with a decent power supply, use the Lumin or Kazoo app for Tidal, and blow away the NDX in sound quality for a 1/7th of the price. Plenty of options out there....

Nooo that can't be true! you just killed my dream ...

charlesphoto posted:

Or you get a Sonore microRendu with a decent power supply, use the Lumin or Kazoo app for Tidal, and blow away the NDX in sound quality for a 1/7th of the price. Plenty of options out there....

another option being Tidal via Audirvana+ on a Mac Mini

with Damien working to improve your sound quality for free 

Trevor

Thanks for the (belated) update. Although it is somewhat disappointing to find the FW update is still not ready, I commend Naim for having the resilience to stall the release on the basis that SQ is not good enough. We would all be even more disappointed if the FW were launched with no appreciable difference in SQ.

So I fully support the R&D team in continuing their quest for a FW update that will deliver the best (well optimal) SQ.

Good luck chaps, but please don't leave us hanging for 8 months this time.

KRM posted:

...or you get the Naim R&D team working to improve your streamer for free.

Keith

There is a difference " improving my streamer for free " and fixing something which is not working....  If the Naim is trying to improve the SQ for us i respect that, but in the case mentioned above adding a SONOS is not for SQ at all because of the drops that makes the streamer's Tidal function unusable.  

Imagine you buy a TV and every 30 second it becomes black for an half second.... will you wait for Sony/LG to improve your TV for free or return it because it is not WORKING!  

If someone bought a Naim streamer after the TIDAL integration have all the right to rebel, ones who bought it before maybe less because it was a " free " improvement form Naim but not free from Tidal anyway... still 19,99 per month...

This is my situation also. The NDS was bought to play pack CD and higher resolution files stored on a NAS on our home network. A job that it does brilliantly. Not remotely interested in subscription based streaming. Sounds like a waste of a good NDS (in this house).

But others have different needs. If the NDS was bought with this capability and is failing it should go back, like any other hardware item which doesn't work properly (I've sent a Corsair keyboard back to Amazon today. Irritating but routine procedure for faulty hardware).

If it was bought in the expectation that such a feature WILL be made available I have zero understanding. Unless the purchaser was deliberately misled. It's unfortunate that the feature was released buggy but Naim will fix it.  Get your money back if the equipment was sold with the feature. 

I bought my NDS pre Tidal but I have very much enjoyed Tidal as an additional music source, discovering some wonderful new music and some wonderful new artists. It was however very frustrating when I was experiencing drop outs and that kind of failure is unacceptable. These days drop outs are rare and I am more interested in optimising the SQ available from Tidal - hence my interest in the progress of the FW update.

Tidal however is a secondary source of music for me, but I use it for more than just 'discovery'. Having said this, for me the primary function of the NDS has been, and will always be, the replay of ripped CDs and hi res downloads. It seems weird that anyone would buy such an expensive streamer to primarily play music from a subscription service. Surely not?

If you pay £19.99 (or foreign currency equivalent) per month for Tidal and you are still suffering drop outs then this is unacceptable. But who do you blame, your ISP, t'internet, Tidal, Naim, your own LAN installation? There is or course no guarantee that the much anticipated FW update will fix the drop out issue. We will have to wait and see. 

In theory Tidal hifi should be same/similar to cd rips, this is why we are paying the double of standart subscription, and there is no shame for a expensive 16/44 source, remember cd555?

I like tidal very much for discovery and mix taping, wife music

Absolutely - there are three differences I have measured which seem to affect SQ between Tidal streaming of FLAC and home streaming of WAV.

1) Tidal sends FLAC media - most with Naim stream WAV media - because they hear a difference on their equipment between rendering from FLAC and rendering from WAV.

2) The inter timing variation between media packets seems to affect the SQ on Naim streamers (measured and assessed on an NDX with various firmwares). I have found the inter timing variation from Tidal can vary significantly resulting in differing SQ. Home streaming is often (in my experience) more consistent  here on inter frame / packet timing - albeit not perfect - but  can vary on real time transcoding and the loading on the NAS/media server etc.

3) The Naim streamer seems to work optimally when the TCP stack on the streamer works in a specific mode - determined by the end to end TCP throughput - resulting in the use of zero window size flow control. However with Tidal the throughput can vary and when the throughput is of a level where a more dynamic window exchange occurs between the Naim streamer and Tidal media server - SQ seems to fall off slightly.

 

Simon

 

 

yes in theory - but I have tended to notice it more from track to track or even album to album - as they can often be sourced from different IP addresses and servers. I have also noticed it changing at different times of the day sometimes.

With respect to point 2) I have done some 'controlled' measurements using home streaming equipment and servers - and I see these characteristics repeated with Tidal but exaggerated.

I am coming around to the idea that this might explain in part the SQ the differences between differing streaming transport equipment - as any impact to SQ can  to my mind only be produced by processing noise generated by the streamer... kind of like the difference between FLAC and WAV decode.

If you think about it it starts to become more obvious as USB and Ethernet involves a fairly complex digital electronics state  machine and the switching/modulation of transmission lines - both renown for producing electrical noise... not what you ideally want next to sensitive analogue circuitry.. or precision clocks.

Why is it strange? Must admit never come across a SQ issue on Tidal.. but used to get dropouts occasionally.. But dropouts hugely improved I think for most in the forthcomg firmware.

Remember given my above provisos in the above posts as far as your NDS is concerned there is no difference between Internet streaming and local streaming .. it's the same FLAC media assuming you locally stream FLAC ... and the masters are the same. 

Simon

I've never been that great at articulating what I hear in words but somehow the Tidal streaming doesn't sound as good to me as local streaming. Maybe it's the content and honestly I just setup Tidal yesterday so not much listening via the NDS. But local streaming sounds better to my ears. There's a missing ambience to the Tidal sound. It's smaller and shut-in compared to the music coming from my NAS.

I actually prefer Europaradio (1,000 Kbps Lossless Uncompressed FLAC) on vTuner over Tidal. I have no issues with dropouts with either.

I didn't buy an NDS for Tidal or any other streaming service because I've never expected much from them. In my car with a Mark Levinson stereo, I find satellite radio unlistenable.

This is sort of like upsampling to me. How can you take something and make it look or sound better than the original by "filling in" the gaps? This is artificial and I don't particularly like it. I think Naim is trying to satisfy the demand and be competitive since other companies are offering it but I think it's great that Naim will only release an update once they are satisfied with the sq - it's one of the reasons I stay with Naim.

Arun

Belated thanks to Trevor for the update.  A question for the technical team:

If I'm not mistaken the emphasis now seems to be on sound quality, whereas originally it was both on drop outs and SQ.  Could there be a solution where a drop outs solution is released while the SQ development is ongoing?  I appreciate any SQ improvement will be appreciated by all Tidal users, but a drop out solution would at least make Tidal useable for those of us who still have issues.

Granted, I bought my NDX for streaming my own ripped content - but I HAVE been paying £20 pm for Tidal for 8 months in anticipation that the solution is imminent.  The problems are variable, but significant.  Yesterday managed 15 mins before first dropout.  Tonight, 5 seconds.  FYI I've spoken separately to Tidal and implemented all of their network config recommendations.

M

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