In the final installment of App Battles Round 1, we’ll be spectating the battle between Beats and TIDAL.

In the Black corner, we have TIDAL, Jay-Z’s premium with 500,000 downloads and a 3,5 star rating.

In the Red corner, we have Beats, Dr. Dre’s premium with 10,000,000 to 50,000,000 downloads and 4,5 star rating.

Who will win this battle between Jay-Z and Dr. Dre? They are both in the ring and ready! FIGHT!

Round 1: App design

We’re gonna start this off by having a look at TIDAL first, and although they both have some design in common, I’ll talk about each app separately first.

The first thing you’ll notice is the dark design that it features.The entire app is based off a black background, which contrasts well with the album art and song titles. It’s ideal for night time as it doesn’t strain your eyes too much. While it certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to have the ability to customize the look to your liking, I had no problem with the dull color combo.

The actual layout of everything was actually rather efficient and pleasing to use. It’s not cluttered or designed in a way that makes you despise it. There’s a simple panel that can be opened up by swiping on the left side of the screen. This is basically the main way you get around and swap between features like “What’s new”, “TIDAL Rising” and of course all your playlists, favorite music, settings and the “Offline” mode toggle (We’ll chat more about these features later).

TIDAL certainly took some time to create a pleasurable experience. Everything is easy to use and easy to find. But how does Beats fare against the competition?

Beats has a simple color scheme, mainly made up of black and white, with the occasional spot of red. The bold text is punchy but not overdone, while the absence of material design makes you luster for what could’ve been something great. Again, themes do not exist so the only thing you can choose is your music, but hey, this is not a big problem.

Fortunately the design is universal, which means the text and colors are the same throughout. You get the standard menu by swiping from the left, and the feeds from artists you follow are available by swiping from the right. Overall the graphics seemed great and there’s no place where Dr. Dre’s minions let their design guard down. At least that  I could see.

Both the Red and Black team had a fair fight this round. Although they put their best foot forward, it appears to be a tie. Perhaps one would’ve had the edge had they had the ability to color shift.

Service Score /10
Beats 8

Winner: Tie

Round 2: Features

Both teams are refreshed and ready for Round 2! This time we’ll compare them head on.

When I opened Beats, it prompted me to pick a couple of artists and genres I liked. After the setup I saw that these made up the majority of the recommend songs, with very little presence of artists that I said I did not like. TIDAL, on the other hand, offers no such thing and throws you in the deep end. You’re by yourself to slowly find what you like amongst everything. It was rather inconvenient as most other streaming services prompt you to select your favorite’s. But that being said, TIDAL offers HiFi, lossless audio quality with 1411kbps, significantly better than Beat’s 320kbps. For those that aren’t audiophiles, that basically means that TIDAL offers better music quality over Beat’s. You will need a good pair of headsets to notice the difference though, and even if you’re running decent internet speeds, the tracks might pause a few seconds in-between as the next one loads, due to the high bandwidth each song requires.

And of course, both offer offline modes. As the name hints, this allows you to save songs for times when you don’t have internet, as you obviously won’t be able stream. Both worked effectively and was easy to implement as you just add the tracks to a playlist and flip the switch to “Offline”.

I should also mention that Beats offers over 20 million songs, while TIDAL offers over 30 million.

Although there is no defining feature that gives any of them a reasonable lead, I think it’s safer to say that TIDAL’s higher quality tracks with the larger music selection has an edge over the ability to filter your favorite genres and artists when you start the app.

Service Score /10
Beats 8

Winner: TIDAL

Both opponents are equally bruised but TIDAL managed to throw a few more punches.

Round 3: Pricing

As much as we would like them to, free trials don’t last forever. Beats Music offers a 14 day free trial that allows you to test out the full version to see how much you like it. TIDAL is a bit more generous, and offers 30 day trials that also allows full free access to premium features. The ‘Premium’ tag only applies to TIDAL which allows you access to HiFi tracks, or FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), the 14211kbps we talked about earlier.

Service Trial Period Price Tier 1 Price Tier 2
Beats Music 14 Days US $9.99
TIDAL 30 Days US $9.99 (TIDAL Premium) US $19.99 (TIDAL HiFi)

It does seem that TIDAL is expensive at $19.99 – 10 dollars is a high price to pay for higher quality music. Perhaps they would’ve had a more convincing deal if it was $14.99 or less. Beats only has one price plan. It should be mentioned that TIDAL has different plans including the Family plan- which offers discounts for more people – and Student plan- which halves the price. Beats had no such deals and discounts, and might end up paying dearly for that.

Beats loses a considerable amount of points for lack of different tiers and discounts. TIDAL loses out at the price of Premium tag.

Service Pricing
Beats 6

Round Winner: TIDAL

With 2/3 rounds won, TIDAL advances to the next round. Who will be his opponent? Keep tuned to to find out!

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[pb-app-box pname=’’ name=’Beats Music’ theme=’discover’ lang=’en’]



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