Tidal music streaming no longer working with Voice Over
A recent update to the Tidal music streaming application has rendered It useless for Voice Over users. Track names can no longer be read by VO. Tidal refuse to refund my subscription so I have contacted my bank for a refund. spotify music streaming works well with VO in comparison.
Sadly i hate to say it but yes. My favorite streaming app has for the first time since i had it for almost 4 years broken accessibility. I emailed them even included an audio recording and all i got from the email was that the accessibility team was aware of this and have no fix but are trying very hard to fix this. Frustrating. If they were trying to fix this. it should have been fixed by now. I cant unsubscribe tho because there is an album only on Tidal I cant get nowhere else. I havent updated my iPad's Tidal app so that still works for now. But they really need to fix this issue. This is the first time I have ever had any kind of accessibility problem with Tidal.
Yeah, I finally left Tidal a couple of months ago after they broke accessibility in the saved artists screen. I’m not surprised that they have now done the same on other screens as well.
I contacted them and described the issue pretty detailed, and they replied with a whole lot of what looked like default questions for every issue reported, and asked for things like what DNS server I’m using, if I’m at my home or work wifi, what internet speed I got, and a whole bunch of non-related questions to what I was reporting.
I answered all the questions, but I also told them that I couldn’t see how any of these questions would help solve an accessibility issue. The reply I got back, was that their developers was constantly adding new accessibility features, so stay tuned!
But why would they concentrate on adding new accessibility features, when they can’t take care of not braking the accessibility that is already in place.
I have contacted Tidal Support numerous times before, mostly about accessibility in their Mac app, and the feeling I’m always left with after speaking with them, is that they never really understood what I told them my issue was.
I finally had enough this time, when I no longer could access all my saved artists, and left Tidal and subscribed to Apple Music.
But it’s still sad to not have access to all the amazing content and especially the awesome uncompressed audio quality from Tidal.
Yes it is a pity an option for choosing a streaming service has now been removed for us.
I received the same response “we are constantly working to improve accessibility” etc. but no acceptance that the app is now broken for VO users.
Incidentally, I have done extensive sound quality ttests comparing Tidal lossless with Spotify Premium and found no audible difference. Spotify is half the price. I have a top end stereo system with large floor standing electrostatic speakers and Spotify Premium is indistinguishable from the CD.
Yes, I had to switch from Tidal to Apple Music too.
If one cannot identify the difference between an MP3 file and uncompressed Audio, one does not have a very well-trained ear! However, to the point, for the hefty price I pay for title premium, breaking accessibility will only chase me away! Thankfully, there are other ways to enjoy lossless audio!
Thank you for your advice to get my ears checked.
I know this is not an audio forum, so I will be brief.
There is widespread misunderstanding and misinformation about digital audio and compression. The truth is that a high bit rate mp3 can be audibly identical to the original.
Here is a really good paper for those interested. It is lengthy but worth Reading Skip too the last few paragraphs if you just want the truth about mp3 compression.
Spotify Premium uses 320KB/s which is easily CD quality.
I also have some Apple Music purchases that sound identical to the original CD.
I have just sent the following email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I would urge each of you to send them a similar note.
Dear Tidal Management Team,
I am writing to you as a blind accessibility advocate after learning that the latest version of the Tidal app for iOS has been developed in a way that breaks Apple's built-in VoiceOver screen reader.
This change is tantamount to installing a "No Blind People Allowed" sign.
Just as you would not intentionally install a "No Blacks Allowed," "No Women Allowed," or any other similar sign, I am asking that you do no less than immediately tear down your "No Blind People Allowed" sign by taking the following actions:
1. If a customer claims they are unable to use the current app due to its inaccessibility, immediately refund their subscription costs.
2. Immediately begin actions to train your developers on accessibility best practices, guidelines and standards, and expect them to follow that training with every line of code they write for your company.
The Americans with Disabilities Act in the United States, as well as various similar pieces of legislation around the world, requires Tidal to communicate effectively with and provide reasonable accommodations to customers and employees with disabilities.
Failure to comply with laws such as the ADA could result in various forms of legal actions, up to and including complicated, expensive, nasty lawsuits.
I am asking that you escalate this matter to your senior management team, and that a member of that team contact me by no later than the end of business hours in your time zone on Wednesday, May 7. Please have said person reply to this email or call me at 602-515-5608.
I thank you in advance for your time and expect your serious, thoughtful consideration of this critical matter.
Well done! Please let us know if you receive a sensible reply and not just the standard meaningless nonesense.
Another course of action is to put a negative review on the Appstore which makes the complaint more public. I hav done this.
I have specifically asked for a management-level response, and I have sensibly cited specific legislation, so I have some hope doing these things will cause the front-line reps to be scared off and to escalate it as I have also requested. We shall see...
If we all put a negative comment on the Appstore and make the issue public hopefully this will shame Tidal into action. They do seem to respond to these comments.
Tidal has promised to address accessibility in an update within the next two weeks. Otherwise, the response was inadequate, as it did not address refunds or let me know when to expect communication with someone on the management team.
I have responded in kind, so please stay tuned, and keep your own pressure on the company.
The response from Tidal is below:
##- Please type your reply above this line -##
Your request (771065) has been updated. To add additional comments, reply to this email.
May 6, 5:24 AM EDT
Thank you for contacting TIDAL Support!
The issue that you are experiencing with voice over and accessibility is a known issue.
We are constantly working to improve accessibility features and plan for the next release, which should be in a couple of weeks, to resolve a lot of the
Please continue to make sure to keep your app updated to the latest versions.
Thank you for your patience throughout this process.
Let me know if you have any other questions in the meantime - I'm always happy to help.
Have a great day!
Technical Support Specialist
Tidal have now agreed to refund my subscription after I wrote again pointing out possible legal consequences.