Napster vs Tidal: Which Is Better for You 2023?

With the advent of a growing number of digital music streaming services, competition among those streaming services is much more like a rat race. Music-lovers dazzle their eyes while choosing which music streaming service for listening. There are many music services with quite good features but only several all-round music streaming services that cater to your all needs on listening.

Fortunately, Napster and Tidal are such streaming services that allow you to enjoy wonderful listening experience with superior audio quality, extensive music catalog, easy-to-use interface, customized recommendations and so on. But which one is better for you? In this post, I will compare Napster with Tidal from different aspects, including their main features, subscription plans and price, design, audio quality, device compatibility and drawbacks, and then finalize which is the better streaming service in 2023. Please read on.

napster vs tidal

Napster and Tidal Comparison: Overview

Napster music streaming service, founded in 1999 with more than 80 million register users, is home to more than 110M songs and thousands of music videos. It caters to your need of both streaming online and offline listening. Just like Spotify, Napster also boasts curated playlists and music recommendation based on algorithm technology. With Napster, you are able to browse Napster's huge music catalog and listen all the songs offline with ads-free interface on Napster. Also, Napster put you in a music listener network with its social feature like Spotify Blend. However, Napster makes a difference, matching you with other Napster users not only with your friends in line with your listening habits in the premise that you set your profile public.

napster logo

Tidal music streaming service was formed in 2014 and has over 60 million total registered users, among which paying subscribers number is up to more than 3 million. Tidal offers its users with expansive music library including 90+M tracks and 450K+ videos in immerse audio formats. It has professional editorial teams to create loads of curated playlists and new songs. At the same time, Tidal also boast its social feature: it tracks and shares how your listening habits impact your favorite artists and recommends playlists and new songs based on you listening habits. Tidal will display interview series, documentaries and special events of artists, connecting you closer to your favorite artists. Also, Tidal supports almost all types of devices including smart TV & streamers, Audio and more.

tidal logo

Through the overview of both two platforms, we can find that Tidal offers its users not only millions of songs but also thousands of music videos. But except that, Napster attracted more registered users. It provides a wider music library for its users with more than 110 million songs and enables free users listen to all songs without interruptions. Also, Napster has more integrated features like Spotify, for example, Napster allows users to match with other Napster users based on their listening habits and tastes under the premise that you open your profile public, which is more convenient to put users to a music network.

Here's a table of comparing the main features between Napster and Tidal according to the content above.

Main Feature Napster Tidal
Music Library 110+M tracks and official music videos 90+M tracks and 450+K videos
Curated Playlists & Music Recommendations Yes Yes
Download for Offline Playing Yes Yes
Social Feature of Music Discovery and Collaborative Playlist

Yes

Match with other Napster users (Premise: Open your profile public)

Yes

Match with artist
Multiple Compatible Devices Yes Yes
Customizable Music Order Yes No
Audio Quality up to 320 kbps: High-quality

162 kbps for Tidal Free

1411 kbps for Tidal HiFi

9216 kbps for Tidal HiFi Plus:

High-fidelity sound quality

Master Quality Authenticated (MAQ)

Dolby Atmos

Sony 360 Reality Audio

Music Store Yes No
iPhone/iPad Sync Yes No
Multiple Languages Yes No
Offline Playing Both available for desktop and mobile Mobile only

Napster vs Tidal Comparison: Subscription Plans and Price

Both Napster and Tidal roll out free and premium subscription plans for users but with some differences. Here are their subscription plans including price and service.

Napster Price Service
Napster Free Free

110+M tracks

lossless audio quality

Individual Premium $ 9.99/month

110+M tracks ad-free

official music videos

listen offline

lossless audio quality

Family Premium $ 14.99/month

110+M tracks ad-free

official music videos

listen offline

lossless audio quality

support up to 6 accounts

It shows in the chart that Napster offers free trial, individual premium with $9.99 monthly and family premium for $14.99 monthly that support up to 6 accounts. Napster free users are accessible to all songs on Napster without limited interruption but with annoying ads. And Napster free users can neither enjoy official videos nor offline listening service.

Tidal Price Service
Tidal Free Free

Tidal normal sound quality (up to 160 kbps)

90+M tracks with limited interruptions

Tidal HiFi

Individual: $9.99/month

Family: $14.99/month

Student: $4.99/month

First Responder: $5.99/month

Military: $5.99/month

HiFi sound quality (up to 1411 kbps)

90+M tracks and 450K+ videos Ad-free

Listen offline with limited skips

Tidal Connect

Track and share your listening habits

Expert curated playlists

Tidal HiFi Plus

Individual: $19.99/month

Family: $29.99/month

Student: $4.99/month

First Responder: $5.99/month

Military: $11.99/month

Innovative audio formats (up to 9216 kbps):Dolby Atmos/ Master Quality Authenticated (MAQ)/ Sony 360 Reality Audio, and HiFi

HiFi sound quality (up to 1411 kbps)

90+M tracks and 450K+ videos Ad-free

Listen offline with limited skips

Tidal Connect

Track how your listening habits impact your favorite artists and share that

Expert curated playlists

As for Tidal, it offers three types of subscription plans--Tidal Free, Tidal HiFi and Tidal HiFi Plus. Tidal also offers Family Premium like Napster. But different from Napster, Tidal offers student/first responder/military discount. Among those three plans, Tidal Free allow users enjoy Tidal music but with limited features, such as ads interruption, online playback and so on. If you want to enjoy complete songs and download the Tidal music offline, you have to choose to subscribe its HiFi or HiFi Plus. However, even with Tidal HiFi or Tidal HiFi Plus, paying subscribers can only download and playback Tidal music offline on selected devices, and after you cancel the subscription, all the downloaded songs will disappear from your library, which is not so worthy. Don't worry though. If you want to get rid of all the restrictions and playback Tidal music offline on any devices permanently--you can choose to download and convert Tidal music to MP3 with a professional Tidal music downloader and converter, for instance, AudFree Tidable Music Converter.

AudFree Tidable Music Converter

audfree tidal music converter
  • Convert and download Tidal music at 5X faster speed
  • Support to offline listening of the Tidal songs
  • Organize downloaded playlists with ID3 tags and metadate infor for quick access
  • Keep the Mater quality of Tidal audios after conversion

As an all-in-one and multi-track Tidal music converting tool, AudFree Tidable Music Converter is specially designed to download and convert Tidal songs or playlists to multiple audio formats like MP3, FLAC, WAV and so forth with innovative converting technology, fast converting speed and simple steps, which is newbie-friendly and professional at the same time. With all tools you need to convert Tidal music, AudFree Tidable Music Converter serves to losslessly convert Tidal music for offline listening on any devices and players. Also, it keeps full metadata information and ID3 tags including artist, albums and so forth, which facilitates to organize audio library.

And here's the tutorial on how to use AudFree Tidable Music Converter to download and convert Tidal music to MP3.

Step 1. Import Tidal songs or playlists to Audfree Tidable Music Converter:

Launch AudFree Tidable Music Converter, and Tidal app will launch in sync. Select the obsessed song or playlist you hope to convert later, then copy its track link and paste it on the search box. Then click "+" tab on the upper right corner of the interface to add files.

import tidal songs or playlists to audfree tidal music converter

Step 2. Set audios output format as MP3 and other parameters on AudFree Tidable Music Converter:

Get into the menu bar on the upper right corner of the program. Select "Preference", and get into a setting menu. Customize output format as MP3 or other parameters such as bitrate, simple rate or audio channels as you like.

choose the desired parameters for tidal music

Step 3. Start to convert Tidal audios to MP3 for offline listening:

Tap "Convert" button on the bottom right corner of the interface. After a while, the converted MP3 audios will be saved in the local file. Then you can playback those downloaded MP3 Tidal audios on other devices or players offline forever.

covert successfully

Napster vs Tidal Comparison: Design

With four main parts on the homepage including Home, Watch videos, Search and My Music, Napster is designed with intuitive and integrated features. At "My Music" part, you can get access to your songs and playlists "Recently Played". At "Search" part, you are able to get detailed results including albums, top songs and the radio station of artists if you search one artist. It also owns a music discovery feature – Automix, which facilitate create new playlists and recommend new tracks. At the same time, users can get access to the service through web browsers without installing the program.

napster design

Tidal has an easy-to-use and all-round interface design with its features menu integrated on the left panel including Profile, Drop-down menu, Home, Explore, Collection and Playlist creation, which is pretty clear and beginner-friendly. But Tidal's interface color is a little monotonous. Tap into a playlist of song, there are large "Play" and "Shuffle" playing mode icons for you.

tidal design

Overall, Napster will attract more music-lovers for its intuitive features and innovative and colorful interface compared with Tidal in the case that both of them has similar features in their windows.

Napster vs Tidal Comparison: Audio Quality

When it comes to audio quality, Napster music has the normal Bitrate up to 320 kbps while Tidal stand in forefront on sound quality all the time with the Bitrate of 162 kbps for Tidal Free, 1411 kbps for Tidal HiFi and 9216 kbps for Tidal HiFi Plus.

Tidal works better than its rivals. As the first music service that offers High Fidelity audio quality for users, Tidal captures the attention of most audiophiles and hi-fi fans since Tidal rolls out three service plans: Tidal Free, HiFi and HiFi Plus, among which Tidal HiFi tiers can enjoy High-fidelity sound quality and Tidal HiFi Plus enables tiers enjoy innovative audio formats such as HiFi sound quality, MAQ, Dolby Atmos even Sony 360 Reality Audio, making listeners feel like in a real concert. What's more, you are able to use Tidal Connect to stream to HiFi on you loved device.

Based on the comparing of music quality, Napster is supposed to invest more in audio quality as its music quality is not as good as Tidal. Tidal wins in sound quality for its lossless and superior audio quality formats.

Napster vs Tidal Comparison: Device Compatibility

Napster can be compatible with an extensive range of devices such as Android Auto, CarPlay, Apple Watch, SONOS, iOS, Android mobile phones and tablets, Amazon Alexa, desktops, laptops, and Samsung Watch.

Compared with Napster, Tidal is compatible to almost all types devices including smart TV & streamers (Apple TV, Fire TV, Samsung TV, Android TV), Audio, Auto, desktop, wearables, Chromecast, Roku, Vizio, CarPlay, Android Auto, Volkswagen, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, iOS and Android devices, Desktop app for Windows and MacOS, Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, and even Amazon Alexa

In this case, Tidal is vying for more users with its wider device compatibility.

Napster vs Tidal Comparison: Drawbacks

Drawbacks of Napster

1. Compared with Tidal, Napster has lower sound quality without Master quality Authenticated, Dolby Audio Atmos or Sony 360 Audio quality.

Drawbacks of Tidal

1. Tidal Free tiers face listening interruption of only listening 30 seconds of Tidal music.

2. Even with premium subscription, Tidal only allows users download songs for offline listening on mobiles, which makes users feel subscription invalid.

Napster allows Free users to listen to complete songs but Tidal only allows Free tiers to stream only for 30 seconds of the song. Except audio quality, Napster works better than Tidal on other aspects such as social feature and interface design and more.

Napster vs. Tidal: Overall Comparison Chart

Parameters Napster Tidal
Establishment Time 1999 2014
Registered Users 80+M 60+M (3+M paying subscribers)
Availability 33 countries 61 countries
Interface Design

Colorful and attractive

Monotonous

Free Trial 30 days 30 days
Interruption of Free Trial No

Yes

(30 seconds of every song available only)
Free Trial with no Credit Card No Yes
Music Library Size 110+M tracks & 450+K videos 90+M tracks & official music videos
Compatible Devices 10 20
Maximum Bitrate 320 kbps 9216 kbps
Lossless Quality No

High-fidelity sound quality

Master Quality Authenticated (MAQ)

Dolby Atmos

Sony 360 Reality Audio

Monthly Fee $9.99/month

Tidal HiFi: $9.99/month

Tidal HiFi Plus: $19.99/month

Family Plan $14.99/month

Tidal HiFi: $14.99/month

Tidal HiFi Plus: $29.99/month

Student/First Responder/Military Discount No Yes

Tidal HiFi:

Student: $4.99/month

First Responder: $5.99/month

Military: $5.99/month

Tidal HiFi Plus:

Student: $9.99/month

First Responder: $5.99/month

Military: $11.99/month

Offline Listening Both desktop and mobile Mobile only
Online Support Yes Yes
CD Ripper Yes No

In Conclusion: Napster or Tidal - Which One is Better for You?

In daily life, when you are shopping around two things, you must pay more your attention to their price and quality at first than their overlook and others. It is the same thing when you choose two programs. Personally, after detailed comparison, if you focus on various sound quality or sound effect, Tidal should be your first option since it offers you with a wider range of sound quality from Normal to Master including Master Quality Authenticated (MAQ), HiFi quality, even Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio, which gives you real listening experience.

But if you put your eyes more on price, you can choose Napster since Napster Free offers you basic service like listening to all songs on Napster without interruptions and its subscription price is much cheaper than Tidal HiFi Plus but with similar services.

Jan 12, 2023 3:00 PM

Posted by Miley Swift to Tidal Tips

tidal

AudFree Tidable