Tidal Connect. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s like Spotify Connect for Tidal.
To date, Tidal Connect hardware partners have been thin on the ground. Bluesound was first out of the gate with full integration across their Nodes, Powernodes and Vaults. Then came Cambridge Audio (albeit with a gotcha). Naim is reportedly in the process of integrating Tidal Connect across their streaming hardware range.
Today brings news that Italian Raspberry Pi OS developer Volumio has beaten everyone else to the punch. Version 2.878 of their freely available operating system bakes Tidal Connect support into the OS for anyone to activate it with their Virtuoso (€29/year) or Superstar (€67/year) MyVolumio account. A 15-day trial is available for either.
It works like this: fire up a stream in Tidal’s mobile (or desktop) app, select the Volumio-running Raspberry Pi from the list of sound output devices and hear the stream move automagically from the smartphone (or Mac/PC) to the RPi.
As I write this, I am digging into LCD Soundsystem’s American Dream with Tidal Connect running on Volumio OS. The hardware in play is a Raspberry Pi 31 with a HifiBerry DAC+ HAT board attached.
No HAT? No worries. Tidal Connect also works on Volumio OS-powered Pi-s connected to USB DACs, including those found in integrated amplifiers. And yes, the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt’s light (seen above) turns purple when it sees Max Richter’s Sleep as an MQA stream2.
What a time to be alive.
Further information: Volumio
Footnote 1: A Raspberry Pi 4 would also work here.
Footnote 2: Yes, I’ve seen GoldenSound’s video on MQA. My thoughts on it can be read here.