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Tidal Adds Dolby Atmos Music

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usccompeng

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Jun 22, 2020
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I plugged the Firestick into my Atmos-compatible Pioneer VSX-LX503 and did the set-up. The Firestick detected the Pioneer (through CEC?) and Atmos just worked without making any changes to the configuration. Then I took that Firestick, and without making any changes, plugged it into my Denon AVR-3312CI. It showed DD+ 5.1.

Based on my experience, it's possible that if you factory reset your Firestick, set it up with your buddy's Atmos receiver, and then take it back to your house without changing any settings, it may work. Keep in mind I didn't change a single setting, not even the wifi because it was all in the same house. From my side the test would be to Factory reset my Firestick and set it up on the Denon and show it doesn't work, but I hope you understand why I won't do that :)

Based on some reading on the TidalDL forums, Tidal determines your equipment when your device handshakes, and sends one of three files: stereo FLAC (for PCs), AC-4 mp4 (for Android phones), or E-AC-3 mp4 (for Apple TV, Firestick, and TVs connected to an Atmos AVR). Seems kind of crazy to me that the Firestick/Apple TV would determine whether you have an Atmos-capable device and then send that info to Tidal, but I guess they are trying to keep the E-AC-3 files from getting distributed to insecure devices.
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation! Out of curiosity, I tried one more thing which was connecting an HDMI cable to my USB-C connector on my Samsung GS20 Ultra, because it actually says "Dolby Atmos" because the phone supposedly supports it and on the Tidal app it displays "Dolby Atmos" instead of "Hifi" or "Master" when trying to play those files. I hoped that maybe the raw output from the phone would be a 5.1 DD+ compatible bitstream, but I was again disappointed to see that it was just 2.0. In this case, I know the phone is getting an Atmos compatible file, but I think it must decode and downmix everything before passing it along to its HDMI packetizer. I wish there was a way to get the raw audio data directly to the USB-C/HDMI port.
 

bracelis

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Mar 17, 2019
Messages
27
Location
New York
Out of curiosity, I tried one more thing which was connecting an HDMI cable to my USB-C connector on my Samsung GS20 Ultra, because it actually says "Dolby Atmos" because the phone supposedly supports it and on the Tidal app it displays "Dolby Atmos" instead of "Hifi" or "Master"
It may have been already mentioned in the forum that the Atmos mobile version is different.
Below are two versions/files of the same song as shown in 'mediainfo':

(1) Dolby Digital+/Atmos version

Format : E-AC-3 JOC
Format/Info : Enhanced AC-3 with Joint Object Coding
Commercial name : Dolby Digital Plus with Dolby Atmos
Duration : 5 min 49 s
Bit rate : 768 kb/s
Channel(s) : 6 channels
Channel layout : L R C LFE Ls Rs
Sampling rate : 48.0 kHz
Number of dynamic objects : 15


(2) AC-4 version ('Atmos' on Mobile phone)

Format : AC-4
Duration : 5 min 49 s
Bit rate : 256 kb/s
Sampling rate : 48.0 kHz
Substream #1 : Stereo
Channel mode : Stereo
Immersive stereo : Dolby Atmos Content
Channel layout : L R


Edit:
Below are two examples of Sony 360 files on a Tidal mobile phone:

(a)
Format : MPEG-H 3D Audio
Format profile : 21
Codec ID : mha1
Bit rate : 666 kb/s
Channel(s) : 98 channels
Sampling rate : 64.0 kHz

(b)
Format : MPEG-H 3D Audio
Format profile : 118
Codec ID : mha1
Duration : 4 min 47 s
Bit rate : 666 kb/s
Channel(s) : 16 channels
 
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himey

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
1,446
I plugged the Firestick into my Atmos-compatible Pioneer VSX-LX503 and did the set-up. The Firestick detected the Pioneer (through CEC?) and Atmos just worked without making any changes to the configuration. Then I took that Firestick, and without making any changes, plugged it into my Denon AVR-3312CI. It showed DD+ 5.1.

Based on my experience, it's possible that if you factory reset your Firestick, set it up with your buddy's Atmos receiver, and then take it back to your house without changing any settings, it may work. Keep in mind I didn't change a single setting, not even the wifi because it was all in the same house. From my side the test would be to Factory reset my Firestick and set it up on the Denon and show it doesn't work, but I hope you understand why I won't do that :)

Based on some reading on the TidalDL forums, Tidal determines your equipment when your device handshakes, and sends one of three files: stereo FLAC (for PCs), AC-4 mp4 (for Android phones), or E-AC-3 mp4 (for Apple TV, Firestick, and TVs connected to an Atmos AVR). Seems kind of crazy to me that the Firestick/Apple TV would determine whether you have an Atmos-capable device and then send that info to Tidal, but I guess they are trying to keep the E-AC-3 files from getting distributed to insecure devices.
Sorry to ask a stupid question but when 5.1 DD+ showed up on your non-Atmos receiver, did you verify you were getting sound in the rear channels? The only reason I ask is you are the only person who has this working without an Atmos processor. I checked a couple other forums and nobody else has had the success you have had. I had 5.1 show up but it was still just stereo. I have successfully downloaded the ac4 tracks but they don't seem compatible with any of the playback software I tried. TIA
 

harync

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Jul 9, 2019
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Location
Chicago, IL
Sorry to ask a stupid question but when 5.1 DD+ showed up on your non-Atmos receiver, did you verify you were getting sound in the rear channels? The only reason I ask is you are the only person who has this working without an Atmos processor. I checked a couple other forums and nobody else has had the success you have had. I had 5.1 show up but it was still just stereo. I have successfully downloaded the ac4 tracks but they don't seem compatible with any of the playback software I tried. TIA
Yes, I confirmed that there were discrete instruments coming out of the rear speakers (stood on the sofa with my ear against the surrounds). I also A-B tested the Tidal 5.1 in my non-Atmos AVR with some original 5.1 Versions (Tom Sawyer and Rocket Man). Without the height speakers, the Tidal versions are not as enjoyable as the originals, but essentially have similar separation.

You won’t get anywhere with those AC-4 files, unfortunately. Not aware of any software that can play theme outside of android phones. The E-AC-3 files that would work seem to be restricted to only AppleTV/Firestick/Nvidea type media players. It seems the the media device checks the atmos capability of the device it is set-up with and then communicates that information (maybe just Y or N) to the tidal server, which then sends E-AC-3 mp4 or Stereo Flac. Since I set-up on an atmos device, the theoretical flag was set to Y and when I changed AVRs it did not re-check. (Edit: Tidal essentially confirmed this is what they are doing: Tidal Adds Dolby Atmos Music)

Bracelis posted a link to an Atmos demo here: Tidal Adds Dolby Atmos Music. Checking that and seeing if you get 5.1 in a non-Atmos receiver would be a good test of your AVR. Another could test would be if somone (Mrcond) can set-up a Firestick/AppleTv on an Atmos soundbar and then move it to their non-Atmos AVR.
 
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mrcond

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Vernon, CT
Yes, I confirmed that there were discrete instruments coming out of the rear speakers (stood on the sofa with my ear against the surrounds). I also A-B tested the Tidal 5.1 in my non-Atmos AVR with some original 5.1 Versions (Tom Sawyer and Rocket Man). Without the height speakers, the Tidal versions are not as enjoyable as the originals, but essentially have similar separation.

You won’t get anywhere with those AC-4 files, unfortunately. Not aware of any software that can play theme outside of android phones. The E-AC-3 files that would work seem to be restricted to only AppleTV/Firestick/Nvidea type media players. It seems the the media device checks the atmos capability of the device it is set-up with and then communicates that information (maybe just Y or N) to the tidal server, which then sends E-AC-3 mp4 or Stereo Flac. Since I set-up on an atmos device, the theoretical flag was set to Y and when I changed AVRs it did not re-check. (Edit: Tidal essentially confirmed this is what they are doing: Tidal Adds Dolby Atmos Music)

Bracelis posted a link to an Atmos demo here: Tidal Adds Dolby Atmos Music. Checking that and seeing if you get 5.1 in a non-Atmos receiver would be a good test of your AVR. Another could test would be if somone (Mrcond) can set-up a Firestick/AppleTv on an Atmos soundbar and then move it to their non-Atmos AVR.
I will try it and report back. However, to be clear, my Firestick is not the 4K version. So it may not work just due to that fact.
 

bracelis

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
27
Location
New York
I will need to re-test the Tidal app on Apple, and see if the reason that it's playing the same Atmos file and sending a discrete 5.1 signal to a non-Atmos receiver is because I had already used the Tidal app with the Apple connected to a an Atmos receiver, and somehow the Tidal app 'remembers' the previous setting.
Similar to harync's case.

It may be the tidal app itself that's doing this, and not the device (example, Firestick).
 

bracelis

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
27
Location
New York
Yes, I confirmed that there were discrete instruments coming out of the rear speakers (stood on the sofa with my ear against the surrounds). I also A-B tested the Tidal 5.1 in my non-Atmos AVR ...

Another could test would be if somone (Mrcond) can set-up a Firestick/AppleTv on an Atmos soundbar and then move it to their non-Atmos AVR.
EDIT:
I'm now able to reproduce harync's case but using an Apple 4K TV -- i.e. it worked on the Apple because I also used the same [Tidal app + Apple] on an Atmos receiver. I have updated / corrected my post on the Apple TV testing in the previous page.

It must be a bug in the Tidal app.
Other apps re-check the connection every time, but the Tidal app doesn't seem to do the same but it 'remembers' the settings (unless you do a System-restart on the Apple or unplug and reconnect the power).

I suggest you send a petition to Tidal-- if you're paying extra for the HiFi subscription but don't have an Atmos receiver, you deserve to get the 5.1 audio.
Or go to your local Best Buy and connect your device to an Atmos receiver ;)
 
Last edited:

raml

Member
Joined
May 29, 2020
Messages
41
Location
Germany
It may have been already mentioned in the forum that the Atmos mobile version is different.
Below are two versions/files of the same song as shown in 'mediainfo':

(1) Dolby Digital+/Atmos version

Format : E-AC-3 JOC
Format/Info : Enhanced AC-3 with Joint Object Coding
Commercial name : Dolby Digital Plus with Dolby Atmos
Duration : 5 min 49 s
Bit rate : 768 kb/s
Channel(s) : 6 channels
Channel layout : L R C LFE Ls Rs
Sampling rate : 48.0 kHz
Number of dynamic objects : 15


(2) AC-4 version ('Atmos' on Mobile phone)

Format : AC-4
Duration : 5 min 49 s
Bit rate : 256 kb/s
Sampling rate : 48.0 kHz
Substream #1 : Stereo
Channel mode : Stereo
Immersive stereo : Dolby Atmos Content
Channel layout : L R


Edit:
Below are two examples of Sony 360 files on a Tidal mobile phone:

(a)
Format : MPEG-H 3D Audio
Format profile : 21
Codec ID : mha1
Bit rate : 666 kb/s
Channel(s) : 98 channels
Sampling rate : 64.0 kHz

(b)
Format : MPEG-H 3D Audio
Format profile : 118
Codec ID : mha1
Duration : 4 min 47 s
Bit rate : 666 kb/s
Channel(s) : 16 channels
Where did you get this informations from?
 

bracelis

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
27
Location
New York
Where did you get this informations from?
Please refer to this earlier post.
 

himey

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
1,446
Yes, I'm able to capture the original files with the Dolby Digital+/Atmos (mp4 container), and I'm able to play them on the PC and send to the receiver as passthrough / bitstream.

But it's probably not proper to discuss in this forum how to accomplish this.
I only did this to experiment and learn some tech stuff -- I promise to delete the files. ;)

PS: There is a post in this thread which shows what the file looks like in 'mediainfo' -- that's the post that prompted me to try it.
Did I already ask you what you are using to play these back on the PC?
 

bracelis

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
27
Location
New York
Did I already ask you what you are using to play these back on the PC?
I just double-click on the file in Windows 10 and it works with the default 'Movies & TV' player and it passes through the bitstream to the receiver.
It also works with VLC media player (with pass through enabled).

It's the same mp4 format as the demo files here.
Except it contains an audio stream only and no video, and the audio on the demo file has a lower audio bit rate.

I'm not able to play the other files (ac-4 and 360).
 

popshop

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
373
Location
Denver, CO
Question for the new Firestick people: Is it possible to deny the audio spying part, or is the microphone turned on from the beginning?
Do they give you an option to deny audio recording?
 

beerking

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
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Mar 8, 2015
Messages
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Location
Wantage, Oxfordshire ..UK
Question for the new Firestick people: Is it possible to deny the audio spying part, or is the microphone turned on from the beginning?
Do they give you an option to deny audio recording?
It's a separate command Ian, so no ear wigging by the Bezo gang.
Which I don't use.
They don't want to hear my I.O.W. dialect loudly, guffawing into it!!
 
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