Tidal Launches Desktop Client, Cuts Prices For Students

Streaming music subscription service Tidal launched a desktop player for Windows and Mac OS X Wednesday, and significantly cut its prices for students: Users with a valid .edu email address can now get both Tidal’s regular $9.99 a month plan as well as its $19.99 HD streaming tier for half off.

The new desktop player promises gapless playback, as well as AirPlay support, allowing users to wirelessly stream their music to an Apple TV or any AirPlay-capable speaker.

Tidal also gave its mobile apps a design refresh, and added tour dates for musicians to its service. The latter comes courtesy of a partnership with Ticketmaster, which will also allow users to purchase tickets.

Tidal is competing in a market that is poised to get more crowded in the coming days: On Monday, Apple is widely believed to introduce its own music subscription service, which like Tidal — and its much larger rival Spotify — is going to cost $10 a month.

Tidal has been trying to differentiate itself from its competition by closely partnering with musicians like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Jay-Z, who acquired Tidal’s parent company in March. However, Apple is also betting on enlisting pop stars for its service, and it may have stolen at least one pop star from Tidal’s list of supporters: Billboard reported this week that Drake was supposed to join fellow musicians for Tidal’s launch earlier this year. But he reportedly dropped out of the lineup two days before the launch because Apple offered him a better deal.

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