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Cesar Cadenas

Tidal's game-changing feature lets your friends open shared songs in Spotify

Woman listening to music on laptop.

Music streaming service Tidal is introducing a great new feature to its desktop app, one we hope other platforms implement: universal links. Now, whenever a Tidal user shares a song with a friend, the recipient will be able to listen to the track “on their preferred streaming service.” They won’t be forced to install the app on their compute. As the company put it, your friends can enjoy “your latest musical obsession, regardless of where they listen.”

The platform itself didn’t make an official announcement. This update appears to have been discovered by a Reddit user on the Tidal subreddit who posted screenshots of the patch notes and the feature in action. We can confirm Tidal Version 2024.03.27 of the desktop app is indeed live and rolling out, as we received the patch on our computer.

Sharing music across platforms doesn’t require any extra steps on behalf of the sender. To begin, click the three dots next to a song’s title, then hover over Share. Select Copy Track Link and send your friend said link. 

Here’s where things get different. 

(Image credit: Future)

When the recipient opens the link, they will be taken to a special Tidal web page where they select how they want to listen to the track. Four other streaming services are currently supported at the time of this writing: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music. You won’t be able to listen right away as you’ll have to wait a few seconds for the Tidal to connect to the third-party app.

(Image credit: Future)

Once it's done, pick whatever you want and it’ll open your choice on a web browser. It won’t open their respective desktop app. The patch notes state there are plans to expand support to other services – presumably Deezer is one those. But it’s unknown when that’ll happen.

Leading the charge

This tech isn’t anything new, as similar tools have existed for years now. Deezer, for example, has Shaker, which is an all-in-one playlist feature that allows people to grab songs from their preferred app and pool songs together seamlessly. Songlink is another option, but again you have to make a full playlist. 

What’s exciting about the Tidal update is that this is the first time a major music streaming service is incorporating universal links. It’s a level of flexibility rarely seen anywhere else. You don’t have to create a playlist. You’re free to share one song and just the one song. On top of all this, Tidal is bucking industry trends by becoming cheaper, too. We would love to see Spotify, Apple Music, and the like follow in its footsteps.

As much as we gush over universal links, we have several questions. Will the mobile app receive the same upgrade? The Reddit post specifically mentions receiving Version 2024.03.27 on their Mac and we got it on our PC. However, there’s no mention of Android or iOS anywhere. Same goes for its availability; it’s unknown if this is rolling out globally or not.

Until then, why not check out TechRadar's list of the best headphones for 2024.

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