The best part about MQA bankruptcy..


Is going to be that we will see many fewer discussions on Audiogon about it! 不

Now we can all focus on hating on ASR and professional reviewers.

https://www.whathifi.com/news/mqa-is-going-into-administration

erik_squires

If Netflix streams its 4k video at 15gbhr, thats a bitrate of roughly 4166kbs. I havent seen anything released yet at 384kbs. but if you could be getting 192 for your track, thatss roughly 21 times as much. That Netflix plan is 14.99 here, Tidals plan with the mqa that makes it stream only at 44.1, is 19.99.

Tidal was charging double and using folding down then back up instead of downsampling then upsampling, to save bandwidth costs. MQA was folding everything above 16.44 down to 16.44 rate, to be folded up to 96 by cpu, after that you would have to replace your 10k dac with the same model with a cheap chip first to go higher. Only on Tidal.

Video game distributors will let you download free games at full speed for the rest of your life, if you want. They dont see a need to conserve bandwidth costs.

Actually, why are we talking like mqa is the past? It's currently running more than ever on Tidal.

The article that I read (HiFi Pig) quoted the owners and administrators that MQA had gone into administration as part of a process to facilitate its sale and continuation, including with new systems and technology.

Sadly I do not think we have seen the last of MQA as yet.

I can confirm that since Golden Sounds' expose' of MQA, about a year ago, things have got measurable better. Some recordings in MQA are fabulous.

However it's greed as usual that has been their "unfolding", forcing the purchase of a specially equipped DAC for the full privilege is ridiculous.

All they needed to do was sell a $20 upgrade software package or add another buck to Tidal subscriptions.

This'll probably sink Tidal because now there's no advantage to using it bar geographical restrictions.

Since many hardware manufacturers and chip companies have heavily invested in MQA I expect MQA to be sold for a buck to prevent lawsuits.

I'm still thinking they'll keep MQA going in some capacity, but I wouldn't want Tidal to go down with it as collateral damage. I'm not a MQA fan/hater, but I do like Tidal.

Bankruptcy applies to individuals. Administration is an option in the UK for insolvent companies. MQA's has been heavily loss making for the past couple of years. Administration involves handing over control of the company to an administrator who is effectively given control over the company and its future.

In my opinion nothing beats a great sacd and a great sacd player

i have both Qobuz, tidal and vinyl Oh its

crazy how we fall for hype everyone ran towards the tidal wave. And

got smoked.

Thats a shame, not that Im a MQA fan but less options for us, and less competition if Tidal fails. Also, there really needs to be a solution to large hi rez digital files and streaming. Streaming is the future and that includes Mobile streaming like ROON ARC, which is amazing匈d hate to put bandwidth before quality and stay stuck in the mp3 days宇hats awful. Weve evolved so much with Quobuz, Tidal and ROON. Sorry to go on about this.

This all reminds me of the cell phone and IP services in the US. The US is close to last in the world for cell and internet bandwidth. But as companies in the US have done for ever they charge a premium for a service that is 10 years old in other countries. Then they go full court press marketing that they are providing the best tech. I travel around the world and can attest to this. I can travel on subway underground in another country and have fabulous cell service but at home in the US I cant get coverage in my home. Is the issue with Mqa mqa? Or is it that they are they sabotaged by the infrastructure that they rely on? In todays world bandwidth should be cheap snd unlimited but we continue to be spoon feed limited amounts snd intentionally slowed down service but our monthly bills continue to rise.

At first, for me, the best part of MQA was the A part: Authenticated. It meant that the streaming service did not alter the data from what had been originally released.

The bit compression, etc. seemed useless in the face of modern internet and phone speeds.

What I didn't appreciate so much then until I read the Benchmark white paper on it was how much you lose.

I wonder about the Absolute Sounds absolute schilling for MQA some years ago. It seemed religious她r financial.

It also caused me to realize that this magazine had strayed a long ways from that I subscribed to back in 1974!

In any event, I almost never listen to Tidal anymore as the Quboz offerings have expanded so much.

erik_squires:

Thank you for admitting that 'Authenticated' was the part that sounded good, since they were talking about Master Quality.

After that, using this technique, it actually turns out that mqa actually keeps the users from being able to authenticate that Tidal actually even has the original higher res versions on their drives.

anotherbob:

I'll always be with you that mqa sucks, but it ain't past tense, the buggers are still streaming it full tilt at Tidal.

You're probably smart, and at qobuz. We have to wait till next month in my country. I could be at amazon, but Tidal's player sounds less bad, and is more important than higher res. Fortunately, it (and qobuz) play in Audirvana, the player I find sounds the best.

When these types of services go down, we all lose. Less options for everyone. Whether you like MQA or not, it's bad for hi-fi listeners.

We have seen an age with ipods, downloaded music, albums, CD, music streaming and much more. Whatever it is, you don't like... just bypass that media/service.

mqa does not introduce the type of option I would like to see introduced. Folding and hiding data, so that it gets unfolded back, with a chip you have to buy in a new dac? So that an audio streamer saves bandwidth money, and still charges double anyways? Netflix streams 21 times more data than 192khz audio files, for less money than Tidal, who only streams at 44.1 either way.

Chapter 11 or 13 are not good, and some people will lose their livelihood.Not an adapter of MQA but I think there is a market and options are good.

I feel for the folks that lose their job and lost their investments. Some here are very narrow minded and self-centered.

Bankruptcy is never good. Maybe PE will bail them out.

It probably took a lot of work for the person who thought of the idea to get people to listen to the same stream, but with an unfolding chip they bought new gear for, to make gear readouts say 96 and who knows how high up they'll support with it.

I was really angry at TAS for going whole hog on MQA. I remember Steven Stone saying that everyone now had an obsolete DAC. Canceled my subscription and never renewed.

Still匈 continue mourning the slow death of SACD, and the stillborn DVD-A. BluRay also seems headed the way of the Dodo. MQA may not actually be dead, just reorganizing financially. I dont care for MQA but hate to see another format in trouble, even if this one seemed rapacious

Decades ago when CD sales took over albums and vinyl sales went down and down, as CD players and CD sales went up and up. Digital got better and haters of albums and turntables were saying you were a fool to keep albums. Manufacturers of quality turntables stopped making them, companies went out of business. Companies stopped making record albums. I always welcomed both formats and kinda ignored the haters. I couldnt understand why people jumped over to the CD format and kept saying albums were sooooo bad. Now albums have come back, sales have gone way up.... past CDs. Even with HQ digital, albums are touted as better sounding??? So what is it really? Are we fools for luving analog? Are we fools for luving digital.... even MQA? Who is trying to make mega bucks from audiophiles? The turntable, cartridge and record album manufactures? Alongside the sleazy MQA developers? Even to this day... the debate rages on... digital is better than analog, analog is better than digital???

I say welcome any new format and buy what you want, nobody bends your arm. And please dont try to convince me one format sounds better than another or one developer is trying to make money off the average guy...that debate has been going on for years.

Nobody is going to sell their 10k dac theyre impressed with to try mqa.

MQA is the wrong format to care about. It says it folds sample data into fewer samples to take less space, then the secret way unfolds them back, and wont let you encode it, only decode it, or else you might just find out Tidal actually doesnt have any original higher than 44.1 res files. They didnt think people would be able to know the difference true higher res streaming would make that way. And you still dont. If you are using Tidal right now, and the track is supposed to be higher res, you dont know what it should sound like if it were not mqa

SACD is not dead, it prospers as even higher bitrate dsd files. They're up to dsd256, up from the original 64, so far. There's probably higher already, my dac can do 512.

I'm struggling to comprehend howhickamoreclaims it is "Unlistenable".

That statement is Incomprehensible and I can clearly see an unhealthy bias.

Pulled out a treasure trove of CD-Rs that were recordings of live concerts in peoples homes. Pioneer BDP-09fd playing into Devialet Expert Pro 220 (this time as preamp (not DAC) then out to tube amp. I love Qobuz, and for certain music Apple Music. Great sound quality, BUT, not on the level of what i heard on the CD-R. The sense of palpability, music and soundstage extending all over, was just greater and more easily produced with the CD. There is also another level of resolution, even though Qobuz generally sounds great.

My feeling is that streaming services equals xcllnt sound and super convenience.

CD equals even better sound with a bit less convenience because the library is limited..

Vinyl equals the possibility of the state of the art sound, but with a good deal of inconvenience, primarily because it can be a bit of a pain in the arse to keep the deck, tonearm, cartidge and LPs in optimal playing condition.

Feel free to correct me if I am off base.

4afsanakhan:

Have you tried to equal cd with uncompressed files on another source? It's not easy, because sources probably only get noisier and more complex after a cd reader. If you can get it going, more confidence about the reading than scratchable disks, better playlists, and then higher res await. But good luck keeping it that quiet.

A bankruptcy isn't necessarily the end and it certainly isn't going to stop a hit like Tidal.

FTR: I have an early MQA capable DAC and I ended up turning it off early on. I couldnt hear a benefit and my DAC forced me to stick to apodizing filters which I didnt like as much as other choices.

From a pure sound quality perspective Ive just never heard a reason to use it, and from a bandwidth savings perspective its the 21st Century and even in the US we dont need it.

Yeah, TIdal shouldnt have to go bankrupt also, theyre just losing credibility for letting mqa spoof so many people.

But its true, streaming higher res audio is a trickle compared to Netflix, which streams 42 times as much with their 4k plan as Tidal does with any plan, for notable less money. (Tidal streams the same amount no matter which plan you get)

If you bought a dac that has an mqa chip, remember that mqa's only hope is to sound like it wasn't even there, and it could actually really equal what it would sound like if Tidal had just trickled more, like everyone else does.

Ha, if mqa wants to be the best thing ever, it has to sound like it doesn't even exist, anyways.

MQA is very good from my experience with a MSB DAC.

i agree with this... on my msb analog dac, mqa music sounds terrific... though i have to admit this observation is probably more about the msb than mqa...

@erik_squires Re: worldwide internet speeds, I dont know where [everyone writing about this] gets their information. Heres a source from which Id argue that compression is still very useful (are we really that elite?):

https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/internet-speeds-by-country

I have a Meridian system, and the MQA from Tidal sounds a bit thin, although the ones with Studio rating tend to sound fine; the MQA from Qobuz sounds much better, but the recordings are so rare that when I asked them about it the respondent seemed stunned that there was any MQA at all.

As for Tidal being in trouble, I hope someone will explain this to me; would they definitely lose all ability to to stream everything they have, now, or is this just speculation about what a new MQA licensor would do (who pays the MQA fees; the record label or Tidal?)?

According to this reasonably recent Netflix Tech Blog post, the highest they stream at is 11.8 Mbps:https://netflixtechblog.com/optimized-shot-based-encodes-for-4k-now-streaming-47b516b10bbb.

For 192/24 uncompressed stereo audio streaming, we have 192,000 * 2 * 24 = 9.216 Mbps. Which is lower, yet surprisingly close to the max Netflix data rate.

There is a neuro-physiological reason behind this: human brain devotes on average roughly about as much neural processing volume to visual as to audio information.

In blind people, audio processing takes over part of the brain volume that otherwise would be dedicated to visual processing, and they can "see" better with their hearing.

So, while it is true that those who can stream 4K Netflix movies can stream uncompressed 192/24 audio too, audio compression still has its place, especially in the areas of the world where bandwidth isn't as plentiful.

dont know where [everyone writing about this] gets their information. Heres a source from which Id argue that compression is still very useful (are we really that elite?):

@philosurfer

The US lags behind the rest of the world due to it's insistence on capitalism uber alles. Performance per community and cost per connection varies a great deal here, but MQA is an elite product. It's not for your average buyer of ear buds, so I think I'm safe saying that if I can stream Netflix 4k I don't need compression for music, and therefore, for the target audience, MQA's compression is a non-value.

MQA is an extra chip to make your gear do what it could already do. If mqa works as well as possible, it will sound exactly the same as if they had just trickled double the data.

Netflix streams 42 times as much data as a 44.1 audio stream. Oh wait, that's if the stream is uncompressed, I forgot to flac it to roughly 60% at the end.

There's nothing a server can do, besides doing nothing, that is easier on it than streaming audio files. Especially if they're compressed at all.

People who compress never want you to find out about it, though. People who charge double for streaming audio must want someone else to do it. Then there's mqa, who wants to compress on top of it, with a name they think will sound better than higher resolution. Then Tidal charges double and hires them.

What's the deal with charging extra to buy higher res, anyways? Will tiny 44.1 files always be the going rate, and the higher it gets, the more we pay? A 44.1 track is like the size of a video game in 1990 or something. Puny.

Heh, Windows 95 is what the world wide web came right after.

@erik_squires

The US lags behind the rest of the world due to it's insistence on capitalism uber alles. Performance per community and cost per connection varies a great deal here, but MQA is an elite product.

Well, that link shows (if you read further down on that page) that there are far more countries experiencing lower data rates (vs. higher) than the US. But the US also bilks customers at every opportunity - is it, then, time to change the system?

@erik_squires

We're not the slowest!!

That's got to be a great vote of confidence,@philosurfer

I'm guessing that response is a change of position on it (TIC)? Or do people just want faster downloads of cat pictures?

The bit compression, etc. seemed useless in the face of modern internet and phone speeds.

One point is that there are billions of people in the world (and many millions in the US) who technically or financially couldn't access these speeds - so if MQA can be a vehicle that helps in these situations (even though it would rank very low on a priority list in these circumstances), what's the problem? Greater adoption would be great (in the long run) for everyone.

I'm so glad I never spent a dime on MQA equipment, I kept waiting to see if it would really take root...Digital music SUX and this is a good example to remember. My vinyl records dont get CENSORED or changed like almost all digital is.

Matt M