What happen to MQA on Tidal?


After listening to Tidal only on my phone the last few weeks, I went to stream on my home system but soon realized all my MQA tracks were no longer showing up and the MQA parameters were absent in my streaming settings.  I see Tidal is in "administration" (Chapter 11???).   One of the main reasons I subscribed to Tidal was MQA and purchased a DAC that could decode the format.   I think I should have at least been informed by Tidal if it was cancelling MQA.  Any thoughts? 

I know a lot of people hate (hated) MQA, but like any format I have listened to (Vinyl, CD, SACD, FLAC, MQA, etc.) , some things sound great and others on a plain old red book CD sounds better. 

bubbagump

can someone explain this?? A 1988-1996 car CD Player that sounded better than all of the 24 bit processor CD Players: The Alpine 7909.

I don’t think a poll conducted 15 years ago which appears to be confined to car stereos is really relevant today

"The online poll of the mobile electronics industry was conducted during the fall of 2008 and Mobile Electronics recently presented the award to Alpine."

MQA was disappointing on my system compare to streaming FLAC stations off High Res Audio Online. Nothing like a free 192kHz stream at 5500bits/s. I also gave up on TIDAL after very limited selection several years ago, has it improved?

My home office sound system:

Foobar2000/ASIO > USB-data-only > TEAC NT505> AQ King Cobra > Parasound Zamp v.3 > ProAc Tablettes.

 

I have only heard a decent Atmos set up in an Audio Store.  I like my 5.1 and don’t intend to ditch it but I remain curious.

  MQA I have heard in a few settings.  I never consistently heard a difference when playing FLAC vs MQA.  Different remasterings could have accounted for any changes that I perceived.

  As mentioned upstream the biggest turnoff was the end to end hardware requirements.  I completely lost respect for TAS, and Robert Harley and Steven Stone in particular, for their relentless shilling for MQA.  I canceled back then and haven’t read a word by either of them since.  I would have loved to have known if either of them had a financial stake in MQA.  Stereophile, by comparison, took a much more balanced approach, with some reviewers being openly hostile, and gained a lot of credibility with me in comparison to TAS 

   

Soooo, physical media isn't really "dead" and I should hang on to my CDs?

 My fixed income and 3 Mbps internet (I kid you not, 3 Mbps) seem to have kept me from going down the streaming rabbit hole. Best of luck to all the early adopters, but I suspect time and mortality will catch up to me before the streaming rat's nest gets sorted out in a manner that benefits me.

@alaric62

I am not sure why you would cite the demise of MQA to reject all forms of streaming. MQA was just one way to access reputed Hi Resolution Files (whether they were truly Hi Res is a different story). However even a service such as Tidal that adopted MQA still has the majority of its files in standard CD resolution.

Streaming versus CD is more of a lifestyle decision, because given the comparable investments in equipment, there isn’t that much difference in their replay. In your case, your limited bandwidth would make it difficult to get a good result from streaming.

I listen to both silver discs and to streamers. Its great to have files on a server that I can access from different rooms in the home. For example, Right now my wife unfortunately has Covid. Our bedroom is next to my listening room, and I spent last night in the basement bedroom. It was great to be able to pull up the CDs that I wanted to listen to from the server to a streamer in the downstairs system, and I sample new releases with the streaming services that I subscribe to.

You have point in that streaming does involve more hardware challenges than CD replay, which is beautifully uncomplicated by comparison. Nothing like relaxing by hitting plug and play on the CD player. Streamers are networking computers and therefore subject to all of the issues involved with computers. With MQA one needed new hardware, and that is a major stumbling block.

However Physical Media also has a history of demanding that the listener invest in new hardware and media. Remember SACD and DVD-A, and Blu Ray? What about the whole switch from lps to CDs? Or going back from mono lps to stereo lps? Or home taping with reel to reel vs cassette vs CD copying and ultimately burning to a hard drive?

Format changes are endemic to this hobby, and not just to streaming