MQA and Digital Rights Management

All this talk of MQA taking over the world of digital music, in whatever form - streamed, downloaded and during recording, seems just a little on the paranoid side. Right now the only streaming service even offering MQA is Tidal and Tidal is a very minor player in the world of streaming music. While it’s hard to find up to date figures on Tidal’s share of the streaming market I would not be too far off to say that if Tidal tops out at even 5% that would be amazing.

So right now I would be not all that concerned. If and when a smart phone is available with full MQA decoding built in then I might start to worry, but my guess is that we are at 5 years away from that happening, if ever.

Here is one … but I still don’t think you have to worry…

Oh no, time to worry!!! :rofl:


Phones, which 99.9(99999?)% of the time are <256kbs compressed sources, as a hi res source?

Still, if it becomes even a part of the market, then MQA (or real hi res) would have arrived…

1 Like

Well said. Thanks.

8 posts were merged into an existing topic: Prefer Tidal FLAC over MQA option

I have to keep repeating myself as you keep repeating the same myth. There is no DRM in MQA.

MQA is does not have DRM, MQA is DRM. It’s the software “freemium” model. Again, not the thread. See MQA and Digital Rights Management


Just because it’s not copy protection it doesn’t mean it’s not DRM. From Wikipedia:

DRM technologies try to control the use, modification, and distribution of copyrighted works (such as software and multimedia content), as well as systems within devices that enforce these policies.

There’s little doubt MQA does control use, 13 bit unless you’re using licensed gear, and qualifies.

DRM, digital rights management stopped you copying music. You can copy MQA files all you want. If you own the file, you can play in on any equipment you have.
It’s an end to end system because that’s how it works.

‘Maybe it’s DRM Jim, but not as we know it…’ ?

1 Like

Again (and again and again) not the thread. You equate DRM with strong encryption/copy protection measures. Those are specific implementations of the much larger concept of DRM. Take your limited understanding elsewhere: MQA and Digital Rights Management

It’s widely recognised that HDCP 2.2 constitutes DRM.
If that definition is applied to audio streams/files, then it could be argued that the MQA ‘standard’ does indeed incorporate some form of DRM.

Not in any practical way that stops people enjoying the music in any way they wish.
It’s just a non issue that seems to be blown up beyond reason, by some with, what seems to me, like an agenda to mislead people about MQA

You can’t enjoy 4K/HDR TV without complying with HDCP 2.2.
You can’t enjoy MQA music without an ‘MQA Approved’ decoder & renderer (DAC).
Do you see the similarities?

Of course it stops people from enjoying the music in any way they wish. MQA manages the end users digital rights, by its very design. Can I hear the “premium” content of an MQA file (or even the 16/44 portion of the file unmolested by high the HF distortion introduced by the folding process) without MQA permission and software/hardware decoder, at least legally? No. Does PCM (or even MP3 or AAC) impose the same digital restrictions on my rights? No.

This however has already been explained to you over at: MQA and Digital Rights Management


I just use my ears and it all sounds lovely, so there we are…
what was that quote? If it measures wrong and sounds right… you are measuring the wrong thing :joy:

I like the sound too :grinning:
However, I just think it’s ‘fair’ to ensure consumers know what MQA is, and what it isn’t.

1 Like

This quote bugs me slightly as measurement and liking the sound of something are two different things. Many people profess to prefer the sound of vinyl but there’s no doubt it doesn’t measure as well as a good quality digital playback chain. By measure well I mean fidelity to the original source. For what it’s worth I’ll happily concede that it’s what you like that’s important regarding the equipment and formats you choose. I feel the quote should read “If it measures wrong and sounds right you like the sound of insert characteristic here

1 Like