MQA basics/assistance

With the versions of each album now showing and with regards to mqa albums if it states 48khz flac and MQA as 96khz does that mean 96 is the twice unfolded mqa album once processed by software and hardware decoding? Is 48khz flac therefore the original native mqa version (ie the full mqa “info” of 96khz is carried inside this 48khz file? If you don’t employ software or hardware decoding you just get the native 48khz file similar to flac cd. I would be most grateful for a brief explanation to clarify this. I understand on the tidal app the software carries out the first unfold. (so 96khz mqa or 192khz mqa indicates the sample rate after twice unfolding?)

Another point does roon keep a copy of all of the individual members metadata/playlists/ favourite albums and artists/history/settings etc on roon servers or is this information only found on each members core machine where we backup the roon database regularly. Many thanks. Two small points to add to my understanding. I have been enjoying tidal/roon with my imac/chord mojo for around 7 months now great stuff.

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Hi @musickid

MQA files typically come in a 44.1/48 FLAC envelope. If no decoding is applied then they will play in that format.

The file description includes “MQA (ORFS)” where ORFS is the original sampling frequency which can be obtained by decoding and rendering. Decoding will produce an 88.1/96 stream. Rendering may further increase the sampling frequency if the ORFS exceeds 88.1/96.

Decoding an MQA file with an ORFS of 88.1/96 or greater will “unfold” actual musical data up to that rate. Accordingly using Roon to software decode such a file is substantially equivalent to having an 88.1/96 hi res file.

There is controversy as to the merits of decoding an MQA file with an ORFS of 44.1/48 or of rendering above 88.1/96. Critics of MQA contend that such steps are the equivalent of upsampling, which increases bandwidth but does not include musical content. Proponents of MQA assert that there are audio benefits to those steps. Many people don’t hear an audible difference.

I don’t have an MQA DAC so I enjoy the benefits of an effective 88.1/96 file. I leave the MQA decoder on for ORFS 44.1/48 content as it sounds at least as good as raw 44.1/48 content to me.

Lastly, playlists, favourites, tags and settings in Roon are stored locally in the database of the Roon Core and not on any central server. You should regularly backup the database to a different storage than the drive containing the Core.

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Many thanks Andrew. I can now use the new features and understand the background behind it all. Cheers Mohab

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I’m not seeing an MQA logo on albums in either the iphone or Mac remotes. I see it on the iPad though. Ideas?

Check that Settings > General > Show album format on browser is set to ‘yes’.

It is a per-remote preference.

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Thanks. Thought it was a core thing.