MQA will decode file with extension .FLAC and not .WAV

Interesting when I download from 2L test bench MQA tracks, which are of course .FLAC files, playback on Aries Mini, it managed to decode up to 24/352.8k. However, when I use the same file and convert to .WAV, Aries Mini cannot decode, it just show 24 bit 44.1k WAV.

My Question, is it dependent on the type of ‘container’ it uses during decoding process? Converting FLAC to WAV is a lossless process so it should retain the necessary information to the do the decoding thereafter. In the case of file size, the compression ratio isn’t very much, I’m seeing a factor of 0.7x compression to the WAV file.

WAV can’t carry the same tags as FLAC, as far as I know. So by converting from to WAV you likely damaged/deleted some tags. And those tags are necessary for MQA.

FLAC-WAV is only lossless for audio data.

FLAC tags are useful for 3rd party identification of MQA (and may be relied on by some software), but not needed for decoding it. The actual markers used during MQA decoding are buried under the noise floor of the data.

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[quote=“joel, post:3, topic:25185, full:true”]
The actual markers used during MQA decoding are buried under the noise floor of the data.
[/quote]I have heard that before, but why does flac (or any compressed audio format) contain data that can’t be converted to audible sound? It’s sound a little SF to me :slight_smile:

Hi Magnus
Googling “audio metadata” should provide a range of results that explain the reasons/benefits.

Hi Joel,
If we add “.mqa” extension to the file name (like name.mqa.flac), do you use that extension?
Or you never refer to such an extension and just investigate all the files for MQA marker(under the noise floor)?

No, we don’t look at an “.mqa” extension. MQA identification is done by looking at the tags and the actual (under noise floor) markers.

Thank you!
This is important when we rip MQA-CD.

When you rip MQA-CD into .FLAC, .WAV or convert any MQA downloads from .FLAC to ALAC, the tag info will be lost.

Roon will read the tag and display just below the album art (after initial scanning). However, when playing back actual file, the signal path will look at the embedded markers under the noise floor for authentication.

To display the info just below the album art after initial scanning , tag the following:

’Encoder’ 'MQAEncode’


Where xxxxxx is the sampling frequency in whole number, example, 44.1k = 44100 or 192k = 192000 or 352.8k = 352800

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Thank you !