New(est) MQA Rumors

Some interesting chatter over on CA Forum, especially some comments by CA Forum owner, Chris. He’s a pretty straight shooter and I don’t think he’d make these comments unless he really has heard something from a credible source.

It’s still gossip at the end of the day but maybe with a splash of credibility? Maybe, maybe not.

Read for yourself at the links below but to me it reads like he’s heard whispers that there is a rather large and wealthy company planning to give MQA to it’s customer base of 10’s of millions (!!), apparently at no extra charge.

Spotify? Amazon? Google? Samsung? Can’t imagine it’s Apple !?





In the 2nd link above:

Q: But maybe you know something we don’t know? I hope not!
A: I believe I do.

Again, I don’t believe Chris would drop these hints unless he really has heard something from a credible source.

Thanks. Kind of fascinating how worked up some folks can get about rumors concerning a musical file type they don’t want to listen to.

As long as it doesn’t drive the price of streaming up too much, anything that gets us more albums in MQA is good with me.


Well there were rumours a while back that Apple were going to buy Tidal so you never know…

Not a rumour, but news:


For ESS Mobile DAC. Let’s see if a new LG smartphone in the future uses it.

Edit: LG V35 uses ES9228, while the previous V30 uses ES9218P.

7 posts were split to a new topic: The new LG 35 phone sounds like it’s downsampling to 48k 16bit

Interesting that Newest Rumors show nothing in the last 8 months. MQA is supposed to be a fast developing project yet nothing new this year. Am I just ignorant of where to go for NEW news? but I am sure you were aware of that?

Yes and I’m encouraged but the web and audio press/reviews seemed to peak in 2017.

I guessed it ran off stream… No new announcement on manufacturers and streaming providers on CES 2019. Sounds like Qobuz lossless Hi-Res streaming got everyone too excited?

There are still new MQA capable products coming to market, and MQA available even on Qobuz so I don’t think it is in terminal decline just yet. Let’s see how the Qobuz launch in the US goes.

MQA appeared on some selected 2L catalogs which is brought up to the attention in another thread. Roon is aware of the issue. I’m sure Qobuz is working with the affected albums with 2L. Qobuz stands by its clause that they only provide lossless Hi-Res streaming.

MQA is essentially ‘stagnant’ since middle of 2017 and have gone quiet since then. MQA has been around for 4 years now and none of streaming partners are supporting it other than Tidal. The confusion is due to bad marketing and claims not technically justifiable.

There may be an issue here, because MQA is still a FLAC file, regardless of the way it is to be processed down stream. Any provider could choose to supply their files in MQA encoded form and the only issue for Qobuz is how they declare them. High Res equivalents, CD equivalent or somewhere below CD because they are lossy. And the problem here is that historically, format wars prove a couple of things. The “best” format doesn’t always win. And throwing your weight firmly behind one can be messy if you’ve backed the loser. So Qobuz need to tread carefully here because I don’t think they see MQA as the biggest differentiator between them and Tidal. Their stance on it won’t win or lose the day. Neutrality might be their better option.

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MQA is not a FLAC file, it uses FLAC as a wrapper. It can exist in any lossless wrapper such as ALAC and WAV.

Qobuz has made a public statement that the 2L MQA will stay but they will fix things on their end so it’s clearly labelled. Mans has also offered Qobuz use of his scanner which will tell them if they are getting MQA, not sure if they are going to use it to prevent this in the future.

The, you will always have choice argument is starting to crumble.

Semantics mate, you know the point I was trying to make.:slightly_smiling_face:

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It is hardly crumbling, but it does illustrate the issue here. Qobuz’s only recourse is to label the file correctly. They can’t actually dictate what encoding is used by their provider. They can dictate the wrapper as MF kindly pointed out above. But if the labels chose MQA, or some rival encryption should it emerge, they would have to go with it. They can choose not to adopt the first stage unfold like Tidal do, but they cannot actually refuse to supply MQA encoded files. And I think that was demonstrated when another provider had a very public climb down after slagging MQA off a while back.

Well, if your favorite artists were only on the 2L label, that would be crumbling.

I think the anti-MQA folks have their place in this dialog, and an important one. Look at it like this: if there never were labor unions, people would be working 16 hours a day in a coal mine for little pay; if management did not have leverage, labor costs would skyrocket. The point being, it takes both sides to reach a balance.

MQA carries the danger of a lot of equipment being incompatible with its end-to-end scheme. Labels need to hear that not everyone will just buy into that.

Can you point me to what Qobuz made a public statement regarding on this issue? Thanks

There’s an entire thread, which a couple of Qobuz reps (dmackta and David Craff) participate in: