Primary Version - Prefer FLAC over MQA option

Other threads go into detail how MQA is a proprietary/DRM codec that has significant implications to your digital ecosystem. It is not simply another choice. This is a feature request thread, perhaps you could take your argument to one of the other threads…

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That’s exactly what I would like to do. Unfortunately, when playing a Tidal playlist through Roon there is NO choice to not listen to MQA. Roon just plays the MQA version if it is available. I don’t want that because the change of resolution and subsequent clicking from my DAC’s relay ruins my enjoyment of the music.
Surely it’s fair to give us a choice, for what ever reason anyway.


9 posts were merged into an existing topic: My DAC clicks when the sample rate changes - How do I turn MQA off?

Sorry about that … they got caught in the off topic split out … I have moved them back.

It’s not a small group. Some simply don’t want to play MQA because they don’t like the business module, some don’t like how it sounds, some don’t believe hi-resolution adds allot when you have a well implemented DAC.

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: My DAC clicks when the sample rate changes - How do I turn MQA off?

Small change on Roon’s part (it already does this - the core functionality is already there), for a larger use case than you believe I believe. Also, by expanding focus functionality to streaming, Roon would catch up to both Tidal and Qobuz browser based app functionality, both of which allow end user control of what is streamed. When the Tidal and Qobuz browser based apps are more advanced than Roon, then the case for Roon is weakened significantly…

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I find I now prefer to use the Tidal app and airplay to my endpoint.

If you (Roon owners I’m talking to you) had the choice of having a clicking sound between tracks or having normal silence between tracks which one would you choose?

All I want is to have the choice to turn off MQA so Tidal ONLY plays 44.1 tracks.

I don’t think that’s a big ask, particularly as I paid lifetime membership before MQA came along and there were never any clicks then.

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I was hoping there would be an option to set preference globally for 16bit instead of MQA. In my case it is an issue of bandwidth. My internet speed is marginal at best. 16 bit works just fine but mqa does not. When searching for albums to play, creating playlists etc I have to go into versions of the album to get the 16bit version which ends up taking more time than I would like.

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Sounds like it would be worth it to upgrade your internet?

That is what I would do if available in my area. My max speed in my area is just 3M. This is something that is often overlooked by many. That is why this feature is so important to me. I can actually play cd quality fine. If I accidentally select mqq (which seems to be the default), it plays for about 3 seconds and then stops. I actually have no experience with MQA. If I had the internet speed, this wouldn’t be an issue, but just not an option.

@Darin_Davis1 I understood that MQA files were comparable to 44.1kHz/16bit FLAC when streaming, i.e. MQA folds the file to make it small enough to stream. So, have you considered that the problem with playback is unrelated to your Internet connection?

Once transmitted, an MQA file’s data usage is roughly 1.6Mbps once FLAC compressed. That’s slightly higher than CD quality (16bit/44.1kHz – 1.4Mbps) but a lot less than the 2.3Mbps eaten by FLAC-compressed 24bit/96kHz. FLAC is the file wrapper here. Not all masters leave the studio at 24bit/96kHz.

Your understanding is incorrect. MQA is about twice the size (requiring twice the bandwidth) of 16/44.

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Even if it was available, MQA requires more bandwidth for less quality than 16/44. Definitely not worth it…:sunglasses:


Really? I think my math is correct … MQA streams at ~1.5Mbps. Moreover, the MQA CD files I’ve seen are comparable to 16bit/44.1kHz CD file size.

Does Roon display a message when this happens? There are a number of things that could cause this problem, so it may be worthwhile opening a thread under #support.

MQA is a little more than twice the size of a 16/44 file, about 60% the size of a 24/96 file and about a third the size of a 24/192 file. That according to 2L.

No, your math is incorrect. As Martin_Webster indicated, an MQA file streams at about twice the size (needing twice the bandwidth) as 16/44.

From 2L …

C’mon @crenca and @KenS please support your statements. Nonetheless, my point was to establish if the issue is with the stream (bandwidth) or something else since these symptoms are not uncommon on this forum.

Hi Martin,

MQA-CD is 16/44 it’s a cut down version so it can be supported on physical Compact Discs.

Were as the streamed files from Tidal are typically 24/44 FLACs and these do require more bandwidth than streaming 16/44 FLAC files.

It is this increased demand that can be troublesome for those with marginal internet performance.

Hope that helps.


I took a look at the 2L test bench and that’s where the numbers came from that I quoted. I’m by no means a member of the anti MQA posse but, unless I’m misunderstanding something, MQA is a larger file than 16/44.