MLP was the first lossless audio compression system now used by Dolby. That took research.
I rember my 506 CD player getting mediocre reviews. The press also seemed to prefer the Dragonfly as opposed to the Meridian Explorer 2 and there will be many more example.
The Hi Fi press have to please many masters.
(The truth is out there but not necessarily here)
Er, well, my post said:
“(and please don’t suggest that undecoded MQA is such a thing).”
Meaning, sure you can play it, and it is not the full bitrate that Redbook provides.
No. I have read several streaming industry insiders explain that storage/bandwidth costs are small and almost trivial cost in their business. This is congruent with my IT knowledge as well (15 years as a systems/network administrator - I own a different business now). What’s your role in IT?
MQA does not actually give a company an storage/bandwidth savings over 16/44, and minor savings compared with 24/96 PCM - not that is significant because only Qobuz and a handful of even more minor players actually stream > 16/44 PCM.
This aspect of MQA was outdated years before MQA was introduce…you have to go back to the early aughts to make a case for it…MQA was about a decade late to the party with this sales pitch.
Thanks for your opinions. Hopefully you will appreciate that mine are different.
Lossy - Who cares? If you like how it sounds listen to it.
DRM Ready - Not really sure what this means but who cares? The music business is pretty screwed up but DRM did not work out so well the last time they tried it and in my opinion they won’t try it again and risk the success they are having with streaming. If they should decide to try DRM again I suspect that the existence of the MQA format will have no bearing on what they do. They will lock down everything they want to.
Want to be the only format to distribute hi-res in the future - Who cares? Did you expect them to say we did all this amazing research and spent all this money on this revolutionary new format that’s expected to totally lock up less than 1% of the music business? Based on their success so far it would appear they have no chance of becoming the only format for hi-res distribution so why worry about it.
And replaced everywhere (except Apple, of course) with FLAC (FREE lossless audio codec).
By the way, MLP (1999) appeared AFTER SHN (shorten lossless codec 1993) and WavPack (1998) but before APE (Monkey’s Audio, another lossless codec 2000) and for that matter even FLAC (2001). So SHN (shorten) was the first lossless audio codec, followed by WavPack and then MLP.
Based on how things stand at the moment I doubt this will ever happen. However, if it did I wonder if true hi-res ( lossless ) downloads would go away. The infrastructure is already in place and the profit on a sale has to be much higher than the profit on streaming. Note I’m assuming that those currently preferring true hi-res to MQA would resist switching to MQA if possible and seek out hi-res options. Unfortunately I’m also assuming the people running the music business would act logically and given that they appear to be bat shit crazy who knows what they would actually do
Just in case you’re interested the main reason I don’t think this outcome is likely to occur is that streaming appears to be the future for music delivery ( see this RIAA Mid Year 2018 Report ) which says that streaming is responsible for 75% of music revenue in the US. Not sure how it breaks out in other parts of the world but I suspect the numbers are similar. Why I think those statistics don’t just mean the MQA For All ship has sailed but also sunk is that the race to the bottom on price and quality has been won ( LOST! ) by free ( ad supported ) and low quality ( 320 kbits/sec or lower ) streaming. I just don’t see how prices can be raised on the low end or that there is enough demand and willingness to pay for higher quality content.
I suspect this is the more likely outcome, I’m keeping my fingers crossed hoping it takes a while to happen. Fortunately technology related business like streaming providers don’t appear to have a pressing need to make money so Tidal may be around for a while. The “Is Tidal In Trouble” thread on this forum was started in December of 2017 and Tidal is still in business and rolling out new features so who knows.
For me personally I look at the addition of MQA content on Tidal as a freebie I’ll take advantage of as long as I can and then reevaluate and make the best possible choice available to me. Hopefully there will be a choice available to me that integrates with Roon.
(A Welshman, exiled in West Sussex.)
Another argument around MQA, `I’m just not surprised that people are trotting out the same pro’s and con’s, but that its another petty slanging match
I’d like to include MQA with an fs of >44.1/48k as hi-res in my Hi-Res Bookmark. But at the moment there is no way to filter for that. It’s either all MQA or none.
I’m not sure what MQA with an fs of 44.1/48k actually is. On my setup it gets “decoded” by Roon to 88.2/96k and then sent off like everything else to HQ Player and turned into DSD 512. I think of it as a kind of upsampling, and probably undesirable if I’m going to upsample elsewhere. So I’d like to be able to filter by the source fs of the MQA file.
As to whether the 88.2/96k fs MQA files are hi res, I don’t think I can tell the difference between them and native hi-res streamed by Qobuz. But if there is a choice of format I do find myself opting for the native hi-res.
I’m not Andy but I know why Andy does what Andy does:
He uses HQPlayer which has so many awesome filters that when upsampled to high rate DSD bypasses the less than steller upsampling filters often used inside a DAC including MQA DACs.
Add in that many DAC’s now days are delta sigma, they convert everything to DSD internally before converting to analog. This includes many MQA DACs.
(The truth is out there but not necessarily here)
You might not really care no matter what. But if you perhaps consider either some of the logical arguments put out or put yourself in others’ shoes you might care. Or at least you wouldn’t feel the need to repeat that mantra. There are reasonable reasons TO care.
Whether MQA is DRM or not, it is an end to end system that isn’t 100% best quality possible compatible with non-MQA gear. Whether that means managing rights or just requiring compatible gear to enjoy the content at its maximum quality potential, the idea that specialized gear could be required is annoying to frustrating to downright threatening to some.
This isn’t about “free MQA” from Tidal. Fine. Last night I even chose an MQA album when playing a guest’s requested album. It’s there, Roon decodes it, great.
But if it were to evolve from “free from Tidal” to the dominant and perhaps only format to buy new music, you HAVE to have MQA gear to listen, it’s reasonable not to want that.
Now, someone is going to chime in and say “but you can listen to MQA undecoded if you don’t have the gear.” Yeah but that is adulterated. It’s not full bit depth. And it does sound OK. But it’s not Redbook which is the minimum I want to archive with.
MQA debate is like a virus. It just leaches into (and even leeches!) all neighboring threads!
Not sure if you saw my post from late last night before responding to an earlier post of mine. I’ll assume you didn’t which could be a mistake on my part and if so I apologize.
I might not have done a good job explaining my position so I’ll try to do a better job but will probably miss the mark again.
I accept that MQA is “Lossy” but find that I like listening to it with an MQA capable DAC or without said DAC just letting Roon do the first unfold. I accept that I may be the only person on the planet that feels that way. When I said “Who cares if it was Lossy” what I meant was that I believe everyone should listen and decide based on how it sounds to them and not pre-judge just because it is “Lossy”.
I don’t believe that MQA in its current form represents what I consider to be true DRM since anyone can play an MQA encoded track admittedly at less than maximum resolution without an MQA capable DAC. Also, while no one on the Roon forum would do it MQA tracks can be be freely shared and played by anyone they are shared with. When I said “Who cares if MQA is DRM Ready?” what I meant was that in my opinion if DRM comes back ( and I don’t believe it will ) then it will surely target the non MQA market as well as the MQA market since the MQA market is almost statistically insignificant today and in my opinion will remain so.
Just curious … how do feel about other hi-res formats that either require a DAC that is capable of supporting them or software like Roon to down sample them? I appreciate that many of the almost 100,000 Roon users have DACs that can handle most / all hi-res formats but if you consider the hundreds of million people streaming today most do not. I’m not saying this makes hi-res formats bad or advocating that people not use them, just saying that for most people listening to true hi-res music via streaming they end up listening to something that is “Lossy”. As mentioned above if they like how it sounds I think that’s great.
In my post just before this one I said that I don’t believe this will ever happen and that if it did I think that true hi-res music would still be available since selling it is so profitable. Of course, those running the music business might have other ideas although they do seem to be motivated by the profit motive. And as I have stated in other posts I don’t think an all MQA world would be a good thing. Of course, I also don’t think an all hi-res world with its presumably higher prices would be a good thing.
So, I guess the bottom line is that I don’t really see any of your arguments as “reasonable” reasons for anyone to avoid listening to MQA content if they like it and it is available. I believe its only real hope was for a big streaming service to pick it up and I don’t believe that is going to happen so it will ultimately fade into the sunset. I believe that anyone who likes it should continue to listen to it while it is available and even consider investing in an MQA capable DAC if they want to maximize their experience or just to see if their hearing and system are good enough to let them realize any improvements the DAC might bring.
And just to be clear since you feel your arguments are “reasonable” and you choose not to listen to MQA content I’m fine with that. All I ask is that you respect my right to hold a different opinion. I know you’ve been on the forum long enough to have seen many of these “for” / “against” MQA discussions. As someone in the “against” camp I expect they frustrate you for many different reasons. As one in the “for” camp I’m also often frustrated and my biggest frustration is how often some in the “against” camp seem to feel their opinion is superior and that those who like MQA are missing out or misguided.