Ok, this is getting RIDICULOUS. "MQA CDs"

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Digital Vinyl Infidel, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Be careful, you are challenging the very thesis of this thread (MQA is Fake News) by offering your thoughts and opinions of it after actually checking it out.
     
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  2. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Active Member

    Location:
    Houston TX
    The strange part about this is MQA appears to have been invented to encode some extra information on streamed content which probably can't be streamed at 96 0r 192k due to bandwidth limitations. There are already other ways to distribute and play back high resolution files on optical media so it doesn't make sense to my poor brain to mess around with a modification of Red Book.
     
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  3. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
    But everything above 44.1/16, thus far made available for sale to you and me on a shiny disc, has been wrapped up in some kind of DRM: CSS, DVD-Audio, SACD, etc. Yes, there are "solutions" for all of these speedbumps, but it's literally illegal for me to point you to any from here, and they're all a bit of a time sink.

    That's not major label largesse which wants us all to float on a cloud of unicorn farts, soaking up 44.1/16 goodness. That's owing to, as you put it, "modification of Red Book": the licensing of (literally) "Compact Disc Digital Audio". Throw on a rootkit? You're not within the CDDA spec, and can't use the logo.

    So the claim from the majors is gonna be that MQA, without unfolding, distributed on a shiny disc, is identical to redbook audio, so what with all the fussing, already? But the "authentication" (DRM) required to get that unfolded hi-res splendor to your eardrums is gonna lock up the digital chain tight from disc to speaker....
     
  4. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Actually, I've got friends in Texas and elsewhere (Portland, Phoenix) who have at least as much bandwidth as I do, if not more. San Francisco is kinda behind the curve when it comes to bandwidth, thanks to the boobs at AT&T and Comcast. Unless you live in the tiny stretch down by the Caltrain depot covered by Google fiber, you're kinda outta luck here at the moment.

    There are various wireless carriers cropping up who are an option for folks living in taller buildings like mine though, provided you're willing to pay to install the dish. And my assumption is that sooner or later somebody - Google, Amazon, Apple, maybe even Verizon - will start to offer competitive, next-gen wifi based, high-bandwidth services around town. That's probably still about 5 years off, though.

    This is a total non-issue for most consumers interested in high-res content already - those people have the money to pay for gobs of bandwidth, and few of them live in the boonies (or if they do, can get the bandwidth they need if they're interested in streaming, which many aren't). MQA is a solution to a "problem" the vast majority of audiophiles don't have, and that fewer and fewer will have going forward.
     
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  5. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Active Member

    Location:
    Houston TX
    I don't know how much bandwidth is enough, but from the point of view of a streaming service they would rather stream at 48/24 than 192/24 as it adds up.
     
  6. jmacvols

    jmacvols Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tennessee
    From Highresaudio Facebook page 10 hours ago:

    Breaking News: The MQA albums that we currently offer are all „MQA-Authenticated“. That means, that we know the origin of the studio master and all files have passed our strict and professional quality control process in order to guaranteed YOU genuine and native Studio Masters.

    These MQA albums will remain in our online store. All others that we can’t check and verify its source, we will not offer.

    As soon as we have an MQA encoder and quality control software to analysis ...the MQA encodes, we will offer MQA again. This is something that we are very peculiar and exceptional about - in your interest. Especially if you pay hard earned money.

    Also, MQA has to clarify and adjust its marketing. We still haven't received any feedback from MQA about our MQA analysis paper -which is a very pour statement and not acceptable. We are truly very disappointed about the state of this issue!

    We are in a very sensible and delicate niche music market. Over the past seven years we have established a very good market position, created a new business for the music industry and artists and customers that cherish the best audible sound reproduction. We moved the music and HiFi-industry into a new business domain, with very little support from anyone. Our USP is that we guarantee (and this is not just said and done) your customers, nothing but the true, native and original source. We can analysis and verify any other audio codec (with MusicScope even DSD and DXD). For MQA is nothing available to assure that the customer is getting our „promise“. We are in the first and front row, selling music and technology to a new and established customer, that truly expects nothing but the real thing!

    Selling HighResAudio files requires so much dedicated and detailed work prior in selling (download / streaming) the music. This time needs to be invested by qualified audio engineers and a team that understands the total reproduction path. An extensive quality control is therefore a „must-have“ and needs to be in place to fulfill the „promise“. Which we do!

    Best regards and thank you for your custom and understanding.

    In the comment section someone asked "Well..Thats nice, but if nothing is available for verification, how have you been able to confirm Authentication...?"

    Highreaudio responded "The source / albums that we send for MQA encoding have being thru an extensive verification check and passed our QC with MusicScope. Including hearing and A/B comparison checks. Like all our albums that we sell. Quality control is so important!!! Now, that MQA is still "lossy" is another issue which we have addressed in our MQA analysis paper."
     
  7. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
  8. Digital Vinyl Infidel

    Digital Vinyl Infidel Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    North America
    Wow. Thanks.
     
  9. Digital Vinyl Infidel

    Digital Vinyl Infidel Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    North America
    TonyCzar likes this.
  10. rl1856

    rl1856 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    SC
    The paradigm changed when iTunes become so successful that Apple was able to dictate compensation terms to the Music Industry. iTunes and streaming companies now dictate how and what gets streamed, and in what format. Artists can withold content, but ultimately labels need to concede to 3rd parties if they want to actually sell anything. MQA is an attempt by the industry to regain control of content distribution. MQA is set up as an industry sponsored encode-decode system for which participants have to purchase a license. The objective of MQA is to convince the public that MQA is "better" so that the public forces distribution entities to "upgrade" to be MQA compatible. And by upgrade I mean pay to be compatible. If successful, MQA creates a new revenue stream for the industry, and pulls content control from iTunes and streaming companies. Other than industry shills, there is no real world objective database of whether or not MQA is "better" or even transparent.
     
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  11. Digital Vinyl Infidel

    Digital Vinyl Infidel Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    North America
    Renter's insurance and you | DAR__KO
     
  12. The_Brahan_Seer

    The_Brahan_Seer New Member

    Location:
    London
    Why is this 'beyond absurd'? For starters, the CD release is on a Japanese label, and when it comes to music sales, physical formats still account for 75% of the Japanese market. Physical format sales also still represent for 39% of global income. See report here, plus below extract.

    Revenues from physical formats declined, albeit at a slower rate than in previous years, falling by 4.5 per cent compared to 8.5 per cent in 2014 and 10.6 per cent in 2013. The sector still accounts for 39 per cent of overall global income and remains the format of choice for consumers in a number of major markets worldwide including Japan (75 per cent), Germany (60 per cent), and France (42 per cent).
     
  13. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
    Because for people most concerned with fidelity and/or convenience - the two ends of the market slowly chomping away at the normal curve in the middle - the CD is often a non-starter.

    There was a chance here to bring to market a new, higher-fidelity, DRM-free silver disc to market - a genuinely improved product - but the majors will not let go of their DRM dreams.
     
  14. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    In the UK, unlimited data from broadband in the home is commonplace now. I've had an unlimited data package on my phone for the last six years. I can stream video, lossless audio, the lot. I tend to stream radio and occasionally Spotify, but otherwise, the capability is there as and when I need it.

    That bandwidth for MQA is supposedly an issue, well, let's day that I'm sceptical. Not least when you consider the minor volume that music audio takes up, ESPECIALLY when is in a format that's designed to reduce the data requirements in the first place.
     
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  15. Digital Vinyl Infidel

    Digital Vinyl Infidel Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    North America
    I know. I have been to Japan on business numerous times. They ACTUALLY have CD shops! Big ones.

    Their preference for physical media has no bearing on this being ridiculous. They are just bending the marketing to suit what they need.."they like
    CDs..we will give magic MQA CDs!"
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  16. The_Brahan_Seer

    The_Brahan_Seer New Member

    Location:
    London
    They ACTUALLY have CD shops! Big ones. :)
     
  17. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
    There really are markets which behave differently from how you consume your music and what you do with it and where you listen to it. For every Japan, where physical is king, there's a Sweden, where it's not so king.

    There's no magic law which says that the price of bandwidth, and/or storage, will go down forever, or that media will physically shrink forever. 700MB vs. 2GB storage for a "hi-res" album of music is still a big deal on affordable/compatible MicroSD cards, which cap out (again, affordably) currently at (IIRC) 256GB, unless Black Friday.

    Which means storage will be an issue on phones and DAPs for some time yet. Fiio gave up and put two MicroSD slots in their latest player (the X5III).

    Mobile data in the USA shows no sign of coming down in price, but there are "most favored streamer" deals being struck between mobile carriers and select streamers, whereby you don't dip into your cap if you stream from company X while online with mobile data company Y. (And just forget about Net Neutrality saving us all in the USA. Not gonna happen.)

    The American market shows the needle slowly moving away from physical. Physical is still too big a market to abandon here, but as of 2015, catalog finally started outdoing new releases in the physical market for the first time ever.

    Streaming and mobile is where their future customers (if any) lie, for better or worse.
     
  18. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    My OPPO BDP-103 isn't going any where....I have a separate blu ray unit ........this is getting to be madness.......but money grabs will exist for eternity.....my system gives me sound that, at least to me is exactly what I want...nothing else needed right now...
     
  19. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    This. Sales must be tapped out for SHM, Blu Spec, K2, etc. That or someone else wants a piece of the action. Redbook CDs by another name with secret sauce. Except MQA gives you a lossy CD with digital processing tricks where plain old Rebook is lossless. Where do I sign up for these magic MQA CDs?
     
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  20. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    And...my Oppo 105 isn't going anywhere either.
     
  21. Digital Vinyl Infidel

    Digital Vinyl Infidel Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    North America
    Have you cycled through Blu-Spec CD2, K2HD, Platinum SHM, and good ol' XRCD yet?
     
  22. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
    Some would say that calling 44.1/16 lossless is a stretch. (Naturally, this depends on what you're starting out with.)

    Even Hi-Res' detractors will, if you get them drunk enough, cop to 96/24 as being an optimal, non-snake-oil, non-magic-woo-woo point.

    Recent re-releases by Bowie (2 boxes) and the Stones (In Mono)? Been a fan for 40+ years on each, but I was not buying 16-bit again. Just, no.
     
  23. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona

    OK, this^ gave me something to think about.
     
  24. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    I vote for "sloughed off".
     
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  25. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    I don't know too much about MQA, but how is it possible to play with a regular CD player?

    CD players read traditional PCM encoded at 16/44. I get that you could put whatever data you want on a CD but how would any regular CD player understand the MQA encoding?
     

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