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8 hours ago, LHC said:

How did Amir (the model objectivist) became a big MQA supporter?

There was lots of speculation of ties, commercial and/or social???

 

He finally replied, 24 pages into thread and concluded with this, a defence of sorts?

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/mqa-deep-dive-i-published-music-on-tidal-to-test-mqa.22549/post-751177

 

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BTW, I like to compliment OP with the massive effort he put in to get the data he got. It is very good effort. It is just that you can't test lossy codecs, specially layered ones like MQA in this manner.

 

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I received my occassional post from Dr AIX which I thought would be worth a bit of a follow up.  On the train this morning I listened to part of the youtube interview and thought it was worth posting

At the risk of repeating an opinion which I have previously posted, MQA is not and never has been, anything to do with enhanced sound quality for the music consumer. Its aims are purely to enhanc

My plan; - transfer my Tidal music to Qobuz - list all the albums that qobuz doesn’t have - buy those albums - cancel Tidal 

Pretty much what Amit infers in that thread is MQA is not bit perfect to source (I won’t say lossy, as lossy is being used as weasel words) even at bitrates like 16/44.1.

 

I want my streaming bit perfect (and preferably HD for exceptionally well recorded material). That drops Tidal from my radar of streaming providers.

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It is just that you can't test lossy codecs, specially layered ones like MQA in this manner.

 

The thing is, he wasn’t testing a codec, he tested specific claims made by MQA Inc.

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On 16/04/2021 at 11:19 PM, MattyW said:

Beta lived for a long time for professional use. It had both better picture and sound quality to VHS and so TV stations used them almost exclusively.


This is true. 
The death of Beta for home use was actually a result of the porn industry going with VHS. Funny how things can shape history. 

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55 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

There was lots of speculation of ties, commercial and/or social???

 

He finally replied, 24 pages into thread and concluded with this, a defence of sorts?

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/mqa-deep-dive-i-published-music-on-tidal-to-test-mqa.22549/post-751177

 

 

This admission is even worse. It confirms that MQA is to be treated as a lossy codec in the audio band.

 

To be fair, this is kind of implicit in the information MQA made available to Stereophile way back in 2014. Remember the Shannon diagrams? The triangles imposed on them tells us that MQA regard that as important. I'd say the encoder is calculating these triangles, trying to remove unnecessary blank data as part of the processing. Presumably the encoder attempts to calculate the triangle, and a high level, high frequency signal like the test tone concerned is outside of what it can process, as a result.

 

I suspect the results of processing a high level, high frequency sighal is unpredictable as a result. 

 

I've Heard the Future of Streaming: Meridian's MQA | Stereophile.com

 

This means that MQA is not acutally lossy like MP3 or maybe that in some respects it is. It will make no difference to most music. and in most cases it remains lossless as far as music signal is confirmed. But it doesn't just throw away the unwanted signal, it treats that signal badly instead. In a few edge cases, that will mean that MQA is unpredictable at high frequencies.

 

Again, that is not what we have been led to believe by the marketing or the industry gurus. 

 

 

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@Eggcup the Dafter I am always uber concerned when a codec works on what it thinks is music to make decisions on what to throw away (or what is not essential for reproduction).  

 

When you compare something like Norah Jones or Lana Del Ray to something like the more extreme ends of Aphex Twin or someone like Merzbow, it's a long stretch of the bow to assume that decisions made on what is music and what is not will be valid across the whole gamut of available music.

 

With the advent of high bandwidth internet, we don't need compression, and we definitely don't need licensed codecs like MQA. Just give me a bit perfect rendition of what the artist spat out of their mastering sessions and I'm happy.  I can do the rest form there with my listening equipment.

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2 minutes ago, BugPowderDust said:

@Eggcup the Dafter I am always uber concerned when a codec works on what it thinks is music to make decisions on what to throw away (or what is not essential for reproduction).  

 

When you compare something like Norah Jones or Lana Del Ray to something like the more extreme ends of Aphex Twin or someone like Merzbow, it's a long stretch of the bow to assume that decisions made on what is music and what is not will be valid across the whole gamut of available music.

 

With the advent of high bandwidth internet, we don't need compression, and we definitely don't need licensed codecs like MQA. Just give me a bit perfect rendition of what the artist spat out of their mastering sessions and I'm happy.  I can do the rest form there with my listening equipment.

I absolutely agree, and I said as much in a number of past threads on this subject. We got told the master was the gold standard back when we couldn't have it, and now we can, our own industry leaders (not the record companies, note, but those in our camp supporting MQA and similar) are standing against that very ideal!

 

I'm trying to be dispassionate here, though, and most music even by the more extreme artists is still going to work. Having said that, I'm more concerned about MQA maybe being unpredictable in these cases than with the codecs that throw away data that most of us won't hear.

 

MQA promised a lot more than just audio compression for streaming, of course. It's just that if their compression doesn't work properly, then everything else falls by the wayside and it just becomes a blue "master" light that comes on only when something that is not like the master plays. You can't do end to end anything if playback is wrong, and if it's really needed for quality control, "deblurring", timing information or anything else, the likes of MQA can be done without compressing a single byte.

 

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28 minutes ago, BugPowderDust said:

 

With the advent of high bandwidth internet, we don't need compression, and we definitely don't need licensed codecs like MQA.

 

FLAC 192/24 requires just 4Mbps to stream. Perhaps MQA is meant for people with dial-up modems.

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1 minute ago, Steffen said:

 

FLAC 192/24 requires just 4Mbps to stream. Perhaps MQA is meant for people with dial-up modems.

I'm sure it was developed at a time when bandwidth was still limited, but now it's totally redundant - a solution looking for a problem. I also suspect they changed their marketing by the time it was released when they realised bandwidth would never again be a problem since we only keep going up in bandwidth with time. That's when they started coming up with master end to end analogue marketing nonsense and to try and make it appear that it was even better than 192, "beyond nyquist" - remember that?

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I am just surprised this thread is as popular as it is.  I had decided a long time ago that MQA was something I wanted no part of.   I am not surprised at this new evidence, but it changes nothing.  Until this resurged interest, I had thought it was just quietly dying off as I expected.

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2 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Until this resurged interest, I had thought it was just quietly dying off as I expected.

 

That’s a dangerous assumption to make. Evil never sleeps :D

 

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4 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

I am just surprised this thread is as popular as it is.  I had decided a long time ago that MQA was something I wanted no part of.   I am not surprised at this new evidence, but it changes nothing.  Until this resurged interest, I had thought it was just quietly dying off as I expected.

Over in Tidal, a LOT of music is being converted to MQA. We need to watch... the powers that be may decide to withdraw rights on all non-MQA music from streaming sites in the not so distant future. That wasn't necessarily the intention of MQA Limited, but it may still prove to be the end game for the majors.

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8 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

I am just surprised this thread is as popular as it is.  I had decided a long time ago that MQA was something I wanted no part of.   I am not surprised at this new evidence, but it changes nothing.  Until this resurged interest, I had thought it was just quietly dying off as I expected.

Seems a lot of people are making their DAC purchases based on the ability to fully unfold MQA

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I had Tidal (until saturday),  now I have Qobuz. 

 

Know nothing about digital really and obviously a sheep. I still play plastic with all its issues as my fav medium.

 

Grateful to all for this entertaining read. Interesting few seem to defend MQA - I think only transparency can do that.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Bunno77 said:

Seems a lot of people are making their DAC purchases based on the ability to fully unfold MQA

I would have agreed with that 4 to 5 years ago when MQA was at peak marketing. But now, not sure?  

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1 minute ago, Snoopy8 said:

I would have agreed with that 4 to 5 years ago when MQA was at peak marketing. But now, not sure?  

I know people who are doing that at the moment.
 

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2 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

I would have agreed with that 4 to 5 years ago when MQA was at peak marketing. But now, not sure?  

Maybe I should have said 'some' but I see it pretty regularly on FB people wanting a DAC that supports it

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8 minutes ago, Bunno77 said:

Seems a lot of people are making their DAC purchases based on the ability to fully unfold MQA

 

3 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

I would have agreed with that 4 to 5 years ago when MQA was at peak marketing. But now, not sure?  

 

1 minute ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

I know people who are doing that at the moment.

 

I think that's just hedging their bets.  I mean, if you can get that feature and still get everything else you need, it's a bonus.

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1 minute ago, Bunno77 said:

Maybe I should have said 'some' but I see it pretty regularly on FB people wanting a DAC that supports it

 

It's like DSD for me, in that,  my DAC can do it, but I'll probably never need it.

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1 hour ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

Over in Tidal, a LOT of music is being converted to MQA.

From what I read, it's now all of the music. There are no actual master quality authentic originals available.

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On 18/04/2021 at 9:57 AM, emesbee said:

What is the problem they are trying to solve

 

Insufficeint funds in the MQA bank account? ;)

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On 18/04/2021 at 11:38 AM, Decky said:

mQa is just antother attempt of lizard people to control our minds. ?


By charging you for it.....

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On 18/04/2021 at 9:57 AM, emesbee said:

Fair to say that I am very much a skeptic regarding MQA, and my original questions remain unanswered. What is the problem they are trying to solve, and what it is the sonic advantage to the listener?

 

 

What MQA Ltd claims it can solve (paraphrased)

 

1) Timing information. By deblurring the audio in its encoder, and retaining part of the high frequency information, MQA aims to preserve timing information which will improve our ability to hear better the timing of the music.

2) Cpmpression. By packagng the music as it does, MQA intends to bring us that timing information in a relatvively small package for streaming. We mostly know MQA at it's highest level of compression, but it need not be so compressed.

 

3) End to end management of new recordings. By capturing information at the time of recording of tracks, MQA claims it can better manage the whole recording and playback system thus preserving and authenticating the quality of that initial information.

From,the MQA website: What is MQA Audio?

 

Quote

Based on pioneering research into human neuroscience, the award-winning British technology captures every element of a recording’s resolution and timing. This level of detail recreates a natural sound. It enables the listener to position the instruments and performers to build a 3D sonic picture.

 

Using a unique ‘origami’ folding technique, the information is packaged efficiently to retain all the detail from the studio recording. While MQA retains 100% of the original recording, an MP3 file keeps just 10% of the data. Digital Trends has named MQA’s hi-res audio format a “game-changer”.

 

Devices or apps with MQA decoding capability can fully ‘unfold’ the MQA file and reveal the original master resolution. They will also authenticate the file to guarantee that it is the definitive master recording from the studio. According to What Hi-Fi?:  “Wherever there is sound, MQA delivers the best version of it.”


So those are the claims.

 

It's not apparently necessary to do any of these things, it seems, and it's not clear that MQA is doing any of them, either. 

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1 hour ago, Ittaku said:

From what I read, it's now all of the music. There are no actual master quality authentic originals available.

It's actually the major labels. All of Universal's are being converted, they are progressing with Warner, and Sony will start shortly. That is the extent of actual information as far as I can see.

 

All pretense to things like "getting the best masters" appears to be out of the window as well.

I'm not even clear who is doing the conversion - it appears to be Tidal, with permission and with the files they have, given the details we have from the Neil Young incident (the label has high resolution masters for his music and would presumably have converted those if it was them, and we know standard resolution files were used there).

 

I'm not hearing of compulsory conversion of independent music yet. At least for now, if it doesn't say "Master" when set to use MQA in the client, it is still 16/44. Having said that, it feels like there is subjectively something different going on with the sound. The private label stuff I have favourited used to sound the same from CD rip and on TIdal - and it didn't seem to at the weekend. I can't prove that's not in my head though. If TIdal are screwing with the sound, well, they aren't MQA of course.
 

 

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2 minutes ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

I'm not even clear who is doing the conversion - it appears to be Tidal, with permission and with the files they have, given the details we have from the Neil Young incident

 

This is a best case scenario if it is true - and I'd be very happy if this is the situation. It would mean that the high-water mark for MQA would be Tidal (pun intended) and the files would be unlikely to propagate elsewhere. If the record companies were doing it, then it would be cause for real concern as they could then push whichever format they wanted to other streaming services on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

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3 hours ago, aussievintage said:

I'll probably never need it.

 

Hopefully.

 

The other extreme is a world where studios are recording multi-tracks each encoded with MQA (ie. there's no non-MQA encoded copy of anything in existence)

 

The MQA encode/decoders along the way between the recording and your speakers choose how much of the quality to put into the free part of the audio (that anyone can play without a MQA decoder) .... and how much of the quality is locked up in the encrypted part.

 

.... and they choose how much people will have to pay to unlock it.

 

If tight enough control is exerted over the distribution path (through "TPM" style techniques for both hardware and software) .... it could end up that only way to access "non-MQA" audio copies would be through an analogue to digital converter.

 

 

A long way off....  but that is what MQAs patents say MQA is capable of.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

A long way off....  but that is what MQAs patents say MQA is capable of.

 

If the above was too "complicated".... said a simpler way:

 

 

MQA can pull a swifty on everyone.   Either suddenly, or slowly.

 

Today.....  the PCM 16/48 (anyone can listen to) will sound like CD quality.... and the encrypted-MQA part is extra data that when added could/should/would sound better.

 

Tomorrow..... the PCM 16/48 part, could sound like a clock radio..... and the encrypted-MQA part, when added, will make it sound to as good/better than CD quality.

 

 

... but I doubt its a long time before they'd really push that, as it's a very bold move.

 

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Reading this makes me glad I just spin physical disks.

 

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53 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Hopefully.

 

The other extreme is a world where studios are recording multi-tracks each encoded with MQA (ie. there's no non-MQA encoded copy of anything in existence)

 

 

In that event, hifi for me will be just my vinyl, existing library,  and if I ever want to play their locked up shyte, I MIGHT do it in my car in the free poor quality form, if ever :) 

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30 minutes ago, muon* said:

Reading this makes me glad I just spin physical disks.

 

There's no reason why CDs can't be encoded with MQA too  ;) 

 

Second hand market... to the moon.

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If labels ever go that route, it will show they have learnt nothing in the format wars.
 

They finally have a chance to allow functionality and near unlimited music for a monthly charge be preferable to piracy. That’s been a long battle to achieve and they had to give a huge amount of ground. 

 

messing with access to music through proprietary technology controls is always bypassed (eventually) by motivated actors.

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6 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

There's no reason why CDs can't be encoded with MQA too  ;) 

 

Second hand market... to the moon.

Only future ones, and there is so much good music already on CD and record I'll be content till my time comes ;)

 

Edit: I don't get around to listening to 60% of what I have already.

Edited by muon*
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54 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

If the above was too "complicated".... said a simpler way:

 

 

MQA can pull a swifty on everyone.   Either suddenly, or slowly.

 

Today.....  the PCM 16/48 (anyone can listen to) will sound like CD quality.... and the encrypted-MQA part is extra data that when added could/should/would sound better.

 

Tomorrow..... the PCM 16/48 part, could sound like a clock radio..... and the encrypted-MQA part, when added, will make it sound to as good/better than CD quality.

 

 

... but I doubt its a long time before they'd really push that, as it's a very bold move.

 

They may want to get it done sooner rather than later. The real problem they have is not doing things to MQA. It's enforcing MQA on the likes of Apple and Spotify. Apple and Spotify streams pay the bills, and I don't see either of them being particularly keen to enforce MQA at the moment. Apple have their own pretend master format to look after.

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3 minutes ago, muon* said:

Only future ones, and there is so much good music already on CD and record I'll be content till my time comes

 

 

Sure is.     It's a good point.  I guess I have enough.  It was interesting to total it up, as I haven't really thought about it before. Over 20000 digital tracks and over 40000 tracks (or equivalent) on vinyl.  Then there's the piles of (uncounted) 78s and 45s on the shelves.   Yeah, I'll survive :) 

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On 16/04/2021 at 8:38 AM, PKay said:

Is MQA a Fraud?

Yes.  Yes it is.

 

No blue light disco for me thanks.

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5 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

If the above was too "complicated".... said a simpler way:

 

 

MQA can pull a swifty on everyone.   Either suddenly, or slowly.

 

Today.....  the PCM 16/48 (anyone can listen to) will sound like CD quality.... and the encrypted-MQA part is extra data that when added could/should/would sound better.

 

Tomorrow..... the PCM 16/48 part, could sound like a clock radio..... and the encrypted-MQA part, when added, will make it sound to as good/better than CD quality.

 

 

... but I doubt its a long time before they'd really push that, as it's a very bold move.

 

We need an SNA community CD and vinyl library to mitigate this risk.

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5 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

Hopefully.

 

The other extreme is a world where studios are recording multi-tracks each encoded with MQA (ie. there's no non-MQA encoded copy of anything in existence)

 

The MQA encode/decoders along the way between the recording and your speakers choose how much of the quality to put into the free part of the audio (that anyone can play without a MQA decoder) .... and how much of the quality is locked up in the encrypted part.

 

.... and they choose how much people will have to pay to unlock it.

 

If tight enough control is exerted over the distribution path (through "TPM" style techniques for both hardware and software) .... it could end up that only way to access "non-MQA" audio copies would be through an analogue to digital converter.

 

 

A long way off....  but that is what MQAs patents say MQA is capable of.

 

 

That is the dystopia scenario - as you said a long way off and zero evidence that it will come to pass. A possibility of this does not amount to be "Fraud" (I know you are not suggesting that).

 

I don't think we should talk about things that have zero evidence; there are plenty of other things to discuss about MQA that are evidence based. 

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43 minutes ago, keinesorge said:

Yes.  Yes it is.

 

No blue light disco for me thanks.

Are you insinuating that a blue light that serves no useful purpose amounts to a criminal case of "Fraud"? I would think the bar is set higher than that. 

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