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MQA bad for Music?

Discussion in 'audio' started by kenniGT, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. radamel

    radamel pfm Member

    As I've said it depends on additional revenue vs additional cost.
    Saying that non MQA using subscribers will subsidize MQA users is as speculative as saying the opposite.

    What is a fact is that Tidal decided to stream MQA without any price increase.What will happen in the future is just guessing at this point.
  2. rich46

    rich46 pfm Member

    we were ripped of in the 80s with cds. now its digital downloads. nothing changed
  3. radamel

    radamel pfm Member

    The point is also that those alternatives like bitstacking or noise shaping are not available in a commercial streaming service. And MQA is.
  4. radamel

    radamel pfm Member

    How is MQA ripping you exactly?
  5. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    Good old 16 / 44.1 is still the format of the future...
  6. johnhunt

    johnhunt pfm Member

    I think the revenue will come from MQA stream income. So the more dacs and the more delivery mechanisms, like tidal the better. It doesn't make sense for Mqa to hold those channels back by charging license fees especially as their is investment required, like Tidal for the app/gui. The upside for tidal is more members, differentiation and the dac makers ..more sales.

    tidal won't increase membership fees , especially as they are already twice Spotify. All complete guesswork obviously !

  7. DNM

    DNM pfm Member

    DXD/DSD recordings can sound great because they are simply good recordings, nothing to do with the format. Its all about the production.. the microphones used, mic positioning, preamps, ADC and the sound engineer(s) of course.

    I have some great DSD recordings that still sound just as great when they're converted to PCM, as compared to DSD direct to DAC. On the other hand I own some crappy SACD's!

    With regard to MQA, unless we know the source of the MQA recordings we think we prefer and can compare them to the PCM from the same master, we are comparing apples and oranges.
  8. Julf

    Julf Evil brother of Mark V Shaney

    Let's not confuse raw bit rate with sound quality.

    In any case, we can successfully stream high quality video, with much larger bandwidth requirements than audio, so streaming "Hi-res" audio is not a real problem.
  9. radamel

    radamel pfm Member

    Be that as it may, AFAIK there is no other commercially available hires streaming service other than Tidal's MQA.
  10. Julf

    Julf Evil brother of Mark V Shaney

    I guess Qobuz and Deezer have concluded that most of their customers are happy with 16/44.1 for streaming,
  11. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    I'm happy with Qobuz at 16/44.1, it sound great. I tried Tidal but hated the interface, the catalog wasn't great and I had clicks, pops and dropouts. I tried it when Qobuz were in trouble to see if it was a viable alternative, it wasn't. Glad Qobuz managed to find a buyer.
  12. radamel

    radamel pfm Member

    Spotify probably concluded that 320kbits/s is good enough for most of their paying subscribers.

  13. Julf

    Julf Evil brother of Mark V Shaney

    Clearly, yes.

    The point is that the lack of hi-res streaming is not one caused by technical limitations (that MQA would solve), but by lack of customer demand.
  14. radamel

    radamel pfm Member

    It's kind of hard to estimate the demand when the offer doesn't exist. Up until the Walkman's being sold by Sony one could say that there was no customer demand for such a product.

    Now for the first time there is Tidal's hires streaming available. Let's see how the demand for that impacts their subscribers growth and if any other competitor decides to launch an alternative hires streaming service (MQA or not).
  15. Julf

    Julf Evil brother of Mark V Shaney

  16. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Oh, indeed. :) However that just transfers to the stream companies (and their users) the issue of explaining their answer to the question. Why would people choose a closed commercial systems that extracts money from the process when there are open free alternatives that work as well and which don't require an end-user to use updated software or hardware, etc?
  17. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Actually, I suspect that is the primary root of what people *are* doing. Just as some may be assuming that all the 24 bits per sample are real audio info rather than excess-specified noise - i.e. padding that clogs up FLAC and bloats the results.

    Its quite understandble that most end-users won't know or care about the distinction between data and information or the basics of IT. However the curio is then why companies who stream may also show no sign of understanding. What isn't clear is: Do they really not know? Or are they just adopting a commercial system because they expect it to sell on the standard commercial "better by brand" thinking? Or because they fear that end-users would shy away from an alternative that can't proudly claim "24 bit" on the box?
  18. radamel

    radamel pfm Member

    If open free alternatives work as well or not remains to be seen, I'd say.

    For the time being no such alternatives are commercially available. When and if they become available I'd be interested in comparing their SQ to MQA's.
  19. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    But if no-one gives you a chance to try them?

    OK, let's extend the logic here. If no streaming company is willing to offer the alternatives maybe people could do their own DIY tests and try the alternatives. Neither bitstacking nor noise shaping down to 16bit require any change to the player software or hardware. So if programs can be used by people to generate bitfrozen or noise shaped versions, people can use them on some of their existing high-rate 24bit files and judge for themselves.

    The can also FLAC the results to assess the effect on the required file sizes and stream rates.

    I've already made available demo programs for the above. Anyone interested in making such use of them? I can do various things here, but it is clearly a matter for others to decide if they, individually, can hear the relative quality in a controlled test.
  20. radamel

    radamel pfm Member

    That's quite interesting.

    Hope to find the time to be able to give it a go.


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