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MQA is Vaporware

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MQA doesn't prevent copying or distribution of the copies. It just prevents creation of content and "full resolution playback" on anything else than hardware that has been approved and licensed by the MQA company to perform playback the way they want.

 

MQA can easily be turned into full-blown DRM. Here's how:

1. Make a subtle change to the format, creating MQAv2.

2. Make decoders supporting v2 verify your rights to play the content online.

2a. Apply online verification also to v1 content.

 

Sure, you can keep your old DAC and play your old v1 music, but any new purchases will need a new DAC or a firmware update. If I were Mr. Stuart, I'd have this planned from the start. Nothing they've said so far contradicts the existence of such a plan.

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Have to have something people want before making it difficult to get becomes lucrative.

That's why a first phase without strict controls while gaining acceptance makes sense. People are wary of DRM, and they know it.

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I think it is the "gaining acceptance" phase where things may prove to be a bit problematic. ;)

I hope you're right.

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Bob Stuart has been at pains to refute the 17 bit allegation which comes from an old patent paper. In the stereophile Q&A he asserts that the apparent bit depth for 24 bit master is greater than 23 bits with MQA.

 

That's mathematically impossible. Don't trust anything that snake says.

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Vincent1234, correct me if I am wrong but are not John Siao, Mike Moffat, Jason Stoddard, Miska, etc actual electrical/audio engineers or otherwise with technical degrees that required them to actually pass (let alone take) calculus? And are not the "writers" you cite from Sterophile and elsewhere just that - journalists and writers who have a good bit of practical experience in "the industry" but nothing more and so really are simply regurgitating what Bob/MQA tells them? I could be wrong here...

That's exactly how it is.

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What is wrong about his statement? The MQA file is compressed in a 24/48 container, but contains (almost) all the data necessary to reconstruct the original 24/192 (or 24/384 or higher) file once it passes through the USB interface.

 

Yes, it's not 100% lossless, but it's pretty darned close (i.e., lossless to 24kHz, very nearly lossless to 48kHz, lossy but containing quite a bit of the original content up to 96kHz, etc.). The part that's missing is clearly inaudible (i.e., a lot of garbage below the noise floor and some of the content above 24kHz).

 

I understand skepticism, but there's quite a bit of rancor going around which is (in my opinion) overblown and misplaced.

If only that were the case. My testing shows moderate loss below 20 kHz and substantial degradation at higher frequencies.

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substantial degradation at higher frequencies than 20 kHz?

 

how do snares & cymbals sound?

 

what else would be affected?

I'd rather stick to the hard data, but I'll gladly provide decoded versions of the 2L samples or anything else supplied to me.

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Do writers and reviewers, in the audio industry, act under a code of ethics?.

Yes, I believe they call it "don't bite the hand that feeds."

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Not sure what you mean here?

What I meant is that FLAC, PCM, DSD, MP3 etc. will stay, regardless of MQA being adapted by the industry and the public or not.

 

If the music you want is only available in MQA, it's of little help that other music might exist in a different format.

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At the risk of being accused of sycophancy myself, I will say that Chris appears to try really hard to walk that line between pro-consumer and pro-vendor.

Or he tries really hard to appear to walk that line. He's been just a little too dismissive of people's concerns and simultaneously a little too trusting of the official line from Stuart and his PR department.

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Sterophile is to varying degrees always more pro-vendor than pro-consumer. That's certainly the filter I use when reading anything from their media brands.

Oddly enough, Sound & Vision from the same publisher is much saner.

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I wasn't really sure where to post this since there are so many MQA threads so I decided to post it here.

 

The most disappointing thing from my perspective regarding MQA is the apparent requirement of MQA hardware to obtain its full sonic benefits. Based on threads I have read in this forum and other places, it is actually possible to fully implement all of MQA in software (apparently Aurelic was able to accomplish this), but, presently, the last bit of "unfolding" must be done by the MQA hardware to identify the DAC chip. It would seem to me (though I am totally non-technical) that some sort of "plug-in" could be applied to the MQA software for all of the existing dac chips thereby making MQA fully software based. This is both disappointing and suspicious to me if indeed my basic understanding is correct.

 

Of course it can be done in software. In fact, it is always done in software, although (some of) that software runs on the DAC microcontroller. Tying it to hardware appears to be nothing other than a scheme to ensure licensing revenue.

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Even if MQA use some analog processing (I very doubt that), then analog processing may be modelled in PC.

 

A firmware update won't rewire the analogue parts of a DAC.

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Here's another helpful tip for you - if you continue to act like an ass, I will most certainly ignore you. Capiche? You see, I don't mind having a conversation but I do mind bullshit.

 

I see only one ass around here, and it's you. Please go away if you're not willing to contribute in a civil tone.

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Many have said a "negative" (one of many) of MQA is DSP - how does the limitations of a closed, proprietary, DRM format effect consumers existing DSP solutions (such as room correction, standard EQ, etc.) t..o...d...a...y?

 

Coming soon: MQA-certified listening rooms.

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Doesn't MQA's filter start truncating information above 15Khz? How's that, along with the added noise shown spectrographically, 'Hi Res'?

 

As I said already in the plots thread, I made a mistake and it's not as bad as it looked. Sorry about that.

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Since MQA is a software stack and plugging it into popular players is starting to happen I view it as H.264 or other licensed CODEC's.

 

That part I certainly understand.

 

The difference with H.264 (and the newer H.264/HEVC) is that it's an open standard. Anyone can download the format specification for free. Open source implementations (and very good ones at that) of both encoders and decoders exist. The only issue that in some situations you're liable to pay patent licence fees, though to be accepted as an ISO standard, there are limits to how onerous the terms may be.

 

MQA, on the other hand, is a closed format. If there's enough interest, someone will no doubt reverse engineer it just like they did every proprietary format before it. It's a fairly substantial undertaking, but it's not insurmountable. It is also a legally shady area.

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MQA appears to be a way to package hi-res so it can stream on lower bit rate 'channels'

 

Of course, that's not actually a problem. Netflix couldn't exist if it were.

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Not really the same issue. There's not an equivalent constituency for "high fidelity video".

 

It's a matter of bandwidth. HD video needs far more than high-res audio.

 

Uncompressed 96/24 is less than 5 Mbps. That's not even half the bitrate Netflix streams at.

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My point is that almost zero Netflix customers care about the bitrate of what they're watching, unlike audiophiles.

And my point is that audiophile bitrates are already streamed by Netflix. If anyone wanted to stream hi-res audio, they could.

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Yes. Even to mobile devices.

Exactly, so what problem does MQA purport to solve?

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Simple, increase Bob Stuarts bank account.

I think most of us realise that.

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