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MQA is Vaporware


Rt66indierock

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I have asked this before, and to this day haven't seen any satisfactory answer: what, from a music customer perspective, is the problem MQA is trying to solve? Unless I ever get a good answer to this, I'm just going to skip this entire technology.

 

And as pointed out in the OPs post, the requirement for new hardware makes this an "installed base" issue. So even if we eventually see some credible consumer benefit, it needs to be big enough to get enough people to upgrade their equipment. This may well be the next Betamax.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

 

I can't help with the problem it's trying to solve for end users, but the install base issue is simple. MQA can be decoded in software for mobile phones. An easy update to Tidal, Spotify, and Apple music would increase the install base by 50 million "overnight."

 

I've often thought MQA is a solution looking for a problem, but that problem may not be one the end user is facing. Perhaps it's a solution for content owners first and foremost.

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I'm not an advocate for MQA as I'm not interested in streaming services and I can't see that MQA downloads would better existing hi res PCM and DSD formats. But, I can walk to my local HIFi dealer in the UK and buy an MQA DAC today and download MQA music from 2l right now if I wanted to, so it most certainly is not vaporware according to that definition.

 

As I understand it, the consumer is free to make multiple identical copies of an MQA download, the "drm" angle only comes into play in: 1. assuring the provenance of the file and 2. that you need a MQA licensed player/DAC to get the apparent full SQ potential. The former seems a completely benign application of DRM; as for the latter, is there anything wrong in the owner of intellectual and artistic property seeking to protect their work and investment? I don't work for free and judging by the disposable income on display here, neither do/did most members of this forum.

 

If you don't like MQA, don't buy it. I have no plans to, but am open minded enough that if the results vs other formats merited it (which I doubt) I would happily buy into a "closed" system. Just as I did with SACD until the advent of reliable ripping.

 

Also the idea that DSD/SACD is also a failed or non-viable format is nonsense. I buy on average 5-10 recent releases on SACD and download each month; for me it's the default digital format for classical music.

Hi Norton - I think where we differ is determining what number of items for sale equates to vaporware. Sure there are some 2L and other MQA releases, but I'm not yet willing to say it's a real product until a major label starts releasing it. Just my take.

 

I don't look at MQA as DRM in the classic sense, meaning something can't be played without phoning home to authenticate. Perhaps MQA is not as far down the DRM continuum because eventually when the chips to decode MQA disappear, we will be stuck with less than what we purchased.

 

As a champion of free will and free markets, I don't really care what MQA does with respect to DRM. If the company wants to lock it down tight to protect label's rights, that's fine with me. I can always elect to purchase the content or not. As a producer of content myself, written words, I'm sure I would be looking at all angles to protect my content is the situation was different. I'm never against anyone protecting their assets.

 

The other angle to this is that labels could only release MQA music. They could do this for 10 years, then start releasing music in "MQB." It just turns into another format in which people will purchase Kind of Blue. Long term, I don't think customers have any say or sway over whether or not MQA takes off. It's all about the major labels. If they want it, they'll get it.

 

I compare it to the movie industry. Blu-ray is the standard physical release format. Heavily DRM'd by many definitions. Streaming movies is another way to rent or purchase. The movie industry has never sold its crown jewels, original masters. Maybe the music industry is finally moving in that direction. Since the music industry has already sold its crown jewels to its most lucrative assets, it must come up with a reason to purchase them again. Thus, MQA sounds better than the crown jewels :~)

 

Who knows? It's all speculation.

 

One more point, MQA working with Utimaco for cryptographic keys doesn't mean the product is DRM. MQA has always said it uses these keys. The only real news is that it's using a third party company to design them.

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Not true. Today's announcement by Tidal states that all current and new Tidal Hifi members will keep paying $/€/£20 while getting the 'Master' files included.

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

 

Given that Tidal didn't have representation at RMAF, I'm skeptical of the original claim.

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it's the DRM issue that people are worried about

 

That, and I believe there are many more issues people are worried about. Most people aren't worried about it, but some are. Doesn't make anyone right or wrong. Some will never be happy with MQA regardless of what the company says or does. So be it.

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Witch,

 

Vaporware for me is less than 10,000 albums. I nice round number I've used for several decades. Then we get to commercial viability.

 

I think my timing was good. MQA didn't have 10,000 albums as of January 2, 2017 and they still don't. When they do MQA won't be vaporware.

 

3,000 albums so far.

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Introducing is hook marketing word. If there is no additional cost then Tidal is absorbing the costs associated MQA or MQA is not getting any royalties. You tell me which one is happening. MQA can license hardware and software collect royalties on unit sales. And they can license content providers and collect royalties. Can you see any other ways to bring in revenue?

 

Perhaps, just perhaps, a company can expect more customers when introducing a product without additional charges.

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Look Vincent1234, one of these "writers" says today that:

 

"If you're thinking, "Well the DragonFlys are limited to 24/96," you like me, would be wrong." (MQA Blue Is The New Black | AudioStream)

 

Except the (non technical) writer is wrong, and the original thought (and spec) is correct. What one has to believe to get to the point where up is down, wrong is "right" is to believe the MQA marketing claim (which is a Big Fat Lie) that "MQA is PCM". When you believe that, well then magical things happen, like DAC's that can only process PCM 24/96 being able to process higher levels of PCM (say, 24/192) but such a thing is mathematically impossible. What IS possible is for said doc to process a compressed/lossy file that CLAIMS to represent the same data in PCM 24/192. These writers in the Audiophile Press have been duped, willingly as they really want to believe it because they think MQA (or something like it) is necessary (or at least inevitable) for "the industry", or at least inevitable and because they simply do not have the technical background have a responsible critique...

 

Wow. I know for a fact you are wrong. You may not know it, so I won't call you a liar, but you should stop posting misleading and incorrect information.

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Really?! Ted Smith? One of the most knowledgeable and innovative DAC designers around? Who probably knew more about digital audio and its implementations 5 years ago than Bob Stuart ever knew?

 

You'll probably want to do some additional homework before publicly admitting to such a comment.

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"Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participant’s interpretation of the news story itself."

 

Why We're Shutting Off Our Comments | Popular Science

 

Popular Science should have given its readers a bit more credit. It's a copout by Popular Science and ends up looking like an internet safe space.

 

P.S. It won't allow comments for fear peoples' opinions could be swayed, but it will instead place such things as this in place of comments. Strange. I believe those same people being swayed by comments will also be swayed by linked articles with titles such as "Shocking Mysterious Photos That Cannot Be Explained."

 

All in the name of science :~)

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 1.08.04 PM.jpg

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Do you think you're in a better position to know the tone, tenor, content, and impact of the comments that lead Popular Science to make this decision than...Popular Science?

 

Or are you addressing a more general belief/approach in terms of 'moderation'?

 

Of course I know much better than Popular Science :~)

 

Only kidding. I see it as a way for the site to make its job easier by not having to moderate comments. It's also looking at its readers as extremely easily influenced and not able to read opposing or uncivil comments for what they are - just another internet comment. It seems like big brother / popsci knows best, and its readers should not be exposed to anything that may change their minds, because a changed mind would mean PopSci was wrong.

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Digging deeper into this study I found some interesting comments by the authors. If comments sway perception, this is good. It's a two sided story rather than a single minister of information approach.

 

 

"Highly religious readers, the study revealed, were more likely to see nanotechnology as risky when exposed to rude comments compared to less religious readers, Brossard notes.

 

While the tone of blog comments can have an impact, simple disagreement in posts can also sway perception: “Overt disagreement adds another layer. It influences the conversation,” she explains."

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That is certainly one interpretation.

 

Are you saying that you welcome uncivil discourse because it changes people's minds in a productive way?

 

There is no absolute here. Uncivil comments about North Korea's dictator, if visible by North Koreans, may be a great thing. Uncivil comments about the color red versus blue, not so good.

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So, if I call you a hack, a coward, and a shill for MQA, we're cool. Right?

 

;-)

 

Damn, you got me.

 

Only kidding.

 

I don't like personal attacks here on CA. However, if someone can prove something, for example that I'm a shill for MQA, and lays out the evidence, it may be OK. Overall, personal attacks aren't allow here.

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What you're citing is references to past research, not the research under discussion. A research review is required to submit an article to a scientific journal article. It in no way suggests that the authors agree or disagree with the previous research cited.

You call this digging deeper?

Trolls win: Rude comments dim the allure of science online

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