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Rt66indierock

MQA is Vaporware

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I think you're seeing something that isn't there. Rights in this case isn't equal to a consumers digital rights. Copyrights and copyright enforcement is a much different thing. 

 

Artists can't track down copyright infringers themselves. I believe Merlin acts like a record label in a way, for the indies. 

 

For example: https://press.spotify.com/is/2017/04/20/spotify-and-merlin-agree-to-new-multi-year-global-license-agreement-for-the-worlds-leading-independent-record-labels/


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10 minutes ago, mansr said:

Huh? DRM and copyright enforcement are one and the same.

 

No.

 

Copyright enforcement in this case is working with streaming companies to license material and tracking down unlicensed use such as YouTube or freemp3s.domain name. A different side of a different coin. 


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16 minutes ago, mansr said:

Not prepared to stand by your claims?

 

If MQA were just about sound quality, it would make no sense to mention it in relation to copyright.

 

Say what you want mansr. If you really researched this one, rather than show your immediate and strong bias, you'd find much more to talk about that your same old broken record. 


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41 minutes ago, crenca said:

ok, I will shut up now

 

Ahhhh. Thank you :~)

 

Only kidding crenca. We may not agree, but I appreciate your contributions. 


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34 minutes ago, Sal1950 said:

Chris, you have to realize your always one of the first to jump to MQA's defense in each debate.  Minimally I would hope for a neutral position, if not to err on the side of the consumer rights and freedoms.

 

Hi Sal - I certainly respect your opinion even if it's not based on the same data I use. If nobody else wants to bring up the other side of the debate, I tend to jump in (if I'm available). I really want to jump in when I see people unwilling or unable to see more than one side of an issue. 

 

Anyway, I don't want to be seen as anti-consumer or anti-the very people who frequent CA. Thus, I'll bow out of this one. 

 

I wish people could separate the argument from the person. No matter what side someone argues, they aren't condemned to being a shill for that side. 


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13 minutes ago, Sal1950 said:

Really, is that what you think this is all about? 

 

That raises an interesting question. What is this all about for people who are so against MQA? Honestly, I'm interested in this answer. It will help focus discussions.

 


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13 minutes ago, crenca said:

One thing is fur sur, the DRMing of our musical digital ecosystem will not benefit the artists much (if at all) because control is two way - it only creates more middle men and obfuscation of the relationship between those who create and those who consume...

 

Is this true for the movie industry as well?


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4 hours ago, mansr said:

Chris is starting to sound a lot like a climate change denier. No matter what evidence emerges, he still insists on maintaining a "balanced" debate.

 

Surely you jest. 

 

So far I've read tons of speculation and fear mongering without many facts. 

 

I ask a simple question to boil things down, and Sal speculates I'm pulling his chain. 

 

It seems like many are afraid of losing access to the latest Beyonce album in standard PCM, even though they'd never buy the album. 

 


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8 minutes ago, mansr said:

I do not.

I posted enough facts that people started accusing me of violating intellectual property laws. How much more do you need?

 

Therein lies the reason for my question. The information you've presented is factual. However, that info has been used for wild speculation. 

 

The anti-mqa crowd is so against it, they are like the NRA. You never know when a concealed WW1 cannon could be needed, so don't ban it. You guys are losing the plot. Thus the reason I asked for people to boil down exactly what they don't like. 

 

I don't like DRM. However the DRM continuum is wide. If MQA needed to phone home in order to play, that would be terrible. But, this isn't the case. Sure it could happen, but MQA could also be open sourced. Both unlikely to happen in my view. 

 

Are people afraid of losing access to albums they already own?


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1 hour ago, rando said:

To your credit there really aren't any good shooting ranges or full blown nutjob compounds in the prairie states.  I assure you no truther/searcher/woke/enlightened thinker is without a plot though.  So in fact they are not losing it but close to actually refining it. :rolleyes:

 

This was humor, plain and simple.  Besides, I can think of at least a half dozen places a normal person could go shoot their cannon should they so wish and there is something to be said about the primitive joy of blowing a massive hole in the sky during times of peace.

 

Hi Rando - It's the concealed cannon I want :~)


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1 hour ago, Fyper said:

That is intriguing.

Of course I'll fight for this even though I won't buy the album, I'll fight for all of them whether I like the music or not, whether it sounds good or not.

The (maybe irrational) fear is that there might be a take over of the PCM standard by a private company, which may thus have significant control of much of process, from production to sale. Some players and consumers in that chain may be happy to let go the little influence they have against something more interesting to them, but many are not.

And yes there is no proof that this may happen. May I say that when there is proof it's too late.

And yes it's only music and a hobby. But this pattern has been repeating itself in so many other areas at so many other levels that it's a question of principle, not money, not self-interest.

The same way some feel the need to balance a discussion for the sake of that discussion, I feel the need to fight for some core principles even if it's not related to my personal interest.

Sorry, got carried away....:-)

 

Hi Fyper - Thanks for the rational comments. This is the type of discussion that helps. 

 

Many people have no clue that I called out Pono for using DRM / MQA at CES several years before any of this discussion. It's on video somewhere. I'm not a fan of any restrictions on anything I do or want. However, there are always more sides to every story and a continuum involved. 

 

I don't believe the PCM standard is going anywhere. There's nothing stopping any label, artist, etc... from releasing standard PCM. Whether or not they want to  is another story. Perhaps this anger  should be directed at those who elect to use MQA for deliver their own music rather than the technology. After all, people kill people, not guns. 

 

I'm not sure, just food for thought. 


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1 hour ago, mansr said:

 Some things I don't like about MQA:

  • It uses lossy compression. While the losses in the audible range are probably small, there is simply no need for lossy compression these days. We're streaming 4K video ffs.
  • It forces use of minimum phase filters. The pros and cons of linear vs minimum phase filters are debatable, but as long as differences of opinion exist, removing the choice is a bad thing.
  • The filters it uses are incredibly leaky with lots of aliasing/imaging. This precludes any possibility of accurately restoring the original signal.
  • Being a proprietary format, it requires proprietary software and hardware to decode. Should such software cease to be developed in the future, existing files will become inaccessible (less applicable to streaming). This has happened in the past, and it will happen again. Does anyone remember RealAudio/RealVideo? Good luck finding official software for playing such files today.
  • It makes most uses of DSP impossible. While there is some support for doing simple EQ, more advanced uses like speaker crossover filters (including plain old bass management with subwoofer) are impossible.
  • By requiring DAC certification, it places an artificial barrier for entry into that market, should it become a must-have feature. This is bad for innovation.

And I haven't even mentioned DRM.

I don't think anyone will come to my house and delete the files I already "own." However, there is a possibility that new music will not be made available in open formats. That's what people are afraid of, and rightly so.

 

Thanks or the comments. They go a long way toward a good discussion. I like that you really haven't speculated about the world coming to an end because of this. 

 

I don't like lossy compression either. However, we've all managed to accept the lossy CD quality music for years. Not many recordings were made at 16/44.1. Anything made above that and delivered on CD should be considered lossy. I don't believe there is a need for lossy compression either, but I wish I had some facts to support my belief (bandwidth and data plan cost globally etc...). The 4K were are streaming is incredibly lossy and via wired connections. 

 

I'm with you on the filtering, if this is 100% true. 

 

Yes, in the future there will be no way to play MQA with official hardware of software. It's not a question of if, but when. 

 

The DSP issue is one that I'd like further info on. I've been told that companies just need to work with MQA to solve the issue, but this information comes from MQA.

 

Bad for innovation right now, I agree.

 

 

 

I think the reasons for supporting MQA are much more flimsy and subjective from the consumer side of things. Then we get into speculation that it may be good for the rights holders and if it's good for them does it have to be bad for us? Most people believe that if something is bad for artists it's bad for us, so does the reverse hold true? There are tons of unknowns. 

 

 


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58 minutes ago, Jud said:

To me, MQA presents a much less than compelling technical argument (anyone who likes the way it sounds, peace, I have no quarrel with your taste) and a very tiny likelihood of monopolizing the market so thoroughly as to exclude any room for technically superior open formats.

 

What would present a more interesting question to me is if the rumors about Apple lying in wait with millions of 24/96 files came true.  Would you jump on the bandwagon with Apple's enormous market share and the possibility for it to effectively take over the hi res download and streaming markets in return for convenient reasonably priced access to open format 24/96 files?

 

I stand by my prediction that Apple wont' get into this game - https://www.computeraudiophile.com/ca/bits-and-bytes/High-Resolution-Audio-Isn-t-Coming-Soon-From-Apple/

 

 

 


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8 minutes ago, mansr said:

That's a flawed comparison. Converting from hi-res to CD quality does two things: 1) limits the bandwidth to ~20 kHz, and 2) reduces the dynamic range to ~90 dB. While both of these operations discard some information, the loss is precisely defined, and if implemented properly, there is negligible effect on the remaining information content. In contrast, what is generally termed lossy compression (MP3, AAC, and indeed MQA) goes further and meddles with the entire bandwidth in ways meant to be minimally audible but with no hard limits on what it might do. For any such compression scheme, there exist inputs for which the compression algorithm breaks down more or less catastrophically with readily audible (if not outright terrible) results. When and how this will occur is difficult to predict, and if it does happen, there is nothing you can do about it. Simple bandwidth reduction does not exhibit any such unpredictable behaviour.

 

Many pages ago you argued for the fundamentalist approach to the definition of lossy. When it suits your interest, you argue that even though something is lost it shouldn't be called lossy. Hmmm. 


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1 minute ago, mansr said:

Are you a professional codec developer? Perhaps you should listen to those who are (or have been) instead of making a fool of yourself.

 

Perhaps you're in you're codec cave and need to step outside once in awhile. The topic has been discussed many times. 


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5 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

Highly unlikely based how my views on MQA are attacked elsewhere. 

 

Chris, a convincing case for MQA has not been made. If got a few of the albums available in Europe that I own multiple versions of in MQA I could write an article John Atkinson at Stereophile would not have a problem publishing. My opinion would not be significantly different from his, Kal Rubinson’s or John Darko’s on the sound quality. The difference is probably undetectable listening casually with background noise about 40dB in my office. Differences still would probably be undetectable when the background noise drops to 30 to 33 dB on a quiet evening listening casually.   Only when I’m in professional mode on a quiet evening would I expect to hear differences and they would be slight. John Darko reports more space between the instruments and Kal’s comments seem to imply there is is some DSP in MQA but I won’t know until I listen. And you have to put the differences in a context of are they better or just different? I don’t know.

 

As for the interests of the artists, streaming is bad for them and good for the consumer. Would consumers pay more if the artist got more revenue from streaming? Nothing in the current market says this would happen.

 

Pretty much the same conclusion I came to back in February 2016.

 

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/ca/bits-and-bytes/My-First-24-Hours-With-MQA/

 


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1 minute ago, Jud said:

I'll "jump the gun" rather than waiting for you to listen to every available track and ask, of those you have listened to, do you think it has degraded sound quality?

 

@mansr doesn't listen to music, he looks at it. Sound quality has nothing to do with what one hears, it's how it looks.

 

I couldn't resist taking a jab at the self proclaimed "obstructionist." :~)


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1 minute ago, crenca said:

 

Nope.  Not in the context of formats of digitally encoded music

 

So MQA isn't lossy just because something is lost?


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Whether it's a sample rate conversion from 24/96 to 16/44.1 or a compression scheme going from 24/96 WAV to 16/44.1 AAC, something is lost and there's no going back to the original. 


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2 minutes ago, crenca said:

To obfuscate the term "lossy" by expanding the discussion to the law of entropy is useless and just adds to the esoteric and voodoo nature of this whole hobby.  It is of course straight from Bob's (and every other voodoo product) playbook as well...you boys should be ashamed of yourselves :)

 

Rather than claim the moral high ground, perhaps you could explain why it matters to the consumer if something is lossy from a sample rate conversion or a compression algorithm. 


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