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MQA is Vaporware

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5 hours ago, esldude said:

Have no idea about Sirius or how many people it reaches.  They get my prize for worst compressed audio.  It quickly gives me a headache on talk channels.  Music is truly a terrible experience.  As someone who likes music if my choices are silence or music via Sirius, give me silence PLEASE.

I agree, worst quality. Content is fine. I still wouldn’t pay for it. 


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I'm nearing the end of the promotional SiriusXM subscription on my new Subaru Impreza and I must say I love it. I last had XM many years ago and forgot how much I enjoyed the content compared to terrestrial radio. Sure I hate the sound quality but I'll take my favorite music at very subpar quality over Scottish nose whistle at 32/384, or silence, any time. 

 

This is just me of course. I don't doubt you guys are as big of music fans as I am, in fact I know you are. 


Founder of Audiophile Style and Superphonica

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50 minutes ago, mav52 said:

 

I tell ya Chris I have had the service for a while, of course I use it for more than music listening, sports, news etc.. and each year you got to fight with these high prices renewal fees,  I just tell them, I'll pay my $75 a year or I'll walk away and since 2013 I still pay the same price.

I hate the sound quality. The better the audio system, the worse it sounds.  Still, the programming for the music stations blows away virtually anything on terrestrial radio, and there's a lot to choose from. I wonder what holds it back on the sound quality front.  Is it just out of date hardware sitting up on those satellites? I notice that some stations sound better than others, and I'm curious what the maximum potential for sound quality is. As for price, I'm the same as you. Renewing every year feels a lot like haggling with a rug merchant on the streets of Morocco.  But every year I still agonize over whether it's worth renewing. Now Radio Paradise lets you cache many hours of music, even in FLAC if you so wish. With Apple Car Play, the access to that music is super easy. The sound quality is so much better. 

 

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2 hours ago, mav52 said:

 

I tell ya Chris I have had the service for a while, of course I use it for more than music listening, sports, news etc.. and each year you got to fight with these high prices renewal fees,  I just tell them, I'll pay my $75 a year or I'll walk away and since 2013 I still pay the same price.

 

I’ve been doing the same thing for about the same amount of time. As far as sound quality, I only use it in my car so that doesn’t enter into it for me. 

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Sure I hate the sound quality but I'll take my favorite music at very subpar quality over Scottish nose whistle at 32/384, or silence, any time. 

 

Where do you find silence in a car during road construction season?  🚧  

 

If you opted for a metal skid plate on your Subaru.  Drumming on the wheel to the percussion track could always fill the void when your satellite connection drops.

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3 hours ago, mav52 said:

 

From what they told me, a year ago, they only count paying subs, not auto package trial period deals.

 

They get revenue from new autos so they count them as subscribers according to their 10-K

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10 hours ago, esldude said:

I think you'll find streaming HD video is using the OPUS codec much of the time and will be doing so more often in the near future.  MQA isn't showing up in that niche.  

 

Have no idea about Sirius or how many people it reaches.  They get my prize for worst compressed audio.  It quickly gives me a headache on talk channels.  Music is truly a terrible experience.  As someone who likes music if my choices are silence or music via Sirius, give me silence PLEASE.

 

Hi Dennis - almost every DVD and BluRay video out there has audio processed with Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) - at least it certainly does if it includes Dolby TrueHD. It is just an invisible tax levied upon every DVD or Blu-Ray fan.  It's the ancestor of MQA, and probably an important example for the MQA business model. 

 

Yeah, but horrible as it sounds, Sirius makes money hand over fist apparently. 3+ Billion dollars for Pandora? 

 

-Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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4 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I'm nearing the end of the promotional SiriusXM subscription on my new Subaru Impreza and I must say I love it. I last had XM many years ago and forgot how much I enjoyed the content compared to terrestrial radio. Sure I hate the sound quality but I'll take my favorite music at very subpar quality over Scottish nose whistle at 32/384, or silence, any time. 

 

This is just me of course. I don't doubt you guys are as big of music fans as I am, in fact I know you are. 

 

I have Sirius in both vehicles, and if nothing else, I really do love the programming and the weather alerts. I get those even when I am out in the boonies with no cell service. Once or twice, that has came in very handy indeed. I had no idea how quickly the weather can change up at higher elevations. 

 

Still, everyone I know complains about the sound. 

 

-Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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2 hours ago, mansr said:

It's a combination of constrained bandwidth and old codecs. Switching to a modern codec like Opus would likely improve the quality substantially, but existing receivers would become useless.

 

Mostly bandwidth, because some channels are allocated more bandwidth and the quality can be - often is - significantly better. Not the promised CD quality perhaps, but occasionally quite good. At least in some cases, the more popular the channel, the more bandwidth allocated.  

 

I strongly question that there is enough bandwidth to support full high quality audio on SiriusXM though, even if they choose to use the free Opus Codec. Opus, by the way, only goes to 48khz so far as I know, while Blu-Ray typically has 24/196k audio, or DSD available on disc.   


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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26 minutes ago, Paul R said:

 

Hi Dennis - almost every DVD and BluRay video out there has audio processed with Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) - at least it certainly does if it includes Dolby TrueHD. It is just an invisible tax levied upon every DVD or Blu-Ray fan.  It's the ancestor of MQA, and probably an important example for the MQA business model. 

 

Yeah, but horrible as it sounds, Sirius makes money hand over fist apparently. 3+ Billion dollars for Pandora? 

 

-Paul 

 

But does anyone stream Bluray with MLP or even Dolby TrueHD?  Maybe they do, my pitiful internet connection wouldn't be up to it.  But I was unaware of those formats streaming even with HD video content.  OPUS is the newer audio container for most of this as far as I knew. 


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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30 minutes ago, Paul R said:

 

Hi Dennis - almost every DVD and BluRay video out there has audio processed with Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) - at least it certainly does if it includes Dolby TrueHD. It is just an invisible tax levied upon every DVD or Blu-Ray fan.  It's the ancestor of MQA, and probably an important example for the MQA business model. 

 

 

 

-Paul 

 

Are you sure about that?

 


 


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1 hour ago, Paul R said:

- almost every DVD and BluRay video out there has audio processed with Meridian Lossless Packing

 

Only the short-lived DVD-Audio format used MLP.

 

For DVD-Video (the vast majority of DVDs ever produced) the standard was lossy Dolby Digital (AC-3), DTS, or straight LPCM.


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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40 minutes ago, Paul R said:

Mostly bandwidth, because some channels are allocated more bandwidth and the quality can be - often is - significantly better. Not the promised CD quality perhaps, but occasionally quite good. At least in some cases, the more popular the channel, the more bandwidth allocated.  

 

I strongly question that there is enough bandwidth to support full high quality audio on SiriusXM though, even if they choose to use the free Opus Codec. Opus, by the way, only goes to 48khz so far as I know, while Blu-Ray typically has 24/196k audio, or DSD available on disc.   

IIRC, a channel can be allocated at most 64 kbps, many using much less. At those data rates, Opus delivers much better sound quality than anything available in the 1990s. In this context, a 48 kHz sample rate is plenty.

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36 minutes ago, alfe said:

Are you sure about that?

 

 

For Blu-Ray? Absolutely.  For streaming?  I do not know. As Dennis points out, streaming may be all Opus, though I would question that a bit. Netflix for example, started with Silverlight from Microsoft, but now supports a huge messy pile of formats, so far as I know. That may have changed recently with their audio bitrate upgrades which "is not lossless, but uses a perceptual encoding."  That may or may not be Opus, I do not know. I do know they stream Dolby Digital Plus at 640kbs. 

 

However, Opus is free and will for that reason alone, receive some approval from the audiophile community. Not so much from the videophile community perhaps, where Blu-ray and DVD still are greatly favored over streaming, and true high-res audio is expected. 

 

It probably doesn't hurt that Opus will not replace ALAC or FLAC anytime in the near future either. 

 

-Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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19 minutes ago, MikeyFresh said:

Only the short-lived DVD-Audio format used MLP.

 

For DVD-Video (the vast majority of DVDs ever produced) the standard was lossy Dolby Digital (AC-3), DTS, or straight LPCM.

DVD can also carry MPEG-1 layer 2 audio. Bluray discs typically have LPCM or DTS-HD Master Audio (lossless). Some (mainly older) titles have Dolby Digital (lossy). I don't remember if MLP/TrueHD is even an option on Bluray; none of the ~10 discs I own use it.

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5 hours ago, mav52 said:

 

I tell ya Chris I have had the service for a while, of course I use it for more than music listening, sports, news etc.. and each year you got to fight with these high prices renewal fees,  I just tell them, I'll pay my $75 a year or I'll walk away and since 2013 I still pay the same price.

 

 Same here. It seems they will accept almost any offer, LOL.

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2 minutes ago, Paul R said:

For Blu-Ray? Absolutely.  For streaming?  I do not know. As Dennis points out, streaming may be all Opus, though I would question that a bit. Netflix for example, started with Silverlight from Microsoft, but now supports a huge messy pile of formats, so far as I know. That may have changed recently with their audio bitrate upgrades which "is not lossless, but uses a perceptual encoding."  That may or may not be Opus, I do not know. I do know they stream Dolby Digital Plus at 640kbs. 

To the best of my knowledge, the highest quality audio from Netflix is encoded with Dolby Digital Plus. If your device doesn't support that, you get something inferior.

 

2 minutes ago, Paul R said:

However, Opus is free and will for that reason alone, receive some approval from the audiophile community. Not so much from the videophile community perhaps, where Blu-ray and DVD still are greatly favored over streaming, and true high-res audio is expected. 

Opus is an audio codec aimed mainly at low bitrate applications. YouTube uses it a lot.

 

2 minutes ago, Paul R said:

It probably doesn't hurt that Opus will not replace ALAC or FLAC anytime in the near future either.

What's that supposed to mean?

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