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MQA is Vaporware

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19 minutes ago, KeenObserver said:

 

The plates used to press records had a life span.  If a record was popular and sold millions there would of course been multiple pressings.  There were Masters ( sub Masters? ) used to make new plates.  I don't know if the RIAA equalization was part of these sub Masters.  I do know that in the past I have run some of my CD's through a RIAA filter and they seemed to have sounded more natural.  This led me to believe that some CD's were pressed with RIAA equalization.

It is reasonable that some CDs might be produced with RIAA emphasis, but another thing -- some CDs were definitely produced with the CD-standard optional pre-emphasis.  If that along with DolbyA is used, the sound might be a lot better with RIAA.  I have a Nena disk (99 Red Balloons which is definitely a combo of both CD-standard pre-emphaiss and DolbyA encoding.  If you want, I can make the before and after snippets available to see if the RIAA decoding helps similarly..

 

Add-on:  I did try riaa on the Nena disk -- it sounds 'plausible', but way too much bass and the HF compression is even more obvious.  RIAA is probably a good work around alternative, and on this matter -- I am doing a demo of each possible solution...  Initial results -- RIAA sounds good and is reasonable on the tested material.

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25 minutes ago, NoisyNarrowBandDevice said:

 

Provenance is a smart move. Reading the tea-leaves they might try to shift the MQA-narrative from audio-quality to artist-approved files/streams.

 

This could allow for a number of marketing and licensing options for music: artist approved streaming exclusives (price differentiation), authorized bootlegs, higher-quality masters etc.

 

Once you manage to establish "provenance" as a valid term in the music context you have an interesting marketing tool at hand. Of course the concept of provenance is highly questionable to anybody familiar with the realities of audio production. But fans do strive for authentic experiences and a connection to the artist. Artist strive for control - just look at Madame Swift and her recent moves on Twitter.

 

"Provenance" is where both desires meet.

 

Of course this reveals ever more clearly that MQA is about rights-management (yes with a big D) rather than audio-quality. But I don't expect for anybody outside of our bubble to notice.

Well said. Very scary. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

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35 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

It is reasonable that some CDs might be produced with RIAA emphasis, but another thing -- some CDs were definitely produced with the CD-standard optional pre-emphasis.  If that along with DolbyA is used, the sound might be a lot better with RIAA.  I have a Nena disk (99 Red Balloons which is definitely a combo of both CD-standard pre-emphaiss and DolbyA encoding.  If you want, I can make the before and after snippets available to see if the RIAA decoding helps similarly..

 

Add-on:  I did try riaa on the Nena disk -- it sounds 'plausible', but way too much bass and the HF compression is even more obvious.  RIAA is probably a good work around alternative, and on this matter -- I am doing a demo of each possible solution...  Initial results -- RIAA sounds good and is reasonable on the tested material.

I have produced some demo examples of an extreme case of poorly processed CD -- Nena, 99 Red Balloons an early CD.  It has both CD pre-emphais and also DolbyA encoding.  All are mp3, because they show the differences adequately with the mp3 compression.

 

Several versions of snippets  (names self-evident), raw copy, CD deemphaiss only, RIAA only, RIAA with 450Hz 1 pole bass cut, full decode and deemphasis:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/inzgf691x7sb2gd/AAAy_9tUiKFYkUHXu9PsPKona?dl=0

 

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1 hour ago, Allan F said:

 

The SPARS code ultimately provided useful information of a sort. It proved conclusively that the quality of a recording was not related to whether it was recorded or mixed in analog or digital, but rather was a product of the care and skills of the producer and recording engineer.

Yes, exactly what it wasn't designed for :~)


Founder of Audiophile Style

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It is amusing, well, not really...to watch MQA pivot monthly and move the goal posts as everyone of their marketing lies

are debunked. So now we move on to "provenance".that is hysterical. 

 

A laundry list:

 

"de-blurs" timing errors in the ADC-DEBUNKED

 

-Authenticated: DEBUNKED

 

-Losless: DEBUNKED

 

-Sounds "better": DEBUNKED

 

Saves bandwidth": DEBUNKED

 

And the biggest lie right in the catchy product title.."Master Quality"

 

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Roon must be finally nearing a new release to fix all the outstanding  issues in their software. Otherwise, it seems like the COO would have R&D projects to tend to instead of spending time on their forums making up new justifications for MQA and running them up the flagpole to see if anybody salutes.

 

At any rate, his recent, uh, activism? in the forums is somewhat revealing about their priorities and their attitude towards customers, which is reminiscent of JimH.

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9 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

More on the provenance "issue" - I'm working my contacts and doing research to prove or disprove my hypothesis that this whole provenance thing, as defined by MQA, is a problem that doesn't exist. 

 

So far "nobody" believes this is an issue. I say nobody becasue I'm sure there are a couple releases every year that are messed up. The following link from TuneCore explains that they require 16/44.1 WAV files. Sure this doesn't prohibit someone form converting an MP3 to WAV for upload, but we shouldn't get lost in the edge case weeds. 

 

https://www.tunecore.com/guides/how-to-get-your-audio-files-ready-for-distribution

My curious mind is wondering whether this new tack by MQA is a round about way of supporting Tidal in reaction to the latest moves by Amazon and Qobuz in the streaming business.  Face it, MQA is less than zero without Tidal, and Roon is pretty tangled up in there too.  Tidal may be in a big hurt and Roon has become kind of stale as of late.


Jim

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8 minutes ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

I don't get this provenance thing either. It is not as if there are cover bands selling as the real band, nor that no one can get access to the real thing with other methods (Napster ?? or a bootleg site).

 

We all know that most people cannot tell the difference between MP3 and CD, or CD and high resolution, so what is the issue ?

 

Why would a streaming business need to prove provenance ?. They either have the real thing to stream or not. Why would a streaming business stream some other imprint of the song ? Are there bootleg streaming services ?

 

Regards,

Shadders.

Exactly. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

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6 hours ago, james45974 said:

My curious mind is wondering whether this new tack by MQA is a round about way of supporting Tidal in reaction to the latest moves by Amazon and Qobuz in the streaming business.  Face it, MQA is less than zero without Tidal, and Roon is pretty tangled up in there too.  Tidal may be in a big hurt and Roon has become kind of stale as of late.

Agree that MQA without Tidal is a defunct business

 

I am not sure what you mean by Roon being stale however. 

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The bottom line, ultimately, is the bottom line.  MQA Ltd is running on borrowed money that at some point is coming due. Their financial statement indicated that they were securing further investment, without which they would not be able to continue.  I am not familiar with the UK's posting standards and don't know if they would have to post it if they have indeed secured further financing.

The specter of MQA still hangs over the music consumer.

I agree with Archimago that multi million Pound losses are insignificant in some circumstances.  To a vast financial entity like Reinet multi million Pound losses are minor if they expect to reap VERY substantial gains in the future.  To do so they will have to reach very deep into the pockets of the music consumer.

The threat of the imposition of MQA control of the music industry is there until the fat lady sings.

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6 hours ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

I don't get this provenance thing either. It is not as if there are cover bands selling as the real band, nor that no one can get access to the real thing with other methods (Napster ?? or a bootleg site).

 

We all know that most people cannot tell the difference between MP3 and CD, or CD and high resolution, so what is the issue ?

 

Why would a streaming business need to prove provenance ?. They either have the real thing to stream or not. Why would a streaming business stream some other imprint of the song ? Are there bootleg streaming services ?

 

Regards,

Shadders.

 

 

It is just an attempt to use a term from the wine world in an irrelevant way that will nonetheless attract consumers.

 

"provenance" refers to origin, and shipping for wine - vibration and to some extent, heat can damage a wine

 

Since those who might be interested in MQA (audiophiles) overlap with wine drinkers, they are susceptible to such marketing confusion.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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36 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I remember him saying, "... we've spent millions of pounds on this already  ..." 

It was a moonshot with a rocket launcher from Hobby Lobby.


NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 1903/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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