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MQA is Vaporware


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45 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

The golden age of pure PCM is over. 

 

I'm not disturbed at what might happen ... there are always old CDs around of original masterings to call on; or, just throw a bit of software at a mastering you don't like, to 'fix it' - I do my thing, John does his; there will always be people who will work out a way of reversing annoying damage - in the age where audio is just data, a sufficiently smart algorithm will undo or cancel out silliness in masterings, etc.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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8 minutes ago, KeenObserver said:

I'm going to be perfectly blunt!

Warner and MQA are royally screwing the music consumer.  The music consumer is protesting loudly.

There are people on the sidelines telling the music consumer to relax, be civil, and just accept it.

What, exactly, is their motivation?

 The music consumer is not protesting loudly. The average music consumer does not know what is going on, only a small % of music lovers know what is going on, and those that are aware of it other than people like us have been conned into believing that it's an improvement.

 An even greater sin was the Loudness wars, and people like us complained then, but they ignored us then, just like before that most people accepted MegaPoop3 and every other lossy format including low bitrate .aac  such as <128kb/s from YouTube, and even lower from digital radio.

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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For those interested in how this all came about, you should read about the history of apartheid in South Africa.

You should read about the billionaires of South Africa and how they made their money.  There are revisionist histories that gloss over the truth.  Dig down and read the real stories.  Read about the tot system ( dop plan ).  Read about the government and who controlled it.  Read about how they put on one face for the world and another in private, protecting the billionaires and their billions. Again, dig down and read the real stories. These billions are the money behind a number of luxury goods, with holding companies in Luxembourg and elsewhere.  These are the billions behind MQA.

After you read this, watch the video from RMAF 2018 with Chris.

These are the people ramming MQA down your throats.

These are the people that are forcing rotten brandy made from rejected wine and reused grapes on you. 

Boycott Warner

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3 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

The golden age of pure PCM is over. 

 

Interesting.... if I connect the dots.... you said something big is happening soon and we know the major labels are shareholders in MQA Ltd...

 

Then MQA is about to go beyond Tidal's tiny market share to something larger... 😐

 

 

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32 minutes ago, asdf1000 said:

 

Interesting.... if I connect the dots.... you said something big is happening soon and we know the major labels are shareholders in MQA Ltd...

 

Then MQA is about to go beyond Tidal's tiny market share to something larger... 😐

 

 

Well if it does go mainstream it will more than likely be difficult to stop,  and the PCM FLAC container delivery companies may find they will get pushed into the sidelines or worse have to accept MQA on their 

platforms. 
At worst CD could also become infected in the mainstream, the water has already been tested in Japan, although a minority market against global manufacturing I am sure the change could be quick. 
God forbid we get MQA master cut vinyl too 

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43 minutes ago, mevdinc said:

What a shame.
It is becoming clear that it wasn't at all what the artists intended, it was more like what the music companies intended/planned. Well done to all those who saw this from day one and argued against the intentions and possible negative results of the MQA format in this very topic.

It’s probably gonna get worse too 

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On 11/18/2020 at 9:28 PM, FredericV said:

MQA bit depth oddity ....

First let's set a baseline:

To confirm that LMS 8 latest nightly build + squeezelite is passing bitperfect over USB towards the Mytek from my server, I play this 2L.no file:

2L-050_01_stereo_DXD_WAV.mqa.flac
.

.

.

So in Logitech Media Server 8 + Tidal via the mysqueezebox.com, it seems we are not getting MQA for this particular album, but we get MQA for other albums including the BT IMA example/


I would need to intercept the physical file which LMS pulls over HTTPS from Tidal to confirm what is in the file, but I have reasons to believe that I am not getting the MQA file from LMS - or the Mytek is broken for some 16 bit MQA files.

This is very odd

 

LMS/mysqueezebox.com isn't an official MQA partner, so hasn't been given the facility to connect to TIDAL with a TIDAL Masters quality setting in order to be able to access TIDAL's original 24bit/44.1kHz and 24bit/48kHz hi-res MQA distribution tracks. It is restricted to connecting to TIDAL at best with a TIDAL HiFi quality setting, which gives access to 16bit/44.1kHz CD-res versions of those hi-res MQA distribution tracks.

 

 

 

On 11/18/2020 at 10:03 PM, FredericV said:

Update:

I did add the first Space Oddity track to my LMS favorites, which is marked Hi Res in the search results of the LMS Tidal plugin, and has the following wimp url:
 

URL:wimp://68735594.flac

.

.

.

So for LMS, we have the opposite situation: search results do indicate Hi Res (aka MQA), but depending on the album you are either getting MQA or no MQA.

Which now proves the files have not disappeared from Tidal, but the search results are fuzzy?

 

I suspect these are mangled bit depth reduced (and as necessary downsampled) versions of the actual hi-res MQA distribution tracks themselves, so not the CD/non-MQA sourced versions that they appear to be.

Quite often there isn't an equivalent non-MQA version of the track listed anywhere in TIDAL. Also, where a non-MQA equivalent track is listed and also happens to have a different track run time, the 16bit/44.1kHz replacement never takes it on & always retains the run time of the hi-res MQA distribution track.

I'd suggest it would be easier for TIDAL to simply run a mangling transcoder on the hi-res MQA tracks as they are being streamed, rather than maintain a whole set of 'hidden' unlisted genuine CD sourced tracks just for this purpose.

 

I also suspect that it would be simpler for the TIDAL HiFi quality setting connection to allow access 16bit/44.1kHz CD-res MQA distribution (ie, MQA-CD) tracks - so no mangling in this special case. 

 

Case in point:

- the URL:wimp://68735594.flac track is supposed to have an MQA distribution resolution of 24bit/48kHz, so could have been mangled by the TIDAL HiFi quality connection to 16bit/44.1kHz CD-res and is therefore no longer recognised as an MQA track;

- the BT IMA album (https://listen.tidal.com/album/4617026) is an MQA-CD, ie, has 16bit/44.kHz CD-res MQA distribution tracks, so seems to be allowed through untouched on a TIDAL HiFi quality connection & therefore still recognised as MQA.

 

Oddity.png.1f6b4e75e68a2ae7cc58e2cef77320e5.png

 

Had the ordering of the albums in LMS placed the MQA-CD version at the top, you may have well reported the opposite for the Space Oddity track!

 

 

Not having a TIDAL Master quality connection to compare with the TIDAL HiFi quality connection in the investigations only gives you half the picture, unfortunately. However, there is a way of providing such a comparison. MQA official partner, ConversDigital, have kindly provided a free Chromecast and UPnP/DLNA controller app with TIDAL hi-res MQA track access - mconnect Player Lite.

Enabling the UPnP/DLNA Media Interface LMS plugin allows an LMS connected Squeezebox type streamer to appear as a controllable UPnP renderer in the mconnect Player app. Setting the UPnP/DLNA Media Interface plugin in debug mode should allow you to log the tokenised URLs of TIDAL tracks being streamed under control of mconnect Player, similar to how you did with the TIDAL plugin.

 

Now, not only should you be able to compare TIDAL Master quality connection tracks with TIDAL HiFi quality connection ones, you'll also be able to verify that mconnect Player's TIDAL HiFi quality connection provides the same tracks as the TIDAL LMS plugin's - comparing the tracks' MD5 signatures would be the first port of call I'd suggest.

 

It would be great if you could compare TIDAL streaming all the MQA tracks you mentioned in your posts above, so including the two 2L test bench downloads to see if those show signs of MQA via the TIDAL HiFi quality connection, as they are distributed as 24bit/44.1kHz and would complete the set, as it were:

https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/fba5448d-3d74-4b0b-8478-35297f21e623 (the Space Oddity tracks are ordered MQA-CD version first, followed by 96kHz & 192kHz MQA original resolution versions) 

Unfortunately, I don't have an MQA DAC or the means of building  @mansr's mqascan to check for signs of MQA, so I can't do this myself.

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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30 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

Not that I want MQA files, but think about this. Tidal won't send MQA files to people who haven't paid the MQA tax for their digital only device. They could all have MQA DACs, but if the digital interface or app developer hasn't paid the MQA tax, then no dice.

 

It only seems to apply to the hi-res MQA file tracks - TIDAL seems to be quite happy to 'give away' their MQA-CD tracks.

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Tidal won't send MQA files to people who haven't paid the MQA tax for their digital only device.

 

Is this MQA Tax a new phenomenon ?

AFAIK there is no such thing as an "MQA Tax". Or is there ?

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

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1 hour ago, FredericV said:

and needs an MQA license to fully restore what we had before.

 

Frederic, this does not exist. MQA never fully restores what we had before, unless you mean that you get the normal MQA again.

Point is : nothing has changed that I can see or notice. I also don't need to pay extra for MQA or whatever suggestions are going on about that. At least not today ...

What has changed indeed is the disappearing normal RedBook files, them being replaced by MQA only. Whether the RedBooks are really not there any more is something else (I could check).

 

Peter

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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