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Rt66indierock

Stereophile Series on MQA Technology

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4 hours ago, Miska said:

 

How would MQA help that? They could as well just sell one version - the original. Instead of multiple versions. There's no point in selling anything else. For selling the original, MQA doesn't help.

 

I never understood point in selling multiple non-original versions  of the same.

 

In the present market, selling multiple versions lets you price segment the market, increase sales, and make more money than if you sold only one version.

 

Not everyone is focused like you on having only “the original”- in fact that doesn’t particularly interest them at all. 

 

In an MQA only market, the labels can segment the market by price and mark the download so that you get a level of quality on playback reflecting the price you play. And they actually don’t want to sell the original. They’d much prefer to sell you an MQA version, which they can claim is the original, or even an improved original, and never release the actual master. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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45 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

iTunes is simplest in this when syncing to iOS devices, you have simple checkbox to select conversion when syncing to the device. And you can optionally configure target properties to some extent.

 

Lots of people like to just buy whatever format they want - converting themselves or even looking in their software for “properties” is more work or more challenging than they are willing to deal with. You may find that hard to believe, but it is reality.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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2 hours ago, firedog said:

Your first few points are all incorrect, especially about costs.

Offering multiple formats is clearly a cost. If you can use MQA and then only offer one      

File instead, it saves money. That’s one of the reasons the labels like it. 

 

I’m not sure how any of this translates to me being a fan of MQA -seems like you are making all sorts of assumptions based on your own preconceptions, but not based on any facts. 

 

In spite of that, I probably agree that I won’t be a fan of yours.

 

Nothing bad about skepticism, as long as it doesn’t develop into weird conspiracy theories and the like. 

I actually have professional expertise in just what the definition of inventory is, but I am not going to waste any more time on you.  Believe what you want.  Do you have any facts?

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7 hours ago, Ron Scubadiver said:

It isn't inventory because it is intangible personal property.  Inventory is required to be tangible.  The costs of distributing digital downloads are miniscule.  Even now, the same file is offered in multiple formats.  If you are a fan of MQA please accept my condolences.  

 

But is an MQA  download any more "intangible personal property" than other music downloads (ITunes for  example)   Your point may be well made, but its not a MQA-specific point and is thus misleading when phrased as such.

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26 minutes ago, Ron Scubadiver said:

I actually have professional expertise in just what the definition of inventory is, but I am not going to waste any more time on you.  Believe what you want.  Do you have any facts?

You are probably referring to some accounting type definition of inventory, which is irrelevant to the discussion. Just as most of accounting tends to have little relation to reality. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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12 minutes ago, Norton said:

 

But is an MQA  download any more "intangible personal property" than other music downloads (ITunes for  example)   Your point may be well made, but its not a MQA-specific point and is thus misleading when phrased as such.

 

It's not one bit misleading.  MQA promoters are pitching their system as providing significant business efficiencies unavailable with other types of music downloads, but that is clearly an exaggeration.   They are the ones who are engaging in misleading conduct.  MQA isn't any different from iTunes or HD Tracks except the objective is to extract licensing fees from software and hardware vendors and increase download sales by pressuring people to duplicate their existing libraries.

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Just now, firedog said:

You are probably referring to some accounting type definition of inventory, which is irrelevant to the discussion. Just as most of accounting tends to have little relation to reality. 

LOL.

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8 hours ago, firedog said:

 

The files on the server are the inventory.

Do you think there is no cost involved in maintaining and distributing a  library of tens of thousands (or even millions) of files for download (including duplicate/redundant servers) and efficiently serving them to customers (which includes server and bandwidth costs)? Or for the record labels in storing and maintaining them? 

 

There are albums that appear in the high -res download sites in 6-8 versions in various types of hi-res. Some of them are quite large in size. One of the attractions of MQA for the industry is that if it becomes the standard, your inventory would be one file instead of those multiple files you store and sell today 

 

It is quite naive to think that the download stores hold any offered resolution or codec in store. E.g. Qobuz.com offers all files in the main formats and all usual resolutions below the best one (hopefully not upsampled). I'm quite certain, that they store only the best resolution they've got from the labels in FLAC, convert and downsample them, if required, to the requested format and resolution. When you download a different format or resolution than the "original" stored one, you can notice always a delay until the download is available. I'm sure the other providers handle this storage issue similar. An exception to this is for sure MQA because it cannot be simply encoded by providers, MQA files must be stored additionally.  

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4 hours ago, firedog said:

In the present market, selling multiple versions lets you price segment the market, increase sales, and make more money than if you sold only one version.

 

Not everyone is focused like you on having only “the original”- in fact that doesn’t particularly interest them at all. 

 

I'm not interested to buy same stuff over and over again. I rather buy new stuff.

 

Why would they be interested in MQA if they are not interested in original either? What would be the motivation for anybody to buy MQA content?

 

4 hours ago, firedog said:

They’d much prefer to sell you an MQA version, which they can claim is the original, or even an improved original, and never release the actual master.

 

Maybe, but I'm not buying it. I don't have any intent to buy MQA content and pay extra for playing it. Even less pay for MQA every time I buy a DAC. Especially because it is not future proof. Same goes for Blu-rays, I was already hit enough with HD-DVD.

 

I only buy lossless content that I can convert to other new types of containers and formats in it's full resolution. Like I did when I ripped all my CD's to FLACs. I would have never purchased those again in 44.1/16 FLAC format, just to get it as FLAC.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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50 minutes ago, #Yoda# said:

 

It is quite naive to think that the download stores hold any offered resolution or codec in store. E.g. Qobuz.com offers all files in the main formats and all usual resolutions below the best one (hopefully not upsampled). I'm quite certain, that they store only the best resolution they've got from the labels in FLAC, convert and downsample them, if required, to the requested format and resolution. When you download a different format or resolution than the "original" stored one, you can notice always a delay until the download is available. I'm sure the other providers handle this storage issue similar. An exception to this is for sure MQA because it cannot be simply encoded by providers, MQA files must be stored additionally.  

You may be right in some cases. Some of the download managers can be seen converting the files.  But I don’t think it is true of DSD (conversion) and it’s not true at all the sites that don’t use some type of download manager. Not all of them have a delay.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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2 hours ago, crenca said:

 

Putting aside the details of copyright a consumer owns a PCM file (or any other open format music) in a way that he does not with MQA.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?  Copyright is THE dispositive detail here. Moreover, ownership is a legal concept, not a technological one. A consumer no more “owns” any copyrighted PCM file than a MQA file. The distinction is a practical one related to control of playback, copying and the ease of violating the (normally) identical limited license that applies to any format applicable to the underlying intellectual property encoded into the files.

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2 minutes ago, knickerhawk said:

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?  Copyright is THE dispositive detail here. Moreover, ownership is a legal concept, not a technological one. A consumer no more “owns” any copyrighted PCM file than a MQA file. The distinction is a practical one related to control of playback, copying and the ease of violating the (normally) identical limited license that applies to any format applicable to the underlying intellectual property encoded into the files.

 

Replace the crossed out sentence with something like:

 

"Copyright is NOT the detail that accounts for consumer rejection of DRM" and your mostly right.  The "limited license" of the music is simply does not rise very high on the problem with DRM  - rather it is all the other legal aspects that comes with DRM (i.e. the "Digital" and the "Management") aspects.

 

Indeed, the wrong focus on copyright is one of the prevailing tactics used to obfuscate the reality and debate around DRM...


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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4 minutes ago, crenca said:

 

Replace the crossed out sentence with something like:

 

"Copyright is NOT the detail that accounts for consumer rejection of DRM" and your mostly right.  The "limited license" of the music is simply does not rise very high on the problem with DRM  - rather it is all the other legal aspects that comes with DRM (i.e. the "Digital" and the "Management") aspects.

 

Indeed, the wrong focus on copyright is one of the prevailing tactics used to obfuscate the reality and debate around DRM...

What are the “other LEGAL aspects that comes with DRM” to which you are referring? The only “digital” and “management” aspects I can think of are technological and practical ones (which can, indeed, be onerous and frustrating for legal use as well as use that violates the license/copyright). They are not legal ones, unless what you are referring to are the added legal consequences of violating/hacking the DRM scheme itself. 

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Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 hour ago, firedog said:

 

I can hardly get through the evangelical tent personal testimonial angle of stuff like this, but I did.  

 

It made me think of the "Hi Res" claim of MQA and how that is all part of this Big Fat Lie.  Think of it, the future (where MQA or something like is IS the standard) where a lossy, 13-17 bit software is the only "Hi Res" available...


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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In latest Stereophile JA says:

"One criticism that is repeatedly raised is that MQA implements Digital Rights Management (DRM). Yet there is nothing to prevent people from copying, e-mailing, and sharing MQA files (though selling them would presumably run afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). I have copies of the same MQA-encoded files on all the various servers I use for my listening, and they all decode perfectly well."

 

However, being able to copy files doesn't define DRM. For example if you purchase movie downloads from iTunes, those are also protected by DRM. You can copy the m4v files around freely, but you can only decode those on authorized devices. DRM is not about copy-protection it is about managing usage rights.

 

Medias like Blu-ray and SACD have aspects of both DRM and copy-protection. There were also (failed) attempts to introduce copy-protection to RedBook CD's. SACD's and HDCD's DRM aspects are most similar to MQA, where reduced quality is allowed outside of authorized zone.

 

If you go for actually a standard-compliant content, MPEG-4 SLS allows very much similar functionality including DRM capabilities. If I would have to choose between MQA and MPEG-4 SLS, I would take MPEG-4 SLS any day because it is an actual standard.

 

But there are also good free alternatives with similar capabilities, like WavPack with it's Hybrid mode. And OptimFROG with it's similar DualStream feature.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I am starting to think that unfortunately MQA is here to stay.  It allows streaming delivery of higher quality than would ordinarily be available from a 24/48 stream, and streaming is now the main way music is delivered.  Whether it replaces non MQA high res downloads is yet to be seen.  I hope that doesn't happen.

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1 minute ago, Ron Scubadiver said:

I am starting to think that unfortunately MQA is here to stay.  It allows streaming delivery of higher quality than would ordinarily be available from a 24/48 stream, and streaming is now the main way music is delivered.  Whether it replaces non MQA high res downloads is yet to be seen.  I hope that doesn't happen.

 

I am starting to believe the opposite Ron.  A 24/48 stream that is actually 13-17 bits of lossy, upsampled, poorly filtered mashing of real Hi Res is not "higher quality", and since only audiophiles are interested in sound quality/Hi Res they can't sell it to us.  FLAC is actually more efficient Hi Res container bit for bit.  

 

True, the labels have an interest to foil DRM on an unsuspecting consumer, but even they have to see value and I don't think MQA offers it.  They can just as easily DRM their streams without MQA.  

 

In any rational market, MQA dies rather quickly. Not that irrational forces could prevail but I suspect (this is all crystal ball stuff) MQA time to stick against the audio wall has come and gone...


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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On 12/10/2017 at 1:11 PM, GUTB said:

 

I think we all know why you don’t.

 

But you’re right, it’s irrelevent.

 

What does matter is the quality of MQA. I just listened to the MQA and non-MQA version of Hotel California 40th annervisary expended edition with the Pro-Ject Pre S2; if you can’t tell the difference I don’t know what to tell you. The MQA version sounds like hi-res, and the non-MQA sounds like Redbook.

Through a million dollar setup, some guest enjoyed the Redbook better than the high resolution.  Through a DC 

 

On 12/10/2017 at 1:11 PM, GUTB said:

 

I think we all know why you don’t.

 

But you’re right, it’s irrelevent.

 

What does matter is the quality of MQA. I just listened to the MQA and non-MQA version of Hotel California 40th annervisary expended edition with the Pro-Ject Pre S2; if you can’t tell the difference I don’t know what to tell you. The MQA version sounds like hi-res, and the non-MQA sounds like Redbook.

I heard a demo through a DCS stack and had to plug my ears on the MQA playback. It has a glassy, clear, introspective quality, but it hurt to listen to for any time.   On a million dollar system some people with "good ears" preferred good old Redbook to high Res DSD.  For figure.  They said it was just enjoyable. 

I think to many people get caught up in the technology and forget to relax and listen.  A ton of McIntosh equipment is bought and sold.  I know 2 people who found one of those amps and that was it.  End of the road.  Done.  No more looking, why?  Its not accuracy or perfection,  its just musical and pleasant to listen to. 

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39 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

Done but awaiting moderation. I was careful though.

 

In my experience, nothing negative, no matter how polite or courteous, gets through to the comments section there.

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9 minutes ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

In my experience, nothing negative, no matter how polite or courteous, gets through to the comments section there.

 

Here's mine.

 

Well let’s see Andre Stapleton SVP partner development, global digital business at Sony Music was quoted this June in Paris saying “We’ve licensed them (MQA) our entire hi-res catalogue, and we’re very excited.”

 

Also in Paris Mike Jbara, CEO of MQA said the vast majority of music out in the marketplace has been mastered for CD, rather than true-studio quality.

 

I told Mac Finer of the Digital Entertainment Group at the Los Angeles Audio Show this June “that you will find hi-res a very difficult sell.” I’m not seeing any consumer interest in hi-res audio. The only interest I see is from people selling hi-res hardware and software.

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