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NEWBIE MQA Questions


beerandmusic
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I have pretty much stayed out of the MQA threads because i couldn't really fathom a need for another format, mainly because i heard resolution was less than DSD.

My initial thought was for the niche high res market we have dsd, and for streaming we have mp3 and even flac (thanks to tidal, deezer, etc..)...so why is there even a need.

 

It just dawned on  me that "maybe" you can get higher resolution than flac, but at less bandwidth....if the answer to both is yes, especially if it is either significantly more so for either resolution or bandwidth, it would make perfect sense, especially due to the proprietary (difficult to copy) nature of DSD.

 

Anyway, can someone answer what is resolution vs bandwidth comparison between streaming flac vs mqa?

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3 hours ago, beerandmusic said:

especially due to the proprietary (difficult to copy) nature of DSD.

 

If you buy Thriller (or any album) in DSD from AcousticSounds, it’s very easy to copy those DSD files (.dsf) to a USB stick to play in a 2nd system in your home. 

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Beer, I can't make a technical reply to your query, but I've been playing around with MQA for a few days now.  Being able to stream great sounding 24/96 glitch-free over my sub optimal network to my non- MQA Esoteric DAC,  I think I "get"" MQA, particularly in the case of titles generally available only in 24/96 elsewhere, so I have some  confidence as to provenance.

 

As an aside, what  strikes me about the controversy surrounding MQA is that it's largely  just the particular vehicle of the moment for wider ongoing narratives that encompass audio as a whole, for example surrounding the provenance of masters or the tension between objective and subjective perspectives.

 

Having said all this, as a Classical listener at least,  the limited  content marks MQA out as more of a novelty than a serious format at present.  By contrast for  example, I do see SACD as a serious format for  the Classical listener.  Far from world domination, I reckon MQA's continued existence is fragile, probably 50/50 that it will be around at all in a year's time.

 

 

 

 

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To answer your questions directly, no you get both higher-resolution and less bandwidth usage with PCM compressed into a FLAC container.   Also DSD. (Pwm) is not proprietary to copy.

 

Soooo, unless you perceive MQA as a sound quality to tweak, what could possibly be its advantage for you as an musical consumer?

 

 

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

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52 minutes ago, crenca said:

To answer your questions directly, no you get both higher-resolution and less bandwidth usage with PCM compressed into a FLAC container.   Also DSD. (Pwm) is not proprietary to copy.

 

Soooo, unless you perceive MQA as a sound quality to tweak, what could possibly be its advantage for you as an musical consumer?

 

Hmmm...still confused.  Are you saying that MQA will play a flac file, but that it will be compressed and lossy file? 

It sounds like to me that it would be smaller than the flac file so it will consume less bandwidth and probably be superior to mp3 files....so it will likely be between SQ of mp3 and flac, but there will be bandwidth savings over the higher res files.

It may make sense if the bandwidth savings is substantial.

 

What would be the file size comparison of a flac file and same file that is compressed for MQA transmission? 

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1 hour ago, Norton said:

Beer, I can't make a technical reply to your query, but I've been playing around with MQA for a few days now.  Being able to stream great sounding 24/96 glitch-free over my sub optimal network to my non- MQA Esoteric DAC,  I think I "get"" MQA, particularly in the case of titles generally available only in 24/96 elsewhere, so I have some  confidence as to provenance.

 

As an aside, what  strikes me about the controversy surrounding MQA is that it's largely  just the particular vehicle of the moment for wider ongoing narratives that encompass audio as a whole, for example surrounding the provenance of masters or the tension between objective and subjective perspectives.

 

Having said all this, as a Classical listener at least,  the limited  content marks MQA out as more of a novelty than a serious format at present.  By contrast for  example, I do see SACD as a serious format for  the Classical listener.  Far from world domination, I reckon MQA's continued existence is fragile, probably 50/50 that it will be around at all in a year's time.

 

I think it will be around for awhile since I just read that WB bought in long term licensing agreements....whether it is popular or not, that may be the question (grin).  I personally know that I will never indulge, as i don't buy into music subscriptions, and have a decent sized DSD library, and would probably prefer playing flac for everything else over doing mqa anything.  The main reason i started the thread was that I was always curious why there is so much talk about MQA on this board, when i personally saw no use whatsoever for it...but as I was typing in another thread how the younger generation streams everything, that it dawned on me, that it may actually win over, if it offered flac quality SQ for mp3 bandwidth price.....

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42 minutes ago, beerandmusic said:

 

Hmmm...still confused.  Are you saying that MQA will play a flac file, but that it will be compressed and lossy file? 

It sounds like to me that it would be smaller than the flac file so it will consume less bandwidth and probably be superior to mp3 files....so it will likely be between SQ of mp3 and flac, but there will be bandwidth savings over the higher res files.

It may make sense if the bandwidth savings is substantial.

 

What would be the file size comparison of a flac file and same file that is compressed for MQA transmission? 

 

No :D

 

PCM (no matter the resolution) is a music encoding algorithm (i.e. math) technique that is software (PCM, DSD, MQA, FLAC, Android, Microsoft Windows - these are all examples of software), software that encodes audio (into digital information, 1's and 0's).

 

FLAC is a compression algorithm/software that compresses PCM such that when you uncompress it it is "bit perfect" and thus it is not "lossy".  

 

MQA (as well as mp3, AAC, etc.) is BOTH an encoding technique that also compresses.  It is a lossy technique (like mp3).  It is many other things as well (DRM, and "end to end" recording chain standard enforcer, part of the UN's UNICEF program, etc. etc.).  Not that it actually fulfills many of these promises.

 

It has been shown around here that a PCM file of equivalent bit depth and resolution compresses (using FLAC) better than MQA - so when you stated it your original post that "maybe it is better" (for bandwidth savings) than PCM/FLAC the opposite is true.  MQA claims all sorts of things about it being "high res" even though it is (by their own admission) at best 17 bits, probably less, that everything above 96k is oversampling, etc.  Sure, they give you a colored light and say that MQA is the "equivalent" of PCM 24/96, 24/192, etc. but those are just some of the marketing claims that prove to be voodoo once you dig a little deeper...

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

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