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In Reply to: RE: MQA posted by slartybardfast on June 02, 2017 at 23:51:17
A good question but , taken literally, it cannot conform to the redbook standard as that does not relate to any media platform other than CD and , insofar as the data aspects are concerend is limited to 16/44.1( redbook covers many other aspects including disc dimensions, player output voltage etc.)
Is it compatible with 16 bit systems though? Apparently, yes, as Bob Stuart has said that use with 16 bit systems is feasible and a small Japanese label has produced an MQA encoded CD. Again that cannot conform to redbook standard but may be, in some way, compatible. I do not know how one is supposed to play it though, at least in a standard redbook standard CD player as any information beyond 16/44.1 will not be decoded even if it can be read (if). I can only imagine the use of such a CD as a source within a computer audio system . And of course the data file could be downloaded to such a system (the label does provide a download) so its entire purpose defeats me.
So redbook standard per se? No, although the non MQA data could be playable and may sound better due the the "deblurring" process. MQA decoded - no , not redbook and not 16/44.1 either as the sample rate would be higher than 44.1. So even if it could be decoded the playback system will need to handle sample rates higher than those specified in the redbook standard.
Of course, so far in practice and overlooking that quirky Japanese CD, MQA seems mainly to be available within a 24 bit " wrapper".
Chesky records is coming out with an MQA CD
Only if you want to decode the MQA info. Otherwise it will play like a standar cd
In the true sense of the red book standard I understand 'no', but the reason I asked the question (playing the devil's advocate), if encoding with MQA can be/ deemed similar in practice as HDCD why do it when we already have media that can handle higher bit rates and if encoded properly (ie effective usage of space available) you can store high resolution files (higher word lengths/DSD bit rate etc) why create MQA?... 'cash cow'?!
MQA would have been more suitable as being part of a codec for digital radio... DAB/DAB+ ! Instead of the lossy codec entrenched in those systems. Here in Australia various radio stations run self promotion of the transmission type you can receive their signal. Now they advertise 'digital quality' as the big plus for acquiring a digital radio capable of receiving that transmission. Initially they advertised DAB+ broadcasts as 'CD quality'... which in reality it is not.
I must admit I do not fully understand the technological aspects of the implementation of MQA, but something inside me is telling me 'cash cow'! and with the take up by various music conglomerates of the 'process' and having to pay licence fees, the result will be that we the consumer will be paying more for nothing as they pass on the cost of those licencing fees. Ultimately these costs would accelerate the demise of any physical media..... CD/SACD/DVD-A (which is virtually gone anyway but was mismanaged by the consortium that oversaw it's implementation to which Meridian was a consortium member).
I think that your doubts as to the actual purpose of MQA are the same as I expressed here or on PC Audio a few months ago.
In my more skeptical moments I too think " cash cow". However I think that what has happened is that whilst MQA was developing and marketing its big idea the world has moved on.
MQA was announced just under 3 years ago. However there must have been a long period of development in the years before to produce a workable product.
If we go back then , say, for six years, the technical environment for internet music services was quite different for many people. In Meridian's (i.e. MQA's) home environment of the UK many people still only had dial up internet services and even those with broadband had comparatively slow lines with capped data. In those days a system of squashing lots of data into a small space must have appeared very attractive.
Since then the provision of high speed data to homes in the developed world has improved significantly and techniques for more efficent use of bandwidth have also shown considerable gains. Thus what was a good idea 6 years ago now looks to have little purpose except, perhaps, for developing countries. Metaphorically, the tide seems to have gone out.
Irrespective of the number of MQA equipped bits of hardware announced recently, MQA's main problem seems to me to be the fact that it has almost no distribution channels. Tidal and a handful of boutique record lables providing MQA downloads do not make a succesful media platform.
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