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In Reply to: RE: Gasp! More Jaws Dropping over MQA in Los Angeles! posted by ahendler on June 11, 2017 at 17:28:10
>> It costs him nothing extra. <<
Very true - for now. Which is puzzling to me. Clearly MQA files are more expensive than Redbook CD files, both to create (encoding costs), to store (larger file size), and to stream (roughly double the bandwidth of Redbook CD). Who is absorbing these added costs, and how long do you expect them to continue doing so?
>> I have done a lot of comparisons on the 2L site. When you compare the same master file in different resolutions including MQA the differences are very small. Certainly no jaw dropping experience. <<
Am I correct in inferring that "the differences were very small" not only applies to MQA, but also between extreme resolutions (eg, DXD) and "normal" high-resolution (eg, 96/24)?
"Which is puzzling to me. Clearly MQA files are more expensive than Redbook CD files, both to create (encoding costs), to store (larger file size), and to stream (roughly double the bandwidth of Redbook CD). Who is absorbing these added costs, and how long do you expect them to continue doing so?"
Yes, but maybe no. Note the question marks after each of my comments?
"Clearly MQA files are more expensive than Redbook CD files"
For whom? If the labels decide to encode the files and give them to TIDAL and charge them the same per-play then maybe not?
"Who is absorbing these added costs"
Guessing the labels? Otherwise TIDAL would have to raise their prices?
"(larger file size), and to stream (roughly double the bandwidth of Redbook CD)"
I thought that the selling point of MQA was that the encoding process 'folds' a 192/24 or 96/24 file into a 48/24 sized packet?
As to who pays?
I'm pretty sure I know the answer to THAT one. $20 a month is far from 'free' and streaming in one form or another is here to stay. Perhaps all of this is just market positioning and, like your cable TV bill, eventually the price goes up. =:-0
I think Tidal at least for now is not charging more for MQA because they are hoping to attract new subscribers
Regarding the 2L files, first my dac is the Audio-GD Master 7. It is a ladder dac using 8 1704 ladder dac chips. It is limited to 24/192. If I listen to the same DXD file in 16/44 24/96 24/192 and MQA there are small differences but again nothing jaw dropping. I could easily live with the 16/44 encoding. Remember the recording and masters of these 2L files is incredibly good to begin with. I may be close to the ultimate resolution of my system. Shindo preamp driving 2 Berning ZH270 amps driving Maggie 3.6 speakers. I am also 75 years old and I may be at the limits of my hearing resolutionalthough for example can still hear cable differences, even USB cables. I still know that ultimately it is the quality of the original recording and mastering that mainly determines how good a recording will sound
Thanks for the very clear and detailed explanation.
Your listening experiences match up very well with my own. To be more specific, if you have a great recording it will sound better on pretty much every system regardless of the delivery format. Furthermore when one has a great sounding D/A converter that the bit depth and sampling rate become less important. (In other words, I would rather listen to a 44/16 file through great DAC than a 192/24 file through a mediocre DAC.)
> > I think Tidal at least for now is not charging more for MQA because they are hoping to attract new subscribers < <
That would seem to be a reasonable view. It is unclear how many new subscribers MQA is creating for Tidal. Whether or not they are successful in attracting new subscribers it would seem to be only a matter of time before they will need to raise their rates to cover the increased costs of supporting MQA.
To the best of my knowledge there are two ways that Tidal could benefit financially from offering MQA. The first is any subsidies that MQA may be providing Tidal, which if true is likely to have a time limit. The second is that currently Tidal needs to store both FLAC and ALAC files to support both Android/Windows and Mac/iOS customers. The Tidal software app includes a FLAC decoder so that MQA files only need to be stored in one format. That could be advantageous if MQA virtually completely displaces tradition CD resolution files as their storage costs would be halved. But the same is also true if Apple supports FLAC in the future - iOS 11 is supposed to do so, due this fall.
As always, solely my opinions and not necessarily those of my employer or hearing aid specialist.
Then there's no going back. I'm strongly against our common cultural commons being co-opted by a third-party private company for their benefit.
It's rather like Nestlé deciding they can buy your water supply and common bodies of water and then selling it back to you. Why would you do that? For some dubious improvement? Do you think they're doing it for free? Really?
I suspect the labels are encoding (and paying a small license fee to MQA) their catalogs then sending the files on to TIDAL for steaming.
Just a guess.
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