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RE: "desiring that DAC manufacturers should go this route (for a licensing fee of course)"...

>> it turns out that MQA is little more than an attempt to license a digital filter? <<

I don't think that is a complete picture. Originally it was promoted as a way to reduce the file size of high-res files. It clearly does so for sampling rates of 2x or greater, through the use of lossy encoding techniques. This is a clear benefit for streaming service providers, but less so for their subscribers - they are charged by data transfer volumes, whereas most consumers pay extra only for higher speeds, regardless of overall transfer volume. (If one considers single-rate (eg, 44.1kHz and 48kHz) files with 24 bits of resolution as "high-res", MQA would seem to be less successful at reducing file size.)

Later it seemed MQA's goals expanded to "improving" the sound quality over the original high-res digital file. This is the aspect to which your comment appears to be aimed.

Finally MQA also appears to provide a means for the record labels to re-deploy DRM, at least for resolutions above 4x/16.

As always, solely my personal opinions, prone to error and not necessarily those of my employer or legal counsel.

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