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Topic: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh (Read 4223 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #1

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #2
That Billboard article in lssy-cmprssn version:
                  
You can unfold the missing bits.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #3
I had the idea of buying MQA and renaming it to SOA. Sadly I don't have the funds for that. Maybe HydrogenAudio can help. 🫣

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #4
It smells but isn't rotten yet.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #5
The news was actually out last week I see: https://www.strata-gee.com/mqa-limited-enters-administration-in-u-k-similar-to-chapter-11-bankruptcy/
Financial details pictured below are from that article ... I wonder, how much should it really cost to run that business? Turnover of half a million plus, that covers interest payable and then a little bit more, but just a tiny fraction of the £4.5 million in administrative expenses.
I would kinda have expected this to just run and do nothing but milking the Tidal market.


Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #6
What's the next sca..m for Audiophiles?  :))
Spread those bits around...😋

 

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #7
What's the next sca..m for Audiophiles?  :))

Let's see what Meridian comes up with next.

I love how they invented MLP and got inserted as the required audio format for DVD-A.

Then they made MQA. They must have seen the writing on the wall and spun them off as their own company.

What always amazed me is that MQA is lossy audio. And "audiophiles" that have spent the last decade decrying lossy audio as sonically inferior all praised MQA and superior to anything else they've ever heard, including lossless FLAC.

MQA tried to get itself inserted into the Bluetooth stack as an available A2DP codec. Thank God Bluetooth SIG rejected the codec.

I think the next frontier for snake oil will be in wireless. Apple has been repeatedly saying that they want "more bandwidth" for wireless audio. I'm curious if Apple will try to squeeze more out of Bluetooth of it they'll eventually come up with other wireless technology for their headphones.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #8
I love how they invented MLP and got inserted as the required audio format for DVD-A.
Uh, aside the sweet scent of sarcasm, can you offer some further information?
I find this news report that MLP was adopted by the relevant DVD working group early August 1998.

Early August 1998 there was no FLAC. Nor WavPack - which was apparently released as 1.0 within the next couple of weeks. From xiphmont's home page at the MIT - I just archived a Google chache of it - there was a public beta of OggSquish in 1996, but still. When Josh Coalson started comparing codecs with FLAC betas,  You got any indication that it was even ready for consideration by 1998 and that anybody even submitted it for consideration? To get you an idea, this is the earliest Wayback Machine version of Josh Coalson's comparison used in FLAC development: http://web.archive.org/web/20010210194157/http://flac.sourceforge.net/comparison.html

And this was two years and a half earlier. Done licensing deal with Dolby (that is "convenient" in that industry I guess ... but who knows whether there was much of a working code   O:) )


Then they made MQA. They must have seen the writing on the wall and spun them off as their own company.
A separate company sounds reasonable when partnering with some venture fund, no walls graffiti'ed yet.

I think the next frontier for snake oil will be in wireless. Apple has been repeatedly saying that they want "more bandwidth" for wireless audio. I'm curious if Apple will try to squeeze more out of Bluetooth of it they'll eventually come up with other wireless technology for their headphones.
MQAir. News of less than half a year ago on some Japan Audio Society certification: https://www.whathifi.com/news/mqa-announces-new-hi-res-mqair-codec-for-wireless-devices

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #9
Financial details pictured below are from that article ... I wonder, how much should it really cost to run that business?
Indeed. 4.5 million a year is quite a lot. Would that be all marketing and buttering up people? I'd think programming tools or something like that wouldn't be called 'administrative expense'.
Music: sounds arranged such that they construct feelings.


Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #11
Financial details pictured below are from that article ... I wonder, how much should it really cost to run that business?
Indeed. 4.5 million a year is quite a lot. Would that be all marketing and buttering up people? I'd think programming tools or something like that wouldn't be called 'administrative expense'.

True, check out their company hierarchy, there aren't more than a few people there with engineering or audio expertise, not even technical, you could count them all on fingers.. otoh, marketing , public person, customer relations, label management and what not

they got a person for each aspect of business, not the actual product development.. the thing to note about them is, their marketing head is on record for saying that Labels giving out 24 bit 192khz or the exact mastering session files would be akin to some royalty handing out their crown jewels... which when coincided with the lossy nature of MQA, strict hardware DRM, and that lossy file being marketed as the Master session files, connects a lot of dots with that 'crown jewels' theory

Even bob stuart is on record, from a few years ago, saying that 24-192 is all that the human ear could ever need to capture everything in sonic, and then MQA is created because 24-192 was suddenly not enough...

Anyways, good to see a step in the right direction for such morally ambiguous people.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #12
I love how they invented MLP and got inserted as the required audio format for DVD-A.
Uh, aside the sweet scent of sarcasm, can you offer some further information?
I find this news report that MLP was adopted by the relevant DVD working group early August 1998.

Couldn't a DVD-A just contain raw PCM? Was MLP really required?

But this shows that Meridian was successful at creating a codec and getting it inserted into a standard. So, I think they tried it again with MQA, and went the Dolby route by trying to own the whole stack from recording to distribution.

Quote
MQAir. News of less than half a year ago on some Japan Audio Society certification: https://www.whathifi.com/news/mqa-announces-new-hi-res-mqair-codec-for-wireless-devices

MQAir was rejected by Bluetooth SIG. Thank God.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #13
Financial details pictured below are from that article ... I wonder, how much should it really cost to run that business?
Indeed. 4.5 million a year is quite a lot. Would that be all marketing and buttering up people? I'd think programming tools or something like that wouldn't be called 'administrative expense'.

Getting Stereophile magazine to praise your work as the greatest thing to happen to digital audio doesn't come cheap, I guess.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #14
Couldn't a DVD-A just contain raw PCM?
Sure. But with compressed and uncompressed audio available, what is the case against a compression that is lossless?
Was MLP really required?
First answer is "no", they could have chosen some competitor. And that poses the question back at you: why that "love how they invented MLP and got inserted as the required audio format for DVD-A"? Was it up to them to decide?


Now of course the whole series of format wars will beg the question whether DVD-Audio was really required. Apparently the need wasn't that urgent. (Did it help kill SACD? If so, was that bad or good?)
Anyway, let's just assume there would be a "DVD-family" format for audio that DVD-V couldn't carry. Rephrase the question: is there a case for lossless compression? (Again I think that question is dumb: why not have lossless compression when you can have lossy compression? But nevermind ...)
Capacity constraints:
DVD-V cannot transfer audio above 6144 kbit/s. 5.1 in 48kHz/20-bit is OK uncompressed - in DVD-V. And DVD-A has higher audio transfer rate than DVD-V - yet AFAIK the next step up, 88.2/20 would not be possible uncompressed in 5.1. (5.1 in 96/16 can go uncompressed on a DVD-A.)
So you can argue that 88.2/20 is not necessary, that DVD-A is not necessary - but given that there would be a DVD-A and that it would allow 96/24 in 5.1 (because DVD-V does that!), one would either have to wait for higher transfer rates - or compress.

Then of course there is storage capacity per disc. You can fit around 2 hours of 5.1 in 48/16 uncompressed. For full "double live albums" that could already be a constraint.
And furthermore, DVD-A supports a subset of the DVD-V features, enough for a layer to play back on DVD-V-only players. Again a marketing necessity. I would be surprised if https://www.discogs.com/release/3783340-Mike-Oldfield-Tubular-Bells-2003 could be fit on the disc uncompressed. (It has three separate 5.1 streams. And two stereos.)

With those capacity constraints in mind, why the heck make the executive decision that lossless compression is a no-no?

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #15
With those capacity constraints in mind, why the heck make the executive decision that lossless compression is a no-no?

I mean it comes down to one question, what is more expensive on the system, I/O or compression.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #16
Sure, but DVD-V players already needed to decompress. In principle you could design a new format and presume weaker hardware, but ... why? (Did anyone say "less licenses to pay"? Having consumers pay is the purpose of a commercial format.)

Also, there is a feature of MLP, namely wasted bits - used to decimate the signal to save space. You got a 24-bit signal that is too big, what to do? Zero out the two least significant bits to make the compressed file smaller. Hey, what is the chance that the user will hear the difference? The first time I even heard about it was in one of ktf's lossless comparisons. (Earliest version that mentions it here.)
But, that wasted bits option - and it being used - shows that the storage constraint is real. And that is a case for compression.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #17
DVD-A eventually morphed into DAD, which I think used raw LPCM. I own one disc, where side 1 is 24/92 audio and the other side is 24/192 audio. Both are unnecessary. I bought the disc because it is a unique remaster that wasn't available or in CD quality.

Now we have Blu-Ray audio, which I liked the idea of, just for the insane storage. I'd love it buy a Blu-Ray audio of an artist's complete discography that contains all remasters and remixes on one disc.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #18
On a related note about MQA, I read that MQA's biggest customer was Tidal. And Tidal has all but announced they're dumping MQA and switching to hi-res lossless.

If Tidal had already told MQA they're not renewing their deal, MQA may have filed for bankruptcy because of that.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #19
And Tidal has all but announced they're dumping MQA and switching to hi-res lossless.
I have seen that before, so I dug for sources. There is a pretty good one actually - Tidal's CEO, who this week held an AMA at Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/TIdaL/comments/12hr68f/ama_w_jesse_tidal/

Quite clear words:
Quote
So many questions about MQA and hi-resolution audio. I hope we don't spend all of our time on audio format details, but it's an AMA and you're asking.
TIDAL has cared about high quality and even experimental audio formats long before it was cool or common among music streamers. Why? Because artists take care when making their art and they want/hope to present their work in the best light (whatever they think that is exactly). We also live in a world that is mobile-dominated and mobile phones have constraints in memory, data plans, coverage maps - so there's always a consideration for the customer's need between more quality and more bandwidth/storage efficiency.

Breaking news for my reddit peeps: we will be introducing hi-res FLAC for our HiFi Plus subscribers soon. It's lossless and an open standard. It's a big file, but we'll give you controls to dial this up and down based on what's going on.

So they are probably going to try to push another "improved" master on us.
Downside: this time with lots of inaudible bits.
Upside: maybe someone will take the opportunity to, every now and then, make a new post-loudnesswar master. Wouldn't hurt. Occasionally it may sound worse, but since this isn't mastering for radio, I have a hunch that they won't put actual effort into making it worse. For the majority of the music they will put near-zero effort in a lazy mechanical upconvert of the same audible quality.
Upside: RIP MQA

Not complaining.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #20
Apple has been doing the "Apple Digital Master" thing for a while. A lot of Apple Digital Masters seem to have more dynamic range than the equivalent releases on CD and other streaming services.

So, some artists are already creating a unique master for Apple. No reason they couldn't use that same master for Tidal. It's not any extra effort on their part.

I have an recent album I bought on CD that has an Apple Digital Master releases on Apple Music. I haven't tried to blind test between the two. But I should be able to easily tell if one is louder than the other. Just need to find my DVD-ROM and hook it up to my laptop.

If Tidal is talking about the "best quality music," then having high dynamic range masters may be a good niche market for them. People are already going to Tidal, because they're expecting higher quality music.

I agree about MQA. Good riddance. Anything that removes patented technologies that require a royalty payment from recorded music is a good thing. When you add killing snake oil to that list, it's even better.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #21
It smells but isn't rotten yet.
Yes, there are still things like this show up from time to time, pretty funny though:
https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/30381-mqa-is-vaporware/page/1046/#comment-1253071
Just listen to the lossy Youtube clip in the quote box, don't even need to download any flac file for further investigation.

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #22
Means if you have a multi thousand dollar sound system the MQA stereo version may sound better as the mono version? Impressive!
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #23
It smells but isn't rotten yet.
Yes, there are still things like this show up from time to time, pretty funny though:
https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/30381-mqa-is-vaporware/page/1046/#comment-1253071
Just listen to the lossy Youtube clip in the quote box, don't even need to download any flac file for further investigation.
Wow
And why does it happen? These people get paid to spread such an obvious bullcrap, I guess?
a fan of AutoEq + Meier Crossfeed

Re: MQA files for bankruptcy. The end is nigh

Reply #24
Pretty sure there are (were?) paid shills.

Recently, I suppose many victims (customers / retailers with a lot of stock) want to get rid of their MQA hardware ASAP and therefore made such a desperate fraud?