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MQA Deep Dive - I published music on tidal to test MQA

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UKPI

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This is confusing. So MQA encryption (or "authentication" or whatever) is also happening in the CD quality lossless streaming/downloads? Shouldn't be that surprising since MQA CDs already exist.
 

GDK

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That must be a recent development. There used to be none whatsoever.
It happened a few months ago. It all stems from the Great Warner Music MQA Dump, when they replaced all of their albums on Tidal with MQA versions, removing the FLAC alternatives.
 

nimar

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Limited value, but it seems if nothing else MQA is able to catch some bullshitters out.

https://listen.tidal.com/album/79152269 Claims to be 24/192 but it seems there was never a 24/192 transfer done of these albums so its simply upsampled (and then converted to MQA)

Whilst https://listen.tidal.com/album/77686187 is actually 24/96 (converted to MQA) and registers as "MQA Studio". Rather similar to Pono's attempt to verify authenticity of versions.

At the end of the day all I hope to get from Tidal's MQA offering is as close to the original master as possible, I don't particularly care about the rest of the marketing. I just want to get the most out of my tidal subscription as there are no alternative hi res services in Canada.
 

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dmac6419

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Limited value, but it seems if nothing else MQA is able to catch some bullshitters out.

https://listen.tidal.com/album/79152269 Claims to be 24/192 but it seems there was never a 24/192 transfer done of these albums so its simply upsampled (and then converted to MQA)

Whilst https://listen.tidal.com/album/77686187 is actually 24/96 (converted to MQA) and registers as "MQA Studio". Rather similar to Pono's attempt to verify authenticity of versions.

At the end of the day all I hope to get from Tidal's MQA offering is as close to the original master as possible, I don't particularly care about the rest of the marketing. I just want to get the most out of my tidal subscription as there are no alternative hi res services in Canada.
another expert,did you contact the record label?
 

nimar

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another expert,did you contact the record label?

Both issues are from the same label, and the release notes for the 24/192 version mention they are from the SACD version which one can only assume are the existing "authenticated" 24/96 versions. Otherwise why "authenticate" the 24/96 version but not the 24/192, likely because its not true to the original mastering.

Sure this is speculation, but it does give a smidgin of value to the studio master flag.
 

dmac6419

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Both issues are from the same label, and the release notes for the 24/192 version mention they are from the SACD version which one can only assume are the existing "authenticated" 24/96 versions. Otherwise why "authenticate" the 24/96 version but not the 24/192, likely because its not true to the original mastering.

Sure this is speculation, but it does give a smidgin of value to the studio master flag.
But did you contact the record labels?
 

Grooved

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Some time ago, I used a virtual sound card to capture snippets from over 100 MQA tracks. Every single one was 24-bit. They might of course have added huge numbers of 16-bit MQA since then, but I seriously doubt it. I suggest you double-check your method, because there's probably a mistake somewhere if you're seeing mostly 16-bit files.

I confirm that majority was, and still is 24-bit, but since the Warner catalog was added as MQA, there way more 16-bit MQA file than before.
And they are also some strange things on some of these files (see my anwser to the other post below)

This is due to the "unfolding" process.

The first unfold upsamples/unfolds the 16/44.1k file to typically 24 bit 88.2khz. Hence why your recordings (and the later recordings in my post) are 24 bit

View attachment 121446

You can see here the original is 16 bit but it's 'decoded' to 24 bit 88.2khz

Tidal's player does the first unfold unless you explicitly tell it not to

Two things to note :
- I'm pretty sure the 16 to 24 conversion is just an order from recognizing the file as MQA, but there is not 24 bit data in the file (see below why).
- I noticed some strange things on tracks coming from Warner catalog since December or so, some were only in FLAC 16/44.1 before that, and once they added MQA version were only in MQA (which explain why when you set Tidal in HiFi option, a MQA stream was send to the DAC and is was decoded by the DAC, I can confirm it : Tidal was showing Hifi, but my DAC was showing MQA and lighting Green), and are no back to FLAC 16/44.1
More important, they had the exact same file size (easy to check by clearing your chache folder, then playing only this file and check the new size of cache folder, and I did it several times since at least one year ago, confirming it with analysing network tool that tells the exact size of the incoming packets).
This made me suspect that these (maybe not all) new Warner MQA (for those in 16 bit) were the FLAC version with just an MQA tag to make the core decoder processing it to 24 bit and upsampling it, with certainly adding the filter used in the MQA process.
As long as it's MQA tagged, the core decoder upsampling x2, except if you choose an wasapi output that can use these sample rate (most SPDIF output on PC motherboard can't do 88.2 or 176.4 for example, and in this case, Tidal app sees it, and Core decoder leaves the file in 44.1)
 

awdeeoh

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One thing is for sure.

Some MQA encoded albums on Tidal are changing and they sounded different.

I got a 1st gen MQA of Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (192kHz source) and it's way too different compared to the current one offered in Tidal.
 
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GoldenOne

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I am currently working on a video investigating MQA and the performance of the "Unfolding" technique.
For this I had some tracks published on tidal, in MQA. These tracks contained various test signals such as impulse response, square wave, white noise, multitone, and even the entire RMAA test sequence.

After collecting all evidence and documenting all the discovered issues (some of which have not yet been discussed elsewhere), I contacted MQA to give them a chance to comment prior to this video (and post here) going live, and to discuss it further if needed, or to do further testing if they felt there was an issue.

They have not responded to me, BUT, they have had my tracks pulled from Tidal, and have spoken to the publisher I used to have them block me.


The tracks are still up on some sites such as Deezer, and I have the MQA encoded files saved as well as analog recordings of a full-decode. And I will share these in the final post and video so that others can look into them.

But for now, I'm just posting this quickly in order to inform people that MQA's response to me reaching out, rather than publishing without getting their side, was to attempt to censor me, and I want to ask that a few people confirm the track's presence on services before it is fully gone, such that they cannot later claim it was never there (though as mentioned, I do still have the MQA encoded files anyway).
If you go in roon and search for "The Callout" by GoldenSound, you will still see that it shows as being on Tidal, in MQA in their DB. Though I'm sure this will not be for long.

The tracks have been removed from tidal, but are still up on other services. They will likely be gone from there soon too.
The video and post, as well as the tracks themselves, should hopefully prove quite useful for anyone wanting to look further into what MQA is doing.

For a company which has nothing to hide, this sure is a very hostile way of responding to criticism.



 

dmac6419

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I am currently working on a video investigating MQA and the performance of the "Unfolding" technique.
For this I had some tracks published on tidal, in MQA. These tracks contained various test signals such as impulse response, square wave, white noise, multitone, and even the entire RMAA test sequence.

After collecting all evidence and documenting all the discovered issues (some of which have not yet been discussed elsewhere), I contacted MQA to give them a chance to comment prior to this video (and post here) going live, and to discuss it further if needed, or to do further testing if they felt there was an issue.

They have not responded to me, BUT, they have had my tracks pulled from Tidal, and have spoken to the publisher I used to have them block me.


The tracks are still up on some sites such as Deezer, and I have the MQA encoded files saved as well as analog recordings of a full-decode. And I will share these in the final post and video so that others can look into them.

But for now, I'm just posting this quickly in order to inform people that MQA's response to me reaching out, rather than publishing without getting their side, was to attempt to censor me, and I want to ask that a few people confirm the track's presence on services before it is fully gone, such that they cannot later claim it was never there (though as mentioned, I do still have the MQA encoded files anyway).
If you go in roon and search for "The Callout" by GoldenSound, you will still see that it shows as being on Tidal, in MQA in their DB. Though I'm sure this will not be for long.

The tracks have been removed from tidal, but are still up on other services. They will likely be gone from there soon too.
The video and post, as well as the tracks themselves, should hopefully prove quite useful for anyone wanting to look further into what MQA is doing.

For a company which has nothing to hide, this sure is a very hostile way of responding to criticism.



How did you encode them to MQA? I thought it was a closed format.
 
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GoldenOne

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Which one?
Not going to say just in case MQA or said publisher tries to accuse me of intent to cause damage by naming them (which is absolutely not the case). But on MQA's site there is a page that has information about who to contact if you'd like to release music in MQA
 

dmac6419

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Not going to say just in case MQA or said publisher tries to accuse me of intent to cause damage by naming them (which is absolutely not the case). But on MQA's site there is a page that has information about who to contact if you'd like to release music in MQA

Anyway I like listening to my music 320,14/44,MQA,etc this is all non sense to me,don't like MQA don't use it,I don't like peas so I don't eat em,simple ain't it.
 

voodooless

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I am currently working on a video investigating MQA and the performance of the "Unfolding" technique.
For this I had some tracks published on tidal, in MQA. These tracks contained various test signals such as impulse response, square wave, white noise, multitone, and even the entire RMAA test sequence

Major hat's off for this accomplishment! Looking forward to the dissection of MQA. Your track is still on Spotify. There even seems to be a deluxe version on there :cool: Did you only provide a 44.1 kHz version to the publisher, or also a high-res one?
 
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GoldenOne

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Major hat's off for this accomplishment! Looking forward to the dissection of MQA. Your track is still on Spotify. There even seems to be a deluxe version on there :cool: Did you only provide a 44.1 kHz version to the publisher, or also a high-res one?
I provided two versions. The normal one was from a 44.1khz master and the deluxe version was from an 88.2khz master so that I could look at what's going on in all situations
 

nimar

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I provided two versions. The normal one was from a 44.1khz master and the deluxe version was from an 88.2khz master so that I could look at what's going on in all situations

Nice approach, funnily I think I saw that track pop up
I am currently working on a video investigating MQA and the performance of the "Unfolding" technique.
For this I had some tracks published on tidal, in MQA. These tracks contained various test signals such as impulse response, square wave, white noise, multitone, and even the entire RMAA test sequence.

After collecting all evidence and documenting all the discovered issues (some of which have not yet been discussed elsewhere), I contacted MQA to give them a chance to comment prior to this video (and post here) going live, and to discuss it further if needed, or to do further testing if they felt there was an issue.

They have not responded to me, BUT, they have had my tracks pulled from Tidal, and have spoken to the publisher I used to have them block me.


The tracks are still up on some sites such as Deezer, and I have the MQA encoded files saved as well as analog recordings of a full-decode. And I will share these in the final post and video so that others can look into them.

But for now, I'm just posting this quickly in order to inform people that MQA's response to me reaching out, rather than publishing without getting their side, was to attempt to censor me, and I want to ask that a few people confirm the track's presence on services before it is fully gone, such that they cannot later claim it was never there (though as mentioned, I do still have the MQA encoded files anyway).
If you go in roon and search for "The Callout" by GoldenSound, you will still see that it shows as being on Tidal, in MQA in their DB. Though I'm sure this will not be for long.

The tracks have been removed from tidal, but are still up on other services. They will likely be gone from there soon too.
The video and post, as well as the tracks themselves, should hopefully prove quite useful for anyone wanting to look further into what MQA is doing.

For a company which has nothing to hide, this sure is a very hostile way of responding to criticism.



I swear I saw this album pop up on new releases on tidal and thought it was odd it only had two tracks. I think I even listened to one of the tracks. Shame you didn't post it here before letting MQA know.

Pretty hilarious that people asked for such samples for so long and all it took was to bundle them into some music and let them kindly encode them for you.
 

Mnyb

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Fun shenanigans , the only thing a streaming services has to do is just to stream 24/96 and be done with it. if that's what's their hires tier customers wants (24/48 if that's the highest res master for the album )
 
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