MQA - DRM (trojan horse)

Read a really good article at Linn website; very thought provoking and got me to really think about the record industry and music. I was contemplating MQA as an audiophile, listening to TIDAL MQA songs, and I was not that impressed. SACD through PS Audio player is amazing into the DS DAC to BHK250… However, I was reading this article and it really got me thinking about MQA from a middleman point of view and control.


This was exactly the problem for many of us, independent of the questions about sonics and knowing the provenance of the source used for the remaster. Paul objected from day one as a manufacturer that MQA gets paid all along the line, and did not want to be forced into giving them access to PS’s DAC, not only as it’s proprietary but that it would and could tinker with the sound they had worked so hard to acheive.

If you haven’t read the thread(s) here, there’s a lot on it.

Sonically I’m not impressed with MQA; I’m streaming TIDAL MQA on a system that is very revealing and I can tell the differences between good and OK sound. This thread is not about SQ, it is about going backwards and all that entails. To me it is not about tinkering with the sound, it’s about controlling access using the term authentic. Anyone using that term controls access. Now Paul has discussed a communities trust of a manufacturer and it seems to me that the music community does not trust the music industry. In addition, when they get in bed with a codec that possess itself as authentication… that is a recipe for going backwards. I am canceling my hi-res portion of TIDAL today and hopefully many will follow so that MQA will die on the vine quickly. We need Paul to get this DSD approach up and running because I trust PS Audio a lot more than the music industry. And no, I don’t think MQA is hi-res and I never drank that cool-aid…

Yes - it may have gotten lost in the sauce of my response, but I was referring initially to the Trojan Horse aspect discussed in the article - and that to many of us, it looked like a disguised DRM grab for control of our (in most cases) duly purchased music going forward.

My guess would be that a bunch of us cancelling the hi-res portion of Tidal will only serve to speed the death of Tidal, and may have no impact on MQA at all. I frankly have difficulty imagining MQA surviving, but I’ve had difficulty predicting the future before ; )

Paul needs to get the studio and PS Audio solution up and running soon. I trust Paul, I don’t trust the music industry. After all we have went through to get out of that music industry cost model, they find a codec to use to get back in the game at better food chain profits… got to hand it to them, they are sure good at this game… :slight_smile: I like Tidal because it is easy w/ Mconnect. No having to buy another stupid Apple product (iPAD gen VI) to get Roon running. Mconnect used gen III iPAD. QNAP NAS over CAT7 into PS Audio DAC w/ Mconnect controlling TIDAL & NAS. Zero drama, zero additional cost… 10minutes to set up NAS and iPAD III Mconnect, streaming in 10minutes. Paul was right all along… really good article, lays it all out and never really discussed SQ and from a great audiophile company.

From what I’ve read it seems like the Major Labels are fully back in the Game, taking 80 or more percent of the proceeds from streaming services, etc. Took them a while to change horses, but it seems like it’s back to Business As Usual with regard to who is profiting (not the musicians, for the most part).

So does that mean that you no longer get access to 16/44, by canceling hi-rez on Tidal?
I am no fan of MQA but I do like having access to the best version I can get from Tidal.
Tidal needs to survive, I have already told them that I will go yo Quboz, if they don’t fix the lack of a way to fill a queue. I like being able to program an afternoon of music. Turns out by accident I did find a way to bring up a selection menu that includes adding to the queue.
I want to go to Quboz, but only if I can get their best SQ package with a monthly payment. Right now, it looks like you have to pay for a year in one payment, I can’t afford to do that.

I tried Quboz, not a real fan, love TIDAL GUI; however, not a lot of MQA content and what I have heard, nothing special. Adding to the que in TIDAL is really easy; I que up a few hrs of music. Non hi-res is FLAC streaming and I’m OK with that.

By far prefer Qobuz because of its great GUI, superb (HiRes) streaming quality and steep discount selling 24bit in all formats. Only use Tidal (hifi/mqa) for the few albums not available through Qobuz. Used in shared funtion with BubbleUPnP one can cue up music unlimited.

Streaming in 320kbps…why not move over to Spotify (largest catalog, great GUI and same bitrate)?

Tidal doesn’t have Add to Queue anymore, if you go to albums and just click on the options the “Add to Queue” is no longer there. I put in a service ticket, they will make a note of it. There is a way around it.
There is quite a lot of MQA, as to it’s quality, that varies. The two Charles Lloyd with The Marvels LPs sound great in MQA. So maybe it was used during recording…
Do you get 16/44, or not? 16/44 is Flac, I assume the rest is in MP3.
Cardi, where are you located that you tried Qobuz?

jeffstar - I use iPAD III for streaming NAS, TIDAL… TIDAL does have add to cue with my iPAD. If you have the basic $10 service, MP3 is what you get. High Resolution service streams FLAC (16/44 and higher) and ACC and MQA. I don’t see a lot of MQA albums in TIDAL. I live in AZ for the Qobuz question. I tried it for a few weeks and was not that impressed. Also, the songs were cut down in length; don’t know if that is a function of the trial usage.

I use Tidal’s desktop player and pay $19.99 a month. Not that it matters, as 16/44 can sound very good, but there is a lot of MQA on Tidal.
Seeing as Qobuz is not available in the States, you must have found a way around it. Their best service appears to be a yearly fee.
It doesn’t look like you can’t get Qobuz true hi-rez on their trial. On Paul’s Posts we have some guys from Europe and they all speak highly of Qobuz, especially compared to Tidal.
As to the “Add to Queue” we are probably using different versions of their player. In the past I defended Tidal’s customer service, but last time it took over 2 weeks to get back to me.

Qobuz is scheduled to go live in the United States in October.

jeffstar - I do not see a lot of MQA on TIDAL. I have the hi res subscription ($19.95). At best there are about 25 albums under the Masters section. I went to my TIDAL desktop on my office desktop to make sure it was not iPAD vs. desktop and the same thing. Where are you are you seeing a lot of MQA on TIDAL? Qobuz - yes, I hear it is scheduled to go live in USA this fall; I got a trial subscription last month and the songs were cut short (may be trial) and the GUI did not seem as good as TIDAL. I guess I will try again this fall. I love TIDAL’s GUI; very easy to search and find good music. I was really into 2 channel 30 years ago and you had to talk to a lot of audiophiles and go to LP stores and really spend a lot of time researching content. I just got a new 2 channel and I love this streaming. I thought I was going to have buy a lot of SACDs and CDs with my new DS Memory Player and I now sit in my music room with my laptop searching for different musicians and new music. This 2nd time around on 2 channel I am really enjoying a vastness of music I never dreamed possible with instantaneous access to >50M songs and my 8GB NAS for $20/month. For instance, I’m getting into acoustic guitarists so I do a search on my laptop for them and see 16 of the best. I then plug them into the TIDAL search engine and listen to them all. I came across Jesse Cook in my search and would have never thought of listening to nuevo flamingo music and he is amazing. The point I’m trying to make is that 30 years ago it was all about socializing to gather content. Now content is at your finger tips and it is truly amazing.

There are over 2000 MQA albums on TIDAL according to this list:

tmurray1 -thank you so much; will be camping out on that list. Weird, I only see 25 albums in the Masters Selection. Is there a way to access these albums in the TIDAL GUI, or just by search and having this list? Looking to use the GUI as much as possible.

I’m not quite sure where you’re looking but there appears to be thousands in my Tidal Desktop App.

watchdog507 - not disputing the numbers, trying to ascertain access. I can easily use tmurray1’s list and search them out, that is one approach. Where in the desktop app are there thousands to select from? i.e., TIDAL MASTER… where in the GUI?

Where in this desktop GUI?

watchdog507 - think I found out the desktop issue. I’ve been running this TIDAL app on iPAD III and have been able to access the TIDAL Masters; however, on the desktop app (never use), it says I have to download tidalsetup.exe to allow MQA when I look at what I’m streaming. I download it and all it does is blink for 2-3min so I quit the file execution. So, there are (2) questions:

  1. What is up with the tidalsetup execution?
  2. Where are all the TIDAL Masters using the iPAD III and Mconnect as player?