[Music] HiFi Quality: Master Quality Authenticated Lossless Streaming (MQA)

I'm a proud Spotify Premium subscriber. Also a proud audiophile with a sound system to die for. Please Spotify, Please Please Please give the world lossless streaming through your vast catalogue and music-loving community service. The MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) idea is an option the world should have. It has the potential to stream high-quality audio without hiccups or burps to everyone! Please Please Please make the audio world a better place!

Updated on 2018-12-12

Hey folks,



 

Thanks for coming to the Community, and adding your vote to this idea!



 

We're setting this idea to 'Not Right Now', as this isn't something we have any immediate plans to implement. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

 

If we do have any new info to share, rest assured we'll check back in here with a new status.

 



Thanks.

Comments
HenrikStevn
Gig Goer

The point is that Spotify's quality is already beyond the limits of human hearing. You're overpaying for snake oil.

hauxon
Newbie

@HenrikStevn wrote:

The point is that Spotify's quality is already beyond the limits of human hearing. You're overpaying for snake oil.

 


You're both right and wrong.  In most cases you will not be able to hear the difference between Spotify high quality streaming and unaltered 16/44.  The key here is the word "unaltered".  Why bother messing with the source if it's only to save minimal bandwidth.  We customers, audio enthusiast just want a source that hasn't been tempered with, no loudness eq or compression.  Just what was released by the artist and the sound engineers. 

 

That's in my opinion the main argument for MQA.  Not if higher sample definition or frequencies have any "real" impact on sound but rather a certificate of authentic source that has not been messed with by employees of a third party streaming service.

HenrikStevn
Gig Goer

Uncompressed CD audio is ~1.4Mbps, a lossless copy is ~700-1,100Kbps, Spotify at its highest setting is 320Kbps. That is a very significent difference in bandwidth. Considering the number of Spotify users, increasing the outgoing bandwidth demands by 2-3x represents a big increase in cost for Spotify.

 

There is no loudness, EQ nor compression applied by Spotify.

 

On the other hand with MQA, you send your source files to MQA, they apply some process you cannot get any information on, and they return MQA-encoded tracks to you, but you have no idea what kind of processing they apply.

seamuswarren
Casual Listener
Maybe ultra high/low frequencies beyond human hearing may be sensed in other ways - pressure waves reverberated in a physical space.

I think the human body can be a sort of antenna perhaps detecting/sensing those ambient vibrations.

At a live performance of a samba troop, we can physically feel drumbeats passing through our torso like a heart beat... or the cellos and bass at the Opera House - the vibrations passing through us.

It’s visceral. Sensual. 🤪👍🏼😱



...or maybe we can just raise the volume. 🤪👍🏼
Adoteq
Newbie

Mp3 eg 320kbps, sound annoying after listening about 45 minutes, CD quality sounds annoying after a few hours. Also, because of compression, mp3 or 320 source sounds like there is a chorus fx applied. I hear the difference between 320, 1400 or even lossess 24 bit 192khz. I even listened one time to a 24bit 384khz sound recording and heard the difference with 192khz. I did this on akai am93 with magnat suprême 2000 speakers, speakers which are only 150 euro each. Especially the high tones sound better at 384khz. But they still don’t sound the same as original!!! 

HenrikStevn
Gig Goer

@Adoteq

I'm sorry, but that is just absolute hogwash, completely and utterly unsupportable by any credible science or evidence. But the placebo effect is very strong. In a double blind test, you would be utterly unable to distinguish between the formats you mentioned. That shows that the difference is not in the audio perceived by your ears, it exists only in your head, because of placebo.

 

A higher sample rate only gives you very limited benefits. It gives you frequency response way beyond human hearing, and it gives you slightly lower latency when recording and editing. Both of these are completely irrelevant for audio playback, however.

Rock Star 16
Rock Star 16

I love reading these lossless audio conversations.

 

Anyway. I am sitting on a Focusrite Scarlett interface with K712 being my headphones. I am sure there are better setups, but I love where I am at. Best audio I have had so far.

Spotify sounds way better than any hq Youtube videos.
I don't really hear any difference between Spotify Premium and my local library (mostly .wav and other lossless formats). Except when you accidentally blast yourself with very loud music because you listened to something that was very quiet. Lossless sounds mindblowingly pure. On Spotify it's a little less exciting to accidentally blast yourself.

 

I have decided to obtain lossless media for artists I love. I don't want to stream lossless. Do you have any idea how much bandwidth it takes?
I mean, for those on limitless connection it's no biggie, but I used to be on a package that was 30gb/month. It went so fast with Youtube I almost stopped using that service (I downloaded Amon Tobin interviews as these took most of YT time.. lol).

I can't deny there's some inherent purity with .wav, .aiff and such formats when compared to lossy media, but I reserve the excitement to music purchases. (besides 'how will it sound like?' I also have the 'what bit depth are these files coming in?')
I have no experience with MQA. Reading the Reddit thread and seeing Schiit has spoken out against it, I don't want it either. Schiit the company is something I'd trust.
I detect no audible difference between 16 and 24bits. I even have 2 files in 32bit float (thanks...). It's nice to have them though 😉

hauxon
Newbie

We will always have somebody like HenrikStevn above to tell us what we can hear and not.  But he's right the difference is tiny and for many most negliable.  Digital audio reproduction is very dependent on DAC quality and implementation and of course quality of the amplifiers and speakers.  Most people have never heard music played through high quality hifi audio so they won't be able to differentiate becasue their equipment is lacklusture. 

 

I took part in recording an album few years ago where everything was recorded 24/192.  We (the musicians) could easily hear the difference between the original 24/192 and downsampled 16/44.  Not that the 16/44 sounded bad it just didn't sound as "airy".  The high-res version sounded more like someone was actually playing live in front of you.  And the difference was quite obvious since the recording engineer didn't tell us when he played the downsampled version and we instantly asked if somehting was wrong, felt like the the music had been put into a box.

 

Schiit does not like MQA because of the licencing model and not the least having to pay a fee to one of their competitors Meridian to be able to offer MQA.  Quote: "..supporting MQA means handing over the entire recording industry to an external standards organization."   Schiit is not against high res audio just MQA.

 

Like I said it depends on the DAC, amps, speakers and listening experience wether you can detect the subtle  difference.  But it's there.  

HenrikStevn
Gig Goer

Placebo is truly powerful self-delusion.

 

No, you are not special. You are not blessed with science-defying superhuman hearing.

hauxon
Newbie

@HenrikStevn wrote:

Placebo is truly powerful self-delusion.

 

No, you are not special. You are not blessed with science-defying superhuman hearing.


Well you're right I'm not special, not even close.  None of us (in the recording studio) had much technical knowledge of digital audio so the egineer had to tell us why it sounded different.  It's just that we had been listening for the same songs over and over again with the exact same equipment while recording, so it was quite easy hearing the loss of detail.  However if listening out of context, say in a different room with different equipment I could not say with confidence if a recording is 16/44 or 24/192.  It is a sublte thing, but does not need "science-defying superhuman hearing" like you call it.  We all do precieve things differently.  You might be color blind and and might be able  scientifically prove that all colors are brown.  Many of us have taken tests on the internet to see how our eyes are sensitive to different shades of colors.  The results are not the same for all.  Does not make some of us have "superhuman" color sight.  We are diverse and some have through experience ability to hear how instrument timbre flattens out with too little digital resolution.  

 

The only thing I can assume from you agenda is that you're either a Spotify employee defending the business oriented desision to limit audio resolution  ...or you're trolling. 😉