What If MQA Succeeds?

To Doug Schneider,

Good analysis without writing a polemic [“Mismatched Masters and False Frequencies -- Is MQA Better, Worse, or Just Different?”]. I’m also suspicious of the DRM possibilities of MQA -- what if it succeeds? Will the record labels get rid of all the non-MQA versions of albums and make hi-res available only in MQA? Will they start to tier pricing and quality of playback according to how much “extra” you are willing to pay? I’m pretty sure the labels aren’t turning their catalogs to MQA out of altruism, so when is the other shoe going to drop? I don’t think streaming MQA hi-res will be “free” vs. CD quality forever.


In my opinion, MQA hasn’t made significant enough inroads to guarantee that it will even be around in a few more years, let alone a roaring success. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Yes, it’s on Tidal, which is where most audiophiles get their files, but you’ll find little elsewhere. Furthermore, I think when people learn more about MQA and how it works, they will see there are likely much better options for true high-resolution playback. . . . Doug Schneider