Customer value

MQA opens up the world of hi-res recordings to a wider audience than ever before.

Lower costs

With hi-res recordings delivered at 20% the size, MQA dramatically reduces storage costs.

Compatibility

MQA is fully compatible with existing delivery systems and delivers faster transfer speeds.

Content Partners

The following companies are already on-board

Why is MQA so special?

MQA is a revolutionary new technology that brings the sound of the studio master to every music fan exactly as it was heard in the studio. It goes beyond “lossless” and way beyond lossy (MP3, AAC, etc.) technologies to bring the sound of the master to everyone – in a file format that drops into today’s infrastructure without any need for expensive support.

What is the business case? Do we have a stake in this?

MQA is an enabling technology intended for the entire music business. This includes everyone from the artist to the label and through the supply chain to the music fan themselves. For the music industry, MQA has invited all the content providers to become part of the MQA entity and to share in the direction of the technology.

Can MQA do the prep work on my files?

Yes. MQA has state-of-the-art playback and capture equipment together with some of the top engineers in the business. We can help you assess, capture and encode your library to the highest resolution possible today. We can also advise you on how best to archive and distribute your MQA files.

How does MQA work for new recordings in the studio?

MQA will work in two ways in the studio. Currently, MQA will reside in the mastering facility, where the artist, producer and engineer can hear the benefits of MQA on their master and then sign off and deliver a file ready for encoding. In the near future, the MQA philosophy will be implemented in the A/D converters used in recording studios so that the recording process itself will benefit from the clarity of MQA without having to be “reversed out” after the fact.

How does MQA work for existing recordings already on a service?

MQA can run as a process on existing digital files already in your catalogue. The encoder can analyse and remove all the unwanted artefacts in the music – but it will be most effective when employed with the original master tape so that it can take into account all of the processes introduced in the chain.

When can I get MQA?

MQA is available now and ready for integration into your environment. Contact us now for details.

Which encoding houses support MQA?

Currently 7digital have committed to running encoders within their environment, but the list is growing. Please contact MQA for further details.

How long will it take to implement MQA in my environment?

Implementation time (from ordering to install and run) is normally in the order of 4-6 weeks, but it can be accelerated if needed.

How much will MQA cost to implement?

Every MQA encoder will need access to an HSM (Hyper-Security Module) that issues the encrypted signatures contained within each file. Costs of owning and implementing HSM within your environment will generally range between £5,000 - £20,000 but it’s important you discuss this with your technical team and MQA.

How many tracks per day will run through the MQA encoder?

Conservative estimates indicate that the encoder can process approximately 100,000 tracks per day with access to an HSM module on its internal network.

What is my input deliverable?

The input to the mastering house should be the highest original-resolution WAV or AIFF file that can be provided. Up-sampling a lower resolution file to higher sample rates is strongly discouraged and will most likely fail to encode. It is also strongly suggested that only one master file (per ISRC) be encoded in MQA to maintain authenticity.

How do I perform quality control on my input deliverable?

QC can be accomplished in any digital audio workstation (DAW) capable of PCM (WAV or AIFF) playback. Note there is a proprietary RIFF chunk contained within the header of all properly-prepared MQA files. Care must be taken that the header is not re-written or altered during the QC process.

What is my deliverable to the services?

Once delivered from the artist to the label and then through QC, the file is sent along to the encoding house for final encoding. The encoder will read the proprietary chunk created by the mastering studio software and encode the MQA file to the highest possible resolution.

Where does HSM sit in my environment?

The HSM module should optimally sit within the same network as the encoding computers. Its sole job is to hand out signatures for embedding into the file. A remote or cloud-based HSM is possible but performance will be degraded.

Do I have to QC the encoded MQA file as well?

This is optional, but it should be noted that if you intend to perform a QC pass on the finished files, they should be decoded through a dedicated MQA decoder for highest resolution playback.

Does MQA work for physical (CD/DVD) product?

Yes, but this requires further explanation so that the content owner understands exactly what benefits the process provides.

How do I use MQA on packaged media such as CD, DVD or Blu-Ray Disc?

Every mastering studio that is certified as an MQA provider will have a tool to convert 24-bit MQA files to MQA16 files for use on CD. 24-bit files can be authored directly to DVD or Blu-Ray Disc without a change of format.

What metadata support does MQA offer?

MQA holds a rich set of metadata beyond that contained within an ID3 container. MQA can encrypt and lock a number of metadata fields within the music itself for retrieval by any number of playback mechanisms.

What is the minimum amount of metadata needed by MQA?

The minimum metadata should be artist, title and ISRC

What is the maximum amount of metadata that MQA can operate with?

This is variable and will depend on the musical content itself.

Can I include pictures/lyrics/participant data, etc. in the MQA metadata?

Yes.

"I have spent many hours with Bob, listening to original recordings and being constantly amazed by the incredible sense of space and clarity brought by MQA."

Morten Lindberg - Producer & Grammy multi-nominee

"Digital music has given users the ability to hold “a thousand songs in their pocket” for over a decade. But that convenience came at the sacrifice of quality. MQA gives the user the ability to keep the convenience of a large library in their pocket, without sacrificing the quality of the music."

Pioneer, on their new XDP-100R digital audio player

"MQA is at the forefront of digital audio, and we’re proud to lead the way for wireless multi-room systems to support MQA’s studio quality audio files."

Greg Stidsen - Director of Advanced Technology and Development, Bluesound