JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I'm in the same boat, and thats really too bad because I did enjoy several of their writers over the years, but they are all gone now and what remains is only of a slight passing interest.

I always thought the trade press were essentially paid influencers, their customers were much more so the advertisers, and less the reader, but as long as you knew that and took the reviews with a grain of salt, there was still plenty that could be learned/gleaned as a subscriber.

At some point I stopped feeling that way when my favorite writers were gone, and simultaneously the shrinking readership seemed to force the publisher into a more desperate attempt at being that paid influencer, it's worse than it ever was in my opinion. So I no longer subscribe and haven't in a good many years, though I'll occasionally pick up an issue on the newsstand.

MQA is a perfect example of that, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, both TAS and Stereophile continue to double, triple, and quadruple down on the idea and stance that MQA is the best thing since sliced bread, and I find that disingenuous to say the least, they've lost all credibility with me.
At one of my jobs I encountered "The enthusiast network" of magazines of which Stereophile was until recently a part of. The degree of sketch was so disheartening. This was with one of their car magazines basically extorting my client (in my opinion....).
 

JP

Junior Member
re: Spotify a la lossy, has anyone here tried a controlled subjective test for 320 AAC vs. lossless?
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
The 40 minute video interview with Bob Stuart was one of the few cases I can remember where the creator of something talking about it actually solidly convinced me AGAINST the thing they were talking about.
All of his interviews are exactly like that, the opposite of open and forthcoming, completely evasive, cryptic, and unhelpful in painting a clear picture of why I should be interested in MQA.
On the PS Audio video he was saying that you could play them on a regular CD player and the output over COAX would be recognized by a compatible MQA dac like the Mytek Brooklyn. I know the Toppings only do MQA over USB but maybe that's not a universal case?

I have no idea, just going by the video.
OK I'll stand corrected then on that, however I think it still likely needs to be an MQA-CD player, and not just an ordinary CD player. To me it's a moot point because 16 bits aren't enough for their stupid audio origami anyway, the whole premise of the supposed efficacy relies on a 24-bit source file.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
All of his interviews are exactly like that, the opposite of open and forthcoming, completely evasive, cryptic, and unhelpful in painting a clear picture of why I should be interested in MQA.
It's that whole "Truthiness" thing. Saying stuff that sounds true but when you look closely, its nothing. They're saying nothing. Bob is saying - nothing. Its all the propietary terms and over-simplified metaphors. "It's like a dirty window. When you clean it, distortion is removed but its not lossless. You lost the dirt. But MQA is lossless. Except its not." Fuck off, Bob.

Mmmmmmmmarketing.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
I do wonder what would really bother me in this industry, if I did something else for a living? My industry is routinely ranked down there with used car salesmen. I get it. And I see plenty of reasons why it should be. For me, its an opportunity to make a living by writing.. good luck finding another way that pays as well :( I'm kinda stuck with it.
Heck -- when I started out, pharma was perhaps the most admired industry of all -- nowadays, it's right there with the tobacco industry.
Remember, though -- correlation is not* causation! ;)

___________
* ahem: not necessarily... ;)
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I seem to remember but may be mistaken, so I reserve the right to be wrong. But my old Bluesound vault 2 to Mytek Brooklyn and BK+ with coax still did the MQA unfold. Not sure if that was just a Mytek thing however. But I am really thinking that it worked. My SMSL M500 however cannot do this and MQA is only through USB.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I'm starting to hate MQA even more now because it gets me into discussions like this. I want to be a part of a relaxing hobby, not a debate team. And I blame MQA for making something so opaque, so 'mysterious', and sold in such a way that it is like some magic bullet to correct something other people enjoy. It's like a perfect tribalism bait to lure us all into a fight about it, when all they'd have to do, if it really had a point, would be to say what its actually doing. To spell it out instead of being so douchily obtuse, using made-up problems that they never actually explain. Their only retort that I can see is that "nobody understands it so their remarks are moot". Then EXPLAIN IT so we can all be so enlightened.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
phrases like better than lossless cause my neurons to start misfiring a la those poor dumb androids in that Star Trek episode that I love to invoke at times of cognitive dissonance and/or when Zeno's Paradox rears its head. :cool:


On topic ;) I am sure that MQA sounds fine. The miasma swirling around it irks me, but if I had an MQA-compliant DAC and if I had stuff to listen to it, and if it sounded good to me, I would probably not complain too much.

I am a big fan of open architecture in general, though -- and especially in hifi.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I am a big fan of open architecture in general, though -- and especially in hifi.
I am, too, just as I'm apt to turn on and question somebody who is selling me something -they own and profit from- that is in direct competition to something that is open and available to all, especially when most people are very happy with it.

Again, I never had any problem with MQA until it took away my choice in the matter, being as I was in the Tidal-sphere. And they look to want to expand that outside of Tidal. When the other alternative is open-source? Very hinky.

Now Bob loves metaphors. So... I can get water from the tap. If you're selling me 'better water' it better be noticeably better, but to me MQA isn't delicious silica-infused Fiji water. It's Dasani, and Bob is trying to convince me I live in Flint instead of next to a big Great Lake deep-water intake.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
"nobody understands it so their remarks are moot".
Finished watching the interview video and this sums it up perfectly for me. And he was very condescending in how he dismissed the subject about what Benchmark and others had written. Like he’s a super-genius and he can’t be bothered to give mere mortals an explanation. I mean the mere mortals won’t understand it anyway.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Finished watching the interview video and this sums it up perfectly for me. And he was very condescending in how he dismissed the subject about what Benchmark and others had written. Like he’s a super-genius and he can’t be bothered to give mere mortals an explanation. I mean the mere mortals won’t understand it anyway.
And from a legal standpoint if what they were using to question MQA was significantly off the mark I would think they could force them to take it down, as its public facing on the website of a competitor.

I'm glad this thread popped up as I had been a bit agnostic about MQA after initially being into it - and am now quite decidedly against it. I did a lot of reading and watching of videos/interviews on it over the last 24 hours and every bit of it was very questionable, at least from sources that didn't have some stake in it. I really really do not like what they're doing, or how they're doing it. The condescension around it doesn't help, either.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
The condescension around it doesn't help, either.
I wonder if Bob's tone will have changed in time for his fireside chat with Metro Newspaper's Lucy Hedges at the What Hi✭Fi? Virtual Show this coming Saturday at 10am EDT.

Then again, he won't need any tone for the softballs they've no doubt arranged for him to be tossed, this is unlikely to take the form of hard hitting journalism.
 
I have just a small contribution, and it is in regard to Tidal’s recent purchase by Square.
Now before this, Square had been talking about/taking notice of the outlandish success of some PodCast platforms, and yes some scuttlebutt from tech analysts posited that Square might re purpose Tidal. Ostensibly, Tidal is just an audio platform. So might music streaming and all of it’s licensing issues become a back corner service for them, and the main focus switch to developing a PodCast platform? It’s a possibility, I’ll be watching.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I have just a small contribution, and it is in regard to Tidal’s recent purchase by Square.
Now before this, Square had been talking about/taking notice of the outlandish success of some PodCast platforms, and yes some scuttlebutt from tech analysts posited that Square might re purpose Tidal. Ostensibly, Tidal is just an audio platform. So might music streaming and all of it’s licensing issues become a back corner service for them, and the main focus switch to developing a PodCast platform? It’s a possibility, I’ll be watching.
Spotify has made some moves in that direction, with their purchase of the Joe Rogan podcast, which is insanely popular and also some specific productions like the recent one they did with Obama and Springsteen talking in Springsteen's home studio. The podcast world is wayyyy more popular than I think a lot of people realize, and there's a lot of money in its distribution and production. We tried to work with Gimlet, a podcast production house, at my last job and it was just far more expensive than what we'd thought it would be. I think its a bit of a racket, to be honest.. a few companies trying to own something that a technically savvy person could (and often does) produce on their own, with enough time and effort. They're trying to monetize the distribution of it.
 
Spotify has made some moves in that direction, with their purchase of the Joe Rogan podcast, which is insanely popular and also some specific productions like the recent one they did with Obama and Springsteen talking in Springsteen's home studio. The podcast world is wayyyy more popular than I think a lot of people realize, and there's a lot of money in its distribution and production. We tried to work with Gimlet, a podcast production house, at my last job and it was just far more expensive than what we'd thought it would be. I think its a bit of a racket, to be honest.. a few companies trying to own something that a technically savvy person could (and often does) produce on their own, with enough time and effort. They're trying to monetize the distribution of it.
Agreed. The PodCast world is the next thing the big dollar tech companies are trying to control, or at lease condense. There’s a lot of gold in those thar hills
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
A little more on the monetizing of podcasts. There's also the integration of advertising into it. From the simple: Joe Rogan reading an ad or just going on about that mushroom coffee he's been pushing for years and the Cash App, to something like what a high-production-value podcast like The Passenger List does, which is try to integrate the advertising in a way that is specific to the podcast, so that if you advertise with them, you also pay for their specific production of it instead of bringing them something produced. Which I think is kind of cool, actually and I wish more advertising was like that across all mediums.

So if a future podcast part of Tidal got into it, that's another revenue stream for them. It's not just attracting listeners with a podcast that's specific to their platform ala Joe Rogan on Spotify, but also being paid to produce the commercials to be well-integrated into an entertainment-only podcast, or to produce whole podcasts for companies as 'branded content' -basically a long commercial that also entertains, usually for something that people have enough interest in to knowingly sit through a blend of entertainment and marketing. So, to use another medium, like that A Faster Horse documentary that Ford did about the Mustang...imagine that in podcast form... Ford would approach Tidal, they'd produce it as a adver-docu-cast to make up a term, charge to push it out there with their other marketing channels. or on other related podcasts they do.. cha-chhhing $$
 

JP

Junior Member
It could also be a platform play. You can't pixel or otherwise track podcast listeners (or at least you couldn't two years ago). There's a lot of ad money to access if targeting and attribution loops can be closed.
 
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And (of course) Square already has a widely used payment platform. To think, for those they sign, they’ll own the content, the means of production and the distribution. Add the in-house payments and fee structure. That last part has to make calculating advertising costs a lot easier and more flat rate by popularity of cast...which could be attractive to more advertisers budgeting departments.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Gimlet certainly had a lot of numbers on listeners (I had to sit through a loooooonggggg spiel from them which ultimately convinced us to not use them). In general I felt they were trying to convey a uniqueness that wasn't backed up by reality, except for their distribution network. Their scale was all they had to offer. I felt the costs involved were ridiculous.
 
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