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Tidal Completely Drops MQA

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Tidal Completely Drops MQA

Not entirely surprising, Tidal has announced that it will completely stop using the more or less controversial MQA format next month and will switch exclusively to streaming in FLAC.

The decision to drop MQA has finally arrived at Tidal. This is not unexpected given the ‘stir’ surrounding MQA since its introduction. Licensing and the associated costs likely played a role as well. And, not least, the somewhat ‘snake oil’-like nature of the entire concept. A bit is a bit, and you can’t magically turn it into a better-sounding bit. The only direct advantage of MQA was the more modest bandwidth required for streaming. However, with broadband internet available almost everywhere – even on the go – this is becoming less of a concern. Additionally, you can still set a maximum FLAC streaming quality in Tidal, allowing you to manage data usage for mobile use if desired.

Another technology that Tidal will discontinue next month is Sony’s somewhat more exotic 360 Reality Audio. According to the music streamer, there are too few compatible devices and too few tracks to continue supporting 360 Reality Audio. But no worries: Tidal will now focus on the much better-represented Dolby Atmos for immersive sound!

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