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Post to this Topic
Cebolla



Posted: Jul 27, 2021 - 9:00am

 BillG wrote:
When we're ready to launch a hi-res stream, it will be available as straight FLAC as well as MQA. 

Due to the nature of how we deliver our audio, it will never be a mix of different sample rates & bit depths. Everything needs to be standardized to the same rate, probably 24/96. Even if the only master we have is 16/44.1 it will be upsampled to 24/96 and will read out as such on your DAC. 

Because we mix songs together into a continuous flow, there is absolutely no way around that. 

Bill, are you anywhere near ready to launch the straight hi-res FLAC streams available to everyone, as well as the hi-res MQA streams for BluOS?

Also, will you stop providing the current 16bit/44.1 kHz MQA encoded (aka MQA-CD) streams for BluOS in order to actually replace them with the hi-res MQA streams when ready? Presumably the current straight 16bit/44.1kHz FLAC streams will continue to be available after the straight hi-res FLAC are launched, for those that don't require hi-res.



scoots_mcgoo

scoots_mcgoo Avatar

Location: Portland, OR


Posted: May 25, 2021 - 2:08pm

The mere mention of MQA creates nutters emerging from their caves like bats. I see it on all the forums. They're like blockbuster video execs looking at netflix back in the day. 

For the rest of us sentient beings: spread the good word on RP. Great content, solid servers, free (I donate monthly). 

Oh and: if you're not donating a buck or three each month, you shouldn't even be on these forums. Pony up for these guys. 

asusinskas

asusinskas Avatar

Location: Dreaming of the mountains...
Gender: Male


Posted: May 24, 2021 - 6:51am

I was (very) pleasantly surprised when I saw the MQA option when streaming via BluOS.  To my ears, the sound quality has been further improved.  Opinions aside, thanks Bill and Rebecca for giving us so many listening options.  Where else can you get this level of quality and number of listening choices with a donation supported service model?  RP has become a standard fixture in my home, car, etc.  Let's make sure to keep this listening jewel around for a long time!  Thanks Bill and Rebecca!
BillG

BillG Avatar

Location: Left Coast
Gender: Male


Posted: May 22, 2021 - 6:13am

 R567 wrote:

How about having the flac streams as a reference guaranteed to send a bit-perfect copy of the original CD track? It might lead to very different sound levels between tracks, but it would be a useful tool for audiophiles. Is that a possibility?



That wouldn't work. For one thing, the flac streams are the source used for transcoding into AAC & mp3. 
R567

Location: UK


Posted: May 22, 2021 - 2:25am

How about having the flac streams as a reference guaranteed to send a bit-perfect copy of the original CD track? It might lead to very different sound levels between tracks, but it would be a useful tool for audiophiles. Is that a possibility?
j_mason



Posted: May 21, 2021 - 4:34pm

 Mikey78 wrote:

TBH I'd prefer to listen via Roon as I can quick link on the artist/track/album and find them and add them to my library, I'm pleased to report RP has opened my ears to many a new artist and the integration with Roon make it so easy to find out about the artist.


Absolutely agree. 
For me, RP through Roon is a total game-changer. RP plays me great music which I can then discover more about via Roon and then add the album to my library (with a Tidal or Qobuz subscription) and generally discover more about artists previously unknown to me. Brilliant

MtnGoat

MtnGoat Avatar

Location: Kill your radio!
Gender: Male


Posted: May 21, 2021 - 3:07pm

 BillG wrote:


 
 
When we're ready to launch a hi-res stream, it will be available as straight FLAC as well as MQA. 

Due to the nature of how we deliver our audio, it will never be a mix of different sample rates & bit depths. Everything needs to be standardized to the same rate, probably 24/96. Even if the only master we have is 16/44.1 it will be upsampled to 24/96 and will read out as such on your DAC. 

Because we mix songs together into a continuous flow, there is absolutely no way around that. 




(Old post, I know but just arrived)
Thank you for that, Bill. It answers the question I often have on my mind regarding the future of RP.
Most of my digital music collection is 24 bit at least. I have a strong musical background and I believe there are many like me who can hear the difference between different violins, or pianos, or given an appropriate source, 16 bit CDs and 24 bit audio. I'm on my third LG Vxx phone mostly because of the built-in DAC. Wired into the stereo it's a beautifully full, detailed sound. Bluetooth doesn't cut it. I eagerly look forward to RP offering 24 bit audio (and I get the upsampling dilemma).
Thanks again.
barrie



Posted: May 21, 2021 - 2:16pm

 R567 wrote:

If you like the sound of MQA, that's fine, but any claim to fidelity seems dubious. 



I am just listening to RP using MQA through the Bludound node21.

WOW  simply wonderful My face is aching  smiling.
well done RP great move embracing MQA
R567

Location: UK


Posted: May 21, 2021 - 10:47am

If you like the sound of MQA, that's fine, but any claim to fidelity seems dubious. 

BillG

BillG Avatar

Location: Left Coast
Gender: Male


Posted: May 20, 2021 - 11:06pm

 HFH21 wrote:


There is no crap, it's a scam.  Who the hell are you to tell someone on a forum to STFU? You are right about the world, but thats irrelevant to this specific forum and topic.

MQA threatens the entire music distribution chain all the way down to the artist. There is no demonstrable proof that MQA improves anything, it's actually the opposite, there is proof to the contrary. 

Educate yourself as to the facts on this, rather than lecture others based on your acceptance of marketing-speak and TAS/Stereophile propaganda. MQA increases costs and decreases consumer choice. You appear to be ignorant to all of these real and verifiable facts.


Sure. Some services, labels, etc. could use MQA as a tool to do evil, exploitative stuff.  But we're not. We're just offering another listening option to a free online radio station.  Seems like an odd thing to get all worked up about. 


Let's confine the discussion here to *our* use of MQA, shall we? 
HFH21

HFH21 Avatar

Location: NYC
Gender: Male


Posted: May 20, 2021 - 10:21pm

 Bambudist wrote:

Cut the scam crap.  If you don't like it, just don't use it and STFU.  Find something else to complain about. There's lots of truly bad things happening around the world. 
This is not one of them.  Jeeze...



There is no crap, it's a scam.  Who the hell are you to tell someone on a forum to STFU? You are right about the world, but thats irrelevant to this specific forum and topic.

MQA threatens the entire music distribution chain all the way down to the artist. There is no demonstrable proof that MQA improves anything, it's actually the opposite, there is proof to the contrary. 

Educate yourself as to the facts on this, rather than lecture others based on your acceptance of marketing-speak and TAS/Stereophile propaganda. MQA increases costs and decreases consumer choice. You appear to be ignorant to all of these real and verifiable facts.
HFH21

HFH21 Avatar

Location: NYC
Gender: Male


Posted: May 20, 2021 - 10:01pm

 Mikey78 wrote:

Great to hear that RP is going MQA !

Great music, even better sound !

I use a Bluesound Node 2i however I use it as a ROON endpoint, my question is will you make the MQA stream available via ROON or will you be sticking with BLUOS ?

I can obviously access via BLUOS but I like to stay inside my ROON world if possible

Thanks in advance and keep up the great work !

Cheers

Mikey



OMG! My jaw dropped, and then I witnessed the birth of a whole new world.

MQA isn't just lossless, it's Better than lossless! Just drop 2 hits of acid and MQA's marketing-speak becomes reality.
black321

black321 Avatar

Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: May 19, 2021 - 1:34pm

 BillG wrote:

If, in your opinion, the changes to the audio introduced by MQA detract from your listening experience, then listen to FLAC.

If all recordings were mixed and mastered perfectly — or even properly — then we'd have no need to ever process any audio files. But they're not, so we do. So that the recordings meet our standards —  ie: our opinion about what sounds best.

The statement that we make about our audio quality is that — in our opinion — it sounds better than anything else out there. And that, in our opinion, the MQA encoding adds to the enjoyment of the experience. 

Note the common thread in all of that: "our opinion". There is no right or wrong in the realm of music. Ultimately, it all comes down to preferences and subjective judgements. 

With a few exceptions (where uncompressed masters simply aren't available) all of our master files are uncompressed. Unlike most online stations — and all FM & satellite broadcasters — we do no overall processing of our stream. Well-recorded and mastered material is presented without alteration. But if you want everything to sound exactly like your CDs, then you should probably listen to those.  




Been listening to this "station" for about 20 years, the quality of which combined with the mix of tunes I've found to be unsurpassed. 

Thanks for your work.
BillG

BillG Avatar

Location: Left Coast
Gender: Male


Posted: May 19, 2021 - 1:15pm

 hhudo wrote:

MQA is lossy format, compared to FLAC which is lossess. Its proven that MQA adds lot of distortion and noise, sometimes audible. Even I use Tidal, i am trying to avoid MQA as much is possible.

But, RP confirmed that they're processing audio stream with EQ/compressor/expander/... to sound "better", asked them once when noticed songs I know and own on  a CD sound very different on RP.
If MQA is "Master Quality Authenticated" - which means its original studio master - how can RP be processing it and still maintain MQA certificate? 
Also MQA is made for hi-res (48/24 and up), while almost all songs or RP are 44/16 - are they using upsampler? 
Are all songs on RP from uncompressed source?

If RP wants to make statement that its "high quality" and "hifi", think it needs to answer those questions first. And stop EQing the stream.
Until then, I will enjoy RP in 160/320kbps mp3, because everything above that is useless.


If, in your opinion, the changes to the audio introduced by MQA detract from your listening experience, then listen to FLAC.

If all recordings were mixed and mastered perfectly — or even properly — then we'd have no need to ever process any audio files. But they're not, so we do. So that the recordings meet our standards —  ie: our opinion about what sounds best.

The statement that we make about our audio quality is that — in our opinion — it sounds better than anything else out there. And that, in our opinion, the MQA encoding adds to the enjoyment of the experience. 

Note the common thread in all of that: "our opinion". There is no right or wrong in the realm of music. Ultimately, it all comes down to preferences and subjective judgements. 

With a few exceptions (where uncompressed masters simply aren't available) all of our master files are uncompressed. Unlike most online stations — and all FM & satellite broadcasters — we do no overall processing of our stream. Well-recorded and mastered material is presented without alteration. But if you want everything to sound exactly like your CDs, then you should probably listen to those.  

jwwindy

jwwindy Avatar

Location: Indianapolis, IN


Posted: May 19, 2021 - 7:17am

 black321 wrote:


Interesting, as i dont think Schiit has an MQA Dac...so you are not getting the final "unfolding" of the file.



Thank you for your comment.  Obviously my qualifications do not include being an audio engineer.  You are absolutely correct in that the Schiit Modi 3+ does not accommodate MQA.  That being said, the myriad of published positive and negative assessments of MQA really don't mean a lot to me personally.  My only audio "skill" is evaluating whether the music that I'm listening to sounds good or not so much.  As I commented previously, RP's MQA stream, through the Bluesound NODE 2i with or without utilizing the Schiit Modi 3+, sounds better to me .  Perhaps if I spend more $ on a higher end DAC that accommodates MQA I might find the stream better?  Today I'm happy.  Maybe an upgrade tomorrow?...I'm not opposed to improving my audio streams.
hhudo

Location: Dublin


Posted: May 19, 2021 - 2:01am

MQA is lossy format, compared to FLAC which is lossess. Its proven that MQA adds lot of distortion and noise, sometimes audible. Even I use Tidal, i am trying to avoid MQA as much is possible.

But, RP confirmed that they're processing audio stream with EQ/compressor/expander/... to sound "better", asked them once when noticed songs I know and own on  a CD sound very different on RP.
If MQA is "Master Quality Authenticated" - which means its original studio master - how can RP be processing it and still maintain MQA certificate? 
Also MQA is made for hi-res (48/24 and up), while almost all songs or RP are 44/16 - are they using upsampler? 
Are all songs on RP from uncompressed source?

If RP wants to make statement that its "high quality" and "hifi", think it needs to answer those questions first. And stop EQing the stream.
Until then, I will enjoy RP in 160/320kbps mp3, because everything above that is useless.
Dan888

Dan888 Avatar

Location: United Kingdom - South
Gender: Male


Posted: May 14, 2021 - 12:45pm

 jwwindy wrote:

Although a 20+ year streamer of RP, I'm just one month or so into streaming RP via Bluesound Node 2i utilizing a Schiit Modi 3+ external DAC.  Admittedly, I'm not an audiophile and I know little about the technicalities of music, thus my qualification to comment is limited to generic terms.  However, friends who are in the music industry, performing and broadcasting, describe me as a critical listener.  To my listening, in an A/B comparison, the MQA stream sounds "fuller" than the FLAC stream that I have streamed for several years.


Perhaps you could help answer these questions?
https://radioparadise.com/comm...

black321

black321 Avatar

Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: May 14, 2021 - 9:27am

 jwwindy wrote:

Although a 20+ year streamer of RP, I'm just one month or so into streaming RP via Bluesound Node 2i utilizing a Schiit Modi 3+ external DAC.  Admittedly, I'm not an audiophile and I know little about the technicalities of music, thus my qualification to comment is limited to generic terms.  However, friends who are in the music industry, performing and broadcasting, describe me as a critical listener.  To my listening, in an A/B comparison, the MQA stream sounds "fuller" than the FLAC stream that I have streamed for several years.



Interesting, as i dont think Schiit has an MQA Dac...so you are not getting the final "unfolding" of the file.
jwwindy

jwwindy Avatar

Location: Indianapolis, IN


Posted: May 14, 2021 - 9:09am

Although a 20+ year streamer of RP, I'm just one month or so into streaming RP via Bluesound Node 2i utilizing a Schiit Modi 3+ external DAC.  Admittedly, I'm not an audiophile and I know little about the technicalities of music, thus my qualification to comment is limited to generic terms.  However, friends who are in the music industry, performing and broadcasting, describe me as a critical listener.  To my listening, in an A/B comparison, the MQA stream sounds "fuller" than the FLAC stream that I have streamed for several years.
Dan888

Dan888 Avatar

Location: United Kingdom - South
Gender: Male


Posted: May 13, 2021 - 10:09am

 NeilBlanchard wrote:
I am not seeing the FLAC as an option on my Bluesound Node 2i, which I am using the S/PDIF coax output to a Schiit Audio Bifrost 2. I would prefer the FLAC stream. I only recently got the Node, because I can sign into my RP account and listen to My Favorites, as well as the other four streams. This isn't possible on the Raspberry Pi4 Volumio unit I had earlier.


I think it's called "CD" in the BlueOS app

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