MQA Ltd. in receivership and the main shareholder wants to get rid of the company
UK-based MQA Ltd., the company behind the technology and software related to MQA, has been placed under receivership. The company is in financial trouble and the main investor wants to sell its shares. Not many details are known yet, but what we know we want to share with our readers.
MQA Ltd., the company behind the MQA digital music technology, appears to be going bankrupt. This is evidenced by the fact that a receiver has been appointed due to apparent financial problems at the British company. At this point, there aren’t many details yet, and it’s uncertain whether the company’s partnership with streaming service Tidal (which uses MQA technology to enable its “hi-res” audio streams) will be affected. The fact is that MQA Ltd is looking for a buyer and has undergone a restructuring process.
MQA’s full statement reads as follows: “Following the recent positive reception of MQA’s latest technology (SCL6), there is increasing international interest in buying MQA Ltd. At the same time, MQA’s main financier is seeking an exit. To seize opportunities and expedite this process, the company has undergone a restructuring initiative, which has placed the company under receivership. During this process, MQA simply continues to act together with its partners. While negotiations with third parties take place, we will not be commenting further.”
Edit: Earlier this week MQA filed paperwork with the UK courts for the Appointment of Administrators. This is the British equivalent of filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under United States law.
Never understood the benefit of MQA when there are flac and wav…to produce MQA you have to touch the master file again and while doing that you could easily process better PCM instead…my 2cents. RIP MQA
MQA created a fictitious story: that their proprietary, lossy format was superior to existing, open, lossless formats. Then, with Tidal’s and The Absolute Sound’s help, they convinced millions of people that this was the case. Then, once they had created demand, they convinced studios and manufacturers to pay to implement their technology, including dCS. It nearly worked, to the detriment of music lovers around the world.
I completely respect that some on this forum may have MQA recordings that they like; to each his/her own. However, as a company, MQA made a brazen effort to take over the highend audio market with an inferior product. It’s a win for everyone that they didn’t succeed.
(a) Many would argue, that the product and the receivership are intimately related. It was, many would argue, the failure of the former, that caused the latter.
(b) The broader point, which I feel is critically important, actually has nothing to do with MQA as a technology. Most non-MQA folks have no issue whatsoever with others liking or buying MQA. The broader point is that MQA attempted to steer the entire high res market away from true, lossless, open format to their proprietary format to extract rents (i.e. licensing fees), and restrict user choice.
In other words, paraphrasing, I, MQA critic, have no problem, with you, MQA supporter, buying MQA, but you, MQA supporter, are not satisfied with reciprocating this amicable gesture. You, MQA supporter, also want to steer ALL new high res toward your format and restrict MY choice. This, in a nutshell, is one reason why so many people passionately hate MQA.
Though you can’t overlook the fact that many of those who advocate lossless open formats dislike the idea of anything that might enforce even a minimal amount of copy protection on behalf of rights holders.
Even if the format was nothing more than encrypted FLAC, many would hate it for just that reason.
I am happy to see artists protected, and would gladly support models that protected and improved their compensation, while preserving or improving audio quality. That was not what MQA was about. While I’ve heard a few MQA encodings that were not bad, and maybe even better than their Redbook counterparts, the business model did not appear to be constructed for the primary benefit of either the artists or the consumers.
If you say so, but a simple search suggests otherwise or at a minimum that the issue is much more complicated. I see little evidence that MQA benefits anybody other than MQA. If there is any evidence that MQA generates benefit to artists (other than the megas), I would love to see it.
The best evidence I’ve heard is listening to a decent MQA track vs the same non-MQA track using Meridian MQA-capable speakers with their 818v3 decoder.
There may be less good MQA tracks around, but that doesn’t mean MQA is awful in all cases.
The caveat is that one use-case of MQA was to allow music to be sent over bandwidth limited connections which could well limit that track’s capability to that below one that has more bandwidth. I don’t believe that was in any way compulsory (that said, it was perhaps a mistake not to make clear what bandwidth was in use, but I understand why they didn’t want to make this more complicated for the listener).