Non-MQA version of Audirvāna

Since ROON has to pay MQA per playback of MQA files. I assume that is also the case for Audirvana. A version that does not have to consider the ongoing payments to Bob Stuart and his merry men, would be awesome (and cheaper) it probably would help Audirvana to see just how many that wouldn’t want to pay extra to play a lossy format

How do you picture that in practice? Since Tidal uses MQA should this Audirvana version be without Tidal too? Or if I decide to subscribe on Tidal later, how do I get MQA and will I have to pay more for Audirvana? Or if I decide to unsubscribe to Tidal how do I dump MQA and will Audirvana become cheaper?

I see a version where those that wish to give money to BS and his merry men, gets billed for the MQA playbacks (could be added to their monthly billing) then those that has seen through the MQA scam could be able to not let any money go to BS. (part of the monthly payment is used for paying MQA)


Part of the monthly payment is used to pay MQA, hence I would be paying BS


Sorry that alternative thinking is not Your thing.
All My music is local, so naturally I do not like to pay MQA for what is basically a scam.
Since GoldenSound put up his video(s) on MQA a lot of people have understood that MQA is not what they claim it to be.


Interesting idea. I personally like it.


Sounds to me like You’re hit hard by the Stockholm syndrome. MQA has been debunked, but not the facts as represented in GoldenSound’s videos.
Help me understand how it is reasonable that non MQA hostages should have to pay for a lossy format. For which the company behind gets payed every time someone is fooled into playing a lesser file


It would cost more to maintain 2 separate versions than what the addition of the MQA capability costs Audirvana.

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It’s not that hard to code to be honest.

Your profile tells the app which features you have opted in to and those are enabled.


Let those that enjoy the “privilege” pay for it.
Those that see the man behind the curtain shouldn’t have to pay for a “technology” they do not want.
If Damien had just listened years ago, when he was warned of MQA he could have made the MQA “capability” an add on. But it’s not to late.


No war, but this per playback payment to MQA is probably one of the main reasons that Audirvana needs to go to a subscription model.
Those of us that don’t need MQA (that’s nobody in the world) shouldn’t have to send money their way, especially since this is their masterplan (collect at every possible point)
Support Audirvana by not playing back any MQA file


I am in favor of an MQA free version. Let the MQA user buy an MQA DAC for the optimal experience. Or separate opt-in license for MQA core decoding.

I would like to support Damien in his work for Audirvana over the years.

I don’t want to pay for MQA, everything has already been said about that. It is not surprising that every audioforum gets filled with MQA discussions.

By the way, part two is out

It’s interesting though. The more Tidal you sends towards MQA, the more Warner MQA only offers, more and more often the core decoder will be activated. More and more costs go to MQA. Until it is no longer realistic to sell a lifetime license for the software.

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It’s not licensed per playback. It’s either lump sum per implementation or per installed instance.

Whichever it is, where do you draw the line? I don’t use upsampling, I would like to pay less because I don’t need this feature. Some people don’t use radio functionality, they might want to pay less. Before you know it, it becomes a nightmare to manage.

Change to subscription model is not related to MQA at all. It’s because Audirvana wants to make the next big step. For that you need resources and thus more money.

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You know it’s not per playback? Or an assumption? Again, Roon pays per decode.

I’m sure it’s not per playback. Who says that Roon pays per decode? It would be crazy to be like that. Who keeps the playback count? How would you count? What would happen when only part of the song is played? That’s nonsense.

You can support MQA without any licensing. The player just needs to play bit-perfect and the user needs an MQA Decoder DAC. The software products need the MQA 1st unfolding capability only to support MQA renderers (mostly dongle DACs) and provide some MQA support to non MQA DACs.

If you Google something like:
Roon COO pay per playback MQA
You will find the discussion on the Roon forum

And somewhere they say that they already call home so much data from the user that counting the number of core decodes is no problem at all.

MQA bills us based on Core Decodes. If a user doesn’t Core Decode, we don’t get billed. My advice to that user was 100% accurate and doable, while not having to introduce a new price tier in Roon that had no MQA Core Decode support.
If you core decode, we make less profit. If you don’t core decode, we make more profit. It’s almost that simple.

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It’s hard for me to believe this to be the case. But we don’t have to guess, maybe @Antoine can shed some light how MQA is licensed for Audirvana.


The terms are complicated and not worth going into, but simply put: if you don’t core decode, we don’t pay.

When we introduced MQA support, we didn’t raise the price, so MQA has always been a cost center for us. If you core decode, we make less profit. If you don’t core decode, we make more profit. It’s almost that simple.

But it seems there is a better new way to avoid the tax… Just stop subscribing to TIDAL “HiFi+”. Drop to the new middle tier of “HiFi” and you won’t get MQA capabilities.

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Here is what I found:

For folks not following the link, here is the Roon COO:

Sometimes the money leads to a dead end. We pay MQA to let you “Core Decode” in Roon. We don’t make money directly on MQA, we lose it! However, we do gain customer satisfaction for those who wanted MQA, which is in itself a form of being paid.

Nowhere does it say that Roon pays per playback, it says “they pay for the ability to let you core decode” MQA. They pay license to MQA to integrate MQA core decode in Roon. Same is true for Audirvana.

Did you see the link?