Tidal was laughed off the stage earlier this year, dismissed as a bunch of out-of-touch, complaining artists. One million paying subscribers later, Tidal is trying another crazy stunt: ultra high-quality streaming on a level never experienced before.
Already, Tidal offers CD-quality streaming for an elevated, $20 a month, but consider that a mere HD floor.
Now, that package is about to get substantially better, with proprietary MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) complementing the CD-rich experience. The launch coincides with the release of the Pioneer XDP-100R, the world’s first MQA-ready player that ships later this month with Tidal pre-packaged.
Actually, a firmware upgrade will be required for MQA playback, but that’s a tiny detail for tinkering high-end audiophiles.
MQA is a new file format that aims to deliver deep-range, hi-res audio in a small, streaming package. Under the hood is a technology being dubbed ‘Audio Origami,’ for its ability to ‘fold’ lossless audio files into something portable (and practical). Special hardware or software decoding will be required to enjoy the listening experience, which isn’t quite 24-bit but beats CD-level fidelity.
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