Tidal Quietly Introduces ‘MQA’ Quality Streaming…

Music streaming platform Tidal has promised to deliver a major streaming quality improvement that will surpass CD-quality audio, and it seems that the company is quietly stepping things up. The ‘Master’ fidelity option has not been officially launched, and the company has not yet responded to inquiries from Digital Music News.

However, the tech world is abuzz with speculation that Tidal is gearing up for the launch of Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) streaming, which is a newly developed audio file format that promises to deliver deep-range, hi-res audio in a small streaming package.

MQA is a revolutionary technology that has been dubbed ‘Audio Origami’ because of 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 apparently isn’t quite 24-bit but solidly beats CD-level fidelity. This new format is expected to help music lovers enjoy high-quality audio without sacrificing too much of their precious storage space.

Tidal currently offers two main tiers of audio quality: Tidal Premium, which offers lossy quality audio, and Tidal HiFi, which offers lossless CD-quality audio based on the FLAC file format, delivered in 16-bit/44.1 kHz. Premium is priced at $10 a month, while HiFi is priced at $20 a month. It is unclear how the launch of Master will impact the pricing chart, if at all.

One possibility is that Tidal is pushing the highest-end possibilities merely to burnish its reputation as a superior streaming option. This could ultimately draw more subscribers, even if they are not paying for the highest-quality tiers (or even have the equipment to enjoy it). However, it is also possible that Tidal is planning to launch its new technology at a premium price point, which would make sense given the amount of investment that has gone into developing this new format.

Ultimately, only time will tell how successful Tidal’s new offering will be. However, the company’s push to offer a superior audio experience could be what sets it apart from its competitors. In a world where music streaming platforms are a dime a dozen, offering something truly unique could be the key to success.

It is worth noting that Tidal is not the only music streaming platform to offer high-quality audio. Competitors such as Deezer and Qobuz also offer lossless CD-quality audio, while Amazon Music HD offers streaming in both 16-bit and 24-bit quality. However, Tidal’s reputation as a high-end streaming platform could give it an edge in the market.

In conclusion, Tidal’s foray into high-quality audio streaming is an exciting development for audiophiles and music lovers. Whether it will be enough to set the company apart from its competitors remains to be seen, but the launch of Master Quality Authenticated streaming is definitely something to keep an eye on. If Tidal can successfully deliver on its promise of superior audio quality in a small streaming package, it could be the game-changer that the music streaming industry has been waiting for.

More as it develops!

8 Responses

  1. Jeff Robinson

    I wonder if this will up-sample low-res audio that is ONLY CD resolution?

    • Joris

      MQA comes in different tastes but the main concept is that it counters known errors in (legacy) AD and DA converters, theory behind that is that timing errors have more impact than for instance resolution.

  2. Anonymous

    I think it’s fantastic that this will be an option. Any emphasis on improving quality can only be a good thing.

  3. IsCa

    That option is no longer available. I wonder if it just was a pilot test

  4. Solid State

    does anyone take any notice of Tidal .. I think not … it’s just an indulgence of the people involved with it .. real people could care less about Tidal..

    • djsingerchad

      I use tidal for djing…best place to grab highest quality tracks to mix with

  5. Turdbucket

    It’s also easy to download FLAC files from to use in MusicBee and organize the way I want. Really hoping it will be just as easy to get MQA files too.