Saturday, June 30, 2018

Techmoan meets MQA-CD

MQA-CD Review

This is a post about YouTube and content creators, and along the way we will discuss a new audio format MQA-CD . (Master Quality Authenticated )

As an ex Audiophile Marcus is still interested in all things [Professional] Audio.     But in 2018 my emphasis has changed to 'Passionate Consumer' and this reflectsmy comments later in this article.

Techmoan: An Example

This is an excellent example of a High quality YouTube channel 

- A one man band, in this case Mat, living in Wigan England.
- Long detailed videos, some as long as 20 minutes
- An enthusiast channel, which goes into great detail about its content
- A channel that is not trying to sell you something
- In this particular channel the emphasis on Older music formats and equipment is simply wonderful.

And end to Audiophilia
My view on high end Audio equipment has changed with time because of advances in quality and my lifestyle.  The position is like this

- Over time your hearing gets worse, fact!
- Digital music formats, including mainstream are now arguable of higher quality than even the best young ears
- Keeping a large physical bulky music collection seems not only wasteful but if you actually move home, especially country, you soon realise the last thing you need to take with you is a big and heavy anything!
- Keeping a Cloud Music collection or something on a single Hard disk  (with backup obviously) just seems more efficient
- Most of our audio is now played on a portable player and as such the quality that I can hear depends more on a) headphone quality b) what exercise/activity I am performing c) background noise.
- I now follow high end audio formats and Hardware with the same zeal and dismay as mumbo jumbo Halthcare cures like Crystals and Magnetic Energy bands.

YouTube, Subscriptions, and Alternative Media

In 2018 I find little to zero need for Paper or Digital based media content. Instead, I use a mixture of RSS feeds via feedly and Youtube subscriptions.   For the latter over 500 of them!  Here are my Pro's and Cons list

- Self selection Bias
My list of channels now includes topics from Music, to Computer Hardware to Religion.   It also includes channels whose content I find very objectionable. Why?  Because listening to channels that only broadcast your viewpoint is often a slippery slope to bigotry

- Consume Anywhere
Youtube is available on my desktop or Smartphone.  All I need is the Youtube application.   So, whilst waiting in any long queue e.g. boarding the Plane, or at the Supermarket checkout, I can continue or resume watching.   With a Physical book I'd need to always carry it or them.

- TV be gone
I still read copiously (online of course) but I've replaced normal TV watching with Youtube and by exception I might watch the odd BBC or Channel 4 programme.

About that MQA Format

I had thought that the Audio arms race of superior formats was over ,especially when most music is now online.  But apparently not.

From this chart you will see the height of the current madness is 24bit quantisation and 352.8Khz frequency. So this would lead to 16777216 levels, and the highest frequency via Nyquist of 176k Hz.   Given that probably the best human ears cannot even hear to 20k Hz,  176K is totally and utterly pointless.

In other words it is a 44Khz CD style data stream with embeds of higher frequencies that need to be unpacked.

Back to Techmoan
I am thankful to sources like Mat at Techmoan for doing all the heavy lifting and keeping me informed via YouTube and Blogs of his new content.   And to me the best parts are: that my consumption is paperless and entirely free.  Amazing.