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Interesting Stuff I Found

Streaming Hi-Rez over the Internet!

David Snyder

I'm sorry to hear that the A-VCOA winter party was canceled, but this give you the opportunity to start that TIDAL trial subscription that you didn't get a chance to do last year. There's more reason to do that now than ever...first, it's been extended to 60-days, but more importantly, for the first time ever, they are streaming select albums in hi-rez via MQA encoding. Check this out:

http://tidal.com/us/masters

Everything that I've played so far sounds great via the TIDAL desktop app's software MQA unfolding (I don't currently own an MQA capable DAC). All MASTER albums are playing at either 88.2kHz or 96kHz.

There's lots of confusion in the on-line forums about how to find and play these since they are not as easy to find as they could be. Here are some tips:

- You must use the TIDAL desktop app (PC or Mac). Get it here: http://tidal.com/us/download
- Start your free trial here. You must choose "TIDAL HiFi". I recommend the "Value Plan": http://tidal.com/us/try-now
- Launch the app and get logged in
- Find "Albums" under "What's New", and then choose "Masters". You will not see "Masters" if you're using the mobile or web app...only the TIDAL desktop app will show this section!
- Attach a USB DAC to your PC (your Geek Pulse or whatever)
- Pick one of the 484+ albums under "Masters" and play it
- If sound is coming out of your PC's speakers instead of the DAC, click on the word "MASTER" at the bottom right of the app to open "Settings". Look at "Sound Output" under "Streaming". Select the radio button next to your DAC in the list.
- While your mouse is hovering over your DAC in the above list, click on the gear. Make sure that you have selected "Use Exclusive Mode". Leave "Passthrough MQA" unchecked unless you know that you have an MQA capable DAC
- Get some snacks and pour yourself an appropriate adult beverage
- Enjoy fine music on a cold day

All of the albums that I have played so far unfold at either 88.2kHz or 96kHz, but I understand that you could see higher rates with an MQA equipped DAC. I generally don't get very excited by delivery format, but the mastering quality on the albums that they have selected so far seems to be above average...probably similar to the initial launch of SACD. Cheers!

-- David