MQA Ltd, the company behind the MQA digital music technology, is going into administration.
We don't have many details at the moment, and it's uncertain if the firm's partnership with Tidal – which uses MQA technology to enable its 'hi-res' audio streams – will be affected. But we do know that MQA Ltd is seeking a buyer and has undergone a restructuring process. (Update: Tidal has confirmed to What Hi-Fi? that the MQA library will remain.)
The full statement from MQA reads as follows:
"Following the recent positive reception to MQA’s latest technology (SCL6), there has been increased international interest in buying MQA Ltd. At the same time, MQA’s main financial backer is seeking an exit. In order to be in the best position to pursue market opportunities and expedite this process, the company has undergone a restructuring initiative, which includes entering into administration and is comparable to Chapter 11 in the US.
"During this process, MQA continues to trade as usual alongside its partners.
"We won't be commenting further while negotiations take place."
This is a breaking news story, we'll bring you more details as they emerge.
MQA audio: what is it? How can you get it?
Read our full Tidal review
My concern is that this may impact my Tidal subscription.
I have years invested in curating my Tidal playlists. They have done a good job of applying my preferences to their suggested listening. I like the UI and flexibility to play Tidal on any of my streaming devices. I "like" at least one new album per week.
The only perceived advantage of the MQA compression is that I can download large "hi-res" playlists to my portable streamers.
Let's hope that Tidal can afford to quickly convert their "Masters" to the original hi-res content (like Qobuz). If I were Tidal I would have a production line going already.
Meanwhile I have exported all my playlists to .CSV in case I need to use Soundiz to move to another platform.
’Breaking news for my reddit peeps: we will be introducing hi-res FLAC for our HiFi Plus subscribers soon. It's lossless and an open standard. It's a big file, but we'll give you controls to dial this up and down based on what's going on.’