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DEG, CEA The Recording Academy® and Major Labels Reach Agreement on Definition for High Resolution Audio - Project includes Descriptors for Master Quality Recordings

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:

“DEG, CEA The Recording Academy® and Major Labels Reach Agreement on Definition for High Resolution Audio”. The subtext is “Project includes Descriptors for Master Quality Recordings”.

 

Arlington, VA – 06/12/2014 – DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, in cooperation with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® and The Recording Academy®, announced today the results of their efforts to create a formal definition for High Resolution Audio, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

The definition is accompanied by a series of descriptors for the Master Quality Recordings that are used to produce the hi-res files available to digital music retailers. These can be used on a voluntary basis to provide the latest and most accurate information to consumers.

“The DEG is proud to have played a key role in coordinating the work behind finalizing this important agreement” said Amy Jo Smith, president of DEG. “Thanks to this initiative, the industry can take a unified approach in offering digital music services a variety of information concerning the growing number of hi-res music titles being distributed today”.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, stated, “The Consumer Electronics Association is pleased to have partnered with the DEG, The Recording Academy and major music labels in creating this new High Resolution Audio definition. The contributions made by our Audio Division Board will help consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers alike in their efforts to market the latest compatible devices and help provide more clarity about HRA for consumers.”

“Leading members of The Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing provided valuable feedback on this new High Resolution Audio definition and descriptors for Master Quality Recordings, and we're grateful for their input and expertise," said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of The Academy. "When properly implemented, we believe this agreement will be welcomed by our members and the music community, enhancing their ability to improve the music creative process.”

Conveying a Clear Message

High Resolution Audio is defined as “lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better than CD quality music sources.”

In addition to this definition, four different Master Quality Recording categories have been designated, each of which describes a recording that has been made from the best quality music source currently available. All of these recordings will sound like the artists, producers and engineers originally intended.

Said Darren Stupak, Executive Vice President, U.S. Sales and Distribution, Sony Music Entertainment, “We are pleased to be supporting this definition for High Resolution Audio. We believe that a fundamental way to enable increased development of high def content and hardware, and more awareness and adoption of high-quality listening solutions, is to provide common language and technical descriptors for the music marketplace to use. We think that product offerings that reproduce the full range of sound from recordings, exactly as the artist intended, are a new and compelling option for increasing numbers of music and electronics consumers.“

“Universal Music Group is pleased to work alongside the DEG, CEA and The Recording Academy to reach agreement on a High Resolution Audio definition and Master Quality Recording descriptors,” said Jim Belcher, VP of Technology & Production. “This initiative brings further clarity for consumers of HRA content, and UMG looks forward to making more high resolution tracks available for music fans to enjoy.”

Matt Signore, president, Artist & Label Services, WEA, added, “We support the creation of clear and formal definitions for master quality sources. As high resolution music services continue to grow, we encourage and look forward to all partners in the music value chain meeting the definitions of High Resolution Audio, and providing easy-to-use and exciting experiences. We expect 2014 and 2015 to be years of important developments around High Resolution Audio.”

Master Quality Recording sources

The descriptors for the Master Quality Recording categories are as follows:

MQ-P
From a PCM master source 48 kHz/20 bit or higher; (typically 96/24 or 192/24 content)

MQ-A
From an analog master source

MQ-C
From a CD master source (44.1 kHz/16 bit content)

MQ-D
From a DSD/DSF master source (typically 2.8 or 5.6 MHz content)

High Resolution Audio Listening Experience

To further expand the High Resolution Audio initiative, The Recording Academy, the DEG and the CEA are sponsoring a special High Resolution Audio Listening Experience event, which will be held at Jungle City Studios in New York on Tuesday, June 24 from 6pm to 9pm during CE Week.

full press release

 

AudioStream had a article on the confusion that MQ-C might create

 

Quote:
"Check it out. I just bought the Master Quality version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon!"
"Wow, Cool. What's Master Quality?"
"You know, its...better."
"But it says 'MQ-C From a CD master source (44.1 kHz/16 bit content)' right on the package. How can that be better than the CD?"
"I don't know but its Master Quality."
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

 Interesting interpretation . . . .

 

One poster on ComputerAudiophile wants to make it clear that MQ stands for "Master Quality" not "High Resolution" or better than CD.

Quote:

 

Here is the quote from the article Formal definition for High Resolution Audio. Note I bolded two very important words.
 

"High Resolution Audio is defined as “lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better than CD quality music sources.”

In addition to this definition, four different Master Quality Recording categories have been designated, each of which describes a recording that has been made from the best quality music source currently available. All of these recordings will sound like the artists, producers and engineers originally intended."


Master Quality Recording Sources

The descriptors for the Master Quality Recording categories are as follows:

MQ-P: From a PCM master source 48 kHz/20 bit or higher; (typically 96/24 or 192/24 content)

MQ-A: From an analog master source

MQ-C: From a CD master source (44.1 kHz/16 bit content)

MQ-D: From a DSD/DSF master source (typically 2.8 or 5.6 MHz content)



Thus while MQ-C is not high resolution digital it can "master quality" if the original master is 44.1kHz/16 bit and the copy is lossless.

You all are confusing "master quality" with "high resolution" as a recording can be of master quality but not high resolution.

 

This has been the main bit of contention online, how can one claim that CD source, if not actually high resolution is master quality.


Edited by HiFiAudio - 6/15/14 at 1:14am
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Researching the Research -  Dr. AIX posts

 

Quote:

The CEA is going to do a market research project on high-resolution audio. I talked about this in a previous post (read it here). However, the previous conference call happened before the announcement/press release from The Recording Academy, DEG, CEA and major labels on June 12 that “defined” high-resolution audio and the four audio descriptors that indicate the provenance of the music you purchase online. As I’ve thought about the press release and the research project, it seems that we’ve gone about the process in reverse. [BTW The press release can be downloaded from the FTP site, if you haven't found it online.]

 

Doesn’t it make sense to do some research about the high-resolution audio market, customer awareness and future opportunities before making a blanket statement about what it is and isn’t? Given what I heard on the phone during the conference call AND the months of calls/meetings that preceded the press release, a research project about what the insiders know about the issue would have been appropriate. When one person says that high-resolution audio is PCM at 192 kHz/24-bit at the start of the call and then we find out from the labels that any digital delivery file with better than CD specs should be considered a “high-resolution audio” file…it means there’s still a lot of confusion. And I doubt that it will clear up any time soon.

 

I plan to drill down in the “definition” of high-resolution audio and the four descriptors as handed down from on high from the DEG, NARAS and CEA in a future post, but for now my focus is on doing meaningful market research to determine just how much people know about it, whether they are willing to shell out premium money for supposed “better fidelity” and if the extra time, space and hassle that accompanies high-res audio is worth it.

 

This is based on his earlier article . . . .Researching High-Resolution Audio

post #4 of 7

Amazing........................Now CD's are high resolution.....................

 

this PR release must be to get folks who buy mp3 and other lossy music like aac to get pysched at the prospect of higher res material that can be downloaded without having to know how to buy and rip a cd.    And perhaps so they can download cds and maybe some actual higher res stuff to their new Pono.  And it could be that Apple wants to have a competing format that is as good as the shiny circle we now have.

 

At least they have a neat naming convention for the real high res stuff.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Here's a interesting article from a opposite perspective with examples you can listen to on your headphones/Dac setup

 

Why I think HD audio is irrelevant

Quote:
High Definition (HD) audio.Those words sound great! You hear about HD and you immediately picture the huge improvement those two letters have brought to our TV sets. If you love music, you can’t help thinking about the promising wonders HD has to offer to our ears… If that’s the case, I have really bad news to tell you. The only thing HD audio guarantees is a tremendous waste of storage space in your hard disk drives and portable players. At worst, it could even degrade the quality of sound. For technical details, I refer you to this excellent article on the subject, but my purpose here is to show you a very simple experiment that proves what I say in the title.

 

Mark Waldrep presented this feedback

 

Quote:

Gabriel,

I’m an advocate for high-resolution recordings, recording engineer, blogger, and instructor of audio and do believe that there are audible differences between recordings that were made originally at 96 kHz/24-bits (and left unmastered) and those that are heavily compressed and released on CDs and as files.

I write a daily blog about Hi-Res audio at (realHD-audio.com). One of my readers provided me a link to your blind test and I was looking forward to taking the test. But from the spectra and information in the article above, it was clear that the original file in the example above is not at all an HD-Audio file “of the highest possible quality”. It obviously came from a DSD recording and while it may have been transferred to a 192 kHz/24-bit PCM container, it’s no better than a CD in terms of fidelity.

So I downloaded the test files and took a look at whether these are actually limited to CD resolution vs. HD resolution…in every case, they are not! The A vs. B are virtually identical in terms of their spectra…making it difficult if not impossible to tell them apart. The first section of the Vivaldi clip for example has a small dip in the frequencies between 20 kHz-25 kHz(about 10-15 dB at -90 dB) but is otherwise identical all the way out to 36 kHz! How can you consider this a fair test?

Other examples are equally skewed…some have small frequency ranges attenuated and then they continue to extend beyond 22 kHz…the max for a CD. I would be happy to provide spectrographs for you and your readers. This test is seriously flaw because of the samples and the process by which you delivered them.

I provide my listeners the ability to download FREE Real HD-Audio files made at 96 kHz/24-bits and then a downconverted example at 44.1/16-bits…and while it is very challenging to heard the difference (and impossible by playing them through marginal equipment and with such short clip segments), many do detect a difference.


Edited by HiFiAudio - 6/20/14 at 12:52pm
post #6 of 7

xiph=oops

post #7 of 7

I'm excited that I can, maybe, soon buy CD quality music on iTunes, instead of buying the CD and ripping it.  Saves storage space, and I have backups of all my music, so this really can turn out to be a win for the consumer.

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