Meridian Launches New Digital Encoding and Storage Process

by The Audio Beat | December 29, 2014

ore than a decade ago, Meridian developed MLP, Meridian Lossless Packing, the format used for encoding and storage of digital data for DVD-A. Perhaps with this in mind, the British company has announced the launch of MQA, which stands for Master Quality -- Authenticated, a digital process that is said "to create an authenticated exact reconstruction of the original analogue signal."

MQA is a lossless process that uses a new sampling method based on neuroscience and psychoacoustic research to build a data file or stream that delivers "the total essence of an original recording and [conveys] it all the way to the listener, assuring that what they are listening to is identical to the master recording." MQA also also delivers sophisticated metadata, including details of the recording and instructions for the decoder and D/A converters. MQA can be used with any lossless format -- ALAC, FLAC, or WAV -- and unlike large, high-sample-rate files, an MQA file is "extremely efficiently encoded and yet it contains and protects all the sound of the original."

During playback, MQA is handled by a simple decoder -- an app, a software player or some other piece of hardware -- and it works for all masters between 44.1 and 768kHz.

More details of MQA, along with a demo of the process, will be available at the Consumer Electronics Show, held January 6-9, 2015.

The Audio Beat • Nothing on this site may be reprinted or reused without permission.