The Warner Music Group has became the first major music label to announce plans to support the release of downloadable songs in the high-resolution MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) format.
Warner entered into a licensing deal with format inventor MQA Ltd. to make Warner recordings available in the MQA format to download and streaming sites. Warner already makes select songs available in other high-res formats for download.
The agreement “will significantly increase music fans’ access to high-resolution music globally,” MQA Ltd. said.
“Warner Music will now work across its labels on release details,” an MQA spokesperson told TWICE. “More news on Warner’s back catalog and new releases will come very soon.”
MQA is an end-to-end technology promoted as delivering master-quality audio performance in files that are smaller than today’s high-resolution music files. The small file size is also promoted as making it practical to stream high-resolution music from the cloud.
Music from analog, PCM and DSD masters can be MQA-encoded and placed inside any lossless-audio “container” such as FLAC, ALAC or WAV.
Other music companies already supporting MQA are Nordic label 2L, Acoustic Music Records, Bauer Studios/Neuklang, Jazz Arts, Personality Records, Mons Records, Ozella Music and Triplet Records. Eudora plans to launch MQA versions of its songs during the spring and summer.
Warner’s music labels consist of Asylum, Atlantic, Big Beat, Canvasback, EastWest, Elektra, Erato, FFRR, Fueled by Ramen, Nonesuch, Parlophone, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Sire, Warner Bros., Warner Classics, and Warner Music Nashville.
Earlier this week, plans for more MQA-decoding audio products were unveiled.
Download sites offering MQA downloads consist of High Res Audio, 7digital’s web store, Onkyomusic.com, 2L’s web store, and Technics Tracks, some of these sites may not be available to Australian residents.