Suppose we start with an original 24/192 hi-res file which I think most of us would agree would be able to encode all that human ears/minds can perceive and likely more (sure, we can argue this point but remember that few recordings are even true 24/192). Now, suppose we want to stream this because that's the music distribution model we see growth potential in and we want to decrease the data rate to an equivalent 24/48 file (as per TIDAL's target data stream) as a reasonable Internet transfer speed.
We have 2 options currently:
a. We already have many high-resolution DACs out there. Do we need a new "format" that's not "fully" backward compatible?
b. Only MQA-certified software / hardware available for decoding. This reduces options for consumers and likely always will especially in the audiophile world where small manufacturers may find it hard to justify licensing costs. Furthermore, small independent developers, free software and Linux distributions would not be able to develop for MQA decoding unless under some kind of license. Ultimately this reduces innovation.
c. MQA versions of downloads such as what we see on 2L (US$19 for 24/96, $23 for 24/192, $24 for MQA, and $30 for studio master DXD) often costs more than downsampled very high quality 24/192. Does MQA encoding actually add any value or are we seeing the added licensing fee passed on to consumers? Is there any justification for the existence of MQA for file downloads when we're not faced with the bitrate limitations of streaming over the Internet?