Wednesday 20 September 2023

RIP MQA codec? (Yeah. On Lenbrook Group's acquisition of bankrupt MQA Ltd., and SCL6.)

Hey folks, it looks like the saga around MQA never ends, but I think they're just scraping the bottom of the barrel with one last crank of the hype machine with hopes that this is somehow face-saving as well. :-|

So as of yesterday (September 19, 2023) it appears that Canadian brand Lenbrook Group of Companies - NAD, PSB, Bluesound - has acquired the intellectual property for MQA. Let's talk about this.

Saturday 16 September 2023

As We Hear It: On requesting artists/albums to streaming services. (Plus adding more RAM and larger SSD to the computer workstation.)

Hey everyone, life's been very busy so not much time to think or work on audio stuff.

A few weeks back in my discussion of Qobuz in Canada, I said: "I'm curious, has anyone out there contacted their streaming service to request the addition of an artist or album? Were you able to get your requests included?"

Well, I received a number of responses, mostly from folks who were happy that Qobuz or TIDAL were able to oblige with putting their requests up. Here's a very well written one that I thought would be good to share with everyone... It brings up important points especially these days as we transition into more music lovers depending on the services to supply our music. Many, including myself these days are collecting more playlists than actual physical albums or spending the time to download anymore.

Saturday 2 September 2023

MUSINGS: nVidia's GeForce RTX 4090. Power Limited Overclock settings. On technological progress into cognitive domains.

For this post, I thought I'd explore technological progress in the computing space. While I speak mainly about audio topics in these pages, I hope this post gives you an idea of the broader technological progress happening around us.

As per the image above, I've updated my workstation graphics card to a Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC. This card is truly a beast, covering 3.5 slots in the computer thanks to the extra vapor cooling chamber. [Related to this card is the slimmer Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4090 WindForce V2 that "just" takes up 3 slots.]

Years ago in 2017, I spoke about my GTX 1080 used in the game machine of that time. Since then, it's obvious that technology has moved forward very substantially! Every couple years has seen a new generation of graphics cards churned out by nVidia typically with AMD following suit and these days Intel making headway with their more budget-friendly ARC line.

With each iteration, we're seeing objective improvements in computational ability and physical characteristics like the shrinkage of the transistor "process" from 16nm for the GTX 1080 down to the 5nm (near limits of silicon) in the RTX 4090 today. With the ability to fit more transistors into a smaller area (higher density), the number of parallel computational cores has increased from 2560 shading cores (also known as CUDA cores) in the GTX 1080 to 16384 units in the RTX 4090, a 6.4x increase in this one metric alone; not to mention the addition of new features like the Tensor cores (high speed, mixed precision, high-dimensional matrix multiplications) released in the RTX 20*0 generation, important in deep-learning tasks.