Lenbrook Media Group cooperates with HDtracks – New streaming service with AIRIA by MQA Labs at HDtracks

Lenbrook Media Group has announced that it is joining forces with streaming provider HDtracks to develop a new streaming service aimed at music enthusiasts and audiophiles. The service will of course be based on technologies from the newly formed MQA Labs.

Story Highlights
  • Together with HDtracks, Lenbrook Media Group is planning a streaming service based on AIRIA by MQA Labs, which is aimed at music enthusiasts and audiophiles.

The lossy MQA data format initiated by MQA Ltd. has been regarded from the outset as a solution that would act as a kind of seal of approval for the best possible quality in Hi-res audio content and also serve as the basis for Hi-res audio streaming with the lowest possible bandwidth. After initial euphoria, at least in parts of the industry, disillusionment quickly set in and, ultimately, it was only the streaming provider TIDAL that relied on content in MQA on a large scale. This ultimately led to MQA Ltd. getting into financial difficulties until it was taken over by the Canadian group Lenbrook International – as we reported.

The Canadians formed the new Lenbrook Media Group around MQA Ltd. and only recently founded MQA Labs. Now comes the next surprise, because instead of initiating a completely new streaming service based on content encoded in MQA, as many in the industry suspected, they have now announced a partnership with HDtracks.

Streaming service with AIRIA by MQA Labs

The Lenbrook Media Group, which specialises in high-resolution audio technology, wants to develop a streaming service in partnership with HDtracks that is aimed directly at discerning music fans, according to the Canadian company’s press release. In addition to a number of unique features, the service will offer consumers a choice of formats and will be the first subscription service to utilise the AIRIA by MQA Labs codec, which was previously known by the purely technical term SCL6.

“We have wanted to offer an HDtracks streaming service for some time. In Lenbrook, we have found a partner with global reach to help us launch a service that ensures quality and consumer choice. Fans can choose their format – either PCM as FLAC or MQA – in a service that ensures high-resolution audio streaming whether you’re at home or on the go.”

David Chesky, co-founder of HDtracks alongside Norman Chesky

As already mentioned, the new streaming service will be the first to rely on AIRIA by MQA Labs. According to Lenbrook Media Group, this is a transparent codec that is suitable for streaming from the cloud as well as for wireless transmission from a device to headphones. According to the company, this comes from the inventors of lossless compression for low-latency wireless communication and offers the benefits of a format-independent, scalable codec with a combination of audio quality, reliability and data efficiency.

“Our industry has been built by offering choice to discerning music lovers while using innovation to drive digital music delivery. Being audiophiles ourselves, it’s an exciting prospect to launch a service for the millions of audiophiles worldwide who care so much about the quality of the music they listen to.”

John Banks, Chief Strategy Officer of Lenbrook

Cross-platform offering

According to the Lenbrook Media Group and HDtracks, the new HDtracks streaming service will be available as a cross-platform offering, primarily via a dedicated app for smartphones. Furthermore, direct integration into a wide range of consumer electronics solutions is planned, with the products of Lenbrook brands such as NAD, Bluesound, Bluesound Professional and pcb Speakers taking centre stage. BluOS also provides access to various other solutions from partners of this technology platform.

“Norman and David are the perfect partners for Lenbrook. Their experience and understanding of the High-end audio fan is unrivalled and their history with quality and innovation speaks for itself. We are ready to embark on this journey with them and believe music fans will love it.”

Mike Jbara, VP and GM of Lenbrook Media Group

Getting to the point

When the Canadian Lenbrook Group decided to acquire the faltering MQA Ltd. and all its technologies, many in the industry assumed it was only a matter of time before they would offer their own streaming service. The Canadians’ BluOS technology platform was naturally the centre of attention. In fact, HDtracks from David Chesky and his brother Norman Chesky have now been brought on board as partners and a new streaming service is to be established with them. Of course, the focus is once again on MQA, although the company is now referring to the newly formed MQA Labs and talking about the AIRIA by MQA Labs codec.

THEMELenbrook Media Group cooperates with HDtracks
MQA Labs
ManufacturerLenbrook Group of Companies
DistributionLenbrook Group of Companies
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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