How to setup the Bridge II to stream MQA through Tidal

July 19, 2017
 by snschroeder
  1. Using rear toggle switch on your DirectStream DAC or DirectStream Junior, power down your unit. Power unit back up.
  2. Update Bridge—
    • DirectStream DAC: Select Bridge II as input then press the Network Button.  Bottom of the screen will show available firmware update. Select update.
    • DirectStream Jr: Long-press input button to enter setup-screen.  Short-press input button until you see Bridge Update.  Long-press input button to initiate Bridge II update.
  3. Download MConnect Control app for either your iOS or Android Device. Please note: you need to search for Mconnect control in the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. Searching for just Mconnect will return the wrong app. 
  4. Open MControl on your smartphone or tablet.
  5. In MControl select Play To at the bottom right of the screen. This will display the available Bridge II to which you wish to send music. Select your Bridge as the output.
  6. Select Browser at the bottom of the MControl app.  Select Tidal and sign-in with your standard Tidal credentials.
  7. In the Tidal section select the 3 Horizontal lines at the top-left corner to enter the Tidal menu options, then select Settings. Once in this menu select HiFi/Masters under the streaming options. Without this selection MQA content will be downsampled to 44.1kHz/16 bit.
  8. In Tidal section navigate to either Playlists or Albums and select the More option at the top-right.  Scroll to the right at the top and you will see the selection for Masters which is the MQA content currently available.
  9. Select your preferred music and you will see on the app that this is an MQA file.
    • DirectStream DAC: You will also see the letters MQA appear on the display of your DirectStream DAC.
      • MQA  — Standard MQA
      • MQA. — MQA Studio
    • DirectStream Jr (please note, volume must be less than 100 to see file details):
  10. Tell us what you think! Better? Worse? An industry imperative for serious streamers or not enough bang for the buck? What bugs have you encountered and what are we missing? Keep the comments coming through our forums

 

 

41 comments on “How to setup the Bridge II to stream MQA through Tidal”

  1. I don’t get the Masters list on the iOS mConnect app – when I navigate to Albums – More, I only see three options at the top (New, Recommended, and Top) and I cannot scroll those options to the right to get to the Masters list. Is this only available on the Android version?

    1. Hi joehakim, two things I’d recommend checking. First, please make sure you’re using the Mconnect control app. This app is different from Mconnect player. If you just search Mconnect in the app store, you’ll only find the player, not the control app.

      I’d also encourage you to make sure you have the Mconnect control app fully updated, if it does look like you have the right app.

      I double checked on my iPhone and you should be able to scroll across the top bar to find the Masters section.

      1. Hi snschroeder – that was it – I had the player app and when I installed the mConnect Control app, I see the Masters selection.

        Thanks for the help!

        To the author, it would help if this was stated explicitly in the instructions above – it only mentions the “mConnect app”.

        1. You’re welcome!

          I’m also the one who put up the How To, so I’ve gone through and added greater clarification on step 3 to hopefully help others avoid the potential pitfall that searching for just Mconnect presents.

          I’m glad to hear you’re up and running now 🙂

  2. Great news!

    Is high resolution MQA only possible when using the app? I’m using both Roon with Bridge II as an endpoint and an Aurender connected to the DSD through AES/EBU. Will either of these also support high res MQA?

    Thanks,
    Christian

    1. Thanks PS Audio for letting us know. I’ve was a long time JRiver user for my 700 gigs of ripped CDs. While the sound was outstanding the interface was maddening for this non-techie! Moreover no Tidal or Internet radio. Switched to Roon with purchase of a new DirectStream DAC last November.
      I’ve really enjoyed interface, ease of use and access to Tidal and internet radio, but I hear a significant downgrade in audio quality. Duncan from PS Audio indicates this may result from Roon processing at computer and JRiver allowing the DirectStream to do the processing.
      Interested whether anybody else experiencing this difference? Really enjoy the Roon interface and ease of use but in the end, its the sound that matters…. Looking forward to streaming TIDAL direct to see if we can experience the best of both worlds.

  3. I’m a totally blind owner. The Mconnect control App is completely inaccessible, unlabelled buttons and tabs. Does anyone have either contact details for the developer or an IOS alternative?
    thanks in advance
    Peter

    1. I’ve asked our software developer who has been working on the Bridge II update to ask Convers Digital for additional info and help with this request.

      When he and I were brainstorming alternatives, I was hoping Roon might work better in this case.

      However, after searching around in the Roon forums, it appears that Roon is not compatible with typical screen readers since so much of the interface is designed in Open GL. Everything is graphically based, rather than text based.

      A Roon developer did mention that real time OCR might work, though it sounded like OCR tech was not quite up to snuff when they were originally discussing things in late 2015 and early 2016.

      Which application or playback software have you found works well for you? Maybe it would be easier for us to start with the application that works well for you and see if we can find a solution from there.

  4. My DS Jr. won’t show the update. Turned off unit back switch, turned on back switch, waited till it came completely up, long pressed front button, short pressed button, cycled through to update screen, says no update available. Huron 3.3.3.

    1. Hi Al, it is possible to update the Bridge II from the Mcontrol app. Click on the cog icon in the top left from the home screen in Mcontrol and then hit the first option for device setup. From there, select your Bridge II. At the bottom of the screen under the S/N field, you should see an option to update your firmware, or if it’s the latest version, it will show “Firmware is the latest version.”

      Once you update, or if you see “firmware is the latest version,” you should be all good to move on to the next step in the how to guide.

      If you don’t see anything at all under the S/N field at the bottom, then that might indicate your Bridge II is having trouble talking with the internet. In that case, I’d recommend giving our service department a quick call. It could be an issue with your firewall, network settings, etc.—too many different possibilities for us to effectively troubleshoot here. 720-406-8946, then hit 2 for service. Jeremy or James will be able to help out.

  5. I have a DirectStream DAC. I tried updating the Bridge 2 but something seems to be wrong. On DAC shows Unit ID is 081261, Firmware is 2.02., Bootloader is 1.13, FPGA is 0.120, USB 0.0..33, Rev is 0140, and Bridge is 0.0.0.,
    Press Setup to display ” Reset Bridge “. Please help me

    1. Hi Lim, the Reset Bridge option is designed to reset the Bridge I, it doesn’t impact the Bridge II.

      If you go to the Bridge Input and then select the network icon, you should see the option at the bottom of the screen for the Bridge II update. If it shows as N/A, or if you cannot get the Bridge II connected to the internet, I would recommend our calling our service team.

      If you dial 720-406-8946, then hit 2 for service, we’ll be able to help you out.

  6. Hi, I successfully updated the firmware of my Bridge II. The problem is that I can’t connect to my Tidal account through the Mconnect control app on my ipad.

    I contacted Conversdigital helpdesk staff but they couldn’t find the solution. I ‘m so frustrated. Any idea of what’s wrong?

    1. Hmm, that one’s a first for me. The fact that you were able to successfully update your Bridge II indicates that things are all right with the DAC and Bridge, so the issue is something going on with Tidal or Mconnect.

      I’m sure you’ve already run through a lot of different test… Have you tried logging into the Tidal website on a computer to make sure you have your username and password correct?

      Another thing to test would be to attempt to play music through Mconnect from a different streaming service or from music loaded onto your device. This would allow us to localize the problem to something going on with Tidal.

      This is another one that might be best addressed by our service team. You can reach them by dialing 720-406-8946 and then hitting 2 for service.

      1. Thanks for your advice. My credentials were correct but mconnect control app can’t tolerate special characters like % in password.
        Now it works.

  7. The Tidal interface is a mess!! Mconnect (or MControl) isn’t Tidal and doesn’t care, and their app doesn’t allow me to connect to the MQA (Masters) files that I want. With the Tidal app on a computer, I can go to “Masters” then hit “More” and get all of the MQA albums. Apparently no way to do that using my android phone. I only get the 15 or so mostly hip hop albums at the top. Also, at the moment, I can’t get anything to play, only the error message, “Delay in streaming or unsupported format.” JRiver/NAS playback is great from computer or JRemote.

    1. Hi Dean,

      Could you check two things?

      1) make sure the Bridge II and your tablet are on the same network. If you have a dual band router, you’ll need both devices on the same band.

      2) have you been able to successfully update your Bridge II?

      If you have checked both of the above and the problem persists, I’d encourage you to give our service line a call. You can reach them at 720-406-8946 and then hitting 2 for service.

  8. I will call later today when I get home from work.

    Answers to above
    1) I only have one network. I downloaded the Oppo remote control app and was able to get this to work
    2) The Bridge II was updated. I was able to download MQA files from 2L and was able to play them through J River with having MQA. in the display.

  9. Hi snschroeder,

    I believe my bridge update processing was into some problem, although it’s showing 3.3.3 and I can stream with. But the MQA file downloaded from 2L played all choppy with either Jriver or Minim, also something wrong with Minim FLAC 24192 files.

    Please let me know if its possible to reset the bridge and how to do it, thx
    Leon

  10. I can stream Tidal MQA through my iPhone without problem. Is there any way to do this from a Mac Mini that is connected by ethernet to my Bridge II??? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Mario,

      Direct connections via Ethernet from a Mac Mini to one of our DACs is a tricky proposition. I’ve heard from a few folks who use an Ethernet crossover cable, but that requires you to do a lot of extra work to get things up and running.

      If you have your Mac Mini and DAC both on your network, you can use Roon to serve up Tidal content to the DAC.

      However, we don’t yet have everything in place for Roon to stream Tidal MQA files and for the DAC to do the full MQA unfold—that’s still a few weeks out.

      For the time being, MConnect Control is the only way to do the full unfold of MQA with our DACs. We’ll put out an announcement and another How To once we have Roon MQA support up and running.

  11. So what are the steps for getting Tidal to play thru the DSD? I have to have Tidal running on a computer? I’m lost on all this- Maybe point me to a link? thanks

    1. There are three main methods to play Tidal through your DirectStream DAC.

      The first option is the method outlined above using MConnect Control. If you follow this how to guide, you’ll be good to go. Please note, this does require the Bridge II card for your DSD.

      The second option is to use Roon. Roon is music management software, and it does require you to have a computer on your network running Roon, which can be a downside for some folks. Many people have pointed out that Roon is sometimes more reliable and enjoyable to use than MConnect Control. This method also requires the Bridge II card.

      The last option would be to hook a computer up to your DSD via USB and control Tidal from the computer. This also requires a computer in the mix, though you won’t need the Bridge II card since you’re using USB.

      If you’d like more help parsing the details or this how to guide, or if you’d like to try out Roon or using USB and could use some extra guidance, our service team would be able to help out. You can reach them by dialing 720-406-8946 and then hitting 2 for service.

  12. Hello,

    I was just wondering if there are plans for a better interface for Tidal? I use Mconnect/control and have MQA, but it’s just about the worst thing since sliced fruitcake. Something for computer?

    Thanks

    Mike

    1. Howdy Mike,

      Perfect timing on your question—our plan is to launch our newest DirectStream series firmware, Red Cloud, tomorrow. This will allow you to use Roon instead of MConnect Control to stream MQA files through Tidal.

      If you’ve not experienced Roon before, I’d encourage you to take it for a swing on their trial period. You can find the details here: https://roonlabs.com/

      Alternatively, if you don’t mind a computer in the mix, you can use USB instead of the Bridge II and then all audio from your computer can be piped through your DirectStream. This would let you use the Tidal desktop application to control playback.

      1. Awesome! Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll check out Roon, I’ve heard a lot about it but never messed with. As far as the USB, which I do have connected to my PWD, that doesn’t send MQA through does it?

        1. Hi Michael,

          The Tidal desktop application takes care of the first unfold in software, which is what you’ll be getting if you hook up your PWD via USB to your computer.

          If you are interested in the full unfold, you will need to use the Bridge II card.

          If you would be interested in more details, feel free to give us a ring at the number I listed above. Thanks, Michael!

          1. Yes, I already use the Bridge for MQA I was just looking for a better app/interface. I’m hearing good things about Roon which I may have to give a shot after the holidays.

  13. I just followed the tutorial and used Mconnect Control HD downloaded onto my new ipad. Been playing for over an hour with now drops and sounding wonderful. All the metadata shows on DirectStream display. No complaints. I purchased Roon after I read so many complaints regarding Mconnect Control, but for now everything is perfect.

  14. For the above procedure, suggest you note that in order to see that MQA is playing properly on the DSJr, when in the volume display the volume knob needs to be set at less than 100 to see the additional left side display info which includes MQA status. This is not intuitive and it took me a while to figure this out.

    Otherwise, smooth update from Huron and hi-res Blue Note MQAs over Tidal sound awesome!

  15. I’d like to make sure that when using MControl, the stream from Tidal goes directly from Tidal servers to Bridge II. So the mobile application is there only to “control” – orders the stream, but the data doesn’t flow through the phone.

      1. Hi tesarpa, Joao,

        When using MConnect Control to stream Tidal, the phone is simply the controller or intermediary. It does not touch the data. All that happens is your phone tells the Tidal servers, “please play this music to the Bridge II.”

  16. Sooo….MControl has to have access to make and manage PHONE CALLS?

    Look – I know this is “common” with apps these days, but you guys have to be kidding me. Tell me why this app that I must use to utilize my Tidal MQA subscription needs access to my phone number and my phone or I’m simply going to return the Direct Stream Junior. Talk about ridiculous.

    1. ok, so I bit the bullet and accepted this ridiculous requirement – and guess what – it works great!

      BUT….what’s the “workaround” for when I decide I’m not OK with some Chinese app having access to make calls from my phone? Is there a way to use my laptop connected either via USB or via the network to stream Tidal to my PS Audio DS Jr. ?

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