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About converting between audio qualities

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
After reading a thread on here about the SQ of audio, I read that once an audio file is at a certain bit rate (mp3), it won't sound better if re-encoded at a higher one.

Is this true? People said that it actually DEGRADES the SQ of the song.

If this is the case, should i just keep the bitrate of the music I already have instead of re-encoding it to a higher one? Thanks.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Spade View Post
After reading a thread on here about the SQ of audio, I read that once an audio file is at a certain bit rate (mp3), it won't sound better if re-encoded at a higher one.

Is this true? People said that it actually DEGRADES the SQ of the song.

If this is the case, should i just keep the bitrate of the music I already have instead of re-encoding it to a higher one? Thanks.
Unless you want to try and remix the song then the original bitrate is as good as you're going to get. Re-encoding can't add anything that wasn't there originally. It can only guess and always guesses wrong.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh ok, well with that said, should I just re encode all of my music to mp3 320 kbs? I only have a handfull that were actually wavs (others downloaded though itunes) and I run out of space when trying to get most of my music on here.

So should I just convert back to 320?
BTW I'm using a portable setup, nothing too fancy (lod, amp, iems)
post #4 of 10
Keep any mp3's that you have downloaded just as they are. You can encode wav files to 320kbs. If you're talking about re-ripping from cd, then yes, you can rip at 320kbs. If you have a space problem on your dap, then you can try ripping at 256kbs. Most people can't differentiate between 256kbs and 320kbs and it will save some space.
post #5 of 10
Yeah, thats true.
Audio codecs like MP3, AAC, ... are lossy. Meaning that they throw away audio data on encoding. This audio data is lost forever, and hence the max audio quality of the file is set.

If you re-encode the MP3 one more time with a lossy codec, even to a higher bitrate, you will most probably end up with even worse audio quality. Cause the encoder need to throw away audio data once more.

So either keep ip as is, or re-rip directly to a higher bitrate.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok, well one last question then. Is apple lossless THAT much better than 320 mp3?

I am using a tough, lod, ibasso t4 and d2 to some super.fi 5s/phonak audeos.

Is it going to make that much of a difference (night and day) or only subtle to none?
post #7 of 10
Lossless audio files allow you to rip to whatever lossy format you like for your DAP. Also, playing music from your archive will sound the best it can (since your source file is identical to the CD).
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Spade View Post
Ok, well one last question then. Is apple lossless THAT much better than 320 mp3?

I am using a tough, lod, ibasso t4 and d2 to some super.fi 5s/phonak audeos.

Is it going to make that much of a difference (night and day) or only subtle to none?
Depends what you mean with "THAT much better".
Apple Lossless are, as the name say, lossless. Meaning that the audio data will be compressed with no loss. While MP3 is lossy. Meaning that the encoder use a psychoacoustic model to throw away audio data before compressing.

The ability to hear an audible difference depend on a lot of factors:
* The audio data (complex or not).
* The encoder (handful different MP3 encoders out there).
* Your playback gear.
* Your (ears/mind) ability to hear artifacts and like.

Why not just give it a try yourself? It may or may not be transparent.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well i just figured something out. With my gear, I did a blind test of an acoustic song that was originally ripped to flac then lossless and listened to that. Then I converted the song to mp and tried it there.

What I found out was that while switching,(I didn't know which was lossless), I couldn't find the differences.

BUT, once I converted all of my music to 320, the sound was muddy and I didn't enjoy it as much. Now I think that the actual culprit here was the placebo effect.

I think that I was listening to the gear more than the music instead of listening to the music and being happy like normal.

I just ordered some Phonak Audeos and after a while I'll forget the placebo effect and go back to being happy.

But thanks for all the input guys, you really helped me out
post #10 of 10
Another happy camper!
For portable use well encoded lossy files (ex. LAME V2) are most often transparent, while on a high quality home rig there may be an audible difference.
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