Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Why can I tell no difference between AAC 256kbps and Lossless?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why can I tell no difference between AAC 256kbps and Lossless? - Page 2

post #16 of 39
I can immediately recognize <=192k CBR MP3s. VBR MP3s that are -V2 (~190k) or better I can't normally tell and -V0 (~245k) I've never been able to tell.

Oggs at -q4 (~128k) I have a very hard time distinguishing from the original and at -q6 (~192)l I can't tell at all... I encode my own stuff with ogg -q6 unless it's going on my wife's iPod, then it's -V1 Lame.

I've never bought into Lossless for listening. The files are just too darn big and I find oggs and MP3s to be transparent when I encode them myself with good settings.

YMMV, but regardless of what people say on this site... it's actually pretty darn difficult (if not impossible) to differentiate between good lossy and lossless on any equipment. People here are a little beyond what is considered "normal" in the playback world, in a good way. I find I don't fit into the audiophile world to the fullest. I just like great sound, I try not to obsess about it.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1son View Post
I've never bought into Lossless for listening. The files are just too darn big and I find oggs and MP3s to be transparent when I encode them myself with good settings.
I do not understand this complaint of the files being too darn big for listening? You can buy a 1TB drive for much less that $100. Now for portable use of course using lossless is a strain, but that is the great part of about lossless is you can convert it on the fly for portables. Heck for portables that I use at the gym or doing yard work I encode the files much smaller since those environments do not lend themselves to hearing bad compression.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by m1abrams View Post
I do not understand this complaint of the files being too darn big for listening? You can buy a 1TB drive for much less that $100. Now for portable use of course using lossless is a strain, but that is the great part of about lossless is you can convert it on the fly for portables. Heck for portables that I use at the gym or doing yard work I encode the files much smaller since those environments do not lend themselves to hearing bad compression.
They're too darn big... a FLAC compressed CD is in the range of ~300MB, I have 755 albums in songbird right now, that would be 227gig. Instead it's 50gig, small enough to have a full copy at work and a over a third of it on my 20gig portable. The amount of additional space needed and quality gains (which I find to be 0) don't make sense to me.

If you don't mind the larger files, or find a quality difference go for it... I'm all for it. I keep my RAW images around from my DSLR because I find it worthwhile if I ever want to revisit them...
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1son View Post
They're too darn big... a FLAC compressed CD is in the range of ~300MB, I have 755 albums in songbird right now, that would be 227gig. Instead it's 50gig, small enough to have a full copy at work and a over a third of it on my 20gig portable. The amount of additional space needed and quality gains (which I find to be 0) don't make sense to me.

If you don't mind the larger files, or find a quality difference go for it... I'm all for it. I keep my RAW images around from my DSLR because I find it worthwhile if I ever want to revisit them...
Well 1 do not put lossless on your portable, most people would agree with that. Second 270GB is not that big to keep a copy on a portable HD for work. That is what I do for my work setup is have a 500GB USB drive that I take home every now and then to sync to my main collection. (this also conveniently acts as an offsite backup)

Transcoding is the beauty of lossless.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1son View Post
They're too darn big... a FLAC compressed CD is in the range of ~300MB, I have 755 albums in songbird right now, that would be 227gig. Instead it's 50gig, small enough to have a full copy at work and a over a third of it on my 20gig portable. The amount of additional space needed and quality gains (which I find to be 0) don't make sense to me.

If you don't mind the larger files, or find a quality difference go for it... I'm all for it. I keep my RAW images around from my DSLR because I find it worthwhile if I ever want to revisit them...
227GB is not a lot of storage, buy a 1TB for £50 and away you go.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriverdude View Post
227GB is not a lot of storage, buy a 1TB for £50 and away you go.
I know it's cheap, that's not the concern. I already have several terabytes of storage. I'm a fairly serious photographer (uses lots of space) and I have my dvd collection on my server as well (XBMC boxes around the house for playback). I just don't find FLAC to be worth it, just like I don't store my DVDs in the ripped version. I transcode to x264 files with the DD5.1 or DTS track intact. Shrinks them down by about 1/4th at no viewable loss of quality.

The smaller files are just easier to deal with in general. I use rsync to sync home to work remotely (music only), can store a serious chunk on my h320 and android phone, and it's fast to transfer the files around for myself, wife, and family locally or even over the internet. They're small enough that over 3G I can grab an album while standing in line at walgreens and have it ready to go by the time I leave. Those advantages are more important than the 0 quality gain I find from FLACs or other lossless.
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1son View Post
I've never bought into Lossless for listening. The files are just too darn big and I find oggs and MP3s to be transparent when I encode them myself with good settings.
We all have different:
* set of ears.
* gear for playback.
* music we prefer (most likely).

With todays storage prices I have problems understanding why someone need to risk the quality of the source material.
post #23 of 39
My ears cannot tell the difference between v0 mp3's and flac recordings. I can definitely tell the difference between v0 and anything less than 192k. Granted this is through pretty low end gear, but I am quite pleased with the sound I am getting. I feel blessed that I cannot tell because I am able to thoroughly enjoy my music and don't have to worry about becoming obsessive (or broke) in my pursuit of audio "perfection."

However, I absolutely understand FLAC or other lossless for archival reasons. Storage is super cheap, and transcoding to mp3 on my quadcore is ridiculously fast to put things on my Clip. I am trying to get rid of all my physical media, both CD's and DVD's so saving in FLAC is important in case I ever to get to the point that I can hear the difference or what to try different encoding formats in the future (although I am not keeping purely ripped iso's of my movies since video perfection is much, much further down on my list of obsessions than audio is). If I only have mp3's and get rid of my media, I am stuck.

I doubt I will ever spend the thousands of dollars on equipment necessary to really bring out the differences in formats. I hope I never become obsessive enough to do so. I feel like getting into the upper limits of mid fi and certainly into the realm of true hi fi that it becomes more about the equipment and the pursuit than it does the actual music.

The "budget" stuff discussed here and on AVSforum, are already worlds better than mass-market consumer stuff and I am happy that I took that step. I will take probably one step further into the low end of mid-fi once I finish my MBA and (hopefully) begin to make decent money again. And then, God willing, I will be content to pursue other interests.

So in the end, don't feel bad you can't tell the difference, but it just seems smart to keep lossless for archive purposes. You might care much more in the future.
post #24 of 39
Just my few cents worth. I find 256/ 320 / lossless are similar in terms of reproduction of the accuracy of the music. I mean, well you can tell the song as it is.. its tempo is the same and over all structure of the song is recogniozable.

If getting to hear the song is what you wan. Then 128 will do the trick.

Going into higher bit rate, size and quality are compromised. But what exactly is the "quality" we talking about? i am sure we don refer to the widely debated highs/ lows of the song. IMO its the LUSHness and additional details that comes with the higher bit rate. The Flesh and body that make you feel that this song has much details.
I don think we can tell the details apart.. but in my simple analogy.. its like listening to an ochestra of 10 pax vs 30 pax for example. Having more people paying the same type of instrument definietly sounds more lush than just 1 instrument playing alone. The same analogy could be extended to a apacella group vs a Choir I hope this analogy helps.

Ultimately, lossless does not = audiophile. I guess we decide what is best should be based on our own personal listening preference and listening ability.

But i totally agreee with FraGGIer. If you cannot tell the diff , its okie. But if you can, thats great too. But you have to plan for more storage and potentially shorter playing tIme on your iPOD LOL
post #25 of 39
true. I worry endlessly over having FLAC for EVERYTHING and checked some mp3s of stuff where the CD is broken or stolen from me and really dont notice much difference just wish I could chill. Got a 2TB for music and its almost full already. I keep ALL flac in case sometime down the road a can of perfection is released and I need pure audio without compression as much as possible. also being able to burn a correct copy from cues if a disc bites teh dust is great also.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
I didn't need to spend much time A/B'ing between ogg and mp3 (at identical vbr bitrates to determine which sound best) I'm not the only one who's noticed it.
Well, like I said, I don't listen to mp3s. Maybe AAC files are that much better?

Quote:
You do need a fairly moderate system though, I don't think you'll notice it on a av amplifier and budget speakers. You will once you go into mid end Hi-Fi.
I got above mid-fi sometime in the 70s.

Gone deaf?[/QUOTE]

Well, there's little doubt that my high frequency hearing is not what it was when I was 20, though I suspect I can still hear better than I would with my head up my...

P
post #27 of 39
This is a good question and good thread. My experience has been that there is a definitive difference between compressed and uncompressed, however it is almost a case by case scenario. Nearly all factors play into it such as quality of the mastering, complexity of the passage, etc. There is such a substantial amount of variables that will play into this thread that honestly the results are bound to get skewed because each post will only take into account a few of them.

Gear, Selections, Volume, Personal fatigue level, and nearly every other variable will all play into this. Personal testing is the best way to clarify all these things.

Good luck, this is a very fun series of experiments.
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriverdude View Post
128kps mp3 just sounds horrid.
128 is the legacy of early downloading - it was the best size/quality compromise when dial up connections were still king. There is no need for online sellers to continue to use these, as most people now can handle much better quality bitrate with broadband.

But I can tell the difference between 224 and 128 - at least in my library of stuff. However, there are the odd handful of 128s that do sound as good as higher rate, and because I downloaded these, don't know how they were ripped. With these examples, once I compared with a bought CD and ripped to 224-320 there really was no difference. Why, I have no idea.

Even so, most 128s sound restricted in the dynamic range, some just sound awful, with recessed frequencies and general lack of clarity.
post #29 of 39
A few years ago I did some testing with 192kb/s mp3s vs CDs. I was using an audigy 2 as source and speedlink medusa 5.1 headphones and amp. I was sure there was no difference so ripped most of my music at 192kbps mp3. I could tell a difference at 128kb/s mp3 though.

Changed soundcard to an X-Fi Xtreme Music and started to hear a differce on some tracks. It didn't really bother me though. Then I switched to a Xonar D2 (since replaced with an X-Fi Prelude) and started using better headphones (starting with a borrowed set of HD600s).

Now I think that it's not so much the mp3s as the encoding. Mostly the music was encoded in Windows Media Player. Listening now, I can tell roughly when the music was ripped. The older rips are generally horrible with really harsh, grainy cymbal sounds etc. The more recent ones, at the same bitrate generally aren't as bad. I guess Media Player must have got better at ripping somewhere down the line.

So - to a certain extent it's the encoding, rather than the format, that's the problem. Nevertheless, hard drive space is cheap these days and there's always the possibility that you can hear a difference when you upgrade something. I'd rather not mess about and just go straight for lossless.

I've been putting up with the old mp3s for too long now. I should just be ruthless and either delete or archive them and get re-ripping my CDs. It's really grating when a bad rip comes up.
post #30 of 39
its gotta be the gear. 128kbps, lossless, or even a $10k vinyl setup would probably all sound somewhat the same if you're listening through iPod earphones or something.

I also suspect that some types of music respond better to lossy formats such as electronic music. Real instrument reproduction such as cymbals in particular seem to go down the drain with lossy formats but electronic sounds seem to stay somewhat decent sounding even when going lower in kbps. Not sure but this probably shows within the varying FLAC kbps in different genres of music.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Why can I tell no difference between AAC 256kbps and Lossless?