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320 kbps vs FLAC? - Page 2

post #16 of 51
As said a million times in a million threads. Equipment, once it is just competent is not the limiting factor. The limiting factor is not a persons propensity for "golden ears" syndrome. People who can tell the difference can only ever do so for particular samples or particularly tricky genres of music. The particularly tricky samples are extremely rare and freely available and most anyone can tell the difference. Outside of these just about nobody can tell the difference except people that have put alot of time and effort into training themselves for the artefacts. These only occur on particular tracks themselves.

If someone says they can tell the difference, they are 99.99% of the time overconfident in their abilities. When people say it is a matter of having high-end audio-gear they are almost always justifying their own untested subjective experience, I have no doubt they think they can hear a difference (i used to think I could too, it was bloody elementary in my opinion, that is until I tested myself) but they are just about always completely wrong.

I have yet to come across a single person that actually could tell outside of "killer samples" regardless of gear.
post #17 of 51
You're wrong
post #18 of 51
He's right
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibottf View Post
He's right
Just wanted to gave a short worded disagreement with his long post as irony

But yeah I disagree, "tricky Genres?" "rare killer samples"? huh? every single Flac I ever download were superior, it's not 128kbps - 320kbps or maybe not a blind test difference but there a difference, it's take a little work as some of these song I listen too alot but picking up those extra bits of data can take some time, right now i'm downloading Disturbed's Indestructible in Flac I have a 320kbps version right now ,this is not a song I listen to too much but even still i'm confident I'll pick up a difference. i said he's wrong cause he basically said people who can tell a difference are wrong and overconfident, which IMO is pretty shallow, Overconfidence is thinking you're be able to hear the difference from 160kbps and 196kbps, not when one actually hears a difference, I don't know why this needs to be said, but it's all about one's ear
post #20 of 51
Yea....I don't know, when I read that I didn't really feel like replying because it was so out in left field you know? Is he really going to say that most people can't discern between 320 and FLAC?

Talk to the majority of people here who buy all of their CDs and rip them to FLAC or some other lossless format... they do it for a reason; obviously.
Not just for the fact that it is lossless, but because they can hear a difference in sound. Sometimes I forget that when I come here there are going to be ignorant people who spread knowledge as if their uneducated or in this case, wrong opinion is fact.
post #21 of 51
There are a lot of advantages of FLAC, not just sound quality. If it was all about sound quality, I'd settle with 192 or 256bps AAC/OGGkbps or 320 MP3, which I found them completely transparent and cannot tell any difference even with best headphones and speakers I have.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
There are a lot of advantages of FLAC, not just sound quality. If it was all about sound quality, I'd settle with 192 or 256kHz AAC/OGG or 320 MP3, which I found them completely transparent and cannot tell any difference even with best headphones and speakers I have.
What are some of the advantages? I didn't know there were others besides just an increase in sound quality.
post #23 of 51
To be honest this demands another separate thread to be discussed more, but here are some not-so-detailed rundowns.




With FLAC, along with other lossless codecs, You will have stable backup that can used for as master for various transcoding. You cannot use mp3 as master for transcoding, since more severe sound quality loss will happen, even mp3 -> mp3 due to nature of how encoders work. Not for lossless.

-> you can mix/edit (simple as just combining gapless tracks into single file) lossless files without quality loss. For lossy files such as mp3, sound quality loss is inevitable. (same goes for burning mp3 files into CD tracks, and later ripping that CD into mp3 files again.)

-> Lossless are (put "near" for non-free codecs) completely future-proof. There is no guarantee that mp3 format won't be obsolete. When it happens, you have to transcode them into latest format that would be dominant in use, which will cause sound quality loss again. But for FLAC and other lossless files, as long as target format is lossless, the whole process is completely lossless, no changes in information (music) happens. Thus lossless files are ideal for archive.


The best ideal setup to use both advantages of lossless and lossy is....

Buy music in lossless (get FLAC/RIFF(WAV)/AIFF/etc on online or get CD), store them on your computer. Use software that does transcoding into lossy files into portable players automatically. You will have lossy files on portable players (where disk space matters) while you have lossless files on computer (where archive and perhaps sound quality matter)
post #24 of 51
I've gotta back up Pistachio here 100%. I think it's incredibly easy to THINK you can tell the difference between 320kbps and FLAC, but putting your senses to the test can and pretty much always will tell you otherwise.

Knowing what artifacts to look for can actually make you overconfident in this regard, as without the benefit of a blind test you will suddenly hear pre-echo and warble everywhere, even when it's not there. No amount of preparation or education can exempt you from really and truly needing to blind test yourself to accurately gauge your ability.

My money is on nobody being able to tell the difference between 320 and FLAC outside of some VERY acute artifacts in some VERY rare killer samples that, guess what, probably aren't what you are listening to in your car right now.
post #25 of 51
Wnmnkh: Thank's for that information man. Haha yea I actually knew all of that but I didn't think about it when I wrote my previous post. But yea I have to agree. I back up all of my CDs now into FLAC (well I'm using FLAC on my player), but I keep a WAV file as well (I have FLAC in library with Media Monkey to use with s:flo2.

Thanks for the info.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by danroche View Post
I've gotta back up Pistachio here 100%. I think it's incredibly easy to THINK you can tell the difference between 320kbps and FLAC, but putting your senses to the test can and pretty much always will tell you otherwise.

Knowing what artifacts to look for can actually make you overconfident in this regard, as without the benefit of a blind test you will suddenly hear pre-echo and warble everywhere, even when it's not there. No amount of preparation or education can exempt you from really and truly needing to blind test yourself to accurately gauge your ability.

My money is on nobody being able to tell the difference between 320 and FLAC outside of some VERY acute artifacts in some VERY rare killer samples that, guess what, probably aren't what you are listening to in your car right now.
You too easily discount the difference as a placebo effect, I admit a blind test makes it plenty tougher even 128kbps and 320kbps can be tough with a blind test, but I think it's common knowledge that you realise more about something when it's not a mystery, Blind test is what it is Blind, when you realise which is which and do a little listening your will start to hear some differences
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortgammon View Post
You too easily discount the difference as a placebo effect, I admit a blind test makes it plenty tougher even 128kbps and 320kbps can be tough with a blind test, but I think it's common knowledge that you realise more about something when it's not a mystery, Blind test is what it is Blind, when you realise which is which and do a little listening your will start to hear some differences
There's an easy way to verify if the method you describe is useful. Let's say you begin with a comparison where you have a hard time discerning one from the other while blind, say high-bitrate MP3 and FLAC. Reveal to yourself which is which, removing the "mystery," and get to know what makes one better than the other.

Then, "shuffle the deck" and go back to trying to identify each subject without an explicit context clue. If the differences you started to hear in the last step are real, and not artifacts of expectation bias or the placebo effect, you should now be able to accurately detect them in a blind test.

If your accuracy reverts to where it was originally, then you know that the differences you did hear were in your head, and that it WAS placebo effect after all.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortgammon View Post
I think it's common knowledge that ... when you realise which is which and do a little listening your will start to hear some differences
once I was told that Taylor Hanson was a dude, I realized he had a penis. But even with the world's most esoteric and highly resolving audiophile equipment, I was previously unable to detect his adams apple.

now that I know he is a dude, I can imagine his neck bulge is huge - almost enough to the point I THINK I can see it at least 19/20 tries
post #29 of 51
Listen to 4:35-6:05 forget that he talking about the Dac for a sec
+ YouTube Video

I recommend listening to his review any ways even if you never plan on getting a Mclntosh MDA1000, I just like the way he talks audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post
once I was told that Taylor Hanson was a dude, I realized he had a penis. But even with the world's most esoteric and highly resolving audiophile equipment, I was previously unable to detect his adams apple.

now that I know he is a dude, I can imagine his neck bulge is huge - almost enough to the point I THINK I can see it at least 19/20 tries
that's pretty funny , I wish i can see what you're trying to say though
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortgammon View Post
But yeah I disagree, "tricky Genres?" "rare killer samples"? huh? every single Flac I ever download were superior, it's not 128kbps - 320kbps or maybe not a blind test difference but there a difference, it's take a little work as some of these song I listen too alot but picking up those extra bits of data can take some time, right now i'm downloading Disturbed's Indestructible in Flac I have a 320kbps version right now ,this is not a song I listen to too much but even still i'm confident I'll pick up a difference. i said he's wrong cause he basically said people who can tell a difference are wrong and overconfident, which IMO is pretty shallow, Overconfidence is thinking you're be able to hear the difference from 160kbps and 196kbps, not when one actually hears a difference, I don't know why this needs to be said, but it's all about one's ear
Yeah, that's the thing, you THINK you hear a difference. I am telling you that you don't ACTUALLY hear one. I have been involved with audiophoolery for a very long time now, I have read these forums since 2004, I have seen this topic come up a million times, and I have heard from people exactly like you who have never ABX'ed 320 vs Lossless and claim to be able to tell the difference, I used to be one of these people myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Spade View Post
Yea....I don't know, when I read that I didn't really feel like replying because it was so out in left field you know? Is he really going to say that most people can't discern between 320 and FLAC?

Talk to the majority of people here who buy all of their CDs and rip them to FLAC or some other lossless format... they do it for a reason; obviously.
Not just for the fact that it is lossless, but because they can hear a difference in sound. Sometimes I forget that when I come here there are going to be ignorant people who spread knowledge as if their uneducated or in this case, wrong opinion is fact.
Left field? Your in sound-science here, this is not only a common belief, it is actually the only reasonable one, and the only one that is backed up by substantiation.

Quote:
Is he really going to say that most people can't discern between 320 and FLAC?
This isn't even contentious. The figure isn't even close to 50%. It isn't too far from 99% of people can't tell. The 1% that have trained themselves to hear the difference can only do so on very very specific types of music. Close to 100% of people can tell the difference on "killer samples" but these are extremely rare, with only a small group of such samples being known.
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