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128k MP3's versus WAV/Lossless - Page 4

post #46 of 73

If you could tell the difference between 320kbps and FLAC (or lossless of your choice) consistently then you have much better ears than mine or I am not there yet in terms of training my ears. if I was given a blind test I'd have no doubt that I would fail miserably but I got no problems with that. I got FLAC at home and high bitrate mp3 for my portable.

post #47 of 73

rawrster

 

- if you are abxing between 320 mp3 and flac. the main difference is in the omph of the bassline and some of the airiness in the treble range.

 

However, if I was given only one file and to say whether it is a flac or 320 mp3 of some music that I have never listerened to, I don't think I would be able to say whether it is mp3 or flac.  That is why I am fine with  listerning to lame encoded vbr v0/v2 mp3 on my portable. And I will keep my home use music in flac format just like you.


Edited by snoopy007 - 6/19/10 at 8:54pm
post #48 of 73
post #49 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post

MP3 is beneficial in encoding time, doesn't require being converted to work with the majority of players, and also offers space savings.

 

Even though space is cheap not everyone wants to deal with the first two . . . not to mention I don't think managing two of the same collection would be highly efficient.


There are media players/managers that can manage and organize both a lossless and lossy version of the same music.  The software does the work and keeps the two versions in sync.

 

I use J River Media Center and it has an option to convert (transcode) on the fly when doing a sync to a portable.  I use that feature to create MP3 versions (LAME -V0) of all my FLAC files.  The MP3 files are saved in a cache directory that I can access if I want to manually access the MP3 files.  J River keeps the FLAC and MP3 versions in sync.  For example, if I change the title of a FLAC album the change gets carried over to the MP3 version.  It works OK.  The configuration and use could be a little easier.  I'm just happy the feature is there and is working as well as it does.  My main library is FLAC (mostly) and everything on the iPod is MP3.

 

I believe MediaMonkey can do similar along with a few (very few) other media players.

 

Lossless has the advantage that it can be transcoded to different lossy or lossless formats.  It is future proofing the files.  An MP3 will always be MP3 even 20 years from now when formats have moved on.  Lossless formats will also preserve HDCD info if you rip an HDCD.  The main reason I have gone to FLAC is for future proofing and HDCD preservation.  The sound quality difference is very slight to nonexistent for me.

 

 

post #50 of 73

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post


Lossless has the advantage that it can be transcoded to different lossy or lossless formats.  It is future proofing the files.  An MP3 will always be MP3 even 20 years from now when formats have moved on.  Lossless formats will also preserve HDCD info if you rip an HDCD.  The main reason I have gone to FLAC is for future proofing and HDCD preservation.  The sound quality difference is very slight to nonexistent for me.


While that may be true, I cringe when I hear the term "future proof".  If the standards drastically change I guess I'll suffer the consequences then I guess, till then I'm just fine with MP3 at this point honestly.  Maybe if I have the time, space, and motivation in the future I'll start ripping to lossless.

post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy007 View Post

However, if I was given only one file and to say whether it is a flac or 320 mp3 of some music that I have never listerened to, I don't think I would be able to say whether it is mp3 or flac.  That is why I am fine with  listerning to lame encoded vbr v0/v2 mp3 on my portable. And I will keep my home use music in flac format just like you.

Yeah, this is something else to keep in mind, and one of the problems with a lot of the lossless vs. lossy ABX testing (even though I am typically a proponent of such tests in audio). It is much, much easier to tell the difference between a lossy and lossless version of a song that you're intimately familiar with than one you're not. If you're not familiar with the song, you have to listen intently for the digital artifacts and loss of information whereas if you know the song very well, you now how it should sound and you notice when something is missing. I first discovered the audible differences between lossless and lossy by accident. I put my DAP on random, and a track that I must have ripped before I started using lossless came up. I  was very familiar with the song, and immediately noticed that it sounded wrong. Trying to figure out what the problem was I checked the file properties, and lo and behold it was in 256kb/s mp3. I continued listening on random, and came across several more tracks that sounded wrong in just the same way. Upon checking, they were all lossy files.

 

But I of course find it much, much more difficult to tell the difference when performing a blind test online. I perform reasonably well, and for the most part can tell the difference. But it takes focussed ABing back and forth intently listening for differences between the two tracks rather than immediately being struck with that sense of wrongness. And hey, in the question of lossless vs. lossy, it's our own music that we're concerned about.
 

post #52 of 73

Would converting a flac to 400kbps vbr AAC through foobar be better than an mp3 or is this just a case of try and see for yourself.

post #53 of 73

Convet Flac to: Apple Lossless audio file for ipod.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sinth View Post  converting a flac to 400kbps vbr AAC
post #54 of 73

I know that just was trying to keep file sizes down.

post #55 of 73

I think aac is the best lossy codec I tried with ~200-300kbps compression. I bet it also has a good algorithm for 400kbps. Computer storage is cheap now, I have a 500gb usb external hard drive to store songs on, cost like $70 a while ago.

post #56 of 73

So I did an A/B, with Money off of Dark Side Of The Moon, which I think is one of the best recorded albums of all time. I keep them in Apple Lossless so I just XLDed it into 128k MP3 and blind a/b'ed it, I won't say it was night and day, but there was a difference, with the lossless you could hear a lot more in the coins than with the 128k, but I can only pick that up with my Livewires. Granted, those are my only headphones, but my crappy desktop speakers couldn't play it to the level that I could hear it. Keep in mind also that I'm not using a DAC and am just going from the headphone line out of my MBP, because my M^3 is still in the works, so that's a crap test. Point still stands, I could hear it, not well, but I could

post #57 of 73

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cymbal Monkey View Post

So I did an A/B, with Money off of Dark Side Of The Moon, which I think is one of the best recorded albums of all time. I keep them in Apple Lossless so I just XLDed it into 128k MP3 and blind a/b'ed it, I won't say it was night and day, but there was a difference, with the lossless you could hear a lot more in the coins than with the 128k, but I can only pick that up with my Livewires. Granted, those are my only headphones, but my crappy desktop speakers couldn't play it to the level that I could hear it. Keep in mind also that I'm not using a DAC and am just going from the headphone line out of my MBP, because my M^3 is still in the works, so that's a crap test. Point still stands, I could hear it, not well, but I could


Now try -V0 with the latest lame and perform an ABC/HR, just for fun of course ;)

post #58 of 73

Yea as much as I'd like to sound like an audiophile expert, I'm usually not able to tell the difference between a 320, and FLAC file.  There are SOME situations, I have been able to tell the difference, but it is only when using my reference system, and I would have to assume the 320kb files are older coded files.

 

While I don't doubt that some of you can hear more differences than me, I would say that these differences are extremely subtle.  You could get more improvement out of your system by recabling things than going from a modern 320kbps file to FLAC.  Of course this is just my opinion.

post #59 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamajihoji View Post

You could get more improvement out of your system by recabling things than going from a modern 320kbps file to FLAC.  Of course this is just my opinion.


Now you're just being silly 

post #60 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamajihoji View Post

While I don't doubt that some of you can hear more differences than me, I would say that these differences are extremely subtle.  You could get more improvement out of your system by recabling things than going from a modern 320kbps file to FLAC.  Of course this is just my opinion.


Seeing as how the differences between a 320kb/s and a lossless file are measurable even if not always easily heard by ear, and the differences between two adequate cables are not measurable... I'm going to have to call that one into question.

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