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Double blind test 128Kbps vs lossless? I'll be amazed if you can tell much difference - Page 9

post #121 of 257

My personal opinion is that you should encode one step higher than you can actually distinguish. In my case I know I can distinguish bewteen 96k and 128k files 100% of the time. So I should go one step higher and encode at 160k. Of course, I came up with this opinion after I'd already re-ripped all my CDs to 192k VBR AAC but stil... you get the idea.

 

I seriously doubt I'll ever be able to distinguish 192k from a CD, so 192k it is for me.

post #122 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsf3g View Post

My personal opinion is that you should encode one step higher than you can actually distinguish. In my case I know I can distinguish bewteen 96k and 128k files 100% of the time. So I should go one step higher and encode at 160k. Of course, I came up with this opinion after I'd already re-ripped all my CDs to 192k VBR AAC but stil... you get the idea.

 

I seriously doubt I'll ever be able to distinguish 192k from a CD, so 192k it is for me.


Have you ever really tried to distinguish 96k and 128K from each other? I'm going to say that your 100% is a flat out lie. We have people here that can't always tell lossless from 128k, but you can tell 96k and 128k 100% of the time? 

post #123 of 257

I can definitely hear the difference between 128k and 320k even on average gear, on good gear I can hear the diff between 320k and Flac. I don't see why its so un-believable for people. Its not really to do with epic hearing, it's just my gear pronounces the faults so Flac always sounds smoother and more transparent than mp3. 128k sounds all out grainy to me. 320k sounds good but not as transparent as Flac. That's about all I can hear. I'm not saying I can hear this 100% of the time, it's only obvious on certain tracks and music types.

 

Another thing I noticed was that I could only hear the difference between the file types if the music was extremely well recorded at the studio to start with, other wise on an average recording it was really hard to tell the difference, but on very well recorded material I'm sure I could tell the difference most of the time.


Edited by T.R.A.N.C.E. - 7/14/10 at 4:58pm
post #124 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by T.R.A.N.C.E. View Post

I can definitely hear the difference between 128k and 320k even on average gear, on good gear I can hear the diff between 320k and Flac. I don't see why its so un-believable for people. Its not really to do with epic hearing, it's just my gear pronounces the faults so Flac always sounds smoother and more transparent than mp3. 128k sounds all out grainy to me. 320k sounds good but not as transparent as Flac. That's about all I can hear. I'm not saying I can hear this 100% of the time, it's only obvious on certain tracks and music types.

 

Another thing I noticed was that I could only hear the difference between the file types if the music was extremely well recorded at the studio to start with, other wise on an average recording it was really hard to tell the difference, but on very well recorded material I'm sure I could tell the difference most of the time.

 

I can agree with you on all of these points. I am not saying its so unbelievable that people can. But when you say 100% of the time, you are really, really pushing it. Even you said its not 100% of the time and only on certain tracks and music types, which is far more realistic than just saying, "I can tell the difference 100% of the time." All you have to do to prove me wrong, is use the ABX feature on Foobar. 
 

post #125 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by T.R.A.N.C.E. View Post

I can definitely hear the difference between 128k and 320k even on average gear, on good gear I can hear the diff between 320k and Flac. I don't see why its so un-believable for people. Its not really to do with epic hearing, it's just my gear pronounces the faults so Flac always sounds smoother and more transparent than mp3. 128k sounds all out grainy to me. 320k sounds good but not as transparent as Flac. That's about all I can hear. I'm not saying I can hear this 100% of the time, it's only obvious on certain tracks and music types.

 

Another thing I noticed was that I could only hear the difference between the file types if the music was extremely well recorded at the studio to start with, other wise on an average recording it was really hard to tell the difference, but on very well recorded material I'm sure I could tell the difference most of the time.


So how'd you do on this test here?

post #126 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


So how'd you do on this test here?


I'm surprised you called out him, and not the guy who can tell the difference between 96k and 128k 100% of the time. 

post #127 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmars78 View Post

I'm surprised you called out him, and not the guy who can tell the difference between 96k and 128k 100% of the time. 


You already called him out, so it's okay.

post #128 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


You already called him out, so it's okay.


Makes sense to me. And I am trying to ABX 96K and 128K as we speak, and its suffice to say, I can't pick them apart. I am not practically guessing, I am guessing. 

post #129 of 257

MP3 encoding sure has come a long way.  I remember back in the early days of napster when I used to be able to guess the bit rate of a track over $20 supermarket bought headphones.  It's good enough now that it often difficult to tell if its compressed when you aren't A/B-ing and know one's compressed and one's not.  No more listening to the first 30 seconds of something and guessing it's 96 or 128 or whatever.

post #130 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmars78 View Post




Have you ever really tried to distinguish 96k and 128K from each other? I'm going to say that your 100% is a flat out lie. We have people here that can't always tell lossless from 128k, but you can tell 96k and 128k 100% of the time? 


I don't see why it is so hard to believe that there is a threshold below which I can distinguish a compressed track from a CD and above which I cannot. Can you distinguish between 64k and 128k nearly all the time? I suspect most, if not all people on this board can. But by your logic none of us should be able to do so since there are people here who "can't always tell lossless from 128k." You're making the mistake of assuming that because much more sonic information separates 128k from lossless, it must be harder to distinguish a 96k MP3 track from a 128k MP3 than it is to distinguish a 128k MP3 track from a 1411k WAV file.

 

I'm talking, of course, about rich, decently recorded music tracks. I'm sure there are voice recordings and such where I would not be able distinguish the two bitrates, but for your typical pop song, yes, I feel confident I can. Part of the reason I feel confident about this is that I once accidentally ripped a CD at 96k (Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won) and kept wondering why it sounded so "shallow" and tinny when I listened to it on my iPod. Only some time later did I realize that I had changed the recording bitrate in iTunes for some voice records I had ripped and forgot to bump it back to 128k before ripping the Zeppelin discs (I think this is before I started ripping at 192k). I've noticed the same thing with tracks I've downloaded that didn't quite sound right until I realized they were encoded at 96k.

post #131 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsf3g View Post

I don't see why it is so hard to believe that there is a threshold below which I can distinguish a compressed track from a CD and above which I cannot. Can you distinguish between 64k and 128k nearly all the time? I suspect most, if not all people on this board can. But by your logic none of us should be able to do so since there are people here who "can't always tell lossless from 128k." You're making the mistake of assuming that because much more sonic information separates 128k from lossless, it must be harder to distinguish a 96k MP3 track from a 128k MP3 than it is to distinguish a 128k MP3 track from a 1411k WAV file.

 

I'm talking, of course, about rich, decently recorded music tracks. I'm sure there are voice recordings and such where I would not be able distinguish the two bitrates, but for your typical pop song, yes, I feel confident I can. Part of the reason I feel confident about this is that I once accidentally ripped a CD at 96k (Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won) and kept wondering why it sounded so "shallow" and tinny when I listened to it on my iPod. Only some time later did I realize that I had changed the recording bitrate in iTunes for some voice records I had ripped and forgot to bump it back to 128k before ripping the Zeppelin discs (I think this is before I started ripping at 192k). I've noticed the same thing with tracks I've downloaded that didn't quite sound right until I realized they were encoded at 96k.


We're having trouble believing your "100%" claim. Especially if the only evidence you have is a one-time rip of one CD who knows how long ago.

 

Rip a fresh file now, once at 96 and once at 128, then ABX them and come back with the results if you want to be believed with no resistance.

post #132 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

MP3 encoding sure has come a long way.  I remember back in the early days of napster when I used to be able to guess the bit rate of a track over $20 supermarket bought headphones.  It's good enough now that it often difficult to tell if its compressed when you aren't A/B-ing and know one's compressed and one's not.  No more listening to the first 30 seconds of something and guessing it's 96 or 128 or whatever.


x2.  The fact that I have to spend a decent chunk of time to hear the difference is a testament.  I still won't use MP3 unless its a free download.  I simply don't like missing data from my sources.  But I can appreciate how far MP3 has come and can't fault anybody that chooses to use it on a portable DAP from 128k on up.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsf3g View Post

I don't see why it is so hard to believe that there is a threshold below which I can distinguish a compressed track from a CD and above which I cannot. Can you distinguish between 64k and 128k nearly all the time? I suspect most, if not all people on this board can. But by your logic none of us should be able to do so since there are people here who "can't always tell lossless from 128k." You're making the mistake of assuming that because much more sonic information separates 128k from lossless, it must be harder to distinguish a 96k MP3 track from a 128k MP3 than it is to distinguish a 128k MP3 track from a 1411k WAV file.

 

I'm talking, of course, about rich, decently recorded music tracks. I'm sure there are voice recordings and such where I would not be able distinguish the two bitrates, but for your typical pop song, yes, I feel confident I can. Part of the reason I feel confident about this is that I once accidentally ripped a CD at 96k (Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won) and kept wondering why it sounded so "shallow" and tinny when I listened to it on my iPod. Only some time later did I realize that I had changed the recording bitrate in iTunes for some voice records I had ripped and forgot to bump it back to 128k before ripping the Zeppelin discs (I think this is before I started ripping at 192k). I've noticed the same thing with tracks I've downloaded that didn't quite sound right until I realized they were encoded at 96k.

 

Sounds like the words of someone who hasn't taken the test.  I used to be smug and arrogant about my attitude towards MP3 until the latest LAME encoded 128k VBR humbled me.  Granted it was an overcompressed master of a modern pop song and not a 24bit/96khz or 192khz DVD audio source.  But still....not too shabby.
 

post #133 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsf3g View Post




I don't see why it is so hard to believe that there is a threshold below which I can distinguish a compressed track from a CD and above which I cannot. Can you distinguish between 64k and 128k nearly all the time? I suspect most, if not all people on this board can. But by your logic none of us should be able to do so since there are people here who "can't always tell lossless from 128k." You're making the mistake of assuming that because much more sonic information separates 128k from lossless, it must be harder to distinguish a 96k MP3 track from a 128k MP3 than it is to distinguish a 128k MP3 track from a 1411k WAV file.

 

I'm talking, of course, about rich, decently recorded music tracks. I'm sure there are voice recordings and such where I would not be able distinguish the two bitrates, but for your typical pop song, yes, I feel confident I can. Part of the reason I feel confident about this is that I once accidentally ripped a CD at 96k (Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won) and kept wondering why it sounded so "shallow" and tinny when I listened to it on my iPod. Only some time later did I realize that I had changed the recording bitrate in iTunes for some voice records I had ripped and forgot to bump it back to 128k before ripping the Zeppelin discs (I think this is before I started ripping at 192k). I've noticed the same thing with tracks I've downloaded that didn't quite sound right until I realized they were encoded at 96k.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


We're having trouble believing your "100%" claim. Especially if the only evidence you have is a one-time rip of one CD who knows how long ago.

 

Rip a fresh file now, once at 96 and once at 128, then ABX them and come back with the results if you want to be believed with no resistance.

 

x2
 

And I just told you, I was ABXing 96kbps and 128kbps and I cannot tell the difference. I am not practically guessing, I AM guessing. Sometimes I am right, sometimes I am wrong. But I am guessing., 

post #134 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


So how'd you do on this test here?


I just did the test on the first page and I think file 2 is the lossless and file 1 is the mp3? What are the answers?

post #135 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by T.R.A.N.C.E. View Post

I just did the test on the first page and I think file 2 is the lossless and file 1 is the mp3? What are the answers?


We don't know. If you can, try it with an ABX plugin. That's the only way to know immediately if the difference you hear is real.

 

Also the only way to really know even after the answer is revealed. Because with just one guess per person, individuals may still be guessing. I don't know if there are enough participants to reach a significant answer.


Edited by Head Injury - 7/14/10 at 8:48pm
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