Unfortunately, the links from the original post no longer seem to lead to the files. Does anyone have them?
I did have another listen to one of my own tracks with which I could once successfully distinguish 16 and 24 bit versions. I had just finished working on it when I did the original blind test. Now, a few years removed, I can’t confidently distinguish the two. So I didn’t even bother to repeat the blind test.
The bottom line is this: even if I can’t easily tell the difference now, I know that with thorough attention, it is possible. And how do I know that the day won’t come when there’ll be headphones or speakers that will make the differences more apparent? So I’d hate to lose the 24 bit versions.
With hardrive space growing ever larger and inexpensive, why not have the best quality files possible? I’m pretty tired of getting really into an MP3 release, listening to it a lot, and then hitting that sonic wall that the grain and high frequency roll off of the compression entail. And the more detailed my monitoring gets, the sooner I hit that point.
I do want to say one more thing about 16 and 24 bit files, since I’ve had a lot of past discussions on the topic. The 96 db dynamic range of 16 bit files is sufficient for almost any recording. But as Dan Lavry has said, converters don’t end up quite giving us all 16 bits. Dropping to 15 or 14 useful bits could actually be pretty audible. At the recording end of the equation, the extra dynamic room from 24 bits really adds flexibility to manipulate tracks. So if the source file is 24 bits, getting it to 16 involves dithering. Unfortunately, the noise shaping that goes along with that does alter the signal. I know that it’s measurable. And I know that human ears can pick it out too.