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I've been enjoying 64 Kbps MP3s

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to give this example of audio perception:

 

I've been using the lower quality steaming option on the Grooveshark website. I did some analysis today with Wireshark and foobar2000. I've had it on for a while (capped internet, blech), and it turns out I've been listening to 64 Kbps CBR mono MP3 files. And enjoying them. Not to say I'm very experienced, but just to say that.

 

Cool, huh? Of course, now that I know, I can't leave it on.

post #2 of 34

It's the cat food paradigm.  Your cat will eat the Friskies and not complain until you decide one day to buy her some Wellness Core.  Then she'll starve herself to death unless you keep buying her the expensive stuff...

 

Since a lot of the quality loss in mp3 and mp4 compression is missing information, unless you know the song well enough to know what's missing, or it's really poor enough that you start to hear the digital artifacts and distortion, ignorance is relative bliss I suppose.  Of course, I'm of the mind that ignorance is tautological, but that's because I'm an arrogant, elitist audiophile .

post #3 of 34

i use 64kpbs AAC+ files. they sound fine. probably a better format than standard MP3 though.

post #4 of 34

Even 128 kbps mp3 sounds shitty... from my car´s audio system. Which, while being rather good doesn´t have the resolution my headphone rig has.

post #5 of 34

My blind test established that the difference between 128 and lossless, while there (at least for some people), is not large.  So you saying that they sound *expletive* seems a bit of an overstatement.

 

As for the 64mp3 file, I think this is much different.  I believe most of "hi-fi" is rather ridiculous, and that actually gains are minimal at best.  But two firm things I believe are file types and headphones.

 

The jump from 64 to 128 is huge and anybody can tell it, especially with good headphones. Past that its a wash. The jump from crappy headphones to nice Sennheisers/Beyers/AKG/etc is also large and anyone could tell the difference.  My own mother even says how great they sound when she hears them. 

 

I have blind tested 5 different headphone amps and dacs (one of them being an ipod) and I was never in any test ever able to tell the difference, even with Sennheiser HD580.  You really have to take what you hear at head-fi with a grain of salt because hi-fi is so easy to think you hear something that is not there.

 

But please, no 64kbps if you like good sound!


Edited by Crazy*Carl - 10/24/10 at 12:19pm
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 

Yeah. Like I said, I can't leave it on now that I know it's that bad. I mean, in mono you can really miss some stuff, too!

post #7 of 34

are we sure it isn't 64kbps aac+? 64kbps aac+ sounds very good and is what a lot of streaming services are using for their lower quality streams. maybe this is really what grooveshark is using.

post #8 of 34

A poll by Cnet found that a good proportion of listeners preferred Sky Songs streaming which could be as low as 16kbps over basic Spotify at 128kbps. Thye also found age and music preferences played a part, as in younger and more pop the more likely the lower rate was acceptable.

post #9 of 34

I can enjoy youtube, myspace etc, but long term in-deept exposure... no way! Those insisting that 128 kbps are good, listen to the high-hats, no pain?

 

Congratulation, you're more thick-skinned than me.. and one of those people who think iTunes are great.


Edited by Albedo - 10/24/10 at 10:36am
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albedo View Post

I can enjoy youtube, myspace etc, but long term in-deept exposure... no way! Those insisting that 128 kbps are good, listen to the high-hats, no pain?

 

Congratulation, you're more thick-skinned than me.. and one of those people who think iTunes are great.


Why not try Crazy Carls 128 vs lossless test, on some tracks the difference can be quite small subjectively and when you do a direct blind A/B comparison without knowing which is which you may be surprised how marginal the difference is, 128 used to be really crappy but codecs have improved a good deal in the last decade, a long way from the warbling sounds you used to get.
 

post #11 of 34

For no good reason I have thought too much time is spent discussing bit rates and not enough on codecs. I love the sound of music through Spotify, it seems to have a fullness Applelossless lacks, yet the bit rate is lower. Ogg Vorbis vs Apple lossless seems more relevant.

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

For no good reason I have thought too much time is spent discussing bit rates and not enough on codecs. I love the sound of music through Spotify, it seems to have a fullness Applelossless lacks, yet the bit rate is lower. Ogg Vorbis vs Apple lossless seems more relevant.



Rdio (a service like Spotify) sounds good as well. i do about 75% of my listening with Rdio on my Android phone. for the cheap 10 bucks month price, these music services are great.

post #13 of 34


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl View Post

 

I have blind tested 5 different headphone amps and dacs (one of them being an ipod) and I was never in any test ever able to tell the difference, even with Sennheiser HD580.  You really have to take what you hear at head-fi with a grain of salt because hi-fi is so easy to think you hear something that is not there.

 

But please, no 64kbps if you like good sound!


I am experiencing this myself. I've already sold off a lot of amps/dacs I tried because there really was no difference between the "low end" stuff and "high end" stuff. Just another way of people with way too much money to feel superior.

post #14 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post                         *snip*


Well, you know how internet works.. -> http://www.loleg.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/how_the_internet_works_sm.jpg

 

But honestly.. last time I checked was, I don't know.. maybe four years ago, had to re-encode LAME EAC 192 kbps to 256 kbps.

 

The difference was not all that, not anything specific I could point out, more like that something was lacking.. low end, fundament or what? energy? In rigorous ABX-testing this wouldn't been detected I guess, but who knows what their deepest senses really are, why does one turn around if someone stares right at your neck?

post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 

Dude, stop staring at my neck!

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by jasonb View Post

are we sure it isn't 64kbps aac+? 64kbps aac+ sounds very good and is what a lot of streaming services are using for their lower quality streams. maybe this is really what grooveshark is using.


I can confirm it's MP3 CBR, LAME encoded.


Edited by tasteful - 10/24/10 at 8:36pm
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