Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Non-audiophile reactions to high-end headphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Non-audiophile reactions to high-end headphones - Page 416  

post #6226 of 6431
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post

 

Does the same as a zip file.....you can unzip a zipped file, or don't you believe that either!  Sheesh!

 

Yep thats how FLAC/ALAC works. But not MP3, AAC, or any other lossy format. I don't need you to tell me how zip files work, I'm a computer programmer.

 

Maybe this will help you understand it-- zip file compression is a *lossless* compression (like FLAC and ALAC) meaning that when you decompress it you have the exact same data that you had prior to compression. MP3/AAC compression on the other hand is a *lossy* compression meaning once it has been compressed the original data can never be recovered.

 

Up-converting mp3s to FLAC is like using a digital camera to take a raw photo of a compressed jpeg image. Sure, the resulting digital photo is the same file size as any other raw photo taken with that camera but does that mean the jpeg image you took a photo of is now magically full quality and uncompressed?


Edited by devhen - 2/6/13 at 2:25pm
post #6227 of 6431

Sorry friend, you're either trolling and/or have no idea what you're talking about. Everyone is right but you here. MP3 and similar codecs are based on psychoacoustic modeling, which progressively takes out more and more audio information that our ears are less able to hear than other audio information. Said information is permanently removed once an MP3, AAC, etc lossy file is created, and can never be taken back by converting to WAV, FLAC, or any lossless format.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post

 

Meh....just call this the misinformation thread!  I just unsubscribed!

post #6228 of 6431

I took a quick look at page 1 of this thread and jumped to the end. I've had a similar experience to a lot of you with my speaker rig. It's a fairly decent 2 channel set up and some people "get it" and others just couldn't appreciate what they were hearing. I think only certain people are blessed (more like cursed with) the audiophile gene.  Music well reproduced is so much more involving and we should all be thankful we can appreciate it. When you can help educate somebody else it's a nice bonus. 

post #6229 of 6431
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

Sorry friend, you're either trolling and/or have no idea what you're talking about. Everyone is right but you here. MP3 and similar codecs are based on psychoacoustic modeling, which progressively takes out more and more audio information that our ears are less able to hear than other audio information. Said information is permanently removed once an MP3, AAC, etc lossy file is created, and can never be taken back by converting to WAV, FLAC, or any lossless format.

 

I regress, and admit to being wrong, and I was only referring to amazon 320kbps, amazon uses some trickery with their compressed 320kbps downloads, as an authority fro jRiver explains here......so I stand corrected, and I am not fearfull of admitting I am wrong.  I will not be downloading any more of what amazon sells, 320kbps, lossy!  I am back on buying used CD's and using my EAC!  If stupidity offended those here in this case, please have the moderator delete my posts, so as not to confuse!  I can say that I have downloaded flac from HDTracks, that have less quality than the 320kbps amazon downloads, but probably for different reasons.  The jRiver response is below!

 

"MP3s, which is what Amazon sells, are transparent to the original audio (except with extremely contrived examples designed intentionally to trip up the compressors). There have been a TON of real, double-blind ABX tests done with high-end systems (and high-end ears) that show this to be the case. Check out HydrogenAudio if you want the data.

In any case, converting them from nice quality MP3s into FLAC files (or whatever) is a waste of time."

post #6230 of 6431
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post

 

I regress, and admit to being wrong, and I was only referring to amazon 320kbps, amazon uses some trickery with their compressed 320kbps downloads, as an authority fro jRiver explains here......so I stand corrected, and I am not fearfull of admitting I am wrong.  I will not be downloading any more of what amazon sells, 320kbps, lossy!  I am back on buying used CD's and using my EAC!  If stupidity offended those here in this case, please have the moderator delete my posts, so as not to confuse!  I can say that I have downloaded flac from HDTracks, that have less quality than the 320kbps amazon downloads, but probably for different reasons.  The jRiver response is below!

 

"MP3s, which is what Amazon sells, are transparent to the original audio (except with extremely contrived examples designed intentionally to trip up the compressors). There have been a TON of real, double-blind ABX tests done with high-end systems (and high-end ears) that show this to be the case. Check out HydrogenAudio if you want the data.

In any case, converting them from nice quality MP3s into FLAC files (or whatever) is a waste of time."

 

What he means is that, in his opinion and supposedly backed by double-blind tests, Amazon MP3s are a high enough bitrate that (most) people cannot tell the difference between them and lossless files. However, with quality source gear and good headphones you will indeed be able to tell the difference.

 

BTW, Amazon MP3s are in 256k VBR so I don't know why he's saying they are 320k.

 

A lesser person would be too proud to admit they were wrong. For that I applaud you. I'm totally ok with everything and I'm glad you were able to learn some things and get to the bottom of it.

 

Good luck in your continual search for additional high-def audio files. Happy listening.

 

beerchug.gif


Edited by devhen - 2/6/13 at 2:58pm
post #6231 of 6431

That's very bold and intelligent of you, and there's nothing stupid about admitting you were previously wrong. The only goal is to learn more about things like this. Thank you for your maturity.

 

And MP3 at 320kbps does indeed "sound perfect" with 99.9% of songs anyone would listen to -- but, this is only due to the limitations of human hearing (of which there are many). There is still a lot of data thrown out. And computer files like MP3 and FLAC are both only "containers" -- they can only hold whatever they're given to the best of their ability. An MP3 will 'spill' a lot of audio data, where FLAC will retain every drop; but if you put a bad sounding recording in either, it will still sound bad. That will explain the HDTracks thing.

 

And just try to have your internal BS filter pop up more regularly any time you see something like "transparent" instead of "exact" -- just think in real-world terms: a window pane may be transparent and let you see (nearly) everything beyond it, but you can't put your hand through it. It's not the real thing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post

 

I regress, and admit to being wrong, and I was only referring to amazon 320kbps, amazon uses some trickery with their compressed 320kbps downloads, as an authority fro jRiver explains here......so I stand corrected, and I am not fearfull of admitting I am wrong.  I will not be downloading any more of what amazon sells, 320kbps, lossy!  I am back on buying used CD's and using my EAC!  If stupidity offended those here in this case, please have the moderator delete my posts, so as not to confuse!  I can say that I have downloaded flac from HDTracks, that have less quality than the 320kbps amazon downloads, but probably for different reasons.  The jRiver response is below!

 

"MP3s, which is what Amazon sells, are transparent to the original audio (except with extremely contrived examples designed intentionally to trip up the compressors). There have been a TON of real, double-blind ABX tests done with high-end systems (and high-end ears) that show this to be the case. Check out HydrogenAudio if you want the data.

In any case, converting them from nice quality MP3s into FLAC files (or whatever) is a waste of time."

post #6232 of 6431

Most days, I can't tell the difference past 192. Depending on the song, even 128 may be enough. Assuming modern encodings. Older mp3's (we're talking over 10 years ago) sounded "less than ideal" and I can remember when even the different mp3 compressors sounded different.


Edited by Armaegis - 2/6/13 at 3:04pm
post #6233 of 6431

off topic: Would checksums of the files show the difference between the file cute was messing around with?  To show that they did indeed not contain the same data?  I am an ME not a CE/SE so the magic bits and bytes are somewhat of a mystery to me.

 

on topic: I let a buddy at work listen to my Grado 325s on a E11 and he just looked at me and shrugged. With the "and you point is?" look on his face.  He went back to his stock ibuds and said they were good enough for him...Oh well I tried.

post #6234 of 6431
Quote:
Originally Posted by bearFNF View Post

off topic: Would checksums of the files show the difference between the file cute was messing around with?  To show that they did indeed not contain the same data?  I am an ME not a CE/SE so the magic bits and bytes are somewhat of a mystery to me.

 

One method (which is by no means full-proof) is to do a spectrum analysis of the FLAC file and if the audio signal is cut off at around ~ 18kHz - 20kHz then its likely that the file was converted from an mp3 file. However, as I mentioned, this method is not full-proof because its possible to disable the high/low pass when encoding mp3s which results in the data not being cut off at ~ 18kHz - 20kHz. The reason it works in a lot of cases is because the large majority of ripping programs out there have a high/low pass enabled by default that cuts off the very lowest and highest frequencies while lossless formats do not do this (obviously). The reasoning behind this is that when you are compressing a file down to a limited bitrate it might make sense to save those bits for the frequencies that everyone's ears can actually hear. But when you're talking about high bitrates like 320k this isn't as important. I recommend encoding mp3s to 320k CBR and disabling the high and low pass in your encoder, that's what I do.

 

One way to do the spectrum analysis is to load up the FLAC file in Audacity (its a free open source audio editor) and click on Analyze > Plot Spectrum.


Edited by devhen - 2/6/13 at 3:25pm
post #6235 of 6431

Thanks,  I just finished re-ripping everyting into level 2 flac a month ago so I am good now.  I can tell the difference between this and the 192 VBR I was using before with carefull listening.

 

I took some samples to work to let a few people see if they could tell the difference and only two people of the eight got it right about 60% of the time.  Which tells me my mp3's were pretty decent for the average listener.

 

Another note, A buddy of mine is a mac guy (im PC) and he was complaining about loosing al the detail in his music using iTunes.  I took his CD home and ripped it for him in my 192 VBR with EAC and then let him listen to it.  He exclaimed loudly in our usually very quiet office evironment, "You can really feel the thump now!!"  Which had a few people prairie dogging (popping up out of their seats to look over the cubical walls) to see what in the world he was yelling about.  I then explained to him how he could improve his files in iTunes.  He is now much happier with his music.  he even went as far as runnign an old PC just so he could use EAC and media monkey on it.  I think I have a budding convert on my hands.  L3000.gif

 

beerchug.gif

post #6236 of 6431

Sorry if i seem a massive audio noob as i have gotten into this audio stuff just recently. Excuse my ignorance but if I took my mp3s and put them on a CD and then ripped them, would i get better sound quality by using Apple Lossless?

post #6237 of 6431
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0y99 View Post

Sorry if i seem a massive audio noob as i have gotten into this audio stuff just recently. Excuse my ignorance but if I took my mp3s and put them on a CD and then ripped them, would i get better sound quality by using Apple Lossless?

Nope.

 

The information is already lost from the original files as they've been converted to mp3. You'll just be making the files larger by sorting the data differently.


Edited by Tangster - 2/6/13 at 4:15pm
post #6238 of 6431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster View Post

Nope.

 

The information is already lost from the original files as they've been converted to mp3. You'll just be making the files larger by sorting the data differently.

Yep. So you either need to re-rip your files if you had originally uploaded them from CDs, or find FLAC/320kpbs MP3 downloads. Being perfectly honest, you probably can't accurately tell the difference between a 320kbps MP3 file and something like a 756kbps FLAC file. Personally, I know I can't.

 

In any case, I'm a very vain person and would feel like I'd be leaving out some sort of song 'integrity' by not ripping my CDs as ALAC files, but I digress.

post #6239 of 6431

Here is lossless audio (FLAC, ALAC, WAV, etc.)


 


 

Here is lossy audio (compressed to 320kbps .mp3)

 



 

Here is lossy audio (compressed to 192kbps .mp3)

 



 

Here is lossy audio (compressed to 128kbps .mp3)

 



 

Here is lossy audio (192 kbps .mp3) converted back to lossless audio.

 



 

When you convert lossy audio back to lossless audio, you are not only not making it lossless audio again, you are making it worse. You can convert

  • lossless to lossless
  • lossless to lossy

 

but not

  • lossy to lossy
  • lossy to lossless

Edited by Tus-Chan - 2/6/13 at 6:45pm
post #6240 of 6431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Impulsum View Post

Yep. So you either need to re-rip your files if you had originally uploaded them from CDs, or find FLAC/320kpbs MP3 downloads. Being perfectly honest, you probably can't accurately tell the difference between a 320kbps MP3 file and something like a 756kbps FLAC file. Personally, I know I can't.

 

In any case, I'm a very vain person and would feel like I'd be leaving out some sort of song 'integrity' by not ripping my CDs as ALAC files, but I digress.

 

For the most part I find the quality of the recording itself matters more to me... I find I can enjoy well ripped and well mastered 192kbps files over sloppy work in 320kbps.  But yea... even after upgrading to the HD 650s I only find very very (and i mean VERY) subtle differences between a FLAC/ALAC file and a 320kbps file from the same CD.

 

But, agreed with the "integrity" thing haha... I do still rip in lossless these days with EAC (best way to do it IMHO)... just in case I ever do upgrade my chain (or cans.... HD800 or HE 500 anyone?? haha) and the difference becomes more obvious.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Non-audiophile reactions to high-end headphones