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Can you tell the difference between: FLAC + MP3 + WAV ? - Page 3

post #31 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

First there was the assertion that the stereo signal gets mixed down to mono, instead the information is transferred to both a mid-channel and a side channel (and calculating the offsets renders a stereo signal with no loss). It's a more elegant way of representing the same information. Also, the tiny delays are not discarded in favor of the "mono" signal, though some signals do become masked by others because of psychoacoustic modelling - a process that is separate from joint stereo. A proper implementation does not use the Intensity Stereo (IS) process you describe in favor of the Mid-side Stereo (MS) and the results are markedly different.


Well I don't know what to tell you, but I can definitely hear a difference in soundstage between the two formats with nearly every song. Maybe it's just a side effect of something else but I can definitely hear it.
post #32 of 73

I've done sorta-blind tests between lossless (ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, etc) and 256 VBR/320 MP3. The difference at 256 is very noticeable, at least with my not-shabby equipment. 320 is more subtle, but is still there. I think some of it is variable on the encoding framework, but meh. 

 

The difference... I find it much more "fatiguing" to listen to. I think that's the best word.

 

Perhaps it's that it's less smooth, flatter, more metallic sounding, or has a sizzle. Whatever. At high MP3 bitrates, it is subtle, but there. Note that I do have decent equipment, and relatively young ears. 

 

The difference, however, using 256 AAC, is extremely small, in my opinion. Sometimes, I can't tell the difference. 'tis a much better encoding format, IMHO.

 

 

Interesting, kind of related linky:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/160791/ipod_generation_prefers_mp3_fidelity_study_says.html

 

post #33 of 73

Oh, I'm not saying that a difference in soundstage is impossible due to compression, I was just contesting your description of the joint stereo process. There are still quite a few reasons why there might be an audible difference between files.

post #34 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

Oh, I'm not saying that a difference in soundstage is impossible due to compression, I was just contesting your description of the joint stereo process. There are still quite a few reasons why there might be an audible difference between files.


Oh ok. Well then....yeah smily_headphones1.gif
post #35 of 73

320kb/sec is ok and doesnt really bother me but anything lower then that and I notice it is lower quality straight away....

 

I can also notice the difference between 320kb/sec and FLAC

post #36 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromako View Post

I've done sorta-blind tests between lossless (ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, etc) and 256 VBR/320 MP3. The difference at 256 is very noticeable, at least with my not-shabby equipment. 320 is more subtle, but is still there. I think some of it is variable on the encoding framework, but meh. 

 

The difference... I find it much more "fatiguing" to listen to. I think that's the best word.

 

Perhaps it's that it's less smooth, flatter, more metallic sounding, or has a sizzle. Whatever. At high MP3 bitrates, it is subtle, but there. Note that I do have decent equipment, and relatively young ears. 

 

The difference, however, using 256 AAC, is extremely small, in my opinion. Sometimes, I can't tell the difference. 'tis a much better encoding format, IMHO.

 

 

Interesting, kind of related linky:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/160791/ipod_generation_prefers_mp3_fidelity_study_says.html

 



Interesting, thanks for that link and thanks to everyone who responded, I have settled on 256kbps MP3 using true stereo encoding.

 

post #37 of 73

How the hell you came to the conclusion >_>
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StargateRecords View Post





Interesting, thanks for that link and thanks to everyone who responded, I have settled on 256kbps MP3 using true stereo encoding.

 



 

Off point, despite listening from an Iphone+LOD to amp for portable i take comfort in the last statement. 

On topic: The difference between 320 CBR and lossless is kinda obvious in new-age,classical and jazz but less so in rock and pop with some tracks in that genre impossible to differentiate. The difference between VBR V0 and 320 CBR is also pretty darn obvious in those genres i mentioned earlier, perhaps its hard for LAME's psychoacoustic model to compress tracks of those genres properly. 

 

The difference is mainly a cutting off into noise at the highs in general and some noise/sizzling. This sometimes in vbr makes listening virtually impossible to listen too because its too damn fatiguing like Chromako points out. 

 

Main reason why AAC is not used because it has too damn many flavours and little device support however I have heard that the high profile AAC is good. Ogg from what I heard would be a better alternative.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromako View Post

I've done sorta-blind tests between lossless (ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, etc) and 256 VBR/320 MP3. The difference at 256 is very noticeable, at least with my not-shabby equipment. 320 is more subtle, but is still there. I think some of it is variable on the encoding framework, but meh. 

 

The difference... I find it much more "fatiguing" to listen to. I think that's the best word.

 

Perhaps it's that it's less smooth, flatter, more metallic sounding, or has a sizzle. Whatever. At high MP3 bitrates, it is subtle, but there. Note that I do have decent equipment, and relatively young ears. 

 

The difference, however, using 256 AAC, is extremely small, in my opinion. Sometimes, I can't tell the difference. 'tis a much better encoding format, IMHO.

 

 

Interesting, kind of related linky:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/160791/ipod_generation_prefers_mp3_fidelity_study_says.html

 



 

post #38 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

How the hell you came to the conclusion >_>

 


It's amazing how emoticons have different meanings depending on where you are in the world, wiki says this >_> could mean high five ? (Yes, I am old).

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

Main reason why AAC is not used because it has too damn many flavours and little device support

 

 

This is why I settled on 256 kbps MP3 for portable use, it's the most compatible format, and I cannot tell the difference between 256 kbps and 320 kbps.

 

post #39 of 73

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StargateRecords View Post

It's amazing how emoticons have different meanings depending on where you are in the world, wiki says this >_> could mean high five ? (Yes, I am old).

 

 


Lol.. Interesting link. I think firev1 meant >.> (according to wiki) but as a young guy myself I've never seen an emoticon that was meant for a high five.

post #40 of 73

intresting tread...

im using lossless bcoz just dont want it is the bottleneck to cause my music not nice, and im lazy to compare it since storage nowaday so cheap,should compare it one day when free..

so question here, is it possible, using good equipment to listen a song, is more easy to differentiate the quality than using the bad / normal equipment??? what i mean is, if using a normal earphone, the difference between this 2 format (128kbps and lossless) will be less compared to using the high quality earphone???

 

 

post #41 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by koshinki View Post

intresting tread...

im using lossless bcoz just dont want it is the bottleneck to cause my music not nice, and im lazy to compare it since storage nowaday so cheap,should compare it one day when free..

so question here, is it possible, using good equipment to listen a song, is more easy to differentiate the quality than using the bad / normal equipment??? what i mean is, if using a normal earphone, the difference between this 2 format (128kbps and lossless) will be less compared to using the high quality earphone???


That's a reasonable assumption to make. Faster drivers and less resonance will make the artifacts more noticeable. It may be safer to assume that different headphones can or cannot reveal the artifacts, rather than generalize to "normal" and "high" quality. Brighter headphones, regardless of objective or subjective quality, will be more revealing of distortion in the treble, for example. So a "high" quality headphone like the LCD-2 may be less revealing of treble artifacts than a "normal" headphone like K701 because it has less treble and not because its treble response is any slower.

 

In a way, it's like sibilance. If there's a sibilant recording, some headphones will exaggerate it because of treble peaks and others will present it as it's supposed to be. In the case of sibilance, a headphone is supposed to shove it in your face only if the recording shoves it in your face. Likewise, if a headphone shoves compression artifacts in your face, that might not be an objectively or subjectively good thing. Lossy compression, especially high bitrates, is designed to be as inaudible as possible. MP3 sort of fails at this compared to newer codecs, but that was its intent all the same. Maybe differences shouldn't be huge, and if differences are huge then it's because of coloration, same as if there are no audible differences at all.

post #42 of 73


I've tried in the past, 320vs128 was simple (some time ago, i know that know the new LAME is quite superior at low bitrate). 320 vs flac was harder, and I've listen the same part of the song for at least 10 times before guessing that this is lossless and that lossy. Flac was, at least in that case, more "fresh", i could hear that the istruments were more separated... and by more i mean really slightly.

 

But i keep all the lossless file on my laptop, while on the pc and on the mp3 player i usually have all 320.

post #43 of 73

I can't tell the difference, really. My ears aren't tuned to look for that stuff, and i bet my hardware (Cowon J3, Shure SRH840) isn't good enough to show a huge difference.

I can usually tell when a song has been transcoded from a very low bitrate (often happens when i get music from friends), though.

 

Either way, i still use FLAC because i'm a bit of a perfectionist, and the whole psychological thing makes me enjoy the music more that way.

post #44 of 73

I like this thread a bunch. I have been using FLAC format to remaster and re encode to 320mp3 at CBR (LAME) for use on a PSP 3000. I actually run into a few problems once in a while when someone will take an mp3 and encode it to FLAC, probably thinking it will make it sound better, or some other reason. This is really annoying, and I can definitely tell the difference right away. There is a substantial difference to me.

 

I have encoded my CDs to FLAC using dbPoweramp (which is a really awesome program), and remastered both using the same exact EQ settings on both files using the "apply last effects rack" on Adobe Audition CS 5.5, and I can definitely tell you that the CD was far brighter, with more open mids and open highs than the FLAC from the exact same CD. WMA I haven't yet had a chance to experiment with yet, and it would be interesting to see if there is an audible difference to FLAC and if there is a difference after remastering. But the most profound difference is AFTER I have remastered the file. The CD takes to the remastering far better than the FLAC for some reason.

 

One thing I noticed on the FLAC files is that you get the "Flat top" effect with the spectrum analyzer more than the CD files. Has anyone else noticed that?

 

One other thing I noticed is that the same mp3 files put on my PSP sound way better than on my iPod classic. The mids were harsh, and the highs lost some volume and detail on the iPod. I didn't listen long enough to pay attention to the bass and mid bass, because I said forget this, and stopped listening. I've been wanting to try out a Cowon player, since people seem to prefer those.


Edited by Megaohmz - 9/21/11 at 4:17pm
post #45 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaohmz View Post

But the most profound difference is AFTER I have remastered the file. The CD takes to the remastering far better than the FLAC for some reason.

 

One thing I noticed on the FLAC files is that you get the "Flat top" effect with the spectrum analyzer more than the CD files. Has anyone else noticed that?


Then you're probably ripping the files wrong, or you're not applying the equalization properly. Ripped properly, the FLAC will be bit-for-bit the same as the CD during playback.

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