Originally Posted by Brooko
I think you need to go back to your original post - where you said you could tell the difference between 24-96 flac and lossy. What we've established since is that you were likely comparing different masters.
For the record, I still buy tracks from HDTracks (among other sites). As long as the price is right, and the master is acceptable to me, then I regard them as a great source. For home listening, I listen to the original flac (in whatever resolution I purchased at). I never buy greater than 24/96 though, and for my iPhone - I always re-encode at 256aac.
If you want to attribute the difference in "what I hear" to different masters, fine. I never knew that different masters were used for iTunes recordings vs HD Tracks recordings. I'll take your word for it and use that as a good explanation why "I prefer" the sound of my lossless recordings. Boutique production of digital music.
It explains a lot.
iTunes is like McDonalds... billions served... versus flac and your local steakhouse. You don't have time for perfection, recording to recording, when you are turning out 10's of thousands of recording. Speed and Volume rule. iTunes is good for music equipment purchased from aisle 9 at Fry's.
If it didn't matter, or was undetectable, why spend the dough on great equipment? Why would venders publish frequency specs of 5Hz to 50kHz and mfg products with those capabilities? Why would a sound engineer use the stuff? No one can hear the difference right? It's 50kHz, all ya need is 10kHz. Based upon "people" taking a blind A/B test.
I agree with your last paragraph. It makes perfect sense. That's what you should listen to at home. iPhone, absolutely 256aac !
I'm only talking about home audiophile listening. Nice speakers, nice headphones. That's why we are here. The members here are ... a guess... 0.01% of digital music listeners. As in way, way, to the right of the curve. I rarely listen to portable music. When I do it's on stock buds. I do like the new Apple5 buds. That's Rarely.
I see no value whatsoever in going through the gymnastics necessary to set up an adhoc lab that is capable of balancing source levels etc. to personally compare one format against another. Why? Perhaps I'll conclude that I still like "lossy". It has no practical use in my decision process.
I would, however, be interested in reading the results of testing performed by a qualified entity. Where is the research?
I have learned through this discourse. I did state that I thought the sound quality I detected was due to the format. In the end I just like how it sounds.