Originally Posted by chewy4
I've heard people say many times that they can easily distinguish between mp3(of any bitrate) and lossless - NONE have provided evidence that they can do so.
That is simply untrue.
How is it possible to discuss the subject if people fail to even acknowledge the self evident existence of anything that they don't approve of?
It's impossible to "distinguish between mp3(of any bitrate) and lossless"???? Of any bitrate? This is such nonsense that it surely arises from dogma or belief because it has no connection with reality, experience or reason. I don't think there is even one developer or knowledgable advocate of lossy encoders who would claim that "mp3(of any bitrate) and lossless" cannot be distinguished.
There are numerous published and freely accessible listening tests which demonstrate very definitely that lossy audio can be distinguished in abx tests from lossless easily at low bitrates, less easily at medium bitrates and only with great difficulty or not at all at high bitrates.
Anyone can make a set of samples at different bitrates and abx them against lossless and find exactly that. It's hardly a secret or a controversy.
I can only speak for myself but I haven't made any claim that I can always or easily distinguish high bitrate lossy from lossless in an abx.
What I have said:
Some samples/passages still defeat lossy encoders. These aren't common but do exist and any large collection is likely to contain some. Some "killer" samples are well known and freely available (several used to be distributed as part of a training pack for abx testing). If you listen to your music long enough you might even notice you have a few of your own.
abx testing is really hard. Again I'm speaking for myself; other people may find it a breeze. I find it really hard to produce a result in an abx test except on samples which are tonally simple and ideally also of short duration. As I described in a recent post I easily identified an unsatisfactory encode during normal listening and then found it extremely difficult but not impossible to abx it. Note the contrast: easily vs extremely difficult.
Null results are null.
Subjective and relative tests are subjective and relative.
A void does not constitute evidence, data or proof.
High quality lossy encoding might often be as good as the lossless source in listening. Of course it might. But it can never be better! And as source for making files with different encoders it cannot be as good.
The only advantages of lossy encoding are:
reduction in file size or reduction in bandwidth required.
some personal devices only support lossy format X or lossy format Y.
If you can afford 3 pennies per GB for disk storage and you're not constrained by the limitations of a personal player then those advantages evaporate.
There is nothing you can do with a lossy file that you can't do with lossless.
There are things you can do with lossless that you cannot do as well with lossy i.e. proper back ups, highest quality transcoding.
Playing lossless files means always hearing the music at best possible quality on your playback equipment. Guaranteed. Playing lossy files means it might do. No guarantee.Edited by julian67 - 5/3/13 at 11:49am