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320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality - Page 2

post #16 of 516
Bookmarked. That looks interesting.
post #17 of 516

Don't forget that distortion in the audio chain (non-flat response, imbalanced stereo image) can "unmask" differences that would otherwise be undetectable to us because they were correctly masked in the psychoacoustic model.

 

As for 320 vs CD, I haven't tried to critically listen to see if I can hear the difference (mostly because I don't have equipment that could really resolve the differences right now). However, I have obviously noticed differences at sub-200 rates with complex music, enough so that I quit listening to them and got a higher-quality version (through the process of finding that the songs I ended up skipping the most were the ones below 200, a subconscious decision). Mentioned earlier, I mostly use lossless for peace-of-mind, at least when I am not out and about (since background noise masks st00f).

 

Maybe next week I'll attempt to listen critically between my max-quality MP3 and 24/96 lossless track versions, once I get my system back and calibrated.

 

Lastly, I find it silly to be worrying about small differences in files when much of the limitations and room for growth are in the use of stereo rather than a more flexible medium (which I think is becoming more and more relevant/cost-efficient to implement) that uses more channels/transducers to create a convincing wavefront.

post #18 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post


Precisely wink_face.gif
Although psychoacoustic-based compression may discard quieter information which is masked by immediately preceding louder information, that is not the same thing as dynamic range compression as it is known in audio engineering. WindowsX simply mixed up the terms.

 

Mind=blown

 

Looks like case closed?

post #19 of 516

If you check average bitrate of lossless format, you'll mostly see 1411kbps being packed down to 500-800kbps depending on how bits are filled to reproduce dynamics. Some stated I mixed up terms...well I'm not sure about that. Even some links like http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10435038-47.html also stated that buying Amazon mp3 getting dynamically compressed, lossy compressed music. You have 16 bits for each sample to represents dynamic range. Some use 16 and some use even 0. Gap before reaching to 16 will leave room to make lossless compression.

 

How will you convey 750kbps of lossless track down to 320kbps without lossy compression? Impossible unless you convert some lossless tracks that have constant bitrate below 320kbps but still hard to get chance to pass bit transparency check against converted lossy format. I tried converting 320kbps mp3 to flac and then mp3 again but they're not the same file still when compared with bit transparency check through foobar. You can't randomly cut parts that have data represents dynamic range stored so only solution found is to keep most noticeable parts of dynamic range. Get real ppl. If 320kbps is identical to CD, we don't need 24/192 and DSD format to keep digital mastering.

 

Despite mp3 being inferior to lossless, it still has its use and I use it on my portable devices for non-audiophile purposes.


Edited by WindowsX - 10/17/12 at 2:25am
post #20 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsX View Post

If you check average bitrate of lossless format, you'll mostly see 1411kbps being packed down to 500-800kbps depending on how bits are filled to reproduce dynamics. Some stated I mixed up terms...well I'm not sure about that. Even some links like http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10435038-47.html also stated that buying Amazon mp3 getting dynamically compressed, lossy compressed music. You have 16 bits for each sample to represents dynamic range. Some use 16 and some use even 0. Gap before reaching to 16 will leave room to make lossless compression.

 

How will you convey 750kbps of lossless track down to 320kbps without lossy compression? Impossible unless you convert some lossless tracks that have constant bitrate below 320kbps but still hard to get chance to pass bit transparency check against converted lossy format. I tried converting 320kbps mp3 to flac and then mp3 again but they're not the same file still when compared with bit transparency check through foobar. You can't randomly cut parts that have data represents dynamic range stored so only solution found is to keep most noticeable parts of dynamic range. Get real ppl. If 320kbps is identical to CD, we don't need 24/192 and DSD format to keep digital mastering.

 

Despite mp3 being inferior to lossless, it still has its use and I use it on my portable devices for non-audiophile purposes.

 

WindowsX - I read through your replies, and apart from your original post where you simply state "CD is better", I haven't seen you actually answer the OPs question - which was .....

 

 

Quote:
using both as the source of the music in the laptop, can anyone actually differentiate between 320 KBps MP3 and normal audio CD ?

 

Have you actually conducted a true double blind test with the files volume matched - and if so can you discern the difference?

 

I ask the question because I have - and unless there are audible artifacts from the transcode - I cannot reliably discern 320mp3 or aac256 from lossless.  So far - there does seem to be very few people that actually can ..... and most people who claim to either haven't, or won't, try a properly set-up abx test.

 

Your answer addressed theory - but didn't actually answer the question.

post #21 of 516

I already said 'CD is better.'. Even from laptop, CD is still better whether you can perceive it yourself or not. Some people may perceive the difference and some may not. Personally, getting accustomed to very highend speakers system makes perception whole difference from when I could hardly perceive the difference between stock mini cable and some better made ones.

 

We once made test comparing between ripped flac and original CD from common laptop using WMP as ripper and player (yeah non-audiophile app) plugged to musiland feeding $100K speakers system with about 10-20 audiophiles (Esoteric K-01/$10k DIY borbely preamp/Karan KA S 450/Rockport Aquila in well treated acoustic large room). The difference between flac and CD is clear like night and day to all 20 audiophiles, let alone mp3 comparing to CD. I hope this tests won't bring another placebo war though.

 

To make long story short, I can clearly differentiate between mp3 and normal CD audio on laptop system using jrmc playing from built-in speakers directly (maybe mine is some pretty good altec speakers not cheap made ones). But that's for my opinion and my experiences. Not everyone will agree with result I found.


Edited by WindowsX - 10/17/12 at 4:08am
post #22 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsX View Post

Some stated I mixed up terms...well I'm not sure about that.

 
I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. It's late and I'm not inclined to soften this up any, so: I don't think you understand how data compression works, whether lossless or lossy. Please check out the link from earlier, http://arstechnica.com/features/2007/10/the-audiofile-understanding-mp3-compression/ for a quick and efficient overview. For a more expansive overview, there's an excellent text available here. As for Guttenberg, the devil's in the details he glosses over in generic audiophile polemic.

Edited by anetode - 10/17/12 at 4:21am
post #23 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsX View Post

I already said 'CD is better.'. Even from laptop, CD is still better whether you can perceive it yourself or not. Some people may perceive the difference and some may not. Personally, getting accustomed to very highend speakers system makes perception whole difference from when I could hardly perceive the difference between stock mini cable and some better made ones.

 

We once made test comparing between ripped flac and original CD from common laptop using WMP as ripper and player (yeah non-audiophile app) plugged to musiland feeding $100K speakers system with about 10-20 audiophiles (Esoteric K-01/$10k DIY borbely preamp/Karan KA S 450/Rockport Aquila in well treated acoustic large room). The difference between flac and CD is clear like night and day to all 20 audiophiles, let alone mp3 comparing to CD. I hope this tests won't bring another placebo war though.

 

To make long story short, I can clearly differentiate between mp3 and normal CD audio on laptop system using jrmc playing from built-in speakers directly (maybe mine is some pretty good altec speakers not cheap made ones). But that's for my opinion and my experiences. Not everyone will agree with result I found.

 

And you still didn't answer my question :)

 

Did you perform a true double blind test where the volume was matched with an accurate spl meter?  I'm assuming not.  Lets just say that from my own experience, someone saying that they can discern CD (wav) from FLAC (also lossless) properly ripped and volume matched ..... and state that it's "night and day" ....... I'll be polite here, and say I'm massively sceptical.

 

I also find your signature amusing under the circumstances :)

post #24 of 516

Sorry. I didn't catch your post while posting.

 

For 1), I don't think you understand it well enough to distinguish between lossy and compression. Even from 1411kbps to 750kbps also comes with compression. Sorry that I made it too short as I'm more accustomed  to lossless vs uncompressed debate.

 

For 2), I don't think you understand what guy in cnet talks about. Lossless is also compressed and also inferior to uncompressed LPCM. But MP3 is also lossy having some parts of dynamic range cut off like un-needed leftover while some are essentials to reproduce natural harmonics. You won't bother trying to believe in it though so I'll end here.

 

For 3), seriously, I'm not talking about audiophiles. Many respected engineers from RME/Weiss/etc. also made tons of papers and tech info about bit-stream. Try spending more time reading/testing it.

 

For 4), you're right about weasel word. I'm lazy as I know it'll turn out to be useless trying to change opposed opinions so I'll just say whatever I think OP can read and understand using his point of view.

 

For those who think MP3 is as good as CD for whatever listening experiences, fine by all means. I just don't find it that way and I mostly listen to youtube nowadays from computer so I don't really care. I can throw tons of insane and sceptical ideas like calibrating water level like adjusting CNC machine to audio equipments can improve system performance like night and day too. And yeah, hiend is crazy and I stopped bothering about that then enjoy music with what I feel comfortable with.


Edited by WindowsX - 10/17/12 at 4:36am
post #25 of 516
(For those confused by WindowsX's numbering, I started off with 4 points and whittled down to a couple of sentences)

I provided a couple of links which explain why you are wrong. You're going to have to read them for yourself to understand why I think you are wrong. If you have any source of substance or personal research which explains your claim that "Lossless is ... also inferior to uncompressed LPCM" or how mp3 encoding involves dynamic range compression, then I'd appreciate it if you present this evidence.
Edited by anetode - 10/17/12 at 4:42am
post #26 of 516

There was a blind test here at headfi for 320 vs lossless... about 2/3 of people got it right I think.

 

But lossless is not inferior to uncompressed, that's silly. It's called lossless because once it's processed it comes out the exact same.

post #27 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

There was a blind test here at headfi for 320 vs lossless... about 2/3 of people got it right I think.

 

But lossless is not inferior to uncompressed, that's silly. It's called lossless because once it's processed it comes out the exact same.

 

Very few people actually submitted data from a true abx test though.  Of those who did, I think there were only two that actually reliably could tell the difference - and neither said it was 'night and day' ( a phrase I personally dislike - and one that seems to be thrown about readily among the misinformed IMO).  The test is easy to set-up as well > Foobar2000 + abx comparator plugin.  Two files - volume match using the automatic plugin tool,  Run the abx (minimum 15 iterations - 20 is better).  Produce the log.

 

It's funny - but when people are asked to do this - they either ignore it, or claim they can pass the test (one listen), and then promptly ignore any requests for proof.  If you believe the 2/3 - then we have an awful lot of golden ears here wink.gif.

 

IMO - most people will fail a test if they do it honestly - they're actually supposed to.  The funny thing is that the ones that refuse to at least find out the truth are in effect living in denial.  A very few (usually with well trained ears) may be able to tell the difference - but the vast majority of us won't.  Knowing the truth is in a way liberating.

 

Now I'm not advocating not using lossless, and converting all your files to lossy.  I use FLAC for everything at home - simply so that I have a copy of the original file (if I ever need to transcode, or if there are breakthroughs in compression standards).  But I know I personally can't tell the difference between AAC256 and lossless - so it makes decisions especially on formats for space limited portables really easy.

 

What I am suggesting is that the constant stream of people who claim to "easily tell the difference" is sad.  It's time a large portion of us stopped lying to ourselves - and actually find out instead of guessing.  There is no shame in having 'normal' hearing biggrin.gif

post #28 of 516

I didn't claim about lossless vs uncompressed. That's just one example I came up showing there's even more bizzare things like mp3 vs CD. Only thing I claimed was playing WMP's ripped lossless vs audio cd through highend system and I wasn't one conducting that. I witnessed in that event so I said what people concluded there.

 

For evidences, I forgot most places posted years back. Just feeling nostalogic to make some posts in board I was once addicted during head-fi jorney. Try searching for lossless vs uncompressed and you should find people debating with some links and information. I knew too much to make it simple to understand. There're too many things related to digital domain making atomic clock sounds reasonable in some highend systems.


Edited by WindowsX - 10/17/12 at 5:19am
post #29 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsX View Post

I didn't claim about lossless vs uncompressed. That's just one example I came up showing there's even more bizzare things like mp3 vs CD. Only thing I claimed was playing WMP's ripped lossless vs audio cd through highend system and I wasn't one conducting that. I witnessed in that event so I said what people concluded there.

 

Um - you did though .....

 

 

Quote:
We once made test comparing between ripped flac and original CD from common laptop using WMP as ripper and player <snip>. The difference between flac and CD is clear like night and day to all 20 audiophiles

 

FLAC  = lossless.  CD = uncompressed wav.

post #30 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

Very few people actually submitted data from a true abx test though.  Of those who did, I think there were only two that actually reliably could tell the difference - and neither said it was 'night and day' ( a phrase I personally dislike - and one that seems to be thrown about readily among the misinformed IMO).  The test is easy to set-up as well > Foobar2000 + abx comparator plugin.  Two files - volume match using the automatic plugin tool,  Run the abx (minimum 15 iterations - 20 is better).  Produce the log.

 

It's funny - but when people are asked to do this - they either ignore it, or claim they can pass the test (one listen), and then promptly ignore any requests for proof.  If you believe the 2/3 - then we have an awful lot of golden ears here wink.gif.

 

IMO - most people will fail a test if they do it honestly - they're actually supposed to.  The funny thing is that the ones that refuse to at least find out the truth are in effect living in denial.  A very few (usually with well trained ears) may be able to tell the difference - but the vast majority of us won't.  Knowing the truth is in a way liberating.

 

Now I'm not advocating not using lossless, and converting all your files to lossy.  I use FLAC for everything at home - simply so that I have a copy of the original file (if I ever need to transcode, or if there are breakthroughs in compression standards).  But I know I personally can't tell the difference between AAC256 and lossless - so it makes decisions especially on formats for space limited portables really easy.

 

What I am suggesting is that the constant stream of people who claim to "easily tell the difference" is sad.  It's time a large portion of us stopped lying to ourselves - and actually find out instead of guessing.  There is no shame in having 'normal' hearing biggrin.gif

I was unaware of that plugin, I'll have to check it out.

 

While I got it right on the comparison of the two files provided by the test here(only one trial as I was unfamiliar with the plugin, so sue me), it was by no means easy. Had to listen back and forth 5 or 6 times. It does effect certain kinds of songs more though, I'm not sure what the bitrate was of the uncompressed file provided. I'm going to later tonight try with a file that gets compressed at 900+kbps vs a 320 mp3 and I'll share my results.

 

But I think a much more accurate way to see if you can tell the difference would be an immediate switch though, rather than a test that relies on having good short term memory.  

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