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320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality - Page 14

post #196 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

Bitrate is a pretty good marker for how these formats perform. It is an indicator of resolution. There is no 320 format that is not labeled lossy. 24 bit, of course, is well above 4000kbps native and ends up in the mid 2000's after flac or ALAC transcoding. All the data is there. So there is a direct correlation between bit rate and sound quality.

But I have 44.1/16 flac tracks with < 400 kbps, only one has a longer pause in it and the resulting bitrate is ~180 kpbs. I also have a couple of classical 24 bit flacs with < 1500 kbps.

 

CBR (320 kbps mp3) is not comparable to that.

post #197 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

But I have 44.1/16 flac tracks with < 400 kbps, only one has a longer pause in it and the resulting bitrate is ~180 kpbs. I also have a couple of classical 24 bit flacs with < 1500 kbps.

 

CBR (320 kbps mp3) is not comparable to that.

I suppose FLAC does get a little smaller than ALAC sometimes. I have never seen any lossless bitrate go below 500 myself (maybe 490). Very quiet classical movement do seem to have less info.

 

But back to the RIPS, any lossy 320 RIP/transcode is compressed and lossy in nature. A good comparison is to see the actual lossy VBR RIP of a track vs CBR 320. The VBR might very well be in the 100's like your example and good sound quality compared to the 320 rip.

 

But my point is, 24 bit tracks sound better than 16 bit (same track), side by side. And the amount of data is evident in the actual bitrate...

 

I am sold on 24 bit for sure. Not only is the dynamic performance superior, but the tonal performance is better.

post #198 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Bitrate is nothing more than a ratio of file size and time.

Yes and file size is a direct indicator of data contained. And in our world of digital audio, short changing data is not such a good thing. If we already know that a lossless version of a 16 bit track contains 850kbps on average after being transcoded into FLAC or ALAC, then purposely removing 520Kbps worth of data seems like a non-starter. Granted, the 320k result is better than one would expect. But why even do it in the first place?


Edited by jvandyk - 12/27/12 at 2:21pm
post #199 of 516
Quote:

Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

 

But my point is, 24 bit tracks sound better than 16 bit (same track), side by side. And the amount of data is evident in the actual bitrate...

 

I am sold on 24 bit for sure. Not only is the dynamic performance superior, but the tonal performance is better.

Have you seen this thread?

post #200 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

Yes and file size is a direct indicator of data contained. And in our world of digital audio, short changing data is not such a good thing. If we already know that a lossless version of a 16 bit track contains 850kbps on average after being transcoded into FLAC or ALAC, then purposely removing 520Kbps worth of data seems like a non-starter. Granted, the 320k result is better than one would expect. But why even do it in the first place?

Why do you not believe the makers of FLAC and ALAC when they say their codecs are lossless? Are you also paranoid about putting anything in a .zip archive because since the file size shrinks, the data is apparently lost?

 

Nothing is removed. It's just written in a shorthand way. As long as you have a decoder to translate this shorthand data, you're good to go.

post #201 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Why do you not believe the makers of FLAC and ALAC when they say their codecs are lossless? Are you also paranoid about putting anything in a .zip archive because since the file size shrinks, the data is apparently lost?

 

Nothing is removed. It's just written in a shorthand way. As long as you have a decoder to translate this shorthand data, you're good to go.

I agree. Nothing is removed in FLAC or ALAC or a zip file. In 320 lame encoders, alot is removed.This is why they call it a lossy format vs lossless.

post #202 of 516

"Have you seen this thread?"

 

I kind of pity the fellow for not hearing any difference between 24 bit audio and 16 bit. Maybe he has the wrong hobby (if his hobby is audio). In the meantime, his article would seem to be "rubbish" considering every major recording studio disagrees with him.


Edited by jvandyk - 12/27/12 at 2:32pm
post #203 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

But my point is, 24 bit tracks sound better than 16 bit (same track), side by side. And the amount of data is evident in the actual bitrate...

 

I am sold on 24 bit for sure. Not only is the dynamic performance superior, but the tonal performance is better.

 

The difference between 24bit and 16bit is just the dynamic noise floor - which for playback you'll notice no difference between 16 and 24bit.  Take any 24bit recording - then resample (using a good resampler like Sox) down to 16bit.  ABX the two of them.  You won't be able to tell them apart in a blind test.

 

If you are hearing a difference between 16bit and 24bit then it's likely:
[a] It's from a different mastering

[b] They're not volume matched in your comparisons

post #204 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

"Have you seen this thread?"

 

I kind of pity the fellow for not hearing any difference between 24 bit audio and 16 bit. Maybe he has the wrong hobby (if his hobby is audio). In the meantime, his article would seem to be "rubbish" considering every major recording studio disagrees with him.

 

Or, maybe you're under the influence of placebo and expectation bias, and that fellow is the sensible one. I certainly don't pity him for being honest about the failures of human perception.

Blind test yourself. It's fairly easy to set up an ABX test on your computer with two different music files. You probably can't actually tell the difference.

post #205 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

The difference between 24bit and 16bit is just the dynamic noise floor - which for playback you'll notice no difference between 16 and 24bit.  Take any 24bit recording - then resample (using a good resampler like Sox) down to 16bit.  ABX the two of them.  You won't be able to tell them apart in a blind test.

 

If you are hearing a difference between 16bit and 24bit then it's likely:
[a] It's from a different mastering

[b] They're not volume matched in your comparisons

Would you say the same if we just use 8 bits of info? And no, the mastering is not different always (they didn't remaster Gaucho for HD Tracks). One should wonder- Why, in the advent of digital audio way back when, did the recording engineers strive for superior resolution in their recordings? Why didn't they just forget everything and record in 8 bit audio? But in reality, using 20 bit masters was the first step for recording engineers, followed by 24 bit. According to your argument, this was all for nothing.

post #206 of 516

To get back on topic:

Quote:

Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

In 320 lame encoders, alot is removed.

Think about it this way: as long as the result is transparent, the more data is removed, the smaller the resulting file, the better the lossy compression.

post #207 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHeuristic View Post

 

Or, maybe you're under the influence of placebo and expectation bias, and that fellow is the sensible one. I certainly don't pity him for being honest about the failures of human perception.

Blind test yourself. It's fairly easy to set up an ABX test on your computer with two different music files. You probably can't actually tell the difference.

Don't use me as an example, use the worldwide recording industry.

post #208 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

To get back on topic:

Think about it this way: as long as the result is transparent, the more data is removed, the smaller the resulting file, the better the lossy compression.

I agree. I hear a drop off at 256 bigtime on very good recordings. vs lossless. 320 is better. It does not take a kilobuck system to hear it...car stereo will do. Earlier, I was debating this somewhere else and using the new Fagen album (Sunken Condos) as an example. I have the 256k version and 24 bit version. And no, it was not mastered differently. The 256k is a mess. no definition in the bass lines..compressed sounding peaks, blary sounding midrange. Same exact playback devices. Granted comparing 24 bit to 256k is a stretch...but proves my point anyway.

post #209 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

Would you say the same if we just use 8 bits of info? And no, the mastering is not different always (they didn't remaster Gaucho for HD Tracks). One should wonder- Why, in the advent of digital audio way back when, did the recording engineers strive for superior resolution in their recordings? Why didn't they just forget everything and record in 8 bit audio? But in reality, using 20 bit masters was the first step for recording engineers, followed by 24 bit. According to your argument, this was all for nothing.

 

Photographers often shoot pictures in RAW format. This allows them more room for correction in post-production. However, photos are definitely NOT shared in RAW when uploaded to the internet. Why? Because, there are no visible differences between a RAW file and a lossless image file. While RAW contains more data and a higher bit-depth, this is only advantageous when color-correcting the photo. The extra data is non-visible.

 

 

Similarly, that audio engineers record in 24-bit is irrelevant for playback. We're talking about playback here. Blind test yourself. Seriously, do it. I'd love to hear your results.

post #210 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHeuristic View Post

 

Photographers often shoot pictures in RAW format. This allows them more room for correction in post-production. However, photos are definitely NOT shared in RAW when uploaded to the internet. Why? Because, there are no visible differences between a RAW file and a lossless image file. While RAW contains more data and a higher bit-depth, this is only advantageous when color-correcting the photo. The extra data is non-visible.

 

 

Similarly, that audio engineers record in 24-bit is irrelevant for playback. We're talking about playback here. Blind test yourself. Seriously, do it. I'd love to hear your results.

Of course the compressed file size pictures are lower quality. Just use the zoom control. And a file size too small in any photo will result in poor quality professional prints. The only reason for compressing the image file sizes is to use them as lower quality proofs and to not crash their servers with data. A 4x5 negative is of higher quality than a 35mm negative to relate to analog.

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