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320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality - Page 23

post #331 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanuthead View Post

I can't tell the difference between 320 and lossless/CD in my setup...I still rip all my CD's lossless though.

No point in ripping them any other way! I just make lossy conversions of the FLAC rips for my portable players.

post #332 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post

 

Did you try a foobar abx?


Nope.

 

I loaded the cd using basic winamp and placed an mp3 (ripped 320 using itunes) of the same track in the playlist. The song used was 'Kyau vs Albert - Velvet Morning' (which has a nice bass line & pitched vocals)

 

Using MDR V6, I could clearly hear a difference in quality in terms of clarity. The cd format felt clean & crisp. Where as the mp3 version sounded bloated.

 

Then I ripped the track with Foobar to Flac and it sounded even better!

 

Pretty 'neolithic' setup (no heavy duty audio equipment) but I presume the Sony vaio has a good dac built-in to hear this detail.

 

I did the same tests using tracks like 'Bee Gees - Stayin Alive', Def Leppard - Rock On' etc and felt the same!

post #333 of 516

I rip all of my CDs to 320 -v0 using Lame.  I do this because this appears to be the highest quality I can upload to Google Music without the file being transcoded.   This is the only sure method that I have found to be able to stream my music collection on any computer, iOS, or Android device exactly as it was initially ripped. (provided that the allowable network bandwidth is available)  I can play both my Stereo and Mono Beatles collections through Google Music, but I could not do this with iTunes.

 

I keep my CDs, which are my lossless formats, for whenever I may need them.

post #334 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOBREEDER View Post


Nope.

 

I loaded the cd using basic winamp and placed an mp3 (ripped 320 using itunes) of the same track in the playlist. The song used was 'Kyau vs Albert - Velvet Morning' (which has a nice bass line & pitched vocals)

 

Using MDR V6, I could clearly hear a difference in quality in terms of clarity. The cd format felt clean & crisp. Where as the mp3 version sounded bloated.

 

Then I ripped the track with Foobar to Flac and it sounded even better!

 

Pretty 'neolithic' setup (no heavy duty audio equipment) but I presume the Sony vaio has a good dac built-in to hear this detail.

 

I did the same tests using tracks like 'Bee Gees - Stayin Alive', Def Leppard - Rock On' etc and felt the same!

 

 

The iTunes mp3 encoder is not as good as the LAME encoder.

post #335 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

 

 

The iTunes mp3 encoder is not as good as the LAME encoder.

Are you serious? I have converted all my cds in the past infinite years using itunes (thinking all mp3 ripping software rip to 320 equally through different brands)

 

Now will try to use LAME encoder and see if there is any difference. You're making me pull my hairdeadhorse.gif

post #336 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOBREEDER View Post


Nope.

 

I loaded the cd using basic winamp and placed an mp3 (ripped 320 using itunes) of the same track in the playlist. The song used was 'Kyau vs Albert - Velvet Morning' (which has a nice bass line & pitched vocals)

 

Using MDR V6, I could clearly hear a difference in quality in terms of clarity. The cd format felt clean & crisp. Where as the mp3 version sounded bloated.

 

Then I ripped the track with Foobar to Flac and it sounded even better!

 

Pretty 'neolithic' setup (no heavy duty audio equipment) but I presume the Sony vaio has a good dac built-in to hear this detail.

 

I did the same tests using tracks like 'Bee Gees - Stayin Alive', Def Leppard - Rock On' etc and felt the same!

 

So essentially what you did was compare once - sighted - and can spot the difference ........

 

If you make it a controlled abx - I pretty much guarantee the apparent differences you hear now will all disappear.

 

As you already have Foobar 2000 - you just need the abx plugin, and you need to apply replay gain to the tags to volume match them.  So take your CD, rip once to lossless, and transcode that rip to MP3 320 (again - ideally use latest LAME encoder).  Use the abx comparator - tick the blind box during the test so you can't see the results real-time - and make sure you run at least 15 iterations on the same track.  Post the results.

 

It's an exercise that is worth doing - as it is actually enlightening to really know what we can actually distinguish.  For me - it also makes listening from my iPod Touch G4 more enjoyable.  I know the tracks are AAC 256, I know the iPT4 is essentially flat and transparent (a really good dap actually), and I know that I cannot distinguish AAC256 from lossless.  So placebo can't get in the way at all - and I am never left wondering if I can squeeze any more quality out - ergo ..... I enjoy the music more.

post #337 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOBREEDER View Post

Are you serious? I have converted all my cds in the past infinite years using itunes (thinking all mp3 ripping software rip to 320 equally through different brands)

 

Now will try to use LAME encoder and see if there is any difference. You're making me pull my hairdeadhorse.gif

The latest versions of LAME tends to be a better MP3 encoder than what used by iTunes (is it Fraunhofer?) due to continuous development, but the difference at 320kbps should not be anything dramatic.  It's at lower bitrates that a good mp3 encoder starts to better others.  In short, don't worry about it too much.

post #338 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post


I'm sure your headphones give plenty of bang for the buck, but I really don't think DACs are really needed in most cases.

 

You do need DACs bigshot :)

 

The digital signal does need to be converted into analogue.

 

Whether you need to go and buy an expensive DAC alternative to the one that is in your Computer or CD player already, that is a good question.

post #339 of 516
If you are using iTunes, you should use AAC. It's a little better than LAME and much better than plain vanilla MP3.

An iPod through line out sounds the same as a good standalone CD player or playing through an external DAC. And most CD players, even ones that you get at WalMart for $50 have audibly perfect specs. I don't know about PC sound cards, but the built in audio on Macs is as good as you'd ever need. My Yamaha amp does a fine job of converting digital to analogue too.

It seems to me te best solution is whatever is cheapest and uses the fewest components to do te job. For home, a cheap CD or bluray player. For te road, some sort of iPod.
Edited by bigshot - 1/10/13 at 3:46pm
post #340 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanuthead View Post

I can't tell the difference between 320 and lossless/CD in my setup...I still rip all my CD's lossless though.

 

I haven't tried the comparison, but I'd be surprised if I could tell the difference.

 

I do rip all CDs lossless because I like to think I am listening in highest quality, it is psychological. Also hard drives are so huge these days.

 

I have iTunes compress all the stuff that is synced to my iPod Touch to 256. It is a good thing with iTunes (and I bet other music organisers/players) that you can do this imho.

post #341 of 516
I spent a couple of days doing a careful comparison test and my upper midrange SACD player playing the original CD and an iPod through line out playing AAC 256 VBR and the iPod playing 320 MP3 LAME were all identical on all music. 98% of music was fine a full notch below those settings. I had one CD that had some stubborn artifacting that needed a little extra.
Edited by bigshot - 1/10/13 at 3:52pm
post #342 of 516

I can only speak for myself, but the purpose of the ABX testing that I did was precisely to shatter any psychological misconceptions about sound quality.  I could not be happier with my mp3 collection.

post #343 of 516

You may not notice a difference between 320k MP3's and Flac or WAV, or you might notice a difference. But the fact remains - 320k MP3's are compressed.

So it goes back to the first comment in this thread, it's mostly for piece of mind - Why not rip it to a lossless format if you are listening on the computer? It takes about a minute to copy tracks from Flac to MP3 if you are moving them to a mobile device or MP3 player.

post #344 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post

You may not notice a difference between 320k MP3's and Flac or WAV, or you might notice a difference. But the fact remains - 320k MP3's are compressed.

So it goes back to the first comment in this thread, it's mostly for piece of mind - Why not rip it to a lossless format if you are listening on the computer? It takes about a minute to copy tracks from Flac to MP3 if you are moving them to a mobile device or MP3 player.


This.

 

I've tried an abx test before, and I could get around 8/10, but the amount of repeat listening and careful analysis that needs to be done totally defeats the purpose. Its never going to happen in the real world, so doesn't really matter.

 

Not to mention these abx tests need a perfectly quiet surrounding.

Not everyone has an anechoic chamber at home. 

 

Still, storage is cheap nowadays, so keeping a FLAC rip is a good idea.

post #345 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post

it's mostly for piece of mind

My dog serves that purpose. All I require of my sound files is that they sound great.
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