or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › 320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality - Page 31

post #451 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

Hi Hapster.  Thanks for your post.  I underlined a couple of things above, because the way you've worded them suggests that you haven't abx'd the two formats properly (level matched and blind).

 

It's entirely up to you if you want to spend the time doing it - and all it will help is your own personal knowledge.  I do think it's worth it.  Most of the people who invest the time to test themselves admit to it being an "eye opener".  If anything it lets you know your own limitations.  It'll probably also show that you are one of us (ie normal human beings).

 

Here's a link on how to do it.  The software is free.  All you need is access to a PC, the internet, and a CD.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/655879/setting-up-an-abx-test-simple-guide-to-ripping-tagging-transcoding

 

Important things are using the same source file for comparison, volume matching, and making it blind (eliminating placebo).


So I wasn't completely wrong.

 

The bad news: There were no "revelations" in the song, it appears that the 320kbps was a "digital version" if you will, and the FLAC came right from the CD, so transitions were different, which is basically the "new sounds" that I was hearing.

 

The "Good" news: I was correct 18/20 times when deciding which was higher quality, now my theory is if there is no distinguishable difference between 320kbbps and FLAC then it could be entirely up to the fact that the CD IS different. Maybe it does have deeper bass, and more prominent highs. It's hard to say.

post #452 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hapster View Post
 

Well, I wasn't the one who converted it so unfortunately I don't know what kind of codec was used.

 

Some codecs are designed for low bit rates and some for high. I guarantee you that if you do a proper comparison of lossless and 320 AAC, you won't hear any difference at all.

post #453 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hapster View Post
 


So I wasn't completely wrong.

 

The bad news: There were no "revelations" in the song, it appears that the 320kbps was a "digital version" if you will, and the FLAC came right from the CD, so transitions were different, which is basically the "new sounds" that I was hearing.

 

The "Good" news: I was correct 18/20 times when deciding which was higher quality, now my theory is if there is no distinguishable difference between 320kbbps and FLAC then it could be entirely up to the fact that the CD IS different. Maybe it does have deeper bass, and more prominent highs. It's hard to say.

 

Nope - it sounds like you were comparing two completely different masters, and probably you weren't volume matched either.

 

Now (if you're game) follow that link I left you - take a track from your own CD that you know well, transcode it to a lossy format, and then compare properly with the tools in the link.

 

It's worth doing .......

post #454 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hapster View Post
 

Well, I wasn't the one who converted it so unfortunately I don't know what kind of codec was used.

In that case, it's entirely possible that they came from 2 different masters, which would cause all kinds of audible differences completely unrelated to the codec or format used. The best way to compare 2 formats (FLAC vs 256 lossy, for example) is to start with the high-quality lossless format, and encode the lower quality version yourself from the high quality one (so you know for sure they both come from the same master). Then do the test, making sure that the two are level matched properly (many encoders drop the volume a couple dB when encoding to prevent clipping).

post #455 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

 ...

Important things are using the same source file for comparison, volume matching, and making it blind (eliminating placebo).

 

... and don't look at your results until you've finished a run. Blind means blind. No peeking at your results during a run, V-Moda M80... :)

post #456 of 545

I find it very difficult to notice the difference between high quality mp3 and Flac. I would still rather own the Flac version though.

post #457 of 545

Can't deny the psychological benefits for those who care about those things.

post #458 of 545

everything is available in 16 bit, why settle for less?

post #459 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneel2Galvatron View Post
 

everything is available in 16 bit, why settle for less?

I agree, but that's a bit of a non-sequitur relative to the topic - an MP3 is also usually 16 bit (or, more accurately, the mp3 itself has no "bit depth" per se, but it won't have a problem encoding the full dynamic range available with 16 bit audio).


Edited by cjl - 5/10/14 at 10:50am
post #460 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneel2Galvatron View Post
 

everything is available in 16 bit, why settle for less?


Never settle. In fact, go for 32 bit mp3s.

post #461 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post
 


Never settle. In fact, go for 32 bit mp3s.

That's not nearly enough. If my processor in my computer is 64 bit, my music should be too. Also, the sample rate should be at least a few hundred MHz. We have fast computers now - why not use them?

post #462 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

That's not nearly enough. If my processor in my computer is 64 bit, my music should be too. Also, the sample rate should be at least a few hundred MHz. We have fast computers now - why not use them?

 

We also have hard drives (and soon enough solid state drives) with TBs of space on them. Why settle for mp3s when you can have a perfect copy of your albums?

post #463 of 545
If a compressed file is audibly transparent it is for all intents and purposes perfect.
post #464 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

If a compressed file is audibly transparent it is for all intents and purposes perfect.

 

That's besides the point. I want a music library that's future-proof, and lossless encoding provides that. When I have the choice between mp3 and FLAC when ripping a CD, why would I bother going with mp3? The only thing it's got going is filesize, and I have over 4TB of free space, so it's a non-issue. If I need to convert my FLAC to any format - for whatever purpose - I can. Transcoding (encoding one lossy format to another) usually results in loss of quality, and that's something I'd rather avoid. Lossless encoding is the only way to ensure that no matter what, I can do whatever I want with my music library.

 

On my phone, which I use as a portable music player, I only have VBR V0 mp3s, because space is an issue. But I don't need to settle for less on my desktop.


Edited by elmoe - 5/15/14 at 1:41am
post #465 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

That's besides the point. I want a music library that's future-proof, and lossless encoding provides that. When I have the choice between mp3 and FLAC when ripping a CD, why would I bother going with mp3? The only thing it's got going is filesize, and I have over 4TB of free space, so it's a non-issue. If I need to convert my FLAC to any format - for whatever purpose - I can. Transcoding (encoding one lossy format to another) usually results in loss of quality, and that's something I'd rather avoid. Lossless encoding is the only way to ensure that no matter what, I can do whatever I want with my music library.

 

On my phone, which I use as a portable music player, I only have VBR V0 mp3s, because space is an issue. But I don't need to settle for less on my desktop.

This, right here. If MP3 finally gets replaced by a far superior codec such as AAC, I don't want to be the one left with a terrible codec and badly supported playback. As long as I have lossless copies of my audio, I can just convert to a different lossy format without a problem. Probably 80% of my music is FLAC and 20% is 320 MP3.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › 320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality