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320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality - Page 34

post #496 of 516

I listen to CDs at home and AAC 256 VBR from an iPod at work when I can. I can tell the difference, but the quality is quite good.

 

The only reason I had thoughts of upgrading to flac/wav/alac/whatever is clipping on 2-3 tracks (out of thousands and thousands). I asked bigshot about it and he suspected rightly that the clipping was in the original disc. The rip actually sounds better in those cases because the clipping is less audible.

 

We're not collectively at a point where storage allows for the highest grade formats for anyone with a large collection. Moreover, DAPs and phones haven't become sufficiently bigger in that regard--smaller actually--and I don't intend to futz around with microSD.

post #497 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

 

We're not collectively at a point where storage allows for the highest grade formats for anyone with a large collection. Moreover, DAPs and phones haven't become sufficiently bigger in that regard--smaller actually--and I don't intend to futz around with microSD.

I beg to differ. Getting a few TBs of hard drive space has never been so cheap. As mentioned previously, you only need 300usd for about 6TB (3x2TB hard drives), that's probably cheaper than the furniture you'd need to store that many CDs.

 

As for DAPs I never really understood why people would need their whole collection on them at all times. I have about 30GB of mp3s on my phone and I already spend too much time figuring out what I'm going to listen to next :D

post #498 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

I beg to differ. Getting a few TBs of hard drive space has never been so cheap. As mentioned previously, you only need 300usd for about 6TB (3x2TB hard drives), that's probably cheaper than the furniture you'd need to store that many CDs.

 

As for DAPs I never really understood why people would need their whole collection on them at all times. I have about 30GB of mp3s on my phone and I already spend too much time figuring out what I'm going to listen to next :D

 

Almost everything I listen to has to be bought on CD and ripped. It's simply not available otherwise. It's a lot of trouble to rip twice and it's not worth it to me as I have the CDs to listen to at home and AAC 256 VBR is good enough for work. I often have to delete from my 80 GB iPod to make room for new material. I guess it's depends on what you listen to, how, where, &c.

 

I'm not sure how much more space I'd need on a DAP for lossless. What would 80 GB in AAC 256 VBR be in an uncompressed loseless format?

 

It seems to me that DAPs are getting worse in this regard. The most common higher amount of storage currently available if you don't want use microSD is 64 GB (e.g., iPod Touch, Sony F series), less than my old iPod. That's probably enough space for pop songs, but not for classical where most pieces are half an hour and I generally want to have more than one performance of a piece with me. Guess I'll have to delete some Bach to make room for other Bach.

post #499 of 516

You dont have to rip twice. You rip once to lossless, and then you can encode from the lossless files to whatever you need, quickly and easily. I usually just open up the software, select all albums folders I want to convert, select the filetype/bitrate, the destination folder on my phone, then click convert and that's that. It keeps my folder structure, copies over any album art, and converts all my FLAC albums to mp3s straight to my phone.

 

I agree that DAPs are getting worse. There are 2 things of interest from a DAP: sound quality and space. I would love a 500GB small sized DAP that's energy efficient and can be rockboxed. Unfortunately it seems that DAP makers have another agenda, which is why I just stick to my smartphone. I guess I could buy an old 3g/4g iPod and mod it, but it's a pain to have to go that far to get what I want. Plus I don't want to carry 50 different devices on me.


Edited by elmoe - 5/17/14 at 3:15am
post #500 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

As for DAPs I never really understood why people would need their whole collection on them at all times. I have about 30GB of mp3s on my phone and I already spend too much time figuring out what I'm going to listen to next :D

 

If you're like me, you've got a bunch of different kinds of music... jazz, country, classical, opera, bluegrass, rock n roll, easy listening, ethnic, pop vocals, etc... I used to carry five iPods with me. Now I can get by with the biggest classic. But even there it's a pinch. And that's with compressed files.

 

The big problem though is transcoding. It takes long enough to sync my iPod. Adding transcoding as I load it would take forever.


Edited by bigshot - 5/17/14 at 11:25am
post #501 of 516

Well, genres I listen to may vary from your list but there's just as many for sure :D Right now like I said I just settle for a few albums in mp3 format, taking pickings from each genre. It's true that having the possibility to have everything on one device would be nice though.

post #502 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

I beg to differ. Getting a few TBs of hard drive space has never been so cheap. As mentioned previously, you only need 300usd for about 6TB (3x2TB hard drives), that's probably cheaper than the furniture you'd need to store that many CDs.

Actually, when I made that comment, I was thinking of this drive:  http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Desktop-3-5-Inch-Internal-STBD6000100/dp/B00JBJ34WC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400361218&sr=8-1&keywords=6tb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Almost everything I listen to has to be bought on CD and ripped. It's simply not available otherwise. It's a lot of trouble to rip twice and it's not worth it to me as I have the CDs to listen to at home and AAC 256 VBR is good enough for work. I often have to delete from my 80 GB iPod to make room for new material. I guess it's depends on what you listen to, how, where, &c.

 

I'm not sure how much more space I'd need on a DAP for lossless. What would 80 GB in AAC 256 VBR be in an uncompressed loseless format?

Between 2 and 4x the size. Depending on the compressability of the file, lossless ends up somewhere between 500 and 1000kbps for me most of the time. Also, as mentioned before, you don't need to rip twice - you rip once, then transcode once (which doesn't take nearly as long)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

If you're like me, you've got a bunch of different kinds of music... jazz, country, classical, opera, bluegrass, rock n roll, easy listening, ethnic, pop vocals, etc... I used to carry five iPods with me. Now I can get by with the biggest classic. But even there it's a pinch. And that's with compressed files.

 

The big problem though is transcoding. It takes long enough to sync my iPod. Adding transcoding as I load it would take forever.

Why would you transcode as you load? I keep a lossless set of files on a network drive as an archive/backup, and a lossy copy (transcoded just after I ripped the files) on my computer for listening/syncing, so any syncing that needs to be done is between the lossy and the portable device.

post #503 of 516

My iPod Classic is the biggest they make and it still isn't enough to hold everything I want with me on the road. With lossless it would be even worse. I'd be back to carrying 5 iPods again. I have done extensive testing and I flat out can't hear the difference between my iPod playing AAC 256 VBR and my CD player on my best system. I seriously doubt even golden ears folks can. If it sounds the same, it is the same. I really don't see any point to lossless. I own the CD. Why do I need another copy? It's just more to back up and keep synchronized and worry about. My whole library fits on one 2TB drive. Simple to keep organized.


Edited by bigshot - 5/17/14 at 4:15pm
post #504 of 516

There is a threshold beyond which improvements in sound quality aren't audible. I've done listening tests of all kinds with compressed audio of varying bit rates, redbook CD, SACD and so called hi res formats. All things being equal, I found the threshold to be AAC 256 / MP3 LAME 320. Anything beyond that sounded exactly the same to me.

post #505 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

I listen to CDs at home and AAC 256 VBR from an iPod at work when I can. I can tell the difference, but the quality is quite good.

 

The only reason I had thoughts of upgrading to flac/wav/alac/whatever is clipping on 2-3 tracks (out of thousands and thousands). I asked bigshot about it and he suspected rightly that the clipping was in the original disc. The rip actually sounds better in those cases because the clipping is less audible.

 

We're not collectively at a point where storage allows for the highest grade formats for anyone with a large collection. Moreover, DAPs and phones haven't become sufficiently bigger in that regard--smaller actually--and I don't intend to futz around with microSD.

 

Would you mind taking this blind test (http://goo.gl/Xin6xt) to prove it? I am conducting a survey on the matter.

Thanks!

post #506 of 516

I'm sorry... all of your ABs and XYs are totally confusing. I have no idea what you are asking.

post #507 of 516
Quote:
 I'm sorry... all of your ABs and XYs are totally confusing. I have no idea what you are asking.

Thanks for trying! Sorry the instructions are not sufficiently clear for you. I'll see what I can do to improve them.

You are just listening to clips that have two sections in two different encoding formats. Some of them are CD-AAC, some are AAC-CD (I just change the order). You are supposed to identify them.  XY are the variables meaning the clip could be either AB or BA. Would you still be willing to give it a try? I hope so.


Edited by cdvsmp3 - 6/6/14 at 12:44pm
post #508 of 516

cdvsmp3,

 

So I took your survey.  One, it's a bummer that you don't actually get the results immediately :)  Also, I know you need x amount of data points to be statistically significant, but 16 different combinations is VERY time consuming.  Maybe you could have an option to trim it to 8 or something, especially as you do not take partial samples.  

 

For what it's worth, I'm really curious what I got - I generally can claim to distinguish between 128 vs. 320 but not 320 vs. lossless.  I thought I heard a difference here, but that might have all been placebo :) 

post #509 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuromance View Post
 

cdvsmp3,

 

So I took your survey.  One, it's a bummer that you don't actually get the results immediately :)  Also, I know you need x amount of data points to be statistically significant, but 16 different combinations is VERY time consuming.  Maybe you could have an option to trim it to 8 or something, especially as you do not take partial samples.  

 

For what it's worth, I'm really curious what I got - I generally can claim to distinguish between 128 vs. 320 but not 320 vs. lossless.  I thought I heard a difference here, but that might have all been placebo :) 

Great feedback! I'll give it a thougtt and see what I can do. I'll send you the score by mail in moment. Thanks for participating! Adobe forms service does not allow me to do any calculations in my automated response, and I don't want to send the solution key to encourage people to try it more than once.

post #510 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdvsmp3 View Post
 

XY are the variables meaning the clip could be either AB or BA.

 

That is precisely the part that makes no sense right there. Ask me AAC/Redbook or Redbook/AAC and I will understand. Jettison variable letters.

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