Originally Posted by pngwn
For soundcloud, it depends in what the user uploads. I try to upload either .wav files or 320kbps, but Ive sadly downloaded 128kbps tracks and mixes from soundcloud...
320kbps is just starting to be good quality. I'm amazed the streams are not better. How about satellite radio, do they stream any better?
With these A-T phones I have i.e. M40f/s, T500, AD700 and now AD900X (have portable Senn HD 238 which are pretty good) combined with my sound card and favorite opamps, I hear the difference between 128, 192, 320 no problem, each step goes from muddy to defined to clarity depending on the original recording. Between FLAC and WAVE or AIFF I can't really can't tell the difference esp. if I did the FLAC conversion myself but those are all fat files but worth it on good phones. Then there is resampling up or down (plus bits ex. 8, 16, 24 ) at different rates ex. 44.1 (CD quality) 48 (DVD quality) 192 (studio quality), that will change sound quality, not always for the better. I try to stick with the original specs.
Off some DVDs, the AC-3 files could contain 5.1 or more sound mixes which you can down mix to 2 channel for added sounds again depending on the recording but you need to be able to see and rip those tracks for conversion if you want to take them with you. Just watching a DVD you can usually selected which audio track to listen which can fun even on a down mix to 2 channel.
Newer movies or music videos are supposed to be cutting edge as they are always trying different sound technologies, proprietary maybe (DATASAT ?) that the movie house has to have the equipment to read the encoding but the tried and true encodings like Dolby, SDDS, and others are still really good (usually 48Hz).
Window Media Player Classic keeps up with the latest available codecs to choose from in video or music (yes single music tracks), the options menus can be overwhelming. It is Windows based but don't confuse it with Windows Media Player. http://codecguide.com/download_kl.htm
I have to add Windows Media Player Classic does a damn good job of handling any song track, Video the same. I swear the music sound is better than Foobar output. Try it sometime. Like I said, the options (if you can find them all) are many and is about as good as it gets when it comes to software manipulation. If you like playing around. But crap sound signal in gets you crap signal out. A good recording sent through a good amp and dacs makes a world of difference.
Edited by razzz42 - 3/8/13 at 10:46pm