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Is there really even a difference between 192 and 320kbs?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I would always have 320kbs since I don't think there's a difference between lossless and lossy as some people do, and so I converted some of my albums from FLAC to mp3 and noticed no difference. Then I found out that I actually had the mp3s at around 192kbs rather than the maximum of 320kbs and was surprised. I tried it with other songs and came to the same conclusion. I use my MDR-1R headphones so there aren't the best but their certainly very decent.


Edited by KElyas - 6/16/13 at 8:17am
post #2 of 20

There is a difference, but it depends on a few factors:

 

1) How good is your equipment

2) How perceptive is your hearing

3) What kind of music are you listening to, and how was it produced/recorded/mastered 

 

I don't have "the best" equipment, and I don't always try to over-analyze the music, so for me 192-320 does fine. However, when places give me the chance to download in Lossless for no additional cost I do, because having an unmolested file sits well in my mind. Back to the compressed files, if you were to ask me to tell the difference between 192 to 320 with my equipment, I probably couldn't tell you. 


Edited by Origin89 - 6/16/13 at 10:38am
post #3 of 20
I have very good equipment, and what I've found is that music either artifacts from having too low a bit rate or it doesn't. It isn't subtle at all. It's a digital splat, or it encodes properly. Below 192, many codecs filter off high frequencies, but from 192 up, it is pretty much up to the edge of human hearing.

Some music artifacts more than others. I tested a bunch of different types of music, and 192 AAC was fine for 99% of it. There was one track that artifacted slightly at 192, so I chose AAC 256 VBR as my standard for ripping. Always use VBR on bitrates below 320, it can only help and it will never hurt.

If you can't hear artifacting, there is probably no reason to worry about it.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

great, thanks for the replies people.I think I'll use 256 VBR or 192kbs from now on where possible since I can I can't fit all my music on my mp3 player.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KElyas View Post

great, thanks for the replies people.I think I'll use 256 VBR or 192kbs from now on where possible since I can I can't fit all my music on my mp3 player.

That's not a bad call, but realize that your computer and local storage options are enormous.  Let's say you had 1+ TB storage handy.  Then you could have FLAC, 320 Kbps, or equivalent "master" copies and make 192 Kbps copies for your digital media.  Then maybe 5-10 years from now you'll still have the higher quality stuff and probably the space in your mobile device to store it all.

post #6 of 20

Before i destroyed my previous phone i used to have multiple micro SD's with 320Kbps music on, you could consider doing the same and just switch between them.

 

Just remember to label the boxes or you get easily confused when they look the same.

post #7 of 20

There is no longer any reason to store anything at less than lossless. Whether it's better or not is up to debate, but storage is so cheap now, everything should be stored at FLAC or ALAC. Nothing should be stored at lossy. Why bother? Storage is too cheap now.

 

Why are people still wasting their time storing lossy files and trying to establish that they are just us good when storage is so cheap that it's no longer necessary to store lossy files in the first place or debate their quality?

 

The only reason to store lossy files is if that's the only copy you have, and in that case, it's perfectly reasonable. However, storage is so cheap, everyone should have already moved to lossless files, unless they only have access to lossy files.

 

Plenty of people can hear the difference in lossless files. Lossy files are still a necessity for those who don't have anything better, but certainly no longer necessary by modern storage.

 

Why would anyone insist on lossy files when lossless files are so cheap? There is no longer any realistic price differential. Some claim they can hear the difference, and some claim they can't. However, the price differential has disappeared, so why not just store lossless?

 

There is no longer any point in the debate between lossy and lossless files! Just store lossless because file storage is so cheap, why wouldn't you just store the lossless files? What are you trying to save? 3TB or more is dirt cheap on a computer, and portable storage is getting cheaper all them time. Why wouldn't anyone just store lossless?

 

Suckers have only tried to claim lossy was equal, but they never could claim it was better. Now, there's no reason to mess with their claims at all! 

 

Why listen to MP3 or 256 AAC VBR? There's no reason for it.

 

Maybe it's as good. Maybe it isn't. But why even bother? Why not just get lossless files?


Edited by StratocasterMan - 6/24/13 at 2:25am
post #8 of 20
There are reasons why someone would want to use high quality compressed files over lossless. I have an iTunes library that has well over a year's worth of music on it. It's very convenient for me to have that all on a single hard drive. If I was doing lossless, it would be spread across several drives, making shuffle play across the whole library impossible. Backup would be more complicated too. My iPods and iPads fill up quickly, without having to transcode files every time. I own all my CDs... somewhere around 15,000 of them, so I don't need a lossless backup. When I rip, I have to push the files across my wifi network to my streaming server at the other end of the house. It might not be a biig deal for you to use lossless, but it would slow me down considerably.

And the sound quality is identical at the bitrate I use.
Edited by bigshot - 6/24/13 at 9:06am
post #9 of 20
If you're like using apple earbuds you won't notice a difference due to the fact that it will sound like butt in the first place.
Though, if you have a nice set of headphones and dac + amp and all that, you will for sure hear the difference. You can tell the difference between flac and mp3 too with a nice set of headphones.
post #10 of 20
There are different types of what people call "MP3s". There are different codecs... Frauenhofer MP3, LAME, AAC, OGG, etc. And there are different bitrates... 192, 256, 320, etc. Many of the newer codecs have a point in the bitrate where they reach total transparancy.

Saying "I can hear the difference with good headphones" without indicating the codec and bitrate you are talking about is meaningless.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

There are different types of what people call "MP3s". There are different codecs... Frauenhofer MP3, LAME, AAC, OGG, etc. And there are different bitrates... 192, 256, 320, etc. Many of the newer codecs have a point in the bitrate where they reach total transparancy.

Saying "I can hear the difference with good headphones" without indicating the codec and bitrate you are talking about is meaningless.

 

 

So a 320 Frauenhofer can sound different than a 320 LAME?

post #12 of 20
When I did my own controlled listening tests, I still got occasional artifacting at 320 Frauenhofer with difficult to encode music. LAME was completely transparent at 320 and AAC at 256. Most people might find that they can go a notch down from those settings with no problem, but I was being extremely picky because I have a very large collection of classical to rip.
post #13 of 20

A lot of public testing has been done using LAME/it has more development, that's why it offers better results than fraunhofer. 

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origin89 View Post


So a 320 Frauenhofer can sound different than a 320 LAME?
Personally, at that close of a bitrate I would imagine you can't really tell a difference, I think it would just come down to size....
(Note: I did not compare anything of these two, look anything up or anything of that nature for this post. So if I'm wrong.. So be it.)
post #15 of 20

Most of my collection is ripped in LAME or AAC. So if there is a difference, I'm glad those two are the beneficiaries.  

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