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Does anyone prefer lossy over lossless for reasons other than filesize?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

I think I prefer the sound of mp3 over lossless.  I think the difference is very very small but FLAC does seem slighly more open than 320 or V0 mp3.  I did an ABX test and was able to get 100% (but only with careful scrutiny and only by listening to specific parts of songs over and over again, I made a previous post with samples if you want to try).  But the strange thing is I actually like the mp3 better.  It sounds more analog, if you will.  I find I get listening fatigue from listening to lossless that doesn't happen with mp3.  Whether this has to do with the psychoacoustic model or something else I'm not sure.  Anyone else feel the same way?

post #2 of 54

Perhaps what you are hearing is the added artifacts that compression tends to mix into a track.  I can see how one could interpret those as the pops and clicks of a record, but it is by no means technically more analog.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_artifact

 

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr12/articles/lost-in-translation.htm

 

The fatigue you are hearing is one of the reasons why compression is problematic.  It hides how a track sounds and may make a headphone / speaker sound better than it really is.

 

I like knowing I have not lost all of the data, but I do fund that 256kbps or better compression is hard to tell from CD with a good DAC.

post #3 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post
 

The fatigue you are hearing is one of the reasons why compression is problematic.  It hides how a track sounds and may make a headphone / speaker sound better than it really is.

 

 

That's interesting, about compression possibly causing a speaker or headphone to sound better than it really is. I've never thought about it that way, and it kind of makes me rethink things such as lossy or lossless. Very interesting. I think I might have to experiment with this a little.

post #4 of 54
Thread Starter 

I wonder if it's because of the sounds below our hearing threshold that are removed by lossy compression.  I think for people who prefer lossless, these sounds may not necessarily always be directly heard, but they can add ambience and depth to the sound.  But I think for me, the "simplification" of the sound that mp3 does makes it easier on the ears.  Less information to process might mean that my brain is not working as hard to decipher the information... just a guess.  

 

That article from soundonsound.com is pretty informative, but I wonder if it's all accurate.  Especially the part about the bass.  I've never noticed any loss of bass on mp3 compression.  Has anyone else noticed this effect?

post #5 of 54
i think mp3 is grainier and less smooth. no reason to prefer except for file size
post #6 of 54

No, not really. Besides sound quality, tagging in mp3 really is a mess.

post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzyorange View Post
 

I wonder if it's because of the sounds below our hearing threshold that are removed by lossy compression.  I think for people who prefer lossless, these sounds may not necessarily always be directly heard, but they can add ambience and depth to the sound.  But I think for me, the "simplification" of the sound that mp3 does makes it easier on the ears.  Less information to process might mean that my brain is not working as hard to decipher the information... just a guess.  

 

That article from soundonsound.com is pretty informative, but I wonder if it's all accurate.  Especially the part about the bass.  I've never noticed any loss of bass on mp3 compression.  Has anyone else noticed this effect?

You'd have to compare sound pressure levels between your candidate listening files to know if listener fatigue is involved. This is an interesting source: http://www.livescience.com/14150-earbud-listener-fatigue-solved.html

post #8 of 54

If you can successfully ABX lossless and lossy encoded at v0 or better then there are three possibilities.

 

You have made a mistake in your methodology. You have found a 'killer sample'. You are exceptionally gifted,

 

If you want to know which one applies to you then I suggest you do the following.

 

Post up your samples here. http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showforum=40

 

Experienced people will try and replicate your results. If they can they will forward the sample to the devs and you will have done everyone a big favour. Either that or they will probably be able to  tell you what you have done wrong. Thereby doing you a favour. If they cannot they will ask you if you can repeat the result using different samples. If you can you will become famous. Not that famous but fairly famous. It's a rare skill.

 

ed:gmr


Edited by RonaldDumsfeld - 9/12/13 at 10:19am
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post
 

If you can successfully ABX lossless and lossy encoded at v0 or better then there are three possibilities.

 

You have made a mistake in your methodology. You have found a 'killer sample'. You are exceptionally gifted,

 

If you want to know which one applies to you then I suggest you do the following.

 

Post up your samples here. http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showforum=40

 

Experienced people will try and replicate your results. If they can they will forward the sample to the devs and you will have done everyone a big favour. Either that or they will probably be able to  tell you what you have done wrong. Thereby doing you a favour. If they cannot they will ask you if you can repeat the result using different samples. If you can you will become famous. Not that famous but fairly famous. It's a rare skill.

 

ed:gmr

 

 

Do they have some samples of this type already (lossless vs. v0 lossy for ABX) posted over there?

post #10 of 54
Pl
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltMusicSnob View Post


Do they have some samples of this type already (lossless vs. v0 lossy for ABX) posted over there?

Plenty!

Beware...hydrogen is no place for the underprepared. They are a crusty bunch but the knowledge level is very, very high. I love it for late night reading
post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferday View Post

Pl
Plenty!

Beware...hydrogen is no place for the underprepared. They are a crusty bunch but the knowledge level is very, very high. I love it for late night reading

I poked around for awhile, but didn't find anything like a standard set or a set in a sticky. There is quite a bit of talk about "killer samples", which is not my interest here. It's great for coders who need samples that are going to reveal deficiencies, if any. I'm looking for hopefully a variety of musical types in both lossless and v0 lossy.

post #12 of 54

I wouldn't say crusty, just direct and keeping a technical forum technical, that is keeping the BS out. ;)


Edited by xnor - 9/12/13 at 3:17pm
post #13 of 54

I would rather just start with their experienced sample sets, rather than posting my own and having to go through a round of review over proper techniques for matching sample pairs properly, and ending up moving on to their own sets anyway as follow-up. Might as well start with something they already consider the most rigorously prepared files.

post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzyorange View Post
 

I think I prefer the sound of mp3 over lossless.  I think the difference is very very small but FLAC does seem slighly more open than 320 or V0 mp3.  I did an ABX test and was able to get 100% (but only with careful scrutiny and only by listening to specific parts of songs over and over again, I made a previous post with samples if you want to try).  But the strange thing is I actually like the mp3 better.  It sounds more analog, if you will.  I find I get listening fatigue from listening to lossless that doesn't happen with mp3.  Whether this has to do with the psychoacoustic model or something else I'm not sure.  Anyone else feel the same way?

 

 

If you 'feel' the mp3 is better, its your choice. However, the primary need of encoding data (lossy/lossless) is to reduce the file size. Even FLAC is compressed in comparison to CD.

post #15 of 54

I prefer medium-bitrate MP3s on my Clip+ as they give 13-ish hours of battery runtime rather than 8/9-ish hours. Does that count?

 

(Admittedly this directly relates to file size, as the difference in battery drain is caused by varying flash memory activity.)

 

In addition, sometimes low-bitrate lossy files (like whatever AAC you find on 240p Youtube vids these days, 96 kbit?) can "gloss over" things that I didn't want to hear anyway, like high-frequency clipping.

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