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Is it worth getting really high-end headphones if your source is 320kbps audio files? - Page 18

post #256 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

Guess it depends what you're doing and how you're doing it. I mostly download MP3 files (usually 320) and store them in folders, then wait half the day while they transfer to a flash drive for use in a media player. I don't have USB3.  

 

Yes, it certainly does depend on the circumstances for each individual.

 

I use Google's streaming music subscription service with a catalog of nearly 20 millions songs that stream to any number of my devices at 320 kbps mp3.  They don't have everything I want, and I have uploaded my own music to fill in the gaps. This is great because both my own CD collection and the entire Google catalog are integrated perfectly together, complete with album art, artist information, or similar artist matching.  Any custom "radio station" I use based on a song, album, or genre pull from a list that includes any of my own uploaded songs.  It's awesome.

 

Google was transcoding my FLAC files that were being uploaded, and I had no idea which encoder was being used or what quality they were using.  I always preferred to rip the mp3 directly from the CD or convert from FLAC using  Lame and the highest quality settings.  These I had tested to make sure I could not hear a difference between the lossy and lossless versions.  I could not test what Google was transcoding in a proper ABX using Foobar.  However, I did notice that I was able to directly upload my own mp3 file, and Google did not transcode or otherwise mess with the file.

 

Because of this, I now rip a new CD to mp3 using Exact Audio Copy with the Lame encoder, put the CD away in storage, and then upload the mp3 files into Google Music.  I don't even bother archiving to FLAC anymore.  I still have the CDs if I need them for some unforeseen emergency, but now I don't have to manage storing and having a backup solution for 500 CDs that take up about 150 GBs of space. When these were in FLAC form, I was not able to use them the way I can use mp3 files.  I now have access to just about everything I could ever hope to listen to no matter where I am. 

 

FLAC files don't fit my needs at this time.  Too big, too slow to manage, and they don't seem to offer any benefit in sound quality in my experience.  To have access to all of my music all the time using FLAC is just not a practical solution for me now.

 

Here is a snap shot of a small segment of my Google album list.  You can see Beatle's Abbey Road and Tool's Aenima in this list, which are not included in Google's streaming service, but I have added these into my library.  This library follows me everywhere I go.  It sounds fantastic. 

 

post #257 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonitus mirus View Post
 

 

FLAC files don't fit my needs at this time.  Too big, too slow to manage, and they don't seem to offer any benefit in sound quality in my experience.  

 

This just about says it in a nutshell, as the thrust of the lossless argument has been: even if you can't hear a difference why not store in lossless anyway since storage is so cheap? Of course, if you can reliably hear a difference, and hear it under practical conditions, that's a different matter.  

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