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Music files....someone school me

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm new to Head-fi and I am no expert when it comes to listening to music - i.e. the technical components are somewhat new to me. But, I've decided to change that, which is why I'm now on Head-fi. To start me on my epic journey, I picked up a pair of V-Moda m100s and a Nuforce udac-3 (which hasn't been delivered yet).

 

It's become quite apparent to me that the format in which you listen to your music is just as, if not more, important than the equipment you use. That's what brings me to the creation of this thread. I've learned that I'm pretty ignorant about music files and the best way to listen to my favorite music. From what I've read, the more compressed your audio file is (such as mp3) the poorer the quality. But how do I find music, in a digital format, that isn't extremely compressed? Maybe this requires some background into the way I currently listen to my music.

 

Right now, I don't use an mp3 player, nor do I listen to CDs. Most of my music is streamed from the internet while I sit in front of my desktop. Soundcloud is probably my most used source but I also pull up Spotify every now and then. If I'm on the go, I'll use the Soundcloud app on my Android device. It appears that listening via my phone provides the m100s with a lot more push - the bass just seems heavier and the audio in general sounds fuller. I'm guessing this is because my phone has better amplification and is providing more power to the headphones (again, I don't have the DAC/amp yet for use with my PC). Furthermore, Spotify seems to be punchier than Soundcloud. My only conclusion is that this all has to do with the audio files, because it surely isn't the headphones...right?

 

So, what's my best bet when it comes to the way I get my music? Can mp3's be uncompressed into something like a .wav? Should I wait until the udac-3 is delivered before I start looking into alternative music sources?

 

Thanks, all, for your advice!!

post #2 of 6
You should check out the Sound Science forums, there's endless information in there, on different audio formats. Enjoy!!!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kh600rr View Post

You should check out the Sound Science forums, there's endless information in there, on different audio formats. Enjoy!!!


Thanks!

post #4 of 6

No, compressed music cannot be uncompressed back into CD-quality music.  Once the compression is done, information has been discarded.  It cannot be retrieved.

 

FLAC files are generally recognized as the standard for uncompressed music files.  There is compression going on, but it's compression without loss of quality.  A FLAC file can be fully restored to absolute, redbook-CD quality or wav files.  (Wav files are totally uncompressed, but are very, very large.)  How do they this?  Think of it as white space on a page.  FLAC removes the white space, but all information is saved.

 

You might google for "purchase FLAC files."  There are several places available on the web.  Also, any CD you have can be ripped to FLAC files with no loss in quality.  The FLAC encoder is free, open-source software and stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec.  It easily loads and operates through Foobar2000, WinAmp and other media players.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Very helpful information!! Thanks!

post #6 of 6

If you want the best quality music sources, you may have to change your listening habits. I don't know if there's any way for you to stream lossless or other high quality sources, so just be aware of that. You may have to get a dedicated DAP and load it with all your high res files, or maybe set up a media streamer at home or something. But yes, your music listening experience starts with the source and that is arguably the most important part of the process. If your source sounds like crap, no headphone or device will be able to change that.

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