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320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by johnsantana, Oct 16, 2012.
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  1. cdvsmp3
    You may be right. The two-letter code is shorter, but I understand what you say. I'll give it a thought. Thanks!
  2. cjl
    But you aren't supposed to know - the point is that it is blind and you don't know which is which.
  3. bigshot
    This test is designed for people who design tests I think. When I'm given two sets of letters x/y and a/b and I'm told to make a choice without defining what x/y or a/b are, how am I supposed to know what to pick?
  4. cjl
    I agree that it could be done a little more clearly (I like how Foobar ABX does it, with the two reference clips A and B both playable separately, and the two test clips X and Y also playable separately), but it seems understandable to me. AB is the reference clip, which consists of a higher quality and lower quality sample in some order (A being the first sample in the reference, and B being the second sample in the reference). You have to determine if the test clip, designated as XY, has the two samples in the same order as the original reference (A first, then B, designated as AB), or if the order is reversed (B first, then A, designated as BA). At the end, the final question then asks whether A (the first clip in the reference sample) or B (the second clip in the reference sample) is the higher quality clip. This does seem like a reasonable test to me, since it looks for both the ability of the listener to distinguish between the two clips, and the ability of the listener to audibly determine which clip contains the higher resolution sample.
    That all having been said, I don't think I could tell apart any two well-encoded files with that test. Because the reference clip has the two samples back to back, instead of having two separate reference samples (A and B), it makes it very difficult to jump back and forth between a small subsection of A vs a small subsection of B, which is the only way anyone has a hope of hearing a small, subtle difference. Foobar ABX allows you to jump back and forth between two clips while preserving your location in the clip (so when you go to clip B from ten seconds into clip A, it automatically starts clip B at 10 seconds in so there's almost no gap in the music). That kind of switching allows for the perception of very subtle audible differences that you normally wouldn't remember well enough to find.
  5. bigshot
    It seems to me that trying to compare two separate files is an exercise in futility. Auditory memory isn't that long. Give me a file with two samples in it and ask me if they are the same or different. That I might be able to do. I know without even trying that I can't compare two separate files that are so similar.
  6. cdvsmp3
    I am conducting a survey on the topic of lossy vs lossless files. It may interest you guys. I recommend the last version of my blind test (the shortest and easiest), but there are also previous tests comparing HD vs ACC 256 and CD vs AAC 256. Please have a look and help me in my personal research! Visit cdvsmp3.wordpress.com
  7. AudioBob1
    WindowsX is either a fruitcake or imagines things.   A flac and wave are the same in quality both lossless both the same as a CD.    If you thought they sounded different it was all in your head.
    A flac made from a CD is the same as the wave except it has extra features in the metadata that has nothing to do with sound but has to do with labeling.
  8. WindowsX
    Blue coast records once compared between flac and wav. They encouraged to use wav for better sound quality format. Some player that decode flac to wav and store into memory before loading may minimize the difference.

    Well, some people can choose to not believe in this but something like rewrite data can improve audio performance from rewriting data for specific machine optimization. Believing in bits are bits is for people who can't be appreciated in finer quality that high end CD transport can bring.

    Windows X
  9. AudioBob1
    Well BLue records are selling snake oil.    Flac = Wave.    I believe you could compress a flac but then it would not be a lossless flac.    The flac is the same as the source file.   If its wave it will be = to the wave.  Same information nothing is different but the extender.    Flac is the best you can get.  So they must have messed with the flac in some way to make it worse.  
    A wave or flac is only as good as the source.   If you do something stupid like turn a mp3 into a flac the flac will only be as good as the mp3.  so if it were a 128mb mp3 thats all the flac would be.  Same with a wave too.    Flacs are just a wave with ability to store more meta information.   Meta is words or photos, not sounds.   
    So much misinformation out there.   
    As far as compression that is done at the studio before its even put on the CD.   They do that to make it sound LOUDER.    But that has nothing to do with wave or flac, they can choose not to compress the dynamic range.  That is why vinyl sounds different, it does not have the large dynamic range of a CD so they can't compress it much.  
  10. Pootis
    I can often tell the difference in blind tests. I prefer FLAC over lossy because it sounds better. I don't like it when people pretend that no one can tell the difference.
  11. castleofargh Contributor
    there is always a slim possibility that the extraction would mess up something(but why? if a computer can't "unzip" a music file without error it must crash every 30seconds), or simply that the extra processing would generate some little extra noise in a crap computer/device. I wouldn't lose sleep over it, in fact I couldn't seem to measure it on my laptop. but then again I can only measure as low as a little under -90db for most specs with my ADC. ^_^ maybe people hear differences below that? [​IMG]
    anyway things aren't always black or white, exaggeration in being right is just as bad a being wrong. people sure are free to do anything they like with their music if it makes their life more fulfilled for some psychological reasons. but IMO flac is great.
  12. WindowsX
    Congratulations. You have become a god of the internet. HURRAY!
    Windows X
  13. cjl

    It is a simple fact that FLAC is a losslessly compressed WAV, and when played, the bits sent to your DAC are identical. As such, they cannot sound different unless your computer is incapable of decompressing the FLAC (in which case your computer is horrendously broken). Claiming otherwise would be like claiming a word document was different if I sent it to you zipped.
    Sighted evaluations are not evidence to the contrary either. This is the Sound Science forum. We need data.
  14. AudioBob1
    You have just admitted that you are deluded then.   It would be like saying When I play two identical wave files I can easily tell the difference in listening tests.   Its that insane.
  15. gregorio
    Personally, I hate zipped Word documents; the letters aren't as black, there is less air between the words and the width of the pages is less well defined. BTW, I'm just about to release some software which will not only make your zipped Word documents look better but even unzipped ones. The difference is night and day, even when viewing a full page on an iWatch, honestly, you won't need an ABX test! [​IMG]
    cjl likes this.
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