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Audio Source Quality Thought's

  1. Protek67
    Been drinking a bit tonight, but I have been pondering the nuances of different level's of bit rate on audio sources. I have been frequenting bandcamp and am in love with the content (cant tell differences between numbers foobar states, but know there is more thought into the masters over all).

    The useful question I have would be: is it worth it to subscribe to a streaming service such as spotify or di.fm when it is still mp3 or is it just sound to take up my ear time either way?

    The pointless question: Is an artist who is producing in the highest bit rate focused on displaying their ability to play with the sound frame they have available which in turn makes the track more pleasant to listen to? (IE: AES DANA - Pollen (24bit) 01 Jetlag Corporation.)

    (not sure why but I have a Zeos voice in my head when I speak about hifi)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  2. JaeYoon
    I immediately encode any 24 bit audio file from bandcamp to OGG Vorbis or QAAC at a bitrate that is transparent to me.
    I think the artists that have 24 bit audio for download. 24 bit audio is useful in studio where recording and mixing gives extra headroom for dynamic range compensation.
    24 bit audio has uses for studio, but for consumer listening....

    " If the full dynamic range of a CD was actually used (on top of the noise floor), the home listener (if they had the equipment) would almost certainly cause themselves severe pain and permanent hearing damage. If this is the case with CD, what about 24bit Hi-Rez. If we were to use the full dynamic range of 24bit and a listener had the equipment to reproduce it all, there is a fair chance, depending on age and general health, that the listener would die instantly. The most fit would probably just go into coma for a few weeks and wake up totally deaf. I'm not joking or exaggerating here, think about it, 144dB + say 50dB for the room's noise floor. "
    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded.415361/
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  3. Music Alchemist
    The higher the lossy bit rate is, the less likely you are to be able to distinguish between it and lossless.

    Free Bandcamp streams are 128 kbps and it's easy to tell them apart from lossless.

    It can be a different story with higher quality streaming services, but one thing to keep in mind (which you alluded to) is that you may be dealing with different masters of a recording. (Or even a different recording altogether.)

    If you want to compare bit rates, you need to isolate the variables and convert the files yourself. Start with a lossless file and convert it to various lossy bit rates. (I use dBpoweramp for this, but you can just do it with foobar2000.)

    From 1 to 60 kbps or so, the sound quality is all but destroyed. Once you get up to 100 kbps and beyond, the differences compared to lossless become much more subtle and progressively harder to discern.

    If you want to subscribe to music streaming services, I say keep it simple and go for the ones that have the music you want to listen to.

    And if you want to get into downloads:
    https://www.head-fi.org/articles/li...ac-alac-aiff-dsd-dxd-etc-download-sites.16314
    https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/official-free-flac-file-music-sharing-thread.644595
    https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/the-free-music-thread-100-legal-downloads-of-all-formats.731523
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017

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