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FLAC vs. 320 Mp3

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by icedup, Sep 7, 2011.
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  1. Iamnothim

    I'm not being sarcastic...
    I know how to use Google. That said this is an opinion forum and I was asking for your opinion. I wanted to know what method you used.

    On last question, I think you'll tell me they are the same..... The thread is titled 320 Mp3. Wouldn't I use that? Perhaps I should google that one.

    I appreciate your time.
     
  2. bigshot
    Opinions are great. There are a lot of them all over the place. Some are good, and some are bad. The way to tell the difference is to understand the basics of how something works. Using AIFF tells me that you really don't understand what that format is and what it's used for. A simple google search ofthe various file format options would clear that all up.

    The reason I didn't suggest 320 MP3 is because iTunes doesn't make the best MP3s. If you're going to use iTunes, use 256 AAC VBR. It sounds better than the 320 MP3s that iTunes makes.
     
  3. Iamnothim

    I get it.

    Thanks

    Edit: you've got a lot of knowledge and experience. I value what you have to say.... but not necessarily how you "present it" to those less knowledgable.
     
  4. xsal
    All formats are lossy, whether analog or digital. Information is always lost during the recording process. So it's down to (1) your system's reproduction capability and (2) your hearing whether you notice a difference between any two formats. The general consensus seems to be that 320kbps MP3s reach the limits of human hearing, when played on a high-end system. That certainly fits with my experience, but no doubt there are exceptions in individual cases (although it would seem unlikely the musicians intended that 'ultrasound' as part of their product).
     
    The CD format is basically inefficient because decompression on-the-fly was a computing dream at the time this format was conceived. A factor of two compression without loss relative to CD is achieved by FLAC or ALAC which demonstrates 50% total waste in the CD format. High-end mp3s are another factor of 2 away from FLAC which is reached by filtering further for human hearing.
     
    So to conclude, whilst every format is lossy, in the domain of human hearing FLAC and high-end mp3s are, for all practical purposes, lossless.
     
  5. chewy4
    Quote:
     
    The words lossy and lossless were intended to refer to types of compression algorithms, not the end result vs the real life performance before the recording.
     
    And that 50% of space isn't wasted on a CD because it could have been compressed. It allows for universal compatibility and mechanical timing.
     
  6. xnor
    Quote:
    Chewy already responded but I'd like to add that we have a term for that in psychoacoustics: transparency.
     
  7. ForShure
    Please, this FLAC vs. mp3 horse has been beaten time and time again and pulverized into glue. It's almost as bad as the cheap vs. expensive cables debate. FLAC and other lossless files sound better than mp3 because they have 10x more data than mp3's. MP3 encoding uses a process called psychoacoustic masking which throws out sound data that isn't deemed necessary in order to reach a smaller file size. It's really an amazing thing but in the data that is thrown out, many of the tiny nuances and details of the recording are lost. These all still there when a file is in a lossless format such as FLAC. The difference between the sound of each isn't huge but definitely noticeable. Just ask any audiophile which they would rather have, a player full of FLACs or one full of 320mp3's. You know which one they would choose [​IMG]
     
    JohnSantana likes this.
  8. JohnSantana
    Hi ForShure,
     
    I am curious what sort of equipment to reveal the difference between FLAC and 320kb/s MP3 ?
     
    I have Westone W4 and Fiio E11 but somehow when I closed my eyes listening to the same album/songs from my laptop, I couldn't notice the difference.
     
    Now I'm going to buy HiFiman HE-500 to get different feeling between 4xBalance Armature IEM and Planar Magnetic Headphone.
     
  9. chewy4
    Quote:
    Well the two debates do share a couple similarities: when blind testing people fail to notice differences between the two. And some times people end up preferring 128kbps MP3s when testing blindly, just like radioshack cables get a good deal of votes in blind cable test.
     
  10. xnor
    Quote:
    It's blanket statements and anecdotes like that, which makes you just another one of those audiophools.
     
  11. ForShure
    Quote:

    My equipment isn't anything special. The setup that makes telling a difference easiest is MacBook Pro>Ibasso Dzero amp/dac>Sennheiser HD595. I find it harder to distinguish between the two with my iem's, I think the added soundstage of larger headphones makes it easier to tell. It might be easier for me since I'm only 20 years old and my ears haven't gotten destroyed by age yet lol. I was talking to one of my professors who has been an audio engineer for 30 years about this subject and he also argued that there absolutely is a difference. If there was no difference then lossless files wouldn't be around because the need for them wouldn't exist.
     
  12. xnor
    Quote:
    [X] Argument from (anonymous) authority.
     
    Quote:
    [X] You do not understand lossy compression, psychoacoustics.
     
  13. D3Seeker
    The real question is.......
    Why the h+ll is the sheer term 'mp3' even being mentioned at this point on this site. The only time anyone should be using mp3 is when your favorite artists release a free ep on their website and it's in said format and that formate alone! Silly people :D
     
  14. xnor
    Quote:
    Similarly stupid question: why are there history books?
     
  15. ForShure
    I explained psychoacoustics in my last post. I understand how it works. Everybody on head-fi is an anonymous source in some ways. Just trying to make my argument. I don't see you adding any new stuff to the debate, instead you choose to criticize the arguments that don't agree with your view without having support to back it up. But continue to enjoy your flat sounding mp3's believing that they sound as good as lossless.
     
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