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FLAC vs. 320 Mp3

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by icedup, Sep 7, 2011.
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  1. sonitus mirus
    I'm a Lame 320 CBR guy, and I have yet to find any file that I can ABX that identifies a problem with the encoding.  I use this format because it works on every device and Google Music does not mess with it when I upload it.  I'm at the point where I stopped worrying about those glitches in a song, because I hear it on YouTube, I hear it in MOG, I hear it in Spotify, I hear it in Pandora, I hear it in Sony Music, and if I also have the CD, I hear it there too.  I'm confident that Lame 320 kbps CBR is transparent to my ears and equipment.  I have not even seen any proof that anyone can tell a difference, but I know that I cannot.
  2. bigshot
    Ripping errors are probably much more likely than compression artifacting. I've had a few of those in the tens of thousands of CDs I've ripped. If one is concerned enough about compression artifacts to not use compressed files, he probably should be even more concerned about ripping errors. That means avoid digital files altogether and only play physical CDs which are able to do transparent error correction on the fly.
  3. julian67

    Actually my point was that gross artefacts are usually not subtle but harmonic changes or changes in stereo image can be subtle. They do not necessarily stand out like a sore thumb in normal listening but are much more easily identified in a side by side comparison. I've certainly identified samples which don't have gross artefacts but which do sound different in compressed form vs uncompressed.

    "I don't worry about what I can't hear." is not a good description of your position. You would be more accurate to say "I don't worry about what I don't notice." or "I don't worry about what I haven't directly compared." or "I don't worry unless I hear something so grossly obvious that it doesn't require a comparison." or "I have made some assumptions based on tests of a necessarily minute proportion of my collection".

    My position is much simpler and I'll restate it:

    I can 100% guarantee that I will never hear my music collection at anything less than the best possible quality available to me.
  4. chewy4
    My CD ripping software does have error correction and does a minimum of 5 passes to verify it's accurate, as well as comparing it to an accurate rip database. So I've got that covered beyond overkill.
  5. bigshot
    How long would it take you to rip 10,000 CDs?
  6. julian67
    Five times longer than someone with a collection of clean CDs and a sane ripper :D
  7. bigshot

    You should uncheck "joint stereo" when you encode.
  8. bigshot

    Woof! It's taken me three years, and I only had two ripping errors! There is a dear price to be paid for ADD when it comes to things like this!

    Me too, once I wiped the smudge off those two CDs and reripped them.
  9. waynes world
    I just wanted to say that I've learned quite a bit from all of the back and forth here. Very informative!
  10. julian67

    I wasn't specifying a particular codec or the options of a particular codec. Your assumptions are incorrect. Your statement is also an implicit unfounded assertion. Your short response is in fact an aggregation of logical fallacies.

    Worse is that you only (and fallaciously) address only my mention of stereo image while neglecting to consider every other kind of change that can arise from lossy audio compression. That is an enormous evasion.

    Again: I can 100% guarantee that I will never hear my music collection at anything less than the best possible quality available to me.

    You cannot say the same if your collection is lossily compressed from your source. The best you can be sure of is that under the particular conditions under which you made comparisons you failed to notice any difference for the particular samples you compared. The things you cannot claim include:

    "The compressed audio will also sound identical to me on any other playback hardware I might use."
    "The compressed audio will also sound identical to any other person who makes the same comparison."
    "I noticed each and every difference (if any)."
    "I know for sure that my ears are not much different from simple measuring instruments and that sound does not affect me unless I am consciously aware of it."
    "I only perceive sound via my ears. When I listen for differences or artefacts I definitely don't need to consider the various ways my mind and body respond to audio both within and beyond the known audible range."
    "Personally, my echoic memory is so good that to me listening to different versions of the same track in quick succession is no different to looking at two versions of a picture and spotting the differences."

    Nobody can honestly and truthfully claim those things. But I can honestly and truthfully state that when I listen to my lossless music collection " I can 100% guarantee that I will never hear my music collection at anything less than the best possible quality available to me."

    I don't need any riders, caveats, exceptions, claims of exceptional ability or hardware, testing prowess, authority based on number of albums, biological capacity, age, experience, or any of the other stuff that gets presented. I know my music collection sounds exactly as good as it can. You claim yours does.
  11. chewy4
    Alright actually I have some things wrong - I usually hit rip and just go on doing other things for a few minute so I didn't notice.
    It only does the extra passes if it needs to. If the checksum matches the accuraterip database it doesn't go on with a second pass. With one pass and with this verification, as well as encoding to FLAC, it takes about 3 minutes for a completely packed CD. So if it did have to go with the ultra secure ripping passes(which if I understand correctly would be 5 total, or up to 8 if there are errors) it would still only take 15 minutes, worst case about 24 minutes(but that would mean that there definitely were some errors). Still faster than EAC.
    I'm glad I don't have to worry about ripping 10,000 CD's at once. I feel like that would melt the CD drive. I just rip mine as I buy them... Did you stumble upon a warehouse full of CD's at one point or did you not have a ripper before?
    EDIT: But to answer your question, 20.8-166.7 days, given the CDs are all around 120 minutes length. 
  12. julian67
    If I was to rip 10000 CDs I'd make sure it was to a lossless codec so I never had to do it again. If I could afford 10000 CDs I think I could also afford the 5 Terabytes of storage it would take to store the flacs, scans, logs, cue files etc. 5TB of storage should suffice. Even if you double that so as to allow for back ups the cost of the storage only works out to something like the cost of 35 normal price CDs (not budget price, not premium).

    Compressed audio has only one positive attribute: size. When storage was very expensive this was a very considerable advantage indeed, outweighing the inconvenience of encoding and many sound quality issues (people happily used compressed audio even 10 and 15 years ago when it undeniably always sounded dreadful). These days why on earth would anyone go to the trouble of compressing audio when the single positive attribute is negated? But still people actually evangelize it! They promote it, advocate its use and even pour scorn on people who simply prefer the unaltered audio they paid for. You'd think that lossy compression offered some wonderful quality, some musical advantage or wonderful sonic benefit! This is nuts, bonkers and competely off the wall. The absolute best you can hope for is that you don't notice a difference. That isn't a benefit! So why bother?

    There is one group of people who benefit very greatly from compressed audio: retailers of compressed audio! Apple and Amazon et al save on bandwidth and storage while charging you and me very uncompressed prices for very compressed product. Their profits are lossless but your music is not.
  13. Dillan
    Man its like chewy4 and julian67 are picking into my brain and typing out my thoughts. I agree with you guys whole heartily.
  14. Achmedisdead
    Why is that? 
  15. julian67

    He was trying to assert that if the illusion of a soundstage/stereo image is perceived differently in a lossy encode then that difference must be because the encoder has used joint stereo mode. This isn't correct and in any case lossy encoders use a mix of techniques according to target bitrate/quality setting and the source material. Any decent encoder will do a better job of automatically selecting the best settings than a human being can do.

    bigshot's comment actually was a kind of strawman, being a misrepresentation. It's a technique commonly used when one prefers to avoid addressing what has actually been proposed. It doesn't fall under the category of rational discourse.
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