It's official: mp3 is better than MD
post-179396
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 23

Joe Bloggs

Member of the Trade: HiBy / EFO technologies Co
His Porta Corda walked the Green Mile
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Messages
11,034
Reaction score
2,784
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Posts
11,034
Likes
2,784
Now that I've got your attention...


This could be a discussion about which format you think is better, and why.

http://www.audio-illumination.org/fo...f=1&t=3373&hl=

Well, the thread was started by someone whose activities here we'd rather forget,
but the rest of the people on this forum are mostly pros in audio encoding.

If they say MD is inferior, I tend to believe them--it's just that if I recall correctly, most people here prefer MD for sound quality
 
     Share This Post       
post-179432
Post #2 of 23

blr

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Messages
916
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Posts
916
Likes
11
Well, both ATRAC and mp3 are usually used for portable devices. In such situation the final sound quality is determined mainly by the quality of the headphone amp, so to me it is unimportant which compression is better. A good MD player will sound better than a lousy mp3 player and also much better than a lousy PCDP (and this I know from experience).
 
     Share This Post       
post-179438
Post #3 of 23

Mystyler

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Messages
657
Reaction score
0
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
657
Likes
0
I like MD sound, and the format's flexibility. That is why I chose it over MP3. Tape like flexibility, CD like sound. Plus ATRAC is a "standard", and AFAIK MP3 ain't.

MD+eggos=YUM!

 
     Share This Post       
post-179473
Post #4 of 23

Joe Bloggs

Member of the Trade: HiBy / EFO technologies Co
His Porta Corda walked the Green Mile
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Messages
11,034
Reaction score
2,784
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Posts
11,034
Likes
2,784
Well, the guy that did the comparisons over there used the digital line out to record back into the computer and did comparisons with mp3 from there.
 
     Share This Post       
post-179476
Post #5 of 23

Sol_Zhen

Takes his kids to the natatorium every morning.
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
2,113
Reaction score
10
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Posts
2,113
Likes
10
To me, ATRAC sounds more musical than MP3. Both are lossy compressions that end up limiting the dynamic range and cutting out "inaudible" information (that actually affects sound quality). I hear more smearing of treble in MP3 than on MD. :|
 
     Share This Post       
post-179477
Post #6 of 23

Mystyler

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Messages
657
Reaction score
0
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
657
Likes
0
Essh.
Wouldn't that screw the signal more?
 
     Share This Post       
post-179481
Post #7 of 23

Joe Bloggs

Member of the Trade: HiBy / EFO technologies Co
His Porta Corda walked the Green Mile
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Messages
11,034
Reaction score
2,784
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Posts
11,034
Likes
2,784
He heard more smearing on MD than mp3, on castanets--ABXed 16/16, he could definitely tell the difference.

Using the digital I/O should cause relatively little change in sound... I suppose you could level the playing ground some more by deliberately running the mp3 through the soundcard's line out to its line in once?

I'd just like to point out that the quality of mp3s depends a lot on the encoder used. The best would be LAME --alt-preset.

FhG is ok too
Blade has the worst smearing
Xing turns the high frequencies into hash

But I'd hope you all know this already
 
     Share This Post       
post-179485
Post #8 of 23

Tina

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Messages
496
Reaction score
0
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Posts
496
Likes
0
mp3 sound quality could be excellent only if you do your own compression and not rely on the uncertainty of downloading if from p2p where lossy and lossless cannot be concretely determined (unless you have the time to test each of your songs). for atrac encoding, you are the one doing your encoding and can be sure of what you have. with sony's type-r codec done thru optical laser (not openmg or any other usb software), you can be 100% assured that you are doing justice to your ears. yup, the forum and the experts there may be right that mp3 is endeed better than atrac, but i'm sure they make their own lossless compression of 320kbps from their own original cd tracks than testing lossy transcodes that they've just got from morpheus or kazaa.

fyi, SP tracks even if done using the type-r codec has 292kbps. of course, a 320kbps mp3 done in lossless compression (like LAME -ape encodings, Ogg or MP3Pro, from your original cd's) is more superior. (that's just my opinion despite the minidisc.org claim that 292kbps of md can sound the same or better than 320 kbps mp3's)

so if anybody would boast his or her mp3's from reckless sources, i'll just smile and give that person a listen on my md's with my beyers.

if you want quality, you should pay the price for it.
 
     Share This Post       
post-179487
Post #9 of 23

Joe Bloggs

Member of the Trade: HiBy / EFO technologies Co
His Porta Corda walked the Green Mile
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Messages
11,034
Reaction score
2,784
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Location
Hong Kong and Melbourne
Posts
11,034
Likes
2,784
Well, why would you compare MDs you made with mp3s you pulled off the net? Hardly seems fair. You can encode your own mp3s just as easily as encoding MDs; downloading from the net is just an extra option that only mp3 has. The quality of these should not be compared with MD as MD has no such corresponding option.
 
     Share This Post       
post-179490
Post #10 of 23

Magicthyse

Better to look good than to sound good!
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Messages
890
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Posts
890
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally posted by Mystyler
I like MD sound, and the format's flexibility. That is why I chose it over MP3. Tape like flexibility, CD like sound. Plus ATRAC is a "standard", and AFAIK MP3 ain't.

MD+eggos=YUM!



Eh? You sure you've ever listened to a decent MP3 device? blr has hit the nail on the head - most MD maniacs compare the MD's output to MP3CD's half the price of the MD unit they're using, if they've ever tried one - I'm sure most MD'ers haven't and just say "MD is the greatest".

AFAIK, MP3 has less audio information per se, at the output stage after the 'reconstitution'. ATRAC seems to fake high-end cues with more effectiveness - this is probably what people seem to like. But the difference between 320K MP3 and SP ATRAC Type-R is in reality very, very slight to the human ear.

I would upload graphs but Geocities doesn't accept uploads properly. I've discovered this is possibly due to one of the processors in my firewall about to fail but I can't do anything about it at the moment.

Given this premise, I don't know what Sol_Zhen is on about. Perhaps he's just listening to hissy MP3's?
 
     Share This Post       
post-179494
Post #11 of 23

Tina

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Messages
496
Reaction score
0
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Posts
496
Likes
0
i'm with you joe, i was addressing the people who take their mp3's for free and smile when they see thread titles like this that mp3 is better than atrac. they should know that there's more info in it and that "free" is not all the time "better". sigh, there are even some of these teens who claim that their 320 kbps mp3's are better than original cd tracks. hope you understand.
 
     Share This Post       
post-179542
Post #12 of 23

Zin_Ramu

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
109
Reaction score
0
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Posts
109
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally posted by Mystyler
I like MD sound, and the format's flexibility. That is why I chose it over MP3. Tape like flexibility, CD like sound. Plus ATRAC is a "standard", and AFAIK MP3 ain't.



IMO flexibility is a main pro for MP3 over MD. You have so many options in categorizing (via IdV tags), playing (flash based for ultra portability, harddrive based Ipod for maintain large libraries, and CD based to use on your home system) and archiving (who wants 50 tapes laying around when you can put it on 1 harddrive or a few CDs).

As for quality of MP3 versus MD I cannot comment as I don't have a MD player, but I have been very happy with MP3. If you use proper ripping techniques (EAC secure) and encoding processes (LAME 3.92 -APS) the sound quality is very good.

Lastly, the P2P option is amazing for finding new artists and trying CDs before purchase. And if you think everything you find on the internet is garbage, you have not done your research. Check out http://www.chrismyden.com/nuke/

Zin
 
     Share This Post       
post-179554
Post #13 of 23

leon

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Messages
764
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Posts
764
Likes
10
Okay, I haven't voted, but...

A column from a Japanese website (AV watch, hee hee), over a number of months, explored several MP3 encoders, versus ogg vorbis and AAC and ATRAC3 (found in RealNetwork products) and so on. These are the waveform graphs:

http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/av/do...0128/dal42.htm
http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/av/do...8/dal42_07.jpg

07.jpg : original
08.jpg : ATRAC3 66kbps; 09.jpg: 105kbps; 10.jpg: 132kbps

Notice the 132kbps waveform compared to the original. All three ATRAC3 bitrates measured approx. 68dB for S/N ratio.

Now, I don't intend to use that for MP3-bashing, I just wanted to bring that up.

I have a lot of respect for MP3 and the entire communities who use and/or contribute to it. MP3 for me is symbolic of freedom from a lot of things - copyright control, tags, even portable interface (freedom from stagnant corporate paradigms).

I've got my iPod for a while now, and honestly - I don't know if it's just my ears - I don't like how my MP3s have encoded. Lame 3.92 for me just isn't outstanding like most people have concluded, it's on par with the iTunes encoder IMO, and none of my software is capable of real time MP3 encoding without freezing. You'd think if they could run an entire MDR with a 30MHz? processor, that most home computers would have no problem doing that. So I definitely look forward to MP3 being perfected.

ATRAC isn't really very musical. Some people complained about ATRAC in its early days because it was plagued with artifacts in certain ways, which often came down to processing power issues. Now the hardware is more capable and that doesn't happen much, but the encoders have become so adjusted for low and high emphasis now. I don't know if that's a good thing.

God never said we could have everything, could we?
 
     Share This Post       
post-179625
Post #14 of 23

MacDEF

Headphone Hussy (will wear anything if it sounds good)
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Messages
6,761
Reaction score
12
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Posts
6,761
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally posted by Magicthyse
blr has hit the nail on the head - most MD maniacs compare the MD's output to MP3CD's half the price of the MD unit they're using, if they've ever tried one - I'm sure most MD'ers haven't and just say "MD is the greatest".


For the record, I've heard both ATRAC and well-encoded MP3, both on very good equipment, and ATRAC is simply better. There isn't a single MP3 encoding I've yet heard that can get the treble right. Plus MP3s just lose the musicality, whereas ATRAC doesn't.

I base my comparisons on standards ATRAC vs. high-bitrate (320) MP3s, and LP2 ATRAC vs. 192 and 256k MP3s.

As for people uploading ATRAC files to the web and then urging people to compare them with MP3... remember that those ATRAC files are *not* standard ATRAC. They're low-bitrate NetMD ATRAC files.

I'm leaving discussion about the relative non-sound-quality merits of ATRAC vs. MP3 out, since we're supposedly just comparing sound quality.
 
     Share This Post       
post-179645
Post #15 of 23

Magicthyse

Better to look good than to sound good!
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Messages
890
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Posts
890
Likes
10
On very good equipment, ATRAC would sound better.

In the analysis I run, 320K MP3 peters out above 16hkz. ATRAC goes all the way to 22khz+, but the reproduction of the original sound above 17.5khz-ish is markedly different - although an approximation - of the original.

Until 16khz, the reproduction of (a rather hastily encoded at 16x)320K MP3 and SP ATRAC Type-R (encoded at, of course, 1x) follows the original very, very closely. In the low bass frequency, MP3 may have the edge in accuracy. So, on a regular headphone or on a system for example, you wouldn't really be able to tell the difference.

The high frequencies obviously seem to be where the 'psychoacoustic' principles come in. From the wave analysis, the cues are obviously fake, but to the human ear they probably give an extra dimension which makes it sound better - but what you are hearing above 17.5Khz-ish is not the original sound.

So even ATRAC isn't actually getting the treble 'right' - although it definitely has treble. It's obviously been honed over the years to sound 'musical'.

It's pretty much confirmed what I thought - I couldn't tell the difference on my portables, but I thought I could favour ATRAC slightly on the home setup.

All this confirms one other thing - that some kid with a pair of Sennheiser MX500's and a midrange MD decrying MP3's doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. For the 'consumer' level, a well-encoded 320K MP3 and ATRAC SP have no difference.

The key difference in the real world is usability - quality large-capacity MP3 devices (CD/HD) rule in that respect, for very little potential loss in quality.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top