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Poll: Audible Difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by el_doug, Aug 10, 2009.
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  1. vhbaske
    Well, on an Ipod you can see this:  when you convert mp3 files to m4a and you convert FLAC files to m4a the FLAC files sound with more volume than the mp3.  Maybe the iPod has better ears than us.
  2. Zembobo
    I don't understand what you are saying here...why would you change your setup (cables, tubes, interconnects, etc) when going from one format (flac) to another (320k)?  It seems like you are trying to add things up that really wouldn't change.  Ceteris paribus I would still agree that FLAC is a better option.  Space is cheap and FLAC is becoming more compatible with digital devices.  Plus, you don't run into the "copy of a copy" degradation like you do with any compressed format.
  3. Zembobo
    Please entertain the possibility that the difference you're hearing is psychological.  This is not an attack on your post so please don't read too much into this [​IMG] but try having a friend play one format and then the other without telling you the format and see how many times out of 50 you can guess it right.
  4. Young Spade
    ^ He's basically saying to do a Blind test to see if you can tell the difference; a lot of people suggest to do these things with cables and audio codecs. My opinion is though; if you can hear a difference or think you do, then what's the problem?

    I used to use all FLAc until I got my iPod and of course, it can't playthat. I'm converting all of my music to 320kbs because the differences are minimal and I need the extra space.
  5. tmars78


    you don't even need to have a friend to do it. Foobar has an ABX plug-in. 
  6. Dexon


    How to make it work? I got this message 'Failed to load DLL: foo_abx.dll Reason: The specified procedure could not be found.' It seems there's no documentation for the plugin. I'm using v0.9.5.6. version.
  7. nick_charles Contributor


    You need to download the plug-in, http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_abx extract the dll from the zip file and put it in the folder with the other dlls, (the foobar2000/components folder) 

    Then when you start FooBar select two tracks and right-click and the ABX option appears under Utilities
  8. l3dz3pp3lin
           Great... so where are the POLL results?
           BTW i have a BIG collection of jazz, classical, and rock (mainly 60's and 70's) which is encoded in mp3 320 from CD's
                ... i'll soon be getting Asus Xonar Essence STX and Sennheiser HD 558
                         .... so my question to you guys is, with that kind of music and hardware, FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE, would it be much of a differnece between mp3 320 and FLAC, or is it very little to none in most cases?
          Thank You
  9. barleyguy


    mp3 does not degrade when copying.  It only degrades if you reencode the file.  Copying just makes a copy of the same bits from one place to another.
  10. Angelbelow
    For the most part I cant really tell as well. However, Ive never really done a serious and blind test to compare them side to side.
    Ultimately I have the space to spare and I dont want to look back and regret not going for FLAC so I strive to keep my collection on FLAC files.
  11. Hongook


    that's exactly my thought process as well.
  12. plonter
    I came back to flac (on my dap) after experimenting a little with v0 mp3's.    the mp3 were fine..sounded great.  I didn't compare flac vs mp3 so i can't tell if i hear a difference,and probably i will not :)    but i still decided to come back to flac just for the great feeling of having cd's in the palm of my hand.  
    I also listen to my cowon j3 with a full size cans like the denon AHD-5000 and the grado RS1 so i prefer my music to be lossless in order to maximize the sound quality.  this way i know i do the best i can,and the rest depended on the original quality of the recorded cd.  
  13. mikeaj
    In a few rare spots in certain tracks (i.e. otherwise not) I can ABX distinguish between LAME MP3 -V1 or sometimes -V0 vs. lossless, with somewhat reasonable accuracy.  I have to listen very carefully, find the exact spot, crank the volume up, have little distractions, and so on, and then I can get it like 80% right.  Others have better hearing and gear than me though.
    Generally I think you need to going with bitrates even lower than that to be able to get distortion artifacts that are actually jarring or that could be noticed in normal listening.  If you're never done any blind testing, most of the differences you think you hear probably aren't there in reality.  If you listen to the same track twice and try to hear differences, you will usually hear differences--even if they don't exist.
    Lossless codecs are great for archiving and playback purposes, so why not?  For portable use I transcode to Vorbis -q8 with the latest aoTuV build.  It's a variable bitrate codec that averages somewhere around 256 kbps depending on the music, so kind of similar to LAME -V0 except with better perceived quality (but higher encoding time).  I've never been able to tell that apart from lossless and I'm sure it's way overkill for noisier listening environments.
  14. Freeze
    Thanks for submitting your answer. The correct answer is Clip #F.
    You selected Clip# F …Congratulations!
    Clip #x is encoded at 320kbps (30359 votes)
    Clip #x is encoded at 128kbps (33785 votes)
    was pretty easy to hear the difference with westone 3's between those 2 but look at that more people picked the 128k file. Guess i just got some golden ears.
    changed the numbers to letters as to not spoil it for anyone
    if you know to be listening at the treble since thats where music info is lost you have an advantage. If you didn't know that it'd be hard to tell the difference.
    320/v0  vs flac tho honestly is really hard to tell in most songs only a few select songs benefit from it  128 vs 320 is easier  than 320 vs flac
  15. keanex Contributor
    I'm happy with V0 until portable media players have "unlimited" storage. I like having my library with me. I choose V0 because I can't ABX it from FLAC so there's no point taking up the extra space.
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