Poll: Audible Difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3?
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krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kchui999 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is flac really worth all the extra space it takes up on a HDD? I find it impossible to tell the difference between flac and 320, and with my music library containing about 10,000 songs all in V0 or 320, it just doesnt seem worthwhile to use so much HD space by storing flac.


It depends.
* Sake of mind -> Rip to FLAC and you will never need to worry if you miss out of something.
* Audible difference or not -> You find it impossible, but I doubt you have ABX tested all your music.
* Storage capacity -> Short on storage space or a lot left.
 
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Pio2001

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Berlioz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It depends on the quality of your system. You need extremely clean source components and amplification, coupled with precise monitoring, in order to discern a real difference.


You're rather an exception here. Usually, mp3 artifacts are so different from hardware distorsion that even high-bitrate, subtle artifacts are audible on cheap, low quality systems. Sometimes, low quality systems may even increase the audibility of the difference, because a good quality system with a flat frequency response allows the psychoacoustic model of the encoder to work in optimal conditions. If the sound reproduction system has peaks in the frequency response, it may reveal noise that would otherwise be masked.

Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
* Storage capacity -> Short on storage space or a lot left.


Add also
*Backup speed -> how many hours does it take to backup your music library, and how often do you backup it ?
 
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Justin Uthadude

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Am I crazy? I have some 192k mp3's from cd's that sound better to me than some of my .wav files from other cd's. I'm coming to the conclusion that there's a lot more quality differences in recording quality than I thought.
 
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leeperry

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin Uthadude /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have some 192k mp3's from cd's that sound better to me than some of my .wav files from other cd's. I'm coming to the conclusion that there's a lot more quality differences in recording quality than I thought.


well I've had the problem recently, the newest CD from Lee Fields is awfully clipped


if you watch the waveforms in an audio editor, there's no dynamics whatsoever! it's clipped to death


I've b*tched at the label boss, he told me to buy the vynil if I don't like the CD mastering...unfreaking-believable


then I've found 192 kbits MP3's on the web(legal!) and they sound perfect, no clipping whatsoever...so yeah, depending on the mastering engineer retardness mp3 can sound better than original CD's


in my case, there is no chance whatsoever to get this album in unmastered lossless form(even though I paid for it!)...so mp3 is my only option. it's the same w/ the Portishead NYC live, you can find bootlegs that are far less "loud" than the retail version.

and then they complain about piracy
 
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krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin Uthadude /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Am I crazy? I have some 192k mp3's from cd's that sound better to me than some of my .wav files from other cd's. I'm coming to the conclusion that there's a lot more quality differences in recording quality than I thought.


Not crazy at all!
I find some 96kbps MP3 files to have higher sound quality than some lossless files. Major variances in recording/mastering quality, sadly!
 
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haloxt

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If you prefer lower bitrates of the same file, I think you'd like ogg format even more than mp3. It sounds more cleaned up (flaws AND microdetails) which may suit some people.
 
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Justin Uthadude

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Quote:

Originally Posted by haloxt /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you prefer lower bitrates of the same file, I think you'd like ogg format even more than mp3. It sounds more cleaned up (flaws AND microdetails) which may suit some people.


Curious you say that. When I synch to my portable, I have it auto convert all the flacs to -q7 ogg. Sounds great.
 
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krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by haloxt /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you prefer lower bitrates of the same file, I think you'd like ogg format even more than mp3. It sounds more cleaned up (flaws AND microdetails) which may suit some people.


Nitpicking, but you probably mean Vorbis.

Vorbis is the audio codec, while Ogg is the container.
 
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Berlioz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pio2001 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You're rather an exception here. Usually, mp3 artifacts are so different from hardware distorsion that even high-bitrate, subtle artifacts are audible on cheap, low quality systems. Sometimes, low quality systems may even increase the audibility of the difference, because a good quality system with a flat frequency response allows the psychoacoustic model of the encoder to work in optimal conditions. If the sound reproduction system has peaks in the frequency response, it may reveal noise that would otherwise be masked.


Thanks for correcting me. That's certainly a possibility that I've never considered.

While I know that a poorly mastered track will sound terrible when heard through accurate monitors, I never really thought that a highly compressed track would sound better on a cheaper setup. Now, I think that there would be different types of errors, some being more exposed, others more hidden, which is basically what you're getting at anyways.
 
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Young Spade

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It depends on the song, encoding, previous (if any) encodings of the same file, the equipment used and the person listening.

But yea on my portable setup (not too great but I love it) of a 1G Touch -> Copper/gold lod -> iBasso T4 -> PFE 112s, I can hear the difference. I used a 320 mp3 and ALAC file in my quick comparison though.

They are subtle but I can hear them. (The song was an acoustic piece BTW)
 
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Amazing how the differences that people hear evaporate once they don't know which format/bitrate they are listening too.
For the vast majority anyway.
 
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Satellite_6

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"I can distinguish a FLAC file as superior, after much time spent A/B-ing"

Done with a craptacular standard sound card and fairly good headphones. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard with a good computer set up.

All the ABX's I've ever done have been w/ classical or electronic music oddly enough. I think Vorbis handles classical better than mp3 somehow.
 
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Nearly everyone has said this but it depends on the music. Also some FLAC music I got from a friend has slight noise like a background hiss. I have MP3s encoded to 320 kbps that sound better than these FLACs
 
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leeperry

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Vandal /img/forum/go_quote.gif
some FLAC music I got from a friend has slight noise like a background hiss. I have MP3s encoded to 320 kbps that sound better than these FLACs


if you compress some noisy bootleg to FLAC, against an MP3 from a clean source...the MP3 file will sound better, but in no way it means that MP3 is superior to FLAC.

just wanna clear things out to avoid confusion, as I've read several times on newbies blogs that 128kbits sounds "better" than 320...as it filters things out


Do 320kbps mp3 files really sound better? Take the test! | NoiseAddicts music and audio blog

the comments are pretty scary
 
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Vandal

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Quote:

Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
if you compress some noisy bootleg to FLAC, against an MP3 from a clean source...the MP3 file will sound better, but in no way it means that MP3 is superior to FLAC.

just wanna clear things out to avoid confusion, as I've read several times on newbies blogs that 128kbits sounds "better" than 320...as it filters things out


Do 320kbps mp3 files really sound better? Take the test! | NoiseAddicts music and audio blog

the comments are pretty scary



Lol. I'm not exactly a newbie and even my cheaper speaker rig can tell the difference between 128, 192 and 320 kbps. But yeah, I know one person who bought an HD 650 and hasn't amped it because he only uses 128 kbps MP3
 
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