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People need some education in MP3 / Compression lack of quality

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by BUGANNA, Jul 19, 2005.

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  1. BUGANNA

    BUGANNA
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    there seems to be a massive lack on understanding on compressed audio

    everytime I hear comments like " at high bitrate MP3 can sound pretty much identical to WAV "

    I just cringe up and die...............

    for peoples information, one must consider WHY the existing 44-khz digital recording quality was chosen for CD

    basically, the record companies wanted a compromise between sound quality and cd physical size

    it is a fact, that the current 16-bit cd tech., is not actually very high fidelity

    recording engineers, state that you can hear difference all the way up. up to 24-bit sampling rate

    24-bit is massively bigger than 16-bit, the CD would have to be the size of a laser-disc or more, to fit all the data

    SO , they went for 16-bit..............decent quality, nice size CD

    SO for anyone who thinks, that reducing a WAV file, to 10-20% of its original size, will still have decent quality, well, they need to think again

    and listen again (!)

    if this was the case, Philips wouldve designed a little 2" CD, that would be very cute, cheaper to make, less quality control , etc etc

    but they didnt as they didnt think the quality was good enough

    yet now-adays most people think MP3 is brilliant !

    hmmmm, I wonder if they had to pay for thier MP3 if they would still say the same comments

    seems people fool themselves into believing anything, so long as something is FREE !!!!

    wake up and smell the coffee......................if this goes on, there will be no more high fidelity left, just tiny compressed files, full of massive copyprotection algorythms

    the future is bleak...................
     
  2. Tejstar

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    I download at 320kbps (MP3 format) and find it perfectly fine for on-the-move usage. I have been horrified though when listening to friends music on their players at how poor the sound quality can be.

    People can tell me what they like about what is meant to be the best but I always let my ears do the judging!
     
  3. HMHB

    HMHB
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    I think you need to realise that portable mp3 players are about a compromise between quality and portability and usability, as we've pointed out in your last troll, whoops I mean post.
     
  4. Mike_manchester

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    Jeez - how i hate hi-fi heads who feel compelled to "educate" people just because they have spent a fortune on their hobby.

    Its always the same:

    People who genuinely enjoy music buy lots of it and enjoy it however it sounds

    Tech-heads buy lots of hi-fi and little music and spend all their time lobbying music lovers to "listen harder". They also INSIST on telling you what lovely expensive equipment they have spent their cash on (usually in their sig file on postings :boring: )

    Your ears are no better than mine, you sad little man. If i want your (likely mistaken) opinions about how i should listen to music (the nerve of it...), i will ask for them.
     
  5. MartinImber

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    THe better it sounds the more you can immerse your self in it
     
  6. hornydragon

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    and twice as often eh martin, I use 192 kbps for use in the car and to be sounds fine not that acar is the ideal space for critical listening and the response of most in ear phones are so bad you cant hear the difference, this is the MTV generation music channels rule and they broadcast audio quality is utter rubbish (then again so is most of the music)
     
  7. Mike_manchester

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    Irrelevant - this forum is for "Mp3, Ipod and other digital music".

    This forum is NOT for pompous individuals to lecture us. I know all about owning "proper" hi-fi thank you very much and i dont see it has any place here. My hd5 is a marvel of miniturisation that fits in my pocket and allows me to enjoy reletively hi-fidelity music on the move - thats exactly what i bought it for and i'm plenty happy with that.

    I think its fair to say that when people on here say that high-bitrate sounds like CD, they are actually (Buganna take note) intelligent and educated enough to compare and contrast the 2 on portable equipment.

    No-one has ever suggested that U2 record their next album as a 128mp3
    master..........
     
  8. the mechanic

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    You only need to look at his sig :-{ Main:- Epos Es14 , Michaelson Odysseus 40w tube ( de Paravinci design ), Cambridge Audio Dac 2i, Arcam Delta transport, technics 101 cd changer, Aura (B+W) tuner .......AV:- Sony 900 dvd, Sony 835 AV, Epos Es11, Panny ae500, Jbl rears, no centre......) to see where his loyaties lie...IN STEREO REPRODUCTION.... I mean, who has an AV set up and does'nt have a centre channel speaker ? ? This is where almost ALL of the dialogue takes place, not to mention sound effects placed there for a reason (cos it's relevant to the sound mix), and he has the cheek to say that people (me included) who use MP3 compression for their music listening are "missing something".

    Strange indeed,

    Graham.
     
  9. Steven

    Steven
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    can't be bothered going thru the same old ground so: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=225266

    one last thing though. I'm happy with my music at Atrac 256kbps or MP3 190 kbps VBR. So why should I change something for the sake of perfection? it sounds good enough to me, so I'll leave it like that.

    The most important thing is actually having the music as well.

    Also current HD sizes mean lossless is not a viable option for me. Currently 60gb is the max. That is not enough if I choose to go lossless.

    BUGANNA, do you really think people don't know lossless is the best possible? There is a difference between choosing compression out of following the crowd like a sheep OR for practicality reasons. Which do YOU think is the reason people on this forum use compression?
     
  10. hornydragon

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    i do agree that the level of knowledge is pretty poor that goes for everything, if people new what they were actually buying the high street would be a very different place!!!
     
  11. alexs2

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    BUGANNA.....you need to read the rules regarding cross-posting in different parts of the forum...original thread now closed.
     
  12. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I am not sure personal attack on Buggy helps any, especially when you might actually be wide of the mark in your accusations....an audiophile? Buggy...;) vocal may be but is anything he has said in error?
     
  13. KeanosMagicHat

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    Yep ... I can store my entire CD collection on my player and take it with me anywhere.

    An added bonus of this (and shuffle play) is that I am now listening to music that was gathering dust in CD format.

    It's great !!!

    People trying to compare home systems with MP3 players are missing the point.

    It's like trying to compare fried Cod to Caviar.

    You don't see many people sitting in their car snacking on Caviar out of a newspaper but both Cod n' chips and Caviar can be equally satisfying in the right circumstances.
     
  14. Gary_W

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    An MP3 player has never pretended to be premium quality hi-fi. CD did pretend to be this and has been whinged about by vinyl junkies ever since.

    I am sure that under ideal conditions in an ideal room with thousands of pounds worth of kit, a really good vinyl pressing (which you don't always get) will sound sublime and if A/B'd with the equivalent CD would beat it.

    Having said that, a mid priced CD system will get 90% of the way there for considerably less money and have the convenience of being able to skip to whichever track you want without leaving your seat.

    An iPod will get you 80% there and allow you instant access to several thousand tracks.

    What has to be realised is that the market (i.e. most consumers) want something very different to 'ultimate quality'. They want choice, choice, choice. And NOW!

    25 years ago, this kind of choice (instant access to maximum tracks at the push of a button) just wasn't available, so enthusiasts had to plough the competative streak into something else. Namely making the albums they had sound the best they could by spending unhealthy amounts on tonearms, interconnects etc.

    The bulk of people now are more interested in listening to lots of different stuff as opposed to really critical listening of a favourite piece. The competative streak now is on shear quantity of music, not how well it is reproduced. We all have shorter attention spans. How many people sit through a track on an album that they don't like? Used to be the case that you couldn't be bothered to move the tonearm. But now you skip to the next song / album / I fancy a different artist. And I for one would find it hard to go back.

    Does it make the listening experience less rich? Depends on the person. If you genuinely get offended by the sound of CD's and MP3's then vote with your feet. The manufacturers are trying to cater for you via SACD and keeping vinyl going. If you can put up with the sound, the choice given by MP3 can be rather liberating.

    I am glad I have never had a problem with CD's, as I'm sure they too would irritate my ears 'if I knew better'. They are what I listen to in the house.

    I bought an iPod 4 months ago, and have it in my car via a Dension IceLink+. No, the quality isn't quite up to CD standards, which I'm sure horrifies you. But the fact that I can listen to any of 3500 songs that take my fancy without towing a truck full of music CD's is rather wonderful, and I absolutely would not be without it. As such, I have chosen convenience and choice over quality, as I no longer use the factory fitted CD player. I have weighed up the pros and cons of both, and have gone with the one that (on balance) gives me more enjoyment. And I think that is the point of this hobby?

    FWIW, AAC's on the apple sound a lot nicer to my ears than the equivalent sized MP3. It made the quality / convenience trade off rather easier for me.

    Gary
     
  15. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Good post Gary :thumbsup:
     
  16. Tejstar

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    My sister has an Icelink+ fitted in her car and, just to reiterate, it is fantastic. She didn’t have a cd-changer before hand so she had to keep discs lying around in her car. Fitting the Icelink+ means ultimate convenience, plus much better quality than those FM transmitters. :thumbsup:
     
  17. Daneel

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    BUGANNA, when you can ABX a wav vs a 320 kbps MP3 come back to me. Foobar will make this very easy to attempt, assuming you know how to rip and encode an mp3 properly (FYI the most common method is to use EAC in secure mode and use LAME to encode).

    Some people can tell the difference, not many, but a few at which point I give them an mpc file (the sound format I use on my computer) encoded at -xtreme. Typically this is at a lower bitrate, around 220kbps, but due to it being a better codec, achieves what is known as transparancy; the point at which you cannot tell the original wav from the encoded track.

    I've yet to see anyone tell that from wav blind on normal music. A select few can tell on samples designed to highly problems with encoding methods, that's about it. If you really want to know about this subject, try the hydrogen audio forums.

    From your initial post, I'm inclided to belive you have a poor understanding of how mp3 and other codec go about getting the space saving or even about CD. I'll pick a couple of holes in your arguments:

    1. "24-bit is massively bigger than 16-bit, the CD would have to be the size of a laser-disc or more, to fit all the data" - no, it's 50% bigger in space use terms which is what you are talking about.

    2. "recording engineers, state that you can hear difference all the way up. up to 24-bit sampling rate" - perhaps they do but you would be shocked if you knew some of the systems that are used in the mastering process.

    From discussion recording engineers (see arstechnica forums a/v, I don't have the time to find specific threads) many parts of the audio chain in a seriously expensive hi-fi system are way over the top as the sound has already been though lower fidelity systems. It's your wonderful garbage in garbage out problem.

    3. "for peoples information, one must consider WHY the existing 44-khz digital recording quality was chosen for CD, basically, the record companies wanted a compromise between sound quality and cd physical size" - I'm pretty sure it was due to Nyquist and the maximum for human hearing being around 20kHz. (it's a bit more complicated than that but I don't really want to get into it here, see http://www.promastering.com/pages/techtalk_mac/tt-3_mac.html for more details).

    I also don't understand why this is a line of argument against mp3. Most mp3s are not limited in this way and make use of the full frequency range present on the CD.
     
  18. kevH

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    Agree totally with Gary (good post just what i was thinking)

    Isnt everything in some way a trade off , i personally think CD's are better on my medium to high grade hi fi set up without the infuriating scratching vinyl aspect.

    Just getting into the whole putting stuff on a mp3 player mularchy and wondering whats the best trade off quality v loads tracks on the damn thing mainly to be played thro the hi fi set up an occasionally on the move ie holidays an maybe in the car any thoughts would be helpful !!!!
     
  19. Hrochnick

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    I believe any kind of recording is a compromise and a degredation of sound quality and insist on only taking live bands with me wherever I go... I don't have a stereo in my front room, I have a stage.
     
  20. Gary_W

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    I have got rid of my stage now.

    I got particularly carried away during a 'Rage Against the Machine' number and started to crowdsurf.

    Unfortunately, the only 'crowd' present was my wife reading the latest copy of 'Hello' magazine. As this did not even feature Tom Morello's appartment, she was not in a RATM moment. As such, she was completely unprepaired for 16 stone of pure lean muscle ( :D ) launching himself backwards whilst screaming profanity.

    Strangely, she failed to see the funny side upon coming round. And the stage had to do.

    And that's why I have an iPod.

    I cannot even discuss the soundstage of a stereo pair without her involuntarily ducking. As does any passage of loud music.

    As the ducking sounds a large 'crick' in her neck every time she does so, I cannot appreciate good quality music any more as she does not show me the courtesy of doing it in time with the beat.
     
  21. Louis Mazzini

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    Well, to sort of stick up for the chap, he does have something of a valid point. MP3, and other compression formats (just pick your favourite and go with the argument...), are becomming so ubiquitous these days with lots of music being sold via the Internet, and people are happy with it (because, of course, it sounds okay). At the same time, no popular format has emerged to sweep away CD as the format of choice where ultimate sound quality is concerned (like DVD did to VHS).

    Buganna's worry, quite reasonably, is that sound quality is going in the wrong direction. I know us lot can make the point that we like compressed audio for on the move (again, perfectly reasonably), but it's the less well-informed masses out there that he's presumably worried about, whose satisfaction with lower quality could prevent progress.
     
  22. Daneel

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    Normally I wouldn't bother with this kind of topic, but to call a thread "People need some education in MP3 / Compression lack of quality" and have a clear lack of understanding on key issues is not helpful to people new to the subject trying to learn.

    I have no fear of mp3 or whatever replacing CD. Music will continue to be mastered at current quality or better. The distribution method may well change and the pricing structure too, but if you want high quality, given how easy it would be to supply, it will be offered to you. In this scenario you will go to a supplier to buy and album and be given several options:

    VBR MP3
    Lossless encoding at CD quality (flac, monkey audio, <insert lossess standard here>)
    Lossless encoding at DVD-A / SACD quality / whatever replaces them

    Plus, lower quality only matters if you can tell the difference, which as I have tried to explain in my previous post, if you use the right encoder, is not an issue.
     
  23. mick's cat

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    You could use GoPod to bypass the EU volume limit. Alternatively, apply the EU volume limit to her neck... ;-)
     
  24. Tejstar

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    GoPod is a godsend, without the volume on the ipod is so low! :thumbsdow
     
  25. MartinImber

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    I use Minidisc in the car, sounds quite good but definately not as good as the original CD
     
  26. deanym

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    I use mp3's in the car - sound fine, in the house, prefer cd's.

    Each medium has its domain.
     
  27. MartinImber

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    This thread did not start here so no going on about pompousness :mad:

    I have some pretty good car speakers and I can hear ATRAC artifacts on them, however MDs are less likely to be damaged thant CDs.

    As to mp3 - I think in general they are quite poor, definately worse than ATRAC, (highest I have heard is 256)
     
  28. alexs2

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    Just so everyone knows...this thread is/was a duplicate of one started by BUGANNA in the HiFi section.

    Since he saw fit to repost here in the interests of yet more replies,his original was closed.
     
  29. MartinImber

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    Thats true :hiya:

    I like discussing the subject but I don't like it dropping to arguments.

    I haven't said I am anti mp3, I just find all the downloadable ones sound horrid.

    A lot of CDs sound raspy at high frequencies.

    I find with mp3 and ATRAC that quite often you get squelchy noises, this is common with heavy rock.

    I'll happily use MD in the car (comprimise) at home I'll use CD, SACD, DVD-A or vinyl (all my old records) but MD - prefer not - sounds comparatively worse than in the car.

    Never bothered with portable music as I have never had the need
     
  30. Mike_manchester

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    The comment about pompousness was aimed at the Troll BUGANNA, who started this thread.
     
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