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Why arent people interested in WAV playback ?????

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by BUGANNA, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. BUGANNA

    BUGANNA
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    :lesson: Im curious,

    but surely the idea of large hard disks, would be too allow people to store complete CDs in WAV format ?

    Isnt quality more important than quantity ?

    everyone seems obsessed with storing 1000s of files, as opposed to having 100s of true wav files, for the best possible sound quality - why ?

    Mp3 / atrac etc are no substitute for Wav files,

    if people demand cd quality for home players, why is it presumed we want lower quality for walkmans ?

    whats the point of having 1000s of mp3s etc ?

    I can hardly think of 50 good cds worth listening too, let alone 1000s..........

    Its a sad day, when people prefer free downloaded mp3s, stored in their 1000s, as opposed to having , say 10 excellent cds stored.......at wav quality

    lets face it, MP3 only exists because people can download it for free........no one wants to pay for MP3 quality, as its just not good enough

    seems the manufactures are now selling us high priced HD walkmans, almost in a way to subsidise the free illegal music people download, and loss of sales therof

    very sad....................

    anyone else agree ?
     
  2. Darthvador

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    :) I agree batery power aside mp3 players have big enough hard discs
    and even most flash players if they made it true drag and drop on you could just pull each album on or off when ever you need it.

    ps can some one tell me how i can get wav to work on a cheap £39.95 1gb mp3 player model number id833a from aria net

    cheap player

    in the manuel it says it plays mp1 mp2 mp3 wma wmv asf and wav
     
  3. mcfarfs

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    To be honest, most people (myself included) can't tell the difference between say 192KBs MP3 and CD.
     
  4. mjn

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    MP3's are terrible, and i refuse to use them.
     
  5. BUGANNA

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    MP3 / Atrac etc sound quality is VERY POOR

    even at the higest bit rate.........

    the sound - simply sounds compressed....which is what it is

    Also, you have to think, that compressing sound, has some very nasty effects, producing horrible sub harmonics, that even if you cant hear, your brain registers.........

    I work in audio, professionally, and have been appalled at the quality of MP3s that millions of people accept............

    you CAN hear, very clearly, the difference between a WAV file and a high bitrate compressed file.....even on lowish quality h/phones

    sound is a very complex science, and simply compressing it, totally removes the depth and dynamics to it, that is what the studio engineers work hard to create..............

    compressed sound is very flat and dull, and has no body to it, also, it has a very specific tailoring of the sound, so that everything has the same EQ to it, which is based on the compression algorithms

    if you want to simply 'hear' music, than yes, you can play MP3s etc

    but to FEEL the sound quality, you need at least WAV quality

    and preferable higher really, which is why many people to this day, still prefer LPs as they have higher resolution and depth of sound.............

    high quality audio, does not need to cost a fortune, you can buy a CD walkman, with a pair of full size Sennheisers, and have extemely good sound quality........

    of you can have 1000s of mp3s, played back on rubbish in ear phones, and listen to 1000s of untalented bands, which cant sing, cant write, cant play, and are only out there to make money from the hapless people who havent the slightest idea about quality


    quality ?

    whats happened to it over the last decade ?

    are we all ( not me ! + not everyone !! ) just so obsessed with low quality and quantity ?

    I can listen to CDs for 3-4 hours, and I dont get tired.

    yet 10 mins of MP3 is all I can take, as the sound has no depth or feel to it.........

    kind of like eating cardboard............sure its cheap, but not for me...............
     
  6. jack190

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    I agree that MP3 quality is not as good as cd quality and personally I wouldn’t buy track of the net as I prefer to have cd albums if not for anything else than to have a hard copy.

    I see mp3 players as nothing more than a personal radio station. The quality is a little better and I can select what I want to listen to.

    If I carried around my music in wav format it would sound better if I were in a quiet room or blasting it into my ears, but mp3’s are good enough when walking around with background noise.
     
  7. JUS

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    MP3 = Convenience. I have 250 albums on my ipod and listen to far more than 50 on a regular basis. I can't tell the difference between MP3 192 and CD to be honest.

    I buy SACD and DVD-A when I want quality...true sit down and properly listen to music. All other music I listen to is usually more background when I'm doing something else....DIY, GYM, cooking etc.

    Not sure what bit rate you're listening to but 192 doesn't sound flat through my hifi and my ears :)
     
  8. extremelydodgy

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    it's good enough for portable use. At 256K even seasoned audiophiles have to listen with some concentration to the difference on full-size systems, let alone on cheap headphones and portables. Portable systems are definitely mid-fi in terms of audio quality in any case... and furthermore, CD walkmen these days can have worse DACs than many HDD players, and have moreover never been equipped to drive proper headphones well. Players like the iPod or the Rio Karma on the other hand deliver much more power to the headphone socket.


    (I notice that many people who bemoan the poor quality of MP3's and go on about alternatice codecs rarely bother to invest in decent headgear. May not be you, but just that I notice it a lot)


    I have 3,000-ish CD's, a fair percentage of which I've so far ripped to 256K MP3. For a while I tried WAV, but it was too cumbersome as it's a nontaggable format and therefore makes organisation a nightmare. FLAC was much better as was ALAC, but I had compatibility issues between players and no PC is as of yet fast enough to transcode toother formats on the fly in realtime. Really, if you want a portable music format which strikes the optimum balance of portability and quality, it's high-bitrate MP3.


    I'd suggest to the original poster that you spend more time becoming familiar with ripping tools. Some which come bundled with players do a bad job. But for example iTunes is not bad at all, especially at high bitrates.


    The quality of downloaded tracks is entirely different... they are pretty low, and I'd agree with your rant regarding downloaded tracks. The worst is Sony with the ATRAC3 (not +) 132K format, which is barely better than 128K MP3. iTunes is slightly better with 128K AAC, but not much. Real starts with 192K AAC source files, which are better than most. Others vary, but are usually pretty similar in a (lack of) quality.
     
  9. BUGANNA

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    The best compression Ive tried, is Atrac+, at highest bit rate

    it tries hard, but still clearly sounds flat.......

    mp3 is a joke , at any bit rate

    I use a Sony cd walkman, with Sennheiser HD600 h/phones, and it drives them perfectly

    what usually has problems, is anything to small to contain decent op-amps.....something like a miniture HD player will NEVER have the right electronics to produce a good quality sound


    I take it, really, that MP3 HDs etc , its all just FUN, and no one really is interested in quality ?

    What I find strange , personally, is that music for me, has meaning, and I must take something from it, to enjoy it

    background music, etc is just pointless, for me

    I either concentrate on it, or I dont

    there is no middle way..........for me.....and for many others who see it as an art form..............

    I see it like fast food

    sure, a burger and chips can be OK

    but HOW can anyone say there is no difference between that, and high quality cuisine made by talented chefs ?

    its not the difference that amazes me , BUT the fact that people say " theire is no difference, or I cant hear the difference !

    thats what shocks me!!


    :eek:
     
  10. JUS

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    Yea, to be honest it confuses me that you can feel so strongly about it and yet I can't hear the difference.

    I'm not particulary happy with playback through my ipod for portable use (my cd/mini disc sounds a hell of a lot better) but the convinience of having a small device will all my albums on out weights that.

    I can't really hear a difference when it's in a cradle playing through my £800 amp and £2k+ speakers.
     
  11. BUGANNA

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    hmmm, well you need to check out your ears !!

    because WHY on earth did you spend so much on hi quality amp/speakers, when 'YOU' could have got the same results from a £ 100 mini hi fi setup ?

    im even more confused now !
     
  12. JUS

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    hahahaha!

    This is getting confusing jumping from one thread to the other

    Money spent = good cinema, games playing experience, listening to SACD & DVD-A.

    I don’t get much time to sit down and just listen to music – what with a job, family and a part house part building site. I do love music with a passion and have the most varied listening taste of anyone I know. When I do sit down and just listen to music I want the best experience I can get which is SACD & DVD-A…which far exceed CD quality.

    I have my ipod connected to my amp for convenience. So I can listen to any album I want at a spin of a wheel while the wife makes me do other things…like washing up or DIY. I don’t notice a difference…perhaps I would if I sat down and really listened but that’s not what I’m using it for.

    P.S. The bass I get from my sub...still using the ipod could not be reproduced from any mini system.
     
  13. Hrochnick

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    Has anybody ever done any blind testing with all of this? That is, had music of different formats and bitrates played to you to see if you can correctly identify what is what. I'd be real interested to try that or hear if it's been done.

    I tend to agree with Jus that I find it very hard to tell the difference between say, cd and a higher bitrate mp3/atrac. I wonder in a blind test how many you'd get right? I also wonder how much of your dislike of compressed formats is to do with your prejudices and perceptions. When you're listening to a 192 mp3 you know you're listening to a 192 mp3, so does your brain tells you you don't like it regardless of how it sounds?

    I'm not saying any of that is true, I'm just threorising, but perception of things as opposed to thier reality plays a huge part in life, much more so than people realise.
     
  14. HD3

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    I might be mistaken................Does anybody realise that Digital TV is MPEG? So is the sound as well??? :confused:

    But most of all the TV is produced at such a high bit rate that it don't matter.

    Lossy compression at a high level is ok, as your saving the "things" which need to be there and discrading the "rubbish"

    I like the idea of being able to play wav on my play, or maybe lossless compression? I think its fair to say that a 192kbps MP3 is reasonable if you just wanna listen to a track a few times. Downloading a wav file of the net would take all year.
     
  15. clivem2

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    This gets into a difficult area. Just look at vinyl vs CD. There are many people who prefer vinyl. In a simple blind test though this may not be so apparent. The blind test would need to be over some time and the effects of removing the low level detail from music may not be immediately apparent. On a short test many people listen for impact (dynamics) and a bright top end. When they buy systems this way they then wonder why they don't enjoy their music.
     
  16. JUS

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    Jolly good points. I was really against MP3 at the start (without even hearing it). Just the thought of reducing the quality when I was waiting for HD-DVD and SACD appauled me. Doesn't apaul me to listen to it now though :)
     
  17. Pecker

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    I certainly agree that there's an market - pretty much untapped - for using 'mp3' players with WAV files.

    WAV should sound identical to CD. I started a thread on this a few days ago, and I think it camke out that the size of an 'average' mp3 file is about 10% of the size it would take in WAV.

    Subsequently, a 60gb player which claims to store '15,000-18,000 4 minute songs' in mp3 will still store a relatively healthy 1,500-1,800 tracks, which is roughly 150-200 albums.

    I would imagine there is a market out there for a player of that design which I never see approached by the ad men. And the glorious thing is, the product is there, ready and waiting, without modification.

    An ipod shuffle 1gb will cost you c.£100, and stores 'about 240 songs' in mp3. c.£250 will get you a machine which will store 6 times that in WAV.

    For me, I can definitely tell the difference between mp3 & CD on my hi-fi at home, and I wouldn't consider using it as a hi-fidelity format. But I don't find there to be a big enough difference when using a portable, with all the assoctated distractions, external noise, etc.

    Steve W
     
  18. BUGANNA

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    All very good points.........

    it seems there are 2 arguments here

    1 is the user who want mainly quantity, at the expense of ultimate quality

    and the other vice versa

    hopefully, the HD will be big enough so we get to a stage where we can have both !

    as for the people who moan about WAVs being to large to download, well, I think we have cds which you can buy in shops to overcome that problem !

    I really do think, that if this trend continues , than manufacturers like sony, will see mp3 walkmans , as a was to subsidise their loss of cd sales

    it will be like, hmm, the average user buys 10 cds a year

    so lets charge them an extra £ 100 for the machine

    which when u look at it, seems about the case now

    the tooling costs for a 20gb HD walkman, and a £ 20 cd player are not much different.............

    yet the price difference is huge........................

    all very interesting...........

    for every 1 mp3 song actually paid for, there must be at least - ooohhh 1,000,000 free downloads on the same file ?!


    at least !!!



    :smashin:
     
  19. Steven

    Steven
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    But the costs of the insides of both are very different?! You can't seriously suggest a manufacturer charging £20 for a product that can play hundreds of albums, and charge the same price as one CD album?! Plus most albums are £10 anyway....

    Funny how people can use spin for their argument.... yeah 250 songs at 64kbps or similar bitrate.

    I have a 20gb player. If I encoded my roughly 1000 songs in WAV, yes thats great but really, I'd need a new DAP or extra HD for my PC for storage space. Which adds up in the end. + I need spare space on my DAP for more albums.

    Also compression is convenient. People that buy the shuffle or any flash player get one because its small and they don't want/need all their music with them.

    The point of portable players is to have your music out and about. Will you really notice the SQ differences in public? In college/shopping/exercising etc? I have my music at high bitrates anyway. I don't hear a difference to my home audio CD player complete with speakers and an amp.

    Then there's branding. DAPs have been marketed so that they and (the term) MP3 are synonimous.

    Finally I'm detecting a level of snobbery. If people use a compression format and either:
    a) can't hear the difference with a audio CD
    b) don't care about SQ difference, just happy with the music,
    then does it matter? I fall in group a) as I said. So why would I then re-encode my music into WAV?
     
  20. BUGANNA

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    nice points !!!

    youre 100% correct, music on the move is a compromise, unless u have a cd walkman i guess..........

    but things like the Sony NW-HD1 / 3 / 5 that DO NOT allow you to play WAV files is ridiculous

    I purchased one of these mamas yesterday, and its going back for a refund, as it wont play WAV, despite the sony jargon.........

    and yes, that was my point, Sony wont sell you a 20gb player, for the same price as the cd walkman, even if all the costs were the same

    thats the point, theyre making huge profits on the players, to compensate for the loss of sales on cd, due to free downloading of MP3s

    real shame, I like the little Sony, but no wav compatability is a sin

    :cool:
     
  21. Steven

    Steven
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    um You're the 1st to have said Sony said the HD1/3/5 played uncompressed files. When have they said this?

    Last thing: Sony portable electronics dept posted a sizable loss last year. Only PS2 sales are keeping Sony profit margins respectable. So they are making a profit but not "loads".

    P.S: http://eng.iaudio.com/product/product_X5_feature.php

    iaudio X5: style and substance. Supports WAV and FLAC as well. www.amp3.co.uk are the only ones I've found that sell them in UK webstores. But more expensive than Sony. £250 for 20gb £275 for long play ver - 34 hrs batt life. Normally 14 hrs batt. 30gb available as well.

    edit: www.dapreview.net - go to gallery then Cowon. Nice pics of X5
     
  22. HMHB

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    There's a lot of nonsense and snobbery about portable music quality I think. The very nature of these portable machines mean that you are either listening through headphones on the move or in a car, neither of which give you anything like ideal listening conditions. The MP3 players are convenience machines for listening to any track that you own out of the house, and most of them do that job well :)
     
  23. extremelydodgy

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    At 256K, LAME is neck and neck with ATRAC3+.


    I very much doubt it. How old is your CDP?


    You'll find discmen have similar and in some cases inferior amplification circuits. I am also interested in quality... But there's a time and place for critical listening. If I want to hear a CD played properly, I'll go back to my
    desk and put the disc in the dCS / Mark Levinson / Duevel combo. If I want tunes on the move, it's 256K MP3's on the iPod with the Sennheiser HD25-1.


    If you really want to fuss with WAVs, your best bet would be to buy an iRiver iHP-140, and pair it with a Headroom MiniDAC/Amp combo. The iHP has an optical output, which I personally don't think is that great... but the DAC and the amp will make the most of it. You can also use the same combination with your Discman if it has an optical output.
     
  24. haroldpark

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    BUGANNA I am also curious as to whether you have done any blind listening tests between high bit rate compressed music formats such as mp3 and an uncompressed wav sample of music.
    I have had some experience in the audio engineering industry in the past and from that experience I learned that if there is one thing that audio engineers enjoy talking about it is "feats of hearing" and the quasi-supernatural powers of the audio engineers heaing as compared to the layman. Though there is obviously some truth in that sound proffesionals will be aware of things that the casual music listener will not even care about I think that often times these tales are a tad exagerated (remember one guy telling me about how his friend cold tell that a channel in a mixing desk was "wrong" and it was later discovered that there was a problem with sound reproduction at around 56kHz)
    Anyways if you haven't done such tests you might be surprised about what they reveal as our higher cognitive processes and prejudices can so often and easily fool us. If you have performed such tests than please ignore everything I have said.
    As an aside I haven't done any ABXing of different formats and bit rates but I plan to do it soon as I had wanted a dap with FLAC or at least WAV playback but am sorely tempted by the NW-HD5. I am curious to see therefore whether or not I can indeed distinguish between high or even medium bit rate compression and an uncompressed sample.
    If you are interested hydrogenaudio seems to be the place to go for more info.
    hh
     
  25. Phil K

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    Personally, I believe that if you look for differences you'll find them. Wether they are there or NOT. I am quite happy using ogg and wma on 48 for books and 64 for music. And the sound is FINE. As for wav, thats great if you like taking up so much room on your player. Just dont expect the rest of us to waste so much room. Thats the whole point of an "MP3 player" surely ?
     
  26. Mike_manchester

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    Apropos of "quality"... i clearly remember reading a hi-fi magazine some years ago which had an interview with a chap called, i think, Peter Walker ??? , who was the chairman or owner of Quad electronics.

    The interview was discussing at length the superior quality of Quad hi-fi and the lengths some people will go to, in order to "upgrade" the sound and get the very best reproduction.

    When asked what the best "upgrade" a serious listener could make, Mr Walker replied something along the lines of ..."personally, i think the best upgrade you can make to ANY hi-fi system is to drink a large whisky !!!" :)
     
  27. Wykey

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    this is the only thing I find strange about what you've said...

    CD is a compromise. CD's became popular, primarily, because of their size, convenience and cost. NOT because of their quality.

    Music on the move IS a compromise, full stop.

    Arguing about the nuances of WAV and (say) ATRAC3+ when you're happy to compromise over quality from vinyl to CD doesn't really make sense to me.

    Especially when, as you say, you're listening through headphones.

    I use ATRAC3+ and it's highest bit rate, I find this more than acceptable for mobile audio.

    If you compromise at all, then the degree of compromise is largely irrelevant. If you say you want the best possible quality, then you don't buy ANY kind of mobile music system.
     
  28. Steven

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    or get rich or die tryin' and build a *perfect* system yourself!

    I doubt apart from listening live, you could get close to superior SQ
     
  29. BROUGHCUT

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    Actually LAME alt.preset.extreme (and standard, for that matter) sound quality is VERY transparent. If you can tell the difference between the original and the compressed version on low end equipment, such as a portable MP3 player, then you must be using a dodgy encoder or a slow PC which is giving poor quality results. Try Exact Audio Copy or DBPowerAMP.

    Where I would agree with you is what is the point in having 10,000 or whatever truly poor quality files on a player, as opposed to rotating a collection of several thousand cd quality tracks.

    Also, by playing large WAV files on a portable player you would probably be lucky to get, what, an hour of playback, due to the hard drive activity increasing ten fold (?). The battery would need to be replaced every couple of months...
     
  30. petrolhead

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    If I have a suitable sized HD in my MP player will I notice a big difference between 128, 192bit or even higher
     

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