This may be a bit technical but I am totally confused and very disappointed with the sound quality of amazon downloads. I'm wondering whether to reject 256kbps VBR (and less) completely. So here goes, here are my questions
When they say 256kbps VRR they mean that 256 kbps is a MAXIMUM , right? Not a mean? If so who decides what the actual bitrate is? Is there a standard algorithm that everyone follows? Or human beings with living ears making the judgement, on the basis of the resulting sound quality? Or on the basis of something else?
And anyway, when they implement their VBR what are they trying to do: maximise the quality or minimise the size of the file?
And do they all do it in the same way? Is itunes the same as amazon, for example? If I buy the same 256kbps VBR track from amazon and itunes, am I getting identical mp3 files?
And anyway, in terms of sound, which is better, VBR or CBR. Or does it depend on your DAC?
I should say that I listen mostly to classical, though a high end hifi, streaming with a squeezebox and using a good quality external DAC. Most of my music is FLAC files ripped from CDs.
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