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Audiophile quality download files please

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In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2012 15:57:40 BDT
Why are we still talking about using 256kbs mp3 when the reason for this data reduction has passed? Do we need to make space for thousands of tracks that we have no time for?
I would rather go for quality over quantity even if in some cases the difference is not so large.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 03:11:19 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 3 Jun 2012 03:13:23 BDT]

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 10:09:17 BDT
dinch says:
If the (quality) difference is not large then the increased file size would still be justifiable. However, the fact is that no valid, reliable, controlled tests I've seen have ever demonstrated that listeners can reliably tell the difference.

There's no shortage of people who say they can hear it, but a complete absence of evidence. My ears are not wonderful so I'm relying on proof.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 10:40:47 BDT
Try listening to complex classical music even at 320.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 10:46:46 BDT
Peter Lanky says:
OK, so we have 2 schools of thought.
1) Believes that high quality, uncompressed files are better on the ear than mp3.
2) believes there is no difference.

Group 1 will never be satisfied with the mp3 format. For group 2 it doesn't matter. Therefore we should be moving towards higher quality files because it makes a big difference to one group while having no negative effect on the other group. Everyone's a winner because there is nowadays a reduced need to have small files to enable them to fit on current technology machines.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 10:47:16 BDT
nephran says:
Mr.Munday is right..MP3 and WMA,are not good when it comes to full on classical where the space around the instruments and thier place in the soundstage are crucial..Rock,pop and simpler stuff are fine though.256kbps variable is often preferable to 320kbps constant.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 11:02:36 BDT
too right, any idiot can dl 320's for FREE (Amazon, are you listening?), if I'm paying for it, I want the best format..

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 11:33:49 BDT
I can certainly tell the difference. I make long playlists, play them via Audirvana and Haloid bridge through my DAC. Most of the time I'm reading my paper and can't begin to remember whats MP3 and whats AIFF but soon know when the track plays because I have to turn the volume down because of the hardness, lack of space and air and general 'digital' sound. The AIFFS, WAVS and FLACS sound very good indeed I have to say. Anyhow, neither iTunes nor Amazon do 320kbs as far as I know. Most MP3s are 256kbs. Pop and rock till suffer, not just classical. I did wonder whether I was just kidding myself about hearing the difference but I know from listening through the Audirvana that the difference is very noticeable. I think MP3 is a right con if you ask me.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 11:45:08 BDT
dinch says:
And still no proof

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 12:19:52 BDT
D. W. Salter says:
You can't compare the bitrates of different formats like that - you're comparing apples with oranges! A well-mastered 320 mp3 will sound significantly better than a badly mastered CD - and there are plenty out there.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 16:02:47 BDT
Mr. J. Lord says:
Then sell your Linn lp12 because your ears aint hearing the difference otherwise get your linn correctly set up I have a Hi Fi that plainly chokes on mp3's but loves wav thru a dac Now thats a sound

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 16:12:39 BDT
Mr. J. Lord says:
Further to my post was not getting personal just highlighting a fact MP3 is bull its a harsh degrading music track. The only thing wrong with what you say is you have a pro sound card powering a pair of stax headphones... The headphones are very good if you have the right ones but your sound card not so sure because you should be hearing the loss from mp3. all i'll say is before you rant back to me is have a good dialog to this post as I mean no ill remarks... Just do this go thru your windows media player load a CD & use the players rip option to rip it to wav loss less then play that thru your stax then reply back with your results you will like them if your a buff. If not can I have your linn LP12??

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 16:50:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jun 2012 17:20:57 BDT
Now I have just come to Spain where I have a collection of original 50's and 60's Jazz and blues records. Here they are played through a 1957 Pye Mozart from my record deck. Total bliss. Yes there is some distortion, but I do not beleive that that is so important. The sound just sound so so right and yes I have listened to jazz live.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2012 19:53:16 BDT
Paul Gibson says:
I love music. I especially love crackly old blues records recorded on wax cylinders in the 1920s. The sound quality is appalling - the passion and atmosphere are authentic and faultless. Music is about soul, it's not a technical exercise, so your assertion that you can't be a music fan unless you have an expensive system doesn't cut it with me.

Posted on 4 Jun 2012 21:48:58 BDT
D. W. Salter says:
Do you remember a decade or so ago when it became trendy to add a sample of a crackly record over the top of a mix to give it that "old vinyl" feel? Well, that's was an exercise in how the human brain makes associations with sound - hearing the crackle takes some of us back to the time when we first started listening to music - it has nothing whatsover to do with the music - it's about playing tricks with your mind, and manipulating you so that you feel nostalgic. That's all it is. When I listen to recorded music, I want it to be as close as being in the same room with the musicians as it is possible to be. Hiss, crackle, distortion etc, all serve to shatter that illusion and remind me that it's not really happening. So before you start saying "It's all about the music" - just have a think.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2012 22:55:09 BDT
I would agree that it is best to strive for the best possible sound it must be possible to compromise where this is not possible.

Posted on 5 Jun 2012 04:58:23 BDT
dinch says:
I'm still waiting for someone to provide a link to a properly conducted study showing that at least some listeners can reliably tell the difference between mp3 and raw digital audio.

I've never found such a study. I don't believe any of you will either.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2012 05:11:17 BDT
dinch says:
"Try listening to complex classical music even at 320."

OK, I've tried that and it sounds great. What shall I do now? I'm looking for something objective, valid and reliable.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2012 07:08:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2012 07:15:39 BDT
Peter Lanky says:
What's the issue that drives you to seek proof of this, and what are you trying to prove to others? For example I cannot tell the difference between standard definition TV and HDTV. Try as I might to see something exciting in HDTV and I simply can't. However I accept that some people can, and I live with it. I don't continuously ask for proof that others can see something that I can't, but just move on.

Similarly with a bottle of wine. Some people wax lyrical about the 100 bottle of "Chateau le Ponce" that they've tasted, but I can't tell the difference between that and the 7 wines I drink. I'm happy because I can get the same pleasure and save myself 93, yet give me a glass of Remy Martin VSOP and a glass of Three Barrels, and there is a world of difference to me. Everyone is different, and usually these differences cannot be quantified by a laboratory test.

It's the same with audio. Some people can tell the difference and some can't. There is nothing to be gained by seeking this elusive proof. Just let people enjoy their high quality files and you enjoy your mp3s and everyone will be happy.

Posted on 5 Jun 2012 07:19:52 BDT
dinch says:
Just looking for facts to satisfy my curiosity.

Posted on 5 Jun 2012 09:33:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2012 09:35:06 BDT
MC Zaptone says:
Dinch, You need to quantify what you actually need to satisfy. I can assure you that if I play an Mp3 file through my professional DJ decks (2 x Burr Brown DACs per player) and pump it out through 800 watt (15" bass bins) active speakers it will sound weak through top and middle compared to an uncompressed file. I find that there is less of a difference through my home stereo (Arcam; B&W) and no discernible difference at all when played through my kitchen mini-system. For your own personal satisfaction take a simple hearing test and ask the audiologist for a read out. The results including facts such as general health and very importantly your age will tell you whether or not you can even begin to tell the difference on a run-of-the-mill mini-system.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2012 09:58:28 BDT
D. W. Salter says:
I had the idea of using one of the high resolution masters from my studio, outputting a high res FLAC file and a 320 kbps mp3, then resampling the mp3 and turning it into a FLAC file - so it will be a FLAC render of an mp3 file. I could then upload both the FLAC files and invite people to see if they can tell which is which. That sounds like a fair test to me, what do you think?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2012 10:01:46 BDT
D. W. Salter says:
But what if no-one can tell the difference, like it's either an "emperor's new clothes" kind of thing, or a placebo type thing and it's all been a big hoax? I would want to know, wouldn't you?

Posted on 5 Jun 2012 10:01:49 BDT
dinch says:
As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I am already aware of the limitations of my hearing. That's exactly why I can't trust my own senses and would dearly love to see the results of just one single, solitary, controlled and independently verified listening test. Otherwise we're dealing with snake oil and fairies living at the bottom of the garden.

UFO sightings spring to mind. I don't accept those at face value either.

Just one would do for a start. Anyone? Please?

Posted on 5 Jun 2012 10:06:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2012 10:06:38 BDT
MC Zaptone says:
If you're ever in South London and I'm playing, come and have a listen for yourself!
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Discussion in:  mp3 discussion forum
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Initial post:  5 Oct 2009
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