Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Oct 2012 00:05 UTC
Multimedia, AV "On October 1 1982, Joel's sixth studio album, 52nd Street, was the first commercially released CD album... Which means CDs are 30-years-old today. It's worth noting here that 52nd Street wasn't a new album - it was launched initially in 1978, but it was selected for relaunch on the new digital audio disc, rolling out alongside the first CD player - the Sony CDP-101 - in Japan. But of course, the CD didn't spring up overnight - the road to launch started long before 1982." I'm still 100% CD when it comes to music. The act of physically holding a new album in your hands for the first time and gently placing the disk in the tray can't be matched by pressing a download button behind a computer.
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RE: I don't like cds but
by ilovebeer on Tue 2nd Oct 2012 01:42 UTC in reply to "I don't like cds but"
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Until either most albums are mastered with a compression codec in mind or else we see lossless download services, I'll still buy them and rip them to lossless.

It should be noted that compression used in the recording chain is not the same type of compression used in typical data compression. In that regard you will never see masters with data compression applied.

I'm one of those oddballs that can actually hear the difference between a cd and a compressed file (note though that cds themselves are compressed, just to a lesser extent).

Redbook audio (which is whats used for a cd) is not compressed. That is why audio cds have a strict size/playtime limit directly related to the size of the disc itself.

The exceptions are some of those new albums mastered for iTunes, those sound damn good coming from studio masters through an optimized AAC encoder. You can make most modern formats, compressed or otherwise, sound really nice if the mastering is done correctly and the encoding parameters are optimized.

The above is only (mostly) true because most modern formats share similarities in key parts of their encoding algorithms. It should also be noted that the optimal encoder settings are on a per case basis. In other words, what works well for one piece make not for another.

Mastering is the polish applied to whats already there. The only way to have great audio is to provide the mastering engineer with something great to work with. Mastering can't work miracles -- the real magic needs to happen during recording and mixing.

Sadly, however, most commercial download services are not doing this which is why I'm glad to see at least one of them start making this move.

This is a little misleading. The best `itunes music` is the product of masters produced specifically for their encoding process. Those masters wouldn't be of much use any other way. The point is that Apple doesn't have some magic encoder settings they use -- they get source material designed for their encoder chain.

Then again, most commercial download services other than iTunes are using mp3 (sometimes in a drm-protected container) and you can't make mp3 come close to cd quality no matter how you master it. AAC and Vorbis most definitely, but not mp3 which I do not consider a modern format and desperately wish we'd never see mp3 again.

You're commonly misusing "quality" in this way. Whether or not you can decode an mp3 and have it sound `like a cd` depends greatly on the source. Quality isn't something that can be quantified with "mp3", "cd", or any other other medium used to present audio data. "CD" audio can sound great or it can sound like shit. The same is true for mp3s and everything else.

For anyone who truly cares about audio quality or who boldly labels themselves as an audiophile (most of which aren't), I strongly urge you to learn what mastering really is, and how audio is produced for different delivery/presentation methods. It's a complex topic with many sub-topics. That the reason why so many people mistakenly say things like `cd quality`.

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