Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 25th Mar 2014 17:13 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

HTC has released the new HTC One, the updated version of the last year's best Android phone nobody bought. The Verge already has its review up, and its conclusion is exactly as you expect.

There are a lot of great Android phones on the market right now, but two stand out: the Nexus 5 and the new HTC One. The Nexus 5 is Google's purest vision for Android, the One the platform's most mature and developed form. I desperately wish it took better pictures, and I'm reluctant to buy or recommend it until it does, but I like absolutely everything else. It's fast, long-lasting, does everything a phone should, and does it all with totally unparalleled class and style. From motion gestures to the Dot View case, it has genuinely new, genuinely useful features.

It may not outsell Samsung and the relentless marketing sure to follow the feature-rich Galaxy S5, but HTC executives say they don't care. They say they just want to build a phone for people who like nice things.

It's really hard to argue with that quality feel that last year's One had, and which this year's model improves. I think it's pretty much the only Android phone that can measure up to the iPhone in this department - and now, it also has an SD card slot.

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RE[4]: Audio specs
by ezraz on Fri 28th Mar 2014 12:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Audio specs"
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Bassbeast - i love your name, we might be on the same team! But you are still missing some of my key points.

It's not the frequency range, it's the resolution. Repeat -- this is about resolution, not range. 24/44 would sound much better than 16/44, theoretically.

It's not about dog-whistle highs, it's about the detail and the depth of the music as it was recorded and mixed. The ADC has to then translate that into a string of digital data. It's about soundstage, it's about detail, it's about balance, precision, clarity, reverbs, rooms, etc. I was there in the early 80's listening to my first CD and I will never forget my impressions -- they took things out. Hard to quantify, but they took things out. Many of us heard it then regardless of what studies the electronics companies could point to.

The real snake-oil here is the term "lossless" since they've already lost so much when they went to 16/44. Consumers can have mp3 lossy or CD lossless. Both have lost, it's a false choice meant to confuse consumers.

There is no reason to strip and compress music down for the consumer anymore. The customer can reduce it's size further if needed - why sell them an initially degraded product? Red-book was developed for 1978 chips and mp3 was designed for dial-up modems. Why stick to bad standards?

Have you ever had a car stereo where the dial won't go to the volume you want? How about your smartphone, does the volume go to exactly where you want it, or do you have to pick between two stops, whichever is closer to what you want.

This is a lack of resolution. This is the crux of HD audio -- the 24 bit. Sampling 48k or 96k does give you more range and more data, and some can hear that. But I know what I can hear is the lack of resolution. I can pick out almost any mp3 ripped anywhere, at any rate as compared to a "lossless", if I know the song. Most people can. If you mix music and you can't you need ear repair. This is in cymbals, hi-hats, stringed instruments, especially voice. Listen to Aretha Franklin, opera, or classical through anything below HD and you should hear obvious limitations and degradations.

Finally -- I believe the ear and our sense of hearing is the least understood of our human senses. The fact that any so-called audio scientist simply ignores everything happening outside of the inner ear shows they are clueless. It's practically junk science, especially the xiph guys, who want it all ways. Mono listening? No loudspeaker? No room? That's over 50% of what we hear, our environment and how the music interacts in that environment.

[btw Computer programmers are not audio experts - never have been, never will be. Audio is analog and has limitless resolution and this confuses and scares digital programmers. You really do yourself a disservice by listening to any digital programmer over your own ears.]

From the website: "While lossy codecs can achieve ratios of 80–90+%, they do this at the expense of discarding data from the original stream. Though FLAC uses a similar technique in its encoding process, it also adds “residual” data to allow the decoder to restore the original waveform flawlessly. FLAC has become the preferred lossless format for trading live music online. It has a smaller file size than Shorten, and unlike MP3, it’s lossless, which ensures the highest fidelity to the source material, which is important to live music traders. It has recently become a favorite trading format of non-live lossless audio traders as well."

There really are 2 arguments pono is trying to make --- first is that we need more resolution to really feel the music, not just recognize it. Since every pro recording studio has been working at 24 bit for over a decade now, and even home producers work at 24 bit these days, that's kinda obvious.

The second is that mp3's time has passed for primary listening of music. It is an awesome compression spec for voice, youtube, etc. and will probably last 20 more years. But it never did and never will sound good enough to be the purchased copy of the art.

Just remember man - audio is analog and 16 bits is not enough to store what your ears are capable of and do every day. 16 bit won't tell you how far apart, how big, or how far something is from you. It won't tell you the shape of the room it was recorded in. And it generally just throws out timbre.

Final word --- look up "timbre" and let it lead you to further understanding of digital audio's folly's. for further discussion...

Edited 2014-03-28 12:27 UTC

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