Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd May 2008 13:02 UTC
Multimedia, AV Many of us grew up with the idea of the component audio system. A receiver (or a separate preamplifier and amplifier), tuner (radio), record player, tape deck, and later on a CD player. If you were into more fancy stuff, you had a DAT or MiniDisc deck as well. While some of us cling on to this mindset like there's no tomorrow, the real world seems to favour a different method of consuming music. According to Erica Ogg (what's in a name), the component audio system is on its way out - thanks to the iPod and the commoditisation of music.
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RE[2]: Comment by virek
by Machster on Sat 24th May 2008 02:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by virek"
Machster
Member since:
2007-05-15

MP3's sound absolutely horrible and with their sharp rolloff below 15khz they can hardly even be considered hi-fidelity. If you think they sound better than LP's something is wrong with your analogue playback equipment. If you want to digitize your LP collection you should be using something like Flac or Apple lossless. A copy can never sound better than the original.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by virek
by bousozoku on Sat 24th May 2008 18:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by virek"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

MP3's sound absolutely horrible and with their sharp rolloff below 15khz they can hardly even be considered hi-fidelity. If you think they sound better than LP's something is wrong with your analogue playback equipment. If you want to digitize your LP collection you should be using something like Flac or Apple lossless. A copy can never sound better than the original.


Below 15 KHz or above it or below 15 Hz?

Since most humans hear in the 20 Hz to 20 KHz range, a rolloff in the audible range would be horrible indeed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by virek
by unclefester on Sun 25th May 2008 12:44 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by virek"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Most middle aged humans can't hear above 15KHz anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by virek
by Peter Besenbruch on Sat 24th May 2008 18:38 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by virek"
Peter Besenbruch Member since:
2006-03-13

MP3's sound absolutely horrible and with their sharp rolloff below 15khz they can hardly even be considered hi-fidelity. If you think they sound better than LP's something is wrong with your analogue playback equipment. If you want to digitize your LP collection you should be using something like Flac or Apple lossless. A copy can never sound better than the original.

Stuff and nonsense. A straight 256kbit stream is virtually indistinguishable from the original source. Countless double blind tests have shown that in practice that no-one could hear the difference. At 160, the differences are small. Here is a good article on the subject:

http://www.mp3-tech.org/tests/pm/index.html

The executive summary is this: a 128kbit stream goes to 16kHz, before abruptly rolling off to zero. It also suffers from what the author says is a pruning of low intensity content (think the harpsichord in the sample used). At 160kbits there is a falling off at 16kHz, but it is gradual. Low intensity content is restored. At 256kbit, the frequency response matched the original. The original went to just beyond 20kHz.

A couple of things to remember:

1) There is little, or no real content beyond 15kHz on an LP.

2) When using the presets on Lame, you are getting significantly better results per nominal bit rate. As I said elsewhere, when needed, Lame's --preset-standard (nominally 180-190) will use 256kbits, or even 320 to capture certain passages. For LPs, a final encoding of -preset-standard is plenty; in fact, it's overkill.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by virek
by Machster on Sat 24th May 2008 21:11 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by virek"
Machster Member since:
2007-05-15

Stuff and nonsense. A straight 256kbit stream is virtually indistinguishable from the original source. Countless double blind tests have shown that in practice that no-one could hear the difference. At 160, the differences are small. Here is a good article on the subject:

http://www.mp3-tech.org/tests/pm/index.html


This is hardly a good reference. It is the opinion of one man from a site that dedicated to the development of MP3. So it can be completely discounted due to its lack of objectivity. For a better comparison see here:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,1560793,00.asp

If you yourself can't tell the difference, then you lack the discerning ear necessary to be included in the group described here (or should it be h-e-a-r?) as audiophile.

The executive summary is this: a 128kbit stream goes to 16kHz, before abruptly rolling off to zero. It also suffers from what the author says is a pruning of low intensity content (think the harpsichord in the sample used). At 160kbits there is a falling off at 16kHz, but it is gradual. Low intensity content is restored. At 256kbit, the frequency response matched the original. The original went to just beyond 20kHz.

A couple of things to remember:

1) There is little, or no real content beyond 15kHz on an LP.


More proof that your playback system is faulty. LPs can have frequency information far beyond 20khz, which is the limit of CD's. This is the major reason LPs are vastly superior in sound quality to CDs let alone lossy copies.

2) When using the presets on Lame, you are getting significantly better results per nominal bit rate. As I said elsewhere, when needed, Lame's --preset-standard (nominally 180-190) will use 256kbits, or even 320 to capture certain passages. For LPs, a final encoding of -preset-standard is plenty; in fact, it's overkill.


Double stuff and double nonsense. If you are unable to hear the differences yourself, read objective surveys which have all concluded that MP3 is the least capable audio codec to use for serious music reproduction while AAC @ 256kbits is OK, but no more than OK. Personally, I like Musepack as well. But for anything serious I use Apple Lossless or Flac.

Edited 2008-05-24 21:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by virek
by melkor on Sun 25th May 2008 04:36 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by virek"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

I wouldn't say that mp3s sound horrible, muted is what I'd say. Remember, most cheap speakers attached to PCs (even expensive ones) have crappy top ends, so they mate rather well to the muted top ends of mp3s. There's a difference in reproducing high frequencies with spatial information, and not doing so.

For those using iPods - you do *realise* that the earphones that Apple ships with them are both bad for your ears (actually very bad), but are also detrimental to the overall sound quality? The human ear uses the pinnae to distribute information about high frequency pitch and spacial location, direct in the ear canal phones bypass this entirely. The human ear is not designed to take direct noise down the canal, and I think you'll find in 15-20 years that hearing damage will be on the MASSIVE rise. I prefer open design headphones, sure they leak a bit of music to others, and sure you can hear what's going on around you more frequently (not a bad thing imho), but the sound quality will be better imho, and it's a lot safer for your ears.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 2