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[3]: I don't like cds but
by ilovebeer on Tue 2nd Oct 2012 16:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't like cds but"
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Well, it depends on the compression (level, quality, type etc.) Of course you'll hear the difference between a 96kbps MP3 and a CD - most people should be able to. My limit is around 192kbps for MP3s - some songs at that bitrate I can tell are missing something after the encoding, others I can't. When you get to 256kbps or 320kbps, it's pretty indistinguishable to me.

No, no, no. Bitrate is only one part of the equation. The very first piece is the source material. If 96kbps is enough to represent the source accurately, you will not hear any difference with a 192kbps, 256kbps, or 320kbps encode. Bitrate is not a representation of quality!

It also depends on the equipment - I can tell the difference on some tracks using headphones or my home stereo, but not on my car stereo for example.

Yes, yes, yes. Headphones vs. non-headphones matters because of how the audio arrives at your ear. A speakers ability to produce accurate frequency counts. Converts in amplifiers counts. Every piece of hardware & software in the signal chain has the ability to alter quality.

What is nasty though is transcoded audio. I've come across some music encoded at 192kbps which sounds like 96kbps. It seems to be caused by someone taking an already compressed version and transcoding it to MP3. That sounds awful compared to the same track encoded at 192kbps from a CD.

Using the wrong encoder settings (for the piece) can produce a bad result in the same way cooking food with poorly matched ingredients and quantities can result in something that tastes terrible.

Bottom line is there'll be a threshold where the difference becomes so small it can't be detected. This threshold will change from user to user, from track to track, from equipment to equipment and from situation to situation. You can't make a blanket statement like nobody can tell the difference, just as much as you can't say that everyone can always tell the difference.

The main reasons people can't tell the difference are a result of any combination of the following; Bad recording technique, bad mixing (especially over-compression), bad mastering, bad playback equipment. If any of those are crap, you're going to get crap out. Every single step has the potential to ruin great audio, and once it's ruined there's very little you can do from that point on to fix it outside of redoing what ruined it in the first place.

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