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"
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

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 xiph.org 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.

http://wfnk.com/blog/save-the-audio for further discussion...

Edited 2014-03-28 12:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[5]: Audio specs
by bassbeast on Sun 30th Mar 2014 14:38 in reply to "RE[4]: Audio specs"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Dude...the absolute BEST ANALOG TAPE EVER CREATED was Ampex 8 inch which recorded at a resolution of....drumroll...9-13bits. BTW the 13bits was theoretical and I seriously doubt anybody ever managed to hit that. Oh and don't forget an analog recording degrades with each play so the absolute best recording master ever made by the time it was mixed was AT BEST around 9 bits. So you are saying that you require 24 bits to capture 9?

And again you are making the mistake of comparing RECORDING to playback and they are as different as light is to sound. When you are recording you NEED that extra resolution so that your noise leveling and compression don't chop off the highs. The more bits the smoother your compression curve is, once it has been actually mixed? Completely useless as the compression and limiting is already done and in the final product, adding resolution will do nothing but add wasted space.

And yes I am a bass player, both 4 and 5 but lately more 5 as I've found playing in a hard rock trio I need the extra low end to "fill in the gaps". I have played on 3k basses and $300 instruments and have found it all comes down to lucking out into that exact right mix of wood and electronics to get that really sweet tone. My current gear is as follows..

Fender Squire Pro Tone V5 1996 (great bass, Fender quit making these after just 2 years as they were stealing sales from the Fenders, a heavy instrument but it has a hell of a growl), Rogue 5 string (this is the "I don't give a shit if it gets bashed around" bass,strictly for practice NOT recording), 1990 Fender JP90 (great bass, poplar makes it light and super hot pickups give it real punch), 1983 Washburn 4 string (my "DIY showoff" bass, glitter pickguard with 1940s pinup girl art on the body and dice knobs) and these are going into a Zoom B1X (mainly used for nice clean compression, although I've been grooving to the fuzz a little more lately, a really great bass pedal for stage) and my baby, a pre-buyout Trace Elliot 250. You just can't beat British quality. I have put her up against an Ampeg SVT all tube stack and just smoked it.

This of course doesn't count all the studio stuff I've used, from Alembic fretless to early 70s Magnavox tube guitar amps, if it sounds good I'll use it. We are working on the first video for the new album, hoping for a mid September release for both and I'll try to remember to post links in my profile on release.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Audio specs
by ezraz on Sun 30th Mar 2014 17:17 in reply to "RE[5]: Audio specs"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

Dude...the absolute BEST ANALOG TAPE EVER CREATED was Ampex 8 inch which recorded at a resolution of....drumroll...9-13bits. BTW the 13bits was theoretical and I seriously doubt anybody ever managed to hit that. Oh and don't forget an analog recording degrades with each play so the absolute best recording master ever made by the time it was mixed was AT BEST around 9 bits. So you are saying that you require 24 bits to capture 9?

And again you are making the mistake of comparing RECORDING to playback and they are as different as light is to sound. When you are recording you NEED that extra resolution so that your noise leveling and compression don't chop off the highs. The more bits the smoother your compression curve is, once it has been actually mixed? Completely useless as the compression and limiting is already done and in the final product, adding resolution will do nothing but add wasted space.

And yes I am a bass player, both 4 and 5 but lately more 5 as I've found playing in a hard rock trio I need the extra low end to "fill in the gaps". I have played on 3k basses and $300 instruments and have found it all comes down to lucking out into that exact right mix of wood and electronics to get that really sweet tone. My current gear is as follows..

Fender Squire Pro Tone V5 1996 (great bass, Fender quit making these after just 2 years as they were stealing sales from the Fenders, a heavy instrument but it has a hell of a growl), Rogue 5 string (this is the "I don't give a shit if it gets bashed around" bass,strictly for practice NOT recording), 1990 Fender JP90 (great bass, poplar makes it light and super hot pickups give it real punch), 1983 Washburn 4 string (my "DIY showoff" bass, glitter pickguard with 1940s pinup girl art on the body and dice knobs) and these are going into a Zoom B1X (mainly used for nice clean compression, although I've been grooving to the fuzz a little more lately, a really great bass pedal for stage) and my baby, a pre-buyout Trace Elliot 250. You just can't beat British quality. I have put her up against an Ampeg SVT all tube stack and just smoked it.

This of course doesn't count all the studio stuff I've used, from Alembic fretless to early 70s Magnavox tube guitar amps, if it sounds good I'll use it. We are working on the first video for the new album, hoping for a mid September release for both and I'll try to remember to post links in my profile on release.



You are losing me in the first part -- how can anyone figure a bit depth of analog tape? bit depth is data space once the audio data has been digitized, there is no bit depth on analog audio tape, at least no figure that i would trust. this is apples and oranges.

if the tape was being used to hold digital data you'd be able to give me a maximum throughput on the read head, sure, but the tape is holding audio data encoded magnetically


i agree with you about recording and playback being different. but digital playback no longer needs to be on a system that is less capable in basic AD/DA as the recording environment was. tracking is different than mixing is different than mastering. i've been a part of all of these stages. hopefully the final stage is release to consumer, and for the past couple of decades that standard has been going down in the name of convenience.

if my next recording rig could actually do higher than 24/192 i would try it. if i heard no difference i'd use something else.

my whole point is that producers and musicians have been making this decision for years, and most work at higher than 16/44, and most don't like the overall sound of their finished product once it's been reduced to 16/44 and then reduced again to mp3.

this is 2 levels of data loss on the way to the consumer that no longer needs to happen in 2014. if an mp3 is $1 then the full total version can be $2. i will slowly add HD digital to my massive music collection.


as far as your basses -- that washburn sounds nice, i kinda like old washburns. you know bootsy played one back in the day!
most fender basses do the trick just right for me, was just playing my buddy's mustang bass last night. i have an epi/gibson bass thats my beater that sits around to jam on but i have been playing more drums and keys lately.

you gotta sit behind a drumset and hit the cymbal and listen, or smack the snare and listen to all the attack, decay, and layers of sound that can come out of one drum or one cymbal. that's where i can really hear digital degradation in my music. a simple hi-hat exposes most digital magic.

also on voice, like opera or aretha or sly stone, and also on busy drummers with lots of cymbals like stewart copeland or p-funk. i hear all kinds of artifacts in even hi-rate mp3, and i can tell things are missing at 16/44 compared to higher digital rates.

this does not make me crazy or unusual or wealthy, it just means I try to understand and trust my ears. deprivation is deprivation and i don't want computers or computer programmers deciding what i don't need to hear. that's the artist and producers job.

Edited 2014-03-30 17:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Audio specs
by zima on Tue 1st Apr 2014 20:25 in reply to "RE[4]: Audio specs"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

it's about the detail and the depth of the music [...] about soundstage, it's about detail, it's about balance, precision, clarity, reverbs, rooms, etc. [...] "timbre"

You use those terms like a true salesman...

Reply Parent Score: 2