MP3 is dead!

13

Comments

  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 12,553
    edited May 20
    People want to take their entertainment with them. So portability totally rules. SQ probably doesn't even make it onto anyone's radar unless you're a fanatic like you bunch.

    And as stated, SQ has improved with the higher bit rates of mp3s, so most won't be able to tell the difference or care.

    I love having all my tunes and books on my Samsung Note 2 phone so that I can tune out during my commute to and from work. Some songs sound better than others, but so long as it plays, that's all I care about.

    Can I tell the difference between my mp3s/wavs on the smaller Samsung phone I have acting as my mp3 player vs my cd's? Yes, but being able to sit down at my pc to do whatever, rather than getting up ever 30-90 minutes to change a cd is priceless.

    The bottom line for me is that I can rock out to either very easily, and that is all that is all that's important to me.

    Different strokes for different folks, rock out whichever way makes you feel good.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 787
    tonyb wrote: »
    steveinaz wrote: »
    Convenience or quality....take your pick, but don't fool yourself for a millisecond that mp3 is an acceptable format for hi-fi systems.

    The study I read on the subject about 15 years ago compared the quality of Mp3 at various bit rates. I've heard audio lectures at 5 kps and the voice was still distinguishable, but a poor recording. At 64 kps the quality is much improved, but when the audience claps the sound got muddied. The study compared FM radio quality to 80 -96 kps Mp3. At 128kps, only a few people in 1,000 could distinguish the difference between Mp3 and Cds - 128kps was a common bit rate 10 years ago. The study also claimed that at 170kps and above no one could consistently distinguish between Mp3 and CDs. I've personally compared high bit rate Mp3 to many times over the last dozen years and now I've compared it to Flac files. I'll do so again later this summer and next year with some quality headphones. Mp3 gets much, much better at the higher bit rates.

    You can find a study on anything, for or against ....pretty much anything. Rarely is there a consistent viewpoint especially in subjective areas like audio. If MP3's float your boat, rock on....use them and be happy.

    Since we can agree MP3 gets much better at higher bitrates, then we should be able to agree CD quality or lossless files, which are even at higher bitrates, should then sound better, no ? Taking it further, SACD should then sound better than cd and so forth. Generally speaking obviously, because bitrates are not the only thing that makes or breaks good sound.

    Not necessarily. One truth does not automatically equate to another truth based on mere extrapolation.

    All recordings can be extrapolated "down" to an equivalent bit rate.

    The recording itself many times limits the final fidelity. Even though it may have been recorded to "High resolution digital" or High speed Open reel.
    There may be "potential" for better sound, but very few recordings even push the envelope of CD quality sound.

  • K_MK_M Posts: 787
    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    MP3s even at 320kbps sound "tinny" to me compared to the same song ripped from the same disc in WAV format.

    An example is a back to back listen of Money for Nothing by Dire Straits where glaring differences are represented even on desktop computer speakers.

    But then I can also tell the difference between a Malbec and Cab Sav. B)

    Then something is drastically wrong. I am not sure what could be wrong, but I can listen to both the WAV file and MP3 320kbps and they both sound quite fantastic even on our big systems.

    In fact they sound incredibly almost identical.
    I doubt it has anything to do with your ability to tell wines/grapes apart, but much more likely an outdated poor quality MP3 encoder.



  • K_MK_M Posts: 787
    edited May 20
    :(
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 3,948
    edited May 20
    Media Monkey and JRiver are considered some of the best ripping software out there. But you're welcome to try again.

    Or it could be that your ears aren't the end all, be all of listening perfection you believe them to be maybe??

    Not trying to pick a fight but I have proven to some of your "colleagues" (or is it cohorts or even alternate personalities? Hmmm...) that I can differentiate between the two.

    To reiterate my point about wine, if people can taste differently, see differently, smell differently, feel differently, then why is it so god awful hard to believe that someone could possibly hear differently than you? This is the part you people seem to be so hung up on and not willing to even consider.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 787
    edited May 20
    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    Media Monkey and JRiver are considered some of the best ripping software out there. But you're welcome to try again.

    Or it could be that your ears aren't the end all, be all of listening perfection you believe them to be maybe??

    Not trying to pick a fight but I have proven to some of your "colleagues" (or is it cohorts or even alternate personalities? Hmmm...) that I can differentiate between the two.

    To reiterate my point about wine, if people can taste differently, see differently, smell differently, feel differently, then why is it so god awful hard to believe that someone could possibly hear differently than you? This is the part you people seem to be so hung up on and not willing to even consider.

    Not sure if there is One simple reason........This does not seem to be a hearing related thing.
    I have also heard MP3 That was fairly mediocre also. So I may know what you mean.
    I have 3 other devices that do not do well on MP3.

    I can not truly explain the technical "Why" of how some "machines" do it poorly and some it sounds very good.

    I have heard MP3 also that I could relatively easily identify.
    So not in total disagreement there.


  • sucks2bemesucks2beme Posts: 4,767
    Let's face it. The next big thing will be a format with built in DRM.
    The industry wants us to pay and pay to listen. No more ripping
    CD's and playing it anywhere you want.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 8,962
    K_M wrote: »
    All recordings can be extrapolated "down" to an equivalent bit rate.

    The recording itself many times limits the final fidelity. Even though it may have been recorded to "High resolution digital" or High speed Open reel.
    There may be "potential" for better sound, but very few recordings even push the envelope of CD quality sound.

    What? Not sure what you are saying here. Can you explain it in more detail? It appears you are saying recordings made with high-res digital or high-res analog are lower in resolution than a CD.

  • nbrowsernbrowser Posts: 6,273
    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    MP3s even at 320kbps sound "tinny" to me compared to the same song ripped from the same disc in WAV format.

    An example is a back to back listen of Money for Nothing by Dire Straits where glaring differences are represented even on desktop computer speakers.

    But then I can also tell the difference between a Malbec and Cab Sav. B)

    I have to agree, 320 MP3s do sound tinny, something is horribly lost in the compression and I can hear it between a CD and the MP3. That all said however I remember in '98 getting on to the interwebs....installing Winamp and playing a lot lower Kbps MP3s...yeah...bad bad bad.


    And no, there's nothing wrong with my ears.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,210
    K_M wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    steveinaz wrote: »
    Convenience or quality....take your pick, but don't fool yourself for a millisecond that mp3 is an acceptable format for hi-fi systems.

    The study I read on the subject about 15 years ago compared the quality of Mp3 at various bit rates. I've heard audio lectures at 5 kps and the voice was still distinguishable, but a poor recording. At 64 kps the quality is much improved, but when the audience claps the sound got muddied. The study compared FM radio quality to 80 -96 kps Mp3. At 128kps, only a few people in 1,000 could distinguish the difference between Mp3 and Cds - 128kps was a common bit rate 10 years ago. The study also claimed that at 170kps and above no one could consistently distinguish between Mp3 and CDs. I've personally compared high bit rate Mp3 to many times over the last dozen years and now I've compared it to Flac files. I'll do so again later this summer and next year with some quality headphones. Mp3 gets much, much better at the higher bit rates.

    You can find a study on anything, for or against ....pretty much anything. Rarely is there a consistent viewpoint especially in subjective areas like audio. If MP3's float your boat, rock on....use them and be happy.

    Since we can agree MP3 gets much better at higher bitrates, then we should be able to agree CD quality or lossless files, which are even at higher bitrates, should then sound better, no ? Taking it further, SACD should then sound better than cd and so forth. Generally speaking obviously, because bitrates are not the only thing that makes or breaks good sound.

    Not necessarily. One truth does not automatically equate to another truth based on mere extrapolation.

    All recordings can be extrapolated "down" to an equivalent bit rate.

    The recording itself many times limits the final fidelity. Even though it may have been recorded to "High resolution digital" or High speed Open reel.
    There may be "potential" for better sound, but very few recordings even push the envelope of CD quality sound.

    I get your point, and we all know the virtues of a good recording. I would disagree though about pushing the envelope of cd quality sound. Way too many avenues to cover that one.

    If we can agree on at least CD quality sound having merit over MP3, that's a step in the right direction. ;)

    Cathy further validated my point of people not caring about sound quality on their portable devices for casual background music. Which is fine for MP3's, but if I'm going to sit down and listen, nah....we can do better. Especially in todays world where we don't need to get up and change cd's. Downloaded into a lossless format and have it at your fingertips.....just like your portable MP3 devices.

    It's been my experience, even with my sub par hearing, that crappy recordings, be it 320 MP3'S or CD's, still has a sound difference between the 2 formats though not as huge as better recordings do.

    You also hear many say they can't tell the difference playing the 2 formats on their computer speakers, small Bluetooth speaker or what not. One can then say, it is indeed the limitations of that audio system that is hiding the sound quality, right ? Nobody expects computer speakers to be as revealing as a full sized speaker, and the gear accompanying them. Least I hope not.

    It's not meant as an insult to anyone when we say your system may not be revealing enough to compliment better recordings. Some simply do better at it than others, that's why we have such a variety in speakers and gear available to us. Same can be said for anything really, I mean....a Yugo can still get you from point A to point B just like a Mercedes can, right ? Doesn't mean everyone should be happy with the Yugo. If a Yugo fits you and your lifestyle though, drive it like you stole it. Same with MP3's, if it fits you and your lifestyle, rock it and be happy, won't stop others from seeking better though.
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 6,843
    Yeah but if you buy a Yugo instead of a Merc you'll have more money left over for records, CDs, concerts, and video games. Plus you'll still get where you're going. ;)
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 37,329
    Nightfall wrote: »
    Yeah but if you buy a Yugo instead of a Merc you'll have more money left over for records, CDs, concerts, and video games. Plus you'll still get where you're going. ;)

    Not for long.
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 8,040
    F1nut wrote: »
    Nightfall wrote: »
    Yeah but if you buy a Yugo instead of a Merc you'll have more money left over for records, CDs, concerts, and video games. Plus you'll still get where you're going. ;)

    Not for long.

    He was being facetious, dingleberry. Notice the winky thing post period? ;)
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 37,329
    Too tiny, I missed it.....LOL
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 8,040
    Tur d......
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 6,843
    It's the same as a Bentley, what are you talking about?

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,210
    What I don't understand in this MP3 discussion is, some say that 320bps MP3 is definitely better than 168 bps MP3. Understandable since that's twice as many bits. Then they say they can't hear a difference between 320 bps and cd quality which is over 1100, more than 3 times the bit rate of 320 MP3's. Doesn't compute to me.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 787
    tonyb wrote: »
    It's not meant as an insult to anyone when we say your system may not be revealing enough to compliment better recordings. Some simply do better at it than others, that's why we have such a variety in speakers and gear available to us.

    No, its a tired cliched logical fallacy.


  • tonyb wrote: »
    What I don't understand in this MP3 discussion is, some say that 320bps MP3 is definitely better than 168 bps MP3. Understandable since that's twice as many bits. Then they say they can't hear a difference between 320 bps and cd quality which is over 1100, more than 3 times the bit rate of 320 MP3's. Doesn't compute to me.


    This is simply an example of the law of diminishing returns. For example, some people will spend twice as much on a new amp or other gear to get a 5 to 10 percent improvement in sound.

    My Mp3 player will record live Mp3. Many college students record their class lectures. I have heard audio lectures on the internet in Mp3 at 5kps.The voices were understandable, but the audio was very bad. There is significant improvement at 32kps Mp3 for human voice audio lectures. At 64Kps a single, or a few voices in audio lectures sounds great, but if the audience starts to clap that is too much at that bit rate and the clapping sound gets a little muddied. At 96kps, the quality is similar to FM radio. 128kps used to be the old standard for quality Mp3 files and that was called "near CD quality." I normally converted CDs to 192Kps Mp3, and that is 50% greater bit rate than 128Kps. The sound quality does not improve 50% at 192Kps compared to 128Kps - the law of diminishing returns. At 192kps a CD-R can hold a little over 8 hours of music. Perfect for in the office listening during the work day. Just hit the play button and forget about it all day long.

    I've downloaded several Multi-CD (in Mp3 format) classical albums from CD Universe at 320 Kps. They sound wonderful - I have zero complaints about my Mp3 downloads from CD Universe because the sound quality is great and so too is the price. You should go to CD universe and do a download. You can also buy the CD from them. The CDs I bought from Amazon have an "auto-rip" feature that includes a free, variable bit rate Mp3 digital download. The variable bit rate is above 200 Kps to over 300 Kps and they sound wonderful. If you buy a CD from Amazon and then download the "auto-rip" digital file, it is very easy to do a side by side comparison.

    I will continue to do periodic side by side comparisons with my audio gear and Lps, CDs, and digital files.

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,210
    I get your laws of diminishing returns theory, and in some cases it may hold true depending on the quality of the recording. However, it can also carry weight as to the capabilities of your system as the bottleneck of why the differences may be slight to you. Lots of variables....so it's hard to make blanked assumptions in audio without investigating everything in the chain. That's all I'm sayin'....

    Now, why would you buy a cd and download it to a lessor quality format ? Even entry level receivers can do PCM and higher bit rate files. Apple lossless, can be played on any computer with ITunes. You can always convert it down to MP3 for your car or portable devices, but you can't convert MP3 to cd quality.
  • Tonyb wrote:

    "Now, why would you buy a cd and download it to a lessor quality format ? Even entry level receivers can do PCM and higher bit rate files."

    The "auto-rip" feature at Amazon comes with the CD purchase. There still are people that are not savvy enough with computers to rip their files to mp3 or other digital formats. People also own mp3 players that may play that format and maybe WMA but not other formats. Or, the player has limited memory. My first Zen Nano player held one gig -about 11 hours of mp3 at 192 kps. My second player had 16 gigs. That is a ton of Mp3 but not a ton of CDs.

    I did not buy CDs from CD Universe, on many of the CDs, they offer the option of buying the CD and then wait for it to arrive in the mail or buying a 320Kps Mp3 version of that CD. Often the Mp3 version costs significantly less. I bought several Multi-CD Mp3 classical downloads for $9.99 and each of these was at least $50 each.




  • For all you folks that think high bit rate Mp3 is worse than gout, I'm just a little curious. Did any of you ever own and listen to a transistor AM radio? How about 8 track tapes? How about 78 rpm records? How about cassette tapes? How about FM radio? If so, did your ears fall off? 320 Kps Mp3 easily competes with and is better than all of the above.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 787
    tonyb wrote: »
    I get your laws of diminishing returns theory, and in some cases it may hold true depending on the quality of the recording. However, it can also carry weight as to the capabilities of your system as the bottleneck of why the differences may be slight to you. Lots of variables....so it's hard to make blanked assumptions in audio without investigating everything in the chain. That's all I'm sayin'....

    I think we are seeing a lot of variables in the comments also.

    Some say it is utterly horrible, not even close to good fidelity, and can even be told on the cheapest of Desktop speakers,.....you are saying only on a very "revealing system" is it possible to hear differences, and DuB and I are saying it is hard to tell even on a good system.

    Until we all hear each others systems, there is not enough evidence of proof of what is good or bad or for sure to even discuss it.

  • gcegce Posts: 2,036
    There might be another factor in this. Some people just can't hear the difference and not because of the system but because how sensitive their hearing is or is not.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    A good 320 MP3 can sound good but, my uncompressed wave rips or cd or sacd sound better especially on the home rig however, on my DJ rig, I have been using MP3. Primecuts, my dj music service, puts everything in MP3 format and just recently now offers flac without a price difference. On the DJ rig, the flac sounds slightly better but 90% of the people I am playing to cannot tell the difference.

    Remember, when I am running a karaoke or dj gig, it's going through a Yamaha board, xlr out to the ev zxa5 tops and ext18sp subs, usually outside shooting sound from 20-300 feet away. At this kind of distance, I don't think a lot of people will tell the difference as long as the MP3 quality is at 320 and not a bad download.

    That said, whenever I changed my hard drives, I might start using the flac versions of the dj music. Right now I am using a 2tb drive split into 2 partitions. One for karaoke and one for music and they are getting up there in age as well as getting low on space. I am still waiting for ssd drives to get a bit bigger and come down more in price.

    I keep my dj stuff and my personal music separate on completely different drives.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    I hit the wrong button and submitted.

    While I can see where MP3 is great for convenience, uncompressed still sounds way better IF your rig can tell the difference. For my DJ rig, I have an old echo indigo dj card and a native instrument traktor sound card that can do 24/48 so I am not using the laptop headphone jack and great for portable on the road dj use but still not as good as my vi dac, or lumin, or the built in dac on my KEF.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 787
    I guess time for a hearing aid.....(No offense Tony)!
  • zuulzuul Posts: 96
    edited May 21
    sadly for me, mp3's are a necessary evil... anything that i've ripped myself has been FLAC for going on ten years... however there is a lot of music i have to source and oftentimes the only source available is mp3.

    for example as a huge devotee of dub reggae... it's hard enough to find the vinyl/cds... finding digital files is like a needle in a haystack... especially for the oop stuff of which there is much.... because of the nature of these things.... the websites that have this content are often fleeting and it's a matter of getting when and where you can b/c you may never see it again... to be fair. a lot of the hard to find stuff are mp3's of needle drops of original vinyl long since out of print. a FLAC copy of that will probably only reveal all the imperfections and i think the compression helps a bit in that respect... with regards to that specific genre...

    i actually have my digital collection broken out by genre, and then bitrate. the majority of my files are 320 or FLAC but a lot of the oop and impossible to find otherwise stuff falls under 320k.

    i've been using amazon prime a lot for streaming music lately.... it's actually amazing how much content they have... in not much time i managed to put 622 albums in my cloud... i also like amazon because they have adjustable bitrate output. for the high quality setting i think it's 256k AAC... which is close enough to cd quality to be worth the ten bucks a month considering you get amazon video and 2 day shipping all in the same package. i used to use pandora but i hardly ever do anymore.... in the car over bluetooth my amazon collection on shuffle is better than my pandora stations on shuffle.

    my buddy the sound engineer says that you can't hear the difference between the higher resolutions anyway... and mocks my quest for an all lossless world. i argue that his sound is damaged from 20 years of mixing bands in small spaces.... and that my hearing, despite being a drummer, is such that i can hear differences... or at least my brain has convinced itself it can although based on some scientific studies i've read it probably actually can't.
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 12,553
    That may be what they want, but it will never be achieved since there will ALWAYS be someone posting software to break the DRM!

    If the industry is stupid enough to try to totally restrict us in how we utilize our stuff, I won't have any problem with breaking the DRM.
    sucks2beme wrote: »
    Let's face it. The next big thing will be a format with built in DRM.
    The industry wants us to pay and pay to listen. No more ripping
    CD's and playing it anywhere you want.

  • mrbigbluelightmrbigbluelight Posts: 7,027
    nbrowser wrote: »
    That all said however I remember in '98 getting on to the interwebs....installing Winamp and playing a lot lower Kbps MP3s...yeah...bad bad bad.

    Thanks for the flashback. :)



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