MP3 is dead!

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  • pkquatpkquat Posts: 491
    -Sidebar-
    I'll chime in as well with 320kbit mp3 is damn good, 192 is still pretty good, and 160 gets the point across, and is my current choice for space saving and car audio. BUT for music, in most cases, none come close to cd/flac. As mentioned, lectures don't need super high bit rates to sound pretty good,a nd at high bit rates, will sound nearly indistinguishable from a CD. Similarly a single singing voice or simple music with more individual notes will sound very close to a CD. Why? Because there is much less to remove in the lossy format and still achieve the bit rate. I'd suspect a lossless format could be compressed to a similar bit rate for that type of material.

    I really notice the losses in 320k mp3 alot in tracks with horns and certain certain distortion guitars. The opening guitar in "Yes, Owner of a Lonely Heart" is a good example. Records eventually lost the original sound. It was hard to capture on tape, and also suffered degredation from repeated play. The degredation of the original could even be heard over the radio. The losses in all the mp3 formats I have heard highlight some degredation and loss of bite. While less noticeable, bass can lose accuracy and detail as well. I can hear these differences in most equipment and with lower quality ear buds. For other music, its much tougher to tell, and A/B comparision or being very familar with the original is required. In high end equipment the difference is much more noticeable. As stated, other people don't care, or were not

    ---
    Back to the death of mp3. Thinking more, I think it will have a long life. It may be a legacy life, but it will still be around. Zip files are still widely used even though there are better and higher compression formats. I can play mp3s on most electronic equipment. It is the most universially supported lossy compression format. I see it being relevent for at least another decade, although its use will decline.
  • pkquatpkquat Posts: 491
    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.

    That will only happen to a higher resolution format to prevent its distribution in said format, and the market for that is small. As has been discussed, many people are happy with streaming to or listening to lower quality ear buds through low quality phone amps. Cheap A/D converter exist that will off much better results. The DRM needed to be implemented at the onset of the original digital formats in some digital form. Unfortunatly for the music industry an acceptable digital form did not exist at the time. Be grateful the proposed notch filter copy protection scheme was not implemented.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 38,034
    Why am I not surprised by who here is defending the MP3 format.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 6,948
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,489
    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.




    I can understand portable devices like your nano player, but being savvy enough with computers ? It's a couple clicks of the mouse in ITunes, and every computer comes with ITunes these days I would imagine. Matter of fact, it's probably easier to download a cd into ITunes in lossless than it is transferring MP3 files to a portable player.

    Point was, buying the cd, you can always convert that file to MP3, but buying an MP3, you can't convert it to cd quality. Your choice of buying the MP3 version, as you said, was cost initiated, not because one format sounded better than the other.

    Not to offend anyone, But I've had a long standing theory about opinions on anything audio related being tied to ones wallet. If they can't afford something, it becomes invalidated, can't hear a difference to warrant the money spent, or another opinion to justify what they hear or don't hear. I'll never afford Magico speakers, doesn't mean I can't appreciate them for what they are.

    Audio is about the appreciation of music reproduction, not validating the level of it your at.....or condemning the levels higher than where your at as being insignificant. Sure, MP3's still has a place, but that place isn't for serious listening on your main stereo rig.
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 14,806
    edited May 22
    OK :) with some trepidation (who am I kidding? With great trepidation!) I will offer one anecdotal data point (comment) on MP3s.

    Last year, Mrs. H got a new car; her first with USB support built-in (we don't buy cars very often here; we tend to run 'em into the ground when we do). I kindly :) ripped copies of all of her bird call albums (some of which only existed in the analog domain) to -- 320k MP3 files. These are perfect for her use in the car & she's very happy with them.

    As long as I was dinking around with Audacity, I ripped some music to 320k MP3 and listened to the result on the big boy hifi upstairs. My impression was that the tone was very good -- on par (in the case of the tracks I'd chosen), to my ears, with the original redbook CD. The difference I noticed was in space and depth of the "image"; it was very much flattened out relative to the redbook CD. The latter effect wasn't very subtle -- although for many purposes (background/party music or in the car), to my ears, the 320k MP3 files would be (as I liked to say in a past professional life) fit for purpose.

    Just one schlub's opinion here; no more & no less!

    :)
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  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 9,307
    F1nut wrote: »
    Why am I not surprised by who here is defending the MP3 format.

    And they rely on the same tired cliches used as 'data' to make their non-existent point.
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  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,106
    But many people at this forum are averse to scientific inquiry and double blind testing. With different types of audio files, I will continue to read the studies and test for myself.

    I quoted only this part of your post because I want to focus on it and it alone as the problem that causes so much contention between "us" and "them".

    What is so wrong about eschewing "scientific inquiry" as a methodology? I mean, let's face it, how many of us set up a Umik, REW or an oscilloscope to listen to music?
    How many of us buy an album with DBT in mind as a method of us evaluating whether or not we like a song on the album?
    None of us go into a store and say "Screw the sound, I want to hear the specs on this piece of equipment!"

    This is where the line in the proverbial sand has been drawn.

    I go to listen to an album in a format and something sounds off, if I have another format of that same album, I am going to compare it with...wait for it...here it comes...MY EARS. If one format sounds better than another, then, to my ears, that format is better than the other.
    It doesn't take scientific methodologies or a reviewer's opinion on it to tell me that to my ears, MP3/320 doesn't sound as good as FLAC or WAV files.

    The argument comes when "your side" discounts the experiences of those who would rather trust their ears than measurements. Just because something looks good on a scope doesn't mean it is going to sound good to you or me.

    XT32 is considered one of the better room correction systems. But what it set my speaker levels to sounded off to @lightman1 and I. And sure enough, when digging through settings and comparing each speaker, it was found that XT32 set the left front speaker about 6.5db hotter than the other front speakers and it threw the sound off. I didn't use a scope or DBT to tell me something was off, I used my ears.

    It has been said ad naseum on this forum, and I will reiterate it once more here, the only person you have to convince is yourself. Keep an open mind and try things out for yourself instead of spewing what some internet reviewer said and your experiences will never be discounted. But if you try and say that some random "expert" on a website somewhere says I am wrong because my ears hear something different, you will get a fight every single time.

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  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 8,486

    " XT32 is considered one of the better room correction systems. But what it set my speaker levels to sounded off to @lightman1 and I. "

    And I was half loaded at the time as well.
    Booze enhancement feature......not a stock option on AVRs.
  • nbrowsernbrowser Posts: 6,756
    lightman1 wrote: »
    " XT32 is considered one of the better room correction systems. But what it set my speaker levels to sounded off to @lightman1 and I. "

    And I was half loaded at the time as well.
    Booze enhancement feature......not a stock option on AVRs.

    Booze Enhancement can make anything sound good, even Jesse's Hello Kitty Boombox.
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 14,806
    nbrowser wrote: »
    lightman1 wrote: »
    " XT32 is considered one of the better room correction systems. But what it set my speaker levels to sounded off to @lightman1 and I. "

    And I was half loaded at the time as well.
    Booze enhancement feature......not a stock option on AVRs.

    Booze Enhancement can make anything sound good, even Jesse's Hello Kitty Boombox.

    The higher resolution of analog simply cannot be overstated.

    veuf57m2h40u.jpg
    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 17,831
    I could argue all day that a $49 set of bias ply tire would be perfectly acceptable on my 2017 Corvette, and get me where I need to go. If that's the level we're playing at, then MP3 away...
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  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 13,422
    Why is this even a debate?
    audiothesis.com/

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  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 17,831
    I don't know, with hard drive realestate so cheap. That's MY point.
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  • gcegce Posts: 2,114
    I don't why this is a debate about MP3's sounding the same as FLAC or WAV. That's not what the thread was about. I guess some people just like to debate, even if they are wrong.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,489
    steveinaz wrote: »
    I don't know, with hard drive realestate so cheap. That's MY point.
    tonyb wrote: »
    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.




    I can understand portable devices like your nano player, but being savvy enough with computers ? It's a couple clicks of the mouse in ITunes, and every computer comes with ITunes these days I would imagine. Matter of fact, it's probably easier to download a cd into ITunes in lossless than it is transferring MP3 files to a portable player.

    Point was, buying the cd, you can always convert that file to MP3, but buying an MP3, you can't convert it to cd quality. Your choice of buying the MP3 version, as you said, was cost initiated, not because one format sounded better than the other.

    Not to offend anyone, But I've had a long standing theory about opinions on anything audio related being tied to ones wallet. If they can't afford something, it becomes invalidated, can't hear a difference to warrant the money spent, or another opinion to justify what they hear or don't hear. I'll never afford Magico speakers, doesn't mean I can't appreciate them for what they are.

    Audio is about the appreciation of music reproduction, not validating the level of it your at.....or condemning the levels higher than where your at as being insignificant. Sure, MP3's still has a place, but that place isn't for serious listening on your main stereo rig.

    What I wrote about "being savvy" with computers is 100% right. You may take for granted using computers, installing software, learning new software, downloading and installing updates. In the real world this is not a given. For example, one of my lady friends that gives me rides (I'm disabled) is in her early 80s. She is not afraid of computers, but if anything goes wrong (as it seems to do every other month) she is either on the phone to her son in WI or takes her laptop, printer, etc. to the "Geek Squad" for help. She is not alone in my circle of friends. As long as what she does is "plug and play" and simply involves turning on the device and hitting enter, she is good to go. Much beyond that, she is in the dark.

    I have never met anyone that was averse to higher quality audio simply because it is beyond their budget. I heard a complete McIntosh system that cost more than a luxury car and smoked my mid-fi stereo. I was not denial, nor envious. Instead, I enjoyed hearing it and getting a much better idea of how hi up is. The same is true with other high end things like cars. I can enjoy my friend's 55 Pontiac that is restored to beyond cherry. It would be forever and a day for me to learn how to do what he did. Life is filled with stuff that I cannot afford or things I cannot do. But that does not stop me from being a fan and enjoying the game on TV.

    But many people at this forum are averse to scientific inquiry and double blind testing. With different types of audio files, I will continue to read the studies and test for myself. I'm even going to try SACD after I buy a blu-ray player that will play those discs. If they sound better, that is great.

    Uh, you did....when you said you bought the MP3's because they were cheaper than buying the cd's. That right there said cost dictated your decision. Now, cost certainly plays in to all audio purchases, regardless, because none of us have an endless wallet, but if you can't afford a cd, this may not be the hobby for you. ;)

    None of us are objecting to scientific inquiry, all of us use it as a tool though, not the be all end all. There's a difference between letting science dictate your opinions about audio, and experience with your own ears. I am glad however to see you are at least interested in trying things for yourself. That's probably the one thing we push most around here. Though I question your choice of format in SACD, which those are more expensive than cd's, which you seem to think are too costly. Heck, I'd be happy to see you use all lossless files in cd quality. :)
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,489
    steveinaz wrote: »
    I don't know, with hard drive realestate so cheap. That's MY point.

    Bingo Steve, to me buying an MP3 is like buying a third of the music, because a good 2 thirds is missing in bits. I can understand people using them for casual listening or background music......but why pay good coin for it. Buy the cd quality and create another lessor bit rate file. That way you have both, to cover all your bases and devices.
    legacy Focus 20/20
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  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 1,930
    edited May 23
    Meanwhile, back at the Tophat ranch.......
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it!!" "Smile & Stay Warm!!"
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