MP3 is dead!

13

Comments

  • K_M
    K_M Posts: 1,602
    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    I doubt it has anything to do with your ability to tell wines/grapes apart, but much more likely an outdated poor quality MP3 encoder.



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  • K_M
    K_M Posts: 1,602
    edited May 2017
    :(
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  • ZLTFUL
    ZLTFUL Posts: 5,482
    edited May 2017
    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.
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  • K_M
    K_M Posts: 1,602
    edited May 2017
    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.


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  • sucks2beme
    sucks2beme Posts: 5,140
    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.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,642
    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.

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  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,313
    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.
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  • Nightfall
    Nightfall Posts: 9,466
    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. ;)
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  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,034
    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.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

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  • lightman1
    lightman1 Posts: 10,671
    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? ;)
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,034
    Too tiny, I missed it.....LOL
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  • lightman1
    lightman1 Posts: 10,671
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall Posts: 9,466
    It's the same as a Bentley, what are you talking about?

    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

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  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,313
    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.
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  • K_M
    K_M Posts: 1,602
    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.


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  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,313
    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.
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  • K_M
    K_M Posts: 1,602
    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.

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  • gce
    gce Posts: 2,158
    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.
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  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 5,621
    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.
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  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 5,621
    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.
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  • K_M
    K_M Posts: 1,602
    I guess time for a hearing aid.....(No offense Tony)!
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  • cfrizz
    cfrizz Posts: 13,414
    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.

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  • mrbigbluelight
    mrbigbluelight Posts: 8,317
    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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  • pkquat
    pkquat Posts: 733
    -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.
  • pkquat
    pkquat Posts: 733
    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.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,034
    Why am I not surprised by who here is defending the MP3 format.
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  • Nightfall
    Nightfall Posts: 9,466
    Winamp, Winamp, Winamp! It really whips the llama's a$$
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

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