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Anarion
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Default 11-24-2012, 17:31 | posts: 10,727 | Location: Finland

I mostly listen to trance where even average bit-rate for lossless files often is way above 1000 kbps. 128 kbps MP3 ruins those tracks easily and I'd say that anyone can hear the difference. I can hear a massive difference even with Realtek ALC892. It has to be almost absolute garbage and something must have gone really wrong if 128 kbps MP3 sounds better than original.

Here's a small listening test to those who are interested (128 kbps MP3 vs. lossless, I don't say which is which):
http://www.mediafire.com/file/s8892d...x)_samples.zip

Last edited by Anarion; 11-24-2012 at 18:31.
   
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Nichtswisser
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Default 11-24-2012, 20:33 | posts: 263

Mostly FLAC, some older files are still mp3 and some AAC (both 192KBs and above). Organized by Genre > Artist > Year > Album. With my aging 5.1 System the difference isn't really noticeable as long as the bitrate isn't extremely low (128KBs and below), with my headphones (Beyerdynamics DT 990 Pro + AKG K 701) and my external DAC it's a different matter. It's a funny fact that with classical music where the size difference is usually the smallest between FLAC and loosy formats it's most likely to hear a difference.

I never was a fan of letting players organize my music collection, for one I use a dual boot set up with win 7 and Ubunto and different players for each OS since sadly footbar2000 has no Linux version so far. I also have a Sony mp3 player for mobile use and a good organized music collection has the advantage that it's far faster to find what you are looking for when feeding mobile devices with the stuff you want to hear when away from home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Here's a small listening test to those who are interested (128 kbps MP3 vs. lossless, I don't say which is which):
http://www.mediafire.com/file/s8892d...x)_samples.zip
Not no easily noticeably, one file has a more "whole" sound to it. To not spoil it for others: semel * semel =

Last edited by Nichtswisser; 11-24-2012 at 20:55.
   
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k1net1cs
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Default 11-24-2012, 21:35 | posts: 3,714

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
I mostly listen to trance where even average bit-rate for lossless files often is way above 1000 kbps. 128 kbps MP3 ruins those tracks easily and I'd say that anyone can hear the difference. I can hear a massive difference even with Realtek ALC892. It has to be almost absolute garbage and something must have gone really wrong if 128 kbps MP3 sounds better than original.
Certain genres (and instruments) can still sound rather transparent with MP3, though 128kbit is stretching it.

If there's anyone who says 128kbps MP3 sounds better than the original, it just shows that said person simply prefers how the MP3-encoded file sounds to him/her*, not that it's better quality-wise; it'll always be worse bit-for-bit since it's a lossy compression.



*or somewhere in the decoding path something post-processes lossy files but not lossless formats or there's an upsampling involved...but that'd probably be for another discussion.




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ROBSCIX
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Default 11-25-2012, 00:13 | posts: 16,158 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

No matter what is said about lossy encoders...they are just that, Lossy. So they damage your music during encoding. Some make excuses..etc but the fact remains, that if you want the best quality for your system, LOSSY encoding is just not the way to go.

If you want the best sound quality for your system, you cannot start with damaged audio files.

As I have stated, I build my systems to sound the best they possibly can, so the idea of using any type of lossy encoded files just does not compute.
You would likely get laugh out of most high end audio forum even mentioning lossy tracks. To each their own though. People have to find their own reasons to have the best sound or not as the case may be.

Last edited by ROBSCIX; 11-25-2012 at 00:18.
   
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brendanvista
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Default 11-26-2012, 03:34 | posts: 219 | Location: Oregon

All flac, all 400 and some gigs of it.
   
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TirolokoRD
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Default 11-28-2012, 02:28 | posts: 1,859 | Location: Dominican Republic

I wonder, is there actually a way to get lossless music without actually buying the physical disk?
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 11-28-2012, 02:35 | posts: 16,158 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

There are a few sites that have lossless albums for sale.
   
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TruMutton_200Hz
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Default 11-28-2012, 13:52 | posts: 2,767 | Location: Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleid View Post
whole floor is carpeted
A hard floor with a rug placed in front of each speaker is generally better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleid View Post
And unless you record things on your own then you cannot do your own mastering, because that is already done..
True, but that is one of the main reasons why I listen primarily to vinyl rips. In 24-bit 96kHz FLAC, that is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleid View Post
The recordings for a lot of music is so poor that it wouldn't matter if you heard then in uncompressed 24/96.
I have a little icon sitting on my desktop for that... it looks alot like a recycle bin.
   
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Anarion
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Default 11-28-2012, 16:45 | posts: 10,727 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
There are a few sites that have lossless albums for sale.
For electronic music there's rather many options. For example Audiojelly, Juno, Trackitdown and Beatport; there are probably others too. Though Audiojelly is my personal first choice since they offer wav's now at 0,99 /track (all new releases seem to be available in wav). Others are just plain expensive.

Last edited by Anarion; 11-28-2012 at 16:49.
   
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gridiron whirlw
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Default 11-28-2012, 18:05 | posts: 3,571 | Location: Ohio

Mostly Flac ripped from cds for me...but I own some high quality mp3 files, they sound nice on my Grado 325's and my Xonar Essence ST.

I have converted some nice mp3s from Flac.

I use Foobar...I am not much in getting skins for it and such, not a priority for me, neither is the album art, but it makes it look cool....Foobar converts anything you want, pretty much, and it is painless.
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 11-28-2012, 19:16 | posts: 16,158 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
For electronic music there's rather many options. For example Audiojelly, Juno, Trackitdown and Beatport; there are probably others too. Though Audiojelly is my personal first choice since they offer wav's now at 0,99 /track (all new releases seem to be available in wav). Others are just plain expensive.
Yes, I was just relaying the info to the other poster. I prefer to do my own encodes for my personal collection.
   
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Anarion
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Default 11-28-2012, 22:25 | posts: 10,727 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
Yes, I was just relaying the info to the other poster. I prefer to do my own encodes for my personal collection.
I know, I was just throwing some place where to look at.
   
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Kaleid
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Default 11-29-2012, 07:18 | posts: 2,020 | Location: Sweden

Quote:
Originally Posted by TruMutton_200Hz View Post
1. A hard floor with a rug placed in front of each speaker is generally better.

2. True, but that is one of the main reasons why I listen primarily to vinyl rips. In 24-bit 96kHz FLAC, that is.

3. I have a little icon sitting on my desktop for that... it looks alot like a recycle bin.
1. Absolutely not, it will make the sound bounce of everywhere adding echo even if not much. It looks good but it is terrible for audio, as are btw spikes. Go with SD-feet instead: http://www.ljudfokus.se/bilder/sonic...e-12-28-kg.jpg

2. The biggest reason vinyl sounds better is because it cannot be mastered superloud as CDs, the needle wouldn't stay in place if they did.

3. Yes of course, but if you threw everything which is not HQ in audio, how much would remain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
You would likely get laugh out of most high end audio forum even mentioning lossy tracks. To each their own though. People have to find their own reasons to have the best sound or not as the case may be.
On many hifi forums there is little understanding for anything about audio or electronics. There's a reason some very expensive cables are bought, it's because in general the knowledge levels are low. Denon even sells high-end digital cables o.O
Their engineers of course know it is BS, but they sell because people are so easily fooled, something which this video for instance can demonstrate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFPtc8BVdJk

And I was one of those fools at more than 10 years ago, I bought expensive cables but had poor speakers, used spikes under, didn't treat the room, didn't properly place the speakers in the angles they were supposed to be in etc.. lots of money completely wasted away.

The hi-fi press doesn't help either. I bought a Pioneer amplifier in the mid 90's thinking it was superbly good after reading a glowing review on What Hifi and then one day I made a comparison with my friends Philips amplifier. The philips completely blew it away despite being cheaper, it sounded both more powerful and more neutral, the latter which is very important. Everything sounded metallic with the Pioneer, all music sounded the same. So I have little respect for the hifi-press too, although some mags like Stereophile seem much more serious, as they have more measurements which do not lie (but don't tell the whole story either). But even Stereophile needs ad money, so it's hard to trust them either. The Swedish non-profit LTS is the only one that seems decent, the members pay certain amount of tests which go far deeper than most magazines, and it was after their recommendation I bought the Denon 2105 7.1 amplifier for 2.0 audio. It's simply much better than many many times more expensive 2.0 amplifiers. It measures far better..

Other experiences include purchasing a so called high-end Sony DVD/SACD player. I compared it with my friends 7-8 times cheaper DVD-player, a pure budget thing and the picture quality was much better. So, I have little trust for the industry as a whole, it's about money more than anything else.

So, it's the same with lossy tracks, I'm quite certain that most wouldn't be able to tell the difference in in a proper test.

A lot of it is placebo, wanting something to be better, so that's what it becomes. But not really, not enough to notice.

Last edited by Kaleid; 11-29-2012 at 07:36.
   
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Denial
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Default 11-29-2012, 16:17 | posts: 6,853 | Location: Above Earth in a Big Rocket Ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleid View Post
So, it's the same with lossy tracks, I'm quite certain that most wouldn't be able to tell the difference in in a proper test.

A lot of it is placebo, wanting something to be better, so that's what it becomes. But not really, not enough to notice.
I'd actually really would like to see a proper test of this. I have Heir Audio A4's, Senn HD650/595's, AHD2000. There is absolutely no way I'd be able to hear the difference between 320/v0/flac. I understand that if your storing/producing, flac/24bit/etc or any lossless is obviously better. But in terms of playback, mobile or not, I'm listening in V0.
   
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Vandrende Pind
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Default 11-29-2012, 16:38 | posts: 1,178 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

From my experience comparing the same track in 320kbps mp3 and FLAC, the only thing that's noticeable is how far the highs and lows extend, and it's really difficult to hear the difference, it took me a lot of switching back and forth between the two files. I was only able to hear the difference in the lows, with the FLAC going a tad deeper.

So as I understand it it's mostly a matter of dynamic range, not that the FLAC has higher resolution.
   
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Denial
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Default 11-29-2012, 17:08 | posts: 6,853 | Location: Above Earth in a Big Rocket Ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandrende Pind View Post
From my experience comparing the same track in 320kbps mp3 and FLAC, the only thing that's noticeable is how far the highs and lows extend, and it's really difficult to hear the difference, it took me a lot of switching back and forth between the two files. I was only able to hear the difference in the lows, with the FLAC going a tad deeper.

So as I understand it it's mostly a matter of dynamic range, not that the FLAC has higher resolution.
320 immediately throws out everything above 19.5khz and a perfect human ear is capable of 20khz listening. So it definitely has some effect. I just think that, if I were to have a series of random encoded songs switching between 320/FLAC even the best audio engineer with the best sound setup would not be able to correctly identify the encode type on the first listen. Maybe if they switch back in forth, or are extremely familiar with the source material to the point where they studied it for the test. But at that point its like, who cares. I don't sit and listen to music and analyze the frequencies, I listen to enjoy it.

In which case, if I'm playing it back, I'd much rather enjoy metric ton more songs with 99.999% nearly indiscernible unless flipping back and forth audio playback, then significantly less with 100%.
   
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Kaleid
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Default 11-29-2012, 17:12 | posts: 2,020 | Location: Sweden

Have you checked with an audio program to see whether there is a difference in how high and low the frequencies go in both cases?

Audacity should be up for the job (haven't used it in years though so I'm not certain)

And another note on hifi-gear. I forgot the name but there have been quite many examples of high-end players actually being budget players inside.

And then there are examples of simply awful hardware:
http://nwavguy.*************/2011/02...c-2-drama.html
   
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