Are MP3's still a thing?

Discussion in 'The Guru's Pub' started by jbscotchman, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. theoneofgod

    theoneofgod Ancient Guru

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    I always rip to FLAC for my main collection so nothing is lost. Afterwards if I'm low on storage for DAP or something usually go with AAC (FDK).
     
  2. tsunami231

    tsunami231 Ancient Guru

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    Yah if did that and rip to flac I would get ocd about redoing everything as flac, which would take way to much time then I willing to put into let alone the space. I honestly cant hear diffrence from MP3 @ 320 and Flac, which one reason why I just kept using Mp3
     
  3. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger Member Guru

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    I just buy CDs when they're cheap on Amazon to get the free auto rip mp3 version from them. Occasionally I'll buy one song individually as mp3 though.
     
  4. HK-1

    HK-1 Master Guru

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    Hmm I walk too busy working on removing useless things from windows, so I do not have more time to convert to Flac are only 2,095 songs ...
     

  5. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    I notice you edited your post with a question.

    It depends where 32bit is being used.
    Cards that can output 32bit arent capable of that as explained but its a way to try and make your product look like its top of the tree.
    It may have a 32bit output DAC chip but there is no benefit over 24bit.

    32bit processing within the DAC or before data gets passed to the DAC is a different matter.
    The higher the bits processing the better (to a point) because it reduces error during calculations.
    And believe me, there are a LOT of calculations going on in most DACs, what you hear has been fiddled with substantially. ***
    The only DACs that dont use processing are Ladder (R2R) DACs, they feed the DAC chip output through a network of resistors (producing a stepped analogue sine wave signal) and then through capacitors smoothing it.
    The quality of the resistors (ie how close they are to the require resistance) defines how high resolution the DAC will perform. Some modern Ladder/R2R DACs have a parallel circuit to the resistors that compensates the resistance if it has changed through heat or wear through time etc, to keep it as close to required value as possible.
    Although Ladder DACs can feature upsampling or DSD/PCM conversion which will use processing, look up the specs of the chip they use to know its resolution and quality.

    I use a very good R2R DAC that has an upsampling chip.
    Most of the time it makes the sound worse in many ways, but if your system is too bright, converting to DSD might help.
    I never use it though, the sound is far cleaner and more detailed without the built in upsampling. Its wonderful!

    ***
    There is a better way of fiddling with your audio bits ;)
    I use a PC program called HQPlayer that does upsampling how it should be done, using very compute intensive algorithms.
    Many of these require a hardcore PC to run.
    DSD conversion+upsampling can require the use of your graphics card otherwise there is nowhere near enough compute power.
    I cant even max out some of the algorithms with a clocked 10700K and 3090 graphics card.
    Luckily, PCM output can usually run fine on just the CPU.

    The benefit of upsampling done properly is incredible if your system is good enough to hear it.
    The Chord Dave DAC, for example, uses similar algorithms with its own processor. It is regarded as one of the best DACs.
    You can hugely improve the performance of any DAC with HQPlayer, but it only matters if the rest of your equipment is good enough to pass on the improved detail/resolution.
    ie I upsample CDs at 48KHz/16bit to 1.536MHz/24bit and the extra clarity is amazing! It will only upsample none lossy compressed sources though. MP3 isnt supported.
    You can upsample to the max your DAC is capable of, which brings up another point about why this is better...

    Most DACs use internal processing as mentioned.
    Most dont have enough power to process signals at their max bitrate, they are fed straight through.
    So when you feed a signal to a DAC at its maximum rate, the internal processing in the DAC is disabled.
    This is exactly what HQPlayer needs to happen because it takes over the role of the processor, producing a much higher quality result which is is fed into the DAC and doesnt get messed with.

    To see if HQPlayer is of any benefit on your equipment, grab it here:
    https://www.signalyst.com/
    It runs as an indefinite demo, 1/2hr each run. It will last forever without paying a penny but you only get 1/2hr each time.
    Get the Desktop version.
    With the latest version (4.xx), once the DAC settings have been configured, I drag and drop what I want to play onto the window. You can even drag and drop from Foobar2000 playlists directly, this is what I do.
    You can use the browse feature to select an audio folder too.
    To clear the playlist I use browse and select a folder with no music in it.

    It installs another util to play music to HQPlayer but last time I used it, it was a bit awkward.
    It might have been fixed now so is worth trying.

    Have fun :)

    ps you might need to search for help on setting up HQPlayer.
    I dont have any links for version 4.xx unfortunately.
    I'm going to go look and will edit this post if I find any.

    Quickstart guide
    https://www.signalyst.com/quickstart.html
    Not the easiest guide for newbs.

    Discussion including settings used
    https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/56966-hqplayer4-ec-modulator-tips-and-techniques/

    A nice description of many algorithms
    https://audiobacon.net/2021/03/17/hqplayer-better-than-a-5000-upscaler/4/
    Take as an example, what you hear might differ a bit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
  6. DannyD

    DannyD Ancient Guru

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    mp3 is flat, tinny and no big boy bass.
     
  7. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

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    Keitosha, theoneofgod and DannyD like this.
  8. DannyD

    DannyD Ancient Guru

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    In gave it a try but will wait till later to figure the test out, not sure exactly how to use, it's too early in morn.:p
     
    Noisiv likes this.

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