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BrianEsser
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PostSubject: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySat Jan 23, 2010 5:54 pm

from: http://rivperformance.editboard.com/audio-electronics-f7/adding-ipod-capability-to-a-99-riv-t255-15.htm

GMFreak8 wrote:
Just stick with CDs and the stock player. Or get a CD changer. Compact Discs sound better, include album art, and don't require batteries. Plus you don't have to mess around with organizing your MP3 collection on your computer, plus your ipod, plus actually find the time to download everything. The last ipod I bought was in 2003. I used it for a few months, and it's been sitting in my drawer since. It's practically brand new. I went out and bought a 12 disc CD changer for my car, and just load my CDs that way. When a friend plays his ipod on my car stereo system it makes my ears bleed. The sound quality just isn't there. Sadly your average person is now perfectly fine with paying 99 cents to 1.99 for a compressed audio file that doesn't include any album art, and sounds like crap. You can typically go out and find a CD with album art and actually the full quality song on it for a cheaper price. And of course sadly, I'm in the minority and most people think I'm crazy when I actually suggest that someone should go out and actually *gasp* buy a CD.

Wow... sorry it's when I find ignorance this stunning, I have to sit back for a moment. You should probably stick with vinyl too since it sounds much warmer than CD's. Unless you have a $6,000 SQL system and are a true audiophile addict, you will not notice the difference between a properly encoded 320kb mp3/AAC file or a CD, especially in an automotive environment. You either have a shit system, downloading low quality 128kb mp3's or you are just biased. The Ipod has an excellent sound processor, with high bit rate encoded files, it has excellent audio quality. Nothing can make 128kb encoded files sound good.

Not too mention, nothing is as convenient as lugging around stacks of cd binders and digging through them find something to listen to. Welcome to 1995.
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 10:55 am

BrianEsser wrote:
GMFreak8 wrote:
Just stick with CDs and the stock player. Or get a CD changer. Compact Discs sound better, include album art, and don't require batteries. Plus you don't have to mess around with organizing your MP3 collection on your computer, plus your ipod, plus actually find the time to download everything. The last ipod I bought was in 2003. I used it for a few months, and it's been sitting in my drawer since. It's practically brand new. I went out and bought a 12 disc CD changer for my car, and just load my CDs that way. When a friend plays his ipod on my car stereo system it makes my ears bleed. The sound quality just isn't there. Sadly your average person is now perfectly fine with paying 99 cents to 1.99 for a compressed audio file that doesn't include any album art, and sounds like crap. You can typically go out and find a CD with album art and actually the full quality song on it for a cheaper price. And of course sadly, I'm in the minority and most people think I'm crazy when I actually suggest that someone should go out and actually *gasp* buy a CD.

Wow... sorry it's when I find ignorance this stunning, I have to sit back for a moment. You should probably stick with vinyl too since it sounds much warmer than CD's. Unless you have a $6,000 SQL system and are a true audiophile addict, you will not notice the difference between a properly encoded 320kb mp3/AAC file or a CD, especially in an automotive environment. You either have a shit system, downloading low quality 128kb mp3's or you are just biased. The Ipod has an excellent sound processor, with high bit rate encoded files, it has excellent audio quality. Nothing can make 128kb encoded files sound good.

Not too mention, nothing is as convenient as lugging around stacks of cd binders and digging through them find something to listen to. Welcome to 1995.

What can I say, I just like CDs and I hate Apple with a passion. I am an audiophile and can most definitely hear the difference between an MP3, and a CD. The only digital files that I can stand are the untouched WAV file, or OGG and FLAC files. Apple has been criticized for the skimping on the DAC quality.
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 11:05 am

I would like to see anyone prove in a double blind listening test, using audio gear of their choice, that they can hear the difference between a 320kb-encoded MP3, WAV, ACC, or CD track. No one has so far been able to be right more than 50% of the time. You may think you can hear the difference (lots of people do), but double blind tests always prove otherwise.

Apple iTunes uses a very high quality converter, probably the best available to the public. I challenge anyone to prove they can hear the difference between tracks converted with Apple vs. a competitor's equivalent. You can hate Apple all you want, but if the quality is there, you're only depriving yourself from enjoying it.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 11:17 am

AA wrote:
I would like to see anyone prove in a double blind listening test, using audio gear of their choice, that they can hear the difference between a 320kb-encoded MP3, WAV, ACC, or CD track. No one has so far been able to be right more than 50% of the time. You may think you can hear the difference (lots of people do), but double blind tests always prove otherwise.

Apple iTunes uses a very high quality converter, probably the best available to the public. I challenge anyone to prove they can hear the difference between tracks converted with Apple vs. a competitor's equivalent. You can hate Apple all you want, but if the quality is there, you're only depriving yourself from enjoying it.

I'm not talking about iTunes (although it's wicked bloatware), I'm talking about the DAC in the ipod itself. It seems music quality has taken a backseat to "apps" and gimmicks to drive the ipod into other markets. It doesn't matter if it's a WAV file or a MP3, if the DAC isn't that great it's going to sound like crap either way.
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 11:44 am

I wonder if the DAC in the stock head unit is any better than the iPod's. If so, is it a big enough difference that it even matters? Personally, I find the quality from both the stock head and the iPod to be very good, or at least good enough for listening in the car.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 12:59 pm

Well I have a Classic 30GB Ipod and I use it all the time in my car. It sounds decent.

That being said, there is a very distinct difference between listening to an Ipod and listening to an actual (not burnt) CD. The bass doesn't hit nearly as hard and your volume knob has to be turned up more to achieve the same level of sound as the cd. The more you turn it up, the more prone you are to distortion or damaging your speakers. Not such a great idea.

With "complete" aftermarket audio systems you will hear the difference. If you'd like I can dig out my video camera come spring and do a recording of both in the car clearly showing the difference. Hopefully the camera is good enough to record the difference in sound. Like we were discussing in earlier threads about old headunits the processors may not be good enuff that you would notice the difference... but on an aftermarket system its apples n oranges comparison between CD and other digital formats. I still believe tho that newer vastly improved digital forms of media will come out to replace the CD. Now that iTunes has become the world's largest music store, another big change has taken place. Record companies have started to make significant amounts of money by selling digital downloads. It does not mean that everybody wants downloads, but a lot of people do, and it is really clean money. According to an article in the New York Times, the record company pockets about 70c of the 99c you pay for a song on iTunes. Without them having to manufacture, print, ship, warehouse, account, or distribute anything, and without worries of damaged or returned inventory. The CD's life in automotive applications is going to be extremely limited in the future. sunny
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 1:50 pm

I still hold that neither you, me, nor any other audiophile on planet Earth can tell the difference between a 320kB MP3 and a CD formatted track, even listening with the best audio equipment in the world. No one has been able to prove they can so far, but a few have proven people can't tell in double blind tests. Even 256kb MP3s are indistinguishable from CD, WAV, and AAC tracks. And that's assuming a perfect listening environment with no background noise. In a car, forget about it. I can tell a 160kb MP3 from a CD sometimes, but not one of my thousands of 192kb MP3s sound any different from CD quality.

Here's a test by a guy who used to think MP3s sounded bad. Through testing in a controlled environment, he convinced himself otherwise: http://www.lincomatic.com/mp3/mp3quality.html

Quote :
Surprisingly, 256Kbps and 320Kbps MP3 were virtually indistinguishable by my ears from the CD... My feeling is that 192Kbps MP3 is more than adequate for listening with a computer or in a car. The distortion and lousy frequency response of the systems themselves (as well as the high ambient noise in a car) make the 192Kbps MP3 sound so similar to the original CD that the advantage of the smaller storage requirements of the MP3 far outweigh the sonic benefits of the CD.

Update - Sometimes, it is beneficial to put aside scientific/engineering mumbo jumbo, and instead analyze the cost/benefit ratio. Given a fixed amount of storage, one can store considerably twice as much music at 128Kbps than at 256Kbps. Before deciding what bitrate to use, analyze the target audience and listening environment, and then make a educated decision as to what bitrate is appropriate.

Update 2006-05-19 - It has been a number of years since I wrote this article.... Currently, I favor VBR (variable bit rate) encoding, which gives you better sound quality vs size, because the encoder dynamically adjusts the bitrate.... I've found the High Quality settings (-V 2 --vbr-new) - ~190kbps - to provide sufficent quality that I find CD's burned from the output to be sonically indistinguishable from the originals.

This supports my theory that most listeners cannot hear harmonic distortion (THD) as easily as we (and audio equipment manufacturers) would like us to believe. A respected doctor Earl Geddes, PHD wrote a paper called "The Perception of Distortion", and later "Auditory Perception of Nonlinear Distortion—Theory" with the help of another expert on the subject. The papers showed from blind testing a group of listeners that no one can hear THD below about 5-10%, and that compression driver speakers (known for their extreme accuracy) typically operate with 25% THD. Furthermore, MP3 tracks can contain up to 50% THD, but is not always audible to human ears. They also showed THD is most audible at low listening levels, as with headphones in a quiet room. In a moving car, or with louder levels, the ear's sensitivity to THD is much less.

Look up these papers. The evidence is startling for those who maintain the believe they can hear THD differences under 1%. Maybe in a recording studio, the best female or child listeners could hear these subtle differences, but in a car, and the average guy... why kid ourselves in believing this stuff?

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 2:43 pm

I think the truth is every1 has a different level of hearing. For example my father was a heavy equipment operator his whole life and cannot hear certain tones now. I had my hearing test last year and my ears are quite good, I'm not disagreeing with you on hearing THD levels, but I gotta say I am not dreaming that there is a noticable difference between Ipod and CD's, and its not just my imagination.

The key words about the gentlemen who used to think that MP3's sounded bad is "Through testing in a controlled environment" he decided otherwise. An automobile is not a controlled environment, as you said, therefore this test has no relevance to a car.

Under his conclusions segment the first sentences say, and I quote:

"All in all, I was impressed by the quality of MP3's vs CD. Unlike the preconceived notions I had when I set out to do these tests, the 192Kbps MP3 was indeed "near CD quality." The degradation was indeed subtle, but noticeable. It is my belief, however, that on the HiFi setup the 192Kbps MP3 is more fatiguing to the ears during extended listening."

He distinctly says it is "near cd quality" but is a "noticable" difference. That was done on budget audio equipment, not high end. I have nothing but high end and yes there is a difference both in my house, and in my cars in sound quality of CD to MP3.
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 3:42 pm

Quote :
I gotta say I am not dreaming that there is a noticable difference between Ipod and CD's, and its not just my imagination.
I don't think you are dreaming. What I'm saying is the difference you hear is not due to the track being encoded as MP3 or on CD. That's all. There are other variables inside your head unit that could result in the difference. You could just as easily plug a CD player into the aux input of the head and hear a difference. The iPod itself surely has the ability to change the sound quality as well. If you are attributing the difference to the format, just understand there are so many other variables that could be (are) contributing to the difference you hear.

Quote :
An automobile is not a controlled environment, as you said, therefore this test has no relevance to a car.
This test has 100% relevance because a controlled environment is the better place to conduct the experiment; it weeds out the variables that can give inaccurate results. A car is a less-than-ideal (not controlled) because of back-ground noise. Therefore, if the listening tests reveal there is no real audible difference in a controlled (perfect) listening environment, there cannot possibly be any chance to get more accurate results in a car.

Quote :
He distinctly says it is "near cd quality" but is a "noticable" difference.
He was referring to 192kbs MP3s. He also says, "256Kbps and 320Kbps MP3 were virtually indistinguishable by my ears from the CD." Last I checked, 256kbs MP3s still count as MP3s. I never said low kbs MP3s didn't sound bad. Everyone knows that.

Quote :
That was done on budget audio equipment, not high end. I have nothing but high end and yes there is a difference both in my house, and in my cars in sound quality of CD to MP3.
Here is a link to a double blind test conducted by MaximumPC.com:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/do_higher_mp3_bit_rates_pay_off?page=0%2C0

In the article, they select 4 test listeners, all were like you, believing they can tell the differences between MP3 and CD. They were even invited to bring their own test tracks on CD, which were encoded as MP3s on site. They used top notch audio gear for the test. The listeners had to determine which of 12 tracks is from CD, 320kbs MP3, or 160kbs MP3. Getting 50% correct is the equivalent to guessing without even listening. Get more than 6 correct, and it suggests one might be able to tell the difference, or they might just be lucky.

Listener #1: "This is hard... really hard." Result: 3 out of 12 correct.
Listener #2: "I'm pretty sure about this." Result: 6 out of 12 correct.
Listener #3: "Now wait... Is this fair?" Result: 5 out of 12 correct.
Listener #4: "Thought this would be a piece of cake." Result: 5 out of 12 correct.

So overall one person guessed 50% correct, and everyone else did worse. Fail. Not surprisingly, all of the listeners were shocked, and some were upset by the results. The truth hurts bad when it comes to audio, because so many people spend money on stuff based on pure belief, not what is actually real.

There are other similar tests out there, most giving the same conclusive evidence. I can find no tests where a person actually proved they could hear the difference between CD and MP3 tracks. However, there are a lot of people saying they can hear the difference. It's the same for the guys who sell certain audio gear guaranteed to make an audible difference. They won't actually subject themselves to listening tests, because they already know what the results will be.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 4:12 pm

Interesting to say the least. I dunno what kbps I have on my ipod, but they for the most part sound like crap. Maybe they are only 192? I really dunno. I do know that my Ipod does't sound as good though, there is no doubt there. I guess that was really the bottom line. The fact that MP3's have the ability to sound as good just accelerates the impending demise of the compact disc. quiet
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 4:39 pm

Check your MP3s; I bet they aren't 192. If they are, you either have unusually sensitive ears, or the actual bit rate cannot be verified. One thing to watch out for - obtaining MP3s from friends and other sources, you can't be sure the bit rate is really what it says. If somebody rips it from CD at 96 kbs, then copies it for a friend at 192 kbs, it's still going to sound like 96. Only way to be sure is to buy the tracks, or to rip them yourself from CD or MP3 tracks known to be true high kbs.

I still use CDs in my head unit, but I know MP3s can sound just as good. I do think CDs will eventually go away, like cassettes did 15 years ago. I rip MP3s at 192 kbs because it sounds "good enough" to me. But 128 kbs and below sounds unacceptable. I would assume there are some out there who need 256 kbs to be satisfied. With the capacity of HD memory these days, size really isn't a concern like it used to be.

Does your iPod have an internal EQ setting? Does your head unit apply the same sound enhancing effects to the iPod signal as it does to CD?

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 5:24 pm

Well, my ipod does have the internal EQ but as soon as I plug it in to my Eclipse HU the screen on my Ipod reads Eclipse and all control of it transfers to the head (Same goes with the Premier in my Alero). The system is very, very new to me in my Riviera so honestly I am not certain on all its capable or incapable of just yet. I have only had my Riviera system up n running for about a week before parking it for winter. Still waiting for spring to finish the install off (alarm n starter). Most of my MP3's are ripped right off Itunes so whatever they typically are is what mine should be. I don't like to pirate. As for the Sound enhancing effects of the HU, again I don't know but I would assume it must since it takes virtually complete control over the ipod.

Then again assumptions can be dangerous. bonk
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySat Feb 13, 2010 1:19 pm

Hometown Hero wrote:
I think the truth is every1 has a different level of hearing. For example my father was a heavy equipment operator his whole life and cannot hear certain tones now. I had my hearing test last year and my ears are quite good, I'm not disagreeing with you on hearing THD levels, but I gotta say I am not dreaming that there is a noticable difference between Ipod and CD's, and its not just my imagination.

The key words about the gentlemen who used to think that MP3's sounded bad is "Through testing in a controlled environment" he decided otherwise. An automobile is not a controlled environment, as you said, therefore this test has no relevance to a car.

Under his conclusions segment the first sentences say, and I quote:

"All in all, I was impressed by the quality of MP3's vs CD. Unlike the preconceived notions I had when I set out to do these tests, the 192Kbps MP3 was indeed "near CD quality." The degradation was indeed subtle, but noticeable. It is my belief, however, that on the HiFi setup the 192Kbps MP3 is more fatiguing to the ears during extended listening."

He distinctly says it is "near cd quality" but is a "noticable" difference. That was done on budget audio equipment, not high end. I have nothing but high end and yes there is a difference both in my house, and in my cars in sound quality of CD to MP3.

Thank you. Basically what you have said is what I've been trying to say. I know many people like the convenience of MP3s and digital audio files; and I'll admit it's nice to have your collection in your pocket. I'm not going to argue about the noticeable difference, because as was said before everyone has different levels of hearing. You all know how anal I am about noises from my car, and that anal retentive tendency goes for audio and video quality too. I can notice a difference between an MP3 and a CD. The fact remains that any lossy codec strips the audio of some subtle but very noticeable fidelity especially in the lower and higher ends with muddiness in the middle. It's very hard to tell the difference between a 320kbps Mp3 and a CD, but it's there and I can tell the difference. The higher the quality of the equipment you're listening on the more noticeable it is. And again, the DAC in your head unit and your iPod plays a big role in the audio quality too. The iPod is not known for it's audiophile sound, but more for it's ease of use and integration with everything.

All I know is I'm a huge CD fan. Not only for the increased audio quality (either perceived or actual), but for the album art, and actually having a physical copy of the music that is MINE, not a DRM infested or soft copy that can easily be deactivated or come up missing. Now if only the producers would return to what the audio processing was like in the 70s and 80s where you had a huge dynamic range in the audio and not everything is set to peak the meters out and keep it that way through the whole song.

To each his own, but I'll fumble around with my CD cases for the foreseeable future (although I may possibly get a DVD changer and just put three or four CDs on each DVD).
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 2:00 pm

It's okay to feel that way, Kyle, as long as you accept it's purely your opinion, a preference, not based on any kind of verified fact. You like to listen to CDs because you think you can hear a difference, not because you actually can. It's a preference many, many people have (including a large number of audiophiles), because they honestly believe they can tell the difference between a good quality MP3 and a CD track. Everyone likes to believe their ears are better than the next guy, including myself.

However, believing and knowing are two different things. When you listen to an MP3 track, then a CD track, and say the CD sounds better - that's believing. You can reverse the order of the tracks, change the audio equipment, whatever you like like, the only thing it proves is that you believe there is a difference.

But to know there is a difference, one little detail has to change: the identity of the MP3 and CD tracks needs to remain a mystery to the listener. When this happens, the ability to differentiate suddenly becomes difficult or impossible. Why is that? Not surprisingly, many folks don't want to admit to the reality that maybe there isn't an audible difference between a good quality MP3 and CD, especially in a car stereo application. They won't take a double blind or ABX test. That would mean everything they said about being able to tell the difference would be a myth. Some people would rather believe they're right than be proved wrong.

Take an example of a guy, an audiophile, who understands what I'm talking about. He wanted to know if MP3s really sounded worse than CD on a "good" stereo system, so he performed a real test. The results are not surprising - he proved that a properly encoded 128kbs MP3 is pretty hard, a 192kbs MP3 is extremely hard, and a 256kbs MP3 is impossible to differentiate from CD - at least in his test on his equipment.

Link: http://blog.szynalski.com/2009/07/05/blind-testing-mp3-compression/

Sure, anyone can say, "That's only one guy, and I can hear much better than him." That's the easy path lots of audiophiles take. But why not prove it to everyone? Take the time to set up your most idolized hi-fi system in the most acoustically perfect environment, and then test yourself using a blind/ABX test where you don't know the identity of the track formats, so that there is absolutely no doubt in your findings. Very few people take this route, and the the few that do find out they were wrong. A lot of people are afraid to be wrong, hence not are taking these tests. It might change their outlook on things, and change is not usually good to an audiophile (there are still guys who only listen to records because they sound "better" than CDs).

I've not found a single example of someone proving they actually can hear the difference between MP3s and CD. Here's a guy who came closer (not much) than most:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f133/abx-test-320kbps-vs-flac-results-431522/

In this test, he basically proved that he could not tell the difference in listening to 160 tracks comparing 320kbs MP3 to FLAC (a lossless format accepted to be equal to CD quality). Of the 160 tracks, he was able to successfully pick or guess the correct track 92 times, for a success rate of 57.5%. Being that 50% would be the result of all-out guessing without even listening, it doesn't prove the case very well for telling the difference between MP3 and CD. The tester, who considers himself a music lover and audiophile, seemed surprised by the results, having the following comments:

"I take back any statements I have ever made as to whether I can hear a difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3s. I didn't know what the hell I was talking about. It's funny, because as soon as I play them again the .flac one sounds so much crisper. But I know it's all in my head now."

I'm glad he said that, because that single comment pretty much sums up my opinion on this topic.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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TonySmooth89
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 3:52 pm

My opinion...and of course it is only an opinion , is that 128kbps mp3s sounds pretty terrible,,,,,,but while i can hear the difference between 192kbps and cds on some songs , the difference is negligible and most of the time isn't worth losing storage capacity required to step up to 320 or even 256kbps. Some songs with less detailed arrangements don't sound bad at all.

Also , the player plays a huge part. My cowon player i had a while ago had pretty great sound , probably the best for its era , then i tried an rca which sucked , stepped up to a zune and found the quality to be solid , then once i got the zune HD i never even think about the difference in sound quality between a CD and it. My headphones and car speakers seem to be more limited than the sound output of the device.
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 4:14 pm

Good post AA. That kind of answers questions I've been pretty uncertain about without an experiment.

I've been using itunes default format to rip all my real cds to for a while and I've always found it to be satisfactory on headphones and in my car. I can tell the difference between it and the original cd but it's satisfactory. I think this format is 128k or 128k per channel - 256kbps

As far as downloading music, I don't see the use in being picky anymore unless youre paying for P2P software or something. Back in the day, I could get 320kbps mp3's of anything. Now not so much. Torrents and stuff usually give you 128 or 192.

Despite my developed loyalty to the ipod and therefore itunes, one thing I refuse to do is buy any music from the itunes store. It's costs about as much you can usually get the cd for and you get a license restricted mp3, meaning you can only have and play it on systems with your itunes account authorization. F that, I'll buy em and rip em. I am a person that wants the whole album even if there's really only 1 or 2 songs i love though.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 4:36 pm

Quote :
I think this format is 128k or 128k per channel - 256kbps
I don't understand what '128k per channel' means. A 128kbps MP3 should be 128k for both channels and a 256kbps MP3 should mean 256k for both channels, or at least that's what I thought. Anyone know for sure?

I usually try to buy CDs also, preferably from shows I attend, but sometimes I use iTunes for more obscure tracks, or when I don't know much about the artist. I've noticed more and more tracks encoded at 192-256kbps, whereas a few years ago 128-160kbps were more common.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 4:44 pm

AA wrote:
Quote :
I think this format is 128k or 128k per channel - 256kbps
I don't understand what '128k per channel' means. A 128kbps MP3 should be 128k for both channels and a 256kbps MP3 should mean 256k for both channels, or at least that's what I thought. Anyone know for sure?

The actual files that my itunes rips my cds to by default are AAC (.m4a) files and it looks to me like that are 128kbps files. Whereever I looked, itunes worded it to sound like it meant 128 per channel, (stereo)
MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality Itunesfile
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 5:18 pm

That makes sense, since both channels are completely independent. I never noticed that. So a 128kbps stereo MP3 is actually 64 + 64kbps. Interesting.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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ibmoses
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 8:10 pm

For best sound quality when "burning" a CD from my Itunes collection what speed is best?

Sorry for the noob question but I figure this thread is about as appropriate a place to ask as any...

Bert
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 8:19 pm

ibmoses wrote:
For best sound quality when "burning" a CD from my Itunes collection what speed is best?

Sorry for the noob question but I figure this thread is about as appropriate a place to ask as any...

Bert

I prefer to use either the 192kb mp3 or variable bitrate (see 'custom' settings) at 'medium-high' quality. Depends on what you will be playing it back on - if you are on high quality stuff you may want to use 256kb, or mpeg4 (aac) instead of mp3.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptySun Feb 14, 2010 10:21 pm

Quote :
For best sound quality when "burning" a CD from my Itunes collection what speed is best?
When you burn an audio CD from iTunes, you don't get to choose an encoding rate, because the MP3 format is changed back into uncompressed format. However you can select a burn speed, usually 1X-52X depending on your burner, or "maximum speed". I use the maximum speed setting. The higher the speed, the faster you can burn the disk.

Audio CDs burned from iTunes MP3 files will only sound as good as the MP3 files' sample rates. Listen to MP3s sampled at different rates to decide which sounds good enough. I use 192kbps for most of my music.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
Jack the R
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PostSubject: CD prices dropping   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyFri Mar 19, 2010 9:34 pm

Quote :
Years late, Universal cuts CD prices to combat poor sales
By Chris Foresman | Last updated less than a minute ago

Sales of digital downloads have not been enough to make up for the decline of CD sales since its peak in 2000. Universal Music Group plans to soften the fall of CD sales by dropping prices across the board, to a maximum of $10.

The company plans to test lower prices beginning next month and continuing throughout 2010. Nearly all of UMG's CDs will priced between $6 and $10. UMG is hoping that increased volume will make up for the price drop, and the company plans to create more higher-priced "deluxe" versions for more hardcore fans

Link

I remember when file sharing started the guys on Slashdot were saying the music industry needed to offer downloads for 25 cents a track - a $6 cd with 12 tracks is getting close. I assume (perhaps wrongly?) the downloads will be less.

10 years+ of wasted time, money and lawsuits wasted because the businessmen preferred to treat fans like criminals.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyFri Mar 19, 2010 10:22 pm

price cuts are kind of interesting, but I doubt the customers are coming back.

Albertj
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality   MP3 vs CD (lossless) Formats Quality EmptyFri Mar 19, 2010 10:28 pm

Whenever I buy a CD, I immediately convert all tracks to MP3. iTunes is getting more and more appealing.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
Back to top Go down
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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