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Scientific comparison: audio formats


BEEMB
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One of the biggest issues I have with MP3 is the degradation of spatial nuance which is very apparent in a highly resolving sound system. It's simply unacceptable if there's a better choice. On the other hand, for the kids, spatial nuance usually doesn't apply to pop music, especially contemporary pop music. The only time I'll be listening to that is after I die and I'm being tortured in Hell.

 

In essence stick with WAV if you have the space, FLAC and similar lossless formats are fine alternatives unless you have reason to believe errors can be introduced in data transmission, use higher bit rates in lossy codecs, use AAC if you really need to use lossy.

 

I was hoping lower bit rate MP3 would better utilize an encode on music that typically had lower levels and dynamics overall, but that's apparently not how it works. Just wishful thinking. This article makes a strong argument for web radio to use AAC instead of MP3 for streaming webcasts of good quality music content. When cost vs bandwidth considerations are the same.

 

Rusty at Soma FM, I'm talking to you, my friend. (He's not going to see this.)

 

Rand

 

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Very interesting article. Agrees with my thoughts to be honest. Some compressed music can sound very good, but if you can have it uncompressed then why wouldn't you !?! Nice to see the science backing this up.

 

I rip all my CDs as WAV. When you consider how many CD's you can fit onto a 1TB hard drive, and the falling cost of these drives, then it just makes sense if you are even slightly interested in getting the best quality sound. However, if I'm purchasing a download, and a high bit-rate version is not available, I do still buy some lower bit-rate music, and just hope it's a good one!!

 

 

iTunes / Media Monkey, PC, Presonus Firebox --> Mackie HR624 mkII Active Monitors, M&K VX7 mkII

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Interesting, had I seen this 6 months earlier I would have ripped my music as AAC 320 instead of MP3 320- I listened hard to both but at the time my system wasn't very revealing. Flexability won out as EVERY thing will play back MP3s (I know someone will post a product that doesnt :D! )

No biggie now as FLAC will likely be the format of choice for me although ALAC and AIFF may get a look in depending on hardware/software.

 

PS3 60bg (160GB installed + Native music Browser)-AVI ADM9.1-Klipsch SW12 Subwoofer-Belkin Power Board- Custom power cables-Supra Sub Cable- No Name Toslink Cable - PROUD NZer

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