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NOMBEDES

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON COMPRESSED MUSIC

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16 hours ago, NOMBEDES said:

A quote from Neil:  (from the Boing Boing site)

 

"The compressed, hollow sound of free streaming music was a big step down from the CD and a huge step down from vinyl."

 

"We are poisoning ourselves with degraded sound.  The development of our brains is led by our senses; take away too many of the necessary cues, and we are trapped inside a room with no doors or windows.  Substituting smoothed-out algorithms for the contingent complexity of biological existence is bad for us."

 

 "Engineers often responded to the smaller size and lower quality of these packages by using cheap engineering tricks like masking the softer parts of the song as loud as the loudest parts. This flattened out the sound of recording and fooled listeners's brains into ignoring the stuff that wasn't there anymore"  (MQA?)

 

And further:  "It is an insult to the human mind and the human soul"    

 

I can't argue with Neil.  Plastic nano particles are in the rain and in the snow, no fish is plastic free, governments are worthless.  Hate is ascendant, big insurance companies have tame police forces chasing "insurance fraud", people actually purchase surveillance devices and place them in their homes.  Right wing dictators cut down the rain forest.  And now we know why, low rez compressed music has destroyed our brains.   

 

 

There are two types of compression, one is analog and it’s function is to limit a sound-field’s dynamic range. The other is digital, and its function is to somehow allow a musical performance to take-up less digital space either in storage or in streaming. The latter type can be broken down into two further categories, lossy compression and lossless compression. The former actually “throws away” portions of the music that the compression algorithm has decided are unimportant. Heavily compressed lossy schemes such as MP3, can sound just awful, but high bitrate MP3s can be surprisingly benign - and the compression, all but inaudible. The BBC uses Apple lossless compression to stream the “Proms” concerts (going on now through Sept. 11, every night in London [11:30 AM PDT, or 2:30 PM EDT daily at BBC3.com] over the Internet, and I’ve yet to hear anything that I could recognize as being a compression artifact (and I’m pretty sensitive to digital compression artifacts. The only MP3 compressed musical performances that I can stand to listen to is the live music (such as the Boston Symphony concerts) streamed via Boston’s WCRB.com. They stream at 192 kbps, and occasionally, I hear an artifact (I think, on headphones), but I never hear one on speakers.). “Auntie Beeb”, OTOH, with their lossless compression, present a performance that is sonically very satisfying (IMHO), with no audible artifacts and a 48 KHz sampling rate (giving a top-end of 24KHz).

I try to be careful when it comes to throwing the baby out with the bath water and do not automatically condemn compression schemes used in Internet Radio streaming, ‘till I’ve had a chance to listen. One misses. Too much great music otherwise.

 


George

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15 minutes ago, mansr said:

If it's lossless, there can by definition be no artefacts.

Of course, but there are those amongst us who believe that they hear artifacts even in lossless streaming/downloading technologies such as FLAC. I just wanted to be clear to everyone, that in spite of the controversy in some quarters surrounding the notion of lossless compression, that I’ve heard none from Auntie’s Proms “broadcasts” over the Internet, all the way from Ol’ Blighty!


George

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19 minutes ago, wgscott said:

 

Just management.

 

(See, I compressed it without loss of any information.)

 

That's the low bitrate mp3 version

 

The MQA version is "Just bad management"


“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone listening to music.”

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1 hour ago, gmgraves said:

Of course, but there are those amongst us who believe that they hear artifacts even in lossless streaming/downloading technologies such as FLAC. I just wanted to be clear to everyone, that in spite of the controversy in some quarters surrounding the notion of lossless compression, that I’ve heard none from Auntie’s Proms “broadcasts” over the Internet, all the way from Ol’ Blighty!

 

If you can't measure, what are they hearing? It might be their sub-conscious adding in those artifacts. This is known to happen.


Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Audio Research SP-16

Amplification - PS Audio S300

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage

Cables:Tara Labs and DiMarzio Interconnects

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30 minutes ago, mansr said:

MQA after rendering: "Just bad management tnemeganam dab tsuJ"

 

So true!


“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone listening to music.”

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2 hours ago, botrytis said:

Hearing 

If you can't measure, what are they hearing? It might be their sub-conscious adding in those artifacts. This is known to happen.

 

Agreed, but you can’t dislodge this kind of mythology with logic or fact, once it has taken hold. Many audiophiles  rely 100% on their ear/brain, and reject out of hand any thought that their brains are telling them that they are hearing things that aren’t there. You can show them all the physics and math that you want to proving that what they think they are hearing cannot be. It will make no difference. They hear what they hear and that’s all they care about.

 


George

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5 hours ago, gmgraves said:

The BBC uses Apple lossless compression to stream the “Proms” concerts (going on now through Sept. 11, every night in London [11:30 AM PDT, or 2:30 PM EDT daily at BBC3.com] over the Internet, and I’ve yet to hear anything that I could recognize as being a compression artifact (and I’m pretty sensitive to digital compression artifacts.

 

Are you certain of this?

 

Last I heard, the BBC have yet to adopt lossless compressed audio streaming following their experimental FLAC carrying MPEG-DASH trial streams of the 2017 season BBC Proms:

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/BBC/Flac/LackAlas.html

 

I haven't seen any mention of the Apple lossless audio codec being used by the BBC for their internet radio broadcasts. I hope you are not confusing lossless compressed ALAC with lossy compressed AAC (both can be contained in an .m4a file which could lead to confusion). The BBC are certainly using AAC in both their HLS and MPEG-DASH streams!.


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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12 hours ago, SJK said:

That hasn't been my experience.  I find that, on average the PA systems in place today provide a musical presentation with an accuracy, clarity and detail that was never there before. 

 

Sure, sometimes they get the mix wrong or the singer has a hot mike, but whether big arena events or small local theater, the sound has never been better.  

 

This could be very well true, down in Australia now - I haven't been to a 'premium' event in some time, and they may have learnt from each other, to elevate the standard. Even 30 years some of the best presentations showed that the equipment was up to it, if it was intelligently handled - but lack of the latter was far too evident, far too often. Typically, musical climaxes were torture, the huge levels of OTT distortion were diabolical - the rare ones that carried this off without drama demonstrated that it was indeed possible to get it right.

 

The obsession in the 'pro' ranks used to be to make it loud, loud, loud - above everything else - certainly amateur affairs I come across now are still as bad ... just wander by a fashion parade, for example! :P


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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2 hours ago, Cebolla said:

 

Are you certain of this?

 

Last I heard, the BBC have yet to adopt lossless compressed audio streaming following their experimental FLAC carrying MPEG-DASH trial streams of the 2017 season BBC Proms:

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/BBC/Flac/LackAlas.html

 

I haven't seen any mention of the Apple lossless audio codec being used by the BBC for their internet radio broadcasts. I hope you are not confusing lossless compressed ALAC with lossy compressed AAC (both can be contained in an .m4a file which could lead to confusion). The BBC are certainly using AAC in both their HLS and MPEG-DASH streams!.

Yes, I’m sure. It is actually called out on the BBC3 web-site


George

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6 hours ago, botrytis said:

 

If you can't measure, what are they hearing? It might be their sub-conscious adding in those artifacts. This is known to happen.

On the contrary, why bother measuring when true audiophiles like Neil Young know THERE ARE NO MEASURING DEVICES CAPABLE OF DETECTING WHAT CAUSES MOST CD TO SOUND UTTER CRAP. 

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So, do a blinded listening test


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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1 hour ago, Rexp said:

On the contrary, why bother measuring when true audiophiles like Neil Young know THERE ARE NO MEASURING DEVICES CAPABLE OF DETECTING WHAT CAUSES MOST CD TO SOUND UTTER CRAP. 

 

Right - get a better CD player :D


Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Audio Research SP-16

Amplification - PS Audio S300

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage

Cables:Tara Labs and DiMarzio Interconnects

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4 hours ago, mansr said:

Link?

It was on the web-site before the 2019 Proms started on July 19th, but I can’t find it now. It may well be that the Apple Lossless is only used on the Proms streams and not the regular programming. A couple of years ago the Proms was streamed using FLAC, but one had to go to the BBC’s technical web-site and use Firefox 23+ to access it.


George

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Based on Reiss's work, I'm gonna go with:  The best CD quality audio is [almost] as good as the best high-res. 

 

i.e. the difference is difficult to detect, but trained listeners can do so to a high statistical likelihood

 

as for Neil, I dunno - love his music but not his audiology or his one-sided history of the Aztecs (they were brutal)


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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