Author Topic: Audio file formats (lossy vs lossless)  (Read 3031 times)

Offline JimmyReload

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Audio file formats (lossy vs lossless)
« on: September 06, 2010, 10:54:19 PM »
One for the geeks among us...

An argument I'm fairly often involved in is whether mp3 @ 320 kbps sounds any different from CD.

I stumbled onto this article and thought I'd share it. It's a pretty good explanation on where lossy formats lose audio information. http://www.stereophile.com/features/308mp3cd/

Offline xeno

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Re: Audio file formats (lossy vs lossless)
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2010, 12:35:36 AM »
One for the geeks among us...

An argument I'm fairly often involved in is whether mp3 @ 320 kbps sounds any different from CD.

I stumbled onto this article and thought I'd share it. It's a pretty good explanation on where lossy formats lose audio information. http://www.stereophile.com/features/308mp3cd/

Techically, as long as it's losssy, it is a bit different from CD.

However, with modern encoding techniques and 320 kbps, I doubt you'll be able to hear it. There's been bind tests with total stereophiles where they haven't heard the diff between 128 kbps and cd.
The encoding software is way better than when mp3's were young - now I can listen to a 128kbps VBR mp3 and it sounds pretty much ok, while when I listen to mp3 files from 10+ years ago, it sounds totally unlistenable...

...and even if you should manage to compare them and actually manage to catch something that sounds slightly different, in our corner of the musical galaxy there's so much distortion and randomness involved, that it's not given that a difference make the music any worse or actually any different from what the artist intended anyway.

However, lossy mp3 encoding is one thing, but what really matters is the gear you play it on, and the environment it's played in. For instance, I've got a receiver/speakers in my livingroom that is pretty good (it's $1500 or so) - but since my furniture in there is glass and metal, the accoustic of the room screws up the sound quite a bit...