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Lossy or Lossless?
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  #31  
Old 2007-11-27, 10:23 AM
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

I'm merging this into the general 'mp3' thread

excellent points made today, nothing much for me to add!
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  #32  
Old 2007-11-27, 06:55 PM
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

i dont listen with $5 speakers. but if you choose to, then no you wont here the diff.
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  #33  
Old 2007-11-27, 07:26 PM
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Re: mp3 format?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinterr
This is exactly what I was referring to. I sensed a definite hostility in your message. Maybe I'm wrong. I was just asking a legitimate question. I’ve been to a lot of shows all over the country and I understand why you want to preserve the quality but other people have different needs and different reasons. I will gladly respect your wishes and not post any “eMPty3s” here.
The points about (not) seeding MP3s here have been covered, except the one about seeders stating the seeds should not be converted to MP3s. What the statements should say is that lossless files should only be converted to MP3 for personal, end-user use and should always be traded as lossless - so other end-users can convert them to their preferred portable format without having the effects of being double-encoded, say, from MP3 to WMA - which will sound terrible.

While we support the adherence to seeder's wishes and usually agree that people getting a recording for free should be mindful of what the seeder asks, it is generally accepted that once you put something on the Internet for free, you no longer have any control over what is done with it and expecting 100% of the recipients to follow your wishes is ridiculous.

Of course, many people will need to convert what they get to MP3 (hopefully high bitrate) so they can listen on portable players - but this site is about trading high-quality audio, so audio that is intentionally degraded (MP3, WMA, etc) isn't allowed - mainly to keep the pool clean.
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  #34  
Old 2007-12-13, 01:06 AM
kupietz kupietz is offline
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Lightbulb Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

I can most definitely hear the difference between low-bitrate MP3 and lossless, even on $5 speakers. You have to know what to listen for. You know when you get a recording with a really well-defined stereo image, where you can hear precisely where each instrument is placed from left to right? At 128k, MP3 "muddies" that. Things are harder to place in terms of position, because joint-stereo MP3 encoding moves them around in the stereo soundstage. Still, in my own subjective tests, I can't tell the difference between higher-bitrate MP3 and lossless with just my ears.

But here's a test you can do if you really want to objectively hear the difference is with your own ears.

Get a CD with a lot of energy & dynamics. I used "Making Plans For Nigel" by XTC. Rip it to a WAV file. Then, encode the WAV file to MP3 using the highest-quality conversion settings you can. Then, use whatever audio program you've got to expand the MP3 *back* into a new WAV file.

Then, go into your audio editor and open the new, lossy-sourced WAV file. Use your audio editor's "Invert" function to turn the entire waveform upside-down. Then, open your original (non-MP3-encoded) WAV file and use your editing program's Paste function to "add" it to the inverted one - mixing the two waveforms at the same volume to create a new waveform. This way, all audio that is present in both the original and the MP3-encoded file is cancelled out by this process - leaving you only the sound that is present in the original file but not the lossy one.

So when you play this inverted-and-added file, what you hear is everything that MP3 encoding removed from the original file. You'll hear some highhat sizzle, the top end of the guitar, maybe the snare, maybe some crunge off the vocal as well. It's an interesting experiment.

Using this test, I was able to determine that LAME VBR -V3 provided the best tradeoff between filesize and sound quality for listening on my proudly non-iPod MP3 player. Using V2 or V1 increased the filesize didn't significantly reduce the amount of sound I heard in the added-and-inverted file, and using -V4 significantly increased the sound in this file - IE, significantly increased the amount of audio that the lossy encoding removed form the original file.

Using CBR is, as Monty Python used to say, right out.

Fun fun fun.

Another thing you can do to hear the encoding loss is take an audio file and subjected it to several generations of MP3 encoding... convert it to MP3, back to WAV, back to MP3, back to WAV... do this 5 or 10 times and it will greatly exaggerate the lossy artifacts, so you'll get an idea of what even one pass of encoding is doing, ever so slightly.

What's interesting is that people are so used to tape, they assume "lossyness" will sound something like multiple generations of cassette dubbing. This isn't true in the least. Many sharp transients and attacks, the first thing to go in tape dubbing, will survive multiple generations of MP3 encoding... but the stereo imaging will suffer horrifically, sounds will slide all over the place, and sustained or noisy sounds will become "bubbly". As I believe I saw someone somewhere on this board say in a haiku-like post, "Bubbly Limewire cymbals."

Last edited by kupietz; 2007-12-13 at 01:14 AM.
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  #35  
Old 2008-01-15, 09:15 AM
kirkhere kirkhere is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

I was going to add my comments until I saw kupietz' post! Instead, I humbly offer, "What HE said!"

If you have good equipment, discerning hearing, and some knowledge and listening experience, yes, you can identify the differences. Kupietz kindly offered a "proofing method" in addition!

I keep the originals as I download them and share them, since that's what's expected.

I make mp3's for my own use in my player because (a) I want a LOT of choices in my music when I'm out and about, (b) I'm pushing 40 and the days when my ears could "hear it all" are diminishing anyway, (c) I rarely have the time to sit on my butt an really *enjoy* music in a proper setting anyway (more often I am on the go), and (d) as long as I use a high mp3 encode rate, I don't find myself nitpicking the tracks... I'm just enjoying the music.

kirkhere
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  #36  
Old 2008-02-05, 01:51 AM
bob francais bob francais is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

I am a little slow to understand how mp3 looses quality .I am not talking about thetrading pool, just in general. I have downloaded alot of music from different places in mp3 format and have them on a harddrive, If I copy them to a cd in the same mp3 format do I loose quality everytime or do I only loose quality if I convert them to another format? Can someone please explain? thank you.
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  #37  
Old 2008-02-05, 10:38 AM
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob francais View Post
I am a little slow to understand how mp3 looses quality .I am not talking about thetrading pool, just in general. I have downloaded alot of music from different places in mp3 format and have them on a harddrive, If I copy them to a cd in the same mp3 format do I loose quality everytime or do I only loose quality if I convert them to another format? Can someone please explain? thank you.
If you are just copying an mp3 from one place to another, then it will stay in the same mp3 quality that it is currently in. If you convert it to wav to burn to a CD and then convert that wav to mp3, then that new mp3 will be of even less quality than the original mp3.
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  #38  
Old 2008-02-05, 04:09 PM
kupietz kupietz is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob francais View Post
I am a little slow to understand how mp3 looses quality .I am not talking about thetrading pool, just in general. I have downloaded alot of music from different places in mp3 format and have them on a harddrive, If I copy them to a cd in the same mp3 format do I loose quality everytime or do I only loose quality if I convert them to another format? Can someone please explain? thank you.
Basically, to save filesize, MP3 encoding discards audio every time you convert something INTO mp3 from another format. So copying mp3 files from one place to another won't degrade quality any further, or converting them into a lossless format (WAV, AIFF, FLAC, SHN, etc.) won't either. But, as Lynne points out, copying them into a lossless format and then BACK into mp3 will degrade quality further. Converting them into a different lossy format (AAC) also will.
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  #39  
Old 2008-02-29, 10:46 PM
ScottP ScottP is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

There is a definite difference even at a high bitrate like 320kb/s. My computer speakers aren't the best just an average set with a little subwoofer. But if you play back to back an uncompressed WAV and an MP3 of that same WAV...the MP3 just has no life to it. It really dulls the music down. You don't get any of the sparkle or natural bass. It's all flat.
Of course if all you want to listen to is the latest Top 40 dance/punk/whatever hit song...you don't care cause it is all about the catchy hook. But for those of us who like to pay attention to our music...it just doesn't cut it.
So I will never pay for MP3's....I consider them as a preview to whatever album I may be buying only...kind of like seeing a digital snapshot of a Picasso. You're not going to pay top dollar on Itunes for that are you?
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  #40  
Old 2008-05-14, 08:31 PM
thebernreuter thebernreuter is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritinaphoto View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicCharlie
I am not that bad off lol But I am going deaf in my left ear so I can't hear the difference. But just incase I magicaly get my hearing back (haven't in 20 years lol) I leave them the way I download them when I listen on my PC . But I do understand why NOT to trade the mp3's .. That is just common sense lol But wanted to actually make a post now that I seem to have more free time now lol
Post whoring in Technobabble...love it!

Anyway, back to the person who started this thread, one more voice to say keep your mp3s to yourself--never pollute the trading pool by distributing them...those who can tell the difference won't be pleased if you do!

(Can we have a sticky in here on the lossy/lossless debate so this crap doesn't recur every month or so?)
Is it more accurate to say that single generation high bitrate mp3s are not the real reason for the lossless-only policy, and the real threat to diluting the trading pool is files that are mp3s of mp3s of mp4s of wmas of mp3s. . . the end result of which is DEFINITELY audible by anyone on anything.
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  #41  
Old 2008-05-14, 08:35 PM
thebernreuter thebernreuter is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscor75 View Post
Interesting...let's talk about physics!!
To create a mp3 file, some frequencies are cutted, for high bitrate mp3 (at least 256kbps) the frequency is around 18kHz.
Now let's talk about human earing: we are able to ear sound from 20Hz (low frequency) to 20kHz (high one), but with the age our band of frequency is getting smaller, so about 30yo, we can't ear more than 16-17kHz, which is under the 18kHz cut frequency of mp3...so as far as music is concerned, how can you ear a difference?maybe you have bionic ears?
The frequencies below 20Hz are felt, not heard; sound is essentially moving air. If you don't have a subwoofer, you won't hear them no matter what quality the source file is.
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  #42  
Old 2008-05-14, 08:42 PM
thebernreuter thebernreuter is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

How do people here feel about .mp4 formats, especially the Apple Lossless Codec? I think the lossy aac files are better sounding than their mp3 counterparts of similar bitrate, to the point that I can't discern 256 kbps aacs from cda.

Will Apple Lossless codec ever be allowed to be traded here? I know dime hates it [I just asked them this afternoon; bitter about it for some reason].
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  #43  
Old 2008-05-14, 08:43 PM
thebernreuter thebernreuter is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP View Post
So I will never pay for MP3's....I consider them as a preview to whatever album I may be buying only...kind of like seeing a digital snapshot of a Picasso. You're not going to pay top dollar on Itunes for that are you?
iTunes doesn't sell mp3s. They are aac files, technically mp4.
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  #44  
Old 2008-05-29, 10:01 PM
Ward Ward is offline
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

Snobbery ruins everything.... even free music. Some of us are happy to hear something new - without looking a gift horse in the mouth or nitpicking it to death.
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  #45  
Old 2008-05-31, 05:59 AM
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Re: mp3/lossless question for audiophiles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebernreuter View Post
Is it more accurate to say that single generation high bitrate mp3s are not the real reason for the lossless-only policy, and the real threat to diluting the trading pool is files that are mp3s of mp3s of mp4s of wmas of mp3s. . . the end result of which is DEFINITELY audible by anyone on anything.
no, that's not the reason at all...we have never wanted audio that has seen lossy encoding, whether its 320 kb/s or one of the newer VBR codecs...if you want to encode to mp3 for your ipod or whatever, great -- but keep it to yourself...there is simply no need for seeding/spreading lossy versions of a show in this day and age

if you read our mission statement on the first page, you will see that this site wasn't created to be the biggest site, or the most popular site, or ________ -- it was created for the serious collector as a place where they would "know what they're getting" more so than many other online forums


Quote:

Welcome to The Traders' Den. We, the administrators, will be familiar faces to some, and new to others. Each of us have been involved in various trading communities for many years, and many have worked together on other trading sites. We have come together to create an online trading site with an entirely new ideology. This site will be geared towards a certain kind of collector: those who feel quality and integrity are important. Our policies will seem demanding to many users, but we have witnessed the decline in overall quality in many other trading circles due to lax restrictions. We offer a safe haven for traders frustrated with the dilution of quality in the trading pool, as well as our combined experience and devotion to helping new users enter an elite trading community.

Please read the seeding rules, FAQs, and linked tutorials for more information as to how we are employing our ideals to better serve traders of all music tastes. If there are any questions, comments, or ways we can help make the experience more rewarding, please don't hesitate to post in our forums or message one of us.

Quality is not an option in the seeds here, it will be the standard.
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