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Thread: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    Quote Originally Posted by ar surround View Post
    Has anyone compared the sound of an iTunes downloaded song (AAC file at 256 kbps) to the identical song as an MP3? Is the iTunes download much better than the MP3? I've downloaded a few early-1960's pop oldies which were likely "mastered" to sound good on AM radios. The iTunes file sizes are 5 to 6 MB for a 2 to 3 minute song compared to 25 to 30 MB for that on a CD. It can't hear much difference between the iTunes download and the same song on a CD, and in some cases, the download sounds better...perhaps because it doesn't capture all the high frequency noise, nasty harmonics and other garbage present on the source tape?

    I wouldn't count on a huge difference, certainly not one that's going to matter on a portable device. Honestly, what matters more (to me, at least) here is the quality of the mastering. In other words, my mp3s derived from hi-rez stereo sound better on my IPod than something that's been limited to hell.

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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    Quote Originally Posted by DKA View Post
    I wouldn't count on a huge difference, certainly not one that's going to matter on a portable device. Honestly, what matters more (to me, at least) here is the quality of the mastering. In other words, my mp3s derived from hi-rez stereo sound better on my IPod than something that's been limited to hell.
    totally agree with you. as I said on here the other day, "garbage in = garbage out".

    I've a fair few redbook CDs that wipe the floor with their stereo SACD counterparts - and it's not always brickwalling that's the culprit, though it is nearly always the worst offender with modern recordings and remasters.

    as much as the mastering though, the tape source is crucial too.

    take the Deep Purple CD reissue series for example. the remixed tracks taken from the multi's sound wonderful compared to the remastered transfers of the stereo masters.

    superior sound is one of the great benefits of going back to the multitrack master tapes to do 5.1, as evidenced by every classic album SW has remixed into surround so far, not only do you get great surround sound but in lovely sound quality too.
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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    I must say, I understand that technically, there's a difference between MP3 and CD (as the article suggests), and obviously the hi-res formats. But at the risk of being a heretic, I just don't hear the difference between a high-bitrate MP3 (or OGG, which I started using when I switched to Ubuntu in 2009) and CD. I simply don't, and believe me, I tried. I have my entire CD collection (over 800 titles) on my hard disk as VBR MP3 and OGG, and that's how I listen to them most of the time. Mostly because 610 of my titles are in Germany and I only have the other ~200 here in Canada. I still spin the CDs when I'm in the living room, but that's it.

    That said, I agree with you guys about garbage in = garbage out. If music is mastered badly, it'll sound bad on CD and MP3. Like Gary Moore's 80s albums. What a shame, such good music.

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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    I find 160 mp3's sound just about like CD's on most music. By the time you hit 192 or 360, I would challenge any of you to tell the diff between CD's. In fact, tht should be. Test for you. Have someone blind play sever songs from CD and the MP3 counterpart and see. If you can tell the diff. Now low bitrate MP3s are justterrible. They make my teeth chatter.

    But I really feel like analog really gives you a lot that digital doesn't

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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    We live in a very strange time. Just as HDTV was being introduced to the consumer market there was a popularity explosion by the name of YouTube. But both of these have thrived because they do different things. Such is the case with mp3 vs SACD (et al). Theatrical films were not killed by VHS, as was once feared. Everything is a tool, and one need only ask what one is trying to accomplish with the tools being employed.

    Yes, there is a risk that an un-educated population will lose interest in audiophile sound in a way that will discourage the production of such product. On the other hand, it is harder (tho not impossible) to file share the hi-rez formats, and I suspect that the per-capita buying of physical or at least billable product to be greater amongst audiophile enthusiasts than amongst those feeding on fast-fidelity. In a time of rapidly diminishing public interest in paying for anything digital, I should think the music industry to be very short sighted to ignore the last bastion of premium price paying customers. Just sayin'

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  8. #31
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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bright Side View Post
    I must say, I understand that technically, there's a difference between MP3 and CD (as the article suggests), and obviously the hi-res formats. But at the risk of being a heretic, I just don't hear the difference between a high-bitrate MP3 (or OGG, which I started using when I switched to Ubuntu in 2009) and CD. I simply don't, and believe me, I tried. I have my entire CD collection (over 800 titles) on my hard disk as VBR MP3 and OGG, and that's how I listen to them most of the time. Mostly because 610 of my titles are in Germany and I only have the other ~200 here in Canada. I still spin the CDs when I'm in the living room, but that's it.

    That said, I agree with you guys about garbage in = garbage out. If music is mastered badly, it'll sound bad on CD and MP3. Like Gary Moore's 80s albums. What a shame, such good music.
    have you got the DVD-A/DualDisc of Gary Moore's "Back To The Blues"..?

    it's mastered so LOUD it'll make your ears shrivel up and die if you try to play it at anywhere near normal listening levels!

    the 5.1 mix is typical "Silverline" rubbish, too.
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  9. #32
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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    Quote Originally Posted by fredblue View Post
    have you got the DVD-A/DualDisc of Gary Moore's "Back To The Blues"..?

    it's mastered so LOUD it'll make your ears shrivel up and die if you try to play it at anywhere near normal listening levels!

    the 5.1 mix is typical "Silverline" rubbish, too.
    I know, I heard! Kept my hands off it for that very reason. Lots of bad-sounding Gary Moore stuff out there :-(

  10. #33
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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bright Side View Post
    I know, I heard! Kept my hands off it for that very reason. Lots of bad-sounding Gary Moore stuff out there :-(
    I was mortified when I first bought it! I love Gary (God rest him) and the album itself is nice (if a bit "one-note") but dear lordy lord the surround and sound quality.. bleurgh! Maybe I was fatigued more by the sound than by the slightly repetitive/uninspired content!?

    it's a bit like the Rory Gallagher situation. the one golden opportunity they had to showcase a stunning guitarist, just as with Gary Moore, was Rory's Big Guns SACD set.. and oh did they screw up!

    though there are one or two ok sounding albums of Rory's on CD at least, so maybe shouldn't really grumble. ultimately though Rory was a stronger live performer than studio artist, imho, so perhaps I was expecting too much from his "Hits" SACD!?
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    Default Re: Important Please Read: MP3 music - it's better than it sounds

    My nephew made me an MP3 of Jerry Garcia's solo work; 89 songs, on ONE CD!
    Sound quality is phenomenal; not 5.1, but DAMN good!

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