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128kbps & 320kbps - Can anyone tell the difference?

Old 09-24-07, 10:30 PM
  #51  
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I cannot hear the difference between a CD and an MP3 at 128bpm. Anything higher is a waste of good hard drive space.
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Old 09-25-07, 09:38 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Jack Straw
I cannot hear the difference between a CD and an MP3 at 128bpm.
You are lucky! I can tell a massive difference. Much harder to hear the diff between 192 and 320 on my computer, car and headphones. Or do you really mean "beats per minute"?
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Old 09-25-07, 09:43 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Rainet
Can anyone tell me the difference between Stereo and Joint? I been using joint setting etc. I am still in the mist of trying different settings. Anyone also use the medium or higher setting for VBR? This is all through Itunes.
I could try to explain the difference, but probably not that well. Better to just link to someone else who has explained it already:

http://bladeenc.mp3.no/skeleton/quality.html
Stereo vs Joint Stereo

One trick in order to compress the mp3 file is to encode the low frequencies mono, while keeping the high frequencies in stereo. This saves some extra bits that can be used to increase quality in other ways (most often used to fill up the frequency bands better) to the cost of damaging the stereo or "live" feeling of the music. It can be compared to playing music on a system with satellite speakers and subwoofer instead of real stereo equipment, but is normally taken a bit more to the extreme by the mp3 encoder (more frequencies being made mono).

This is a typical mid-fi solution. It's normally a good choice when encoding at low or medium bitrates since the frequency bands otherwise gets a bit empty, resulting in a worse quality degradation. At high bitrates its a bad idea.

Consequently most mp3 encoders use joint stereo for 128 kbps or less and switches to real stereo at 160 or 192 kbps. Some encoders however, especially an older version of Fraunhofer's, stuck with joint stereo even at 256 kbps

However, there are some drawbacks with joint stereo even at medium bitrates. Dolby surround information that has been encoded into the song might get damaged or lost. Music that has been mastered using analogue equipment (mostly older music, like from the 60's and 70's) and live recordings tends to suffer a lot more than modern, studio recorded music.
You can also get strange phasing effects in some rare cases with joint stereo.
Edit: Just noticed there's a part of that page that's particularly apt to this discussion as well:
We all perceive audio differently. Just the genetic and medical differences (shape of ear, hearing dips at certain frequency intervals, inability to hear higher tones etc) makes a large impact and on top of that we have trained our hearing in different ways. Some people with musical training can very precisely determine frequency variations while others might have a very good feeling for rhythm. Therefore there is no universal way of encoding audio so it fits everybody perfectly. What sounds like a perfect copy to someone might have quality glitches that someone else easily hears and the other way around.

Last edited by Jay G.; 09-25-07 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:02 PM
  #54  
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My home system is a full JBL M-Pro nightclub PA, including a 660-watt RMS sub with Crown amps and a 30-band Rane Mojo EQ. I've done some comparison testing of different sources including vinyl, cd, and various bitrate mp3.

In conclusion, mp3 takes poor to a new level. But hey, the masses all get their music for free, so who needs decent quality?
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Old 09-27-07, 04:00 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by SubZeri
In conclusion, mp3 takes poor to a new level. But hey, the masses all get their music for free, so who needs decent quality?
Ooooooo K. That's quite a generalization.
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Old 09-27-07, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp
That's quite a generalization.
Let's not sit here and pretend that even a fraction of most people's music collection is purchased legally....

The issue is to either buy a good quality cd, or to download or copy someone's shoddy mp3 rips. The impending death of the recording industry and nonexistance of music stores clearly defines which side of the fence most people stand.

Generalization? Maybe.
Truth? Hurts, doesn't it?
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Old 09-27-07, 07:51 PM
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I didn't double blind test it (which is the only REAL way to know for sure) but it seemed like I could differentiate a 128kbps mp3 from a 192kbps, but that's about where it topped out for me.

I still rip my mp3s at maximum quality VBR via LAME. Not like space is a problem. If I take them portable it's with my 30GB Creative Zen Xtra so it's not like I don't have tons of space.
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Old 09-27-07, 09:11 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by SubZeri
Let's not sit here and pretend that even a fraction of most people's music collection is purchased legally....
The majority of my music collection, including my mp3s, was acquired legally. eMusic's great for those that don't want to spend a lot for music, and I decided a while ago that I didn't feel right getting music through illegitimate channels.

Plus, when eMusic upgraded from 128kbps to LAME VBR, I was able to re-download a lot of the music I had previously gotten from them in the new bitrate for free.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SubZeri
Let's not sit here and pretend that even a fraction of most people's music collection is purchased legally....
100 percent of my music collection was acquired legally, probably all but 2 percent of it on CD.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:51 PM
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I got about 2,000 CDs. At least. All acquired legally. Turned them into mp3s for my collection. Yeah, I got some mp3s that are considered illegal, but it's mostly stuff I wouldn't have bought anyways and was just checking out. Or live stuff.

CDs >>>>>>>>>>>>> mp3s.
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Old 09-28-07, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
I got about 2,000 CDs. At least. All acquired legally. Turned them into mp3s for my collection. Yeah, I got some mp3s that are considered illegal, but it's mostly stuff I wouldn't have bought anyways and was just checking out. Or live stuff.

CDs >>>>>>>>>>>>> mp3s.
Same here. I like being able to hold the CD in my hands. Owning the cover art, reading the liner notes, etc..........That being said I also download a ton of stuff via Soulseek, usually to check it out, and if it's something I'm really into I'll buy it. Ben Weasel just released a solo album via Mp3 only. It's the only Mp3 I've ever purchased.
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