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

Old 09-17-07, 06:44 PM
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128kbps & 320kbps - Can anyone tell the difference?

Because I'm not sure I can. I recently just burned a Nirvana personal hits cd and cranked it in my truck and It sounded perfect to the point where it made me think if there was really a difference in sound quality from 128 to 320.

Granted I ripped all files from the original source discs first to make the cd but they were still ripped at 128.

So where's the difference in sound quality come in? Do I need to buy a $600.00 Dennon cd player or something to notice a difference?

Last edited by Rival11; 09-17-07 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 09-17-07, 06:50 PM
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I can usually hear distortion at 128 kbps. Some songs are worse than others. Using a fixed bitrate seems silly, to me. You're encoding silence and super-complex sounds at the same rate. VRB makes much more sense, encoding silence at very low levels and complex sounds get higher levels.
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Old 09-17-07, 07:11 PM
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I can.
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Old 09-17-07, 07:18 PM
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On headphone (regular old $15 headphone from Best Buy), yes.
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Old 09-17-07, 07:30 PM
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You don't say what format you're ripping to (MP3, AAC or other) or what encoder you're using, which are big factors, but the general answer is, hell yes.

A moving vehicle isn't the best environment to do a critical listening test, but even there I can't stand 128kbps MP3. You have road noise to contend with, inferior acoustics and possibly-iffy equipment (you also don't say what kind of equipment your truck has).

On an iPod using Shure E4c earbuds, I can definitely tell a difference, and it isn't subtle.
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Old 09-17-07, 07:30 PM
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I've re-encoded a large part of my collection from 128 to 192 and I can hear the difference.

Now, can anyone hear the difference between 192 and 320?
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Old 09-17-07, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
You don't say what format you're ripping to (MP3, AAC or other) or what encoder you're using, which are big factors, but the general answer is, hell yes.

A moving vehicle isn't the best environment to do a critical listening test, but even there I can't stand 128kbps MP3. You have road noise to contend with, inferior acoustics and possibly-iffy equipment (you also don't say what kind of equipment your truck has).

On an iPod using Shure E4c earbuds, I can definitely tell a difference, and it isn't subtle.
I'm ripping to MP3 through windows media player (11....on Vista if that even makes a difference) I'm not sure what kind of encoder WMP uses.

The system in my truck is a stock system but it sounds fan-frggin-tastic - It came special with the model I bought (it's also a 6 disc in dash) Sorry, but for the life of me I can't figure out what the name of it is and I can't remember where I put my manuals that come with the vehicle either (sad I know). It really is impressive though and I don't have an extended cab on my truck either - it really pumps.

I honestly can't tell the difference - never have been able to I guess but since I never got into the whole ipod thing, I also never had a chance to try and hear the difference on ear phones.
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Old 09-17-07, 08:04 PM
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After being in/around the music biz for 30+ years (my first onstage experience playing guitar happened when I was 12, in front of about 6,000), I only have this to say; the difference is negligible. But if you hear it and don't like it, go hi-tech. If you don't, or it makes no difference to you, be thankful you don't have to 1)buy a buncha hi-tech junk, or 2)be dissatisfied with what you're listening to when in others' homes/vehicles, or 3) both. I am incredibly picky about live performance tone, but as far as mp3's go, I hear very little to no difference at 128kbps, and none at 196kbps or above on pre-recorded music.
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Old 09-17-07, 08:30 PM
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only if my ears are next to the speakers. but i like to go "mid-range" and encode all mine at 192 kbps just for when i turn it up way loud.
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Old 09-17-07, 08:53 PM
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I find myself really getting into making my own personal cd's as of late. I know, "Have you been living under a rock" - not at all. I just never really thought it would be a good route to take and although I keep going back and forth on just wanting everything on a USB stick - more and more everyday I find myself wanting to take that route. I guess I'm just finally seeing no reason not to. I mean I like the artwork and everything that comes with a cd but It's not like I'm always going back to it. It's also just too easy to sit on my lazy ass and buy and album for $8.99 to $9.99 online...oh, and a quick question on that as well - when you buy albums online, after they are finished downloading, does the artwork show up on the icon stored on your computer like it would if you just a ripped a cd? I've always wondered if it did or not.

I'm also stuck at a spot as to which site would be the best for downloading MP3's - mainly just looking for one that doesn't give me a shitload of problems when it comes to burning them after the purchase. I know Amazon is adding a music download store to their site soon so maybe that will be the way to go.
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Old 09-17-07, 08:59 PM
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I won't listen to anything encoded below 192, and go for higher if I can.
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Old 09-17-07, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by aintnosin
I've re-encoded a large part of my collection from 128 to 192 and I can hear the difference.

Now, can anyone hear the difference between 192 and 320?
Same here. I can tell the difference between 128 and 192 but not 192 and 320. I've ripped everything at 192.
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Old 09-17-07, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Rival11
I find myself really getting into making my own personal cd's as of late. I know, "Have you been living under a rock" - not at all. I just never really thought it would be a good route to take and although I keep going back and forth on just wanting everything on a USB stick - more and more everyday I find myself wanting to take that route. I guess I'm just finally seeing no reason not to. I mean I like the artwork and everything that comes with a cd but It's not like I'm always going back to it. It's also just too easy to sit on my lazy ass and buy and album for $8.99 to $9.99 online...oh, and a quick question on that as well - when you buy albums online, after they are finished downloading, does the artwork show up on the icon stored on your computer like it would if you just a ripped a cd? I've always wondered if it did or not.

I'm also stuck at a spot as to which site would be the best for downloading MP3's - mainly just looking for one that doesn't give me a shitload of problems when it comes to burning them after the purchase. I know Amazon is adding a music download store to their site soon so maybe that will be the way to go.
It depends on the store. iTunes downloads everything you need and even lets you print CD cases with the album artwork. Lately they've been including PDF files with the entire CD liner, which is nice.

Not sure about the other sites. I know both Amazon and iTunes are going to have songs from certain labels with no DRM on them. (iTunes is EMI, I want to say Universal is going to go DRM-free with Amazon)
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Old 09-17-07, 11:02 PM
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"and cranked it in my truck "

You have to be fucking kidding me...........
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Old 09-17-07, 11:14 PM
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It also depends on the music. Some styles of music can get away with a lower bit rate, while others benefit more from a higher one.
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Old 09-17-07, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
I won't listen to anything encoded below 192, and go for higher if I can.

That's pretty much what I do too.
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Old 09-17-07, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by shaun3000
It depends on the store. iTunes downloads everything you need and even lets you print CD cases with the album artwork. Lately they've been including PDF files with the entire CD liner, which is nice.

Not sure about the other sites. I know both Amazon and iTunes are going to have songs from certain labels with no DRM on them. (iTunes is EMI, I want to say Universal is going to go DRM-free with Amazon)
Oh, how do you get the PDFs there?

Do you have iTunes set to download artwork or something?

I've only been able to get the artwork within itunes by copying the image then pasting it in an image program for saving. I think it's usually 600x600 px which seems like good enough quality but I don't print them. Wonder if the pdfs are higher quality.

Universal going drm free at amazon would be awesome. I love the Itunes Plus. I am an AAC fan - usually rip at 256kb - don't care too much about file size. I think MP3 is quite good but AAC consistently sounds more rich.

Maybe this belongs in Tech talk.
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Old 09-17-07, 11:21 PM
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yeah i can hear the difference..slightly........no difference between 192 and 320 though
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Old 09-17-07, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by aintnosin
Now, can anyone hear the difference between 192 and 320?
I don't think I could tell the difference between that. Maybe... (on headphones, of course)
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Old 09-17-07, 11:50 PM
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If you have an MP3 at 128, and you re-encode it to 192, does that even do anything?
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Old 09-17-07, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by abrg923
If you have an MP3 at 128, and you re-encode it to 192, does that even do anything?
No, an mp3 isn't a .zip file. Likewise, converting an mp3 to a .wav only changes the file extension, not the material within the file.
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Old 09-18-07, 12:21 AM
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I used to have everything at 192, but I have recently made the transition to re upping everything in ALAC (Apple Lossless). I have a few CD's at 320, but nothing lower than that. It's worth it to me.
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Old 09-18-07, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by aintnosin
I've re-encoded a large part of my collection from 128 to 192 and I can hear the difference.

Now, can anyone hear the difference between 192 and 320?
Wait ... you renecoded a 128kb mp3 to 192kb and hear a difference? I dont think thats possible.
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Old 09-18-07, 01:57 AM
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Sometimes I can tell the difference. It depends on what kind of music, what system I'm playing it on, and how loud I have it.

Since space isn't really an issue any more, I just encode at 320vbr, I think. I don't really remember, as I set it up a year or two ago.
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Old 09-18-07, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Oh, how do you get the PDFs there?

Do you have iTunes set to download artwork or something?

I've only been able to get the artwork within itunes by copying the image then pasting it in an image program for saving. I think it's usually 600x600 px which seems like good enough quality but I don't print them. Wonder if the pdfs are higher quality.

Universal going drm free at amazon would be awesome. I love the Itunes Plus. I am an AAC fan - usually rip at 256kb - don't care too much about file size. I think MP3 is quite good but AAC consistently sounds more rich.

Maybe this belongs in Tech talk.
You can only get them if you purchase a whole album.
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