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Thread: King Kong (Deluxe Edition) - James Newton Howard (FLAC) - Version 2.0

  1. #51
    Is A Man tangotreats's Avatar
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    True, although I think that fits into the "don't know what they're doing" category.

  2. #52
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    Thanks for reminding me! In 'The Mummy'-thread I forgot to write that one would need a 900 MB CD-R.
    I didn't even know those were a thing. They work in CD players?

  3. #53
    Score Douche SonicAdventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    Just to add to the above... MP3 still has a place in the world - it most certainly isn't obsolete. That said, people really need to learn about what it is, why it is, what the alternatives are, and when it is appropriate to use them.

    MP3s are good for listening in the car. I burn a dual layer DVD stuffed with 128kbps MP3s, bingo, I've got about 100 hours of music in the car. I couldn't care less about audiophile sound quality when I'm rattling down the motorway. MP3s are good if you have limited disc space, but really, who does these days? MP3s are more useful for those folk for whom disc space isn't the problem; bandwidth allocation is their problem. If you're on a restrictive package, the difference between FLAC and MP3 might be downloading one album this month or downloading eight albums this month. If you're on a slow connection, the difference between downloading 80mb and 250mb is substantial. All compelling arguments for contemporary usage of MP3.

    It's less easy to cock up encoding an MP3 these days - but the problem is people like to fiddle with settings too much. LAME is tuned, and optimised to provide the best quality with default settings. Why wouldn't it be? Pick a VBR level, encode, let LAME do its thing. The "high quality" setting particularly, is misleading. It's an alternative algorithm. Experiments have concluded that it provides no audible benefit almost 100% of the time. Since the VBR modes are aiming for a quality and not a bitrate the only benefit - if any - you would get from forcing -Q 0 would be files a handful of bytes smaller - with triple the encoding time. Just not worth it.

    The best quality MP3 encoding is -V0; end of. There's a reason why 320kbps is called INSANE in the LAME documentation. It's useful for people who don't understand what VBR does, and for people with antique MP3 players that can't plan VBR. Apart from that, it's about as useful as a chocolate fireguard. An MP3 encode @ 320kbps is a sign that the encoder doesn't know what they're doing. If they don't know what they're doing, I'm less inclined to trust their ripping technique. Etc.
    I couldnīt have said it better myself. However, compare the 'high quality' setting to the normal setting and then substract both from the original. The 'high quality' setting has a quantization noisefloor following transients and frequency content more closely while the normal versions seems to be a bit... well, sloppy. Already anticipating your response to this Iīll say this: I know, no one listens to substracted signals - especially if they are just quantization noise, but itīs still a nice way of knowing what gets 'deleted' by the encoding algorithms. BTW, the setting INSANE is only called that way because those die-hard-religious skeptics at hydrogenaudio call it that way. They rely on their DBTs too much and sometimes miss disadvantages. If theyīd do a mixture of DBT and sighted listening... yes, that would be gorgeous.

    BTW, youīre talking about the additional time one would need if encoding with the 'high quality' setting. In my case (with a rather ancient quad core) I need three minutes instead of one to encode a full album. That difference hardly matters.

    If I would suggest a lossy codec it would either be AAC or WMA Professional. The latter one is hard to beat regarding audio quality - but because of Microsoft and very limited hardware support itīs not very popular.

    ---------- Post added at 08:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:31 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by WildwoodPark View Post
    Or they don't have the original recording and are transcoding a lower bitrate file up to 320Kbps because they think it makes it sound better.
    Itīs a shame that so many people are doing this. I wish people would take part in a workshop called something like this 'How to make perfect mp3 and how to avoid stupid errors.'

    ---------- Post added at 08:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:32 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Raven75 View Post
    I didn't even know those were a thing. They work in CD players?
    Not in all - but in most. Verbatim for example manufactures them.

  4. #54
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    Wow, Sonic, a big surprise!

    Thank you.

  5. #55
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    Actually, I DO have limited space. I have no external, just no money for it, if i buy my meds as I should. I will explore the media players settings, but last i saw, there was no vb-0 setting? Though, now I know what i am looking for. The problem with transcodes is that one archive gets spread around all the sites like a virus. On my tiny system, I could not tell, and I have no idea how to verify a bit rate....

  6. #56
    Symphonic Lover Sirusjr's Avatar
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    I think you guys hit it mostly with mp3s. While I appreciate the benefits of lossless, I just don't need to keep lossless of most albums I download. Usually I can convert them to mp3 and back up the lossless for a future date when I may have a better audio setup that will make the difference more pronounced. Until then, even at home and listening on my current speaker setup or headphones I can't really tell the difference. Sure I will listen to lossless over lossy if I have both on my computer at any given time, (usually because I keep the lossy for putting on my portable player) but I'm not sure that I would really notice a huge difference most of the time.

    As for idiots who convert stuff to higher quality mp3s than they were originally released, those people drive me nuts, especially when you have something that is leaked at 128kbps and then re-posted by someone who thought it would be a good idea to convert to mp3 256kbps. It just leads to a bunch of people listening to it thinking they have a good quality mp3 when they really don't (though usually I CAN tell on my system pretty clearly that something is 128kbps and has been transcoded to a higher bitrate). I still think MP3s are the encoder to use if you are doing lossy just because they work on EVERY single device. I can upload one and know that whether the user is using a Zune, iPod, or playing it on their smartphone of choice it is going to work. The same isn't true for other encoders.
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  7. #57
    Score Douche SonicAdventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda View Post
    Actually, I DO have limited space. I have no external, just no money for it, if i buy my meds as I should. I will explore the media players settings, but last i saw, there was no vb-0 setting? Though, now I know what i am looking for. The problem with transcodes is that one archive gets spread around all the sites like a virus. On my tiny system, I could not tell, and I have no idea how to verify a bit rate....
    foobar2000 will always tell you the bitrate. Itīs butt ugly but very useful and fast. It canīt tell you about transcodes though.

    ---------- Post added at 11:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:26 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirusjr View Post
    I think you guys hit it mostly with mp3s. While I appreciate the benefits of lossless, I just don't need to keep lossless of most albums I download. Usually I can convert them to mp3 and back up the lossless for a future date when I may have a better audio setup that will make the difference more pronounced. Until then, even at home and listening on my current speaker setup or headphones I can't really tell the difference. Sure I will listen to lossless over lossy if I have both on my computer at any given time, (usually because I keep the lossy for putting on my portable player) but I'm not sure that I would really notice a huge difference most of the time.

    As for idiots who convert stuff to higher quality mp3s than they were originally released, those people drive me nuts, especially when you have something that is leaked at 128kbps and then re-posted by someone who thought it would be a good idea to convert to mp3 256kbps. It just leads to a bunch of people listening to it thinking they have a good quality mp3 when they really don't (though usually I CAN tell on my system pretty clearly that something is 128kbps and has been transcoded to a higher bitrate). I still think MP3s are the encoder to use if you are doing lossy just because they work on EVERY single device. I can upload one and know that whether the user is using a Zune, iPod, or playing it on their smartphone of choice it is going to work. The same isn't true for other encoders.
    True. For portable use I always use lossy music, encoded by myself. Even though my player can play FLAC. But lossless doesnīt make sense with portable players I think. One wonīt hear the negligeble quality advantages when listening in crowded places.

  8. #58
    Inline Kid WildwoodPark's Avatar
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    I use a program called Spectro, it's free and it does a quick passable examination of the file.

  9. #59
    Is A Man tangotreats's Avatar
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    However, compare the 'high quality' setting to the normal setting and then substract both from the original. The 'high quality' setting has a quantization noisefloor following transients and frequency content more closely while the normal versions seems to be a bit... well, sloppy.
    That's interesting - I've never done such a comparison. Whilst one certainly should listen to what's there and not what's not there you're right, it's interesting to see how the algorithims differ. This has still not proven any transparency benefits, though.

    BTW, the setting INSANE is only called that way because those die-hard-religious skeptics at hydrogenaudio call it that way. They rely on their DBTs too much and sometimes miss disadvantages. If theyīd do a mixture of DBT and sighted listening... yes, that would be gorgeous.
    The setting is called INSANE because it's essentially the -V0 algorithm padded out with 100kbps of blank space to satisfy people who need to see "320kbps" show up in the bitrate box. -V0 goes up to 320kbps when needed - and internally it gets even higher due to the bit reservoir. What does this suggest? When LAME needs 320kbps to maintain a given quality (0, highest) it takes it. Othertimes, its algorithm is able to maintain the same quality with less bitrate, so it reduces the bitrate. The algorithm, at maximum quality, isn't able to generate enough data to fill 320kbps. Largely, that same algorithm is resonsible for 320kbps CBR encoding. It's the same code. It's the same output. If this particular passage of music only needed 160kbps to maintain best possible quality there's only 160kbps worth of data to store, even in CBR mode. The rest is padding, nothing more, nothing less.

    HA get it right 99% of the time; it's only common sense. a) You listen with your ears, not with your eyes. b) Don't make claims about sound quality you can't back up with evidence. They have some right arseholes there, but I completely agree with their rulebook. It has been responsible for great advances in audio technology. Would LAME, AAC, etc, have advanced so far in a development environment where outlandish claims, spectrograms, placebos, and audiophile posturing were allowed to cloud the genuine intention - which is to encode audio to the best possible quality and the lowest possible bitrate? I think not.

    BTW, youīre talking about the additional time one would need if encoding with the 'high quality' setting. In my case (with a rather ancient quad core) I need three minutes instead of one to encode a full album. That difference hardly matters.
    It's not so much the additional encoding time; you're right, in present day parlance, it's peanuts. It's the difference between a 30 second encode and a 60 second encode. I believe it's not worth it because a) it's not been proven beneficial, and b) it's been known to cause artifacts where the default -Q level encodes adequately. LAME developers should be trusted. If they don't enforce -Q0 by default that's because it's not worthwhile.

    If I would suggest a lossy codec it would either be AAC or WMA Professional. The latter one is hard to beat regarding audio quality - but because of Microsoft and very limited hardware support itīs not very popular.
    AAC eats WMA for breakfast. And WMA is Microsoft. And closed source. And barely supported on hardware. And development has stagnated. And it's Microsoft.

    I'd pick AAC every time - although MP3 is more than sufficient for my needs and it plays on *everything*. Since MP3 is transparent to 99% of people in 99% of samples at -V0 I don't see any real world benefit in using a better encoder.

    People who encode AAC at 450kbps make me laugh. What's the damn point? It's still lossy. You can't tell the difference between LAME -V0 and AAC so why are you changing encoders and doubling the bitrate? Just for shits and giggles? Because you want the higher number, because that's better? 450kbps is about 100-150kbps away from FLAC. Just encode FLAC if you want to go up that high. Silly sods!

  10. #60
    Grand Shriner Krafty's Avatar
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    Awesome post and fantastic artwork!

  11. #61
    Score Douche SonicAdventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    That's interesting - I've never done such a comparison. Whilst one certainly should listen to what's there and not what's not there you're right, it's interesting to see how the algorithims differ. This has still not proven any transparency benefits, though.
    True. Still interesting though. Does not work with AAC since the encoder adds some frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    The setting is called INSANE because it's essentially the -V0 algorithm padded out with 100kbps of blank space to satisfy people who need to see "320kbps" show up in the bitrate box. -V0 goes up to 320kbps when needed - and internally it gets even higher due to the bit reservoir. What does this suggest? When LAME needs 320kbps to maintain a given quality (0, highest) it takes it. Othertimes, its algorithm is able to maintain the same quality with less bitrate, so it reduces the bitrate. The algorithm, at maximum quality, isn't able to generate enough data to fill 320kbps. Largely, that same algorithm is resonsible for 320kbps CBR encoding. It's the same code. It's the same output. If this particular passage of music only needed 160kbps to maintain best possible quality there's only 160kbps worth of data to store, even in CBR mode. The rest is padding, nothing more, nothing less.
    Very good arguments. But Iīve found - for example with 320kbps CBR that it encodes higher frequencies... the thing is Iīm still able to hear frequencies beyond 16 kHz. And VBR almost always cuts them with its low pass filter. Thatīs why Iīd recommend it. The problem with mp3 is that people tuned it to sound well at 128kbps, other bitrates are treated more or less as if they would be the unloved stepchild. Iīm so sick of 128kbps being called "CD quality"...

    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    HA get it right 99% of the time; it's only common sense. a) You listen with your ears, not with your eyes. b) Don't make claims about sound quality you can't back up with evidence. They have some right arseholes there, but I completely agree with their rulebook. It has been responsible for great advances in audio technology. Would LAME, AAC, etc, have advanced so far in a development environment where outlandish claims, spectrograms, placebos, and audiophile posturing were allowed to cloud the genuine intention - which is to encode audio to the best possible quality and the lowest possible bitrate? I think not.
    All true. I wouldnīt say 99%, merely 90%, but who cares about 9%? I was there many years ago - and many people participating there have a very limited world view. Furthermore they are slowly loosing ther reputation for staying in the past. 128kbps as a standard? 16/44.1 being more than good enough (well, in 90% it really is)? C'mon! Today with high bandwidth internet connections and almost unlimited HDD space... doesnīt make sense anymore. All the while behaving like bigots. You probably know this: the developer of foobar is an asshole, appearing to fully adhere to HA rules. It has gone almost unnoticed that he programmed a component for foobar called "RAM-drive", a decidedly audiophile thing. Reason for creating it? So that people wonīt have harddrive related drop-outs! Is he kidding me? They behave exactly like those audiophiles, itīs as if they are the other side of the same coin. When you tend to take the thin position in the middle like me youīre fucked because both sides hate you.

    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    AAC eats WMA for breakfast. And WMA is Microsoft. And closed source. And barely supported on hardware. And development has stagnated. And it's Microsoft.
    Public listening tests have proven that WMA Prof is as good as AAC. Please consider that I meant WMA Professional. WMA Prof at 440kbps is so good (well, it should be given the high bitrate) that it can even be transcoded. But itīs true: itīs MS and barely supported. In short the death for every codec.

    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    I'd pick AAC every time - although MP3 is more than sufficient for my needs and it plays on *everything*. Since MP3 is transparent to 99% of people in 99% of samples at -V0 I don't see any real world benefit in using a better encoder.

    People who encode AAC at 450kbps make me laugh. What's the damn point? It's still lossy. You can't tell the difference between LAME -V0 and AAC so why are you changing encoders and doubling the bitrate? Just for shits and giggles? Because you want the higher number, because that's better? 450kbps is about 100-150kbps away from FLAC. Just encode FLAC if you want to go up that high. Silly sods!
    Indeed. But I still donīt use, especially if Iīd like to do some processing. Processing very soon causes mp3 encoded material to fall apart. mp3 does have a problem with transients, AAC doesnīt. FLAC is good. And we always have WavPack lossy or lossyWAV.

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    Thanks SonicAdventure for the great share!

    And thanks to WildWoodPark for the mp3 option!

  13. #63
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    Is A Man tangotreats's Avatar
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    Very good arguments. But Iīve found - for example with 320kbps CBR that it encodes higher frequencies... the thing is Iīm still able to hear frequencies beyond 16 kHz.
    Then you are very fortunate!

    LAME lowpass seems to be up and down like a yoyo. I didn't know that this was different now. I would still, on reflection, prefer LAME tossed away frequencies that are at the upper limit of human hearing and gave them to the mid and low ranges. I prefer a mild lowpass to artifacts.

    For shits and giggles, I found a section of dynamic, orchestral music (not low rumbling stuff - full register, high volume, full orchestra with clashing cymbals, high woodwind, high brass, etc) and highpassed it at 16khz.

    The results are in this file: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    The first 23 seconds are only frequencies above 16khz, unmodified in volume - ie, this is what you hear on the original track. The last 23 seconds they are amplified. Be careful - it might hurt your ears. If you can hear any musical content in either sample your hearing is better than mine. I'm 28 and had a hearing test recently at hospital that rated me as excellent for my age range. I can't hear sod nothing except for occasional hisses or sub-sonic whistling noises. There's whatsoever there which could be classified as musical.

    And VBR almost always cuts them with its low pass filter.
    Yep, it chops out the stuff you can't hear anyway (and which is difficult to encode) and donates the bits it saved to making a more accurate encode of the parts you can hear.

    The problem with mp3 is that people tuned it to sound well at 128kbps, other bitrates are treated more or less as if they would be the unloved stepchild.
    For most people - and sadly, "most people" includes every tone deaf misanthrope on the planet - it's good enough. I think that 128kbps has finally shaken off the "standard" label it once had. I remember when I started off downloading in the late nineties and all you got was 128kbps - IF YOU WERE LUCKY - and probably encoded with some atrocious early version of Blade or something. It was all we knew. But now 128kbps (or, as I prefer to use, -V6 if I require that sort of bitrate) is now accepted to be a particularly low bitrate. Nobody takes it seriously from a quality perspective. It's useful for stuffing a lot of music in a small amount of space in tolerable sound quality, but that's about it.

    Iīm so sick of 128kbps being called "CD quality"...
    Possibly the biggest marketing lie of the digital audio age. Those early encoders didn't give you a choice - at least, average Joe's encoders didn't. I remember tickboxes for "FM Radio Quality" which turned out I think 32kbps at 11025khz(!!!!), Cassette Quality at 96kbps 22050khz, and CD Quality which was invariably 128kbps at 44100khz. Those were truly the dark ages...

    128kbps as a standard?
    Once upon a time, not now though... If it is still a HA standard, it's probably only because it's the bitrate at which MP3 reaches transparency for Average Joe. It seems a good place to draw a line in the sand and say "this is an average MP3 - anything less is bad, anything more is better".

    16/44.1 being more than good enough (well, in 90% it really is)?
    16 bit is good enough, as is 44.1khz. At that sample rate, you're already preserving a full 4,000khz of frequencies above the human hearing range. No human alive can discern anything meaningful (apart from an earache) above 22.5khz which is the upper limit of a 44.1khz sample rate. If they ever start making CDs for dogs and bats, there may be a call for it. Until then, upping the sample rate to 48, 96, or 192 is nothing more than "higher number equals better" syndrome.

    16 bit dynamic range is FINE, likewise. Higher depths are useful at the recording stage (so you can set your levels a bit lower than usual to protect against unforeseen clipping) but at the end, dither down to 16 and be happy. No commercially produced recording has ever come close to using 16 bits worth of dynamic range (and, of course, every year dynamic range gets narrower and narrower) - and if it had people would complain about it because it would be effectively unlistenable in any sensibly-priced consumer environment.

    C'mon! Today with high bandwidth internet connections and almost unlimited HDD space... doesnīt make sense anymore.
    Plentiful storage space and abundant bandwidth is no excuse for being wasteful. If something isn't audible it isn't worth storing. At these silly sample rates and silly bit depths, you're talking about multiplying the bitrate by SIX for the same piece of music! Worthwhile? No. The moment sound recording technology progressed far enough to accurately represent all sounds within the human hearing spectrum, with low noise, and maintenance of accuracy across the dynamic range, by definition it had reached as far as necessary. It's a sobering thought to realise that this was achieved in the 1950s. Digital recording twenty years later was absolutely a good thing... but the purpose of recorded sound is to play it back to humans.

    They behave exactly like those audiophiles, itīs as if they are the other side of the same coin. When you tend to take the thin position in the middle like me youīre fucked because both sides hate you.
    I know they can be stressful at times... but it's inescapable that the official policy of HA is nothing more and nothing less than pure logic, enforced to a point of fascism, but it's not wrong. I think their position is an understandable reaction (and a deliberate antidode to) the lunatic fringe of audiophiles; the folk who spend ĢĢĢĢĢĢĢĢĢĢ on gold plated HDMI cables, buy little ceramic boxes that sit on top of their CD players that make the CD's "sound better", buy a record player for Ģ500,000 to reduce rumble (ignoring the fact that the recording wasn't made on equipment anywhere NEAR that sophisticated) etc, etc, etc. TO counter such nonsense, HA is a necessary evil; they shout loud because they have to be heard above the chorus of logical fallacies, lies, and pipe dreams that make up the majority of the audiophile community.

    Public listening tests have proven that WMA Prof is as good as AAC. Please consider that I meant WMA Professional. WMA Prof at 440kbps is so good (well, it should be given the high bitrate) that it can even be transcoded. But itīs true: itīs MS and barely supported. In short the death for every codec.
    Pardon me, quite right - they're about even. My money would still be on AAC, though - for future development potential, and increasing hardware support (whereas WMA support is plummeting). Vorbis is basically dead now. MP3 is reaching the limits of what it can do within specs (which were written twenty years ago). Opus looks interesting but in the here and now, AAC is, I think, the best choice for a lossy codec if you're particularly interested in low bitrates. (Above 192kbps, the gap between AAC and MP3 closes quite substantially and by the time you reach the 250-300 range there's basically nothing to separate the two in listening tests.)

    Indeed. But I still donīt use, especially if Iīd like to do some processing. Processing very soon causes mp3 encoded material to fall apart. mp3 does have a problem with transients, AAC doesnīt. FLAC is good. And we always have WavPack lossy or lossyWAV.
    If one intends to process or transcode or anything, one should NOT USE A LOSSY CODEC full stop. Yeah, some are slightly more resilient (I'd rather transcode a high bitrate AAC than a crappy 128kbps MP3 if I had no choice) but in the end it's a choice between doing a pretty bad thing and a REALLY bad thing.

  15. #65
    Score Douche SonicAdventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    For shits and giggles, I found a section of dynamic, orchestral music (not low rumbling stuff - full register, high volume, full orchestra with clashing cymbals, high woodwind, high brass, etc) and highpassed it at 16khz.

    The results are in this file: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    The first 23 seconds are only frequencies above 16khz, unmodified in volume - ie, this is what you hear on the original track. The last 23 seconds they are amplified. Be careful - it might hurt your ears. If you can hear any musical content in either sample your hearing is better than mine. I'm 28 and had a hearing test recently at hospital that rated me as excellent for my age range. I can't hear sod nothing except for occasional hisses or sub-sonic whistling noises. There's whatsoever there which could be classified as musical.
    Really... that file is pure torture! BTW, I resampled it to 96 kHz (my soundcard can only work with multiples of 48 kHz since it lacks a quartz for 44.1-based samplerates) so that the shitty resampler of either the card or Windows wonīt tune in. I could already hear the first half of the file, even some of the lower parts. It sounded horrible, piercing, awful. I ducked upon encountering these signals. I wouldnīt listen to the second half... not necessary. BTW, what EQ did you use? Thatīs a pretty steep highpass and I couldnīt discern any rounding errors. Iīll be a victim of logical fallacy right now: stripped of everything below 16 kHz music sounds like shit, the other way round it also sounds like shit

    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    For most people - and sadly, "most people" includes every tone deaf misanthrope on the planet - it's good enough. I think that 128kbps has finally shaken off the "standard" label it once had. I remember when I started off downloading in the late nineties and all you got was 128kbps - IF YOU WERE LUCKY - and probably encoded with some atrocious early version of Blade or something. It was all we knew. But now 128kbps (or, as I prefer to use, -V6 if I require that sort of bitrate) is now accepted to be a particularly low bitrate. Nobody takes it seriously from a quality perspective. It's useful for stuffing a lot of music in a small amount of space in tolerable sound quality, but that's about it.
    Oh, but they do. Since weīre talking about HA... did you remember that very good article from the Xiph foundation where they talked about Neil Young's ridiculous claims? Many HA members embraced and celebrated it... as if The Second Coming was happening. And there they were again: the same, old and tired arguments that not one person on this planet will need anything more than -V6 in their entire life. But more:

    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    16 bit is good enough, as is 44.1khz. At that sample rate, you're already preserving a full 4,000khz of frequencies above the human hearing range. No human alive can discern anything meaningful (apart from an earache) above 22.5khz which is the upper limit of a 44.1khz sample rate. If they ever start making CDs for dogs and bats, there may be a call for it. Until then, upping the sample rate to 48, 96, or 192 is nothing more than "higher number equals better" syndrome.
    HA claims to be scientifically minded - in reality however they are not. They have embraced the model of belief (or as I call it: 'skeptical religion') where they challenge everything that has been stated without proof. Donīt get me wrong, this is good, really good. Too much bullshit has been claimed over the years. But their limited view of the world is revealed when they are challenging new scientific findings. A few years ago some "scientist" published a study (peer reviewed!) presenting some findings about the Hypersonic Effect. While our ear cannot technically hear frequencies beyond 20 kHz our brain still processes them - but where do the informations come from? He didnīt have an answer to this question and his article wasnīt as sound as one would have wished it to be. He measured neurological / electrical stimulation of some parts of the brain. The problem with these is just that the science working with theories about that is still in its infancies. Does that counterattack his study? No. It just means that his study must be repeated, that money needs to be poured into the matter. More research is needed. But according to many people at HA it has been proven that humans cannot ever discern hypersonic frequencies. Know what? The studies for that claim are 50 years old. The same for psychoacoustic studies. While our ear hasnīt change during those years science didnīt stand still, it advanced. Back in the '60s when psychoacoustic research was still en vogue neurological research wasnīt even thought of. Skin might be responsibe for discerning things beside the ear? Science Fiction. Today itīs different. On HA this study was either ridiculed or ignored. But more on that later.

    You will now quote the article from Meyer/Moran where they found that humans cannot discern the difference between SACD and CD. This article was good but it still had some flaws. For one, it wasnīt up to the standards for the AES. They peer reviewed it for sure but they released it only because they thought it could be able to make some headlines. Why do I say this? Meyer and Moran had to publish a follow-up to that article - for a scientific article this rarely happens and only in cases when conclusions of the first article have been fishy. In all honesty, they did a really good setup. The software they used was flawed: roughly 70% of the SACD layers they used were derived from 16/44.1 & 24/44.1 or 24/48 masters. Even if they wanted to find out a difference it would have been impossible - because there was nothing to be compared. This information wasnīt made public by anyone on HA, it was published by SACD.net... by all means, they are as mad as they come. On HA? Nothing.

    Back to the Hypersonic study: the Grammy foundation responsible for archiving every musical recording ever released in the U.S. requires nothing less than 24/96 or higher recordings. They are advised to do that by the AES. The AES treats 24/96 as a matter of fact, even for music distribution. HA still claims it isnīt existing. Scientists are laughing their asses off because of the unprofessional and childish behaviour of HA.

    Donīt get me wrong... for me audiophiles are exactly as stupid. Just read a bit at the Steve Hoffman forum... one wouldnīt believe what can be read there. All the tweaking stuff one can buy for an awful amount of money... the things they sell... it really starts to hurt when I imagine people buying stuff like CD mats, crystals for their listening room, stands for their cables... ugh, I may vomit!

    Quote Originally Posted by tangotreats View Post
    If one intends to process or transcode or anything, one should NOT USE A LOSSY CODEC full stop. Yeah, some are slightly more resilient (I'd rather transcode a high bitrate AAC than a crappy 128kbps MP3 if I had no choice) but in the end it's a choice between doing a pretty bad thing and a REALLY bad thing.
    What about WavPack lossy? Good alternative. Particularly good for transcoding since some parts already have been removed. Less encoding work for mp3.

  16. #66
    Grand Shriner sgtfbomb's Avatar
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    Everytime I refresh the section, I keep seeing the words King Kong, instantly thinking of the new FSM release of the 1976 John Barry score, and then seeing the James Newton Howard. Do'h!

  17. #67
    Score Douche SonicAdventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtfbomb View Post
    Everytime I refresh the section, I keep seeing the words King Kong, instantly thinking of the new FSM release of the 1976 John Barry score, and then seeing the James Newton Howard. Do'h!
    As much as I love John Barry I wonīt wait for his King Kong since I think that JNH's King Kong cannot be beaten ... of course, thatīs open to debate

  18. #68
    Shriner
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    Many thanks for your efforts SonicAdventure! I look forward to listening to this.
    Love the artwork too!

  19. #69
    Space Hunter Nebula M beardmoen's Avatar
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    I'm trying to learn as much as I can about encoding CDs proper. I think I understand why VBR-O is superior to say a 320 format in MP3, mainly because there are unused frequencies and it just wastes bandwidth and space.

    Does Itunes have VBR-O? What are you using for that? I would like to post Black Rain in the best possible quality.

    What do you recommend for FLAC settings?

  20. #70
    Score Douche SonicAdventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beardmoen View Post
    I'm trying to learn as much as I can about encoding CDs proper. I think I understand why VBR-O is superior to say a 320 format in MP3, mainly because there are unused frequencies and it just wastes bandwidth and space.

    Does Itunes have VBR-O? What are you using for that? I would like to post Black Rain in the best possible quality.

    What do you recommend for FLAC settings?
    Vbr-0 is good enough if you want to use mp3. As an advantage over 320 kbps CBR it can even assign a higher bitrate should that be needed for certain parts of the material.

    iTunes does use VBR - but only if you use 'iTunes Plus', located at the import settings. That codec would be AAC though. Itīs not yet as compatible as mp3 but gives (theoretically) higher quality. Itīs of course the much more modern codec and avoids some of the encoding errors mp3 makes.

    FLAC doesnīt have that much setting options. The Default setting (compression rate of 5) is the optimal mixture of compression rate and encoding/decoding speed. Just asking: you do know that FLAC is lossless (100% perfect copy) and mp3 and AAC are lossy (looses roughly 80-90% of the audio information)?

  21. #71
    Space Hunter Nebula M beardmoen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonicAdventure View Post
    Vbr-0 is good enough if you want to use mp3. As an advantage over 320 kbps CBR it can even assign a higher bitrate should that be needed for certain parts of the material.

    iTunes does use VBR - but only if you use 'iTunes Plus', located at the import settings. That codec would be AAC though. Itīs not yet as compatible as mp3 but gives (theoretically) higher quality. Itīs of course the much more modern codec and avoids some of the encoding errors mp3 makes.

    FLAC doesnīt have that much setting options. The Default setting (compression rate of 5) is the optimal mixture of compression rate and encoding/decoding speed. Just asking: you do know that FLAC is lossless (100% perfect copy) and mp3 and AAC are lossy (looses roughly 80-90% of the audio information)?
    Thank you for the information. Again, I know a little and I am willing to learn as much as I can.

    I am aware that FLAC is lossless and MP3 and AAC are lossy. I myself prefer MP3 as it is recognized in my car and FLAC is not. I have an external HD that I hook up via USB to use with SYNC. I do like FLAC and the quality it provides, but it is more of a hassle for me as I need to convert it to MP3 so that I can take it with me. Most of my music listening is while driving, so MP3 is my preferred format.

    But I would like to know what the best settings are for MP3

  22. #72
    Score Douche SonicAdventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beardmoen View Post
    Thank you for the information. Again, I know a little and I am willing to learn as much as I can.

    I am aware that FLAC is lossless and MP3 and AAC are lossy. I myself prefer MP3 as it is recognized in my car and FLAC is not. I have an external HD that I hook up via USB to use with SYNC. I do like FLAC and the quality it provides, but it is more of a hassle for me as I need to convert it to MP3 so that I can take it with me. Most of my music listening is while driving, so MP3 is my preferred format.

    But I would like to know what the best settings are for MP3
    As someone has stated before mp3 with a setting of VBR-0 is the best setting. 320 kbps CBR (constant bit rate) is more compatible - especially with older devices as they are unable to recognize VBR (variable bit rate) but today that doesnīt play an important role anymore since 99% of all devices around nowadays are able to reocognize and properly decode VBR.

    For convenience Iīd recommend dBPowerAmp - good software, a foot print not that big and reliable. But there are of course countless other softwares around. You should avoid the mp3 encoder in iTunes though, itīs the encoder from FHG (original Fraunhofer) which is fairly old. The recommended encoder is LAME, itīs freely available and of high quality.

  23. #73
    Grand Shriner
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    THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK YOU!

  24. #74
    Onion Kid
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    Thanks, this looks great!

  25. #75
    Inline Kid WildwoodPark's Avatar
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    Nice score but I still prefer the John Barry King Kong Deluxe Edition that was released a few weeks ago.

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