Author Topic: Sound quality still matters....  (Read 4575 times)

Mikeyboy

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Sound quality still matters....
« on: November 13, 2009, 10:09:38 AM »

mgriffin

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2009, 10:11:28 AM »
I've often wondered if in 5 or 10 or 15 years, after a generation has grown up listening to compressed audio on cheap headphones or dinky computer speakers, there might be a rediscovery of the pleasures of high fidelity sound.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

uhurit

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 12:06:35 PM »
I think that the train has almost left the station for the audiophile-grade fans. Most of the music commercially produced is manufactured with compressed format reproduction in mind...to an extent that it sounds like garbage on hi-fi

treibklang

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 12:17:18 PM »
Audio quality to me only matters, if it goes with music quality. For (most) commercial releases, I don't give a damn, as better audio quality wouldn't make it one bit better to listen to.  ;D
sound's good
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Blackinfinity

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2009, 08:44:00 PM »
Also depends on what compression algorithms/codec we are talking about, the latest Lame codecs sounds very transparent from version 3.97 and onwards, and you will need both good equipment and ears to hear a difference.  Actually you will only find very very subtle differences deep down into the depths of the sound. So yeah deep listening music like Steve Roach  I would definitely not feel "confident" to listen to it through a compressed algorithm, that would be disrespectful to the sound itself.  However most music are way more "superficial" though, if the music have a more generic production it is not as important to me (if Lame codec is used that is)..but music that is about pure sound and deep listening I think deserves to be heard through uncompressed audio, but often the sound motivate of music in general does not always justify to listen to uncompressed audio,  but Steve Roach or Robert Rich is an very good example...his music is very deep and detailed, and this is things you certainly not want to miss in your listening experience.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 08:49:34 PM by Blackinfinity »

Altus

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2009, 07:10:23 AM »
I think it's safe to say that ambient and classical music is best listened to uncompressed.

On a side note, I've started releasing my work in MP3 and FLAC, and was very surprised to see quite a number of listeners downloading the FLAC over MP3 (around 30-40%).  In fact since I've started doing this, I've had a number of people contact me asking for specific albums in my discography as FLAC.

So I'm happy to say there's definitely people out there who do still care about sound quality... and not just music artists either.
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sraymar

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 12:06:40 PM »
When I was a kid in the early 60s teenagers were listening to 45's. They would stack them up and play them one after another on a portable record player with a tiny mono speaker. Of course at that time there were also audiophiles with sophisticated hi-fi setups, even (gasp!) stereo!

Then album oriented rock came along and FM took over AM radio and you know the rest. I imagine the iPod thing is a phase and the pendulum will swing in the other direction to the audiophile mentality.

You have to admit though that compressed audio walks all over 45's and cassettes!

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petekelly

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2009, 06:47:25 AM »

I remember audiophile cassette decks and the use of metal tape cassettes. How things have changed and no doubt will change
again.

mgriffin

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2009, 11:20:13 AM »
There are metal cassettes, and then there are METAL cassettes.

Remember these TDK aluminum-frame transparent shell cassettes?  They were something like $10-12 each.

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headonist

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2009, 11:39:00 AM »
I actually think the mp3 generation is missing out. I am all for high quality sound, as I think it does affect the listening session alot. Not all times for the better, but it does expose the musician much more, like a magnifying glass almost. But if they are good, it lifts up the music alot.

Numina

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2009, 12:04:38 PM »
Nice story.  I shared this on my Facebook page.  I said there that this is no surprise. I notice a HUGE difference when playing tracks off iTunes vs. from my CD player all going through the same amp. I find that mp3s, aac, etc. is no match for the CD yet. Sorry, you'll never convince me - you still won't take my iPod away from my dead cold hands either.

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2009, 12:14:23 PM »
iPods are great for what they area.  As someone said above, they're certainly better that the "crackling LP copied to hissy cassette" portable listening arrangement I had in college.

Now, using compressed mp3s and your $3 earbud headphones as your one and only listening environment, that's just sad.  It's like saying you admire art, but only looking at paintings in black and white newsprint reproductions.
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Seren

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2009, 12:16:51 PM »
and even worse - the perception that the sound on mobiles is music :o :o


Wayne Higgins

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2009, 12:46:20 PM »
I'm not sure if I'm missing out or what.  I really can't tell the difference between CD and MP3 at 256 kbs, or even 192 kbs, but I can definitely tell the difference between vinyl and cd.  I think that some people can't physically hear a difference, but will convince themselves that they can.  Many people can just don't care.   
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Blackinfinity

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2009, 03:01:44 PM »
Nice story.  I shared this on my Facebook page.  I said there that this is no surprise. I notice a HUGE difference when playing tracks off iTunes vs. from my CD player all going through the same amp. I find that mp3s, aac, etc. is no match for the CD yet. Sorry, you'll never convince me - you still won't take my iPod away from my dead cold hands either.

Itunes is one of the absolute worst mp3 players in terms of sound quality, so no wonder.... I can recommend XMPlay!

APK

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2009, 04:31:13 PM »
Thanks for the XMPlay mention. Looks interesting. I'll give it a try.
I've never been happy with any player I've tried, and always come back to Winamp.

http://support.xmplay.com

« Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 05:05:27 PM by APK »
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Blackinfinity

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2009, 04:36:04 PM »
I have been using the itunes skin for xmplay though for the past 3 years



It is one of the few skins I can live with..I wish there was more and better skins.

LNerell

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2009, 04:50:37 PM »
Itunes is one of the absolute worst mp3 players in terms of sound quality, so no wonder.... I can recommend XMPlay!

XMPlay is so great they don't even tell you what operating system it works on.  ;D Looking over the site it appears to be windows only, so for us mac guys itunes kicks its butt as it at least works on my computer.  :D

As for sound quality, I am one of those people who can tell the difference between mp3s and a CD, even at higher bit rates. Mp3s sound more distorted and have a flangy high end compared to CDs, anything below 256k is pretty much unlistenable to me, unless itís just dialog which for some reason I can listen to even at very low bit rates.

Having said that, most people just don't care about music all that much, even when they can hear a difference. For them, itís all about convenience, sound quality takes a back seat. I think high end audio only became important because it became for a brief while a status symbol.
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Blackinfinity

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2009, 04:57:14 PM »
I think xmplay is only available for the windows platform unfortunately.

Maybe you generalize too much, every codec have their own artifacts and flaws.
I would love to see you do an blind test of Lame 3.97/3.98 and onwards to see if you hear a difference.
I am not saying that you will not but, all I am saying it is really hard, especially when you not know what to look at.
With worse Mp3 Codec the difference is way more obvious, and you can hear it in even cheap equipment.
Well anyway, I think in a few years when diskaspace will be cheaper Lossless audio formats will be more popular..hopefully.

APK

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Re: Sound quality still matters....
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2009, 05:14:26 PM »
XMPlay skin: Neutron
Works for me on my black background.

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