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Topic: MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC (Read 5885 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • sizetwo
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Just came by this test done at MaximumPC.com entitled "Do Higher MP3 Bit Rates Pay Off?".  I have to say I am quite ... intruiged ?

Their choices of bit-rates were 160, 320Kb/s Mp3's (encoded in iTunes, VBR) and WAV. 

Anyone read it and feel its quite a strange choice ? Also the issues with it, such as not doing true ABX'ing?

I guess what I found to be the most strange is that the people doing the tests were all able to identify some of the 320Kb/s track, which I would assume
should be transparent for most people. [ducks]
Sounds like they didnt normalize the volume between the tracks or otherwise screwed up the test somehow.

edit: typos.
  • Last Edit: 20 April, 2007, 09:03:19 PM by sizetwo

  • saratoga
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #1
Probably just crappy methodology. 

Though ABXing 320k iTunes MP3 isn't exactly difficult if you pick the right tracks.

  • Squeller
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #2
I guess what I found to be the most strange is that the people doing the tests were all able to identify some of the 320Kb/s track, which I would assume
should be transparent for most people.
People come up regularly. Maybe it's just we don't know how we have to listen to a 320 kbps cbr vs. original, in order to distinguish it :|

  • LANjackal
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #3
It's not an official ABX test. Unfortunately everyone else out there will take it as the gospel truth... *sigh*
EAC>1)fb2k>LAME3.99 -V 0 --vbr-new>WMP12 2)MAC-Extra High

  • chelgrian
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #4
It's not an official ABX test. Unfortunately everyone else out there will take it as the gospel truth... *sigh*


Plus it was linked to by digg *doublesigh*.  I wonder if they bothered to turn the X-Fi's Crystaliser pile of doodoo off.

  • LANjackal
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #5
Eh, it's what happens (quite often) when people who consider themselves computer experts make the sad mistake of thinking that also makes them audio experts. I used to be one of them, lol... until (thankfully) I came here. Unfortunately most of them don't and so we have misinformation and awful methodology like this plastered all over the internet.
EAC>1)fb2k>LAME3.99 -V 0 --vbr-new>WMP12 2)MAC-Extra High

  • sizetwo
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #6
Well yeah I share you guy's sentiment on this. Its quite obvious that mixing 'computer knowledge' with specific audio compression knowledge is not necessarily compatible. Once again another test that people will believe, go tell their friends about and end up being another fallacy being considered 'the truth' since its done by 'professionals'.

  • halb27
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #7
Hmm, the author's kind of speech is a bit strange, but as far as I can see it was a blind listening test with no evidence that something was done in a way to bring up placebo thinking and feeling.

Is the result really astonishing?
To me the only remarkable thing is that there is a certain bias that with Pluralist's and Hipster's tracks the lossless version could be differentiated from the compressed version in a way that can be iterpreted more than by chance, and this was possible especially for those persons who knew these tracks very well.
Any other result can be interpreted as been succesful/not successfull by mere chance.

This just tells me that with very intensive listening (not to be mixed up with common listening situations) and especially with well-known musical stuff there are mp3 encodings that can be differentiated from the lossy version, even when using high bitrate.

I don't consider this a strange result.
  • Last Edit: 24 April, 2007, 05:35:50 AM by halb27
lame3995o -Q1

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #8
As far as I can tell they were only asked to match up the 12 samples just one time.  If this is in fact true and after looking at the scores, you cannot dismiss the possibility that they were guessing.
  • Last Edit: 24 April, 2007, 01:22:41 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • halb27
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MP3 listening test done at MaximumPC
Reply #9
Yes, I see it like this too, and looking at it globally the results could have been achieved by mere guessing. Looking at the author's details there seems to have been quite a lot of guessing in fact.

Anyway though there probably was only one trial for each person for each track it looks like the testers had done a lot of effort for getting at their results. So I wouldn't call the result totally worthless (but also not extremely surprising) concerning the two samples which were guessed correctly as encodings especially by those people who knew the tracks very well.

I agree however that the result's significance is very restricted due to the very few testers, samples and guesses.
  • Last Edit: 24 April, 2007, 04:09:31 PM by halb27
lame3995o -Q1