Skip to main content

Topic: High-Resolution Audio Explained (Read 4227 times) previous topic - next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
  • skamp
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
High-Resolution Audio Explained
High-Resolution Audio Explained (PCMAG, February 1, 2012)

[Neil Young] was referring specifically to the compressed MP3 and AAC files most people listen to today. Truth is, they just don't sound all that good. […] Even 256Kbps (and yes, 320Kbps) files are still audibly different than what you hear on a CD, although at least those are somewhat closer to the mark. […] Switch to an uncompressed FLAC file, and all of the above flaws go away. […] Stereo sound fields become three dimensional, with a sense of depth and space. It sounds as if a veil has been lifted; everything has more definition and natural sound.
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.

High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #1
I don't see any ABX tests to back their claims.

High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #2
Perhaps not, but i'll gladly take the lossless files anyway, thank you very much.

High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #3
Perhaps not, but i'll gladly take the lossless files anyway, thank you very much.


Same here, but this "high res" crap is getting really old. If recordings are louder/less dynamic than ever who cares? Why does no one ever address this issue? :|
  • Last Edit: 02 February, 2012, 12:23:22 AM by Satellite_6
FLAC -> JDS Labs ODAC/O2 -> Sennheiser HD 650

High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #4
High-Resolution Audio Explained (PCMAG, February 1, 2012)

Switch to an uncompressed FLAC file, and all of the above flaws go away.


"Uncompressed FLAC"--is that even possible?

  • LithosZA
  • [*][*][*]
High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #5
Quote
Same here, but this "high res" crap is getting really old. If recordings are louder/less dynamic than ever who cares? Why does no one ever address this issue? :|


+1
It is all about the dynamic range.

  • Kohlrabi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #6
When the major label producers jump on the high-res bandwagon, we will soon get 24bit/96Khz ALAC files full of digital clipping. So you can store your dynamics compressed and clipped audio using 6 times the size, now! They proved that they are unable to handle the completely adequate 16bit/44.1khz they had for CD audio, why would anyone assume they are able to handle high-res?
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

  • probedb
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #7
High-Resolution Audio Explained (PCMAG, February 1, 2012)

Switch to an uncompressed FLAC file, and all of the above flaws go away.


"Uncompressed FLAC"--is that even possible?


No but people are picking them up on it

  • Porcus
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #8
"Uncompressed FLAC"--is that even possible?


Yes, indeed it is.

From http://flac.sourceforge.net/api/group__flac__format.html , you will find:

Enumeration values:
FLAC__SUBFRAME_TYPE_CONSTANT     constant signal
FLAC__SUBFRAME_TYPE_VERBATIM     uncompressed signal
FLAC__SUBFRAME_TYPE_FIXED     fixed polynomial prediction
FLAC__SUBFRAME_TYPE_LPC     linear prediction



However, I think that the quoted article uses 'uncompressed' synonymous to 'lossless'. (BTW, what is really the difference between a lossless-compressed FLAC and an uncompressed FLAC stored in a compression-enabled file system? Except of course the compression algorithm (and efficiency)?)
  • Last Edit: 02 February, 2012, 04:05:03 AM by Porcus

  • halb27
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #9
Though many things in the article can certainly be contributed to an 'audiophile way of theoretical thinking' the conclusion is right IMO: widespread possibilities to download losslessly encoded music is desirable. What to do with it afterwards is up to everybody's personal preference. Maybe many people don't like to transcode as a personal process afterwards, so it would be best to provide a lossy and a lossless version.
Most of the music I add to my collection I download in mp3 form today, but I'd prefer much to do so in lossless form and wouldn't care to pay a moderate extra if necessary.
  • Last Edit: 02 February, 2012, 08:06:28 AM by halb27
lame3995o -Q1

High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #10
My opinion lossless downloads from a major vendor like Apple are far far away. The majority of people don't know what it is and will only complain when it takes up far more space with no audio quality benefits to their ears.

  • Kohlrabi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #11
My opinion lossless downloads from a major vendor like Apple are far far away. The majority of people don't know what it is and will only complain when it takes up far more space with no audio quality benefits to their ears.

People can be coaxed into investing into new hard- and software and audio formats by throwing large numbers at their heads. People believe in numbers. "24 is bigger than 16, so I want the thing with 24 on it". Same what happened in the video sector with 1080p resolutions. "1080p" is a meaningless number if the video is just upscaled from DVD resolution or 720p. Resolution (alone) is no useful metric to assess video quality. The same holds true for audio bit- or sample-rate. Still I expect marketing to focus on exactly that: "Bigger" means "better". Also, placebo and elitism are strong forces, Apple have built a notable portion of their empire based on the latter.
  • Last Edit: 02 February, 2012, 08:40:09 AM by Kohlrabi
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

  • halb27
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #12
... The majority of people don't know what it is and will only complain when it takes up far more space with no audio quality benefits to their ears.

I also think marketing 'the real thing' shouldn't be too much of a problem. But for ease of use to average Joe especially when starting I think it's mandatory to provide a lossy version together with the lossless one.
Perhaps the record companies don't like the idea because it would hurt their CD sales, and as far as I am concerned it's true: I still buy CDs (when I like many tracks on them), but only because this is the only way to get the music losslessly.
Most of them are played exactly one time: for ripping.
  • Last Edit: 02 February, 2012, 09:54:35 AM by halb27
lame3995o -Q1

  • Brand
  • [*][*][*][*]
High-Resolution Audio Explained
Reply #13
Neil Young and others talking about this "high res" audio as if it's some futuristic project (I watched the video from the other thread) is exactly what's wrong with the "free market" today. Why do we have to wait for a big company like Apple to create a mass demand for these things?
People who are even moderately educated and care about this stuff can already buy lossless music from various sources. HDTracks has been around for a while and so have several others.

Anyway, I think when lossless gets pushed on a larger scale, especially in "high res", it will probably be accompanied by different masters (much like SACD and DVD-A), promoting the idea that you actually need 24bit 96kHz to make a decent sounding product, without crappy dynamic range compression and all. That might help sell the "high res" files a bit faster, although I don't think it will ever be a massively popular thing. Audiophiles have always been a niche and most people usually opted for cheap/convenient instead.



On a lighter note:
High-Resolution Audio Explained (PCMAG, February 1, 2012)

Switch to an uncompressed FLAC file, and all of the above flaws go away.


"Uncompressed FLAC"--is that even possible?

You don't wanna know.
I didn't bother reading all of it, but the last post (the conclusion) is:
Quote
Flac compressed definitely sounds worse than Flac uncompressed...

I also read elsewhere it being called "the best of both worlds", aka the sound quality of WAV with the tagging capabilities of FLAC.
  • Last Edit: 02 February, 2012, 11:35:27 AM by Brand