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1
Polls / Re: 2018 Format poll [Lossy Formats]
Last post by magicgoose -
With streaming services, the user, arguably, doesn't use a format, unless it's a conscious choice.
It's used when you encode something in it for your own needs.

Hmm… it could probably make sense to define the meaning of "using a format" in the opening post.
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Polls / Re: 2018 Format poll [Lossy Formats]
Last post by polemon -
I'm having a hard time considering streaming services a viable choice for this thread. It just doesn't match the whole idea of this poll with localy stored media that you made the choice for it's format. For example, in iTunes or Amazon, atleast you do have files localy stored and you can re-encode them to something else if you have a preference to another format. To make it even more complicated, if I said that I was using Deezer, it offers 2 options of codecs for streaming, mp3 and flac. What if I said that i was listening my music from Youtube, would I vote for opus, aac or ogg? Also what if a streaming service offered somekind of proprietary codec? The whole idea behind streaming services is that you are not given any kind of choice in codecs, just qualities. Also, if Spotify didn't get pressured to share the fact that they use OGG, you wouldn't know that it's using and they want as much as possible for you to have no idea what they are listening to. So the problem here is mostly that you are given no choice and you do not possess any file to begin with. The final and bigger problem is that it also clashes with what most of the people in the poll had in mind when they voted for themselfs. We need in some way to separate Streaming Services from this topic.
A lot of people don't have locally stored music at all anymore. They rely 100% on streaming services. Not including them, would be actually what's skewing the statistics, because I'd argue this is where most of the use for a codec comes from these days: The ability for it to be streamed.

Sure the choice is not one of using a codec to encode music from a lossless source, but it's still very much a market decision on the user's side. I can see why some users would choose one service over the other, because of the codec/quality.

When it comes to streaming services that let you select the codec, you'd choose your preferred codec here. Keep in mind, this is the poll for the "lossy" codecs, so selecting FLAC even though Deezer offers it, would be incorrect anyhow. But that is also a non-sequitur.

I use youtube for listening to music all the time. And it's super easy to see what codec you're using, especially when using mpv + youtube-dl. While mpv and youtube-dl display it right there in the console, even when you're using the youtube website you can right-click on the video and check what kind of media is playing. (right click -> "stats for nerds").

When it comes to services like Spotify: assuming they wouldn't want to tell you the codec: At the end of the day, that audio stream needs to be decoded on your device. Incases where you're using a browser on a desktop or laptop, it'd be super easy to figure out what sort of codec they'd be using. If they opt for something proprietary, and need in-browser decoding in JavaScript: well, they're in for a ride... When it comes to apps on a phone, etc.: You could still intercept the bitstream and inspect it. Essentially, for a media provider to be secretive about their codec, is kindof a fool's errand here. Those kinds of secrets, would be more than likely figured out sooner or later. That tangent aside, you'd simply choose "other" from the list, in case that is truly the most used codec that you'd use here.

But I also get what you're getting at, and I think the misunderstanding comes from the term "use". "Using" a codec, is very much using a streaming service in my book. However "using" a codec to encode from a lossless source, is also - well - "using" that codec. So Perhaps one might want to compartmentalize that further, but that Is something on the end of the person running the poll. I believe @IgorC intention is to get an overview sort of result, and I believe that includes streaming services, DAB, etc, etc.

The poll includes the option "USAC / xHE-AAC", which as of now, I know of no freely available encoders. I actually know of only one streaming service available on the internet, that streams in xHE-AAC. I wish I could listen to that stream on my computer - for testing and suchlike - but there's simply no decoder available to my knowledge. All other streams are short-wave or medium-wave DAB radio (which require horrendously priced radio receivers, and I know of no one personally who owns one). As far as I can see it, the only way to "use" USAC right now, is to either listen to it with a special DAB radio, or being a radio station yourself, having access to the encoder software and/or appliance hardware.
3
Audio Hardware / Re: Searching for a tube amp / compressor
Last post by oo131193oo -
Ok, so now i don't really know what I should think about this idea that i head.
It is kind of like, I want something that has some interesting characteristic sound (some effect box...)
but what it could be... Should I stay with VST plugins or is there any category of effects for me.

So as they are active it is clear that there should be no amplification.
I will look around and if there is something that interests me I 'm gonna post it, before i blame myself to much
4
General Audio / Re: Why wasn't there ever a VHS based consumer audio format?
Last post by Artie -
Wow! This thread is definitely a trip down memory lane.  8)

I still have an old NEC Hi-fi VHS recorder that could be used in an "audio-only" mode using the spinning video heads. IIRC, it's frequency response and dynamic range exceeded the best R2R's of the day. It's been sitting in a closet for about 30 years.  :P

I also still have a couple of old 3-head Dolby B/C cassette decks. (A Nak and a Sony ES.) And, I still have a couple of car tuner/preamp cassette decks, that also had Dolby B/C. (A Nak and a Harman-Kardon.) The cool thing about the Nak was that it had a front panel azimuth adjust knob for making fine tweaks on the fly.

I need to dig those and play with them again.
6
Audio Hardware / Re: may i know your favorite headphone?
Last post by 16Bit Audiophile -
I recently switched to HD 660 S. I have tried pretty much every better known headphone out there and the sonic improvements get fairly insignificant above this point if you add some minor EQ adjustments. I would love to get a Focal Clear, though, which impressed me a lot with its accurate tonality. If I ever start feeling old and retire in a comfy music chair, I might invest in a Stax SR-009 (S). The Hifiman HE-560 is another good open headphone, which I probably prefer over the warm Audezes. Can't complain much about the MX4, other than the price. Fostex T50RP Mk3 is a good budget recommendation, IMO.

For closed, I still use an Oppo PM-3. If it weren't for PM3's superb build, comfort, isolation and portability, I would have upgraded to the MrSpeakers Æon Flow Closed. I'll get my hands on the HD 820 next month, but based on the forward treble of the open HD 800, I am still a bit reserved until I have actually spent some time with them.

For very critical listening, I usually grab IEMs. My favorite pick is the InEar ProPhile 8, which perhaps has the best tonal accuracy of any IEM from 20 Hz to 10 kHz. I mix it up with some CIEMs, including the qdc Gemini, but most of them are more fun-sounding. Doesn't have to be that expensive, though. The Etymotic ER4XR is a safe bet. I also like to recommend the Final E2000 and Sony MH1 which perform incredibly well for their low price.
7
Listening Tests / Re: I can't tell the difference between a Macbook Air and a Magni 3 + Hifiberry DAC+
Last post by 16Bit Audiophile -
Hi, somebody on reddit already gave you a very good reply. I want to add:
1. Apple's MacBooks and iMacs have very good headphone outputs. The iPad 2 and iPhone 4 remain among the best portable sources yet, though also succeeding products have never completely failed. Apple usually has extremely low noise floor, so if you have enough power (headroom to avoid clipping), there is not much to expect.
2. The Schiit Magni 3 is known as a good entry-level amp. It's a budget focussed solution. Should your headphone need more power than your MacBook can provide, I'd try to tip you over to go for an Objective o2 or similar.
3. Personal opinion: DACs are overrated. IMO this is the part in the audio chain we have to worry about the least in 2018 because jitter, THD and IMD are usually far out of our hearing range. The hifi community likes to overdramatize this, maybe because they try to search an explanation for their mood swings. However, there are some useful DSP functions in some DACs, like crossfeed or equalizers, but if your source is a MacBook you best handle it via software and save some money.
4. If you want to hear a difference with the HD 600, add a 75 ohms resistor. It will significantly boost the bass because these Senns are not stable to the impedance. However, that's not what they were intended to sound like. If you came from a less optimal source, for example a low or mid-tier A/V receiver, you'd perhaps now perceive the HD 600 as much faster and cleaner (as they'd have a more linear bass response). But that brings us back to point 1.
8
General - (fb2k) / Re: Can foobar can remain partially off screen when switching from Clone > Extended?
Last post by MaxDread -
What I meant was, a single application could fix the issue for just itself, by keeping regular track of where its windows are, and tracking through system messages when the desktop layout changes, and resetting window positions after the desktop settles back into a familiar configuration that matches its previous layout.

Excellent!  Well, that's kind of what I thought you meant; I just wasn't able to explain it so well :)  The rest of the application I have are not a problem, so if foobar stops re-configuring, everything will fall into place nicely.

So that leaves the question...  Presuming that foobar doesn't do this now, how difficult a thing would it be to write into the application?  Is it something developers might take an interest in doing?  And if so, how best should I make the request?

Many thanks
9
General Audio / Re: This is a High Resolution Listening test
Last post by cliveb -
I don't do Facebook, so I downloaded it from Dropbox and also tried the attachment to your post.
In both cases, my results were as follows:

Decoding failure at 0:00.085 (Unsupported format or corrupted file)

Anyone else get this error?
10
General Music Discussion / Re: Can remastered CDs sound too different and modernized?
Last post by magicgoose -
some albums labeled as "FDR" (that's full dynamic range), when they were previously released only with a lot of compression:
Carcass — Swansong
At the Gates — Slaughter of the Soul
(for all of the above I ignored releases on non-digital mediums, of course)

Earache's "full dynamic range" series, well ... not all have higher DR. I have not scrutinized it, but I found that both Bandcamp downloads of Sleep's Holy Mountain have a DR of 13, which is the same as my 1992 CD.
So they have a "full dynamic range" remaster with no higher dynamic range ...
That's why I added "when they were previously released only with a lot of compression".
Of course some of them had no problem to begin with.
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