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FLAC vs. 320 VBR AAC - For OLD People

I'm in my mid 60's. I know to a certainty that my ears just ain't what they used to be (an open question is if they ever were what I think they used to be).

So, I am ripping vast numbers of CD's to FLAC. I've got a pretty decent setup. An A&K SE100 player, good ripper, good quality CD's that were not abused so that they might skip, and, at the end of the chain, a FIIO Q5S portable headphone AMP, and Focal Clear headphones.

I would argue a decent setup.

The main problem, I think, is that my ears are way over 60 years old. I've tried testing AAC vs. FLAC with this setup, flipping back and forth and back and forth a number of times so that I don't know what format I'm listening too, just to see if I can notice a difference. I don't think I do. Not double blind, but worth something ,I guess.

Ok, long-winded. Should I just I let it go and go for AAC, and not be missing anything? I mean, I hate to give up audio quality, but if the ears just don't hear them, what's the point? The issue is size of files, and even with 512gb I'm a little cramped, what with all of both Rock and Classical, and soon really will be.

Have any of you reached this stage, or have thoughts on this?

Re: FLAC vs. 320 VBR AAC - For OLD People

Reply #1
Hello,

10 Upgrade to 1TB microSD and go FLAC.
20 When microSD is full and you want to add another album, transcode to AAC 320.
30 When microSD is full and you want to add another album, transcode to lower bitrate AAC.
40 goto 30

More seriously, the answer is in the question. I doubt that you can make the difference between FLAC and AAC, even at 128kbit/s and even if your setup costs more than my car. Rip to FLAC and transcode to AAC.

    AiZ


Re: FLAC vs. 320 VBR AAC - For OLD People

Reply #3
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2013/02/high-bitrate-mp3-internet-blind-test.html

Rip to FLAC and transcode to AAC.
This is the smart move.  Once you have a lossless master, you can transcode to whatever format you need for portable use.

Thanks. I will always rip to FLAC. I just figured that there's no point in actually listening to it in flac.

Re: FLAC vs. 320 VBR AAC - For OLD People

Reply #4
Thanks. I will always rip to FLAC. I just figured that there's no point in actually listening to it in flac.

Why not? If you have it stored in FLAC and you are able to listen to it without transcoding why go through the extra step? I rip to FLAC. On my phone it's all MP3 but I listen to FLAC at home since that's the format available to me :)

Re: FLAC vs. 320 VBR AAC - For OLD People

Reply #5
You are overlooking the state of aural implants (AKA hearing aids). The modern versions cost in-line with your audio equipment and are advancing in quality and pricing in line with Moore's law. The features can be quite impressive from noise cancelling and equalization to custom fields, ensuring you probably will hear better than ever.
No reason not to consider such technology a part of a modern hi-fi investment and you'll likely appreciate the FLACs if you do.

Re: FLAC vs. 320 VBR AAC - For OLD People

Reply #6
AAC at 320 kbps is more than fine. At this bitrate you can really keep your peace of mind: I doubt you'll find any killer sample. If you need to shrink the size of a lossless collection the choice is really good.

Re: FLAC vs. 320 VBR AAC - For OLD People

Reply #7
It is well established that too long exposure to higher sound levels destroys hearing, especially the higher frequencies. Below blast level sounds, which can cause immediate destruction, too high a sound level gradually, and irreversibly, deteriorates hearing ability. I know there are skeptics, I’ve spoken to more than a few, – “I LIKE it this loud – but unfortunately the damage is done regardless of how the individual feels about it.

There are legal standards as to what is too high a sound level but those are (probably) compromises between not destroying hearing before the worker’s useful life span is used up and allowing industry to operate without costs getting out of hand. From my (admittedly limited) reading, more than a few auditory scientists unofficially admit that those official limits of X hours per day at Y decibels, or anything near that, will degrade hearing over time, just not as rapidly as still more would.

Lower levels and less time would (probably), in the general case, extend hearing acuity further into later life. There have, in fact, been published study(ies?) of the hearing ability of older people in isolated, primitive cultures (getting harder and harder to find these days), away from the created sounds of modern life, that reported no apparent lessening of acuity in the elderly compared to young children in the same culture. Possibly I read reference to such a study here but I don’t recall where.

It has longed seemed to me that the logical consequence of using hearing aids is the probably further induced degradation of the ability to hear. One cannot hear as well as before, mostly because of excess exposure over an extended time (yes, I know there are some other causes of hearing loss). The major function of the hearing aid is to deliver a higher sound pressure locally (inside the ear itself). Regardless of whether that seems to make the sounds “normal” or just barely useful, it is exposing the hearing mechanism to higher sound pressure levels and therefore steadily destroying hearing even further.

Does anyone have any factual, or logical, argument as to why this is not so?

 
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