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"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #50
I wonder how much of this sizzling mp3 is due to clipping. I recently encoded several albums for my ipod using the latest lame encoder and the V0 setting.
I was considering using mp3gain to make the percieved volume more or less the same for all tha albums and was suprised to see when using the analysis mode, almost every single track throughout the set of albums exibited clipping and mp3 gain recommended a reduction in volume in every album to eliminate this clipping, I have yet to test whether this clipping is evident in the original cd or wether the mp3 encoder is setting the volume information too high in the frame headers.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #51
And, also, I'd be surprised if anyone old enough to have a friend with a 15 y.o. daughter would get straight answers from said daughter; I mean, we just wouldn't understand (and, very probably, we wouldn't).


It depends on the individual, for sure.  When my daughter was 15, we used to have long discussions about musical styles and specific bands.  This led eventually to her joining a band, and introduced me to other young people who also had good awareness about music.  Today, she owns a coffee shop and I get to chat frequently with her employees and younger friends, most of whom also have surprisingly thorough knowledge of music (old and new) and styles.  I could list more examples; it may be related to the fact that I tend to hang out with educated people and their kids.  But it surely isn't a problem holding a sensible conversation with the majority of them.

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And, finally, let me end this rambling rant with a reminder of Sturgeon's Revelation: "Ninety per cent of everything is crap."


Utterly true.  I have listened real-time to over 50 years of music, so I remember the 50s, the 60s, etc.  Every time someone confronts me with the inevitable "Oh, the [fill in decade] was the best; they haven't had any good music since then"  I come back immediately with "90% of it was crap.  Also 90% of the music from the 50s was crap.  And the 60s.  And..."  I switched radio stations a lot while listening, because the ratio of quality to junk was so low.  That's part of the reason I started buying records, and why I have my iPod close at hand.  I can keep that 10% from each decade all in one place and listen to what I want.  Without the scratches, warps, pressing errors, wear...

It just struck me as an amusing side observation: 128k MP3s throw away about 90% of the signal in their compression.  It surely doesn't seem to do much damage to the sound quality.  Maybe even 90% of the good stuff is crap, too.   

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #52
@GregDunn: your daughter, and her friends who know you, sure; teenager meeting new adult, not so much.

Hmm, a 90/10 rule. Like the old one about advertising: You can throw away 90% of music, and no one will care: the trick is knowing which 10% to keep.

From another ancient member of the Crocs 'n' iPods crowd.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #53
almost every single track throughout the set of albums exibited clipping and mp3 gain recommended a reduction in volume in every album to eliminate this clipping


There was a discussion about this a few days ago.  It seems that MP3Gain reports clipping even though it isn't always audible.  I still think it is wise to reduce the volume of tracks down to -89dB so that they all match and the affects of clipping are reduced.  Just know that the tracks that MP3Gain reports as having clipping may not have audible clipping.  That and I don't think clipping has anything to do with why mp3 is preferred.  Clipping will be there whether people listen to an audio CD or an mp3 ripped from that audio CD.  More than likely, the sound of mp3 may be preferred (given that this test was actually blind and scientific) simply because people have become used to it.  I remember when I used to listen for that hiss when playing my cassette tapes.  In fact, I purchased Korn's self-titled album on cassette and then purchased it on CD later that year (1994) as I purchased my first CD player.  I was disappointed when I didn't hear what I thought was a standard audible hiss.  I don't know if that is the case with what this study was trying to prove as the methodology has come into question and so has the encoder settings.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #54
@GregDunn: your daughter, and her friends who know you, sure; teenager meeting new adult, not so much.


Agreed; but music makes a great conversation starter. 

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Hmm, a 90/10 rule. Like the old one about advertising: You can throw away 90% of music, and no one will care: the trick is knowing which 10% to keep.


Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle. 

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #55
@GregDunn: your daughter, and her friends who know you, sure; teenager meeting new adult, not so much.


Agreed; but music makes a great conversation starter. 
Actually no. Musical tastes are a private matter for many people. I myself have a rather uncomfortable habit of expressing what has been construed as naked condescension in music discussions IRL (which I do need to work on), sooo it's often a pretty good idea to keep my opinions to myself.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #56
Yeah it depends, but for me it brings people together. My closest and oldest friend I met because I was wearing a band shirt he liked so we started talking music. We talk or hang out on a weekly basis still and we met in 1991.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #57
I realise that you're new around here, but I'd highly recommend that you read the Hydrogenaudio Terms Of Service (specifically TOS#8) before posting utter nonsense like this again... unless you were joking, of course.


Well, so much for a welcoming message...

I had no idea you needed a PhD in physics and an audio lab set up at home to substantiate your personal opinions.
With the TOS article you mention in mind, it seems to me that your comment represents as much nonsense as mine, with the added rudeness towards a newcomer that you so arrogantly display.

I sincerely have no further interest in collaborating in this or any other discussion in such an elitist forum.

Regards,
J.C.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #58
There's nothing even remotely elitist about this forum. If there was, I'd certainly have no interest in it. I was merely pointing out the rules that you agreed to when joining this forum. I wasn't being deliberately rude.

Your statement of...

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The sound is just immense, crystal clear and involving in a way that no compressed digital format comes ever even close!

(emboldened for clarity of my point)

...looked more like a statement of fact than personal opinion to me. If that's not the case then I apologise for any upset caused. On the other hand, if you're saying that SA-CD is sonically better than a properly used lossy format then you have to substantiate that claim.

This could easily be done by yourself at no expense by comparing the two with Foobar2000 and the ABX Comparator tool that comes with it. Your personal scientifically-proven findings would interest many of us here, I'm sure.

I don't make the rules, I just do my best to stick to them, as do all the other members. As long as you do likewise you'll be made to feel welcome.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #59
Well, so much for a welcoming message...


Well, so much for someone actually reading the rules (terms of service) before they post.  The terms of service apply to people regardless of how new or how long they have been here.

I had no idea you needed a PhD in physics and an audio lab set up at home to substantiate your personal opinions.
With the TOS article you mention in mind, it seems to me that your comment represents as much nonsense as mine, with the added rudeness towards a newcomer that you so arrogantly display.


You don't.  The terms of service (TOS) were made to stop unsubstantiated claims.  Terms like more full, warmer, natural sounding, etc. are often used by self-proclaimed "audiophiles" who would rather spend $200 on an RCA analog cable than take blind ABS tests proving their points.  The TOS are designed to stop people like this and to stop new people from making bogus claims without conducting the proper double blind tests to backup their claims.  Otherwise anyone can make audio claims and expect to be believed.  The TOS also help clear things up for someone who just joined the site looking for answers or someone conducting a Google search.

I sincerely have no further interest in collaborating in this or any other discussion in such an elitist forum.


Well, your loss.  I don't see why you should get all up in arms over this especially since Slipstreem was nice about things.  They could have been an ass by making a truly negative reply, reporting you to the mods/admins, and having your account banned.  Did that happen?  No, they simply pointed you to the TOS (something of which EVERYONE needs to follow) and said that you need to substantiate your claims.  I don't see what the big deal is.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #60
There's nothing even remotely elitist about this forum. If there was, I'd certainly have no interest in it. I was merely pointing out the rules that you agreed to when joining this forum. I wasn't being deliberately rude.

Your statement of...

Quote
The sound is just immense, crystal clear and involving in a way that no compressed digital format comes ever even close!

(emboldened for clarity of my point)

...looked more like a statement of fact than personal opinion to me. If that's not the case then I apologise for any upset caused. On the other hand, if you're saying that SA-CD is sonically better than a properly used lossy format then you have to substantiate that claim.

This could easily be done by yourself at no expense by comparing the two with Foobar2000 and the ABX Comparator tool that comes with it. Your personal scientifically-proven findings would interest many of us here, I'm sure.

I don't make the rules, I just do my best to stick to them, as do all the other members. As long as you do likewise you'll be made to feel welcome.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 


Perhaps I should rephrase that as: "...in a way that no compressed digital format came ever even close in my experience". It is, as I said, a personal opinion, like most music-related discussions are matters of personal taste.

I never intended to prove anything scientifically, because reducing the music-listening experience to a pile of numbers and graphs is such a narrow-minded way of looking at an incredibly complex subject. It has a lot more to do with the way it "feels" than the way it's actually (digitally) written down.

Furthermore, I mentioned the Dead Can Dance SACDs just for the sake of an example... not for the being SACDs per se, but for being albums I am particularly familiar with and which were recently released in such wonderfully remastered editions (and please don't ask me to prove that they're good remasters, I just know they are, as I've lived with the previous versions for many years).

And while a 256k/AAC compressed track from of one of those albums (and I mean the stereo layer, nevermind the SACD thing) sounds great, it lacks something in the listening experience, when compared to the actual CD (or SACD, for that matter). I can't tell you exactly what's missing, but it simply doesn't sound the same way. As I said, it's not as immense, clear or involving, namely in the lower frequencies. I can't explain it any better, it's just the way it feels.

(Off-topic, how can I revert the forum layout to a straight list of complete posts, instead of having the first post and a summary tree below?)

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #61
Perhaps I should rephrase that as: "...in a way that no compressed digital format came ever even close in my experience". It is, as I said, a personal opinion, like most music-related discussions are matters of personal taste.

While this statement might be on the edge of what is allowed here...
And while a 256k/AAC compressed track from of one of those albums (and I mean the stereo layer, nevermind the SACD thing) sounds great, it lacks something in the listening experience, when compared to the actual CD (or SACD, for that matter).

Is clearly beyond.
You might not fully understand the point of HydrogenAudio.  What you describe above is 100% testable.  100% objective.  That's who we are, that's where you are:  HydrogenAudio.org is an objectivist board.
I can't tell you exactly what's missing, but it simply doesn't sound the same way. As I said, it's not as immense, clear or involving, namely in the lower frequencies. I can't explain it any better, it's just the way it feels.
 
While it would be cool and helpful to all if you could describe the subjective difference between the two versions, that's not required.
What is required, though, is that you prove you can discern an objective difference before continuing with such claims.  That's the nature of the beast, the point of this board.

From your own description of your claim, an ABX test should prove quite simple, easy, and consume little time.  The fact it is required is just part of the social contract here.
Creature of habit.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #62
In short, excluding any visual input, the "feel" of the music will be absolutely identical if there is no audible difference. You can only prove that there is an audible difference (to you) by carrying out ABX tests. If there isn't an audible difference then that's undeniable proof that the "feel" is down to placebo effect and is in no way real.

We deal in reality here, not make-believe. That's why it's such a popular place for audio lovers who live in the real world.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #63
if you're saying that SA-CD is sonically better than a properly used lossy format then you have to substantiate that claim.

This could easily be done by yourself at no expense by comparing the two with Foobar2000 and the ABX Comparator tool that comes with it.
I think you will struggle to run SACD through the fb2k ABX comparator - or fb2k itself, for that matter, unless there's a DSD plug-in and DSD sound card that I've missed!

You can do it with a hardware ABX box. It's been done, and been reported in the Audio Engineering Society journal (with some controversy). There were some threads about it here last year.

Cheers,
David.


"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #64
Fair point. But someone around here must know what the sample-rate and bit-depth are and I'd be surprised if there weren't some legitimately downloadable samples somewhere in a 'friendlier' format for comparison against a self-made lossy version in Foobar2000. Either way, I think we already know what the conclusion will be from many trips down a similar road.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #65
Good lord!

I really don't know why I wasted my time trying to further explain my point of view.

It's alright, I get it. You don't care about opinions here, only numbers and scientific facts. Well, fine, but sorry to disappoint you folks, the real world is much richer and complex than that.

It's just funny that I find so many personal opinions scattered around these forums and nobody gives a damn, so I don't understand why you're nit-picking with me... Furthermore, I don't see the point of a public forum if one can't state his opinion on matters, that's so silly, namely on a topic which essencially involves personal taste (shall I remind you that the topic's title is ""Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred"?!). But then, I guess you really don't care and the purpose of whoever started this topic was to make a scientific analysis of taste. Good luck with that.

So, this time's for real, this is my last post here.
No bad feelings, I'll simply spend my precious free time in a place where I can breathe and share my points of view. That is what a forum is about.

Cheers!

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #66
It's alright, I get it. You don't care about opinions here, only numbers and scientific facts. Well, fine, but sorry to disappoint you folks, the real world is much richer and complex than that.

The world of sound comes down to what an individual person can or cannot hear. That can be proved or disproved scientifically. It's as simple as that.

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It's just funny that I find so many personal opinions scattered around these forums and nobody gives a damn, so I don't understand why you're nit-picking with me...

Nobody is nit-picking. All of the personal opinions you see around here are based upon scientific fact. If not, they are almost always challenged.

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Furthermore, I don't see the point of a public forum if one can't state his opinion on matters, that's so silly...

See above.

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...namely on a topic which essencially involves personal taste (shall I remind you that the topic's title is ""Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred"?!). But then, I guess you really don't care and the purpose of whoever started this topic was to make a scientific analysis of taste. Good luck with that.

The title of this thread is taken directly from the article under discussion. There wouldn't be much sense in calling it anything else, would there?

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So, this time's for real, this is my last post here.

I bet it isn't.

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No bad feelings, I'll simply spend my precious free time in a place where I can breathe and share my points of view. That is what a forum is about.

That's exactly what the HA forums are all about if the points of view and opinions expressed are based in fact. All HA members have to be prepared to be challenged if the validity of their point of view or opinion flies in the face of already known (or already thought to be known) facts.

Bye... for now.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #67
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I never intended to prove anything scientifically, because reducing the music-listening experience to a pile of numbers and graphs is such a narrow-minded way of looking at an incredibly complex subject. It has a lot more to do with the way it "feels" than the way it's actually (digitally) written down.

Furthermore, I mentioned the Dead Can Dance SACDs just for the sake of an example... not for the being SACDs per se, but for being albums I am particularly familiar with and which were recently released in such wonderfully remastered editions (and please don't ask me to prove that they're good remasters, I just know they are, as I've lived with the previous versions for many years).

And while a 256k/AAC compressed track from of one of those albums (and I mean the stereo layer, nevermind the SACD thing) sounds great, it lacks something in the listening experience, when compared to the actual CD (or SACD, for that matter). I can't tell you exactly what's missing, but it simply doesn't sound the same way. As I said, it's not as immense, clear or involving, namely in the lower frequencies. I can't explain it any better, it's just the way it feels.


The way it "feels" in the scientific world is just the "placebo effect". This kind of terminology would be acceptable in a musical critical listening and analysis lab, but doesn't fly here. Even if you found a remaster that was consider "good" that does not mean every remaster is good. I don't think you have heard of the "loudness war" recently? you might want to familiarize yourself with that.  The last paragraph is complete BS. If you were to provide an ABX test to proove that you could actually hear a difference I would believe you. The bottom line is you aren't the first person to visit HA and describe this audiophile garbage and you certainly won't be the last 
budding I.T professional

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #68
Good lord!

I really don't know why I wasted my time trying to further explain my point of view.


You should have read the TOS first and then posted.  It is fine that you have a personal opinion.  As you said, opinions are stated here all the time especially when someone asks about which lossy format to use and at what bitrate.  However, the bitrate portion is backed up by personal experiments.  Otherwise people will just brush them off.  This also stop people from making audiophool statements such as more full, warmer, less harsh, etc.  You want forums that allow you to express your opinion using such jargon?  Good.  Hydrogenaudio won't be for you then.  Imagine if someone were to come on these forums and the TOS weren't in place.  They would see all sorts of negative BS that would turn them completely away from iPods, make them listen to SACD/DVD-A only, think that vinyl is still the absolute best format on Earth, think that lossless files aren't lossless, and think that blind ABX tests are only for people who are stupid and picky.  I am sorry but hydrogenaudio just isn't the kind of place that will allow such nonsense as it can confuse new people, people who are searching, and goes against theories where people should backup their claims.  Hell, if people didn't backup their claims, we would have a world filled drugs promising to cure cancer and the value of the dollar would be a lot less.

So you can either conform to hydrogenaudio's TOS like everyone else (EVERYONE must conform to the TOS no matter how new or how seasoned they are) or find some other audiophool forums that live off of nonsense and loose jargon (warm, fuller, something is missing, etc.).

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #69
Fair point. But someone around here must know what the sample-rate and bit-depth are
Of course - the sample rate is 2.8224MHz (64x44.1) and the bitdepth is 1-bit.

While the datarate is easily manageable these days, there are no sound cards that accept and D>A convert a 1-bit 2.8224MHz input (AFAIK).

Aside: does anyone have a sample DSD stream? AFAIK SACD has never been ripped, but I could be wrong.

Cheers,
David.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #70
This is what I posted as I reply to the original article, plus some additional thoughts...

Having recently acquired the Dead Can Dance MFSL remasters in Audiophile SACD editions, I can honestly say that there's nothing quite like the experience of listening to these masterpieces in a decent stereo system - I mean decent, not absurdly expensive (mine consists of a simple Technics amplifier and a pair of Jamo speakers, both 20 years old and a €250 Cambridge Audio DVD/SACD player). The sound is just immense, crystal clear and involving in a way that no compressed digital format comes ever even close! But at the same time, I enjoy listening to my home-made 256k/AAC tracks in my iPhone every day. Amidst all the noise of a working place or as background music while reading, they're perfectly fine. And quite convenient!
All this to say that each thing has its own place. One is not meant to replace the other, as the experience is clearly different (and whoever thinks it isn't, simply hasn't listened to music on a decent stereo system).

I'd add that, like others mentioned, younger generations have far more serious issues regarding music apprecitaion than preferring MP3s to high quality recordings. I believe Mike's conversation with that young kid (putting aside an awkward definition of Metal  ) quite accurately represents the worst about nowadays' musical "panorama". Most people simply don't care what they listen to. And it's not a matter of taste and other subjective (and pointless) considerations. It's really a matter of not caring at all. They're fed the mainstream radio playlists (which are all the same) or the illegal downloads of the latest mainstream hype and they're happy enjoying it for a couple of weeks until the next mainstream hype turns up and replaces the previous one on their iPods. Most of the times, most people don't even know what they're listening to! Why? Because their illegal MP3s don't carry the respective tags.

It's this apathy towards music and a disregard to any kind of knowledge about it that scares me.


We just ran a guy out of town on TOS8 because of that?


A couple posters on this thread need to start taking their meds.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #71
You know that's not true, Axon. 90% of the post is absolutely fine, so why quote all of it?

Nobody chased anyone anywhere. DyingSun seems to have decided that the Terms Of Service are stupid and don't need to be followed. He clearly argues with them and says that he has no intention of complying with them. Aren't they there for everybody's benefit? I think so. He's been treated in exactly the same way as anyone else who behaves in the same way, so why are you getting your panties in a bunch over it? 

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #72
If your sole first response to a post is a TOS8 warning, you are being a pedant and are being needlessly argumentative. I mean, jesus... you're not even a mod. You are doing something that isn't even your job.

If your sole response to a post is a TOS warning, do not reply to it, REPORT IT. The (!) button is there for a reason. Hell, flag my post too if you want to be fair about it, it's a pretty deliberate TOS2.

If you feel the desire to respond, do so on the merits, like what Arny did. That approach is just as assertive of the principles of the forum, with the added bonus of not pissing people off as much. And, you know... when I have to compliment Arny on being non-argumentative, something's wrong.

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #73
So report me for helping to uphold the rules when there seemed to be no Mods around to do it for us. It's not just the Mods who are under this obligation you know. Officially maybe, but morally, no!

I'll take the alternative route of sneaking around behind people's backs like a coward if it makes the powers that be happy, but I'd rather be a man and be upfront about it if given the opportunity.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

"Sizzling sound" of mp3's is preferred

Reply #74
Are you kidding me? HA is one of the most actively moderated (and well-moderated) sites out there. If you want to see scarce mods... look at Head-Fi. Or Audio Asylum. But definitely don't look here.

But, it does rely on users bringing stuff to the mods' attention (like many good forums do). If you have a problem with a post, and you report it, in my experience, the mods take care of it quite quickly - if they agree with the problem.

It's a lot more cowardly to hide behind TOS8 in an argument than to take the time and effort to construct a cogent and reasoned response.

Morality has nothing to do with this. Actually, I take that back - if you want to talk morality, you're on the wrong side. It seems to me like you are framing this in an us-vs-them mentality - that there are offenders who are to be punished, and that reporting the offense is morally just. That's an extremely counterproductive strategy that perpetuates the myth that HA is a board that's out of touch with reality, overargumentative, spiteful, etc. Which is something I hear a lot out of the audiophile boards.

That's only as true as we want it to be. Some of the people making those statements really are douches, but some of them aren't. TOS8 is an extremely high bar for new posters to surpass. It is a counterintuitive rule that most lay people simply do not use in normal human conversation. Helping posters make that bar - and by extension, growing the community, helping as many people as possible, and improving the mindshare of pro-DBT opinions - requires reasoned and empathetic discussion, not brickbats. Insofar as those goals are moral, what you're doing isn't.

I'm being especially hard on you here, but if you're confident enough to be righteous about this, you better be able to take it just as well as you can dish it.

 
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