How noticeable to you is the sound degredation from compression to MP3?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by DanielG, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. DanielG

    DanielG Agent

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Instead of spending a bunch of time and money on music jukebox devices like the Escient Fireball system or even buying some software and a huge compueter hard drive, I'm thinking of just getting the biggest iPod and using it in situations when I'm not doing "serious" listening and want to assemble misc. play lists or jump from album to album.

    However, I've heard from a number of people that compression of the music to MP3 will degrade the quality of the reproduction - so my question to you is how noticeable do you think that degration is?

    One of my neighbors in my condo building happens to be a Grammy award winning jazz pianist and I got the iPod idea when I was in his apartment the other day. For non-critical listening he thinks the iPod is great and has never been troubled by sound quality differences and finds it to be the easiest and cheapest way to have a lot of different music readily available.

    I really like the idea but given the time and money I've now put into my main listening system (hopefully will be set up within a week or two) and what I'd previously been told I thought I'd bounce the idea off everyone here.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    it all depends on what bit-rate you use.

    obviously, the higher the bit-rate, the better off you'll be. i have a music server in my setup. i copy all my songs over at 160 and they sound fine. for casual listening, i can't even tell.

    i suppose if i ever really sat down and did some critical listening, i could tell ... but i really can't be bothered. all i do when i play music is use it for background.

    if you want to be really safe, do it at a high-bitrate. i'm told 360 sounds just like a cd.
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, bit rate is all the diff. I use the R3mix VBR preset, and have been very happy--- small enough to make it worthwhile to archive your whole collection and sounds pretty good.

    -Vince
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Not only the sampling rate, but the codec used has a profound affect. This is something that changes quite frequently and the codecs can even be dependent upon the program material with some being handled better than others. For example, I direct your attention to the following.
     
  5. TosH

    TosH Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0


    Why don't you try encoding some music using various bitrates and codecs and see for yourself? Really that's the only way you'll truly find out how transparent music encoded to MP3 or other lossy codecs sound to you. It varies depending on your listening ability, equipment, background noise, codec used, compression level, etc. So really, you have to answer the question for yourself.

    Keep in mind that encoding music to MP3 or other lossy codecs will ALWAYS degrade the quality of reproduction. You cannot reproduce the original WAV from an MP3, no matter how high you set the bit rate. If you want perfect reproduction, then you have to encode to a lossless format such as FLAC or APE. With lossy codecs, the trick is to find out the level at which you can't tell the difference anymore.

    Anyways, I suggest you head on over to http://hydrogenaudio.org/ and do some research. You'll find countless debates on this subject over there.
     
  6. Beau222

    Beau222 Auditioning

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now apple is upgrading alot of itunes from certain catalogs to 256bits they will charge .30 extra for each song and supposedly they will be interchangable with mp3 players not just itunes. Due out in may.
     

Share This Page