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#274693 - 10/11/09 07:56 PM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: Riker]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
I"ve been contemplating the Sonos system to get music out onto the deck more easily than running wires, but i have yet to put our music into digital format so the present files consist of many mp3s, many older 128kbps versions and i loathe the idea of putting them onto a decent system such as we have across the house.

In essence, i may not buy a system to wirelessly stream audio until i have ripped alot of our favorite discs for playback.
Must start with selecting a format preference i guess.
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#274703 - 10/12/09 01:50 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: chesseroo]
Micah Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1789
Loc: Indiana you hoser!!!!
 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
...but i have yet to put our music into digital format so the present files consist of many mp3s, many older 128kbps versions and i loathe the idea of putting them onto a decent system such as we have across the house...



I ran across a very interesting dilema a few weeks back. I have a ton of downloaded music on my hard drive, and I've been in the process of ripping CD's to the hard drive over the past few weeks. When ever I rip a CD I check to see if I had the song downloaded, and if I did, I erase the 128 kbps version with the 900+ kbps version. Anywho I was ripping my Van Halen CD's and started to erase the duplicate songs that I'd downloaded. Just before I got rid of them I played a few of them head-to-head against the 'superior' 900 kbps replacement songs just so that I could see how much better my new library was going to sound... to my amazement not only could I not hear much of a difference at all between the two versions, but when I could hear a difference, I was actually liking the sound of the 128 kbps versions BETTER!?!?!? WTF????

These weren't different versions of the song, the 128 kbps downloaded song 'Panama' for instance was the version straight off of the '1984' album. However, when I ripped my '1984' CD to the computer and then played the same exact song against the supposedly inferior 128 kbps song, the downloaded song actually sounded more spacious, more detailed, and somehow just sounded all around better to my ear. The 900 kbps version actually had a more 'compressed' feel to it, if there is such a thing. I was baffled. Because it wasn't only on 'Panama', but also the downloaded 'Hot For Teacher', 'Jump', 'Ice Cream Man' and a few others sounded better as well. And the others, I simply couldn't tell a difference between the two versions rather than the ripped version sounding superior.

In the end I ended up erasing the downloaded versions simply because in my head the 900 kbps version 'should' sound better. I know that probably sounds dumb, but it's just the way I am. Had in not done it that way everytime I would have heard 'Jump' or one of the other one's I would have been thinking, "this is the compressed version, so I'm not getting everything I should out of it". But it sure made me realize that had I been in a blind comparison test trying to detect the differences between the compressed and uncompressed versions of the two songs, I would have failed miserably! And it would have baffled me because I surely would have thought that it was obvious which was the compressed song since it sounded so much better, with so much more dimension to it... exactly what I would have EXPECTED the uncompressed version to sound like.

But for what ever reason, it was the exact opposite. I'm still scratching my head over that one!
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#274706 - 10/12/09 02:18 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: Micah]
Ken.C Online   content
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Registered: 05/03/03
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Loc: NoVA
What rips at 900kbps? I've only heard of 320, tops. Are you talking about a lossless codec of some kind?


Edited by kcarlile (10/12/09 02:18 AM)
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#274712 - 10/12/09 02:36 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: Ken.C]
Micah Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1789
Loc: Indiana you hoser!!!!
Yes in Windows Media Player you can rip in WMA which is lossless. It takes a lot of room, but it's just like playing the CD... supposedly anyway.
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#274713 - 10/12/09 02:40 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: Micah]
Micah Offline
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Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1789
Loc: Indiana you hoser!!!!
Actually, it seems not all songs are recorded at the same bit rate. Checking through my library 2Pac's 'Me Against the World' plays at 834 kbps while 'California Love', which is off of the same CD, plays at 1.04 Mbps.

But 900 kbps is a rough average.
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#274715 - 10/12/09 02:47 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: Micah]
Micah Offline
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Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1789
Loc: Indiana you hoser!!!!
Also I might add, the Van Halen cuts were rare. Most of the time the WMA tracks are noticably cleaner/better. I was just very confused why there were so many Van Halen songs that sounded better at 128 kbps than at 900? And just in case you were wondering, it wasn't just the '1984' album that this occured, so I can rule out it being a bum CD. I noticed this on various Van Halen songs, and on some Smashing Pumpkins and Pink Floyd tracks. When I compared some Tom Cochrane tracks though, the WMA songs were the cleaner/better versions. Same was the case with the ZZ Top tracks, Great White tracks, and the Journey tracks I sampled. So it's not a case where WMA sucks or anything like that. It's just... well, I don't know what it is?
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#274718 - 10/12/09 03:02 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: Micah]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Many "remastered" releases should be labeled "compressed to sound louder" instead. Perhaps the MP3s you have are from older versions of the same album, where as you have newer remasters. Only in a few cases have later releases actually been superior.
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#274721 - 10/12/09 09:17 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: Micah]
EFalardeau Offline
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Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3270
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Micah
Actually, it seems not all songs are recorded at the same bit rate. Checking through my library 2Pac's 'Me Against the World' plays at 834 kbps while 'California Love', which is off of the same CD, plays at 1.04 Mbps.

But 900 kbps is a rough average.

It is important not to confuse the bitrate for lossy encodings such as MP3 with the file size differences of lossless compression. The lossless bitrate for 16/44.1 stereo is constant at 1.411Mb/s; it is the file size that varies due to "zipping". It is just more convenient for the onscreen presentation to use the "bitrate" field inplace of "compression ratio" to avoid use two columns.
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#274722 - 10/12/09 11:02 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: EFalardeau]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
Though i know this has been discussed before, the search tool is not much help in finding the topic so i'll ask this here.

What would be a good, non-lossy format for ripping that 'hopefully' will stay around into the future?
Wav- way too large a file size
WMA- i just hate any MS format given they change things around so often, today WMA is popular, in 5 years it could become .WMX or something entirely new say .STC ('screw the consumer').

I have heard 128 vs 256 vs 320 mp3s and although i agree the quality improves with bitrate, the 320 mp3s don't sound as dynamic as a cd song. The 128 rate encoded songs pale in comparison to anything else. The quality difference is incredibly obvious however i do know that depending on how the songs were ripped, some sound louder or more bassy than the cd versions which makes me wonder about the person and method used to rip the song possibly to make it sound 'better' by using some band tweaking.
I have tried the mp3 vs cd a/b on my home computer though some argue i would need to move the mp3 off the computer b/c of electronic interference within the machine affecting sound quality, etc. etc.

I'm just not sold on ripping to a lossy format so i would rather rip to a non-lossy format thinking that into the future, i could turn those original rips into anything else if required. What lossless formats can be stored and played on iPods or other units though?
From what i've seen so far, everything plays mp3s, with addon apps or otherwise, most play WMA, some play AAC, do any play WAV? Whatever happened to FLAC?
Another passing through codec?

These files would be the digital masters, originals and remain archived as such. Storage is cheap these days anyway so who knows? Maybe i'll stick with the archaic wav files.

Any thoughts?

(Alternatively if someone has a link to the thread(s) where this topic was discussed recently, they could just pass that along; i just can't seem to locate it).
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#274724 - 10/12/09 11:19 AM Re: I think I finally found the right solution [Re: chesseroo]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
flac. a good encoder gives you the ability to select your level of compression, so if you need to shrink files down a little you can always increase the compression level.

Honestly, with 2 terabyte drives at close to $100 a pop, to me, file size is becoming irrelevant
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