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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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The MP3 audio file format: Warning! Do not use for serious audio.

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  • #16
    Re: The MP3 audio file format: Warning! Do not use for serious audio.

    FLAC format compresses but does not lose data. It is wide spread and you can convert from FLAC back to your original WAV anytime you like, With disk space being cheap and memory getting cheaper this is the way to go,

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    • #17
      Re: The MP3 audio file format: Warning! Do not use for serious audio.

      Originally posted by steve View Post
      FLAC format compresses but does not lose data. It is wide spread and you can convert from FLAC back to your original WAV anytime you like, With disk space being cheap and memory getting cheaper this is the way to go,
      Yes - FLAC is my choice of storage for music. One problem is that almost none of the "MP3" players plays FLAC. In contrast mp3 is ubiquitous - I got it in my mini-combo, mp3 player, car player, DVD player, Western Digital Media Player and PC. Whereas FLAC is only available on my PC and my Western Digital Media Player. It is OK for me now, but I do hope that FLAC (or one of the lossless compression codec) will become more widely supported in the future.

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      • #18
        Re: The MP3 audio file format: Warning! Do not use for serious audio.

        When I ripped (almost) my entire CD collection and gave it away, I seriously considered FLAC or Vorbis or one of these lossless encoders. I didn't even consider MP3, not even at a high bitrate. I decided in the end that I'd probably regret coding with an 'enthusiasts' coder in twenty years when it had disappeared and that I should either use MP3 (no) or retain the original WAV files, disk space being cheap.

        So I ripped them all to 44k 16 bit WAV files, the same format they're on the CDs.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

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        • #19
          Re: The MP3 audio file format: Warning! Do not use for serious audio.

          A few years ago I encoded a piece of music using 3 different formats (mp3, ogg, wma) using the highest possible settings (e.g. 320kbs). I then looked at each version of the song using spectral analysis and compared it to the original. I noted that in all three cases information was missing and in some cases it was quite drastic.

          I now encode exclusively to FLAC using XLD on my Mac.

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          • #20
            Re: The MP3 audio file format: Warning! Do not use for serious audio.

            hasnt cheap storage negated the need for compression? you can fit 600 uncompressed cds onto a 500gb pocket size drive. all for less than 150 USD's.

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            • #21
              Re: The MP3 audio file format: Warning! Do not use for serious audio.

              I just bought a 1Tb hard disk for a little over 60, that's 1000Gb for those not computer literate.

              I rip everything as .wav files.

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              • #22
                Re: The MP3 audio file format: Warning! Do not use for serious audio.

                Alan:

                A thought for you: not sure what you're using as a player, but the iTunes software (which is a free download) will handle WAV files. And if you import your WAV files into iTunes, you will be able to perform very easy conversions (without affecting the original file) to mp3 or AAC at any bit rate you choose. The iTunes "Get Info" command allows you to verify the bit rate of every file, to confirm it's been encoded properly. So while you can't beat WAV for archiving your data, if you're interested in assessing the sonic validity of mp3 (or AAC) at various bit rates, iTunes gives you a very easy and convenient means of doing just that.

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