Customer Discussions > Music forum

Music Listening Technology: Which Do You Use?


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 26-50 of 181 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 10, 2013 5:52:59 PM PST
alysha25 says:
I have a big ole' stereo sitting there too! Also with a 5 disc CD carousel (I always hated that thing). No turntable, but a double cassette deck.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 6:59:41 PM PST
Me: re: Why would you download an MP3 of music you already have on CD?

You: I hardly ever play CDs anymore. I like having my albums on flash drives and I haven't converted most of my CDs to the MP3 format yet. The only CDs I do play are the ones where the music flows smoothly from one song to the next, like Pink Floyd. "

Me: (I made a similar comment about MP3 hesitations in Pink Floyd yesterday) What I mean with my question is this - if you have the CD, and a Windows PC, you can rip the CDs to WMA music files, which take up less space, and sound the same as MP3s, at least to me. I'm having space issues lately, since my music player is only 16GB, and I think I am going to start buying CDs again, instead of downloading MP3 albums.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:37:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 9:38:09 PM PST
B L T says:
I'm sorry, I misunderstood. I wouldn't buy an MP3 album if I already had the CD. Now that the CDs I purchased from Amazon in the past are available as MP3s for free, I'll download them and put them on flash drives.

I have no problems with space. I have a NAD C565BEE CD player that has a USB port on the front for a flash drive. This player is capable of playing 65,408 files stored in an external USB device. I figure around 467GB (140 files per GB). More than I'll ever use.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 9:51:21 PM PST
Cinncinati Dan: if you had an iPod, you could play those tracks "gapless". Then you would not have that break in between the Pink Floyd songs.
I have an iPod and love it, but it is for convenience. I still prefer having a CD or ripping to FLAC, as with mp3 you are, of course, losing some of the sound quality.

You losing an awful lot of money buying a CD then ripping to a lesser quality, then selling it for next to nothing.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 3:41:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 3:42:17 AM PST
MC Zaptone says:
And as I have mentioned, lower bitrate MP3 stand a very good chance of not being forward compatible. I know someone who burnt his entire vinyl collection to MP3 and sold the originals, after upgrading his hifi he now seriously regrets his actions. By using HD downloads and ripping Cds to a hi-rate, lossless format you are at least getting the most from your recordings, which will definitely tell in the not too distant future. OK, you may be giving up a little more memory but storage is not going to be a big deal either.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 5:09:15 AM PST
Please explain the "lower bitrate" versus "hi-rate, lossless format". I know of 3 types of digital music files, 4 if I include CDs: MP3, WMA, M4A (AAC). Which are "low-rate", and which are "hi-rate"?

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 6:13:56 AM PST
Derek W. says:
Cincinnati - MP3 and WMA formats allow you to rip music in a range of bitrates from low to high. Taking MP3 as an example, I believe the lowest bitrate is 64 kbps and the highest is 320. The higher the bitrate used to rip the original CD the closer the sound quality is to what you get from playing the CD, the downside is that the file size increases significantly the higher the bitrate. D on't know about AAC, but I suspect that it als allows the use of a range of bitrates.

Lossless formats include FLAC (although FLAC does allow you to rip at a lower bitrate I believe) and WAV files, ALAC is the Apple equivalent of FLAC. Downside again is file size, probably between 200 and 300 Mb for a regular CD, Upside is you get to hear exactly whats on the original CD.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 6:43:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 6:50:02 AM PST
B L T says:
Someone help me out here. I don't understand how you can take an original low bitrate recording and improve the sound by ripping it at a higher bitrate. There's only a certain amount of information on the original recording. How can you add more bits of information than what's already there? Isn't it compressing a low bitrate recording in to a smaller space?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 7:07:29 AM PST
There are three basic types of digital music file formats: uncompressed (WAV); compressed lossless (FLAC; ALAC); and compressed lossy (MP3; AAC; WMA). Uncompressed gives you an exact copy of a CD file but is takes up a lot of space. Compressed lossless will give you a file with no loss of musical data at about 1/2 the size of an uncompressed file. Compressed lossy will give you a file with some loss of data but how much and how noticeable is dependent on the bit rate you set your ripper for. Certainly at rates of 256 or 320kbps the loss will be unnoticeable to most ears; that is pretty much true for 192 as well. Below that the loss of quality is more apparent. A file at 256kbps is about 1/5 of the size of an uncompressed file.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 7:09:39 AM PST
If the file was ripped to a low bitrate say 128kbps, and you make a copy of that file at 256kbps, it will not improve it. Indeed there may be still more data lost though probably not noticeably.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 7:12:27 AM PST
Derek W. says:
B L T - The simple answer is that you can't. If you rip a CD at 128 kbps in MP3, then with the right software, you could convert the MP3 files to WAV files and rerip them at 320 kbps, but that won't improve the sound, it will make it worse, because you're compressing an already compressed file even further.

You can't put back what you've taken out. You could try playing your files through an upsampling DAC, which will attempt to put back some of the information you've taken out, but it won't necessarily accurately reflect the original music.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 7:26:07 AM PST
W. L. Lynch says:
Vinyl rocks. I find listening to cd to be like listening to the radio. It sounds almost right and in some circumstances even sounds good but never great. And I have a real stereo too, GOD SAVE BIG SPEAKERS!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 7:27:32 AM PST
B L T says:
I didn't think it wouldn't improve the quality and was pretty sure the quality would likely decrease. I was just curious what other people thought.

Derek W. - My player has an upsampling DAC built in.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 7:36:51 AM PST
Meh says:
CD to Apple Lossless. MP3 is poor quality, IMO.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 7:44:32 AM PST
B L T says:
The system you play you're digital music on is the biggest factor in quality sound.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 8:27:00 AM PST
vivazappa says:
Lynch:
Radio sounded better in the days of vinyl!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 10:30:33 AM PST
S. Rice says:
Derek W. says:
"If you rip a CD at 128 kbps in MP3, then with the right software, you could convert the MP3 files to WAV files and rerip them at 320 kbps, but that won't improve the sound, it will make it worse, because you're compressing an already compressed file even further."

Excellent point that deserves repeating. I've made the mistake myself, so I know how bad it sounds to re-rip an uncompressed WAV file CDr back to MP3. It sounds awful! Digital loss-less (ALAC & FLAC) is the only choice for me. MP3s are so 2000's.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 1:26:28 PM PST
You can't improve the quality once you rip to a low bit rate it's a done deal

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 2:43:11 PM PST
Thanks for all the detailed info on bit rates. When I download an MP3 from Amazon, what is the bit rate? Does Amazon set the standard, or is that set by me somehow? I will investigate my PC to see what bit rate I've been ripping my CDs to WMA files.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 2:58:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 3:00:52 PM PST
Have any of you heard this theory, it makes sense to me but I don't know if it actually works this way.
Generally speaking, it's agreed that multiple converting degrades the sound such as going from 128 to 256.

This article stated that if you take for example a wav and convert to 128 mp3, the mechanics of it remove what is called the "unessential" parts of the audio, like the inaudible frequencies and low volume parts, making it listenable and fine for portable audio and PC's (which is what is was really designed to do).

Then if you convert it back to wav, it fills in that missing audio with essentially "space", so that while the sound is not improved, it still sounds indentical to the 128 mp3 and can be burned to CD.

Further, if you again convert this lower fidelity wav back to mp3 it sees the space as unessential and removes that so your 128 mp3 sound will be pretty much intact and not any worse than it was.

Makes sense but I don't know if that is how it actually works.

I have been doing this with DVD Dolby Digital files I rip from concert DVD's to make files for the iPod, DD is lossy like mp3.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 3:01:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 3:04:48 PM PST
MC Zaptone says:
I think you will find that Amazon cop out by saying most of their downloads are VBR (variable bit rate) so unless you download it and run it through software you don't know from one track to the next what you're getting. Other sites such as iTunes + (plus) will guarantee at least 256 kbps. Both HDmusic.me and LinnRecords will provide studio quality 24bit /192 kHz downloads.
Shop around and you'll find decent downloads at decent prices.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 3:33:19 PM PST
B L T says:
From Amazon Help:

Bit Rate: Where possible, we encode our MP3 files using variable bit rates for optimal audio quality and file sizes, aiming at an average of 256 kilobits per second (kbps). Using a variable bit rate allows us to allocate a higher bit rate to the more complex sections of music files while using a smaller bit rate for the less complex sections. The average of these rates is then calculated to produce an average bit rate for the entire file that represents the overall sound quality. Some of our content is encoded using a constant bit rate of 256 kbps. This content will have the same excellent audio quality at a slightly larger file size.

...............................

Out of curiosity I checked the bit rate on 2 albums I've downloaded from Amazon. The bit rate on songs from Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood's, "Live From Madison Square Garden" was 256 kbps on every song, while Gillian Welch's less complex, "The Harrow & The Harvest" ranged from 190-228 kbps.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 3:39:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 3:40:16 PM PST
B L T says:
It's simple to see what your getting.

Right click the file
Click Properties
Click 'Details' Tab to see bit rate

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 3:51:02 PM PST
Thanks BLT. I just checked a few files and...
The files I copied from CD to WMA on my Windows Vista PC, all seem to be 128kbps.
MP3 files I downloaded from Amazon, range from 256 - 600+ kbps (I only checked a few).
AAC files someone with an ipod sent me: my Windows PC does not give me that info.

Is 128 kbps good enough in your opinion? (I don't have any problem listening to it)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 4:06:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 4:09:23 PM PST
B L T says:
When I did blind tests comparing different bit rates with a CD, around 128 kbps and less is where I could hear a difference, not every time, but most of the time. I can't explain exactly what the difference was, but something just wasn't right, like a faint hollow tinny sound shrouding the music at times. I could live with 128 kbps, but I'd prefer my MP3s to be a little higher.
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the Music forum

 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  45
Total posts:  181
Initial post:  Jan 9, 2013
Latest post:  Aug 27, 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 4 customers

Search Customer Discussions