I looked over several pages of threads here and didn't find one on this topic. I wanted to ask what other listeners' experiences have been with different bitrates, including Amazon's 256kbps.
A few years ago I ripped a number of CD's onto my computer at 128 kbps and transferred them to my iPod. I did not like the results.
I'm currently in the process of ripping all of my jazz CD's onto a hard drive in FLAC (library is in Media Monkey). Just to run a test, however, I tried comparing 256 to higher bitrates, including lossless. I didn't think I could tell the difference, played over my computer, using headphones. I do not have a digital music server, so to compare the sound on my stereo I copied lossless and 256 onto a CD and compared the tracks. I also could not tell a difference there. (The track I used was Tom Petty's "Straight Into Darkness," from his recent live anthology.)
For anyone who has tried to assess what their own ears can hear or not hear, what has your experience been?
I am going to continue to use FLAC to store my CD collection, as at some point in the future I may play them back on an improved system in which the difference becomes audible. But I'd like to get others' thoughts on the matter, including on the issue of Amazon's 256kbps MP3 files. How have you liked them?
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