The MP3 is officially dead according to its creators.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Classicrock, May 13, 2017.

  1. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    I can't speak about a smart phone directly since I don't have one. My flip phone is my only mobile phone since I prefer its simplicity and that the screen is protected from damage (I've seen so many smart phones with a damaged screen that I'm no longer surprised by it). I also like the long battery life (I can go several days on a charge with regular use).

    One difference between the two is the interface. One of the things I like about my Walkman is the interface. Some knock it because it looks like something that is a bit ancient (except for a few improvements it is the same interface used in the original MP3 Walkman over a decade ago). But I like it because its simple and it works. Plus, I like that it does not have a scroll wheel like on the iPod. While the scroll wheel might be okay for a small number of files, when you start getting into the thousands it takes a long time to get to a specific song, even with the alphabetic shortcut. For me, the diamond button (a square turned 90 degrees with a button on each corner and a button in the center) on my player is much easier to maneuver around so I can get to any song on my player (a little more than 7,000) in a few seconds.

    One thing I dislike is a touch screen when it comes to music players is because it usually takes a lot of finger swiping to get to what I need. I had a Walkman with a touch screen and it turned me off of touch screens for music players, and that is a real I'd give a pass for a smart phone as a music player...unless I can customize the interface to suit me.
    bcaulf likes this.
  2. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    For those that have listened to my files; #1 was the mp3. :)
  3. bcaulf

    bcaulf Forum Resident

  4. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    The original file is 24/96; one is down sampled to 16/44, the other is encoded with Lame highest bit rate, and up sampled to 16/44.
    Here is the original file.

    Dropbox - 171222_0157.wav
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
    bcaulf likes this.
  5. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    How many does it take to make a dollar?

    Anecdotes are all any of us have; when united, we are legion!
  6. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Florida, Central
    I was trying to make a somewhat serious point.
    Anyone on an audio forum can make any type of claim on an audio forum, but one has to weigh it appropriately.

    When subjected to more rigorous test, such as some of Member @Archimago comparisons and others I have found and taken, one often finds the reality is a good bit different than the claims some make.
    Tommy SB likes this.
  7. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Me too.
  8. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Florida, Central
    I think you are missing the point he is making.
    There is a far larger difference between a great recording or mastering compared to a merely good or very good recording, than there ever will be between MP3, CD or High res sound.

    The different media formats are not that big a variable overall, despite anecdotal descriptions otherwise.
    Nothing definitive has ever been decided, and that is not to say there is no difference, but there is not even close to a consensus of agreement.

    If the topic is that highly debated, (Mp3 Vs Cd, vs High Res) that signals to me something quite important.
    SandAndGlass and MusicNBeer like this.
  9. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    I only know what I know.
    Higlander and Ham Sandwich like this.
  10. It's an irrelevant point to be making.

    An Audio Fidelity mastering as an MP3 is better listening than a high-res brickwalled mastering version of the same album. So what. My counterclaim is that I'd rather have the Audio Fidelity version as high-res than as CD redbook res.
    Grant likes this.
  11. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Florida, Central
    You are taking "Mastering differences" to the extreme, not what he or I meant.

    Take a dozen known good masters of different music, the differences "Between" those dozen recordings will trump the difference between Mp3, CD or High res audio.
    I completely understand and get why you would rather have the high res version over the Mp3 @320 version on principle alone, (I would also!), but doubt in reality it is all that big a difference in practice is all many are saying.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. broshfab4

    broshfab4 Forum Resident

    Long Island, NY
    I guess this is one topic that these creators and I would agree with then! Can't say I'm sorry to see it go.
    melstapler likes this.
  13. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    It's far from being dead. What the communication from Fraunhofer Institute says is that they have abandoned it, so they will not offer licencing and won't invest in further codec development. That makes it dead to them and while I can't guess what's the impact on the industry, I'm pretty confident there will be none for us- the end user.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  14. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    In opposition to the supposition, I just randomly checked the mp3 collection I have thus far amassed and stored on hard drives, and those I have personally burned to CD-R's over the years, and I have not assessed this quality in existence within any of my samples...
    -with the exception, of course, of those mp3's of The Grateful Dead...:p
  15. Vignus

    Vignus Digital Vinylist

    At one point, a couple of years back, I started comparing mp3 and flac to understand if I could hear a real difference.
    Switching back and forth between the formats didn't work, nor did blind test - maybe my brain was doing too much of a good job in compensating and also I found it hard to hear what was there and not what I wanted to hear.

    So I tried something different: I only listened to flac ( 16-24 bits, up to 192) for a couple of weeks (no mp3 at all).
    This got me used to listen to music in a different quality.
    Then, after 2 weeks, I started playing some mp3 again. My first reaction was "Hey, what's this sh@@t???"

    I never came back to mp3.
    Grant and Ham Sandwich like this.
  16. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    What a terrible loss. 2017 was a rough year for music lovers.
  17. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    I play FLAC at home, but do use mp3 in the car, as I previously stated. I can hear the difference, even in a moving vehicle. But, 320 kbps in the car is acceptable to me. I'll play mp3 in the bedroom at low volume on my powered speakers. But, there's no way I would play them at home on the main stereo unless I have to.
    Vignus and 4011021 like this.
  18. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    I had a revelation a few weeks ago. I finally heard the difference between Spotify and Tidal. I know Spotify doesn't use mp3, but anyway I had never heard a difference between lossy and lossless. I was always reading about the differences and thinking, "what the hell, those damn gold ears and/or liar audiophiles". I basically only listened to files through my iPhone.

    Then I bought new speakers (B&W 702 S2) and amplifier (Parasound Halo Integrated). I streamed Spotify through Chromecast Audio via toslink to the Parasound Halo internal DAC. It sounded so so.

    Then just for the heck of it I tried Tidal. As I said it was a revelation. And I was not even using an exquisite outstanding expensive DAC.

    I don't have any hi res files except for one set of records that I know is an exclusive remaster so no point in comparing, so I have no opinion about hi res vs 16/44.1, but lossy vs lossless is now pretty evident to me.
  19. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    MP3s are not all the same, it totally depends on the bitrate and encoder software used. 128kBit is the "lower limit" of acceptable, it is audible to most people if they know what to look for, but how much totally depends on the encoder, and if it's offensive depends on the person's taste. Anything below 128kBit is low end and the artefacts are mostly not subtle. Above 128kBit it depends on the material and the person. Personally I can't hear artefacts with most 192kBit or VBR MP3s, and 320 kBit is probably undetectable for almost everyone.
    ShallowMemory likes this.
  20. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    That's only because Fraunhofer's patent has expired, so anybody can legally make "ISO standard" MP3 encoders and decoders now without needing to license it from them. And it's actually the LAME project which has been leading MP3 codec development for many years now, because their codec (originally designed as a work-alike to avoid patent licensing) ended up significantly outperforming the ISO standard codec.
    Grant and Rolltide like this.
  21. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    The Walkman is dead? I know they ended production of the compact cassette Walkman a few years ago (just checked Wikipedia and it was 2010), but they are still releasing Walkman DAPs (one recently released was the NW-A45).
    anorak2 and melstapler like this.
  22. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    I strongly agree about all MP3s not being the same. Another factor is the type of audio you are encoding. As an example, when it comes to audiobooks where one individual is doing the reading and there is no music (other than small bits at points in the audiobook) I found a mono MP3 at 96kbps was acceptable and saved quite a bit of space (when space was a concern like when I used to use a CD/MP3 player and had to burn MP3s to a CD).

    Now that space isn't much of a concern, when I need to use MP3s I encode them using LAME at 320kbps CBR. Based on my own testing, I can't tell the difference between that and FLAC (I sometimes notice a slight difference but I couldn't consistently identify which was the FLAC and which was the MP3 so it is likely that based on the testing criteria I was just guessing).

    A final factor to mention is how you are going to listen to the files. While MP3 might not be acceptable for open air listening (such as in a room with loud speakers), it might be fine for confined listening (such as with a portable player using headphones).
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  23. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    I can hear it. You just have to know what to listen for.
    Vignus likes this.
  24. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    MP3 was never meant to be an audiophile codec. It was meant for low-bandwidth Internet streaming and downloads. It was actually MP2 (MPEG-1 Layer 2) that was intended to be "broadcast quality" and still is widely used in radio and TV broadcasting and is supported as the audio track on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Philips even won an Emmy award for their part in developing MP2.
    4011021 likes this.
  25. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    mp3 was created at a time where broadband internet was rare, and almost exclusive to universities and the government. Now, the majority of the country has broadband.
    Claude Benshaul and melstapler like this.

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