The MP3 is officially dead according to its creators.

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

  1. Greg Arkadin

    Greg Arkadin Forum Resident

    No, I said I doubt many people can hear the difference. I'm happy to be wrong, but I haven't seen anything resembling consensus on this issue.
  2. Around 1990 or so, I remember one company tried to sell double-length mono CDs of old mono recordings. They included an adapter of some sort for your CD player, which allowed you to select which one of the 2 channels you wanted to hear. They were forced to cease selling them.

    No one would be interested in releasing such a "format" now, but could anyone stop them?
  3. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Mid Atlantic

    You difference people lossless

    Grant, why respond in lossless when he prefers MP3?
    Grant likes this.
  4. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Heh! :D
  5. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman Well-Known Member

    Um, human flawed psychology exploited by marketing? If nobody told you the music was 'lossy', you wouldn't have a scooby doo mate. Seriously, do a double blind test and stop wasting your time believing this nonsense.
  6. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    I suggest you speak for yourself. I've done my blind testing, and I can hear the difference. Leave it alone, mate!
    goodiesguy, Blank Frank and Gary like this.
  7. XentimenT

    XentimenT Well-Known Member

    I just doubt mp3 will go away anytime soon, because it became standard. If device can play audio, it can play mp3, and than maybe other formats. But mp3 is always playable. Everywhere. No way that will change anytime soon, for a average human. Audophiles already use lossless since it became a thing, and average people just find it much easier to rip mp3 from YouTube for their casual listening with a 2$ earbuds.
    beat_truck, Shak Cohen and Grant like this.
  8. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Maybe your headphones aren't as nice as you claim, if they don't allow you to hear the difference. It is clearly audible.
    goodiesguy and Grant like this.
  9. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

  10. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    The song used in the original creation of an MP3 file was Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega here is the audio that the MP3 file leaves out and if you can make out the images enough you'll notice it's the video of the song. It might sound like noise to most but don't be fooled there is a lot of high frequency information among other things that are left out and can be noticed when comparing to a lossless version. Also a general width or space or breath of life to the music can be detected in an MP3 file when comparing it to a lossless version. It's as if the song sounds compressed or not. It's an overall feel kinda thing to those that can tell the difference.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  11. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    MP3 320 works for me...I see no reason to not use it.
    beat_truck, Miriam and Shak Cohen like this.
  12. Greg Arkadin

    Greg Arkadin Forum Resident

    Thanks for your comments. The difference might be clear. But I don't hear it.

    My headphones are nice. Not excellent. Not superb. Nice.

    Maybe I would hear the difference on top-shelf headphones. But I doubt I'll ever own a pair.
  13. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH Forums.

    Mp3 will never die.

    In 40 years time, hipster youth will have rediscovered the almost-obsolete mp3 format. Their cyber-community chatter will be full of comments like:
    "yeah, I really dig that mellow retro hifi sound of those low-bitrate mp3's, it's so much cooler than those ancient compact cassette tape things I saw in the museum". ​
    richbdd01 likes this.
  14. bcaulf

    bcaulf Forum Resident

    I've never read any true claims stating that the difference between a lossless and an MP3 file was so clear. I'm not saying a difference doesn't exist, and I know some hear it better than others, but just based on what I've read the difference, even if it is there, is very small. Keep in mind that some might be listening to poor encodes of these files, bad rips/encodes exist, and the recommended settings might not have been used.

    I've lived my life off of portable music listening. I grew up with the iPod, and that was my first music listening device. I was downloading 128kbps Mp3 encodes, listening on cheap earbuds. When I bought CD's that bitrate was my encoding standard. When I finally got a nice pair of headphones, the files sounded like garbage. No way I could listen to them. I did a lot of reading up on what the best option was to use for lossy encoding. Many said MP3 320kbps, but others said that 256 AAC sounds around the same, but is a smaller file and yes, many of the posts I read claimed AAC was the superior codec.

    After everything I read and doing my own listening, I settled on the recommended true VBR setting, max encoder quality and the slider set to 110 (average 255kbps). As of today, I've done a LOT of listening tests, often doubting that these sound the same as lossless. To be honest, I'm not really sure. MOST songs I've listened to I can't hear a difference. Some songs, I THINK I hear a difference but I'm not 100% sure. What doesn't help is that I don't blind test. I play back the same 5 - 10 second sample, and I focus primarily on drums. If I hear anything, it's a very slight muddiness on snares mainly. And by very slight, I mean I'm not even certain the difference is there. Overall, whatever difference there is it's not enough to make me want to load a full blown lossless collection onto my phone.

    By the way, the reason I use lossy is because, having been so used to listening on portably devices, that is still my go-to, and my primary listening is done at work. This way, I can use my time at home for other things, and I have tons of time in the work day to listen to music so that's what I do. I have FLAC's on a hard drive.

    This post wound up longer than expected and I wound up babbling about AAC so my apologies, but I guess my point is that it's unfair to criticize lossy codecs and call the differences clear or substantial, as they've come a long way. As I said earlier, I know some hear it better than others under various circumstances, but the encoders do a good enough job these days to make hearing a difference very difficult, non-existent to the average listener, and still produce great sounding audio files.
    Miriam and crispi like this.
  15. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Great, now let’s end digital altogether :righton:
  16. Gaslight

    Gaslight Modern Cad

    Northeast USA
    Someone forgot to tell the LAME developers....v3.100 got released last October.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  17. The headphones aren't the most important part of the chain when trying to hear the difference between lossy and lossless, or CD vs high-res. The amp and DAC are more important. Some amp and DAC combos will make the difference audible, some won't. If the amp and DAC aren't able to make the difference audible then it doesn't matter what heroic high-end headphone you use, you're not going to hear it. Plug a Focal Utopia or HD800 in to something like an Objective 2 amp and ODAC DAC and you won't hear it. The amp and DAC just are not capable. But plug a mid-fi headphone like a Brainwavz HM5 in to an amp like a Cavalli Liquid Fire or Liquid Crimson and a DAC like the Schiit Multibit Gungnir or Yggy or even the little Multibit Modi and those who know what to listen for can hear it. Better headphones (like the LCD-2) will make the difference easier to hear, but the humble mid-fi Brainwavz HM5 is able when using the big Cavalli amps and the Schiit multibit DAC (other good DACs will also work for this).

    My transportable travel headphone rig is a Cavalli Liquid Carbon ($300 on Massdrop now), balanced HD650 ($200 on Massdrop now), and a Schiit Multibit Modi ($250 from Schiit). That combo is able to make the difference between lossy and lossless and the difference between CD and high-res audible. My big rig and big headphones do it much better, but the little travel rig can do it. The PonoPlayer is also able to do it. Fiio players don't.
    bluemooze likes this.
  18. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Really? Cool! I happen to use mp3 for some purposes.

    Why have people tell others that there is no difference when some people can hear it?

    The OP never said that he could not hear a difference. Greg Arkadin did.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  19. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    You do NOT need to have the best speakers or headphones. All you need to know is what to listen for. Once you hear it, you always hear it.

    It's always better to go by what YOU hear instead of what someone else says. Do what is best for yourself, not for some shmoo on the internet who wants to decide for everyone else, and that includes the so-called "scientific experts" who insist that science can decide what each individual human hears.

    I would hope that someday, you'll get to hear a nice studio-quality system. I have heard three of them, including being in an actual recording studio. Everything I hear now is measured against that standard.

    At least you've done your own testing. Some people don't even do that much. They just read some opinion they found on the internet and go by that. Me, if I use mp3, I prefer 320 kbps VBR, but I use CBR for my collection just to play it safe. There are still decoders out there who have trouble with VBR, and I like consistency and reliability.

    Yup. Everything has a purpose. I use mp3 in the car, and for family who may not have FLAC capability. I keep a set of FLACs for the originals, and another set of mp3s for the reasons I mentioned above.

    The differences are clear to me. They may not be for you, but, I have that burdon. You don't. So, live your life. The kids are alright. I just don't like it when people come in and tell others that no one can hear something because they can't. I know you aren't doing that, but others do.
    bcaulf, Blank Frank and Ham Sandwich like this.
  20. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    I firmly believe that no matter the difference between high bitrate MP3 and lossless, I care much more more at that point about the mastering rather than that difference
  21. For many albums there is only one mastering. The high-res (if available), mp3, and CD, and likely the LP are all from the same mastering source files. Same EQ, same amount of compression. The difference in sound will be due to the different delivery formats.
    Shak Cohen likes this.
  22. Shak Cohen

    Shak Cohen Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    As others have said, 320kbps Mp3s are perfectly fine for most people, useful for listening in the car and on small devices while travelling on trains etc. Also, unfortunately, we now have a generation that have never heard better quality than that, as streaming services/YouTube is generally at this level of quality.
    JimmyCool likes this.
  23. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    That comment I made was more me just saying once you get to the realm of high bitrate MP3, I personally care more about it being well mastered than I do the fact that it is not technically lossless
  24. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

  25. bcaulf

    bcaulf Forum Resident

    Good comments. I too hope to hear a good sound system one day... I’ve also been used to using headphones all my life for my listening so maybe I wouldn’t know what to expect? Maybe when I’m retired and have more time on my hands and some money to spend I can start making those investments :) I’m also afraid that if I go down that route that I’ll become picky and need everything to sound good, because I’m a bit anal, so I sometimes may try to stay oblivious to avoid raising my standards and needing everything to be perfect. I don’t know much about sound systems at all, I read some of the posts in the hardware section and I have no idea about some of the things folks here are talking about!

    Anyway, the good thing is I’ll never be without the lossless backups. I can always rely on them if I need a change.

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