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Jeff Atwood's "Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment", From the Coding Horror blog.
kinnerful
post Jun 25 2012, 17:28
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http://lifehacker.com/5920793/the-great-mp...rate-experiment
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/06/t...experiment.html

I guess lifehacker has a larger audience than hydrogenaudio... could be interesting
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2Bdecided
post Jun 28 2012, 10:57
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QUOTE
Lately I've been trying to rid my life of as many physical artifacts as possible.
This is clearly a mental disease, and should be recognised as such. It's the opposite of hoarding (which is what I have!). Up to a point, both are rational responses to some facets of life - the former to the lack of space in modern housing, or the number of times people move these days with the associated hassle of having lots of "stuff" to pack, unpack, arrange, etc; the latter to the transitory nature of parts of life, and the realisation that some things which you thought would always be available, won't be, unless you keep them yourself. Both attitudes to life become a problem (almost a mental health issue) if they start to take over your life or impede more important parts of your life.

QUOTE
Ripping to uncompressed audio is a non-starter. I don't care how much of an ultra audio quality nerd you are, spending 7◊ or 5◊ the bandwidth and storage for completely inaudible "quality" improvements is a dagger directly in the heart of this efficiency-loving nerd, at least.
If you're choosing to keep your own audio files (which itself could be considered eccentric by some in the age of Spotify etc), it's easy to rationalise the need to keep something that will transition to whatever formats/devices arrive in the future - especially when the cost is so low. Hence it's easy to justify FLAC. If you have shorter term goals, it probably doesn't matter.

Encoding to mp3 today is like recording to a decent cassette tape a couple of decades ago. It's a pretty good substitute for the original CD or vinyl - but fast forward 20 years and you'll probably wish you had the original CD or vinyl to make a pristine transfer. FLAC is that pristine transfer.


I heard a DJ last week who should have used lossless. He was DJing for a kids dancing competition. His CD player failed to read one of the kid's CDs. No problem - he had the same track on his laptop. Problem was, the kid was using the version without vocals (for reasons that will become apparent), and he only had the vocal version. Ah, no problem again - the vocal cut feature in the software would sort that. If only it hadn't been an mp3. Vocal cut only works (sometimes) on the highest quality mp3s, and this one wasn't. The vocal bled through as horrible mp3 artefacts. It was so bad that he gave up and switched the vocal cut off. Just at the point where the lyrics said something like "...and you're no fucking use to me..." - as the five year old girl continued through her dancing routine. I doubt they'll be using that DJ again.


Fascinating comparison though. It's always surprising how good even low-ish bitrate mp3 sounds. Better than 99% of digital radio and TV in most of the world. And of course I use it every day.

Cheers,
David.

P.S. It's interesting that some of the comments suggest this track is a bad choice for a codec test because it's old. While it's hardly a "codec killer" for the current lame mp3 implementation, the stereo effects, tape noise, soft transients, and synths are all things that mp3 encoders have choked on in the past. Plus the dynamic range of parts of this track make a welcome change from modern pop which is trashed by dynamic range compression whether you use lossy compression or not. The fact that some of the effects on the raw track sound a bit like codec artefacts doesn't help in a non-referenced comparison like this, but for typical codec testing that's often the kind of thing that makes the codec misbehave. So, historically at least, this is a pretty good mp3 test track.
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krabapple
post Jun 28 2012, 20:21
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jun 28 2012, 05:57) *
P.S. It's interesting that some of the comments suggest this track is a bad choice for a codec test because it's old. While it's hardly a "codec killer" for the current lame mp3 implementation, the stereo effects, tape noise, soft transients, and synths are all things that mp3 encoders have choked on in the past. Plus the dynamic range of parts of this track make a welcome change from modern pop which is trashed by dynamic range compression whether you use lossy compression or not. The fact that some of the effects on the raw track sound a bit like codec artefacts doesn't help in a non-referenced comparison like this, but for typical codec testing that's often the kind of thing that makes the codec misbehave. So, historically at least, this is a pretty good mp3 test track.



Would you mind posting this over there? The ignorance and snobbery in the comments there really begs for a response. When people insist that only an orchestral or symphonic work will do as a 'real' test of a codec, I can't help recalling that some famous 'codec killers' consisted of solo harpsichord , castanets, or entirely synthetic club music.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Jun 28 2012, 20:22
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mjb2006
post Jun 28 2012, 21:24
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Jun 28 2012, 13:21) *
When people insist that only an orchestral or symphonic work will do as a 'real' test of a codec, I can't help recalling that some famous 'codec killers' consisted of solo harpsichord , castanets, or entirely synthetic club music.

Well yes, only testing with one specific type of music like orchestral/symphonic is bogus unless the goal is to test the codec's quality in regard to that type of music alone, rather than its quality in general. But likewise, only using killer samples to evaluate a codec's general quality is inappropriate, and only relevant to the extent that 1. someone is sensitive to pre-echo (or whatever) and 2. their collection has moments of solo castanets/harpsichord/etc.
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Posts in this topic
- kinnerful   Jeff Atwood's "Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment"   Jun 25 2012, 17:28
- - JJZolx   Anyone who would pay a kid $1 per CD to rip t...   Jun 25 2012, 17:40
- - db1989   QUOTE The point of this exercise is absolutely not...   Jun 25 2012, 17:57
- - Canar   http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/06/c...exper...   Jun 27 2012, 20:07
|- - greynol   QUOTE Beyond that, as you'd expect, nobody can...   Jun 27 2012, 20:24
- - halb27   For a mere bitrate comparison it's a pity that...   Jun 28 2012, 09:22
|- - lvqcl   QUOTE (halb27 @ Jun 28 2012, 12:22) Curre...   Jun 28 2012, 11:32
- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE Lately I've been trying to rid my life o...   Jun 28 2012, 10:57
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jun 28 2012, 05:57) P....   Jun 28 2012, 20:21
|- - mjb2006   QUOTE (krabapple @ Jun 28 2012, 13:21) Wh...   Jun 28 2012, 21:24
||- - greynol   QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Jun 28 2012, 13:24) only...   Jun 28 2012, 21:30
|||- - Canar   QUOTE (greynol @ Jun 28 2012, 13:30) +1 w...   Jun 28 2012, 22:56
||- - krabapple   QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Jun 28 2012, 16:24) QUOT...   Jun 29 2012, 01:34
||- - db1989   As I interpret their posts, mjb2006 and greynol wa...   Jun 29 2012, 01:53
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (krabapple @ Jun 28 2012, 20:21) Wo...   Jun 29 2012, 10:45
- - greynol   One of these:   Jun 28 2012, 22:58
|- - splice   QUOTE (greynol @ Jun 28 2012, 14:58) One ...   Jul 3 2012, 15:04
- - JJZolx   Was this experiment done using ABX?   Jun 28 2012, 23:17
- - greynol   You mean did I actually hear eig, trumpet, herding...   Jun 28 2012, 23:27
- - db1989   Itís more likely that JJZolx is asking about the t...   Jun 28 2012, 23:38
- - JJZolx   Was that in response to my question? I don't g...   Jun 28 2012, 23:39
- - greynol   Seriousness: +1 (no bullet this time) Playful bant...   Jun 28 2012, 23:43
- - halb27   In one of the comments the author found that many ...   Jun 28 2012, 23:52
- - greynol   We already know the pointlessness of catering to a...   Jun 29 2012, 02:27
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (kinnerful @ Jun 25 2012, 12:28) ht...   Jun 29 2012, 14:28
- - nevermind   Sorry to resurrect this thread (without waiting at...   Jul 3 2012, 04:21
|- - mzil   QUOTE (nevermind @ Jul 2 2012, 23:21) may...   Jul 3 2012, 15:40
- - 2Bdecided   Like someone else said, I think some testers got a...   Jul 3 2012, 11:52
- - db1989   There is a fundamental difference between data tha...   Jul 3 2012, 15:47
- - mzil   You shouldn't cherry pick raw data under any c...   Jul 3 2012, 18:26
|- - db1989   Disclaimer: meandering musings QUOTE (mzil ...   Jul 3 2012, 18:51
||- - Canar   QUOTE (db1989 @ Jul 3 2012, 10:51) Since ...   Jul 3 2012, 19:11
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (mzil @ Jul 3 2012, 19:26) You shou...   Jul 3 2012, 20:28
- - Canar   Disregarding all listeners who rated WAV as less t...   Jul 3 2012, 18:47
- - mzil   http://news.change.org/stories/cherry-pick...ienti...   Jul 3 2012, 21:24
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (mzil @ Jul 3 2012, 16:24) As alway...   Jul 3 2012, 22:05
||- - Canar   QUOTE (saratoga @ Jul 3 2012, 14:05) basi...   Jul 3 2012, 22:23
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (mzil @ Jul 3 2012, 22:24) QUOTE As...   Jul 4 2012, 00:59
- - db1989   Shall I just repeat what I’ve already said a...   Jul 3 2012, 21:30
- - mzil   I think there is a belief here that "as long ...   Jul 3 2012, 21:33
- - Canar   Data are data. If there has been some kind of proc...   Jul 3 2012, 21:39
- - mzil   QUOTE (Canar @ Jul 3 2012, 16:39) If ther...   Jul 3 2012, 23:18
- - saratoga   QUOTE (mzil @ Jul 3 2012, 18:18) "Ch...   Jul 4 2012, 00:19


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