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High-Resolution Audio Explained, PCMAG, February 1, 2012
skamp
post Feb 1 2012, 23:25
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High-Resolution Audio Explained (PCMAG, February 1, 2012)

[Neil Young] was referring specifically to the compressed MP3 and AAC files most people listen to today. Truth is, they just don't sound all that good. [] Even 256Kbps (and yes, 320Kbps) files are still audibly different than what you hear on a CD, although at least those are somewhat closer to the mark. [] Switch to an uncompressed FLAC file, and all of the above flaws go away. [] Stereo sound fields become three dimensional, with a sense of depth and space. It sounds as if a veil has been lifted; everything has more definition and natural sound.


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RobertoDomenico
post Feb 2 2012, 03:40
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I don't see any ABX tests to back their claims.
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andrew_berge
post Feb 2 2012, 05:41
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Perhaps not, but i'll gladly take the lossless files anyway, thank you very much.
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Satellite_6
post Feb 2 2012, 06:22
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QUOTE (andrew_berge @ Feb 2 2012, 00:41) *
Perhaps not, but i'll gladly take the lossless files anyway, thank you very much.


Same here, but this "high res" crap is getting really old. If recordings are louder/less dynamic than ever who cares? Why does no one ever address this issue? :|

This post has been edited by Satellite_6: Feb 2 2012, 06:23


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odious malefacto...
post Feb 2 2012, 06:23
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QUOTE (skamp @ Feb 1 2012, 14:25) *
High-Resolution Audio Explained (PCMAG, February 1, 2012)

Switch to an uncompressed FLAC file, and all of the above flaws go away.


"Uncompressed FLAC"--is that even possible?
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LithosZA
post Feb 2 2012, 08:30
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QUOTE
Same here, but this "high res" crap is getting really old. If recordings are louder/less dynamic than ever who cares? Why does no one ever address this issue? :|


+1
It is all about the dynamic range.
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Kohlrabi
post Feb 2 2012, 08:57
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When the major label producers jump on the high-res bandwagon, we will soon get 24bit/96Khz ALAC files full of digital clipping. So you can store your dynamics compressed and clipped audio using 6 times the size, now! They proved that they are unable to handle the completely adequate 16bit/44.1khz they had for CD audio, why would anyone assume they are able to handle high-res?


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probedb
post Feb 2 2012, 09:41
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QUOTE (odious malefactor @ Feb 2 2012, 05:23) *
QUOTE (skamp @ Feb 1 2012, 14:25) *
High-Resolution Audio Explained (PCMAG, February 1, 2012)

Switch to an uncompressed FLAC file, and all of the above flaws go away.


"Uncompressed FLAC"--is that even possible?


No but people are picking them up on it wink.gif
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Porcus
post Feb 2 2012, 10:01
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QUOTE (odious malefactor @ Feb 2 2012, 06:23) *
"Uncompressed FLAC"--is that even possible?


Yes, indeed it is.

From http://flac.sourceforge.net/api/group__flac__format.html , you will find:

Enumeration values:
FLAC__SUBFRAME_TYPE_CONSTANT constant signal
FLAC__SUBFRAME_TYPE_VERBATIM uncompressed signal
FLAC__SUBFRAME_TYPE_FIXED fixed polynomial prediction
FLAC__SUBFRAME_TYPE_LPC linear prediction



However, I think that the quoted article uses 'uncompressed' synonymous to 'lossless'. (BTW, what is really the difference between a lossless-compressed FLAC and an uncompressed FLAC stored in a compression-enabled file system? Except of course the compression algorithm (and efficiency)?)

This post has been edited by Porcus: Feb 2 2012, 10:05


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halb27
post Feb 2 2012, 14:04
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Though many things in the article can certainly be contributed to an 'audiophile way of theoretical thinking' the conclusion is right IMO: widespread possibilities to download losslessly encoded music is desirable. What to do with it afterwards is up to everybody's personal preference. Maybe many people don't like to transcode as a personal process afterwards, so it would be best to provide a lossy and a lossless version.
Most of the music I add to my collection I download in mp3 form today, but I'd prefer much to do so in lossless form and wouldn't care to pay a moderate extra if necessary.

This post has been edited by halb27: Feb 2 2012, 14:06


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RobertoDomenico
post Feb 2 2012, 14:17
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My opinion lossless downloads from a major vendor like Apple are far far away. The majority of people don't know what it is and will only complain when it takes up far more space with no audio quality benefits to their ears.
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Kohlrabi
post Feb 2 2012, 14:39
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QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Feb 2 2012, 14:17) *
My opinion lossless downloads from a major vendor like Apple are far far away. The majority of people don't know what it is and will only complain when it takes up far more space with no audio quality benefits to their ears.

People can be coaxed into investing into new hard- and software and audio formats by throwing large numbers at their heads. People believe in numbers. "24 is bigger than 16, so I want the thing with 24 on it". Same what happened in the video sector with 1080p resolutions. "1080p" is a meaningless number if the video is just upscaled from DVD resolution or 720p. Resolution (alone) is no useful metric to assess video quality. The same holds true for audio bit- or sample-rate. Still I expect marketing to focus on exactly that: "Bigger" means "better". Also, placebo and elitism are strong forces, Apple have built a notable portion of their empire based on the latter.

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halb27
post Feb 2 2012, 15:54
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QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Feb 2 2012, 14:17) *
... The majority of people don't know what it is and will only complain when it takes up far more space with no audio quality benefits to their ears.

I also think marketing 'the real thing' shouldn't be too much of a problem. But for ease of use to average Joe especially when starting I think it's mandatory to provide a lossy version together with the lossless one.
Perhaps the record companies don't like the idea because it would hurt their CD sales, and as far as I am concerned it's true: I still buy CDs (when I like many tracks on them), but only because this is the only way to get the music losslessly.
Most of them are played exactly one time: for ripping.

This post has been edited by halb27: Feb 2 2012, 15:54


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Brand
post Feb 2 2012, 17:18
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Neil Young and others talking about this "high res" audio as if it's some futuristic project (I watched the video from the other thread) is exactly what's wrong with the "free market" today. Why do we have to wait for a big company like Apple to create a mass demand for these things?
People who are even moderately educated and care about this stuff can already buy lossless music from various sources. HDTracks has been around for a while and so have several others.

Anyway, I think when lossless gets pushed on a larger scale, especially in "high res", it will probably be accompanied by different masters (much like SACD and DVD-A), promoting the idea that you actually need 24bit 96kHz to make a decent sounding product, without crappy dynamic range compression and all. That might help sell the "high res" files a bit faster, although I don't think it will ever be a massively popular thing. Audiophiles have always been a niche and most people usually opted for cheap/convenient instead.



On a lighter note:
QUOTE (odious malefactor @ Feb 2 2012, 06:23) *
QUOTE (skamp @ Feb 1 2012, 14:25) *
High-Resolution Audio Explained (PCMAG, February 1, 2012)

Switch to an uncompressed FLAC file, and all of the above flaws go away.


"Uncompressed FLAC"--is that even possible?

You don't wanna know.
I didn't bother reading all of it, but the last post (the conclusion) is:
QUOTE
Flac compressed definitely sounds worse than Flac uncompressed...

I also read elsewhere it being called "the best of both worlds", aka the sound quality of WAV with the tagging capabilities of FLAC.
cool.gif

This post has been edited by Brand: Feb 2 2012, 17:35
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