Which music format do you use?

Discussion in 'Serious Discussion' started by Katzenfreund, Jan 31, 2017.

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Which music format do you use? (For MAC etc pick the equivalent)

  1. MP3 128/160 kbps

    8 vote(s)
    11.3%
  2. MP3 198/256 kbps

    8 vote(s)
    11.3%
  3. MP3 320 kbps

    23 vote(s)
    32.4%
  4. FLAC/WAV (CD)

    32 vote(s)
    45.1%
  1. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    There are purists who insist on lossless WAV (CD) or FLAC and nothing less. But can they really hear the difference from compact formats?

    Then there is the standard compressed and lossy MP3 128 kbps, which many find just fine. And it produces files a small fraction of the size.

    And of course there exist many formats in between.

    Much depends on the quality of the recording to start with, what equipment you have, and of course how good your ears are. And especially, how demanding you are for perfection. But could the differences you think you hear be in your mind rather than in your ears?

    Personally, I like old music for which MP3 128 kbps is good enough. For newer HQ recordings, I go for 192 kbps. Anything above, I don’t consider worth it.
     
  2. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

    Jan 12, 2012
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    I do use wave files from my collection of cd's I've recorded to my pc but my car and tv require MP3 files... I have no choice
     
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  3. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
    Staff Member

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    #3 alextheg, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
    For me, it's FLAC. I have quite a high end home cinema / sound system so lossy formats show their inadequacies. I do use MP3 but not below 256, usually 320. FLAC just produces such a fuller tone all round in my opinion.
     
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  4. Mr.X

    Mr.X MDL Guru

    Jul 14, 2013
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    Same here, FLAC.
     
  5. kaljukass

    kaljukass MDL Addicted

    Nov 26, 2012
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    Of course everything, whatever is needed. Sometimes, even for example, the .mid format, if is need for web page background music.
    Simply the best for it, takes so little space and quality is enough good for this case.
     
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  6. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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    I use MP3, ogg voorbis, flac and wav. I use OGG and MP3 on my phone for space reasons, although VLC plays pretty much anything.

    @Kaljukass: I have XLN Audio's Addictive Drums, and their drum patterns are .MID files. It makes it easy for me to paste them in Cubase and tweak the timing if I want to. :)
     
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  7. Yen

    Yen Admin
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2007
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    Original CD-audio for collection / home stereo, sometimes vinyl....and 256 to 320 Mp3s for portable listening. :)


    MIDI played already a role at the commodore C64 and later on ATARI :) It was fun.

    @kaljukass .MID files are no music containing files but a set of instructions for a music/sound generating device/instrument ...like a note. They have no sound quality per se, hence are small and one can exchange the instrument / sound generator....:)
     
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  8. melted

    melted MDL Novice

    Jan 17, 2015
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    #8 melted, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
    If anyone here likes to keep Wav files, you should check out WavPack.
    It will save you space and works with VLC as well as a good amount of other software.
    If you own a portable audio player you might want to check out RockBox. It will allow you to play all those nice
    lossless formats that the main firmware's don't support.
    "Rockbox is an open-source replacement firmware that runs on many past and current model portable music players"
    It glitches from time to time depending on the player it's installed on but worth trying out.
     
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  9. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    Opus ogg, 192 kbps VBR for a lot of good reasons.
    VLC and Android run it without any problems.

    Compared to FLAC:
    - 10x and higher smaller size
    - Transparent even in 128 kbps
    (Tops already MP3 320/AAC 256!)

    Never more without!
    Trust me, just try it out!
     
  10. JFKI

    JFKI MDL Expert

    Oct 25, 2015
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    Amiga .mod files. :yes:

    Cues STREET_J.MOD :music2:

    :p
     
  11. ultimate11

    ultimate11 MDL Novice

    Jun 28, 2015
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    I'm an FLAC guy for listening to music, but if I'm recording stuff, I'll go straight into .wav files. I'll only use MP3 files if there's no better alternative.
     
  12. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    The consensus so far seems to be in favor of FLAC. But nobody mentioned that they can be hard to find. Or that they may not be justified for old music, such as R&R hits of the 50s.

    There are also more efficient compression format than MP3, e.g. Ogg Vorbis. But again they're hard to find and are not supported by all devices.

    It is unfortunate that MP3 has prevailed, as it is inferior by todays standards and charges royalties to boot. But it's omni-present and omni-supported. It just came first and was widely adopted before others appeared. It's a case of the winner not being always the best.
     
  13. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    A lot of people don't mentioned that you can't create better quality as was already there.
    Old music on vinyl disc played by an old record player has never been better than mp3 64kbps.
    These guys buying CD-copys convert into flac and and talking about they can hear a difference between flac and mp3 320kbps. :clap:

    Ridiculous in my point of view, but it's just me. ;)
     
  14. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    well I don't vote because I use MP3 @320 and Flac too, still for those don't have issues with file sizes (myself) NO problems is only us one hdd with at least 5TB :g:
     
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  15. Yen

    Yen Admin
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2007
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    One moment. :)

    You are talking about two completely different things. I agree with you. To hear a difference of a CD AUDIO rip PCM16 (wav) which is one time converted to FLAC and a second time to mp3 320 is actually not possible. If so one has to demonstrate it...it is possible when recognizing unique 'glitches' at special positions of the tracks...change of dynamic range, kind of noise..etc...the sound quality itself well...I guess not....
    There are very good headphones which have got immense resolution, though. An experiment would be great...:biggrin:

    But I do not agree with vinyl..I don't know what you've listened, but 64kbps mp3? Are you serious?

    A good pickup on a decent turntable and a good amplifier. It's analog sound! The background noise is there typical crackle at still passages, but natural..but from the physics of analog sound there are complete real wave forms, no sampling at all. You know what sampling is and the difference of analog and digital, don't you?

    A decent classic vinyl (analog record) on a good turntable/amp/speaker can beat the CD-audio version...;)
     
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  16. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    Actually, I had thought that CDs had largely disappeared from the music market along with cassettes and vinyl. And that nowadays music is downloaded, legally or not.

    As for hearing differences between top resolving formats, I believe it's purely psychological. Like some people who use CCleaner to erase temporary files, solemnly state afterwards that their PC got faster, something that was happening with systems of 10 years ago, but not today.
     
  17. Yen

    Yen Admin
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2007
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    There are people like me, lol. Still buying CDs and sometimes listening to vinyl....and there are artists still releasing physical CDs and even vinyl...

    I like to have a physical copy to collect. And I pay my favorite artists since it is no 'commercial mainstream' music. Yesterday a new released album arrived as CD...I had to wait one week longer since the mp3s had been released a week earlier.

    What one considers as 'quality' is individual or psychological, but hearing differences can be simply verified.
    One simply has to rip a CD or more CDs as wavs. From those then two different formats have to be converted....

    One has to feed the preferred device with one of them and the listener (who of course cannot notice anything of what's playing) has to decide what's playing.(FLAC or 320mp3)
    By repeating 10 times with 10 right answers I'd say yes he can..:biggrin: :)
     
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  18. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    I do recognize the value of FLAC/CD for archiving & backup purposes, i.e. having the original in "mint" condition.

    But for those listening to music on portable devices, did you know that high resolution formats consume more battery?
     
  19. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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    I just thought I'd throw this out there.

    The Vinyl cutting machines have a top end frequency of about 50 khz, and a low end of below 20 hz.
    The problem is that frequencies below 20 hz can and will shake the turntable arm off of the platter. :eek:
    It's called 'rumble'. and the RIAA developed frequency curves just for the turntable.

    On CDs, the top end frequency is purposefully set to 20khz because of the sample rate, (44.1 khz)
    and 'Brickwall' lowpass filters are used to remove any frequencies above 20 khz.

    This is done to remove aliasing (i.e frequencies folding over into the audio range).

    See here: http://www.ni.com/white-paper/3000/en/

    @Katzenfreund: Did you find that info somewhere, or is it based on personal experience?
     
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  20. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    I read it from what I considered a reliable source and that's why I impressed it on my mind, but I do not remember the source, it could well have been the instructions of my portable SONY MP3 player. I also remember the reason high performance formats consume more battery, and it's because they are more processor-intensive, which makes perfect sense.

    So, lower-bit MP3s not only fit more songs in the device but also playing lasts longer before need for battery recharging.
    And given the earphones (usually earplugs) supplied with many such devices, which are not studio quality, and the typically noisy surroundings, the loss in quality is totally unnoticeable.