Which music format do you use?

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

?

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

  1. MP3 128/160 kbps

    11 vote(s)
    12.4%
  2. MP3 198/256 kbps

    9 vote(s)
    10.1%
  3. MP3 320 kbps

    29 vote(s)
    32.6%
  4. FLAC/WAV (CD)

    40 vote(s)
    44.9%
  1. Hadron-Curious

    Hadron-Curious MDL Guru

    Jul 4, 2014
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    All my MP3 files are in 320kbps and I usually buy songs in that quality bitrate.
     
  2. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    I’m sure they’ll scare the fish away – also sharks and alligators, where a threat.

    I’ll have them in mind when I buy my underwater apartment. [​IMG]
     
  3. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Junior Member

    Jan 29, 2017
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    So instead of all-in-one, you have one-in-all. :)
    Yea I understand this point, it's smarter as the new cellphone all-round crap.
    For me, I decided the reverse way, just 1 thing, never more 100 devices in all my pockets.

    MP3-Player for phone -> every device can play music, so just additional
    Camera for phone -> I bought a one with a very good integrated camera
    Messaging/Surf -> All the time you can chat/surf while you are on way out there.
    Gaming-Handhield -> Never had before and it was boring when you have to wait anywhere.

    It's much easier for me with just an android device.
    But right now I have the next problem, I need a bigger screen.
    So I will buy an android-tablet, and yea the waterproof mp3 one. :p

    I'm not sure if its important that this new one should able to play opus files.
    I can just convert the files back to mp3, you cannot hear a difference with these in-ear-headphones, and even lesser with swimming-versions, I guess.
    The best part is, I tested some with cellphone-integrated-speaker - lol so crappy, its no matter if flac or mp3 in 1 kbps, still sounds same. :D

    btw, what for device you can recommend for swimming?
    Do Sony have some that is waterproof?
     
  4. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    There are different approaches to the subject. I’m not saying mine is right and yours is wrong, it’s a matter of where one puts the emphasis.

    For me, all-in-one smartphones are disproportionally overpriced, vulnerable, and if one breaks or gets lost, the whole bagful of devices is lost. If the same happens to one of mine, I’ve only lost one device.

    As for mp3 players for swimming, I don’t have any in mind, googling will find several, but I expect they’ll be more expensive.
     
  5. melted

    melted MDL Novice

    Jan 17, 2015
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    #65 melted, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

    Off topic, but seriously though:
    Supposedly the Navy with high intensity sonar and big oil with airgun arrays are causing whales to beach themselves.
    Big container ships are also very noisy, which by design could be cut down but why would they care? Lets kill everything!
    "Meet the man recording the sound of extinction" CNN 2012
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...cology-extinction_us_5746a423e4b0dacf7ad3fe0a <2016.

    Back on track:
    @Yen & MJ: You're correct on the RIAA conversation, excuse me. My mind was wandering. It's a bit distorted from talking
    with audiophiles and cutters. I didn't mean to make it sound like it's use has been halted, just more of a what is possible
    by using different technics or custom gear. There are cartridges out there that supposedly boast 5 Hz- 120,000 Hz. Now is it possible to
    cut that? Not sure. I have not kept up with that stuff. They may have made advances in cutting lacquer/acetate and direct metal mastering.
    As for what I was trying to get at is you can gain dB without much distortion if you cut at a faster rpm with shorter songs, 8 mins
    on a 12" at 45 for example. The bass can be steadied by running it mono and not panning or phasing.

    Not sure if I can mention it here, but you two might be interested in "The Secret Society of Lathe Trolls"


    :shrug:
     
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  6. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    Something not considered so far, is the effect of the MP3 encoder used, which can make a difference in MP3 quality at any bitrate.

    In this respect, LAME, despite its name, enjoys a good reputation and is free. It’s used in the also free audio editor Audacity.
     
  7. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    I wish to also propose the following procedure for an individual to decide whether HE can hear a difference, whatever others say.

    1 Get a FLAC copy of high quality music, preferably a piece that you know well, and is not too long. If it’s too long, just use the first 2 minutes to speed up testing.
    2 Convert the FLAC to MP3@320kbps, using a good encoder, like LAME. Of course, the volume must stay identical.
    3. Get a good quality pair of headphones. This is important, as the device producing the final sound that you hear is a weak link in the audio chain. And good headphones give better quality than speakers.
    4. Now, play the FLAC several times, till you have a good impression of all parts of it.
    5. Finally, switch to the MP3@320kbps and try to determine whether you hear a difference. Be objective. If you think a bit of it sounds inferior, go back to the FLAC and see if it’s really better there.

    If you are honest with yourself, you should know whether you can hear any differences. If you can’t, repeat the test using MP3@256kbps. Then even 192kbps.

    6. If you believe you can hear a difference and want final confirmation, after the test get someone else to play the FLAC vs MP3 at random and see if you can tell him which one it is every time.
     
  8. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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  9. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    Hmm…I don’t know... It’s not so easy for a layman to have access to and use an oscilloscope. And I’m not so sure visible differences can also be heard. For example, the human ear is not very sensitive to differences in phase, while it can't hear at all above about 15 kHz.

    But you documented your method well, and if you know it works, I’ll accept it.
     
  10. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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    @Katzenfreund: As I typed that, I realized that not everybody has access to lab grade test equipment.
    That was why I searched for a "software only" approach.

    A spectrum analyzer will only show you if extra harmonics are being added. And since you're starting out with a single sine wave (1khz is the reference frequency for Total Harmonic Distortion measurements)
    You will only see what each encoding algorithm does at 1 khz.

    As I said in that post, IMHO FLAC stands a better chance or being the best and cleanest encoding format,
    simply because of the math.

    Granted, the final test is what your ear says. Only you can know if the encoded sound is acceptable to you.
     
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  11. Moksu

    Moksu MDL Novice

    Feb 12, 2017
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    mostly MP3 320 kbps

    all the 'good' stuff is in FLAC
     
  12. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    Digitizing vinyl.

    As my old turntable had broken down leaving me with a fair collection of old vinyl records I couldn’t find in digital form, I bought a new one. It was the SONY PS-LX300USB, which came best in a test by the German Consumers Association. It connects to the USB and has software to digitize vinyl directly as MP3.

    What’s interesting is that it only has two settings for the bit rates: 128 and 192 kbps. As it’s a quality product by SONY, the conclusion can be drawn that SONY considers 192 kbps as good enough for vinyl records.
     
  13. melted

    melted MDL Novice

    Jan 17, 2015
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    @Katzenfreund: o_O
    Sony does make some good gear, as well as some cheap gear. Their devices are sort of hit or miss, and most fail eventually.
    The PS-LX300USB you got is a low cost entry into that market. If you look up the PS-HX500 you'll see the formats are drastically different.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know if the specs for what you have are based on hardware only.
    Is it possible to record with another approach? Not sure. Audacity seems to be one of the go to programs that these USB models use.
    So in that respect these links may provide an alternative recording scenario:
    :dunno:

    For anyone else that's looking into doing the same sort of thing I have some opinions which you may or may not agree with.
    From what I've seen most of the new low priced entries are cheaply made top to bottom. They are usually light plastic (that makes it more
    susceptible to rumble). Also if you take a good look at the pre-amp/A-D converter you'll find they come up short.
    Then you have the cartridge, most of them use ceramic from what I've seen.
    Take a look at this in that regard:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_cartridge
    It all really comes down to what quality to you want and what you're will to pay for.
    I'll skip the audiophile stuff/most of the gear because that's a whole other ball of wax (and money) :p

    You can find good second hand turntables for fair prices. Just be sure to look up and know what your aiming for.
    Then all you need do is find a pre-amp/A/D converter.
    These links may help:
    Grounding also plays a big role. Some searching should provide you with answers for that.
     
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  14. cdavisdeco

    cdavisdeco MDL Senior Member

    Jul 8, 2015
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    #74 cdavisdeco, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
     
  15. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    ^^
    sorry dude but this for me is only thing of lost generation this person's only know stay with your damn crap devices speaking craps e.g. facebook(tribe of idiots) etc they need dress to hair of monkeys or make something better I hate this devices :sneaky:;)
     
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  16. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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    @melted: You can get a turntable for around $80.00 USD.

    -but-

    Take a look here:

    https://www.sweetwater.com/c695--USB_Audio_Interfaces

    Combine the cost of a decent turntable / cartridge with the cost of a USB audio interface and you're well over $100.00
    more than the cost of the Sony rig.

    If you're happy with the quality of the output of the Sony rig,and you don't need the audio interface for anything else,
    then their MP3 turntable is a great bargain.

    @Katzenfreund: Their choice of supported MP3 formats are based on what their hardware can support, and what will be the most acceptable for the average ear. Can you do better? Absolutely! Buy a good phono preamp and Audio interface and you can make awesome recordings. But you will have to work at it. Click and pop removal. Rumble filtering. And I wouldn't save the recording on anything else but a WAV file or an AIFF file.
     
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  17. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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    #77 Katzenfreund, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    (OP)
    Well, being an informed buyer, I don't get carried away by the layman's attitude of only judging by price. That's why I follow independent tests by consumers organizations, who pick the best value for money coupled with good performance. That's the result of expert tests, not personal prejudices. And as I said above, they picked my SONY. And the cartridge is not ceramic, but diamond - assumptions by price go wrong again.

    As for preamps and other standard audio components, they were perfected decades ago, can be integrated into a single chip and are cheap. And my SONY also has standard phono outputs, the USB is in addition, not instead.

    The manufacturers do, of course, make more expensive models, it would be crazy for them not to milk the attitude "the more expensive the better". ;)

    EDIT: Interestingly, when I mentioned by acquisition to a couple of colleagues, they commented that I could have got the job done with a cheaper model. They are wrong, of course, as I had done my research before buying, but it shows you how people's opinions vary.
     
  18. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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    @ cdavisdeco

    That ludicrous contraption is the opposite of what I do. I don't carry an all-in-one (and master on none) device, but have separate devices each doing a great job in its field, and only carry the one I need.
     
  19. lostpassword

    lostpassword MDL Member

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    Cannot see any mention of APE, maybe I missed it. Works fine with plugin on FOOBAR.
     
  20. ch100

    ch100 MDL Senior Member

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    FLAC is OK for archiving, but there are many devices or car radio types that do not play FLAC.
    For those players, I think LAME latest version 3.99.5 with the switch -V2 which is highly optimised for quality and compresses normal music at an average of about 200kbps is the most useful.
    Because -V2 is a quality setting, when used for voice/audiobooks, it compresses at an average value in the range of 128kbps (stereo).
    Download from here
    http://www.rarewares.org/files/mp3/lame3.99.5.zip