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Old 12-14-2007   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2
Default Re: Study Shows "Non-Audiophiles" Can't Hear Difference Between 64 and 256 kbps MP3 F


Where one could find fault with the study is in its methodology. A compact disc, the most successful audio format in the history of the history of the world, packs 16-bit resolution and 1411 kbps data rate. This is many times higher than that of the tested MP3s that are currently being pushed on the market today.

... One noted record producer suggested the difference between the 256 kbps MP3 format in this study is like testing the 0-60 on a Prius vs. a Camry, when true HD resolutions are more like testing a Ferrari. The amount of data and resolution is many times higher and more able to bridge the gap between the physical limitations of audio playback and an actual musical event.

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Your complaint has nothing to do with the methodology, but with the scope of the study. You suggest the study to be extended to include high resolution formats. That has no implications for the utility or the credibility of the study you are reporting on. Questions of methodology would include the issue of playback equipment used that has been raised by several forum participants.

I suspect that your "noted record producer" was trying to let you know that your point was an embarrassment. It might be useful in the real world to compare the performance of a Prius with a Camry. To compare a Prius and a Camry with a Ferrari is just silly.

Your comparison of the bit rates of a compressed MP3 file and a CD is worthless precisely because the MP3 is compressed. The data rate of MP3 files is reduced because redundant data is encoded in a way that it can be reasonably accurately restored during playback. This is why a 256 kbps MP3 sounds as good as it does. A 256 kbps uncompressed encoding system like the CD would leave few people unaware of its defects. It might have a 9KHz upper frequency limit and dynamic range of 42 dB. That is, it would have have inferior frequency range and be significantly more compressed than LPs.
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