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Old 12-13-2007   #7
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Default Re: Study Shows "Non-Audiophiles" Can't Hear Difference Between 64 and 256 kbps MP3 F

I find this hard to believe. I know a firm that did a similar test and found that the majority can tell the difference. Of course they're told what to listen for. When you're educated on the differences the human ear can notice them.

The Audiophiles don't have magic ears, they're just educated.

It's like seeing the rainbow effect on DLP, if you know it's there you will see it more often than the person who was never told what to look for.
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Old 12-13-2007   #8
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Question Re: Study Shows "Non-Audiophiles" Can't Hear Difference Between 64 and 256 kbps MP3 F

As to the equipment used.. no control at all. I'm surprised that the NL link to "read the full story" merely brought me here to the forum (I, too, registered to reply to this thread) but even then, no link to the 'study'.
http://tinyurl.com/38fkgf
So - it seems the results are as variable as whatever hardware might be available to the self-selected respondents. Or am I missing something?
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Old 12-14-2007   #9
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Default Re: Study Shows "Non-Audiophiles" Can't Hear Difference Between 64 and 256 kbps MP3 F

I have posted previously about resolutions. MP3 isn't good. MP3PRO/WMA are the closest to lossless, but the iPod era/generation discards sound quality over capacity. But there IS a large population of people who crave that SACD sound. I work for an AV retailer as systems programmer. This demographic have the $$$ and will buy it if it were available.

See the thread from DTS about hi-res 5.1 ultimately becoming a download-able format ... if someone were to take the initiative. BluRay and HD-DVD will be controlled by Hollywood. Let the 21st Century reign; give us downloadable archives of hi-res audio WITHOUT a physical format.

Please.
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Old 12-14-2007   #10
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Default Re: Study Shows "Non-Audiophiles" Can't Hear Difference Between 64 and 256 kbps MP3 F

I think the problem has many aspects that need to be addressed.

1. If the study is using non-audiophiles, then they probably don't have trained hearing, which was stated in a previous posting.

2. The playback environment probably wasn't exactly the best environment. I believe that a well designed listening room as well as listening to the content with the highest quality playback system is important. If one is listening to the same content with different types of sophistication (64, 128, 256, SACD, DVD-A, TrueHD) and the playback system is just an average system, then the playback system isn't reproducing the content to it's fullest extent.

It would be interesting to have a reference quality system. Personally, I think Meridian has the best quality of processing with regards to digital formats and maybe they should have used a Meridian system. (I don't work for Meridian, but I am an owner of older Meridian equipment and love their passion to bringing high quality playback systems that remove coloration, flutter/distortion, etc.) Just my observation and experience.
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Old 12-14-2007   #11
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Default Re: Study Shows "Non-Audiophiles" Can't Hear Difference Between 64 and 256 kbps MP3 F

[QUOTE=AVRevForum.com;7478]

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.

---End of Quote---

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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Old 12-14-2007   #12
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Default Re: Study Shows "Non-Audiophiles" Can't Hear Difference Between 64 and 256 kbps MP3 F

I have two Comments:

I think Jerry C's way of bringing you to the forum to get the "full Story" is a bit of a hoax just to get his site to grow.

I also think training people on what to listen for has to be on some type of quality system. I've been an audiophile for almost 4 decades and I'm hoping Blu Ray (with Audio) picks up where SACD and DVD Audio let down.

The majority of I-Pod owners I think are more concerned with capacity than quality unfortunately.
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