1) Lossless, such as FLAC, is only really useful for data integrity reasons. An example is say of course transcoding to a lossy codec without additional digital information lost. It does not offer added perceived
sound fidelity over high bitrate lossy (see below). The reason for FLAC's popularity is the decreasing cost of digital storage, faster and cheaper internet connections and FLAC being royalty free and having a high number of features, including importantly tagging.
The converse is why the mp3 format took off, popularised by p2p programs such as 'Napster' and 'Kazza,' as storage was relatively limited in size, and internet connections were much slower.
This is why due to the limited storage space of SD cards, that there is little point of putting lossless on portable devices
2) High bitrate lossless can easily
reproduce every audible section, right down to the highest dynamic range tracks. The real threshold point is really ~256kbps AAC, which is exactly the same quality file as is used in the iTunes store, dubbed 'iTunes Plus'. For most music with compressed dynamic range, it's even lower. AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding, and has zero association with Apple (other than Apple popularising it) and is the new standard in MPEG since MPEG2. mp3 stands for MPEG 1, Layer 3.
3) mp3 is outdated. It has less features than AAC and Ogg Vorbis, compresses less efficiently for the same quality, and is less accurate at reproducing the source data.
AAC and Ogg Vorbis at ~192 kbps represents more data than 320kbps CBR mp3. There's a reason why mp3 was replaced by AAC in MPEG2. We're at MPEG4 now!
4) 320kbps CBR mp3 is useless as VBR -v0 mp3 represents the same data bit for bit
with less space.
Originally Posted by liermam
Goddamn, this is some hot ignorance. iPod's and android phones may suck, but denying the existence of audiophile grade portable devices is laughable. Complete ignorance.
I can guarantee you my portable setup (Teclast T51/Nationite S:flo2 + Beyerdynamic DT990 600 Ohms + headstage arrow amp) is taking advantage of higher bitrates, as 100% of the people who have ever heard it, out of the 20 something family members and friends i've tried it on, have been able to ABX a track.
I'm not "all about FLAC". Even with an extremely capable FLAC player and setup, I still get somewhere near 50% of my music in MP3 320 CBR or MP3 V0 VBR, but it is EXTREMELY EASY tell which albums are worth having in FLAC. It usually doesn't take more than a minute of ABX'ing from a single track.
Storage and battery life are always a concern, so FLAC isnt entirely a "pro" for me, there are cons. However, as an audiophile, its extremely clear that certain gains made in audio fidelity going from MP3 to FLAC are worth every sacrifice made. There can be no compromise when the lossless file breathes with a certain life that the lossy does not.
Enjoy your dark ignorance.
I really don't want to point out the irony but it really boils down to this:'Audiophile' marketed products does not mean they are actually high fidelity products
In other words, the less Head-fi Kool Aid, the better. Even though RMAA is flawed
, it isn't so flawed as to show that both the S:Flo 5 and Hifiman portable players read horribly
with RMAA compared to so-called 'bad sounding' (with massive
quotation marks by the way) later gen iPods. Sources by nature should not
have any sort of 'sound signature'. Later gen
iPods don't measure badly at all. really. They do lots of things well, tick a lot of boxes.
The 'iPod sounds crap' myth stems from when the first two gen iPods were released and were actually quite bad. The myth does not apply now
. iDevices in general are very good SQ measurement wise. Steve Jobs was an avid audio fan and ensure in the design philosophy that his product had good sound and it is backed up by the measurements.
Also, even the cheap Sansa Fuze / Clip / Clip+ measures far better than those 'audiophile' portable players.
Don't worry, I use to drink the Kool-aid too but really, science governs everything in sound (and sounds better too).
You did blind
A-B testing (i.e. you switching from one to the other knowing what is what)
isn't the same as
ABX (you switching from one to the other randomly without knowing which is which) testing.Edited by chinesekiwi - 6/26/12 at 2:16am