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[ArsTechnica] Winamp's woes: how the greatest MP3 player undid itself - Page 15

post #141 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by two4teezee View Post

Anyone here remember Sonique?
*raises hand*
Yeah, used it back in the day just for the slick interface.
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post #142 of 229
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3) mp3 is outdated.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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by liermam View Post

EDIT:
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.
http://hifiman.us/
http://www.teclast.com/
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=78
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 ABX right?

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
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post #143 of 229
What's this nonsense about WinAMP's UI being cluttered? You can still use WinAMP's classic skins if you want (or Modern, Bento, etc) which don't have the ads.
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post #144 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubers View Post

What's this nonsense about WinAMP's UI being cluttered? You can still use WinAMP's classic skins if you want (or Modern, Bento, etc) which don't have the ads.

Or just use Foobar2000 if you want the minimalistic look.
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post #145 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironsurvivor View Post

I use winamp. I guess im wierd. I installed foobar 2k and i dont like it.
This^

Winamp is still my only mp3 solution, due to the fact that it can be docked, and very compact and great functionality.
post #146 of 229
I used Winamp for years on my old computers, I have to agree that it has become bloated. I would not go so far as to say outdated or obsolete, just older. Installing it with minimal add-ons does remove some of the clutter, but I have to agree with certain posters here that some of the older versions seemed (if not were better) and certainly much more streamlined.

However, since Winamps glory days, there has been an increase in the choices we have as far as software, so I think it is only natural that we have a changing of the guard so to speak. I have not used some of the newer ones that have been mentioned in this forum, but I plan to install Foobar2k when I get off work and give it a go.

I have used Winamp, iTunes, and MediaMonkey in the past, but for now since I have my new rig built I am just using either WMP or iTunes (during the minimal time I have had to just sit and listen to my music lately frown.gif )

For the FLAC vs MP3 debate, I have a couple and have heard a few FLACs and I do notice a clearer, crisper sound. Maybe I am just looking for things, but I do notice it. Don't get me wrong , I am by NO means an audiophile nor do I profess to be one, just mentioning my experiences with it. I do not have a great audio setup, but I am starting to get around to piecing one together, so I do think that in time I would like to have my music available to me in the highest quality possible.

That leads me to a question or 2........I notice that a large portion of you have a large chunk of your libraries in FLAC.

My question is how does one go about obtaining it in FLAC. Downloads / Online stores / Ripping music ? If one of you could point me in the right direction to get me started on building my library up that would be greatly appreciated. Also, I was looking to start putting together an HTPC. Any threads you guys could point me to to get me started with that also would be of help.


Pardon me if the questions are ignorant, or if it is in the wrong place. I just thought they fit with the overall tone of the discussion right now.
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post #147 of 229
A great legal way is going to second hand CD stores and ripping them.
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post #148 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrbroad77 View Post

Not that it matters, but T7500 integrated graphics are junk, can't do hardware accelerated 1080p. Running 1080p on CPU is a half-baked solution, I suppose... but it's not at all efficient.
T7500 has no integrated GPU biggrin.gif
I have to correct that I was talking about playing 1080i on CPU.
Even Athlon II X2 260@4ghz couldn't play 1080p60 but my G620 could play ~90% cpu usage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

J River Media Center is even better but it's paid-for.
J River is worse than foobar.

And please stop comparing mp3 to flac. If you can't hear the difference, see the jpg compression instead thumb.gif
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post #149 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

A great legal way is going to second hand CD stores and ripping them.


Well, I would like to keep it legal, and I have no intention of promoting illegal means, so if it came across that way, I apologize. That was not my intention.

I have a decent sized CD library, but to be honest, I have not really bought very much music in the past few years with the odd exception of a few songs I like or some the wife likes from iTunes. Much of the "music" getting released nowadays does not really have that much appeal to me, but I would like to convert my existing library to FLAC.

My question should have been twofold, and I should have stated that way, but I didn't. My apologies.

First, I was merely inquiring about how those with large collections have obtained them.

Second, as far as ripping, I did not ask in my initial post, but thought I did before I submitted it. Which programs would be the best for ripping / encoding to FLAC. Free or paid would be acceptable. I have no problem paying for added quality.

Again, forgive the ignorance of the questions.
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post #150 of 229
Still using FTWamp ver.5.623 (Dec.2011 build) + skinamp + Enhancer 017 , why update if the older versions are fine ?
The flac vs mp3 debate again.
The difference can only be seen in a side by side spectrum analysis graph.
I.m.o If you can hear a difference between Flac and MP3 VBR V0 you’re transcoding it wrong, or you’re a dog.
(Flame suit on)

For those still using CBR
Summary of rate control modes:

• Need to hit a specific fixed file size and still want to retain decent quality? ⇒ ABR mode
• Want to retain a certain level of quality and the file size doesn't matter that much? ⇒ VBR mode
• Avoid CBR mode by all means, unless there are crude restrictions that force you to use it!
VBR > ABR > CBR in terms of quality

I would have gone ogg if there was a bit more support from playback devices, as this is the only real patent free open source codec out there.
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