Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel
Uhhhhh what? Digital is digital is digital. No matter if you have a 5 dollar dvd drive or a 30000 dollar DVD driver, as long as your drive is not broken, it will record the audio in digital form and send it straight to your hard drive. There is no processing done by on board when you are using EAC because all you are doing is reading and saving the data and NOT trying to do some sort of weird encoding...
Having written a CD ripper myself, I was going to say just that! +1 to Tjj226 Angel for bringing the truth here. CD ripping is practically always done by reading the sectors on the CD, and the worst artifact possible is skipping or clicking if the CD is dirty or scratched 
. Now for those that would like to contradict us, I ask: How long does it take your computer to rip a CD? If it rips the CD faster than it plays the CD, it is using digital ripping. Analog ripping would require playing back the whole CD at realtime speed (1x), so an hour long CD would take an hour to rip; and yes, in that case the quality of the audio recording device matters. But practically all CD ripping is done in digital. Also, I will mention that some newer onboard audio chips (like the ALC888) have excellent audio quality; quality that makes anything in the Creative Live or Audigy 2 series look noisy by comparison.
Now, the quality of the audio on the CD could
be suspect (i.e. someone burned a CD from 96k MP3s); and, a FLAC file could
have (fraudulently) been decompressed from an MP3 and thus have no quality advantage over that MP3 file.
Originally Posted by billbartuska
...And there ain't many stereos that will reproduce 20 kHz.
Since we're talking about a computer file here, I assume that boombox type stereos are out, and that the audio will be listened to through headphones or computer speakers. Most of these can go to 20 kHz without any difficulty (maybe a few dB attenuation in some models, but still quite audible). The real
question is to whether the listener's ears can actually hear that high! For instance, I can hear to ~17 kHz before attenuation sets in; but if the volume is increased enough, I can still hear 20 kHz. I have played back these tones to others, and some people can't even hear 16 kHz even when it is painfully loud to me.
Originally Posted by GreekGamer09
...So I started to see that some of my songs, which are all strictly 320kbps and I look very hard to find all my songs in 320kbps, that some of them don't have the spectrogram a 320kbps song has...
For example in this image
, both songs are 320kbps, yet only the top song reaches 20K which seems to be the "right" amount for a song that is really 320kbps.
So is the bottom song not really 320kbps quality? And did I perhaps read something wrong? I am just a bit confused about all of this.
While that is possible, I will mention that the lowpass filter in the MP3 encoder is configurable; in other words, I can send you a 128 kb/s MP3 file that goes all the way to 20 kHz. Now, it wouldn't sound very good, but it can be done. The opposite can also be done. I could change the setting for the lowpass filter and send you a 320 kb/s MP3 file that tops out at 12 kHz. With the default setting, however, the MP3 encoder will automatically set the lowpass filter's cutoff to a value based on the bitrate.
If you're interested in quality audio at a minimal bitrate, you should look into the Opus audio format
. By default, Opus will do 20 Hz to 20 kHz at 128 kb/s and sound transparent in most cases, which is something that MP3 has to be at 200+ kb/s to achieve. If you want to expirement with it, I recommend downloading the 1.1-alpha version from here
, because it has significantly improved the quality over the "officially released" versions.
Edited by Techie007 - 7/19/13 at 6:21am