Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 65
  1. #1
    Mutant from table 9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,205

    Ugh! MP3s Sound Like Garbage!

    So my trusty Diskman finally gave up the ghost. Accordingly, I got my first MP3 player. A Creative Nano 1gb on sale at CC for 60 bucks. I got home and was estatic. Without even realizing it when I bought it, it has an FM radio and direct recording from a mini-plug input. Bonus!

    My computer instantly recognized it as did my MusicMatch software. How's that for zero setup time. The computer randomly loaded a bunch of songs on to the player, and I went out to rake the leaves. We have five huge oak trees in our yard so its alot of raking/blowing. Listening with earbuds and -30db ear protectors (gas powered leave blower) it sounded great. I like how the earprotectors seal out the outside noise. I couldn't believe the detail and fullness of the music, albeit with the EQ engaged. And shuffling really is cool. It sounds dumb that something so simple can make you rediscover lost corners of your music collection.

    I had never listened to MP3s on anything other than earbuds and computer speakers. So after I was done with my leaves, I went in and plugged it into my receiver's frontpanel inputs. Boy o' boy did it sound like garbage! I couldn't believe this was the same thing that I just thought sounded so good. Good thing I never claimed to have a golden ear.

    What a modern dichotomy. The MP3 is perfect for what it is, i.e. small, highly portable, highly temporary, music on the go, when fidelity is not primary and "good enough" will do. Yet here it is being touted as a replacement for bulkier high resolution formats. I'm just old enough to still be amazed at how small CDs are. I truly was saddened at the idea that there are thousands of college dorms full of kids that think 10,000 songs on a hard drive are a music collection, especially in light of its dubious fidelity. Yes I know that there are better compressed and lossless formats out there, but I kinda doubt thats what's coming off Kazaa.

  2. #2
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    below the noise floor
    Posts
    3,636
    I would respectfully disagree. How did you rip it? I really think that's crucial. I use lame --standard-preset.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  3. #3
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,275
    Modern kids dont care, just like kids 40 years ago playing LPs with unknown setups. They just want to DL torrentz and get artists' entire discography with a click on a button.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    722
    You are confounding a number of different factors in your analysis.

    As far as the "dubious fidelity" of music on hard drives, you should realize that encoding music to a digital format and compressing it does NOT necessarily lead to any degeneration of quality. I have almost my entire music collection stored in FLAC, which is lossless compression. You get about 50% compression, and it's exactly identical to the CD.

    MP3s can be decent quality if they are encoded properly at a decent bit rate. The vast majority of listeners cannot distinguish between MP3s burned at a rate of 200kbps and above -- especially if you use variable bit rate encoding. I have a fair amount of music encoded this way, and it sounds fine. I'd challenge anybody to tell the difference, even on my fairly high quality stereo rig.

    Also, because you are using a Creative Nano to play the MP3s, there are many other factors that may be causing the poor quality. The DAC on your player is of comparatively poor quality, as are the analog connections to it. If you ran the same MP3s into a high quality DAC with good analog components, chances are they would sound much, much better.

    These same misunderstandings come up again and again on this board, and elsewhere. It's a shame there's so much disinformation about computer-based music out there....
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

    FREE RADICAL RADIO: Hours of free, radical MP3s!

  5. #5
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,275
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    I would respectfully disagree. How did you rip it? I really think that's crucial. I use lame --standard-preset.
    I think has alot to do with internal DAC too. I thought IRiver had one with optical output. Not that I would consider using a portable device as my main source, but I wouldnt mind paying extra for that feature.

    -JRA

  6. #6
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,056
    well, how you ripped it IS important, also, how did you hook it up to your receiver?
    i agree there is a difference in mp3 quality compared to cd's, and yes it is badder,
    so its normal you think it sucks,

    for downloading: kazaa is crap, and all the things on it are like what, 128kbps? and yes, without doubt, they suck.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  7. #7
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,275
    I'd challenge anybody to tell the difference, even on my fairly high quality stereo rig.
    Do we have a volunteer?

    On other thread I suggested:

    We should do that via mail. Make 5 tracks at 64, 128, 256, 320, and Lossless on CD-Rs, and submit answers to the sender with actual answers. I'll fund $20 to whoever wants to be in charge. I guess participants gotta pay for the shipping though. $1? You can even do it with different cables too. See if we can identify differences.

  8. #8
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,056
    probably, since they don't make things like Idocks (for ipods) for creative, you don't have any other option then hooking it up via a analog 3.5mm minijack to stereo rca, and those, as we know, suck,

    i hooked up some mp3 players from friends to my amp (well, not now, when they were here, which happens sometimes), and i found they where really boomy and well yeah, too much bass and no treble.
    which is logical, since the dac in the mp3 player is cheap, and not really made to be hooked up to a expensive stereo system.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  9. #9
    Mutant from table 9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,205
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Anderson
    You are confounding a number of different factors in your analysis.

    As far as the "dubious fidelity" of music on hard drives, you should realize that encoding music to a digital format and compressing it does NOT necessarily lead to any degeneration of quality. I have almost my entire music collection stored in FLAC, which is lossless compression. You get about 50% compression, and it's exactly identical to the CD.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not claiming dubious fidelity of hard drives. A CD is analogous to a hard drive. So is an LP for that matter. Records are recorded and mixed from hard drives.

    Its could definately be how they are ripped, but it is more likely the cheap Creative Nano and its DAC. They are ripped at 192 in MP3 and actually sound pretty good off of my computer. I did hook up a small vintage system to the computer last night, and it was markedly better than the Creative Nano through my main system.

    Like I said, through earbuds doing yard work, it all sounded great. But when people go out and drop $400 on an Ipod, many are thinking that they are getting state of the art sound when there is a lot more to it than just click and drag.

  10. #10
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    X
    Posts
    2,286
    I had this lovely conversation over in a Mac forum...
    http://forums.dealmac.com/read.php?4...621431#2621431

    But, yeah, bitrate matters.

  11. #11
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,275
    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    I had this lovely conversation over in a Mac forum...
    http://forums.dealmac.com/read.php?4...621431#2621431

    But, yeah, bitrate matters.
    Gawd, you were such an AHole on that thread.

    I love it.

  12. #12
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    X
    Posts
    2,286
    Thanks, it was a particularly proud moment for me too. ;-)

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    722
    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    On other thread I suggested:
    Nothing needs to be mailed though, you can just do it at home. You simply need to take great care that it's truly blind. There are programs that can do this for you (e.g. foobar2000).

    I'd love to have someone come here to my home to try it, because then I can make sure it's truly double-blind, as opposed to relying on someone's word for it.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

    FREE RADICAL RADIO: Hours of free, radical MP3s!

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    As others have said, you got a lot of variables at work here. I've noticed clearly audible differences between MP3 encoders, so what you use to rip the files in the first place has a direct bearing on the sound quality. Lately, I've been going with the Real Player at 192k variable bitrate, and that creates some very convincing copies of the original CDs.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    I truly was saddened at the idea that there are thousands of college dorms full of kids that think 10,000 songs on a hard drive are a music collection, especially in light of its dubious fidelity. Yes I know that there are better compressed and lossless formats out there, but I kinda doubt thats what's coming off Kazaa.
    I'm amazed everytime I read comments like this because the music systems I remember in my friends' dorm rooms in the mid-80s mostly used cassette players, boom boxes, and/or receivers hooked up to large JBL clone speakers. Hardly what I would call a high fidelity experience. And people I knew who went to college in the 70s hauled their portable record changers (w/ the integrated speakers) and 8-tracks around. From one generation to the next, the vast majority of college students have never cared much for the sound quality.

    In actuality, I think college students today have got it much better than students from previous decades, since MP3s and most computer speakers are far superior to what students typically used 20 or 30 years ago. For all the flak that 128k MP3 gets on this board, I doubt that anyone in their right mind would prefer a prerecorded cassette or a scratchy 45 played through a portable record changer.
    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
    Panasonic VIERA TH-C50FD18 50" 1080p
    Paradigm Reference Studio 40, CC, and 20 v.2
    Adire Audio Rava (EQ: Behringer Feedback Destroyer DSP1124)
    Yamaha RX-A1030
    Dual CS5000 (Ortofon OM30 Super)
    Sony UBP-X800
    Sony Playstation 3 (MediaLink OS X Server)
    Sony ES SCD-C2000ES
    JVC HR-S3912U
    Directv HR44 and WVB
    Logitech Harmony 700
    iPhone 5s/iPad 3
    Linksys WES610



    The Neverending DVD/BD Collection

    Subwoofer Setup and Parametric EQ Results *Dead Link*

  15. #15
    Mutant from table 9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,205
    My college experience must have been different. I went to college in the mid 90s and hi-fi was a big part of it. It was routine for people to return from summer break and Christmas break with a shiny new hi-fi. Sure there was a fair amount of Fisher and Bose, but there was alot of everything else from Boston, Jamo, JBL, Klipsch, B&W, Vegas, and Advent to Nad, Yamaha, Denon, Mitsubishi and even saw some stray Naks and Luxman from time to time. Pretty hi-fi for a bunch of 20 year olds.

    What is frustrating is that good hi-fi is so comparatively cheap these days, but separate components with big speakers are not what people are buying anymore. Just look at old Radio Shack ads. 17 watts by Realistic for $400 in the 70s? Look at what the same money can get today in the two channel market.

  16. #16
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Nueva Jork
    Posts
    2,148

    Just...

    ...another example of the same ol' same ol'...

    Coffee used to come in one-pound canisters...now yer lucky if you get 11ozs...Cell phones sound like cr@p compared to a land line with a quality WE or Stromberg 'phone...I could go on with every facet of "life" that has been affected by the same disease: a gradual lowering of standards and commensurate expectations...simply reduced, it's all downsizing for price...

    jimHJJ(...think about it...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  17. #17
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    X
    Posts
    2,286
    Quote Originally Posted by Resident Loser
    ...simply reduced, it's all downsizing for price...
    *chuckle*

  18. #18
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    12
    Does it improve the sound quality to convert mp3s to WMA or something like that?

  19. #19
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    X
    Posts
    2,286
    Quote Originally Posted by aztericx
    Does it improve the sound quality to convert mp3s to WMA or something like that?
    No. When ever you convert to or convert between lossy formats like MP3 or WMA you lose information. You can only degrade the signal you can't make it better.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    No. When ever you convert to or convert between lossy formats like MP3 or WMA you lose information. You can only degrade the signal you can't make it better.
    Ok, thanks. How do you do to get a good music file on your computer?

  21. #21
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    722
    ^^^ Rip your CDs with a program like Exact Audio Copy (EAC) that does error correction:

    http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/

    Use a lossless compression format, like FLAC:

    http://flac.sourceforge.net/

    Make sure you figure out how to set it up right, it's not terribly user friendly. You can also use a program like iTunes and rip to Apple lossless if you need something more user friendly, but keep in mind that not all formats are playable on all platforms.

    If hard disk space is a concern, or if you use a portable player, you can get fairly decent sound using MP3 format down to a bitrate of about 200kbps, especially if you use variable bit rate recording. Look for the most recent version of LAME:

    http://lame.sourceforge.net/index.php
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

    FREE RADICAL RADIO: Hours of free, radical MP3s!

  22. #22
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    My college experience must have been different. I went to college in the mid 90s and hi-fi was a big part of it. It was routine for people to return from summer break and Christmas break with a shiny new hi-fi. Sure there was a fair amount of Fisher and Bose, but there was alot of everything else from Boston, Jamo, JBL, Klipsch, B&W, Vegas, and Advent to Nad, Yamaha, Denon, Mitsubishi and even saw some stray Naks and Luxman from time to time. Pretty hi-fi for a bunch of 20 year olds.

    What is frustrating is that good hi-fi is so comparatively cheap these days, but separate components with big speakers are not what people are buying anymore. Just look at old Radio Shack ads. 17 watts by Realistic for $400 in the 70s? Look at what the same money can get today in the two channel market.
    Boy, you must have been surrounded by a buncha blue bloods (or at least students who got more generous financial aid packages than my friends did!). Most of the students I knew used mini-systems, and that's no different than the dorm rooms I visited back in the 70s, or with my younger cousins during the mid-90s. Just because you might have known some people who had component systems does not mean that was the norm. Sales for home audio components have never topped $2 billion, yet the sales for the iPod alone last year totaled over $3 billion. From my vantage point, this indicates that you got more students than ever who listen to music (doesn't mean that they're purchasing music) nowadays.

    You might say that because more students nowadays use portable and computer-based systems, it indicates less of an interest in hi-fi. But, I would simply add that the interest has never been there in the first place for the vast majority of students out there. Today's iPod = yesterday's Discman = yesterday's Walkman = yesterday's tape boombox = yesterday's portable record changer.

    Audio is a niche hobby, and always has been, no matter how much audiophile revisionism likes to idealize the past. How else would you explain prerecorded cassettes dominating the market from the early-80s through the mid-90s? Or how during the vinyl heyday, the vast majority of LPs were played through crappy record changers, and not high end turntables (not that the term "high end" even existed back then)?
    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
    Panasonic VIERA TH-C50FD18 50" 1080p
    Paradigm Reference Studio 40, CC, and 20 v.2
    Adire Audio Rava (EQ: Behringer Feedback Destroyer DSP1124)
    Yamaha RX-A1030
    Dual CS5000 (Ortofon OM30 Super)
    Sony UBP-X800
    Sony Playstation 3 (MediaLink OS X Server)
    Sony ES SCD-C2000ES
    JVC HR-S3912U
    Directv HR44 and WVB
    Logitech Harmony 700
    iPhone 5s/iPad 3
    Linksys WES610



    The Neverending DVD/BD Collection

    Subwoofer Setup and Parametric EQ Results *Dead Link*

  23. #23
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by Resident Loser
    .Coffee used to come in one-pound canisters...now yer lucky if you get 11ozs.

    Yeeech!!! Who needs cans when you now got freshly roasted coffee beans being peddled at every Starbuck's and grocery store in America? But, if the cans make you feel better, you could always buy a 1 lb. bag (which is pretty much the most common denomination) and dump it into an old Folger's can.
    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
    Panasonic VIERA TH-C50FD18 50" 1080p
    Paradigm Reference Studio 40, CC, and 20 v.2
    Adire Audio Rava (EQ: Behringer Feedback Destroyer DSP1124)
    Yamaha RX-A1030
    Dual CS5000 (Ortofon OM30 Super)
    Sony UBP-X800
    Sony Playstation 3 (MediaLink OS X Server)
    Sony ES SCD-C2000ES
    JVC HR-S3912U
    Directv HR44 and WVB
    Logitech Harmony 700
    iPhone 5s/iPad 3
    Linksys WES610



    The Neverending DVD/BD Collection

    Subwoofer Setup and Parametric EQ Results *Dead Link*

  24. #24
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    2,710
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer

    not high end turntables (not that the term "high end" even existed back then)?
    Sorry Woochifer, the high end was around in the early 80's. Back then I was using an ARC SP3 preamp and Maggy MG-1's. They were considered high end. As a matter of fact the HQD (stacked Quads, Decca ribbon tweeters with a Hartley sub woofer) system driven by Mark Levinson electronics was the highest of the high end.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  25. #25
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Nueva Jork
    Posts
    2,148

    Yeah...

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Yeeech!!! Who needs cans when you now got freshly roasted coffee beans being peddled at every Starbuck's and grocery store in America? But, if the cans make you feel better, you could always buy a 1 lb. bag (which is pretty much the most common denomination) and dump it into an old Folger's can.
    ...but then I'd need a proper grinder to do it up right...don't wan't some effete cafe mocha mint or hazelnut caramel sludge insinuating itself in my fine-grind, ultra-dark roast...I like coffee...real coffee flavored coffee, the stronger the better...

    Besides, at three or four cups a week, I'm quite content with my Medaglia D'oro or Cafe Bustello...When it goes on sale or my wife has a coupon, it's a caffeine dream...I was simply outlining the covert screwing we consumers get on a regular basis...

    And given my deep resentment for the corporate swine of the Col. MacWendybelle ilk...the ubiquitous Starbucks? I'd rather drink warm worm urine...

    jimHJJ(...and I don't think worms pee...per se...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •