• 01-16-2004, 06:00 AM
    Whats the deal with MP3 format
    I just downloaded some MP3 off the internet (my 1st venture into internet downloading of music) and burned them onto an audio CD as my only mpe capabale player in the house is a dvd player. The files I selected for download sat around 5K in size and I specified the highest bit rate for the MP3 files; 320K.

    But when I listended to the finish product on my cdplayer, the sound was no better than that of an audio cassette. Matter of fact I have some recordings on metal tape that far surpass the sound quality of this latest experiment I must admit that I'm disappointed in all this mp3 rage.

    The questions/suspicions I have are these;

    1.) Do I loose information fromn converting the MP3 to CDA format
    2.) Maybe the sites holding MP3 files; 320K are in fact a lower burn/scan rate.

    CAn anyone offer any hints or suggestions?
  • 01-16-2004, 09:42 AM
    Here's a link with some info and other links to check out:


    Hope this helps.
  • 01-16-2004, 11:40 AM
    Any number of variables at play when you download MP3 files. You have no idea how good the original encoding software was, you don't know what source material was used, you don't know if the file was originally downloaded from a lower bitrate and later converted to a CD file and then reencoded at the higher bitrate.

    As for how variable the software gets, I use Real One and Pyro for different tasks. The difference between the two programs with their low bitrate encoding is huge. Real One produces better sounding files, especially at the 96k bitrate. Pyro is a step down in sound quality, but I use it more for its editing functions than anything.
  • 01-18-2004, 06:35 PM

    Originally Posted by 3db

    CAn anyone offer any hints or suggestions?

    Yeah- don't listen to them. The sound like crap. :D
  • 01-20-2004, 03:31 PM
    ahhhh...such words of wisdom!!! ;)
    you...my friend are a peice of work....BTW...I WANT YOUR AMPS!!!! yummy!!! your dad did a "bang-up" job on them cases!!!

  • 01-21-2004, 09:45 AM
    actually, I think MP3 has the capability to sound better than cd (ie. you could record mp3 with a higher sampling rate etc than a cd has). Where the problem is is that when downloading mp3s, you don't know the conditions and settings under which it was recorded. Even pay per download mp3 sites most likely will not take advantage of this, so mp3 will almost always sound worse. Where mp3 is especially great though, at least when it's free or cheap, is finding new music/bands etc. It lets you try lots of stuff you could never hear if you had to pay for a cd for every band.
  • 01-21-2004, 06:21 PM
    Woochifer is exactly right here: ...you don't know what source material was used...

    That's ALWAYS the weakest link in any recorded music, even CDs. If the original mixdown was done on a noisy mastering deck, or with poor mic techniques, or any of a thousand other things, the final music can sound compromised. I've heard really inexpensive recordings with simple cheap equipment that sounds great, and I've heard recordings done in million-dollar studios that are so equalized, compressed and mixed out of phase that they sound terrible. Recording is an art... experience is very important.

    When music is compressed to MP3 form you're going to get even more compromises, especially if there are lots of dynamics or transient (sibilant) sounds in the recording. There are also different MP3 codecs used which can effect the sound. Generally, once you get over 200K for your bit-rate, it's hard to tell the difference from the original source file. Despite it's limitations, MP3 is still a great thing when you look at the 10:1 difference in file size. I've even encoded spoken word stuff at really low bit rates where an hour-long file is only 2-4 megs, compared to 800 megs (!) in wav form.

    When you decode an MP3 file BACK to a wav file (for burning onto a CDR), you're again compromising the sound a bit, but not that much. Again, different software programs use different methods for doing this and there are LOTs of em out there. Personally, I think Real One is loaded with spyware and other crap and avoid it like the plague. But using MP3's is a tool that avoids huge files... and those who use it are usually interested more in the music than quality, or file size issues over the web. At 320K you're getting a pretty perfect sounding copy, so I'm guessing any quality issues are in the original.
  • 01-22-2004, 05:33 AM
    Thanks for all the comments
    I guess there are lots of vairiablles that come into play when downloading MP3s of the internet. I do see the convience of the MP3 format when it comes to saving space on disk or even CD-R . Sapce saving is not on the top of my priority I guess. Thanks again
  • 01-22-2004, 12:00 PM

    you...my friend are a peice of work....BTW...I WANT YOUR AMPS!!!! yummy!!! your dad did a "bang-up" job on them cases!!!
    Thanks Pogue.... Come visit and I'll let ya listen to 'em. :D