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(NPR)   Pfft. As if we needed yet another reason to hate Apple   (npr.org) divider line 117
    More: Interesting, aspect ratio, frisbee, recording engineers, audio file format, banner ads, network connections, digital formats, Nielsen SoundScan  
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17676 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Mar 2012 at 1:03 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-05 10:11:48 PM
Pfft. Blind hatred seldom involves reason.
 
2012-03-05 11:47:23 PM

bingethinker: Pfft. Blind hatred seldom involves reason.


Something the matter, "Rock God?"
 
2012-03-05 11:51:23 PM
Is streaming really that important to people?
 
2012-03-06 12:11:58 AM
We've already seen many examples where a cloud based company suddenly decides to take away access to files you have "bought" without warning or compensation. Amazon grabbed copies of a book people had on their Kindles and deleted it, they've closed people's accounts and taken away access to their libraries for mysterious "account violations", Kodak closed down their online photo cloud and gave everyone only a few weeks warning to download all their photos or lose them forever, and Megaupload was closed down by the Feds.

I use Dropbox as a backup, but backup only. All my files are on at least two hard drives, and burned to CD or DVD ROM and kept in a fire safe for the more important ones.

Bandwidth is already becoming an issue, if you can get reception on portable devices. And hard drives have never been so cheap. Why all this move to the cloud?
 
2012-03-06 12:46:04 AM
Apple is great if you like big buttons. And you cannot lie. And you can afford a 30% markup. With a coconut.
 
2012-03-06 01:10:12 AM
I just hate things that are popular. That's why I read Fark instead of Reddit, for example.
 
2012-03-06 01:11:16 AM
Honestly, I've never really been able to hear why mp3s are considered "bad". Granted I'm in the Army, and I marched/taught drumlines for about 9 years, so even with earplugs, I doubt I have the best hearing. But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.
 
2012-03-06 01:16:44 AM
NOBODY CARES
 
2012-03-06 01:17:45 AM

taurusowner: But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.


For most people maybe that is fine. But mastering down to AAC (even at 24bit) is totally counterproductive. With storage and bandwidth getting cheaper, it makes more sense to offer full quality audio for those that want it.
 
2012-03-06 01:22:46 AM

taurusowner: Honestly, I've never really been able to hear why mp3s are considered "bad". Granted I'm in the Army, and I marched/taught drumlines for about 9 years, so even with earplugs, I doubt I have the best hearing. But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.


The difference between a crap-compressed song and a high quality song is immense.
 
2012-03-06 01:25:00 AM
God I hate that farking article!

I skimmed it looking for the point and every time my eyes stopped it was on boring techno-drivel.

How much do I not want to sit next to this guy at a party? It would be worse than sitting next to a career public housing administrator and hearing about the way federal funds are allocated.

Just tell me what apple did that was so bad in the first paragraph and let me decide how interested I am in knowing all the details.
 
2012-03-06 01:25:12 AM
Once I started hearing that high-end compression roll-off on the cymbals and hi-hats it just started to grate, and I can not unhear it. Even at 320k it just doesn't sound right to me. I played in various rock-oriented bands for 13 years and it just rips me when the drums sound wrong.
 
2012-03-06 01:25:36 AM

Sargun: taurusowner: Honestly, I've never really been able to hear why mp3s are considered "bad". Granted I'm in the Army, and I marched/taught drumlines for about 9 years, so even with earplugs, I doubt I have the best hearing. But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.

The difference between a crap-compressed song and a high quality song is immense.


and we still dont give a fark.
 
2012-03-06 01:31:43 AM
Well, if you were using properly shielded Monster cables to attach your iPod to your stereo, you wouldn't have these problems.
 
2012-03-06 01:34:37 AM

taurusowner: Honestly, I've never really been able to hear why mp3s are considered "bad".


Take a song ripped from a CD and then encode it at multiple bitrates, starting at 256kbps and moving down to 32kbps. Listen to the highest bitrate file first, move your way down to the lowest bitrate file, then move your way back up to the highest. You'll be able to pick up on the distortion that comes from lossy audio.

For better or worse, I can pick it out immediately. There is even a "sweet spot" where there is just enough constant distortion for my ear to try and home in on it, leading to headaches. For the lack of a better analogy, It is like using a 60Hz refresh on an old CRT VGA monitor - it isn't so bad that you can't use it, but it is bad enough that you are aware that it is there and it just bugs the fark out of me. It is why I tend to avoid MP3 files below 192kbps and both AAC and Vorbis files below 160kbps. It is also why I avoid Sirius sat radio and some local FM music stations that stream their programming from some remote studio to the transmitter using a low bandwidth link.

Weirdly enough, a 112kbps MP3 irritates me more than a 64kbps MP3 (when all other settings are the same).
 
2012-03-06 01:34:47 AM

archichris: Sargun: taurusowner: Honestly, I've never really been able to hear why mp3s are considered "bad". Granted I'm in the Army, and I marched/taught drumlines for about 9 years, so even with earplugs, I doubt I have the best hearing. But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.

The difference between a crap-compressed song and a high quality song is immense.

and we still dont give a fark.


Good for you. I'm not anywhere near an audiophile but when the song sounds fuzzy or has crappy percussion because they compressed it like shiat then the song is crap. You can continue not giving a fark and save your bandwidth on shiatty copies.
 
2012-03-06 01:37:49 AM

Sargun: taurusowner: Honestly, I've never really been able to hear why mp3s are considered "bad". Granted I'm in the Army, and I marched/taught drumlines for about 9 years, so even with earplugs, I doubt I have the best hearing. But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.

The difference between a crap-compressed song and a high quality song is immense.


Now, does it sound bad because it really sounds bad, or is it because of the cool feeling you get when scoffing at others for not having as refined senses towards music as you do?

\If that article was being read out loud, it would be at a party by some guy wearing skinny jeans and black frame glasses
\\When he's done reading the article, he'll tell us all how our choice of beer tastes terrible because it's too mainstream
 
2012-03-06 01:43:46 AM

Sargun: archichris: Sargun: taurusowner: Honestly, I've never really been able to hear why mp3s are considered "bad". Granted I'm in the Army, and I marched/taught drumlines for about 9 years, so even with earplugs, I doubt I have the best hearing. But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.

The difference between a crap-compressed song and a high quality song is immense.

and we still dont give a fark.

Good for you. I'm not anywhere near an audiophile but when the song sounds fuzzy or has crappy percussion because they compressed it like shiat then the song is crap. You can continue not giving a fark and save your bandwidth on shiatty copies that generally sound just fine to other people, and honestly they sound fine to me too, but I'm going to call shiatty because it gives me an opportunity to talk about compression and bit-rates and that totally makes me cool.


FTFY
 
2012-03-06 01:47:19 AM

archichris: Just tell me what apple did that was so bad in the first paragraph and let me decide how interested I am in knowing all the details.


No shiat.

The point that I got was that some people are upset that Apple is going to have studios use mastering tricks to compensate for (read: band-aid) low bitrate lossy audio files as opposed to moving to higher bitrate audio files instead. Apple doesn't want to start jacking up bitrates because they want to migrate from a download-once to a stream-many marketplace, which will increase load.
 
2012-03-06 01:49:27 AM

archichris: God I hate that farking article!

I skimmed it looking for the point and every time my eyes stopped it was on boring techno-drivel.

How much do I not want to sit next to this guy at a party? It would be worse than sitting next to a career public housing administrator and hearing about the way federal funds are allocated.

Just tell me what apple did that was so bad in the first paragraph and let me decide how interested I am in knowing all the details.


I also wouldn't want to have to sit next to someone that knows about something I don't. I mean, you could actually learn something and that would be fuking awful wouldn't it?

What do you mean I have to read an article before I know what the article is about? Why isn't there a dummy's guide out to that article yet that I can read? Or better yet, why won't someone record an audio file of it? Right?
 
2012-03-06 01:57:45 AM

Flint Ironstag: We've already seen many examples where a cloud based company suddenly decides to take away access to files you have "bought" without warning or compensation. Amazon grabbed copies of a book people had on their Kindles and deleted it, they've closed people's accounts and taken away access to their libraries for mysterious "account violations", Kodak closed down their online photo cloud and gave everyone only a few weeks warning to download all their photos or lose them forever, and Megaupload was closed down by the Feds.

I use Dropbox as a backup, but backup only. All my files are on at least two hard drives, and burned to CD or DVD ROM and kept in a fire safe for the more important ones.

Bandwidth is already becoming an issue, if you can get reception on portable devices. And hard drives have never been so cheap. Why all this move to the cloud?


With Amazon and the Orwell books it was simply a matter of the seller of the ebook not having the rights to those books and the rights holders complaining to Amazon, who removed the offending copies from the Kindle store and gave refunds to the customers. They admitted it was a mistake after the public outcry, but it wasn't like the customer really got screwed wince they could easily use their refund to buy the book from the correct vendor. Yes, there was some harm done was to customers who had notes and highlights that were deleted, but no one got screwed out of books they paid for in that case.
 
2012-03-06 01:57:58 AM
Read this to get a deeper understanding of digital sampling and the human ear: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html. FLAC would be a better way to go, really. Storage is cheap. Why bother with lossy codecs at all?

/has military grade hearing loss, so whatever
//WHAT?
 
2012-03-06 02:03:34 AM
I'm amazed by all these companies and governments trying to stifle the development of flexible formats and better methods of distribution and exchange.

That's like trying to stop the translation of the bible from Latin or damning the printing press.

They're betting and working against the evolution of democracy and information.

These people are farking morons.
 
2012-03-06 02:07:54 AM

taurusowner: Now, does it sound bad because it really sounds bad


That's something of a subjective question. Every recording can have its own set of quality issues while every listener can be more or less annoyed by different things. Different playback hardware can also expose different defects.

Personally, I can't stand compression artifacts from lossy audio or clicks from vinyl records. I don't care so much about a high noise floor or limited frequency response. I'm mixed about audio that has run through overly aggressive dynamic compression, especially when I am in a noisy environment like a car. The guy next to me may not hear the lossy audio defects in an MP3 but is annoyed as hell over the hiss from a tape. YMMV.

Having said all that, there comes a point where "better" audio is all in the mind. Some people swear that they can hear the difference between a 48kHz and 192kHz lossless audio file, even though the way Nyquist frequencies and human hearing works says that such people are full of shiat. But most of the people in these threads aren't that deluded.
 
2012-03-06 02:08:37 AM
People who didn't grow up listening to hissing, popping, warped vinyl records complaining about something only Ferengi can hear?
 
2012-03-06 02:11:39 AM

Dinjiin: Take a song ripped from a CD and then encode it at multiple bitrates, starting at 256kbps and moving down to 32kbps. Listen to the highest bitrate file first, move your way down to the lowest bitrate file, then move your way back up to the highest. You'll be able to pick up on the distortion that comes from lossy audio.


Yes. This is exactly what I did before ripping my CD collection.
 
2012-03-06 02:15:53 AM
On the plus side for bands, your live shows will sound AMAZING with even a half-assed soundman to fans who normally listen to digital files. Show profits should begin to rise and bring along a boost in merchandise!
 
2012-03-06 02:33:59 AM

Flint Ironstag: hard drives have never been so cheap. Why all this move to the cloud?


i can look at my ishiat on my idevice and my icomputer without icopying ifiles. It works for iemail, at least. I liked flickr but im too lazy to upload my photos
 
2012-03-06 02:50:51 AM
Mastered for iTards is precisely what it is... content designed to appeal to mouth-breathers who desperately want to appear intelligent and think being able to whip out a credit card adds 50 points to their IQ...

24/192 Music Downloads...and why they make no sense

also, audiophiles are hilarious... I'd pay good money to watch them beat each other senseless with monster cables..
 
2012-03-06 03:18:20 AM
FTA "Even so, the slightly compressed digital files on CDs are called "lossless" files because you can still take the quality down another step and have something most people enjoy listening to."

No that is not why they are called lossless. They are called lossless because the compression algorithms used are not lossy, in that when uncompressed they return all the data present before the compression took place. If this is not the case they should not be called lossless. This has nothing to do with bitrates or anything else the article talks about, but does indicate the complete lack of knowledge of the author, and cautions against assuming anything else he writes is correct.
 
ecl
2012-03-06 03:26:12 AM

gaspode: FTA "Even so, the slightly compressed digital files on CDs are called "lossless" files because you can still take the quality down another step and have something most people enjoy listening to."

No that is not why they are called lossless. They are called lossless because the compression algorithms used are not lossy, in that when uncompressed they return all the data present before the compression took place. If this is not the case they should not be called lossless. This has nothing to do with bitrates or anything else the article talks about, but does indicate the complete lack of knowledge of the author, and cautions against assuming anything else he writes is correct.


QFT
 
2012-03-06 04:00:25 AM

Sargun: taurusowner: Honestly, I've never really been able to hear why mp3s are considered "bad". Granted I'm in the Army, and I marched/taught drumlines for about 9 years, so even with earplugs, I doubt I have the best hearing. But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.

The difference between a crap-compressed song and a high quality song is immense.


You still have to have the speakers to hear it. Lossless FLAC or 128 mp3s will sound equally crappy on earbuds or Bose speakers. People might as well use all the lossy data compression they want if what they're listening to is coming out of crap.
 
2012-03-06 04:37:29 AM
People who would spend $49 plus tax and shipping for an iPod Shuffle even though they can get a 2gb player off eBay for about $10 should have to be made to wear a sign that says "I'm Stupid." Sure, the cheapies off eBay have a 5 hour battery life (the iPod shuffle has 15) as well as not having the "it talks to you" and "multiple playlists" features as described here (new window), but I think it's safe to say that it's a fact, not an opinion that those features just aren't worth paying 5 times as much.
 
2012-03-06 04:38:53 AM

ginandbacon: Is streaming really that important to people?


It is in the sense of "I don't want to stream my music". I don't want
It's more important to the distributors who have much greater control over the delivery, and more importantly, the pricing. Everything is moving towards the service model, music included.

5 cents/play, 10 dollars/month unlimited streaming (bandwidth cap applies), 7 dollars unlimited access to an album (bandwidth cap applies, album may be removed for any reason with no refund) etc etc etc. Really it's all about squeezing pennies out of you. I can imagine the cellular networks would be over the moon with this idea too.
 
2012-03-06 04:45:57 AM

ginandbacon: Is streaming really that important to people?


It is in the sense of "I don't want to stream my music". I don't want less than128kbps quality and I don't want it to cut out or return to the Real days of "buffering".

Meh. Stupid opening bracket cut me off.

128kbps is fine for the car, but when you're in a decent listening environment (headphones or fairly quiet location) the compression really shows.
 
2012-03-06 05:09:23 AM

loudog: Read this to get a deeper understanding of digital sampling and the human ear: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html. FLAC would be a better way to go, really. Storage is cheap. Why bother with lossy codecs at all?

/has military grade hearing loss, so whatever
//WHAT?

FLAC is great I download all concerts in this. The only thing I use mp3 on is my blackberry when I take the train to work.
 
2012-03-06 05:29:23 AM
I don't know what you're all grumbling about-- Apple have made it very clear that their favourite pastime is filling necessary holes. The 24/192 shift is more of the same. They listened to complaints, ignored them, and came up with a solution to a problem no one had. To wit: some downloaders wanted better quality downloads, so now they can get bigger files with (at best) the same problems as the smaller ones, but Apple can use the biggish numbers to trick people into believing they're getting better files. Huzzah.

(Although I should point out that if people believe they're listening to better files, they'll often perceive them as sounding better. Which in no way makes the deception any less dodgy)
 
2012-03-06 06:26:25 AM

taurusowner: But to me a downloaded mp3 at 128 bitrate and such sounds pretty fine to me. I guess I'm not an "audiophile"/snob. Oh well.


I'd bet you money it's your headphones. A few years ago I decided I was going to drop some money on a quality set of headphones. I couldn't figure out why half my music sounded like crap all of a sudden. Turns out those were the lower quality files. Ever since then I download 320 versions.

I don't consider myself an audio snob. But in all seriousness, you may not have the physical equipment to be able to hear the difference.
 
2012-03-06 06:45:23 AM

Teufelaffe: that generally sound just fine to other people, and honestly they sound fine to me too, but I'm going to call shiatty because it gives me an opportunity to talk about compression and bit-rates and that totally makes me cool.


While audiophile arguments are generally full of shiat, there are two that even an untrained ear can hear on fairly standard equipment from Walmart.

The first is dynamics. As time has gone on, engineers have increased volume at the source resulting in loss of audio quality.

upload.wikimedia.org
The same song remastered over time (Source: Wikipedia)

As those waveforms take up more and more space on the spectrograph, the human ear can hear less and less distinction.

The other thing that the human ear is good at picking up on is compression artifacts. As someone said before, take an MP3 ripped from a CD at 320kbps and save it at 192, 128, 64 and 32kbps (each being saved from the original 320kbps copy). That loss of quality is compression. You've always noticed it, but once you know what it is it becomes that much more irritating.

Both of these things are especially annoying if you have a nicer sound system that you listen to your music on. I have an entry level Onkyo receiver with entry level Polk and Sony speakers and the his and crackle of lower bitrate mp3s is maddening.
 
2012-03-06 07:12:57 AM

eldritch2k4: Teufelaffe: that generally sound just fine to other people, and honestly they sound fine to me too, but I'm going to call shiatty because it gives me an opportunity to talk about compression and bit-rates and that totally makes me cool.

While audiophile arguments are generally full of shiat, there are two that even an untrained ear can hear on fairly standard equipment from Walmart.

The first is dynamics. As time has gone on, engineers have increased volume at the source resulting in loss of audio quality.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 552x265]
The same song remastered over time (Source: Wikipedia)

As those waveforms take up more and more space on the spectrograph, the human ear can hear less and less distinction.

The other thing that the human ear is good at picking up on is compression artifacts. As someone said before, take an MP3 ripped from a CD at 320kbps and save it at 192, 128, 64 and 32kbps (each being saved from the original 320kbps copy). That loss of quality is compression. You've always noticed it, but once you know what it is it becomes that much more irritating.

Both of these things are especially annoying if you have a nicer sound system that you listen to your music on. I have an entry level Onkyo receiver with entry level Polk and Sony speakers and the his and crackle of lower bitrate mp3s is maddening.


The reason for upping the source volume in recordings now is because modern amplification circuits (mainly the saturation levels of the transistors within them) can handle the fuller sound levels without distortion. Older parts, even as recently as 1992, had problems with high source volumes pushing the transistors into saturation (92' I know for a fact because I have a pioneer amp from that time) and cutting off the peaks of the waveforms.

It does cause some problems if you have older songs and newer ones that play back to back, but that is what the volume control is for.
 
2012-03-06 07:42:56 AM
This thread is hilarious. Audiophiles and apple haters, unite!
 
2012-03-06 07:54:28 AM
Isn't the human ear limited? My understanding is that unless you're a mutant then anything greater than about 192kHz is indistinguishable and that any perceived improvements beyond that are all a placebo effect?

I seem to recall a study having been done and posted here on Fark not that many moons ago. I don't recall the details but the results where similar to what I posted (IIRC) and still people argued with the science. It was a lot of, "I don't care what the science says, I know I can hear the difference." A few folk also argued the methodology I believe. Meh... Standard Fark thread I guess but my question remains the same.

I personally don't download much in the way of music any more but, when I did, I didn't like anything less than 128 and preferred 192. I could tell a difference between those two and I certainly was not happy with anything less than 128. Above 192 I can only say that the music sounded "crisper" to some extent and I don't know if I could do a blind test and confirm those personally perceived differences. I couldn't tell any differences tonally.
 
2012-03-06 08:03:28 AM
I only listen to wax cylinders on a gramophone. But only beeswax...and yes, I can tell just by listening.
 
2012-03-06 08:08:43 AM

gaspode: No that is not why they are called lossless. They are called lossless because the compression algorithms used are not lossy, in that when uncompressed they return all the data present before the compression took place.


Explain to me how 16bit/44.1kHz red book audio can be restored to 24bit/192kHz quality?

I argue that the rate conversion process involved in mastering for CD shouldn't be described as compression at all - it's never meant to be decompressed.
 
2012-03-06 08:10:09 AM

orange whip: I only listen to wax cylinders on a gramophone. But only beeswax...and yes, I can tell just by listening.


Meh, hornetswax sounds better
 
2012-03-06 08:15:05 AM

drewsclues: This thread is hilarious. Audiophiles and apple haters, unite!


Not sure which is worse.

/actually I do know - audiophiles at least have some evidence to back up their obsession ...
 
2012-03-06 08:29:06 AM

gozar_the_destroyer: It does cause some problems if you have older songs and newer ones that play back to back, but that is what the volume control is for.


You mean the volume control way over there on the deck when I am way over here by the fence? I wasn't aware that the speakers would cheerfully not damage themselves as a high volume song starts blasting right after a low volume song. Thanks!
 
2012-03-06 08:34:36 AM
Looks like another job for Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Receptacle Outlets.
 
2012-03-06 08:39:24 AM

Donnchadha: Well, if you were using properly shielded Monster cables to attach your iPod to your stereo, you wouldn't have these problems.


True ... But then you wouldn't be able to detach them without ripping the connections out of each device, so double check your sync before doing so.
 
2012-03-06 08:40:08 AM

bravian: audiophiles at least have some evidence to back up their obsession ...


They... they do? I would love to get my grubby mitts on this "evidence". See, every audiophile I've met refers me to something which looks a little like evidence under the right light but on closer examination begins to resemble a faery's bowel movement. A particularly dissatisfying one at that.

As to Apple's primary market, well... even the kindest phrase we could use to describe them would be taken as derogatory so why bother trying to play nice. Sometimes a spade is just that.
 
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