• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 46

Topic: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

  1. #1

    Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    OK guys this is the first in a possible series of hearing tests I want you to take [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] With all the debate on how crappy MP3\'s are etc. I want to put it to the test. There is only one rule in this \"competition\": You may only use your hearing. No spectrum analyzing or other tricks. I know I won\'t be able to lurk on you and see if you\'re actually resorting to that dirty trick, so I\'ll just ask you kindly not to. If not, the next test will be done using the LAME codec which has a setting which makes it much harder to reveal any changes to the waveform in an analyzer.

    OK I have chosen a short piece of John Williams from Jurassic Park that you\'re probably not too familiar with. It\'s from an action sequence so it has quite a lot of dynamics and the whole CD has a very bright sound to it.

    You can download the file here:

    http://www.simonravn.com/media/16bit-testV1.rar - it\'s a 12MB download!

    The file includes 4 .WAV files.
    - One is the original .WAV file ripped from the CD.
    - One is 192kbps MP3
    - One is 320kbps MP3
    - One is variable bit rate MP3.

    Feel free to write me a private email at melo@marble-eyes.dk with your \"votes\" on which file is which.

    This is not the toughest example I found out - I will make it harder the next time... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    Simon, I\'ll give it a shot and embarass myself!

    I rate them: 2 3 1 4

    If I hear it right, I\'ll put 3 & 2 in the top category, and 1 & 4 in the bottom category, hard to differentiate within a category.

    Here\'s excerpts from my listening notes on why:
    2) best air, best instrument clarity & placement, ok cymbals
    3) Not substantially different than 2, maybe I can\'t quite put my finger on the placement like phase info changed? Now I\'m fatigued and can no longer tell.

    1) artifacts with the air? I\'ll guess that this one is VBR, since the sound is better than 4 but the air is worse. You don\'t mention the VBR rate so no clue there.
    4) orchestra sounds clogged up

    Hope I did OK, BTW I generally consider Lame MP3\'s fine for my enjoyment at 192 & up, and I\'m somewhat picky. I wonder if you would get different results between joint stereo & true stereo at the lower rates? Last time I blind tested I sometimes preferred joint stereo even at 192.

  3. #3

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?


    I have listened carefully both in good headphones and on my Tannoys, but I can\'t tell the difference. First I thought example2 may have less high end, but then I thought it may just have been imagination.

    To me, clips of a single instrument seem to be more revealing because it is easier to hear the artifacts caused by the mp3-encoding. When the mix is as chaotic and complex as this it is not easy to distiguish them.

    Anyway, it is amazing how good those mp3\'s are compared to the original.

    Good fun!


  4. #4

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    Interesting. Keep the results coming.

  5. #5

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    Simon, what encoder are you using???

  6. #6

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    Hi Simon,
    No difference at first impression.

    I have experienced this before when you decode the MP3 to WAV (or audio cd) that the quality improves dramaticly.
    I guess there is a better audible difference when you play the original MP3\'s through an mp3 player (instead of wav\'s).


  7. #7

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    I used Wavelab\'s internal encoding. If the MP3 sounds worse when played as MP3 than as WAV, there must be something really wrong with whatever you use to play back MP3\'s with. Afterall it\'s the exact same process going on.

    EDIT: Btw KID-SURF - I\'d very much like your take on this test.

  8. #8

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    Michiel, that is pure superstition. LOL [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Under Windows, Mp3 MUST be decompressed before being played back (internally: using straight PCM format). It doesn\'t matter WHEN it happen, it simply WILL happen before you hear it.

    So either when you decode back to .Wav, like Simon did, or when you play back the .Mp3 file, you just hear the de-compressed, PCM sound, in both cases containing the abberations introduced by the Mp3 initial encoding.

    Maybe you use a weird Mp3 player that uses some funky equalizer hidden deeply in some \"skins\"? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] (just kidding)

    Take care,

  9. #9

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    Originally posted by kid-surf:
    I\'m not hiding...... I just now clicked on this thread. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    I tried to download it, but I\'m on a mac? What format is \"rar\"? Anyone know how I can get this file to open? i\'m not familiar with that file type...

    I\'m trying.... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    BTW- I don\'t own any analyzers, so I can\'t cheat. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">just drag and drop the file on your drop stuff icon. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: Alright who can go the MP3 distance?

    Mac users need Aladdin Stuffit Deluxe/Expander v7.03 to open .RAR 3.xx compressed files.


Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

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