Click here to Skip to main content
11,413,676 members (77,317 online)

Welcome to the Lounge

   

For lazing about and discussing anything in a software developer's life that takes your fancy except programming questions.

Technical discussions are encouraged, but click here to ask your programming question.

The Lounge is rated PG. If you're about to post something you wouldn't want your kid sister to read then don't post it. No flame wars, no abusive conduct, no programming questions and please don't post ads.
 
GeneralAndroid vs. iOS: Music Pin
David Kentley, 21-Jan-13 5:26
memberDavid Kentley21-Jan-13 5:26 
GeneralRe: Android vs. iOS: Music Pin
David Knechtges, 21-Jan-13 6:47
memberDavid Knechtges21-Jan-13 6:47 
GeneralRe: Android vs. iOS: Music Pin
David Kentley, 21-Jan-13 6:55
memberDavid Kentley21-Jan-13 6:55 
GeneralRe: Android vs. iOS: Music Pin
BillWoodruff, 21-Jan-13 23:05
memberBillWoodruff21-Jan-13 23:05 
GeneralRe: Android vs. iOS: Music Pin
David Kentley, 22-Jan-13 6:29
memberDavid Kentley22-Jan-13 6:29 
BillWoodruff wrote:
And, of course, there's the question of the quality of the source audio file (ripped digitally, I assume): whether the source is compressed losslessly (for example into .flac fles): or, down-sampled into an .mp3 with loss of dynamic range and other qualities).

Ugh, the whole lossless vs. lossy compression is an endless and painful debate that I happen to have strong opinions about. There are astonishingly few double blind tests out there, and I've even concocted some for myself (which I guess would be just plain "blind" tests) - encode lossless, MP3 and AAC of different bitrates versions for each of a bunch of songs across genres - randomize the list but don't look at it (put duplicates in, make the list long enough that they may or may not be played, make it all the same song if you want, etc.), and just listen, and write down where you think you can hear a difference. Be honest about it and the results may surprise you (it did me) - and it varies GREATLY by genre, and by person and their own hearing, I'm sure.

I consider myself an audiophile, but not one of the insane ones (but then, doesn't everyone?) - I play guitar and like all guitarists drive everyone in the band crazy tweaking my knobs to death. From my experience, and I will admit my high frequency hearing (which is where a lot of compression artifacts show up) is not that of a teenager, and is probably subpar for my age due to being in bands and to too many concerts, but for my ears, the sweet spot is to do a 160 kbps MP3 with variable bit rate set to "highest" quality. It really works for me, that's the point at which I cannot tell the difference between lossless and compressed with any reliability. Anything lower, and I can tell with near 100% accuracy. At this rate (again, with VBR, and high quality VBR, which is key) and higher it is completely random, 50/50 chance that I pick the lossless vs. MP3. Some types of songs - interestingly, folk and singer/songwriter stuff - end up higher than 256kbps (160kbps is just the floor), which is of course the high quality VBR at work, and I guess is needed to capture the more complicated and dynamic sound of acoustic guitars. Other genres - like heavy metal - frequently ends up around 170-180kbps (which makes sense for certain songs, given the non-dynamic nature of guitars with heavy distortion playing power chords, it's like zipping a text file full of e's vs. compressing something already compressed). Orchestral stuff tends to end up around 200kbps - I thought it would be higher. It spikes where the encoder decides you need more info in order to hear all the audible information, and makes perfect sense given how human hearing works, assuming the encoder is smart, which I think they are these days.

Signal to noise, etc. is pretty moot at this point (for phones, iPods, etc.). With few exceptions (and there are exceptions) the S/N ratio is well beyond what human ears can detect (and the iPhone, when measured with lab equipment, scores pretty well there, but like I said with very little real world effect vs. most other devices). Output quality becomes important really in the power department. Some high end over the ear headphones just may not be able to get enough "oomph" from certain devices. These high end headphone results I read about online, I generally use earbuds with my phone when at work or walking - and I've gone through many pairs, and that pretty much comes down to preference and how much you want to spend. I think a lot of what people think are encoding artifacts are actually due to the awful scourge facing our planet today: the loudness wars, the artifacts of which are easy to identify, completely unnecessary, and is impossible to unhear once you hear it (and is also present on the "lossless" CD - which sounds like they just clip the 24-bit master to 16 bits instead of scaling it, but they can't really be that stupid, right? 24-bit mastering makes lots of sense, but 16 bits for the end product is PLENTY for the dynamic range capabilities of human beings).

Not to randomly claim credentials, but DSP is my day job, though it's not audio, I use many very similar concepts, so I like to think I know what I'm talking about. Very few of the audiophile flamewars are based on any sort of scientific testing (or logic) whatsoever, so I avoid them like the plague these days Smile | :)

Ok, you got me going. Sorry 'bout that. This is probably on the 18th page by now so no one will read it anyway.
Look at me still talking when there's science to do
When I look out there it makes me glad I'm not you

GeneralRe: Android vs. iOS: Music Pin
BillWoodruff, 28-Jan-13 15:46
memberBillWoodruff28-Jan-13 15:46 
GeneralRe: Android vs. iOS: Music Pin
David Kentley, 30-Jan-13 4:23
memberDavid Kentley30-Jan-13 4:23 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.


Advertise | Privacy | Mobile
Web01 | 2.8.150427.2 | Last Updated 27 Apr 2015
Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2015
All Rights Reserved. Terms of Service
Layout: fixed | fluid