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No doubt it's possible to corrupt an MP3 file if an MP3 tag editor is somehow buggy. That's why I tend to take the time to listen to MP3s after I rip a CD and then tag the files (or take an existing MP3 and just re-tag it...I'm paranoid in that way).
But what about files that have simply been left sitting on disk for months or even years?
I have MP3s that seem to have developed audible clicks and ticks and simply garbled sound without me having changed them in any way, shape or form (as far as I can tell). If an MP3 player offers to "automatically update tags with information downloaded from the internet", I disable that.
I realize bit rot is a thing, but if I'm otherwise not noticing any sort of data corruption with any other type of file...why would this only happen with MP3 files? Digital files are just that, 0s and 1s, and I see no reason for them to change on their own over time (that should simply not ever happen)...yet I'm hearing evidence some of my MP3s are not what they used to be...
v1 Tags are appended to the end of the file, while v2 tags are prepended, if I remember properly. There is no reason for a tagging software to modify anything inside the audio stream.
I digitalized all my cd's to mp3 years ago, and I still listen to them, having transfered them numerous times between my computers/phones/NAS; I never noticed any degradation of the audio signal.
Did you test offending files on several equipments, to be sure the file is the culprit?
"Five fruits and vegetables a day? What a joke!
Personally, after the third watermelon, I'm full."
As others have said, I would suspect the player not the files. The only 'scratches' I hear from my library are those tracks that were ripped from CDs.
BTW, long ago I started a personal project to catalog my music library by using the ID3 tags. I found out quick that they are totally unreliable and have major shortcomings that made them unsuitable for that purpose. (truncated names either at 30 or 60 chars depending on version)
I find it doubtful it's the player, as I've tried WMP, VLC (my player of choice) and foobar2000.
Also--and more importantly--every once in a while I come across one of those files, then look it up in my most recent backup set. If I'm lucky, I didn't yet overwrite the "good" backup of the MP3 with the version on my NAS (now with the audible clicks). And if I do a file compare, the files are different. I think that, by itself, rules out any sort of playback mechanism subtleties between different players.
I've come across .TS files before, and I believe they tend to originate from Tivo and live stream type of boxes that receive streaming data you're not "supposed" to get to. And it's hardly compressed (to the point of being total overkill - as in, gigabytes for just a few minutes worth of video).
My first encounter with .TS was with an early version of a Chinese Digital Video Recorder.
They tried to sell it as "able to deliver H264 streams", but the streams were not in standard H264 format at all, instead it produced .TS
They cleaned up their act btw (but you never know what tricks they are up to next of course)
.TS transport stream video is the format used by my digital TV in the UK when it records DVB programmes in SD to USB thumb drive in real time, I also have a Grundig box that does the same thing.
I am guessing that this is the video format inside the DVB digital video broadcast signal.
No problem playing this back on TV,Mac or PC using VLC. Sometimes have to rename as .MPG to play.
Single container files approx 2Gb per hour = 25kbps audio and 15Mbps video at 25fps in SD format.
I have had similar experiences in two areas: First, when I come across a CD issue of some vinyl record I used to love years ago, but haven't played for a long time. I rush home, put the CD in the player, and am disappointed: It doesn't sound nearly as good as I remember the old vinyl! Far less punch, duller in the higher frequencies,...
So I dig up the old vinyl record for a direct comparison (I haven't updated my stereo for many years; the setup is the same as in the old days, and I have kept all the old vinyls). Without exception, the CD quality is significantly better in a side-by-side comparison. Through the rosy haze of memory, the sound quality of vinyl recordings had improved to beyond the perfect reproduction...
Second: I had all my Super-8 movies digitized. Setting up the projector, shading the windows, mounting the screen... We never did that anymore, too much hassle. The digitizing shop did a poor job: Images were grainy, movements jerky, color was poor. Again, I set up the analog equipment for the same image size as my video screen, and compared side by side. Especially the movements were far more jerky in the original. They appearently did som sort of morphing when converting the 18 fps Super-8 into 25 fps video - interpolating movements between the frames. Yet they managed to retain a sharpness where I can see the indiviual grains in the photograhic film, when I stop the video at a single frame.
So: Maybe the sound of your MP3s never were better. They always had the click and ticks and garbled sound - but that was the norm in those days. (When CDs arrived, you could buy T-shirts that said "Music will never be the same without the hizz, clicks and pops".)
You may know that Norway was the first - and I belive still the only - country to close down the national FM radio networks during 2017; only a few community radios are left on FM. A fairly large number of "rebels" were fiercely fighting against digital radio, and painted the most rosy images of how perfect FM is, both in coverage, sound quality, channel selection etc. I saw what was coming, so before the FN teardown started, in 2016 and 2017, I spent my summer vacations driving around the country with a brand new high end FM/DAB car radio, recording (on a digital recorder, using the line out from the car radio) the sound while switching back and forth between the DAB and the FM transmission of the same channel, and I took notes of available channels as I moved around.
I was not surprised: Once FM was gone, I was blamed for lying. For corrupting the recordings of the FM sound just to make it sound worse. For using some cheap, poor quality and low sensitivity receiver when I reported 'no FM coverage'. Now that we no longer can drive the same routes for the FM zealots to try to pick up some FM signal, they can claim that it was there - I am the one lying, claiming it wasn't!
The recordings of the FM/DAB comparison remains in my archives. I can play them to anyone who insists that FM had perfect quality. They may accuse me of lying. But I know that nothing is better than nostalgia at raising the quality level of something you once had.