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mp3 sound quality

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professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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Ashley James:I'm sorry but it's not just different or just my opinion. The FACTs are that it's more versatile, it gives the potential for better sound quality and it's future proof and WHF have a responsibility to represent this fairly to their readers, just as we have to our customers. I do agree choice is personal and for the individual, but he or she must have all the information to make the right decision.
But Ashley, it's only future proof if it becomes the de facto standard for the future. My understanding is that CDs still far outsell MP3 downloads. What if Blu-Ray audio becomes the new format of choice as CD has been for the last 20-25 years. I know this is extremely unlikely and I'm nearly 100% sure it won't, but the point is I can't be sure. So saying this is a fact is not true, it's your opinion (albeit an educated one) on how things will be in the future.
And since when has WHF shied away from MP3? The magazine and the website have a plethora of MP3 players, iPod docks, media servers and the like available for review if this is what the person wants to buy...
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
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professorhat:Ashley James:I'm sorry but it's not just different or just my opinion. The FACTs are that it's more versatile, it gives the potential for better sound quality and it's future proof and WHF have a responsibility to represent this fairly to their readers, just as we have to our customers. I do agree choice is personal and for the individual, but he or she must have all the information to make the right decision.
But Ashley, it's only future proof if it becomes the de facto standard for the future.

Nope. Its future proof full stop. Once you have a bit perfect file, you will ALWAYS be able to transcode to any format you want. 20 years from now, and I wonder how many CD players will be being sold?
50 years from now I will be able to playback my FLAC files on my latest computer, andalmost certainly on any portable, or streamer I have. (assuming I live until I'm 90!)
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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fr0g:50 years from now I will be able to playback my FLAC files on my latest computer, andalmost certainly on any portable, or streamer I have. (assuming I live until I'm 90!)
Assuming they still make software which will play it...
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
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Ashley James:I do agree choice is personal and for the individual, but he or she must have all the information to make the right decision.

I agree, Ashley. And in that regard, thanks for removing the suggestion from your website that you can hook up an iPod to ADM9.1s digitally...........
 

fr0g

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Jan 7, 2008
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professorhat:fr0g:50 years from now I will be able to playback my FLAC files on my latest computer, andalmost certainly on any portable, or streamer I have. (assuming I live until I'm 90!)
Assuming they still make software which will play it...

No. Doesn't matter what they do, it's a lossless file. It can be transcoded to whaever format they use in 50 years, and not lose quality. It's quite possible that studio master quality is the stan rd in 50 years, but at least I will have the choice.

I already have had 3 or 4 CDs that have actually 'flaked' - ie lost the information from the printed side...rendering them unplayble.

Remember...All a CD is, is a plastic optical disc, with a PCM file on it. All I am doing is putting that PCM file onto a different (and better) media.

I have 3 copies of all my FLAC files, and intend to get an online backup procedure started soon.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
JohnDuncan:Ashley James:I do agree choice is personal and for the individual, but he or she must have all the information to make the right decision.

I agree, Ashley. And in that regard, thanks for removing the suggestion from your website that you can hook up an iPod to ADM9.1s digitally...........

I didn't know it ever had!!!!!!!! I think you misunderstood John, the Analogue input could be for iPods, not the two digital.

Ash
 

Alec

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Oct 8, 2007
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This is a great read!

By the by, i dont think, ine a few years, there'll be any 50-something blokes with disposable income but no broadband. But they might be technophobes (like anyone of any sex or age might, dont accuse me of generalising as thats not my point) and so have to buy CDs if they can still get them.
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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professorhat:

And since when has WHF shied away from MP3? The magazine and the website have a plethora of MP3 players, iPod docks, media servers and the like available for review if this is what the person wants to buy...

Well, quite - WHF ran first an MP3 cover in 1999, and I was writing about it before then, in my tech-mag days.

And there will only be more coverage as the digital options increase - just as all our coverage of AV technologies has evolved since 1976. The test of NAS devices in the past issue is a case in point.
 

bigblue235

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Aug 22, 2007
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Ashley James: Also compression can sometimes help an over bright recording of which there are quite few. They are not like listening to a nasty harsh CD player or amplifier, and people are discovering this and it's putting them off hi fi IMO. Ash

Ashley, a lot of what you said in that post (and others) makes sense, but that sentence just typifies why (IMO) you're rubbing some people up the wrong way.

You may attempt to sell to us the notion that compression helps a 'bright' recording, and indeed it may make it less 'harsh' to some extent, but it also makes it sound poorer in numerous other ways, so harshness isn't your only problem. And what about all the recordings that aren't 'bright'? They will, as you say, sound better from CD. So why say that compression may help a minority of recordings when it hinders the majority?

The fact that you can't say anything negative about MP3 related technology, without attempting to turn it into a positive, undermines your argument a little IMO. It just smacks of naiive salesmanship to me.

By all means tell us what's good about your product. I'm sure we'd all enjoy that, providing you're informing us, rather than trying to sell to us. If it's done fairly, and we're allowed to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of a particular technology or product (or even Apple) for ourselves, instead of being lectured about what is 'FACT', I'm sure you'd generate a few more sales, as I've no doubt you have a great product to offer.
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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Wake up people. CD is on it's last legs. We can argue the toss through countless threads but it won't change the inevitable. MP3 is not going to last either....it's a product of slow internet speeds and limited storage.

Whether the masses understand or appreciate the difference between lossy and lossless is irrelevant. Devices and online stores will migrate to lossless eventually as storage and download speeds increase. Why? As a marketing strategy (think razors - how many blades do they have now?).

The audiophile fraternity will also move on after they've made a fuss. Some people just don't like change. However, with the introduction of dedicated audiophile devices the shift is inevitable.

Think HDD (ideally solid state) storage, network enabled, downloaded bit perfect files direct from studio, remote handsets (a la Squeezebox Duet) or TV connectivity coupled with all the things you currently find in CDPs or an external DAC....hell, why wouldn't you want that? In fact, the PS3 isn't far off my ideal specification it seems (especially if you use a USB memory stick for storage Note: I haven't actually tried this. Perhaps I should).

The only thing necessary to get the ball rolling is for a device to come out with Cyrus or Arcam on the front (it seems). Naim made a good stab.....but the weak point I suspect is still the CD transport and ripping software. Cyrus have wasted a heap of R&D money IMO. Should have been a little braver and lead the Hifi industry into the new frontier from the front. In fact, I would be absolutely amazed if the major players aren't already ploughing a bit of money in this unavoidable future.

Oh and by the way. The Ashley bashing is getting a bit wearing. I don't think he is the tireless self promoter that some accuse him of. He's got a lot of interesting thing to say and generates a lot of entertaining debate on the forum.
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
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PJPro:Wake up people. CD is on it's last legs. We can argue the toss through countless threads but it won't change the inevitable. MP3 is not going to last either....it's a product of slow internet speeds and limited storage.

Whether the masses understand or appreciate the difference between lossy and lossless is irrelevant. Devices and online stores will migrate to lossless eventually as storage and download speeds increase. Why? As a marketing strategy (think razors - how many blades do they have now?).

The audiophile fraternity will also move on after they've made a fuss. Some people just don't like change. However, with the introduction of dedicated audiophile devices the shift is inevitable.

Think HDD (ideally solid state) storage, network enabled, downloaded bit perfect files direct from studio, remote handsets (a la Squeezebox Duet) or TV connectivity coupled with all the things you currently find in CDPs or an external DAC....hell, why wouldn't you want that? In fact, the PS3 isn't far off my ideal specification it seems (especially if you use a USB memory stick for storage Note: I haven't actually tried this. Perhaps I should).

The only thing necessary to get the ball rolling is for a device to come out with Cyrus or Arcam on the front (it seems). Naim made a good stab.....but the weak point I suspect is still the CD transport and ripping software. Cyrus have wasted a heap of R&D money IMO. Should have been a little braver and lead the Hifi industry into the new frontier from the front. In fact, I would be absolutely amazed if the major players aren't already ploughing a bit of money in this unavoidable future.

Oh and by the way. The Ashley bashing is getting a bit wearing. I don't think he is the tireless self promoter that some accuse him of. He's got a lot of interesting thing to say and generates a lot of entertaining debate on the forum.

Great post.
Agree 99%, although today here it has been 30 degrees in the shade, and the PS3 was making a right din!
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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The whole approach will not be accepted by audiophiles until a device is produced in a nice hifi sized box....without a whiff of PC about it. Indeed, I agree that "it" won't be a PC....needs to something more like a PVR.

In fact, I was looking at my humax last night and wondering what the new Humax 360GB PVR was going to offer. Haven't looked but would hope that it's network enabled rather than the silly serial port mine has (9200T). My supports MP3 right now. Too much to hope for lossless file support I suppose. I'm waiting for the freesat version to be released.

But yes, despite the merits of the PS3 it's never going to sway the audiophile away from CDs. And it can be noisy, it's ugly and plays games. How can that be hifi?
 

bigblue235

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Aug 22, 2007
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PJPro:Oh and by the way. The Ashley bashing is getting a bit wearing. I don't think he is the tireless self promoter that some accuse him of. He's got a lot of interesting thing to say and generates a lot of entertaining debate on the forum.

I'm sure the 'bashing' is wearing to some people, but I don't imagine it's any more wearing than some of Ashley's posts are to other people. If there was no problem, there'd be no 'bashing'.
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
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bigblue235:
PJPro:Oh and by the way. The Ashley bashing is getting a bit wearing. I don't think he is the tireless self promoter that some accuse him of. He's got a lot of interesting thing to say and generates a lot of entertaining debate on the forum.

I'm sure the 'bashing' is wearing to some people, but I don't imagine it's any more wearing than some of Ashley's posts are to other people. If there was no problem, there'd be no 'bashing'.

He's right though.

AJ imo is being exremely naive (as well as completely honest) appearing here as himself. I am certain there are dealers, or representatives of such that appear here incognito...
But as it is he provides a really easy target. I don't agree with everything he says, as you might not, but he does seems to get more vitriol than his posts merit.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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I'll be honest (since I'm drunk) - I really just don't like him. It's as simple as that. If he actually used pure scientific posts (as he claims to use himself) to convince us, I'd have no argument as I'm not scientific. The issue I have with him is he pretends to have all the science behind him (at least in his posts on this forum) but I've seen no evidence of this science, just claims and opinions which are clearly intended to generate interest in his products.
I have no issue with sales from the forum and I'm 100% sure WHF have much stricter rules than I do, I just have issue with his "facts" which aren't facts (an argument I made which is still unrefuted by him).
Debate is great and well illustrated by JD's "Elvis is rubbish" thread. What annoys me is that his claims of the "facts" of how music should be played - they are not "facts" and I'm surprised fans of vinyl are not joining in to say "Sorry, but no, we think you're wrong." You certainly did when CD came along...
 

bigblue235

New member
Aug 22, 2007
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fr0g:He's right though.

Well, I don't think he is, but then I don't necessarily think I'm 'right' either, it's just my opinion. And I see it's that of the good, if inebriated, Prof


But as it is he provides a really easy target

Yeah, true, but I don't think he'd be such an easy target if it wasn't for his manner. I participated in all the various forums for the trade I was in, and in 5 years or so, I think I p'd off less folk than Ashley does in one thread


I respect the fact he takes the time to come here, and I repect his products immensely. But I'd love to be sold on them fairly and properly, rather than feeling as if I'm being lectured, or even mocked. I believe in those 'magic cables' y'see


Anyhoo, that's my last word on the subject, I don't want this to become a witch-hunt. I guess the good folks of WHF will moderate as they see fit, and since I've had my 2p worth, I'll keep my gob shut on the subject.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
990
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Wow, I have absolutely no memory of writing the above post! What astonishes me is the lucidness of it considering the state I was in last night!
I should just qualify, it's not that I don't like Ashley, I just don't like the way he comes across on this forum. I'm sure in the flesh he's a very nice fella.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
professorhat:.....The issue I have with him is he pretends to have all the science behind him (at least in his posts on this forum) but I've seen no evidence of this science, just claims and opinions which are clearly intended to generate interest in his products....

Actually, he does have a great deal of hugely competent science behind him, in the form of Martin Grindrod (AVI's technical director) !

Personally, I think it is brilliant that someone from within the industry is prepared to come on here (and other forums) and give us the benefit of his Company's experience. Particularly as doing so leaves him wide open to attack and ridicule from far less knowledgeable people.
 

dashdespatch

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Jul 24, 2008
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Oh dear just revisited an old thread of mine after 5 years nd and things havn`t changed as much many of us had thought cd is still here and itunes are still knocking out mp3`s!
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
646
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18,970
Just stumbled upon an article/link on the Frauenhofer site (the inventors of MP3), and I've realised why I loathe MP3s so much, well those I rip from LAME, cos LAME rips sound awful to my ears.

Truth is when I first started ripping MP3s I was using Music Match Jukebox - up till version 4/5 - and apparently this used the Frauenhofer encoder - different to that of LAME.

No doubt some are going to make sure they have the last word on this, and that my ears are defective.
 

Alec

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2007
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OMG GIRLFRIEND!!! ALL THE OLD THREADS!!!!!! SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who know what day it is, Happy New Year.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
646
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18,970
Alec said:
OMG GIRLFRIEND!!! ALL THE OLD THREADS!!!!!! SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who know what day it is, Happy New Year.
Stopped! And apologies, I should have known better, now I'm going to get drunk.
 

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