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Old 12th September 2007, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Why do MP3s' sound so bad?

Ok...before ya all bash me for not knowing some background we just recently started burning our own cds from MP3 files.
Now, I know of Cd parameters, sample rates, compression, expansion & such but these **** Mp3s sound awful...& what is that funny warbling sound on low volume?
Is there a sampling rate defieciency? A limiting factor? Some poor allocations of frequencies? Whats' up? Can these processes be compensated for?
Do I have to return to "store-bought" CDs to retain fidelity?
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Old 12th September 2007, 05:36 PM   #2
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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Default Re: Why do MP3s' sound so bad?

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Ellis
Ok...before ya all bash me for not knowing some background we just recently started burning our own cds from MP3 files.
Now, I know of Cd parameters, sample rates, compression, expansion & such but these **** Mp3s sound awful...& what is that funny warbling sound on low volume?
Is there a sampling rate defieciency? A limiting factor? Some poor allocations of frequencies? Whats' up? Can these processes be compensated for?
Do I have to return to "store-bought" CDs to retain fidelity?
Yes, you do. Better yet, try SACD or DVD-Audio. You'll be blown away.

The only use for MP3 is listening on a portable through cruddy earbuds in a noisy environment.
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Old 12th September 2007, 06:07 PM   #3
preiter is offline preiter  United States
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What bitrates are we talking about here?

People love to bash on MP3, but I think they sound OK if you keep the bit rates above 256 Kbps. Lossless is better, but MP3s have their place where disk space or bandwidth is an issue.

And if you still find them unacceptable at higher bitrates, you can use a non-lossy format like FLAC or WMA Lossless. No reason to go back to CDs.

If you are downloading these MP3s, then chances are they do suck. Most of the stuff that people post on torrent sites are ripped at 192Kbps or (gak) 128Kbps.
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Old 12th September 2007, 06:54 PM   #4
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This is a sensible ripper http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/en/

You can use FLAC with it too.
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Old 13th September 2007, 12:00 AM   #5
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Try Vorbis .ogg format or FLAC and skip the MP3 B.S.
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Old 13th September 2007, 08:01 AM   #6
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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The loudness war....
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Old 13th September 2007, 09:26 PM   #7
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MP3 320 isn't bad but i will always go flac.
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Old 14th September 2007, 05:34 AM   #8
owdi is offline owdi  United States
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mp3's can do a good job with music that does not contain lots of high frequency detail. Doing blind tests I could not pick out the difference between a 192kbps and 224kbps mp3s, with most modern pop music.

The standard mp3 bitrate seems to be 128kbps, which sucks for any kind of critical listening.

Dan
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Old 14th September 2007, 06:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by owdi
mp3's can do a good job with music that does not contain lots of high frequency detail. Doing blind tests I could not pick out the difference between a 192kbps and 224kbps mp3s, with most modern pop music.
Keywords: modern pop music.

I think Rap and Hip-Hop fit into that too.... nothing much above 300Hz :-/


Quote:
[B]
The standard mp3 bitrate seems to be 128kbps, which sucks for any kind of critical listening. [B]
Yes, it does. We call those 128K posts "flamebait" on the Jazz and Classical mp3 groups
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Old 14th September 2007, 07:15 AM   #10
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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Lossy compression will always lose data.
Digital sampling and particularly 16bit, 44ks/S =CD has already approximated the analogue signal.
The reconstituted digital signal does not match the original.
It is bound to be different. It will sound different.

What is surprising is that we have the facility and technology to record at 22 to 24bit, 192ks/S and yet the industry has not yet released an MPx compressed version starting from that digital signal. It would compress down to a similar data rate as CD but should exceed the sound quality of CD.
Now, if we were being offered that as retail downloads for our music source.

Why do we pay for compressed music @ a higher price per track than the uncompressed music off the CD?
Surely if it is compressed by half then pay half the rate.
Compress it to 8% and we should pay 8% of the track rate.
That way we pay for what we get.

Lossless compression can just about achieve 50% compression but the retail price would be 100% due to the ability of the software to reconstitute the original digital signal.

The closest we have come to compressed high data rate music is on DVD video. But they need to fit in the video and thus must choose a lower data rate for the audio. We are just a step away.

As for the low level warble: no idea.
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