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MP3 format dead??

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by CalicoSkies, May 16, 2017.

  1. jeepguy242

    jeepguy242 Strat-Talker

    Mar 19, 2017
    Winston salem
    I have over 60k songs on MP3 in a terabyte ssd in my jeep

    In the living room they are all aac and flac because they do sound better
    rcole_sooner and StratoTerr like this.

  2. fezz parka

    fezz parka Off.... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    When you're downloading or storing, size matters. Mp3 is easier. Period.
    Stark and s5tuart like this.

  3. LPBlue

    LPBlue "That Guy", again...dammit! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 19, 2012
    Canada, near the other end
    Exactly! No matter how good the system, road noise will always be a factor so a high bit-rate mp3 is fine for the car (focus on the road please) and FLAC works at home.:thumb:

  4. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    I believe there is a consensus here, and it is that the appropriate file format depends on your need. If you want to store the maximum number of listenable music files, MP3 is your format of choice, especially outside of critical listening conditions. For applications where audio resolution is an absolute priority – such as creating masters intended for release – only uncompressed file formats, such as WAV, will do.

    Although AAC generally offers better sound quality at a given bit-rate than MP3, it's worth bearing in mind that the MP3 specification supports a wide range of resolutions, which are user-selectable if the recording software supports the full range of options. As others have mentioned, AAC isn't the only competing file format for the crown, but it certainly looks like the main contender right now.

    Is MP3 'dead'? No, certainly not in terms of its continued use by consumers. That kind of talk tends to be the domain of lazy journalists, who want an easy peg to hang their story on. Has MP3 been superseded? I would argue that AAC will probably be the focus for developers, meaning that MP3's status as the lingua franca
    of consumer audio encoding will diminish over time.

    No format is 'dead' while there are still people using it. Look at the amazing resurgence of vinyl for evidence of that. Equally, just because no-one's busting a gut to develop new CD players doesn't mean no-one has any CDs at home, or buys them anymore.

  5. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

    Yeah, the cloud or my laptop are way easier than a cluster of disorganized CDs. I don't hear a difference and most of the time I'm (trying) to play guitar along to them, so nuances in fidelity get pretty lost.

    As for those old recordings, I love the low-fi vibe. They wouldn't sound right any other way. This sounds as good to me as modern recordings in it's own way... and MTV... nothing new there... One of my faves, Fats Waller, enjoy!

    fezz parka and montemerrick like this.

  6. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

    +1. My favorite recording are "live" studio recordings, bleed and all.
    fezz parka and StratoTerr like this.

  7. StratoTerr

    StratoTerr Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 21, 2011
    Lewes De.
    I must be an audiophile w- out realizing it. I never bought a cassette and MP3s were to me the cassette of the digital age... I do understand good enough is good enough. I had a little Phillip's portable record player and cant really say I enjoy that eras music on my home system any more now just cause it sounds better, its just that now I know what its suppose to sound like and wouldn't be happy going back.

  8. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    It's not like this stuff hasn't been studied. Billion-dollar companies depend on this stuff. Time after time, in test after test, audiophiles are unable to distinguish between well-encoded 256 kb/s mp3 and CD audio in blind testing with anything other than the reliability you'd get from tossing a coin and guessing. People have been studying this stuff for DECADES. The only time listeners are able to give an answer with certainty in such tests is when they're told what they're about to hear before hearing it - and they answer with certainty even when they're deliberately told something untrue.

  9. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Citation, por favor.


  10. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 4, 2015
    New Jersey
    I just want this on the record. I love FLAC.

    (and AAC irritates me)

  11. montemerrick

    montemerrick spiritual birthday, April 1 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Actually the MP3 was dead, after a fatal mishap with a justice loving spaceman who was in pursuit of a radioactive monster... however the the spaceman gave MP3 his life, now MP3 turns into the spaceman whenever monsters are about...

    it's all right here.


  12. Stark

    Stark Ghost of Johnny Thunders Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 16, 2011
    Richmond Annex, CA
    I had a great system—nice old school Marantz tuner; Pioneer cassette/CD deck; Technics SL 1200 tt; a pair of those trapezoid-shaped Bose bookshelf monitors and around 1,600 LPs/EPs. Lost everything when my apartment went up in flames six years ago. Now it's the laptop, Apple Music and my phone (IPhone SE). I'm not putting down vinyl nor whoever prefers it to mp3—in fact, I miss the old school format/delivery system a LOT, but I have things a lot easier FOR ME now.
    s5tuart likes this.

  13. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    The earliest of these tests that I can remember was conducted in February 2000 by c't Magazine.

  14. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    The new "iPods" of today play FLACs, MQA or any format up to 24bit/384khz

    They take 2 microSD cards, so you can expand their memory as new, higher capacity cards come out.

    They drive full size cans and use audiophile DACs.

    Serious stuff for only $299


  15. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Er... This is a very authoritative double-blind academic study, and its conclusions are that people with trained ears – ie professional sound engineers – are more readily able to tell the difference than many consumers. It does not conclude that "audiophiles can't tell the difference".

    Also, 256 kbps isn't really the benchmark that you imply it is for the highest quality MP3s. That would be 320kbps.
    fezz parka and gwjensen like this.

  16. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    This is one of the significant findings:

    Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 17.45.22.png
    LPBlue and gwjensen like this.

  17. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    That certainly looks like "better than guessing" to me.
    simoncroft likes this.

  18. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    It's no great surprise that you get pretty good at spotting any technical shortfalls in audio quality if it's an essential part of what you do for a living. I used to know recording engineers who could identify brands of analogue recording tape by ear, and who could identify a Sony versus a Mitsubishi professional digital multitrack recorder, even though both were recording uncompressed PCM.

    I personally conducted a technical test in a top London recording studio, using the very best equipment in the world, in the late 1980s. It left me in no doubt that top engineers and producers could tell the difference, even between formats that were almost identical on paper. If anyone still has copies of Sound Engineer & Producer magazine from about 1988, it's the one with the nine 'golden eared' participants on the cover. I remember Steve Levine, Brian Masterson and Mike Hedges were three of the participants.
    s5tuart and gwjensen like this.

  19. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    Storage is so cheap nowadays, it's not like anyone has to listen to .mp3 files for fear of running out of room on their player.

    You might as well listen to CD ripped FLACs or hi-rez 24/192 files.

    Nintendo just showed 2tb microSD cards with their new Switch gaming console, so when you can have 4 terabytes of solid state storage with you at all times, who cares about crummy sounding mp3s?


  20. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    Interesting piece. Cheers.

    a) I imply nothing of the sort
    b) I think you're misusing the word "quality". You mean perhaps "resolution". For example I'd hazard that LAME at 128 offers better quality than Xing at 256 all other things being equal.