Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 30 of 30

Thread: MP3 files?

  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    10

    Default MP3 files?

    I'm new to the forums and from what I've read it sounds like most of you don't like music in mp3 format. Do you lose that much sound quality on mp3's?

    Thanks,
    Shayn

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (11)

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dixon, IL
    Posts
    6,519

    Default

    Yes...MP3's are a VERY compressed digital format, and there is a lot of fidelity, and dynamics lost through the format.

    I wouldn't even want to listen to MP3's through my 2 channel rig.
    The nirvana inducer-
    APC H10 Power Conditioner
    Denon DVD-2910 universal player
    DPA The Little Bit Three DAC
    Yamaha P-300 turntable/TCC TC-750 phono preamp
    Acurus L10 preamp
    Adcom GFA-545 power amp
    PolkAudio SDA 2A's/PolkAudio Monitor 7A's
    Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables
    Audioquest Sidewinder IC's
    Audioquest Black Mamba IC's
    Signal Cable Analog II IC's

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Quincy, MA
    Posts
    11,748

    Default

    Welcome Shayn. I have found that the quality of the mp3 depends on the quality of the original recording.

    If it was poorly recorded on a cd it will end up as a poor quality mp3. If it is well recorded on cd, it will transfer over sounding good as an mp3.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (16)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In A Van Down By The River
    Posts
    21,238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shaynster View Post
    I'm new to the forums and from what I've read it sounds like most of you don't like music in mp3 format. Do you lose that much sound quality on mp3's?

    Thanks,
    Shayn
    Yes, mp3's are horrible and evil!

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    233

    Default

    A lot depends on the bitrate you use. I can't stand 128 even on a portable player. I use 320 for my mp3 player only because it doesn't support flac. Various arguements have been made as to what someone can/cannot hear. I use a computer and external DAC in my music setup and have a very small number of mp3 files (99%+ are WAV). When they come up in a random playlist, I can always almost always tell because something sounds "off". In my opinion, the system has a lot to do with picking out the differences. You will most likely not notice as much using a lower end system and a high bitrate.

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (18)

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Central MA
    Posts
    1,664

    Default

    MP3's are convenient, but far from audiophile quality. I store my MP3's on a NAS which also syncs to my portable mp3 player. So I have one central location for my music which can be accessed from a couple Xbmc devices through my home network. It's an issue of convenience. I also store kids movies on the NAS so I can watch the movies in multiple rooms without hunting for DVD's.

    Someday I will upgrade my players to a lossless format, and also have the time to re-sample my music library. I also need to decide on the right format.
    Last edited by maximillian; 02-20-2010 at 11:22 AM.

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (16)

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,017

    Default

    Wait for it.....wait.......

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    3,473

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shaynster View Post
    I'm new to the forums and from what I've read it sounds like most of you don't like music in mp3 format. Do you lose that much sound quality on mp3's?

    Thanks,
    Shayn
    I could write volumes on this subject, but I won't here.

    Question: Do you lose quality?

    Answer: Yes.

    Question: Do you notice the difference?

    Answer: That's up to the original recording, the MP3 encoding method, the system the file is played back on, and, most importantly, YOU!

    When you get into really high quality MP3's encoded at high bitrates with advanced encoders the issue becomes more philosophical than anything to me. So how much quality loss is TOO much quality loss? For me, ANY quality loss at all is too much, regardless of whether or not I can perceive it

    FLAC BABY!

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    510

    Default

    How can I improve the sound quality of the songs on my iPod? I have been updating my tracks to apple lossless but still notice a difference between CDs and my iPod. Can I just add a DAC? If so can you recommend one that's not too expensive? $150 range.
    Panny 55-st30 plasma
    Pioneer vsx-1121
    Parasound 2100 pre
    b&k tx4430 amp
    Oppo bdp-83
    Monster HTS 3500
    polk TSi500s Vr3 Fortress modded
    polk CS20 center channel Vr3 Castle modded
    polk Owm 3 surrounds
    polk PSW505

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    3,473

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slinger182 View Post
    How can I improve the sound quality of the songs on my iPod? I have been updating my tracks to apple lossless but still notice a difference between CDs and my iPod. Can I just add a DAC? If so can you recommend one that's not too expensive? $150 range.
    I need to know more about your whole playback system. IPOD> what???

    Are you converting your MP3's to Apple Lossless? If so you're just wasting time and space. Once a track has been converted to MP3 it has lost info and can never get it back.

    Even with lossless files on your ipod, if you're usng the 1/8th inch headphone out you're losing quality right there.

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    510

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    I need to know more about your whole playback system. IPOD> what???

    Are you converting your MP3's to Apple Lossless? If so you're just wasting time and space. Once a track has been converted to MP3 it has lost info and can never get it back.

    Even with lossless files on your ipod, if you're usng the 1/8th inch headphone out you're losing quality right there.
    I'm using an iPhone connected with the apple component cables (just the audio) with the 16 pin. Going into the tape input on my receiver.

    I reimported the CDs I have with apple lossless. And I used itunes+ to upgrade the songs I had bought on itunes to apple lossless.
    Panny 55-st30 plasma
    Pioneer vsx-1121
    Parasound 2100 pre
    b&k tx4430 amp
    Oppo bdp-83
    Monster HTS 3500
    polk TSi500s Vr3 Fortress modded
    polk CS20 center channel Vr3 Castle modded
    polk Owm 3 surrounds
    polk PSW505

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    3,473

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slinger182 View Post
    I'm using an iPhone connected with the apple component cables (just the audio) with the 16 pin. Going into the tape input on my receiver.

    I reimported the CDs I have with apple lossless. And I used itunes+ to upgrade the songs I had bought on itunes to apple lossless.
    As far as I know, there is no way to get digital audio out of an ipod or iphone, meaning that you have to rely on the device's inferior converting of the digital audio to analog. It sounds to me like you're doing it the best way possible.

    I don't know about itunes+. When you upgrade your purchased songs from MP3 to Apple Lossless does it redownload them or just convert them? That would be the only way to get back to the original recording quality.

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    510

    Default

    Yeah it redownloaded them and did the same on my iPhone. I did some research and the wadia 170i seems cool for bypassing the iPhones electronics for converting but is a little pricy for me. Think I'd rather just go back to buying CDs and get a dedicated CDP.
    Panny 55-st30 plasma
    Pioneer vsx-1121
    Parasound 2100 pre
    b&k tx4430 amp
    Oppo bdp-83
    Monster HTS 3500
    polk TSi500s Vr3 Fortress modded
    polk CS20 center channel Vr3 Castle modded
    polk Owm 3 surrounds
    polk PSW505

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shaynster View Post
    I'm new to the forums and from what I've read it sounds like most of you don't like music in mp3 format. Do you lose that much sound quality on mp3's?

    Thanks,
    Shayn
    As has been said, yes, and the amount of loss is determined largely by the bit rate. That said, I am amazed at how good Pandora can sound at 128kb/s. Even through a good system.
    THE MAN-CAVE 5.1 CHANNEL A/V RIG
    Sony KDS-60A3000
    a/d/s/ HT-400LCR (3)
    a/d/s/ HT-300 (2)
    Velodyne DLS-4000R (2)
    Pioneer Elite VSX-55TXi
    Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai
    Sony BDP-S300
    Sony SLV-779HF
    DirecTV HD sat. receiver

    MAN-CAVE 2-CHANNEL RIG (shares sources with a/v system)
    Adcom GFA-5500
    Bose 901 Series VI
    NAD C-165BEE
    Slim Devices Squeezebox Classic
    TEAC CD-RW890
    Technics SL-BD20D w/ Audio-Technica P34
    Akai HX-A3X

  15. #15

    Member Sales Rating: (16)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In A Van Down By The River
    Posts
    21,238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dougy View Post
    As has been said, yes, and the amount of loss is determined largely by the bit rate. That said, I am amazed at how good Pandora can sound at 128kb/s. Even through a good system.
    I'm equally amazed at how poor it sounds Not even worth listening to, IMO

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  16. #16

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    British Columbia (Canada eh)
    Posts
    3,492

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slinger182 View Post
    I did some research and the wadia 170i seems cool for bypassing the iPhones electronics for converting but is a little pricy for me.
    The Wadia unit is and excellent method for getting lossless with decent sound from an IPod or Iphone. A dedicated high quality cdp may be better depending on the dac(s) used in it. I personally have an older Rotel RCD-855 cdp that has been modified for tube output and it sounds spectacular. Before I got into higher end audio (and I'm not even close to the really high end) I had collected about 150 Gigs of MP3's most in 256k or 320 kb/s. I still have them and play some when I don't have it on vinyl or cd. I play them off the hard drive on my comp through PS3 media server streamed to my PS3 then through a DAC and into the two channel Carver setup. They actually sound quite decent but not as good as the equivialant redbook cd. I can't bring myself to just throw all that music away even if it is MP3.

    By the way, welcome to the club.

    Kelvin
    SDA-1C (full mods)
    Eico ST-70 Integrated Tube Amp fully rebuilt and modded
    Rega Planar 3 TT/Shelter 501 MkII
    Nitty Gritty 1.5FI RCM
    The Clamp
    Revox A77 Mk IV Dolby
    Thorens TD160/Mission 774 arm/Stanton 881S Shibata
    Nakamichi CR7 Cassette Deck
    Rotel RCD-855 with tube output stage
    Cambridge Audio DACmagic Plus
    DBX 3BX-DS
    DBX 224-DS
    ADC Soundshaper 3 EQ
    Ben's IC's

  17. #17

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, OH
    Posts
    905

    Default

    High bitrate MP3's can have a place IMO - portable players, vehicles, and other places where the playback equipment and listening environment/habits negate the loss of resolution from the MP3 compression.

    By high bitrate, I mean 224 kbps and higher. I personally use the highest variable bitrate setting using the LAME encoder to create files for my Zune portable player. The files average around 240 kbps and sound pretty good through $40 Sennheiser PX100 phones and the Zune - high resolution...no, but satisfying for casual listening...yes.

    For serious listening on higher resolution equipment, I personally would not even consider MP3's. I would stick with the original CD or lossless files.
    Polk LS90
    Polk CS400i
    Polk FX500i
    Outlaw LFM-1 Sub
    Polk Monitor 7C (secondary location)
    Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX
    Audiosource Amp Three (2), Amp One/A (1)
    Cambridge Audio C500 Preamp
    Sony 222ES CD/SACD
    MSB Nelson Link III DAC with P1000 Power Supply, Music Hall DAC 25.2
    Squeezebox Classic
    Sony BDP-S1000ES
    JVC DLA-HD250 Projector
    Da-Lite HCCV - 100" Permwall 16:9
    Time Warner HD Cable
    Panamax 500 DBS
    MIT, Blue Jeans, AR, Outlaw Cables
    System Showcase

  18. #18

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    502

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dougy View Post
    As has been said, yes, and the amount of loss is determined largely by the bit rate. That said, I am amazed at how good Pandora can sound at 128kb/s. Even through a good system.
    That's funny that someone has the same thought I did. Pandora streaming sounds way better than other 128kb/s. I don't get it. Not saying it's top notch, but good for 128.

  19. #19

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    46

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    That's funny that someone has the same thought I did. Pandora streaming sounds way better than other 128kb/s. I don't get it. Not saying it's top notch, but good for 128.
    I run Pandora 8+ hours a day at my office through Bose Companion desktop speakers...and I am very impressed with the quality of the stream as well.
    Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR607 7.2
    TV: Vizio E551i-A2 RAZOR 55" 1080p, 120Hz
    Remote: Logitech Harmony One
    Blu-Ray: Sony NSZ-GT1 with Google TV
    XBMC: G-Box Midnight MX2
    Fronts: Polk Monitor 70
    Center: Polk CS2
    Sub: Polk PSWi225
    Rears: Polk Monitor 40

  20. #20

    Member Sales Rating: (15)

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    7,407

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    That's funny that someone has the same thought I did. Pandora streaming sounds way better than other 128kb/s. I don't get it. Not saying it's top notch, but good for 128.
    Pandora doesn't sound terrible until you put it on a revealing rig.

    Imeem was heads and shoulders above it.


    Slightly unrelated, but do you want better sound on your Youtube videos? Type "&ymt=18" at the end of the address. Remove the quotes.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  21. #21

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    502

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
    Pandora doesn't sound terrible until you put it on a revealing rig.

    Imeem was heads and shoulders above it.


    Slightly unrelated, but do you want better sound on your Youtube videos? Type "&ymt=18" at the end of the address. Remove the quotes.
    Also makes video quality better. I wish there was a way to have youtube auto fill that whenever you click a link.

  22. #22

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    46

    Default

    wow...never knew about the &ymt=18 trick. thanks!
    Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR607 7.2
    TV: Vizio E551i-A2 RAZOR 55" 1080p, 120Hz
    Remote: Logitech Harmony One
    Blu-Ray: Sony NSZ-GT1 with Google TV
    XBMC: G-Box Midnight MX2
    Fronts: Polk Monitor 70
    Center: Polk CS2
    Sub: Polk PSWi225
    Rears: Polk Monitor 40

  23. #23

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    I'm equally amazed at how poor it sounds Not even worth listening to, IMO

    H9
    That's too bad. I think it's a great service.
    THE MAN-CAVE 5.1 CHANNEL A/V RIG
    Sony KDS-60A3000
    a/d/s/ HT-400LCR (3)
    a/d/s/ HT-300 (2)
    Velodyne DLS-4000R (2)
    Pioneer Elite VSX-55TXi
    Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai
    Sony BDP-S300
    Sony SLV-779HF
    DirecTV HD sat. receiver

    MAN-CAVE 2-CHANNEL RIG (shares sources with a/v system)
    Adcom GFA-5500
    Bose 901 Series VI
    NAD C-165BEE
    Slim Devices Squeezebox Classic
    TEAC CD-RW890
    Technics SL-BD20D w/ Audio-Technica P34
    Akai HX-A3X

  24. #24

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Baltimore. MD
    Posts
    51

    Default

    [URL="http://www.stereophile.com/features/"] provides a good review of the various formats and how they stack up. The article is the eleventh one from the top...insightful.

  25. #25

    Member Sales Rating: (26)

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The tube lair in Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    11,323

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shaynster View Post
    I'm new to the forums and from what I've read it sounds like most of you don't like music in mp3 format. Do you lose that much sound quality on mp3's?
    You lose frequencies, dynamics, any resemblance to a sound stage, subtleties, nuances and the toe tappin' part of actually enjoying the music. You gain noise, unwanted artifacts, muddled bass, shriveled highs [if you get them at all], annoying/blurred/smeared mids, distortion and the overall sense of extremely compressed and veiled music.

    Other than that, MP3's sound great on a 2 channel rig.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

  26. #26

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    British Columbia (Canada eh)
    Posts
    3,492

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    You lose frequencies, dynamics, any resemblance to a sound stage, subtleties, nuances and the toe tappin' part of actually enjoying the music. You gain noise, unwanted artifacts, muddled bass, shriveled highs [if you get them at all], annoying/blurred/smeared mids, distortion and the overall sense of extremely compressed and veiled music.

    Other than that, MP3's sound great on a 2 channel rig.
    Don't hold back Tom, tell us how you really feel about MP3's.
    SDA-1C (full mods)
    Eico ST-70 Integrated Tube Amp fully rebuilt and modded
    Rega Planar 3 TT/Shelter 501 MkII
    Nitty Gritty 1.5FI RCM
    The Clamp
    Revox A77 Mk IV Dolby
    Thorens TD160/Mission 774 arm/Stanton 881S Shibata
    Nakamichi CR7 Cassette Deck
    Rotel RCD-855 with tube output stage
    Cambridge Audio DACmagic Plus
    DBX 3BX-DS
    DBX 224-DS
    ADC Soundshaper 3 EQ
    Ben's IC's

  27. #27

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Quincy, MA
    Posts
    11,748

    Default

    However, if you just want to have some music playing all day long without having to get up & change cd's, an mp3 player hooked up to your system will do the job just fine.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  28. #28

    Member Sales Rating: (26)

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The tube lair in Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    11,323

    Default

    Damn convenience crowd... :p
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

  29. #29

    Member Sales Rating: (18)

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Central MA
    Posts
    1,664

    Default

    In all seriousness, treitz probably has a point.... as I moved up the audio quality grade in equipment I started realizing how crappy my previous setup was. I guess if you listen to mp3's most of the time (because of convenience) eventually you will train your ears to appreciate badly encoded music. It's kind of like desensitizing your ears. Do you think it's possible?

  30. #30

    Member Sales Rating: (40)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    18,401

    Default

    Garbage in, garbage out. It depends on sooo much, as has already been stated. The source, the encoding engine used, the 'level' of encoding. MP3's are great, and have their place in my little audio world. You won't find them in my dedicated listening room, but you'll hear them as background music in the whole house rig, stuck on a usb stick for the truck stereo, tunes at the computer while I slay peeps in Half Life, etc.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. JAR and JAD files
    By Willow in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-14-2009, 11:50 AM
  2. ISO files...
    By jakelm in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 11-15-2007, 01:16 PM
  3. DVD Maker software that can use .WMV files?
    By VR3 in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-22-2007, 11:21 PM
  4. Extracting m4p audio files....
    By RuSsMaN in forum Music & Movies
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-12-2007, 07:11 PM
  5. The Zoysia Files
    By George Grand in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 11-30-2003, 11:38 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts