[joe-frank-list] Yet another format discussion
BILLMILOSZ at aol.com
BILLMILOSZ at aol.com
Mon Jun 9 03:07:53 PDT 2003
In a message dated 6/8/2003 9:51:02 PM Central Daylight Time,
boojum at charter.net writes:
> A little off-topic, but MP3's are not inherently bad sounding. It
> depends on the sampling rate and format.
Some people argue that all MP3's are unacceptable.
MP3's ARE inherently lower-fidelity than non-compressed PCM formats, such as
the format used on CDs. MP3 employs lossy compression by definition. No
matter the bitrate, SOMETHING is lost. It's certainly true that a 128k rate MP3
sounds much better than a lower bitrate file, and - for example- it can be
argued that a 128k MP3 sounds better than FM radio, which is band-limited by FCC
regulation to 15 kHz on the top end and which in real-life situations seldom
exceeds 50 dB S/N ratio. (Many 48k MP3 streams could arguably sound better than
typical FM- depending on content, IMHO)
The best sounding Joe Frank there is would be the CD's. This is a lossless
transfer from digital masters- the only possible problems come from any
downconversion from the original sample rate. (For example, many digital studio, like
those using ProTools, often record at 96 KB/s rate and 24-bit depth. A CD is
44.1 KB/s and 16-bits deep. There are some maniacs who record at 192
KB/s.......) If the recording engineers know their craft, then they'll choose
parameters for downconversion that will preserve all that is possible so that the
44.1 KB/s 16 bit CD will be really very close to original digital studio work.
(It's also possible that the original recordings are made at 44.1 KB/s 16-bit
but that's unlikely these days, most recording studios work at high bitrates
which gives them more room to manipulate the sound without degrading it.)
I can certainly hear the difference on my computer speakers between a 44.1 /
16 uncompressed PCM file and a 128k MP3 made from that source. The MP3
encoding process introduces a certain amount of artifact into the sound. You can
easily hear it if you know what to listen to. Still, a 128k MP3 sounds pretty
good, compared to cassette or most FM. But next to a CD there really is a
And who knows maybe Joe Frank will someday be available on SACD or DVD-A.....
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