Stereophile: MP3 vs AAC vs FLAC vs CD

12 Mar

Original article.

Just another “audiophile” ranting about compressed music for not being CD quality. So how did he show it? By using graphs. I’m sorry, but last time I checked, I (and most normal human beings) listen to music using my ears, not my eyes. My guess is the author just find out about frequency response graphs. There are proven methods to compare sound quality using double-blinded test (most commonly called ABX test). Did we see any sort of listening/ABX test in the article? Of course not. Because that will show that many people cannot differentiate the sound quality between CD and a compressed version (MP3, AAC, etc), not the author’s agenda.

Several quotes:
“sonically compromised, lossy-compressed music on it.”
Well, I don’t see any listening tests to proof that lossy-compressed music are “sonically compromised.”

“all compressed file formats, both lossless and lossy, effectively have zero data redundancy, they are much more vulnerable than uncompressed files to bit errors in transmission.”
WTF is he talking about? Bit errors transmission? What the hell? Might some audiophile technobabble. Again, despite of the frequent usage of graphs, I don’t see him proving this “bit errors in transmission,” whatever that means.

The only good thing about this article is the recommendation of lossless compression, which are useful in backing up your music. Oh well, if there are no people like this author (audiophiles), then manufactures like Bose or Monster Cable would be out of business. Think about the people loosing those jobs… Oh, and don’t forget those $5000 cables.

Moral of the story, instead of buying these kind of magazines, go to HydrogenAudio and learn about listening tests, ABX, and the facts about audio compression.

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Posted by on March 12, 2008 in aac, audiophile, cd, mp3, sound quality, stereophile


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