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Old 03-14-2008, 12:11 PM
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Red face Waves, and taking the plunge Have I "lost" it?

Hi everyone,

Here's the deal. With a non-working audio player, and waiting for the P2 to come in a 16GB version, I have to admit I still have my doubts about this player (the P2).

But I am growing very, very impatient and becoming more and more doubtful as to whether what I'm doing (waiting for something that might not come out) is such a great idea.

Here's the rub: As of now, the firmware does not permit playing wave-files, and I'm a bit worried that it never will. I would even say that it's more than propable that if it ever will be able to play wavs, it will be done at a mere 16bit/44.1kHz, and not 24bit @ at least 48kHz.
The same goes for (some type of) lossless at those bit rates.
One could argue, that a portable player wouldn't really make any use of the added audio quality, and I would tend to agree with that.

But it's not necessarily about the quality. It's about not having to have several copies of the same tracks/audio files in a variety of formats and bit rates and keep track of them. It's about not having to encode files in yet another format in order to play them, instead of simply dragging them over for a listen.

I have reached a stage, where I consider buying, say, a marantz PMD620, simply because of the formats, as that would at least let me play them back, and I could use it in a pinch for work as well. It is, however, quite the ridiculous audio-player to be carrying around and use as such, considering how you go through and select files on that thing.

So, should I take the "plunge" (there it was), and buy something completely different, such as the Cowon D2 (assuming it can actually play back 24bit files @ 48kHz), or what the hell should I do?
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2008, 01:24 PM
iLLuSionS iLLuSionS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper View Post
Hi everyone,

Here's the deal. With a non-working audio player, and waiting for the P2 to come in a 16GB version, I have to admit I still have my doubts about this player (the P2).

But I am growing very, very impatient and becoming more and more doubtful as to whether what I'm doing (waiting for something that might not come out) is such a great idea.

Here's the rub: As of now, the firmware does not permit playing wave-files, and I'm a bit worried that it never will. I would even say that it's more than propable that if it ever will be able to play wavs, it will be done at a mere 16bit/44.1kHz, and not 24bit @ at least 48kHz.
The same goes for (some type of) lossless at those bit rates.
One could argue, that a portable player wouldn't really make any use of the added audio quality, and I would tend to agree with that.

But it's not necessarily about the quality. It's about not having to have several copies of the same tracks/audio files in a variety of formats and bit rates and keep track of them. It's about not having to encode files in yet another format in order to play them, instead of simply dragging them over for a listen.

I have reached a stage, where I consider buying, say, a marantz PMD620, simply because of the formats, as that would at least let me play them back, and I could use it in a pinch for work as well. It is, however, quite the ridiculous audio-player to be carrying around and use as such, considering how you go through and select files on that thing.

So, should I take the "plunge" (there it was), and buy something completely different, such as the Cowon D2 (assuming it can actually play back 24bit files @ 48kHz), or what the hell should I do?
if u want to have a simpler life, why not do what ur brain tells u to do. dont get a p2 if it doesnt function the way u want it to.

i mean, if another player gives u the easier way around, why not?
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2008, 01:26 PM
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Why WAV's? Not to discourage you, but what audio source do you have that's encoded in 24bit 48khz? CD audio is only 16bit 44.1kHz, so if your music came from CD and you saved it in that higher bit depth and sampling rate, you're not gaining anything. In fact you're probably losing a little quality in the re-sample.

I would recommend that you consider saving/encoding your music in a lossless format (if you must have lossless) like FLAC, as it's the most widely supported lossless codec on portable devices. Or you could save your music using the LAME codec with the -V0 switch which will give you the best quality that mp3 has to offer, that 99% of the time you will not be able to distinguish from CD audio.

I understand if your library is already encoded in the ridiculous WAV format, but at the very least you need to transcode it to a more compatible (and space saving) scheme.

As for the P2, it doesn't play anything lossless, but if made the wise decision to encode your library in V0 mp3, you'd be able to play it on any player that supports the mp3 VBR codec, including the P2. Not to mention, you wouldn't have to wait for a new higher capacity player to store your gigantic filesizes.
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iLLuSionS View Post
if u want to have a simpler life, why not do what ur brain tells u to do. dont get a p2 if it doesnt function the way u want it to.

i mean, if another player gives u the easier way around, why not?
Well, if only it were that simple.

I prefer the way Samsung "functions" and how it is set-up to how the D2 is set up (UI, other features and whatnots). That's my dilemma.
If I "just" wanted playback at those bit rates (and nothing else besides audio quality), I could use my SD722 and be done with it.

In other words, as usual it's a matter of pros and cons, and besides I like the features and UI of the P2.
Decisions, decisions, decisions
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:44 PM
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You still haven't answered the question. Where are you getting such high bit depth WAV files from?
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:54 PM
musichound musichound is offline
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When played back, music encoded in lossless format is exactly the same as music played back in WAV format. The only difference is that lossless music is in a compressed format before it's played. Think of lossless music as computer files in zipped format.
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:58 PM
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Oh! I missed your post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Why WAV's? Not to discourage you, but what audio source do you have that's encoded in 24bit 48khz? CD audio is only 16bit 44.1kHz, so if your music came from CD and you saved it in that higher bit depth and sampling rate, you're not gaining anything. In fact you're probably losing a little quality in the re-sample.
Well, first of all, the resampling wouldn't detoriate the quality, had I done that. But I haven't, of course, that would be pure stupidity (there, I was the one saying it). No, it's my own recordings, made on my own recorder. 48Khz is the sweet spot to me when editing and using multiple layers in a feature/documentary or an ordinary package.
24bit is used so I don't have to use dithering and so the noise floor is brought down long enough, no matter what it is I'm recording (it makes for much easier recording out in the field, when you have to focus on the actual contents, interview techniques, planning, ambience, change in background noice and so on).


Quote:
I would recommend that you consider saving/encoding your music in a lossless format (if you must have lossless) like FLAC, as it's the most widely supported lossless codec on portable devices.
I do. Everything I have is lossless when stored, and even though my 722 records to flac (splendidly), I still don't use in the field, as it adds another couple of steps in post production. If a player

Quote:
Or you could save your music using the LAME codec with the -V0 switch which will give you the best quality that mp3 has to offer, that 99% of the time you will not be able to distinguish from CD audio.
Nope. Don't do Mp3's - no matter how "indistinguishable" they might be.
It really is distinguishible the moment you edit the files.

Quote:
I understand if your library is already encoded in the ridiculous WAV format, but at the very least you need to transcode it to a more compatible (and space saving) scheme.
Wav is certainly not a "ridiculous format" by any means. Frankly, the mere notion that it is, is the ridiculous one.

Quote:
As for the P2, it doesn't play anything lossless, but if made the wise decision to encode your library in V0 mp3, you'd be able to play it on any player that supports the mp3 VBR codec, including the P2. Not to mention, you wouldn't have to wait for a new higher capacity player to store your gigantic filesizes.
The problem with that would be that I wouldn't be able to bring an audio file in broadcast quality with me on the player, and I would also need to encode anything to MP3 instead of just drag and drop directly from my recorder (giving me an easy way of listening to the recordings on my way home, while shopping or whatever), which, frankly, is how it should work.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
You still haven't answered the question. Where are you getting such high bit depth WAV files from?
Now I have

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Originally Posted by musichound View Post
When played back, music encoded in lossless format is exactly the same as music played back in WAV format. The only difference is that lossless music is in a compressed format before it's played. Think of lossless music as computer files in zipped format.
Haha, I know. Sheesh
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:00 PM
musichound musichound is offline
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Just in case you didn't know, the new iRiver E100 natively plays in FLAC format. Not sure if it's what you're looking for but it seems like a very sweet player.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:09 PM
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I didn't know that MH. And it has radio too. Just like I like it. That one is going on my list now. Thanks

Should this thread be moved, now that we're talking other players in general?

Last edited by Piper; 03-14-2008 at 03:13 PM. Reason: LOL. Yes. I talk like that first paragraph too: Staccato is the way to go. It is. ;-)
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:36 PM
4DThinker 4DThinker is offline
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I think the thread can stay. It's not my say, but I like threads like these where a long thought out conversation take place that reveals a little more about why we all like music and how we like it.

Piper... If you love your WAV files at 48Khz it's hard to understand why you like FM radio. Of course Radio is good for news and weather and school closings and such, so I'd understand from that point of view. The P2 has FM and can record from it, but the recordings are 128 bit MP3 I think, and not that great.

When you do decide on a player, don't forget that the earphones/plugs/whatever will make more of a difference in perceived quality than the source file format does. Bad output can ruin great input. You knew that, though.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 4DThinker View Post
I think the thread can stay. It's not my say, but I like threads like these where a long thought out conversation take place that reveals a little more about why we all like music and how we like it.

Piper... If you love your WAV files at 48Khz it's hard to understand why you like FM radio. Of course Radio is good for news and weather and school closings and such, so I'd understand from that point of view. The P2 has FM and can record from it, but the recordings are 128 bit MP3 I think, and not that great.
Well, I like listening to radio (FM and DAB too) not just to get news and such, but also because that's what I do for a living as a journalist. I do features, documentaries, once in a while some news and so on. All of it for the radio, although I'm no stranger to the telly, nor writing.
I know it depends on where you live, but radio is my favourite media, because it creatures pictures inside the head of the listener (if done properly), it's "hands-off" to the listener, meaning you can do anything while using it. Radio is (or rather: can be) faster than the web, it's a much more direct and instantaneous medium than anything else out there.

At the same time, radio is an excellent medium to give the listener/user a good experience, or even take them along on an adventure. Stories on the radio, because they are carried by voices, can tell so much more than something in writing, because the way people talk, pause, and articalute very precisely convey feelings and moods. Not to mention what kind of room or not you're in. Even if the people who listen aren't aware of it.
Also, unlike the telly (and web etc), you can be very personal and direct without it becoming too much, like on the telly –*or those sob-stories on the tabloids. There's more, but the things I just said is propably enough to explain why I like the medium (and if you wonder how I can be a journalist with such a piss poor grasp of the english language, it's quite simple: I do journalism in Denmark and in danish, lol).
Also, doing this sort of thing is my hobby as well. I guess you could call me a story-teller-audio-geek.

Quote:
When you do decide on a player, don't forget that the earphones/plugs/whatever will make more of a difference in perceived quality than the source file format does. Bad output can ruin great input. You knew that, though.
Haha, yes, I did (look what headphones I have in my profile) I use the HD25-1s for work. It's not just a matter of audio quality, unfortunately – it's a matter of getting it all to play along in the nicest manner.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:54 PM
kasabian kasabian is offline
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Seems like you are doing something that is more "Professional" in use.

I can see where sassafras is coming from, he is on about a pure listening to your tunes, he is a big Lame fan (Applause) and he is bang on with the -V0 it is CD from that point of view. I think that is where his .wav is pointless comment comes from, to waste 650Mb of a player when a CD encoded at -V0 is almost a clone, is stupid.

Do you expect them to enable what you need? I can't see it, unfortunately the needs you have when compared to the masses, you are a niche market, if FLAC isn't a priority then I would think .wav has no chance, let alone 24bit 48khz. Although you would think .wav would be a given on most players, I never actually checked, I just took it as read that it would support it.

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piss poor grasp of the english language
Looks OK to me, better than my Danish!

Last edited by kasabian; 03-14-2008 at 05:01 PM. Reason: More thoughts.....
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:10 PM
kasabian kasabian is offline
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When played back, music encoded in lossless format is exactly the same as music played back in WAV format. The only difference is that lossless music is in a compressed format before it's played. Think of lossless music as computer files in zipped format.
Is that right? I assumed that was the case for say FLAC. If it is Lossless then it must be some form of clever compression. I assumed MP3 was sampled, in that it takes a snapshot of the original .wav data at x ammount of points, x being the bit rate, higher the bit rate, the more samples, closer to the source. 190Kbit is 190,000 samples/s.

Ahhh, who cares, MP3 is genius!

Last edited by kasabian; 03-14-2008 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasabian View Post
Seems like you are doing something that is more "Professional" in use.

I can see where sassafras is coming from, he is on about a pure listening to your tunes, he is a big Lame fan (Applause) and he is bang on with the -V0 it is CD from that point of view. I think that is where his .wav is pointless comment comes from, to waste 650Mb of a player when a CD encoded at -V0 is almost a clone, is stupid.
Well, even though that in a pure listening test, where the files have been ripped, they will be pretty close in quality, this does not hold in true the moment you edit the files. It's like editing jpegs, saving, editing, saving. The quality detoriates very, very fast. That's the real downside of using lossy formats when you have to edit. Even if I couldn't tell the difference in audio quality, I would be able to rather quickly after having edited it. It's just how this sort of thing works.


Quote:
Do you expect them to enable what you need? I can't see it, unfortunately the needs you have when compared to the masses, you are a niche market, if FLAC isn't a priority then I would think .wav has no chance, let alone 24bit 48khz.
Yes, from the looks of it, it's a niche. But in reality it isn't. Wav, just like .aiff is one of the most widespread formats out there. The difference between wav and aiff is only a matter of where the info is placed (little vs. big endian). It sounds technical, but in reality, it isn't.
Hell, even an iPod (bleh!!) plays wavs.
With the hope that this doesn't come across as aggressive, I have to mention that wav is a standard format, and propably the format that is able to play on most things without needing special codecs/decoding.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, hardware-wise that would make it hard to implement this. It's all about whether they're willing to do so.
Further, the P2 already records in the wav-format (propably because it's the easiest recording format to implemt). Granted, it's not recording in 24bit/48kHz, but as it is, it can already record in the wave-file format and play those recordings back. So, I have to disagree with you, that wav is a "professional niche format", because that is simply not true. It's just a very good and simple uncompressed, unthinned format.

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Looks OK to me, better than my Danish!
haha, thanks, kasabian
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:29 PM
kasabian kasabian is offline
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With the hope that this doesn't come across as aggressive
Not at all. That's kinda what I meant. It's pure 101010001010100011100. You would think it would be a given as a starting point that an MP3 player would read raw data. Like I said, I took it that way, only reading this thread did I realise it didn't do .wav.

I see what you are saying, when you are getting into the nitty gritty of editing, the best results will come from having the best source material. Not sure Samsung (or anyone) will see it that way though, at least not until really large capacity players arrive. The average person is listening low bitrate, on pants earbuds, and that is good enough for them. Most users wont even realise how good MP3 can sound, not even entering into the Audiophile market, just 192 and good headphones. Unfortunately for the likes of yourself, THAT is the market they are all hitting.

A portable CD player will still offer the best listening experience, regardless of how good LAME or FLAC are, a 500Gb player, where all CD's are ripped to .wav is the Holy Grail I guess?
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kasabian View Post
Is that right? I assumed that was the case for say FLAC. If it is Lossless then it must be some form of clever compression. I assumed MP3 was sampled, in that it takes a snapshot of the original .wav data at x ammount of points, x being the bit rate, higher the bit rate, the more samples, closer to the source. 190Kbit is 190,000 samples/s.

Ahhh, who cares, MP3 is genius!
Actually, 190kbit is not 190.000 samples/seconds. It is, as it says, "bits". Think of the kbps as a pipe: It's not about speed, it's about how much goes through the pipe per second, if that makes sense. Think "volume" (as in gallons/litres).

When a file is recorded at, say, 44.1Khz, it takes 44.100 "measurements" per second. If it's done at 16bits, it means it has 65.536 ("levels"/resolution) in each of these measurements. If your file is at 24 bit, at each of those measurements, you have a resolution (or levels) of 16,777,216. A 250 times increase in resolution. (although not correct, strictly speaking, think of this as monitor resolution (bit depth) and refresh rates (sample rates/khz).

Because there is always unused bits (don't ask, this very technical) depending on how much information the different sample contains, you can write a file that explains how the "packed" lossless file should be opened, and which bits are unused, but should be there in the unpacked/uncompressed version.

With regards to the MP3-format (and any other lossy format, such as AAC/MP4, MP2 etc), it's a matter of throwing things out.
A rule (called and algorithm()spl?) is set up, about which samples and bits is to be thrown out, which parts doesn't matter, and which parts to keep.
An uncompressed CD-track (16bits/44.1kHz) in stereo runs at 1.411 kpbs. Or 1.411.000 bits per second.

An MP3 at 128kbps, runs at 128.000 bits per second.

If you compare the two, you will notice, that 10 out of elleven bits have been thrown out. Meaning that ten parts of the information, out of elleven parts have gone to the dumpster.
[add: in reality, you can have a 24bit/192kHz recording in stereo, which is running at 4.600.000 bits per second, so when you make it into a 128kbps mp3, you're only keeping 1 information for each 35 you throw away]
Now, you can imagine, if you make this into wav again, and then back to the lossy format, it will become even worse, because the wav made from the mp3 still doesn't have any more information than the mp3. And when you apply the "rules" to this screwed up mp3-wav, it will toss out 10/11ths of the information yet again.

I hope it was not too geeky or too simplified, depending on the point of view of you guys – I had to strike a balance somewhere.

Last edited by Piper; 03-14-2008 at 05:58 PM. Reason: added in [brackets]
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:02 PM
kasabian kasabian is offline
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I did a bit of this when I was at University, 10 years ago though. I get exactly what you are saying. It's the 44.1 that is the sample rate, not the 192. It is a motorway with 192 lanes. Each lane has a car doing 44.1 Mph? And yeah, Kbit/Kbyte, I worded that badly.

But technically speaking it isn't compressed like a .RAR file, that is what I was questioning, there is a loss of data in any lossy compression. ie an MP3 decoder isn't a decompressor?

So is the increase from 16Bit 44.1Khz to 24Bit 48Khz indistinguishable to the naked ear from a point of view of sitting listening to a tune? And is of use only in the really high end?

Although I really rate LAME at -V0 VBR as players start to hit 8Gb as a default and we see 16Gb and 32Gb becoming common, along with online sales and fast broadband, at the very least FLAC should become a standard on players. Not everyone uses the headphones that come with the player.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kasabian View Post
Not at all. That's kinda what I meant. It's pure 101010001010100011100. You would think it would be a given as a starting point that an MP3 player would read raw data. Like I said, I took it that way, only reading this thread did I realise it didn't do .wav.
But the thing is, it does record wav and play them back. You just aren't allowed to toss one it.

Or rather: Can someone please try it, and see if it's possible in UMS-mode? I think that might be the catch, come to think of it. I think it _might_ be possible to make it play them, but not in the buy-it mode , because wav doesn't support ID-tags. Could someone having the thing in UMS-mode try converting a file to the wav-format in different bit rates/sample rates or toss it on it?
If not, is there a place around here I could upload, say, 8 samples of something, and you guys could download them and try it out for me? Please?


Quote:
I see what you are saying, when you are getting into the nitty gritty of editing, the best results will come from having the best source material. Not sure Samsung (or anyone) will see it that way though, at least not until really large capacity players arrive. The average person is listening low bitrate, on pants earbuds, and that is good enough for them. Most users wont even realise how good MP3 can sound, not even entering into the Audiophile market, just 192 and good headphones. Unfortunately for the likes of yourself, THAT is the market they are all hitting.
But it does support the file format, otherwise you wouldn't be able to record and play back your recordings done in wave. Also, many players support this format, including the Cowon and, dare I mention, those god-awful players from the biggest player in this field out there.


Quote:
A portable CD player will still offer the best listening experience, regardless of how good LAME or FLAC are, a 500Gb player, where all CD's are ripped to .wav is the Holy Grail I guess?
There are many problems with optical media. And a lossless file - be it flac or something else - is every bit (literally, lol) as good as the one on the optical media. One could even argue, that in practice you can get better quality on the ripped file. Why, you might ask (or not, haha)? Well, because a cd-player, even if it's a very, very expensive audiophile one, cannot afford time wise to keep reading a somewhat damaged part of the optical disc until it gets it right it has to move on in order to not interrupt the listening, whereas that cheap ripper we have in our computers can take all the time in the world, in effect making it sound as it was recorded, instead of just guestimating in order to move on.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kasabian View Post
I did a bit of this when I was at University, 10 years ago though. I get exactly what you are saying. It's the 44.1 that is the sample rate, not the 192. It is a motorway with 192 lanes. Each lane has a car doing 44.1 Mph?
Not exactly like that.
The 44.1kHz is how many "snapshots" is taken per second. The "16bits" has ≈65.000 points it measures, whereas the 24bit with millions of measurements per snapshot has much more "depth". I don't like the motorway analogy, but if were forced to make one, the Khz (sample rate) would be like counting the cars, and the bits would be like counting the parts the cars are made up off, and the bps would be like counting for how long all these cars and thus parts were running on the motorway.



Quote:
But technically speaking it isn't compressed like a .RAR file, that is what I was questioning, there is a loss of data in any lossy compression. ie an MP3 decoder isn't a decompressor?
yup, there's a loss when using lossy formats ;-)
But lossless formats, even when packed (because that is what it is) hasn't any loss.
This is the reason I prefer to use the terms "thinned" or "lossy" formats and "compressed" formats. The latter is flac, apple lossless and so on.

Quote:
So is the increase from 16Bit 44.1Khz to 24Bit 48Khz indistinguishable to the naked ear from a point of view of sitting listening to a tune? And is of use only in the really high end?
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Very, very much so. Especially if you have to normalise the stuff. Of course, you have to have an original at that bit rate and from there go down. Not the other way around.
As luck would have it, I found some recordings that can give you an idea. And remember these are recording not done like when recordings are worst. But anyway, here goes:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Well, the thing on top, doesn't make sense. I thought you asked the opposite. I meant that it is very, very distinguishable, even if you don't have a stereo worth 500.000 pounds/dolllars.
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Http://www.sounddevices.com/notes/re...world-24-bits/

[add: even if these files are made into mp3's you can tell the difference. It's frigthening. It's even worse when you have the unthinned formats]

Quote:
Although I really rate LAME at -V0 VBR as players start to hit 8Gb as a default and we see 16Gb and 32Gb becoming common, along with online sales and fast broadband, at the very least FLAC should become a standard on players. Not everyone uses the headphones that come with the player.
I completely agree (well, apart from the mp3-bit).
The only problem I see, is that Flac is rather processor intensive, whereas wav isn't.

Last edited by Piper; 03-14-2008 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Had to correct
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