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Old 02-22-2011, 02:00 PM
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Default Better quality tracks coming soon?

According to this article from CNN, Apple and other online media companies are looking into offering downloadable music in 24bit form, vs the standard 16 we see today (downloads and CDs).

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web...ex.html?hpt=T2
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:47 PM
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http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/sho...7&postcount=29.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:56 PM
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24bit means a theoretical dynamic range of 144dB, compared to 96dB with 16bit files. This is completely irrelevant for music listening, it's only a marketing gimmick. 144dB is somewhere along the loudness of a gunshot, or a jet engine starting from 1m distance - it has no practical applications for the end user, it's only relevant for destructive editing and mastering of audio tracks - barely any highest quality home equipment can even handle a fraction of this dynamic range. Some people might think that "more is better", but this is absolutely not the case with bit depth, as far as listening to music is concerned. Plain and simple - it's a scam. It does not "improve audio quality" in any way, as the misleading headline of that CNN article suggests.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:01 PM
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@kasrhp: Yeah, I don't buy that stuff either....

btw, congratulations! I just noticed your "Contributing Editor" status here on ABi
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:06 AM
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24-bit tunes....probably huge filesizes, and probably won't sound any different unless one happens to have the ears of one of these....

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Old 02-23-2011, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
... HP has sold 1 million laptops with Beats Audio technology.
Watch out justin bieber, lol, peeps must be too gullible for these companies to produce such results and since when do ipods play 24bit
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:50 AM
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And why not embrace 24 bit music? After all, the HiFiMan can play them, so we all must follow suit.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:33 AM
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Does a Lady Gaga, Bitney Spears or Justin Bieber song automagically become better when it is in 24bit?
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:49 AM
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@lestatar: Thanks! Apparently Enzo was drinking heavily when he asked me to write a little bit, but I'll take it!

@dfkt, I couldn't agree more. Not to mention the move to flash storage, which is still expensive, and those 24 bit files might be a little bigger than 320kbps MP3 and FLAC. But I'm sure there is a magical Apple dust that will be sprinkled on the new tracks to fix it all

In all seriousness, we are talking about a situation where most consumers don't listen to anything above 256 if they're lucky. This would only apply to dfkt's favorite types of people, those "audiophiles" who have speakers "that only dogs can hear." The rest of the population doesn't care, and then you have abi'ers who are too smart for marketing gimmicks.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:02 AM
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I just want to download 16/44.1. . .

I've downloaded some 24/96 files and they take up an obscene amount of memory, almost double the bit rate in the FLAC format.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:41 AM
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This just in: Companies have realized they can get more money by convincing people to pay more for nothing by marketing it as something.

I'm surprised they haven't thought of this before. Oh wait... *cough SACD, DVD-A, BD-Audio cough*

Yes, I'm aware that some of those are multichannel and that's an actual benefit. But they were marketed as having substantially better audio quality as well, which is BS.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasrhp View Post
Not to mention the move to flash storage, which is still expensive, and those 24 bit files might be a little bigger than 320kbps MP3 and FLAC
Little is an understatement . Humongous sounds about right. I doubt if everybody is going to download those super-sized files from iTunes.

If the consumer-grade electronics moves to 24/96, audiophiles should be moving to 32/384?
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post
If the consumer-grade electronics moves to 24/96, audiophiles should be moving to 32/384?
I need a recording with so much dynamic range that I can simultaneously hear a supernova explosion and the thermal noise left over from the big bang.

That's the kind of range I'm looking for, not this 144db nonsense.

On a more serious note, I don't think we'll see more than 24bit for a long time. The thermal noise from the other components in a ADC limit the dynamic range of even a 24bit ADC/DAC. So going to 32bit or anything of the sort is going to need some serious breakthrough in engineering - either that or a lot of marketing BS.

Last edited by odigg; 02-23-2011 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:13 PM
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Wouldnt a 24 bit track respond better to DSP because of the lower noise floor? Wouldn't this be some sort of benefit?
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
So going to 32bit or anything of the sort is going to need some serious breakthrough in engineering - either that or a lot of marketing BS
I've come across a few Sabre ES9018 based DACs offering "32/96" . I am not familiar with the technical side of things. But do they even use more than 24 bits for recording?
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
Wouldnt a 24 bit track respond better to DSP because of the lower noise floor? Wouldn't this be some sort of benefit?
But is the typical customer that is going to download these 24-bit files going to apply digital-signal processing to these files with his 24-bit digital-signal processors?
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But do they even use more than 24 bits for recording?
Yes.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
Wouldnt a 24 bit track respond better to DSP because of the lower noise floor? Wouldn't this be some sort of benefit?
In theory...

Software like Foobar 2000 already does stuff at 32 bit float internally. So it's arguably a non-issue for people just listening to music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
Quote:
But do they even use more than 24 bits for recording?
Yes.
You'll have to explain this a bit. Do you mean to say that the software used for recording/editing uses more than 24 bit floats? Or do you mean to say DACs/ADCs have more dynamic range than what can be offered from 24bits.

Because there is a difference...
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
Do you mean to say that the software used for recording/editing uses more than 24 bit floats?
Thirty-two bit float.
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Or do you mean to say DACs/ADCs have more dynamic range than what can be offered from 24bits.
But are there any vendors that actually sell a true 32-bit DAC or ADC? I agree with you that, for consumers, the dynamic range from 16 bits is adequate.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:04 PM
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24 bit does seem pointless. . .

After spending some time debating this in the equivalent head-fi thread, the other side of the argument does not seem remotely convincing nor based on any facts or evidence. :-/
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
But are there any vendors that actually sell a true 32-bit DAC or ADC? I agree with you that, for consumers, the dynamic range from 16 bits is adequate.
As esanthosh pointed out, ESS sells a 32bit DAC chip.

Does it have any practical value? They claimed some pretty great technical specs, such as having 133db of dynamic range. But I haven't seen any real world measurements of this chip and we'd have to see that before evaluating it. I'm sure in some lab test environment (maybe they tested it in space, behind pluto) they got some great measurements to put on the spec sheet.

Of course, there is then the issue of a ADC. Is there an ADC that even comes close to the theoretical maximum of a 24bit ADC? If not, then what is the point of a 32bit DAC since there will be no recordings with that amount of dynamic range?
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