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  #81  
Old 05-10-2012, 11:19 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
So, can anyone else find any large scale tests ABX'ing FLAC v. MP3? I tried, but couldn't find anything outside of people testing themselves. Based on human hearing, and the cutoffs for various bitrates, I'm of the belief that most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference between V2 and FLAC, much less V0...

But, I think it would be useful to have something a bit more conclusive than individuals testing themselves and reporting their individual findings. It's not just a matter of integrity here, it's also a matter of establishing equipment standards to make the results more difficult to challenge.
Still weak on the concept of ABX I see. Cheating at ABX would be like cheating at masturbation, the only party that's interested in the results is you.

There can be no integrity issue because my results aren't valid for anyone else but me. Your results have no meaning to anyone but you.

If you need results then get to testing yourself. Standing on the sidelines bitching about what others are doing to further their experience isn't going to do a damn thing.

Of course you could always keep looking at your "spectrals" to attempt determine audible differences. Those that know how useless that is will continue listening for differences, not looking at pictures of their music.
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  #82  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:23 AM
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I've done quite a bit of cleanup by removing and moving posts from this thread. I added a note to Enigmatic's initial post to help clarify the purpose of creating this sticky. I also edited the title of this thread to help make irtreflect the intended pupose of this thread. I will probably make more changes based on feedback from members and staff members.

I'd like to prevent the need for further revisions to this thread by emphasizing this is a thread about ABX testing to determine which files are best for each individual. Posts about what bitrate or quality setting you use without referencing how you arrived at your decision will probably go away. Questions as how best to optimize files for your DAPs are probably better asked in a new or different thread but whatever mod is around will make case by case decisions on those.

Thread reopened for discussion.
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  #83  
Old 05-12-2012, 01:03 PM
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I've moved a non related post here. Apparently there are those that can't figure out how to create a thread to discuss ideas that won't be part of this thread and then reference this thread. Perhaps this will help them.
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  #84  
Old 05-12-2012, 01:39 PM
mutescream mutescream is offline
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Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
Still weak on the concept of ABX I see. Cheating at ABX would be like cheating at masturbation, the only party that's interested in the results is you.

There can be no integrity issue because my results aren't valid for anyone else but me. Your results have no meaning to anyone but you.

If you need results then get to testing yourself. Standing on the sidelines bitching about what others are doing to further their experience isn't going to do a damn thing.

Of course you could always keep looking at your "spectrals" to attempt determine audible differences. Those that know how useless that is will continue listening for differences, not looking at pictures of their music.
Please demonstrate where in this thread I have done any of what you are accusing me of. I am not trying to drag anything out, but you have talked a bunch of trash about me here, and I think that in the interest of basic courtesy, you should at either be able to substantiate this bullshit you are saying about me, or retract it.
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  #85  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:18 PM
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But what if you use the DAP inside a huge room for a party,but with people who have very good hearing,would anyone be able to tell any difference between a lossless FLAC file or a lossy MP3 file? I'm thinking the larger the space,is the more the difference might be easy to detect.
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  #86  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Lagoo56 View Post
But what if you use the DAP inside a huge room for a party,but with people who have very good hearing,would anyone be able to tell any difference between a lossless FLAC file or a lossy MP3 file? I'm thinking the larger the space,is the more the difference might be easy to detect.
This is a good point. If you're playing your DAP on expensive speakers for other people to hear, then you may want to go higher quality just to be safe, for those people who haven't done ABXing.

I've played my iPod through expensive loud speakers before, and I like to keep the stuff I listen to the most around 256k MP3/AAC just to be on the safe side. Stuff that is less important to me I'll accept -V2 or 192k MP3 or AAC. Or even -V4 LAME MP3 sometimes.

But either way I still think a lossless file is overkill on a DAP in any situation.
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  #87  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagoo56 View Post
But what if you use the DAP inside a huge room for a party,but with people who have very good hearing,would anyone be able to tell any difference between a lossless FLAC file or a lossy MP3 file? I'm thinking the larger the space,is the more the difference might be easy to detect.
'huge room for a party'? Won't there be too much noise to hear the differences? Or do you have very quiet parties?

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  #88  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:08 PM
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Pfft!!! 128kbps CBR would be overkill then,...don't you think??? But, good point nonetheless.
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  #89  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FreeZ5 View Post
'huge room for a party'? Won't there be too much noise to hear the differences? Or do you have very quiet parties?

Steve
lol we have very quiet parties where people come to listen to the sound quality of audio files .
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  #90  
Old 05-13-2012, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by McDougal View Post
lol we have very quiet parties where people come to listen to the sound quality of audio files .
ABX party maybe?

A lot of times at parties I find it hard to distinguish mainly due to the subwoofers blasting out inordinate amounts of bass.
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  #91  
Old 05-21-2012, 06:03 PM
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Just wanted to bump this to the top so anyone looking for their posts from the original sticky would know they haven't been wiped out.
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  #92  
Old 05-21-2012, 06:30 PM
Carson Dyle Carson Dyle is offline
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The sticky doesn't mention battery life or storage capacity as factors in determining which format someone would choose. Absolute sound quality isn't the only consideration in choosing between different formats for a DAP, and in the context of a portable player it may not even be one of the most important.

And it's -way- too long to expect many people to read through it all.
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  #93  
Old 05-21-2012, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
The sticky doesn't mention battery life or storage capacity as factors in determining which format someone would choose. Absolute sound quality isn't the only consideration in choosing between different formats for a DAP, and in the context of a portable player it may not even be one of the most important.

And it's -way- too long to expect many people to read through it all.
Thank you for pointing that out. I've edited the first post in this thread to reflect that this is the discussion thread, not the original sticky. The sticky itself is four posts long.

If you read the first post you'll see this discussion is about using ABX testing to determine audible differences. Battery life and storage capacity can't be determined by ABX testing.
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  #94  
Old 05-21-2012, 07:52 PM
Carson Dyle Carson Dyle is offline
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Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
Thank you for pointing that out. I've edited the first post in this thread to reflect that this is the discussion thread, not the original sticky. The sticky itself is four posts long.
The stickied thread is short, but the first post in that thread is too long and rambling to be of practical use.

Quote:
If you read the first post you'll see this discussion is about using ABX testing to determine audible differences. Battery life and storage capacity can't be determined by ABX testing.
This thread? No, I'm talking about the stickied thread that advises using ABX as the means of deciding whether to use FLAC or Mp3 on a DAP. When sound quality is not the only consideration, then comparisons of different encodings may not be the most important factor in making that decision.

And then there's the advice to use foobar2000 to compare, which means running the comparison on a different system. Yes, that may tell you which of two encodings you prefer (or the point at which you find transparency), but only on the system on which you're listening. Unless you're comparing encodings on the device itself, those ABX tests run on another system are going to be of questionable worth.

Last edited by Carson Dyle; 05-22-2012 at 03:18 AM.
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  #95  
Old 05-22-2012, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
Unless you're comparing encodings on the device itself, those ABX tests run on another system are going to be of questionable worth.
It is possible to do double-blind listening tests using digital-audio players. But this is something that the typical user is not going to do, because it is going to be difficult. Therefore, the next best way is to use software. The sticky is not about battery life.

It is about many users claiming to be able to hear an obvious difference between FLACs and MP3s. The first version of that post was a lot shorter. But I was asked to make it longer. I think it is better to try to answer as many of the frequently asked questions as possible than to be too brief.
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  #96  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
The sticky doesn't mention battery life or storage capacity as factors in determining which format someone would choose. Absolute sound quality isn't the only consideration in choosing between different formats for a DAP, and in the context of a portable player it may not even be one of the most important.
I'm not seeing your point. Audio quality is a primary concern to most AFAIK. I see lots of posts looking for the best sound quality. Not so many looking for the best battery life or max storage per quality setting. Longer battery life and being able to store more songs wouldn't mean much to me if that meant listening to files I didn't like.

ABX testing can impact both battery life and storage. Most portable players will give you the best battery life and ability to store the most files with lower quality settings. ABX testing gives you the ability to determine if the lower quality settings are acceptable to your ears.

If you determine that a lower quality setting is transparent to you your battery life usually increases. You'll gain several hours battery life using -V5 mp3 files vs -V0.

I say usually because there are exceptions. Using FLAC and ogg vorbis files on non-Rockboxed sansas reduces battery life significantly. If you use Rockbox the battery life increases.

You'll also be able to store quite a few more files if you determine that a lower quality setting sounds the same as the lossless source. Files encoded at lower quality settings will use less room on your player. If that lower setting is transparent to you gaining additional storage is automatic.
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  #97  
Old 08-24-2012, 09:09 AM
RMoribayashi RMoribayashi is offline
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Default Suggestions for the Sticky

I hope this isn't to simplistic a suggestion, but you might want to add to the sticky some advice on what to listen for when doing an ABX. At higher bitrates lossy formats mostly seem to affect the higher frequencies as well as reduce separation. I've subtracted lossy files from the originals just to see what was being thrown out, and it's nearly all above 12 khz. Using a program that displays a spectrogram in real time you can easily see the highs dropping in and out as the LAME encoder does it job. This can sound like a pumping effect. Luckily, the phase distortion that haunted early encoders is all but nonexistent in a well encoded file these days.

Also you may want to emphasize that if a FLAC file is used for an ABX comparison, it should be one the user created, since there are a large number of bogus FLACs floating around the net.
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  #98  
Old 08-24-2012, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by RMoribayashi View Post
I hope this isn't to simplistic a suggestion, but you might want to add to the sticky some advice on what to listen for when doing an ABX. ...
Why not use "the ultimate demonstration disc" which is available in FLAC, make your own mp3 rips and the disk itself has narration on what to listen for.
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  #99  
Old 08-24-2012, 09:30 AM
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Differencing lossy against lossless doesn't tell a thing about what can be heard using a perceptual encoder. Perceptual encoders are tuned by ear and can only be judged by listening to the encoded signal, not what's left over.

Using spectral visualizations also won't tell you anything about what's audible. Looking at pictures isn't how you listen to music. Using your ears is much more useful.

I can't see adding a warning that includes anything about pirated files. If some one is downloading crap from off the 'Net they're on their own.
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  #100  
Old 08-24-2012, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMoribayashi View Post
I hope this isn't to simplistic a suggestion, but you might want to add to the sticky some advice on what to listen for when doing an ABX.
I hope this does not sound rude, insulting, or condescending, but one should always be listening for differences—any and all differences. If, for example, one believes that properly encoded MP3s still end up affecting high frequencies or channel separation, then one should definitely try to listen for these types of differences.
Quote:
Also you may want to emphasize that if a FLAC file is used for an ABX comparison, it should be one the user created, since there are a large number of bogus FLACs floating around the net.
I have assumed that if one is extremely worried about sound quality, one would be willing to buy CDs and make FLACs from these CDs.
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