Friday, January 25, 2008


My opinion about bitrates

A word about bitrates.
This issue is totally out of bound in my opinion. I notice almost everybody is doing 224/320 kbs nowadays, which isn´t really necessary and simply blows up the amount of (internet) data. In reality it´s the quality of the source material and the quality of the encoding program which makes for the quality of the mp3. I have done in the past a lot of rips in 128 kbs, which I keep that way because they are absolutely sufficient. I've tried 160 and 192 kbs, because there is a slight, but listenable improvement in quiet passages in todays recordings (not the old analog '60 recordings...). Everything above that isn´t useful. I've seen tests with very good equipment. Ordinary people couldn´t even tell, which one was the mp3 with 128, and which one was the CD. Trained people can do that, but they couldn´t with mp3s in 192 kbs versus 320 kbs. Very few could tell the difference between the two in a direct source a/source b test. The issue is getting religious, as is sometimes the discussion vinyl versus CD.
What´s really silly about the whole thing is the fact, that some people now blow up their old 128 kbs mp3's to 320kbs, which isn´t of any use at all (in fact decreases the quality).

So all my examples are and will be in just 128kbs ! You will have to do with that....
And if you still want better sound quality : simply go out and buy it !

A last remark. How much didn't we like in Europe the midwave broadcasts from the off-shore radio stations in them years like Radio Caroline and Mi Amigo through our little transistor radios. We were sooo satisfied.

I totally agree.
I'm with you re the "pirate stations".
I used to listen to Radio Luxemburg and the songs played through static and all other sorts of effects had a magic I really miss.
Songs like Louie Louie, Liar Liar, She's About A Mover and Hello I Love You don't sound anywhere near as nice or as mystical or as magical in 320kbps.
I find I like albums recorded in mp3 from vinyl as they have that comfortable feel.
However I do like to hear some stuff in 320 as it can be crystal clear.
In other words, the jury is out as far as I'm concerned.
If I think I might like an album I will try to find it in 320.
Am I mixed up - you bet!
Well said, dear Jean. Well said.
You need to develop a "teachable" spirit.

First, you're wrong on every count. Unconditionally.

Second, you're arrogrant in the extreme.

I wouldn't want to meet you, or know you, under any circumstances.

Try coming down here with the "rest of us."

It's not so bad. Just "normal" and kind of "regular"

(What are the chances of that? I know.. I know.)
Instead of arguments just these remarks....
Everyone is a guest here who may read in my 'personal diary' and comment. When I am a guest elsewhere I am at least polite.
I can live with your opinion.
Greetings to everyone in Tampa, USA.
I do agree with Jean, on all accounts. 192 is tops, anything higher IS overkill. Possibly you don't wanna hear this but instead of shouting, try reading. If on the other hand would discus to 128 - 192 differences, you'll end up in an never ending argument. It's more kind of a feeling.
Thanks Jean for what you're doing for us, giving us the opportunity to get to know unfamiliar recordings.
I totally agree with you Jean. I have a site as well and record them all at 128kbs. I cannot for one second understand why people grab an old record with scratches and noise on the surface and waste valuable disc space by recording them higher than 128kbs. When I download music from a blog I immediately change it to 128kbs. I for one cannot tell the difference.
Both sides of this argument are stupid and ridiculous because they both take the huge leap that only their opinion is correct and the other side is factually wrong. And it doesn't help that both sides tend to *be* factually wrong.

Now, here's the thing. If you can't hear the difference between 192 and 320, then obviously, it doesn't matter... for you. This is most likely a limitation in your playback device, but it could just as easily be a limitation on your ears. Either way, there is definitely a difference. You yourself said that some people can hear the difference, yet you use that as proof that there is none.

Now, at the same time, I feel you, because I can't hear the difference between 320 and lossless. I suspect that I could if I had better sound cards, headphones, etc., but I don't care. But, at the same time, the biggest logical reason to want things in higher quality than 128 is that the technology is constantly improving. It's fine if you can't hear the difference now, but what happens five years down the line when computers are 500% better and the sound cards that are standard are better than the top-of-the-line is now, and you've spent five years collecting 128 MP3s that now sound like crap?

Are you also one of those people who can't tell the difference between VHS and Blu-Ray?
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