09-10-2010, 08:41 PM
Hello everybody,

I guess this is the good forum for this.

Lossless compressed audio files (e.g. FLAC, APE...) are more and more used in sharing communities, like this one. As opposed to lossy compression methods (e.g. MP3, OGG Vorbis...), lossless methods don't destruct any data of the audio source. That's why lossless files are more and more used for sharing or archiving music.

But in fact, it appears that very few persons are able to distinguish lossless files with GOOD lossy files. I insist on the "good", I'm not talking about BAD lossy, of very poor quality, like MP3s in 128 kbps. I'm talking about, for example, MP3 in 320 kbps, OGG vorbis in quality factor 8 or more (= ~ 256 kbps or more)...

And you, are you able to distinguish lossless and good lossy ? For either classical music, anime music, recent VGM, or whatever else ? (some music types are more demanding with compression than others, of course)

Personally, I can't !

09-10-2010, 10:00 PM
I can and can't depending on where the sound is coming from. For example: I have these speakers I use for recording music (so I can listen to what was recorded). I can easily tell with those but if I were to listen to it through headphones or my car stereo, they both sound the same to me. So I just think it depends on the quality of the speakers/headphones.

09-11-2010, 12:16 AM
In anything from about 192cbr on up I really don't notice a difference, and I've read that the normal human ear isn't physically capable of distinguishing between say, 320cbr and lossless audio.
But I definitely can appreciate a transition from mp3 to flac. Over the last 3-4 years storage capacity has become dirt cheap. (I have over three terabytes of external storage.) If the only difference then between downloading an album in mp3 and downloading it in flac is the time it takes, unless you're really hurting for bandwidth you might as well get the complete lossless product.

09-11-2010, 01:44 AM
sometimes, it depends on the song

09-11-2010, 07:20 AM
Yeah, depends. On iPod earbuds, sometimes I find that more compressed music actually sounds BETTER than higher bit-rates (say 192 vs Apple Lossless). But on speakers and my AKG 240s (which I adore), I can hear a bit of a difference (especially in the highs and in classical music).

But I'll settle for a clean 320 any day. Usually, at that point, you're having problems from other places anyway (the source of the material, ripping software, etc).

09-11-2010, 08:39 AM
like Shad said, i really don't notice a difference in sound quality between 192 (and up) mp3 and a FLAC file.

however with some programs that create mp3's I've noticed that the mp3 created will gradually sway off beat or it will start like 1/8 of a second late (particularly annoying when you are mixing digital-based music); whereas the uncompressed audio (usually WAV) will stay on-beat from start to finish. but of course this really only matters if i'm mixing music; not listening to it because i would never notice that difference when merely listening for pleasure... and it's only right to mix music in uncompressed format. period.

so i think listening to music for pleasure with FLAC is a complete waste of space and money - personally. take the 320 mp3's.

10-03-2010, 02:47 AM
I'll take mp3s over FLAC any day, because FLAC is a pain in the ass to manage. Windows can list all my mp3s by album or whatever, FLACs aren't tagged like that, the ones I have aren't at least. And besides, 192 to 320kbps mp3s are good enough if not just as good as FLAC at a 5th of the size.

I don't even think that bitrate is that important as long as it's well compressed and ripped. Like if I listen to a 70kbps version of "Birth of a God" from FF7 and then compare it to a 160kbps version I seriously can't hear the difference.

10-04-2010, 06:39 PM
I don't even think that bitrate is that important as long as it's well compressed and ripped. Like if I listen to a 70kbps version of "Birth of a God" from FF7 and then compare it to a 160kbps version I seriously can't hear the difference.

ya because that was created in 1997 with 1997 technology. try listening to something recent like "Fire Above the battle" in 70kbps.

11-03-2010, 05:05 AM
I own a pair of Sennheisser HD-595's with a Fiio E7 DAC Headphone Amplifier and I can appreciate a well encoded song from one that is not. Sure, maybe doing a blind test, it would be hard to tell the difference between 320 and FLAC, but man oh man, does good quality sound good with the right cans. Listening to FFVIII Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec right now as I type in Lossless and you can literally hear every vibration of the strings. Now granted, if I listened in 128 kbps or something similar, I would hear the same "noise" but not feel the instruments pulse the way they really do.

In all honesty though, it really just depends on what source you opt to listen to your music with/through. I feel as though I really CAN hear a difference, but maybe I don't. Again, as Shad said previously, with storage as affordable as it is today why not????

I'm interested to see if anybody else in the forums listens to high quality music with HiFi grade equipment. If you do, chime in! I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this as well!!

shady pines ma
12-14-2010, 11:14 AM
Nope, but I still appreciate a lossless download when I can find one - the lossless version is usually what I burn to CD-R and then I rip my own MP3's from that for saving on my hard drive and putting on my MP3 player.

12-14-2010, 01:48 PM
There are several reasons why I prefer lossless. First of all - I don't know if I could distinguish lossless from MP3 320 in every case. I'm unable to point out what is the exact difference but in a lot of cases I can "feel" that difference of quality. The same is with vinyl records. Despite some hissing and cracks there is something about them that makes them more deep than CD music. FLAC makes a good quality CD if I decide to burn it.

Secondly - I prefer to transcode FLAC to mp3 on my own. I don't always trust the source.

Thirdly - when I want different quality of mp3 on a computer and on my ZEN it is comfortable to have a lossless copy. You don't want to make a 192 mp3 out of a 320 mp3...