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Bigger is better. Isn’t it?

!It’s a common misconception to measure expected audio quality in terms of bitrate. Intuitively, it seems as if more data will mean higher quality, but this isn’t always the case. The trouble with lossless codecs is that they’re very inefficient – even a compressed lossless format like FLAC or ALAC is generally encoding things that humans simply cannot hear.


People don’t seem to have a problem with this when it comes to pictures. Nobody says “I won’t look at a website unless all the images are TIFF files”, because that’s plainly ridiculous. We’ve all seen badly compressed images on the Internet, and we’ve all seen beautiful ones too. We understand that “what it looks like” is the reliable measure of, well, what it looks like.”

A good discussion of music compression, and the fallacy of thinking that bigger is better.

However, in his footnote, Mr. Doe makes a fundamental error; just because there are higher frequencies in high-resolution music files doesn’t mean that a dog will think they sound better. They will certainly have more audible frequencies, but it’s a truly subjective thing, from the canine point of view, whether those frequencies are desirable, and whether they improve the music.

via Bigger is better. Isn’t it? | Proper Discord.

It’s Now Legal to Rip CDs in the UK

As of today, it is legal to rip CDs in the United Kingdom. Because, before, it wasn’t. If you bought a CD and ripped it to add to your iTunes library, well, you were breaking the law. Seriously. (I wonder if they every prosecuted anyone for that offense…) But “personal copying for private use” is […]

It’s Not Just Pop Music That’s Over-Compressed

Much has been written about “the loudness wars,” the trend for music to be over-compressed. This isn’t the kind of compression one talks about when discussing, say, MP3 files; this is audio compression, or dynamic range compression, which reduces the differences in loudness in a song so the entire song can be louder. When a […]

The Grateful Dead Get High-Res; But They’re a Bit Confused

As more and more vendors and artists try to jump on the high-resolution bandwagon, it’s clear that a lot of them are confused. Take this example of the Grateful Dead. Yesterday, the band send out an email saying that they now have “High Definition Dead.” And they are offering high-definition – or high-resolution – files […]

The New Maria Callas Remasters: Good or Bad?

The other day, I posted about the new box set of Maria Callas’ Complete Studio Recordings being available for download on the iTunes Store. I had a few exchanges with Andrew Rose, of Pristine Classical, which restores historical recordings, and Andrew said that he thought the Callas remasters were not good. He told me he […]

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