Ogg Vorbis

While downloading a pleasant tune from the Bandcamp recently, I was offered this stunning array of options. I stayed with my mp3 because I like overly compressed crap.

Those of you who recently released albums, did you offer the FLACs and the AIFFs? Those cowbells really pop in AIFF!

2 Replies to “Ogg Vorbis”

  1. As long as the bitrate of the MP3 is 192kbps or higher, I doubt anyone could hear a difference between the MP3 and the “better” options. I could be out of my depth here, but it seems to me that if the song is using 6.1MB, it must be a decent bitrate. It shouldn’t sound any different from the others.

    Early MP3’s used 128kbps at best, which sounded inferior. It was fine for backgound listening, but when paying attention you could hear a difference between those early MP3’s and CD’s, AAC, or the alphabet soup of lossless formats. MP3’s bad reputation stems from those days. It was analogous to current low-to mid-quality streaming options. It just isn’t an issue anymore at 192kbps or higher. I’ve A/B’d between 192kbps and whatever standard iTunes AAC was (320?) and could hear no difference using very good speakers and headphones.

    Sometimes I think I can hear a difference between a CD and the 256kbps “high quality” streaming my service supplies. It’s probably in my imagination, as I have a bias toward physical media. People hear what they want or expect. If someone switched between the two without telling me which was which, I’d bet money that the difference would vanish. Or, maybe I’m hearing a difference because my streaming service or internet provider doesn’t consistently supply what it claims. Doesn’t really matter. Great music sounds great on almost anything. If back in the day you could live with a cassette tape of a tape of a tape of so-and-so’s beaten-up Let It Bleed recorded from a shitty turntable with a worn-out stylus, you can live with the worst MP3 out there.

    By the way, some Brits did extensive double-blind testing between “high resolution” 24-bit/192kHz downloads and the same music bottlenecked into standard CD-quality 16-bit/44kHz. Listeners’ guesses were around 50% correct.

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