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I think this runs the risk of "pepsi challenge" issues. The basic premise here is that being able to consciously determine differences between a few samples is an adequate substitute for judging subjective listening experience over a lifetime. I don't think that premise holds up. I think if you present a handful of songs with different encodings to people and ask them to say which encoding they think is better you're going to get different results than, say, if you ask people to listen to different songs repeatedly over a long period of time. There are subtle effects that may not be noticeable on a single listen but become quite noticeable on repeated listenings. As a case in point, have you ever listened to Pink's "Raise Your Glass"? Have you ever noticed the high pitched beeps in that song? I've noticed that most people don't notice them, but can hear them if they listen carefully. For example, "... raise. your. (feep) glass." The same thing happens in lots of other music. If you're not paying attention you may not notice that sibilant s's are a little distorted or that high-hat hits are muddy. More so if you don't always listen to music with those sounds. But repeated listenings may make it more and more obvious, and then suddenly you'll wish you had a better copy. Encoding can be forever, it's important to be extra cautious. Personally I think 192kbps VBR is an excellent encoding format, and for the most part it's indistinguishable from uncompressed audio to my ears. But I've noticed that even 128kbps CBR is hard to tell from the original for many songs, though I would be hesitant to pay money to lock myself into such a format for life.
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2012 on The Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment at Coding Horror
That web forum example is hopelessly out of date now. It needs giant banner images in signatures. More smileys and image macros inline in the posts, and animated avatar images. Oh, and inserted advertisements as posts within the thread. God I wish I was joking.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2011 on The Gamification at Coding Horror
I'll be there +1. [E]
1 reply