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Elektronaut
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I'm pretty surprised I got everything right. The 320kbps and the uncompressed ones might have been a lucky guess. They were nearly indistinguishable, and I'd hate to resort to unquantifiable quack terms to describe them. I wouldn't say I have dog ears, though. I'll wager that spotting bad compression is an aquired skill, much like spotting bugs and code smells. As a musician and producer, I can reliably hear MP3 compression at 192kbs and below, given decent headphones and source material. It's mostly about knowing what to look for. Percussion with alot of random high frequency content is usually the easiest giveaway. I did a blind test on myself ten years ago or so, and found I was unable to discern between 192kbps and the original CD. Another possible bias is the fact that a study at Stanford shows that more students each year actually prefer the MP3 compressed sound.
Looks like the survey is closed, so I'll add my thoughts here. Limburger and Feta both sound awful. I'm guessing Feta is the 128bkps one, and Limburger isn't too far off. Brie is a bit better, although the compression artifacts are still noticeable on the sibilants. Cheddar and Gouda are the tricky ones. I can't tell if any of them are compressed on their own, and comparing them against each other gets very subjective. My bet is on Gouda being the uncompressed one, as Cheddar sounds slightly duller in the high frequency domain. I listened on AKG K271 mkIIs plugged straight into a MacBook Pro, no amp or external DAC. These are studio headphones with well defined upper highs, which is where MP3 compression is most noticeable. I think anything above 256kbps is fine. I've settled on the V0 preset for my own library, harddrives are cheap.
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2012 on The Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment at Coding Horror
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Jun 27, 2012