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I did the test, didn't notice much difference, but have noticed big differences between 128kbps and FLAC before, which your sample songs don't show. So I think the sample song is flawed. It uses synths heavily, which are already samples, this is a big problem. A live acoustic recording with multiple instruments would've been a better test (and preferably one that's known to be a good reference recording). One way HQ audio is better is good instrument separation and a sense of 3-d space, you feel more like you're in the room (whereas with LQ you get a more mushed together sound that sounds like it's coming from one place). With the recording you've selected, this difference can't be highlighted, even on the best recording, it sounds like it's coming from the same place.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2012 on The Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment at Coding Horror
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Jun 21, 2012