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Didital Things
Topic: Another example of barbaric idiots who run the show!

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 09-26-2010

A text by Audio Empire From

“At a presentation he gave at the recent Audio Engineering Society Convention held in London earlier this year, Massenburg wondered why, with bandwidth so plentiful, and storage so cheap why people still sell compressed music online?

"These systems (compressed music formats) take something essential from the music, and lop it off. With so much bandwidth and memory now available, the question is not how to make a better Codec, but why we are bothering to use codecs at all..."

In his presentation, Massenburg showed where he took 24-bit/96 KHz recordings of  Phil Collins and Diana Krall and ran them through different Codecs.  He used MP3 at 128kbps, and AAC at 256kbps and showed the results on the screen. These graphics showed how the compression/expansion cycle destroyed the dynamic range of the original recording.

"These are standard systems and they are not good enough for us to use. By coding the hell out of the music, and slashing the sound, we are missing a market."

Massenburg then used a demonstration to drive his point home. He electronically subtracted the MP3 compressed music from the original 24-bit/96 KHz recording and then played ONLY the difference signal which was comprised solely of the information lost by the compression.

"These are distortion levels of 15 ­ 20 percent! ", he said as he played the difference signal for all to hear. The distortion amazed everyone in attendance because it was a grotesquely, but very recognizable version of the original recoding!

What I found the most amassing in this story is that the presentation was made for Audio Engineering Society Convention and those Morons were AMAZED!!! Can you imagine: the member of Audio Engineering Society…. kind of … did not know it!

The Cat

Posted by steverino on 10-06-2010
Actually I don't find it surprising that engineers don't realize the sonic effects of their engineering. Remember all the indignant articles and letters they wrote about how great solid state amps with low THD sound and how lousy tubes are. In the case of compression formats it should also be noted that engineers were merely providing a solution to a request from businesses and consumers back in the day to allow online streaming or download with dial up connections. As long as consumers thought it was good enough it was good enough.

Your post does touch on a more general question as to why consumers whether they are engineers or not are relatively so indifferent to sound quality. I don't think it's a case of an inability to perceive the difference. I've had quite a few people who are not audiophiles in the least easily able to distinguish changes in sonic quality on my system or theirs from changes in equipment or procedures (eg cleaning contacts). They not only hear the difference, in many cases they find the sound of my quite middling audiophile setup to be wonderful and lifelike compared to what they listen to. The amazing thing in my view is that they can go right back to listening on their awful system or to compressed sound and feel no pain. Very very few people feel compelled to improve their system after hearing something far better.

I can think of several reasons for this. First many people regard music as more of a background activity than something to focus on. Second people find music listening somewhat asocial unless it's part of a sing along or is dance music. Third, it does require a certain amount of effort to set up an audio system in a home environment. As we all know even a good system can sound lousy if its poorly configured or located. Speakers are a big issue here since a reasonably full range speaker can't be hidden in a room. Fourth, people are more captivated by visual information (eg movies tv) than auditory information if a choice has to be made.

Having said all that there still are many more people who would become audiophiles if the industry was better oriented to welcoming them in at the entry level. The continuing survival of vinyl even among non audiophiles is a sign that people do sense that something is missing from current audio reproduction even with the standard CD. As an anecdote I mentioned to a waitress from Ethiopia that I liked Ethiopian music but it was only available now on CDs and I preferred vinyl for better sound. She thought for a second and replied "You know you're right. Records have a bigger fuller sound than CDs which sound a bit thin and bright" I'm sure she had never even thought about the difference before my remark.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-07-2011

What I tell you that the people who run audio/music industry are idiots and you do not believe you then you are wrong. Here is another case to point.

Minnesota Orchestra introduced the “Music on Demand” service:

“Live recordings of Minnesota Orchestra concerts are available as digital downloads exclusively right here—you won't find them anywhere else. Select programs from our season concerts led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä are recorded live, produced by Minnesota Public Radio, and available for download just days after the original Orchestra Hall performance.”

What can be more wonderful then this? However, all download are MP3 compressed crap in 256 kilobits per second. What the hell the people who listen symphonic music would do with digitally compressed files?  Very sad that whoever runs audio for Minnesota Orchestra is a fucking idiot.

The Cat

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