Completely OT: What gets lost when you compress music

stephen barncard stephenREVOLUTION2 at
Fri Mar 20 12:29:10 EDT 2015

That's a pretty broad brush dismissing 'MP3s', as there are a lot of ways
to data compress audio today.
Granted there have been many instances where bad encoding or slow rates
have diminished the aural experience, but newer compression techniques and
better algorithms get the audio to a point where even 'golden ears' can't
tell the difference vs 'CD resolution' in blind tests. I've gotten great
results with the 'mastered for iTunes' setting on my Fraunhofer-Sonnex
encoder ( 256kbit VBR m4a with 'clip safe' ).

Certainly the original article proves nothing, as reducing any bandwidth
reducing technique to its worst level is going to sound/look bad. The
science of perception and music is an interesting area, and I've recently
befriended an expert, one of the people behind the science of music data

Here's an entertaining and lively lecture given by James D. (JJ) Johnston
for the Audio  Engineering Society has opened my eyes to how subjective the
process is and how external things influence one's opinion about a
particular method of transmission - be it tubes / transistors , compression
types, etc. , 'masking'  and how we perceive sound.

On Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 7:10 AM, Ralph DiMola <rdimola at>

> I do and always have had a hard time listening to mp3s. If any of these
> kids
> today ever heard original German pressings of Beethoven's 5th Symphony or
> Beatles Revolver on reference system, I think they would be more than
> amazed. Just try to hear the little hi-hat nuance in Steely Dan's Peg from
> the Aja album in a mp3.

Stephen Barncard - Sebastopol Ca. USA - Deeds Not Words

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