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05 November 2010

can you hear the difference? our mecha friend Nucleo is totally telling me it'd be hard to distinguish the difference between uncompressed AAC and mp3s on my iphone with stock earphones[More:]

and I think I kinda can; come in here and check these files on your computer or device and let me know if you can hear a difference in any of the tracks (nsfw language)

Nas - Stillmatic Intro [mp3] [AAC]

Nas - The Message [mp3] [AAC]

I think I hear more 'depth' (foreground/background etc.) instead of flatness in the instrumentals of the uncompressed files but it could be cognitive bias

if anyone has examples or related information, feel free to add on!
I can't hear the difference on my PC speakers. Maybe this Nas isn't the right artist to use for this?
posted by mullacc 05 November | 21:06
yeah I figured but that's what I have uncompressed.. hence if anyone has more examples etc. or maybe just anecdotal experience about listening to cds vs mp3s
posted by Firas 05 November | 21:08
uh.. I have hole demos, uncompressed? lol those would probably be worse cause they're not mastered in the first place
posted by Firas 05 November | 21:10
blind testing is the only way to know if there is a real difference.
posted by DarkForest 05 November | 21:46
how would I blind test on my iphone though? If I have two songs called Stillmatic (Intro) and I figure track #2 is the better one I wouldn't know which is the AAC and which is the mp3 right? would it sort the same way as itunes sorts it? hmm
posted by Firas 05 November | 21:50
yo! I put both sets on the phone and five starred the one I was confident sounded best. Then I synced back to itunes.. I got Stillmatic Intro wrong (five starred the mp3) and The Message right. hmm. So i'd need to do like 10 trials a song for a handful of songs before I can kinda tell if I can tell a meaningful distinction eh
posted by Firas 05 November | 22:07
btw I went and got hold of these just as a different type of sound:

Garbage - Sex never goes out of fashion [mp3] [AAC]
Garbage - I just wanna have something to do (cover) [mp3] [AAC]
Garbage - Begging Bone [mp3] [AAC]
posted by Firas 05 November | 23:52
it reminds me of something i did years ago. i thought i could tell the difference between new coke and old coke. so we did a blind test with those 2 and a pepsi. I could tell the pepsi, but i could not tell between the 2 kinds of coke.
posted by DarkForest 06 November | 07:59
mendel, thanks for the info! I did an ABX test using foobar2k and a plugin and it turns out I can't tell the difference between a high bitrate mp3 and FLAC *at all* but I can tell between 128kbps and 320kbps 5 times out of 6.. I'm guessing some limit above 192kpbs compressed is where most people can stop telling the difference
posted by Firas 13 November | 21:30
Friday night question, || Free Spices!!