Can you hear the difference between mp3 and wav?
Old 11th May 2012
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreengold View Post
Isn't it the considerate thing to do, when attempting to entice people to take a 45 minute survey, to enter the participant in a raffle where they can win an iPod?
i would do the test than..

but better make it an i pad
Old 11th May 2012
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ark View Post
I think this thread is pretty funny, especially because of the people who are saying, in effect, "Don't bother me with the facts; I've already made up my mind."

.
no.. its more like.. dont bother us with tests because we know already what fx mp´3s have on the dancefloor and any test result that pushes again the audiomyth that humans dont get the difference is hurting the quality of music reproduction in public...

I oppose to such wiener tests because they do damage. Its a long chain of audiodegenerations people find acceptable theese days that sum up in the end to unacceptable amounts.. So we need to repair that by rising the quality wherever possible, even when the benefit are only small.. a long chain of small benfits will result in a better sound again.

Its totally true what tony says in the interview... concert/club sound was better in the past. How can this be when our new technology inkl the speaker systems are so much better now? When all this digital processings would be really so transparent as the wieners of the world claim we should have a better sound now.
Old 11th May 2012
  #123
Gear addict
 

Can someone please tell me what the hell a 'weiner test' is in this context and where you are getting that term?
Old 11th May 2012
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ark View Post
n.

The moral of this story is that as a matter of experimental design, you shouldn't trust people when they say they can't hear something; you should make them choose anyway and then analyze their choices.
That an intersting point but also plays into the club sound dilemma..

people cant conciously grasp the differences.. only trained sound engineers can.. at least sometimes..

But people do unconciously the feel a difference.. and that difference changes the course of the night.. Sounds a bit harsh..but a bad sound goes directly against the IQ on the dancefloor over time..and actually also against the amount of woman on the floor over time.. seems to be that the girls are a bit more sensitve here or have the higher iq...
8 in the morning and only drunken guys on the floor? in clubs with a brilliant sound that is just not happening...

So in clubs that dont look into having a good sound the audience is changing..
Up to a point where the audience is leaving.. And than they call an audio pro to help the situation.. But not before..
Old 11th May 2012
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
Can someone please tell me what the hell a 'weiner test' is in this context and where you are getting that term?
the audio myth video of Mr Winer is posted earlier in this thread..

watch it.. and be amazed that he prooves to you that your soundblaster can do as good as your shitty expensive highend converters..

At least he tries.. But shows well that with the right test you can prove anything..

Also watch the timing.. he uses long passages to tell the truth..proves common grounds..and than quickly slips in the rather outrages claims..
Actually uses the tricks of the highend hifi sales man to promote his actually not wrong message that people should buy acoustics instead of highend products..
I think he sells acoustics..


So for me a Wiener test is one that is designed to get a specific result by careful choice of the source materials and other manipulation tactics. A test to fool people rather than a test to draw a highlight on issues.

like using a modern sound blaster versus an last centuries apogee model or other little tricks that add up to build a prove that is none. apogee converters have improved just as the sound blasters have improved.. and sure..you can do a track with a soundblaster when nothing else is available.. but to make out of that that ther are no benefits in highend converters is just not true.

Salesmans tricks..
Old 11th May 2012
  #126
Gear addict
 

Oh, you mean a "Winer" test, as in Ethan Winer.

I'm pretty sure we're just talking about ABX testing, in which case you're implying this is a "weiner test" because it is in your opinion deceitful and poorly designed.
Old 11th May 2012
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
Oh, you mean a "Winer" test, as in Ethan Winer.

I'm pretty sure we're just talking about ABX testing, in which case you're implying this is a "weiner test" because it is in your opinion deceitful and poorly designed.
I was implying that the test could become a winer test when it turns out to stabilize the audio myth that mp3 encoding does no harm to the source audio..
Same as the audio myth that 16bit/44 k is enough to give a perfect representation of all what people can listen too..

which is only theoretical true with ideal filters that dont exsist in reality.. and only under the assumption that there is no subconcios brain reception over 20k.. a thing that some research is questioning allready...

For many years there was the digtal versus analog debate going..with the result that the pro audio industry moved up to 96/24 to ensure that the filter artefacts fall above the listening range. filter artefacts that was only realized after the analog aficionados resisted to buy into the propaganda. What allows the industry now to use cheaper filters and sell new gear to the broadcast stations.. a win win situation after enough 44k gear was sold...
.
But that move to higher samplerates has actually proved that the old format was not good enough for everybody..

Audio myth that try to tell you that humans dont get it anyway usually only try to sell an inferior performance. So a commercial interest behind.
Old 11th May 2012
  #128
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golden beers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
You and everybody else should take the test and see if your ears are as good as you think and .mp3s are as evil as you think. If you can hear the difference, it will confirm that your ears are and you can take the test on whatever fancy monitoring setup you want.

The summary of this entire thread is "mp3s sound awful, the difference is night and day, but no I will not take the test (insert lame excuse) and it wouldn't prove anything."

I'm not saying we should ditch lossless or anything for working with audio, but I really don't think the difference is that huge and so easy to tell the difference. The resistance of people willing to take this test is hilarious- I'm sure you can all hear the difference real easily as soon as you see the .wav file extension.
i take it you don't have kids then
Old 11th May 2012
  #129
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mostapha's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
the audio myth video of Mr Wiener is posted earlier in this thread..
So, it didn't have anything to do with math. Too bad, because the math behind Wiener processes actually helps show the validity of my analysis in a roundabout way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
I was implying that the test could become a winer test when it turns out to stabilize the audio myth that mp3 encoding does no harm to the source audio..
In other words, when it disagrees with your disprovable assumptions. I did my best not to influence the results, and I was trying to prove the exact opposite of what you're claiming I was trying to prove, so……thank you for assuming that I'm an asshole and not actually reading anything I've posted.

GS is going to be a lot better with you on my ignore list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreengold View Post
Isn't it the considerate thing to do, when attempting to entice people to take a 45 minute survey, to enter the participant in a raffle where they can win an iPod?
Yes, it is. If you'd like to give me a grant to pay for the prize, I'll happily do the raffle.
Old 11th May 2012
  #130
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golden beers's Avatar
OP: i think it's a well designed test. as i said too long for me..

try the mastering forum for more takers?
Old 11th May 2012
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
In other words, when it disagrees with your disprovable assumptions.
no no no.. when it disagrees with the facts..


And conducted at home listening levels its prone to do so because 320 mp3´s are designed to achieve the illusion on such levels..

Just your polemic here shows that you are the dangerous winer type that trys to prove his agenda regardless whether its true or not by flawed test methods..
Old 11th May 2012
  #132
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8BitCulprit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
the dangerous winner type that trys to prove his agenda regardless whether its true or not by flawed test methods..
You mean 75% off the interwebz?
Old 11th May 2012
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
and I was trying to prove the exact opposite of what you're claiming I was trying to prove, so……thank you for assuming that I'm an asshole and not actually reading anything I've posted.

.
oh- i ve to assume that now..


and when you try to proove the opposite with such a test method ..good luck..
so you know already that a difference is there? as everybody else?

But you dont see that the statistics that comes out of such a test will most likely show otherwise?

what would you do when your test results opose to your own knowledge?

Stick with it and promote false info?

or manipulate the results so they match reality?

I choosed to dont participate to dont bring you into this dilemma..
Old 11th May 2012
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
If you'd like to give me a grant to pay for the prize, I'll happily do the raffle.
I'm afraid you grant application has failed to pass peer review.
Old 11th May 2012
  #135
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mononym View Post
at least the film industry uses high quality audio....when they start using MP3s were all done.
Where I work we received a (big) movie trailer where the music and VO supplied was mp3...


On the main topic I did a small study on this at university. Music and non-music participants. Summary: below 128kbps mp3 almost everyone could tell difference. 192 and above almost no people could tell difference in our listening situation (fairly large speakers in an untreated room).
Old 11th May 2012
  #136
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golden beers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewhistler View Post
Where I work we received a (big) movie trailer where the music and VO supplied was mp3...


On the main topic I did a small study on this at university. Music and non-music participants. Summary: below 128kbps mp3 almost everyone could tell difference. 192 and above almost no people could tell difference in our listening situation (fairly large speakers in an untreated room).
i think it has allot to do with listening skills. same test with mastering engineers and you'll get a different outcome no doubt.
Old 11th May 2012
  #137
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fastlanestoner's Avatar
 

There is an absolute and definitive difference between the two. If one can't hear it critical listening skills should be acquired.
Old 11th May 2012
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlanestoner View Post
There is an absolute and definitive difference between the two. If one can't hear it critical listening skills should be acquired.
Let me guess, you won't take the test though.
Old 11th May 2012
  #139
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I think the invention of the mp3 is brilliant. It's 11X smaller (@128kbps) than an uncompressed format but psychoacoustically sounds damn similar.

And yes, I can hear the difference when A'B'ing the two. A blind listen to a song would indeed be a challenge to pick out whether it was an mp3 or not. Credit the inventors of the mp3 for that.
Old 11th May 2012
  #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StringBean View Post
I think the invention of the mp3 is brilliant. It's 11X smaller (@128kbps) than an uncompressed format but psychoacoustically sounds damn similar.

And yes, I can hear the difference when A'B'ing the two. A blind listen to a song would indeed be a challenge to pick out whether it was an mp3 or not. Credit the inventors of the mp3 for that.
i allways liked the atrac of the minidisks more.. maybe less neutral but has a musical sound to it i sometimes even used as fx to resample synths. Its not so smeary and icy as mp3 and has an intersting psychoacoustic property to it.
Old 11th May 2012
  #141
Banned
 

is the attrac older than mp3? intersting question.. because with mp3 the üirate music scene came more or less over night in the late 90´s ..with an incredible speed.. and bad taste trance in the pole positions aswell..

I just wondered if that happend just because mp3 was the only available one..

And if so.. why it was made so easily available.. The frauenhofer institute is not so much on the sharing side of things with all their inventions..
MAybe it was a marketing move to establish the own standard?

time for wiki i guess ;-)
Old 11th May 2012
  #142
Banned
 

mp3 and atrac appeared around the same time.. with mp3 beeing a bit earlier in 92, directly followed by sonys private approach that obviously must have developed earlier aswell. the compressionrate of atrac is rather small in realtion to mp3 but the decoding less demanding..therfore the sony mobile devices had longer battery runs...

so wiki.. ;-)
Old 11th May 2012
  #143
Banned
 

and more out of the wiki department..


FLAC seems to be the only nice format.. it can hold the meta data of aif files .. thats cool, dont knew that.. i never used flac but i like that.. metadata can be important and when its just to brand the files.. but could also hold syncdata for dj´s allready when the dj software companys would support that.. and that would be a real money worth advantage for dj´s than ...

should be the format of choice..

mp3 or AAC are resynthesis based algos.. and thats what we hear there..
differnce between mp3 and AAC is the mp3 splits the process in multiple frequency bands.. AAC just works broadband in the time domain..

Intersting that this lesser effort claims to be better sounding.. maybe the same as with crossovers in speakers apply that the split in multiple frequency bands creates more phase trouble or distortions in the crossover sections? whatever.

in any case quite brute methods that resynthesize the audio data stream

intersting question whether the AAC handles the lowend better than mp3..

that would be an intersting and usefull listening test that covers new grounds instead helping to establish cheasy industry myth..

in mp3 lesser important bands get less resolution.. and..for nerds the bass is allways a lesser important band..

so question with aac would be whether the lowend recieves a better relative treatment because the not applied weightening of importance of audio bands..

atrac as frequency bands related algo wasnt good for bass aswell.. was more the mids that appeard interesting while highs and lows definitely fall appart in relation to a wav.

So please let it be FLAC..

but the run AAC versus mp3 could be intersting ..especially because apple is pushing AAC now..of cause to safe money because its patent free.. therefor the statements that tell AAC to be better sounding for the same bit rate is one that might be industry propaganda again.. and therefor a better job for myth investigators than trying to prove or disprove what anybody knows already anyway.
Old 11th May 2012
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostapha View Post

In other words, when it disagrees with your disprovable assumptions. .
Correct. But he'll still fill the next 10 pages with spelling errors trying to justify it.
Old 12th May 2012
  #145
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Reptil's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ark View Post
I think this thread is pretty funny, especially because of the people who are saying, in effect, "Don't bother me with the facts; I've already made up my mind."

That said, I would like to point out a subtle pitfall in doing experiments on audio perception. I don't know if this particular test has fallen into it, but I want to point it out anyway.

SOMETIMES PEOPLE CAN HEAR DIFFERENCES THAT THEY DON'T KNOW THEY'RE HEARING.

Here's how this phenomenon shows up. Suppose you're trying to find out how much distortion is audible. So you give people an ABX double-blind random test: One of A or B is the original signal, the other one has some distortion added, and X is the same as A or B. Your mission is to decide whether X is the same as A or the same as B.

A lot of people are going to say "I can't hear any difference between A and B, so I can't tell which one of those is the same as X." But if you tell them: "I don't care whether you can hear a difference, I insist that you choose A or B," a funny thing happens. If you look at their responses, you find that their choices start gravitating toward one sample or the other at a much lower level of distortion than they claim they're hearing.

This fact was discovered by an acoustician friend of mine who, as it happens, did some of the fundamental research involved in developing MP3 and DVD video coding. If I recall correctly, in his experiments he found that by looking at people's statistical behavior, he could see that they were actually perceiving a level of distortion that was 10 times lower than what they thought they were perceiving. In other words, if at 1% distortion they started saying "I can't hear any difference," when you forced them to pick one or the other, their actual choices showed that they could hear differences all the way down to 0.1% distortion.

The moral of this story is that as a matter of experimental design, you shouldn't trust people when they say they can't hear something; you should make them choose anyway and then analyze their choices.
EXCELLENT!!! nailed this.
people that go to a club expect good entertainment - music to dance on. they value music on an emotional level, and are not expected to have to analyse sound quality consciously. that said, the ppl. I partied with, not audio professionals at all, girls especially (as Audioconsult mentioned) did pick out the good from the bad easily. not all but quite a lot.
it's the JOB of a DJ and the club to know their business, period.
the problem is that the people who only look at earnings from the bar make the investment descisions in many venues.
if you play live, demand a soundcheck!
Old 12th May 2012
  #146
Gear addict
I sometimes get mixes from clients with multitracked vocals and 1 stereo mp3 track of the music. I hate it because they expect it to sound like what they are hearing on the radio. I am limited as far as the control that I need on the instruments and that's a unprofessional way of doing things. Yes I can hear the harsh noises that become present in boosting signals. Sometime they want it mastered after the fact. Once I start hearing the harsh white noise I just get frustrated. Mp3's at high volumes bring about distortion. Mp3 is like a compressed loaf of bread leaving empty space in the bread pack (distorted noise)

Sent from my MOTWX435KT using Gearslutz App
Old 12th May 2012
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ausgeno View Post
Correct. But he'll still fill the next 10 pages with spelling errors trying to justify it.

it was very easy to understand that we talk about facts here and not unproven assumptions.. its really silly to try to proove mp´3s to be the same as wavs in the year 2012 or the other way around, because you guys are 15 years late..we are thru with this discussion since..

what have you done 15 years ago? checking mp3´s versus wavs? I doubt that, otherwise you would know a little more ..
and ever did the reallive check over a big club system? dont sounds like..
Old 12th May 2012
  #148
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Reptil's Avatar
c'mon let's keep this discussion civil?
thanks!
Old 12th May 2012
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
c'mon let's keep this discussion civil?
thanks!
yep..sorry... he somehow follows me and leaves little remarks at the street corners. best to just ignore that..where is the mighty button?

ah..found it
Old 12th May 2012
  #150
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Pianist.O.Legend's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
A little while ago, an mp3 vs. wav debate cropped up on DJTechTools forum. A lot of people saying wav was the only way to go…others saying that no one could hear a difference…others saying it didn't matter at club volumes. You get the idea.

So, I got bored and compiled an ABX test and put it up as an audio file. Had a few people respond so far, and the results are interesting. Most of the songs are modern(ish) dance leaning towards house and techno because that's what I had available in lossless formats. If you're interested, read on.

Okay, so the test is online at http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg054r/soundtest.wav. It's a ~500MB wav file, so bear that in mind if you have to pay for bandwidth. I'll probably create a FLAC or ALAC copy as well (which will be the same, but .flac or .m4a instead of .wav) if people ask for it.

It's about 45 minutes long. You'll be listening to 140 audio clips, plus some explanation of what's going on (yay…i found an sm58 on the floor…don't judge the crappy recording), plus a section of pink noise to set your volume to a comfortable level. Please avoid changing your volume during the test (certainly only even think about changing it between songs, not between individual trials). Every clip was normalized to the same volume and played with just a bit of headroom. So you shouldn't have to touch your volume control after you start.

After a citation (artist, title, etc.) you hear 4 audio clips in this order: wav, mp3, wav, mp3 to orient you to what you're hearing. Some of them are introduced, others aren't. I just forgot to copypasta all the regions and was too lazy to fix it. If it bothers anyone, I'll fix it.

And no, they're not full songs. They're 15-second clips. If I used full songs, the test would take around 12 hours to complete.

Please format your responses thusly:

Song[tab]Trial[tab][USERNAME]
1[tab]1[tab][guess, m for mp3, w for wav]
1[tab]2[tab][guess, m for mp3, w for wav]
1[tab]3[tab][guess, m for mp3, w for wav]
1[tab]4[tab][guess, m for mp3, w for wav]

2[tab]1[tab][guess, m for mp3, w for wav]
2[tab]1[tab][guess, m for mp3, w for wav]



Doing so means I can easily use a spreadsheet to do the analysis instead of doing it by hand and potentially making a transcription/computation error. Any text editor will work (or you could use google docs or excel or numbers…whatever) just make sure that you send me just that text and not other formatting information if you can.

Please PM me your results. I'll do the analysis and keep the actual answers secret (though I'll respond to you with them once you've done it) to avoid people cheating. After a few people have done it, I'll post a description of the results (without revealing anyone's identity…so there's no potential for embarassment if your ears aren't as good as you think they are……except for me……'cuz I'm a boss…and like to be proven wrong). I'll be publishing my results right after I get enough results to make me happy.

I know it's hard to trust, but I assure you that the test is double-blind. I created wav and mp3 versions (then converted the mp3 back to a wav) and in addition to naming them 1wav.wav and 1mp3.wav, they were copied to 1A.wav and 1B.wav…then, using a shell script, I gave each file a crap ton of chances to switch names (back and forth) based on random number generation…and kept track of it in a text file that I didn't read. So, when I was flipping coins to decide whether each trial was going to be the A file or B file, I didn't know which was the wav and which was the mp3 (they were both referred to wavs inside Logic). And yes, I know how to swap things (using a temp file) so they're not the same file. If my results are different, it's likely more so because the songs came out of my collection than golden ears or anything like that. I've heard the lossless versions on the same headphones I used for the test (HD-25s) dozens of times, at least.

I look forward to seeing the results and hope I didn't waste all that time.

In addition to thinking this is interesting, a few questions have come up about some weird results I'm getting. If people think this is interesting, I'll happily discuss them as well. Hopefully they don't show some glaring fault in the test.

Edit: oh yeah…if you've done the test or are going to, please let me know whether or not you think you know what to listen for (regardless of whether or not you think you did well) and what you did the test on (what headphones/monitors/etc.) so I can play with statistics some more.

I like statistics.
I created wav and mp3 versions (then converted the mp3 back to a wav)

Never Convert Mp3 to Wav.You wouldn't get your desired results.
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