Kids Prefer Poor Quality MP3

A

admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
Audioholics has raved against what Gene calls the dumbing down of audio and warned that no good is coming of it. Well, it’s now official. A new generation of music listeners has had their ‘listening ears’ so corrupted by digital compression they’ve learned to actually prefer hyper-compressed MP3s.


Discuss "Kids Prefer Poor Quality MP3" here. Read the article.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Audioholics has raved against what Gene calls the dumbing down of audio and warned that no good is coming of it. Well, it’s now official. A new generation of music listeners has had their ‘listening ears’ so corrupted by digital compression they’ve learned to actually prefer hyper-compressed MP3s.


Discuss "Kids Prefer Poor Quality MP3" here. Read the article.
I've seen this a few weeks past on another site. Its not just MP3s but poor quality recorded CDs as well. This type of compression is harder to do on vinyl becuase of the physical limitations of that medium. Maybe thats why alot of people are returning back to vinyl despite its inherit flaws.
 
R

rnatalli

Audioholic Ninja
Shame really in an age where storage is so cheap that lossless could be used for everything.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
I've seen this a few weeks past on another site. Its not just MP3s but poor quality recorded CDs as well. This type of compression is harder to do on vinyl becuase of the physical limitations of that medium. Maybe thats why alot of people are returning back to vinyl despite its inherit flaws.
I admit to stealing it from another site. I ususally put a link to my source but I appologize that in this case I could not. This is where I found it:

http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=40297

As you can see it's not really giving credit to its creator or anything. At first I thought the kid might have some kind of problem that might make it innapropriate to use but - heck, it's a funny picture probably taken at that exact second that kid was making a face. Like every time I pause TV they're always making a silly expression.
 
G

GZA

Junior Audioholic
I know many people my age (18) who have cheap stereos and think they sound just as good as mine, which is not expensive but still much better then what they have.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
I know many people my age (18) who have cheap stereos and think they sound just as good as mine, which is not expensive but still much better then what they have.
Rejoice! We live in guilded age for electronics. You don't need expensive for great sound quality.

In decades past polypropolyne cone speakers and 100 watts of clean high current power was luxury. People took out loans for it. We called it Hi-Fi, it was sought after as the ultimate in sound and only got more expensive from very.

Receivers these days in the $200 to $400 range are awesome. You can find discreet multi-channel/processing on a shoestring budget and speakers that will truly sing.

Paper cones are probably difficult to find, who even talks about S/N ratio nowadays? ... Unless it's digital amplification which miraculously runs off tiny trickles of AC.

These are golden times me boyos. A modest budget can buy what audiophiles once payed dearly.

Enjoy the sound!
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
I admit to stealing it from another site. I ususally put a link to my source but I appologize that in this case I could not. This is where I found it:

http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=40297

As you can see it's not really giving credit to its creator or anything. At first I thought the kid might have some kind of problem that might make it innapropriate to use but - heck, it's a funny picture probably taken at that exact second that kid was making a face. Like every time I pause TV they're always making a silly expression.
Don't apologize *L* Ya didn't do anything wrong as far as I'm concerned.

As far as having that look, I keep telling my wife; "if you want my undivided attention, turn the TV off. You'll loose to the flashing lights everytime" :D
 
tomd51

tomd51

Audioholic General
The results of the professor's testing is disheartening to say the least. I agree with almost everything Gene and the editors here at AH have written regarding the compressed audio era, but the one quote in this article struck me as a bit off:

"Somehow the 128-bit MP3 became the de-facto standard in digital compression. I blame Apple and iTunes for getting so many younger music listeners acclimated to the soft frequency response of low-bit audio files."

While most of Apple's music offerings are encoded at 128k, they're compressed using the MPEG-4 standard, which compared to MP3 is noticably improved from a compression standpoint. Granted, I don't compress anything under 320k MP4 for use and suggest to the non-Audioholics to at least keeping the bitrate at 224 VBR or higher for those using portable devices, but it's blatently obvious the masses prefer portability over quality when it comes to music.

The fact that stores like Walmart and restaurants (I use this term loosely in this reference) like McDonalds are some of the best-selling organizations in their respective industries tell you that quality isn't always paramount to the average general consumer. Kind of like the scenario whereas do you blame for drug use, the addict, the dealer or society as a whole?

I just don't see how you can thow the onus on Apple where file sharing sites and utilities like Napster, KaZaA and others were at the forefront of MP3 file sharing well before Apple became the de facto for purchasing MP3s. I do hate to see things going this way and hope Apple and other distributors consider offering better quality products and services than they currently do like the folks over at HDtracks, but I'm not holding my breath... -TD
 
G

GZA

Junior Audioholic
Rejoice! We live in guilded age for electronics. You don't need expensive for great sound quality.

In decades past polypropolyne cone speakers and 100 watts of clean high current power was luxury. People took out loans for it. We called it Hi-Fi, it was sought after as the ultimate in sound and only got more expensive from very.

Receivers these days in the $200 to $400 range are awesome. You can find discreet multi-channel/processing on a shoestring budget and speakers that will truly sing.

Paper cones are probably difficult to find, who even talks about S/N ratio nowadays? ... Unless it's digital amplification which miraculously runs off tiny trickles of AC.

These are golden times me boyos. A modest budget can buy what audiophiles once payed dearly.

Enjoy the sound!
I just meant that they bought cheap HTIB and think they sound better then anything else out
 
Brian_the_King

Brian_the_King

Full Audioholic
Reading this article hurt me deep inside.

Also

...While most of Apple's music offerings are encoded at 128k, they're compressed using the MPEG-4 standard, which compared to MP3 is noticably improved from a compression standpoint...
You may be well aware of this, and I'm not trying attack your statement, but MP3 vs MP4 becomes much less important in terms of sound quality as bit rate increases.

There may be a nice sq increase when you compare an 80KBps MP3 to an 80KBps MP4, but at 256KBps or 320KBps it really doesn't matter [again, as far as sound quality is concerned].
 
tomd51

tomd51

Audioholic General
That's a good point Brian, which I was aware of, however others may not be.

There will be a rate of compression that will be nearly inaudible, but if one were to compare an AAC 128k MP4 track compared to a 128k MP3, VBR or constant, the average person with good hearing will be able to discern a difference between the two regarding the amount of compression used... -TD
 
Hipnotic4

Hipnotic4

Full Audioholic
CDs do sound better, but its marginal to most people..The truth of the matter is that, most people just do not care *much about the quality of their music.
 
D

Dezoris

Audioholic
This site and many other get their butts hurt when many of us go off on keeping disk based formats alive. Like BluRay for example during the HDDVD battle.

Take a look at every single digital download service. Not one offers lossless audio. For god sakes not one truly offers CD quality audio.

Digital downloads, are the reason for the demise of high quality solutions.
If we had capable networks to supply the bandwidth needed to get lossless audio and video to customers we may not have this debate.

We have at least 10 years before flash based storage is in the high TB level and broadband is in the gigabit range.

High quality audio will continue to die or become more niche until network and storage is up to par.

Until then keep the disk solution alive.
 
Z

Ziffle

Audiophyte
I think i have found hope for the newer generations.....

When the young generation watches moves (DVD/BR) and notice the great sound tracks - it might get some to dig further. Maybe.....

.... i know i have been educating the families - especially husbands that come over to the house about taking the next step.
I have found out that many people do not know where to go outside of the 'best buys' to find equipment and read information from CNET or Consumers report. (Are you kidding - for sound.)

.....Even techie gamers w/ high end systems don't know about the sound....

just my 2 cents.....

Later,
_Mark
 
skizzerflake

skizzerflake

Audioholic Field Marshall
I don't think most people ever rated sound very highly. Just a look around at boomboxes, cheap earphones, car systems in noisy vehicles, Walmart stereo and HTIB systems makes me think that the file format isn't likely to have much of an impact on the resultant sound except that a low bitrate allows you to cram more tunes on your hardware. It's the same population that has to have HDTV forced on them.
 
G

greggp2

Senior Audioholic
CDs do sound better, but its marginal to most people..The truth of the matter is that, most people just do not care *much about the quality of their music.
That's probably because most people have never really witnessed a good quality system. When I tell people that one of my hobbies is home audio and they ask me if I have a Bose system, it pretty much tells it all!!!

I agree though, it's sad to see people pay CD prices to download 128 bit low quality music files onto their computers...

I can't stand the sound quality, or lack there of of compressed music files.. I had to buy a 2TB drive to stream music off of to my Apple TV, so I can at least have good quality music that is accessible to my system.
 

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