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Topic: Does 256 kbps sound better than 128kbps with Classic and good set-up???

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Old 12-20-2007, 02:23 AM
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Question Does 256 kbps sound better than 128kbps with Classic and good set-up???

I have the Classic and 5th generation IPODs. Plenty of room. I typically import CDs at 320 or so and get good results --- I use a good headphone (say, the Grado 60 or better), a headphone amp such as the Emmerline SR-71, and line-out to bypass the IPODs circuitry and to play at whatever volume I choose. Songs sound great --- a tribute to the quality of the IPODs.

So...I am considering the purchase of some iTunes songs/albums but am dismayed at 128kbps. I've read that some songs can be purchased at 256kbps. How? With iTunes plus? If so, how do I choose iTunes plus? I looked and could not find it as a preference. For those in the know out there, is 256 meaningfully better than 128 as I expect --- or is the difference very modest?

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Old 12-20-2007, 03:03 AM
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256 is double the bitrate of 128 so there is a difference, but some people may not notice it if they aren't picky listeners. You sound like you value a good setup so you ought to go with Plus. The way iTunes Plus works is that if an album is available in plus, thats the only way you can get it, so you don't have to choose one or the other. They will have the plus icon next to the song, or they won't. At least that's how it works in the Canadian store.



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Old 12-20-2007, 03:36 AM
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My goodness, you have a Grado+amp and yer asking if 256 sounds better than 128? <gasp> Hope that expensive equipment was a gift... YES, a resounding YES. If they don't have 256, I'd stop being so impatience and buy the CD and rip at their maximum fidelity 'coz otherwise u'd be wasting racing a Ferrari on an island.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:07 AM
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Thumbs up Good one...almost had me

Thanks for the help. bobb-mini, it was a bit of a rhetorical question and I didn't want to offend anyone who rips at 128kbps. (Since you're Insanely Sarcastic I'm sure you're pulling my chain. Right? :-) .)

Indeed, I expected to notice the difference between 256 and 128 --- that's why I ripped my CDs at 320 and use a line-out. I bet you know this :-).

But there are some great songs on hard to find CDs or on lousy CDs (only one good song or poorly recorded CD whether it's AAD or DDD or whatever).

Bit rates are important but the song is the most impt --- a good song is a good song. I was wondering how much I would "lose" by going to 128kbps as I have not done that before. "Heartbreaker" by Led Zeppelin (great guitar work) is not on their greatest hits CD. Should I buy the song at 128kbps rather than buy a whole other "album" for just one song? ($0.99 vs. at least $9.99 and a trip to the mall.) Maybe I should. Or skip it altogether? That is my question --- as I'm sure you know; you had me at first. Good one. :-)
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:21 AM
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the only way you'll ever know if you hear the difference between 128kbps and 256kbps is through a blind listening test.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:48 AM
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Indeed, dirtpeach. I think a magazine out now did a blind listening test with individuals of different ages on an IPOD using different bit rates. I'll have to take a look --- I heard that the results were a bit surprising.

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Old 12-20-2007, 06:11 AM
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these days, most modern encoders are very close to being transparent at 128kbps based on this test.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:24 AM
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1st - do an ABX test (the blind listening tests mentioned earlier). This is much easier that it used to be.

2nd - BUY the Led Zep on CD. There are no bad songs on a Led Zep CD!
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:02 AM
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I have an extremely hard time believing most encoders are transparent at 128kbps. Actually, I'd never believe it.



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Old 12-20-2007, 09:07 AM
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Buy Led Zeppelin II- it's a great album. You won't regret the purchase.
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:45 AM
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I use a setup similar to yours and 128 CRB mp3 files is unacceptable. I'd say go for at least 256.
BTW, what headphones do you use with this setup? And what is your LOD ... ?



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Old 12-20-2007, 09:54 AM
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I have heard very few people who can actually tell the difference in double blind testing.

If you want to do it with your current set up it is easy.

Make three files from a track you know well....

One Apple lossless

One 256 k,

One 128 k.

Put something in the track title that reflects the bitrate.

Put them in a playlist and shuffle them on repeat, without looking at the screen.. You will not know which is which.

Now pick which it is, before the end of the track. Write it down, before you look at the screen.

Make a table like this...

Guess Really

128 256
lossless 256

etc.

Do this until you have 10 of each track in the Really column.

If you can guess better than 50/50 when it is 128k then 128k is not transparent to you. Otherwise it is. (This assumes three tracks, so chance would have you picking 33% correctly anyway and I think this should be enough for a statistically significant result).

Better is to use something like Foobar 2000 on your computer, which will let you do it in a better fashion and do the stats for you.

If you claim that you can pick the difference, without some kind of blind test, some people will think you are talking out of an unusual orifice.

h



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Old 12-20-2007, 10:31 AM
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That orifice isn't so unusual, everybody has one.



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Old 12-20-2007, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deaddy
I have an extremely hard time believing most encoders are transparent at 128kbps. Actually, I'd never believe it.
The proof is in the blind ABX test. Anything else is just subjective guesses...
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:55 PM
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I did the pepsi challenge between 128 and 192 and could tell a difference, mostly heard it in percussion instruments, it was an audible difference. Somewhere between 160 and 192, the audible stuff started to disapear. I can't tell the difference between 192 and 256. Mostly use 192 for standard stuff and 256 for songs a really like.



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Topic: Does 256 kbps sound better than 128kbps with Classic and good set-up???

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