bit-tech.net

Poll: Your preferred music format?

Poll: Your preferred music format?

How do you store your music? Let us know in this week's poll.

Many people claim MP3s are killing music with their poor compression standards (MP3s, not people), but the problem is that it's still the most compatible storage available.

If you're an iRiver fanboy then good old OGG might be your friend, or iTunes can mean AAC. Others many prefer to shun digital distribution and storage altogether and stick with good old CD or Vinyl - it's not very portable but far better quality than anything digital unless you insist on being lossless like with Apple or FLAC?

You could be real old school and still use good old Chrome Oxide tape or even still listen to the sounds of Atari in MIDI?

We have had a poll running in the forums for a couple of days now and there are already some interesting results. Don't let that put you off adding your vote though, so what are you waiting for?! Get into the forums and vote!

140 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Jamie 20th August 2007, 10:25 Quote
Given my current setup CD is the best format I can play. Though if I had a turntable I would choose vinyl.
Bogomip 20th August 2007, 10:25 Quote
MP3 all the way for me at the moment but only because of the immense compatibility. I would probalbly go for ogg or AC3 otherwise.
RTT 20th August 2007, 10:36 Quote
MP3 due to the compatibility. It's going to be a long while before stuff doesn't play MP3 anymore.
Mister_Tad 20th August 2007, 11:03 Quote
all FLAC here, after upgrading both my PC speakers and sound card many average bitrate MP3s became virtually unlistenable in comparison :/
may as well anyway, in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't take up all that much space
Glider 20th August 2007, 11:06 Quote
MP3 for compatibility...

But if there was a "I don't care as long as it plays" option, I'd go for that one.

If FLAC would be more mainstream, I'd re-rip everything in FLAC, but for now it's a waste of space (and I'm not a audiophile)
K 20th August 2007, 11:07 Quote
I voted for CD, since if someone offered me the choice between a physical copy or a download I'm gonna go with the physical one. But really I've only bought like two CDs this year yet I've obtained many many albums. It's terrible, but hey, I have about 700 CDs at my parent's place collecting dust.

I'm not too fussed about all this lossless stuff though. I don't like low bit-rate MP3s but anything 192 and above sounds just fine to me. Even 128's ok sometimes. Beggars can't be choosers and all that.
steveo_mcg 20th August 2007, 11:11 Quote
MP3 because i'm lazy. too lazy to recode every thing to ogg or flac.
Hugo.B 20th August 2007, 11:14 Quote
.ogg sooner die than use .mp3 or .wma again.
Bindibadgi 20th August 2007, 11:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by K
I voted for CD, since if someone offered me the choice between a physical copy or a download I'm gonna go with the physical one.

Amen to that.
Ramble 20th August 2007, 11:40 Quote
FLAC, simply because it sounds the best and is open.
Most of my library is mp3/ogg however since a lot of stuff was found as mp3 and so converting it to ogg or flac without some highyer quality source available would be pointless.
I use Ogg because it's small, sounds great and more people can listen than flac.
Spacecowboy92 20th August 2007, 11:42 Quote
DTS is prefered but I have many formats all over the place althought most of my stuff is mp3. I do have some vinyls lying around but not an impressive player system.
BioSniper 20th August 2007, 11:49 Quote
I use mp3 due to compatibility. Sometimes I rip in AAC though, generally when I forget to change the settings on iTunes and the like.
I won't rip any less than 192k/s and prefer to just go the full whack at 320kbps just "cause I can" kinda thing.

I will however buy CD's rather than downloads due to the price. More often than not I can get a proper CD with all the shiny album art for the same price as an iTunes download album and I prefer to be able to hold something for my money when it comes to stuff like movies or music.
If downloads were cheaper, say £2 per album then I'd bother.
Lee @ Scan 20th August 2007, 11:56 Quote
Same here with the mp3 for compatability as I stream them to a variety of devices round the house, mainly my 360 or the squeezebox 3 we have.

Plus with an X-Fi soundcard the 3D crystaliser enabled does help improve the quality of most the mp3 files I have at home.
<A88> 20th August 2007, 12:02 Quote
I rip at a high quality WMA, usually 320kbp/s, as it's the best quality and compression I can use knowing it'll work on whatever MP3 player I finally get round to purchasing (and no, it won't be an iPod).

<A88>
g3n3tiX 20th August 2007, 12:07 Quote
mp3, but I also listen to .sc68 Atari/Amiga music files, so it could be Obscure.

What about midi ? not in the poll ? ^^
<A88> 20th August 2007, 12:18 Quote
MIDI isn't really an audio compression standard- you can't (easily) rip music to MIDI, it's more for retaining individual track details for editing and listening to 80s-video-games-style-guitar-riffs.

edit:having read all your post, MIDI seems entirely appropriate ;)

<A88>
antiHero 20th August 2007, 13:07 Quote
Vinyl for me! Nothing better then that. And DJing is just better then with CD/MP3....

edit: Seems like I am the only one so far :)
<A88> 20th August 2007, 13:46 Quote
I've got a few vinyls, just nothing to play em on so far! I'm planning on getting a budgets seperates system at some point (around £600-700) which'll have a Pro-ject Debut to get some life out of em. I didn't actually notice the physical options on the list, so would have probably opted for CD; sure, it's not 1/2 as nice-sounding as vinyl, but I find it more practical on the whole, and seem to be buying music in bulk right now.

<A88>
riggs 20th August 2007, 14:11 Quote
MP3 @ =>192kbps
Krikkit 20th August 2007, 14:15 Quote
CD for everything uncompressed, OGG ~192k for compressed music, i.e. comp/i-river. :D

Can't beat the feeling of having a physical copy - sublime!
samkiller42 20th August 2007, 15:00 Quote
Have voted for good old .mp3:D

Sam
Nath 20th August 2007, 15:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
CD for everything uncompressed, OGG ~192k for compressed music, i.e. comp/i-river. :D

Can't beat the feeling of having a physical copy - sublime!
QFT. ;)
fathazza 20th August 2007, 15:46 Quote
no sense in not going lossless with hard drives so cheap at the moment.
so i use encode stuff to flac and mp3 when i get a new cd :)
ElThomsono 20th August 2007, 16:07 Quote
I'm lazy so mp3 for ease of compatibility, physical's nice and all that but it can't compete with a digital library of everything you own for casual listening.
severedhead 20th August 2007, 17:10 Quote
MP3. Works with everything.
alextwo 20th August 2007, 17:22 Quote
MP3 at a decent bit rate, or if it's something that deserves it then it's FLAC.
Smilodon 20th August 2007, 18:10 Quote
For music i usually use MP3, just because that's what's available. (My entire collection is MP3 (file based))

I prefer DTS on movies, though. (and voted this, because I'm special :P )

I also have a bunch of CD's, but physical media is just to much work to listen to. I have most of my CDs ripped to MP3. I just want to fire up Winamp, and have all my music just a few clicks away. (That sounds like an advertisement, doesn't it?)
yodasarmpit 20th August 2007, 18:17 Quote
mp3 at a decent bitrate, works with everything.
capnPedro 20th August 2007, 18:17 Quote
mp3. I can't tell the difference between an mp3 and a CD, so FLAC would just be a waste of space. (This may be because of my sound card/speakers/my ears - I'm not bashing lossless formats/audiophiles)

Also, mp3s are easier to get if downloading.
Amon 20th August 2007, 18:22 Quote
MP3 for sheer practicality. FLAC is far, far too overhyped to be implemented in a sensible manner. MP3 also supports in-file ID3 data. Ogg Vorbis was another good one from a few years ago.
Mister_Tad 20th August 2007, 18:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
FLAC is far, far too overhyped to be implemented in a sensible manner

What does that actually mean?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
MP3 also supports in-file ID3 data

are you saying that FLAC doesn't?
Firehed 20th August 2007, 18:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTT
MP3 due to the compatibility. It's going to be a long while before stuff doesn't play MP3 anymore.
Same. If my iPhone played FLAC I'd use it, but it doesn't. Big deal, I can't hear a difference anyways.
AFX 20th August 2007, 18:40 Quote
I just love my mini-disk player. Since i hate the sony software, most of my content is line-in dubbing.
Amon 20th August 2007, 18:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
What does that actually mean?
How many tracks would you fit on an 8GB portable audio player equipped with a FLAC decoder? Because, after all, the poll seems to suggest using the formats for portable listening everywhere (suitable for my lifestyle). It would also (possibly) necessitate equipment suitable for FLAC as well. You know, I'd love to bring around a 3.5-inch hard disk drive connected to receiver with monitor headphones everywhere I go...

Just not practical for me; it's outside of most listeners' financial and lifestyle boundaries to make sensible use of it.
Mister_Tad 20th August 2007, 18:52 Quote
I understand why FLAC isn't practical for portable music, but don't get what "overhyped" has to do with it

The thread states nothing specific to portable music, its simply asking in which format you prefer your music, whether it be portable, on your pc, hifi etc
Amon 20th August 2007, 18:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
I understand why FLAC isn't practical for portable music, but don't get what "overhyped" has to do with it
Not here specifically, but youngsters seem to think there's some sensational playback superiority to be had from FLAC, while they justify this loyalty with bargain-bin equipment. Alright, FLAC is lossless, but do most of these people know the difference? Or are they using FLAC "just because it's better".
Herbicide 20th August 2007, 18:57 Quote
MP3s at... *checks* 128k mostly, some VBR and other assorted bitrates.

- H.
RTT 20th August 2007, 18:59 Quote
What they're saying is that lossless formats aren't worth their hard disk space when put side by side with a "good quality" MP3 the MP3 is only marginally worse through their particular setup - I'm the same. I have FLAC stuff and accept that it is better but as I'm not listening through a completely pimped out system* i'm not hearing the benefit anyway.

I usually grab 320 CBR MP3 or at the very least 192 and both sound just fine. 128 however does sound absolutely abysmal by comparison.

*Envy24 HT-S -> Creek OBH21SE -> Senny HD495s. Missing a DAC :(
Mister_Tad 20th August 2007, 19:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
Alright, FLAC is lossless, but do most of these people know the difference? Or are they using FLAC "just because it's better".

I started ripping CDs to FLAC before I could tell the difference on it all simply because if CDs got nicked, for instance, I had lossless copies (this has come in handy!) I had the space, so may as well.

After I upgraded sound cards and speakers, theres a pretty clear difference between FLAC and ~200k VBR MP3 for the majority of music.

As for the HDD space argument - I don't get it
Space is so vastly cheap and in excess these days.
Amon 20th August 2007, 19:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
As for the HDD space argument - I don't get it
Space is so vastly cheap and in excess these days.
Portable audio players, if you missed my point earlier.
daguuy 20th August 2007, 21:37 Quote
MP3 because it's so compatible and I don't want to take out a CD and put in another one if I want to listen to a different album. I don't like compression, but higher bit rates sounds just fine.
wafflesomd 20th August 2007, 21:39 Quote
Mp3's.

There's really no reason for the other formats.

Lossless is nice, but chances are ppl's audio systems aren't all that great anyways. That, or they play the music in cars (ew).
Naked_Dave 21st August 2007, 16:18 Quote
Flac, because my vinyl system is broken!
Da_Rude_Baboon 21st August 2007, 16:40 Quote
Purchased CD Ripped to flac for archiving purposes, converted to VBR mp3 for use on the iPod that i use when out and about or converted to apple lossless to use on the iPod which is permanently connected to my iTube valve amplifier.

Flac is great for keeping a backup of your music but as most people have mentioned the discernible difference in quality over mp3 is not that great on most portable players to justify the extra space it takes up imo.
TNash 21st August 2007, 16:43 Quote
I go with AAC, but I keep all my physical (CD) copies of music.
rewind 21st August 2007, 16:45 Quote
MP3 for me, I do most of my music listening in my car and my CD/MP3 car sterio only plays MP3's or WMAv8... so it's MP3 all the way for compatability.

I do try and record at 192Kbps or above but find 128 OK for some music.
dragontail 21st August 2007, 17:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by riggs
MP3 @ =>192kbps
aggies11 21st August 2007, 17:05 Quote
Compatibility is key. I like OGG, I want to go OGG, I even have a Vorbis player (Rio Karma). However my next player might not be Vorbis compatible, and I can't take the risk. MP3 is here to stay, so I stick with it for compatibility. Lame alt-preset-standard (190-220kpbs).

Aggies
_DTM2000_ 21st August 2007, 17:10 Quote
CD's for music for me. I don't like using MP3's or other compressed formats unless I can't find an alternative or the quality doesn't really matter. MP3's just sound flat, lifeless and boring to me. I never really got into the whole DVD-A and SACD thing but if I have the choice of DTS on a new DVD, I always choose it as it generally sounds better than the Dolby equivalent.

I do listen to some MP3's at work on my headphones, but they are mostly 320kbps ones that I ripped of my own CD's. I can put up with that for a couple of hours but then I start to miss being able to feel the bass and all the other benefits you get from listening to a decent Hi-Fi and I have to switch off.
teamtd11 21st August 2007, 17:22 Quote
I now rip my cd's in FLAC and a MP3 copy for my MP3 player :p
Awoken 21st August 2007, 17:25 Quote
I buy music on CD and rip @192Kbps to mp3 (for its excellent compatibility)
Sp! 21st August 2007, 17:30 Quote
I voted FLAC because it's lossless and the tag information is all included, I'm not really worried about space as I also have the my entire 250GB+ FLAC music collection transcoded into MP3 for my mp3 player in the car. Honestly I don't think I can tell the difference between FLAC and 192kbps MP3 with my current setup but I really don;t want to have to re ripp my entire CD collection one day when I decide I could so FLAC seamed a good choice as a batch transcode to any other fromat that I may decide is the best thing in the futre should be a simple task and just take a few hours of CPU time to do.
Bonze 21st August 2007, 17:32 Quote
FLAC stored on a QNAP and played back via Squeezebox(en) - nice! :D
Drexial 21st August 2007, 17:34 Quote
I use vinyl for everything that really has depth to it, and a few artists that just deserve the extra sound quality. But MP3 at 128-160 for everything else the CDs just sit around after ripping them. I'm too random with my music to not rip them, cause I would constantly be reaching back and forth for CDs. 128 suits my needs for most bands, there are a few that have some extra depth that i use 160 for, if its just the standard 4 piece band, the MP3 is fine.
Rich_13 21st August 2007, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
I rip at a high quality WMA, usually 320kbp/s, as it's the best quality and compression I can use knowing it'll work on whatever MP3 player I finally get round to purchasing (and no, it won't be an iPod).

<A88>

well said, wma got my vote to.

Yes it adds 10mins to my linux set up times to get them running but I prefer them over mp3
ChiperSoft 21st August 2007, 17:42 Quote
I <3 DTS, but given the lack of portability and that you have to have a 5.1 setup to actually enjoy it, I voted for MP3.
Delphium 21st August 2007, 17:46 Quote
Gotta be MP3 simply due to compatability, but flac/ogg/ac3 for performance.
knuck 21st August 2007, 18:03 Quote
mp3 because i'll probably never have the courage to convert thousands of files and not gain quality...
Henk 21st August 2007, 18:10 Quote
Flac when available, because mp3 just doesn't keep the lower frequencies = bass does quite often suck, although the x-fi crystalizer helps a bit ;)
topher 21st August 2007, 18:21 Quote
MP3
KoenVdd 21st August 2007, 18:21 Quote
Below 128kbps I'd go for ogg vorbis or AAC (especially HE-AAC), since they have much better spectral range there (up to 15 kHz, even at 64kbps, and nearly no metallic warbling, at least not with vorbis (recently did a ABX test with foobar2000)), if you listen closely you can spot the artifacts, but it is perfect for background music. MP3 or WMA don't come anywhere near close at these bitrates.
The only problem is that my mp3-player only accepts mp3 and wma. I did install this:
http://www.cole2k.net/
then windows media player can play almost anything (tho M$ still thinks it knows best as it doesn't want to put WMP in the open with section for ogg files (bleeping dickwads)).
Above 128kbps, most formats will do.
I mainly listen to Metal (Dream Theater, Machine Head ) and here it seems vorbis performs really well (at lo bitrates it causes noisy distortion, but that doesn't show that much, but I think it would do a lot worse on symphonic music).

PS: ogg is only the container format, vorbis is the codec (if you want to correct)
Joeymac 21st August 2007, 18:23 Quote
If I buy music it's a CD.. I've dabbled in itunes but really I'm not even going to consider it properly till it's all lossless and DRM free...
The CD will get tossed onto the shelf after being ripped in Apple lossless. If I want to use the music on some other device I'll run off some AAC versions (my phone and every device seems to play mp4 fine - AAC is not just Apple's people).. most of the time I will burn off a compilation CD for the car.
RTT 21st August 2007, 18:39 Quote
Just did a bit of a test... the only discernible difference to my ears between a 192kbit (VBR) LAME MP3 and a CD is the extreme high frequencies which MP3 compression hacks of the top of the waveform. The only effect this has is the CD feels a bit more airy and less enclosed than the MP3.
Techno-Dann 21st August 2007, 18:42 Quote
256 kb/sec MP3. Works with everything, while still sounding not half bad.
completemadness 21st August 2007, 18:50 Quote
high VBR MP3 compressed with LAME and ripped with EAC

cant beat it tbh :p (in terms of space and quality, its hardly any worse then a CD tbh)
devdevil85 21st August 2007, 18:50 Quote
I use WMA because it's compatible with everything I own, it's half the size of an MP3 at the same bitrate, and it sounds the same as that comparable MP3 (to me atleast)....and btw I am using a Digital Coax connection with a Sony 5.1 Surround Sound setup, so it's not a cheap stereo system either that I'm playing these on....

I mean don't get me wrong, MP3 (when it comes down to the #'s) offers more data, but it's hard to notice it and when it comes to having a 13,000 song list, I want it all to fit on my 40GB Zen and being MP3s they most definitely wouldn't at 128kbps, but WMA does, so that's what I use.....
OleJ 21st August 2007, 19:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
high VBR MP3 compressed with LAME and ripped with EAC

Yup! Teh best!
Exact Audio Copy (EAC) and LAME (With "--alt preset -extreme" (which gives a vbr mp3 done best)

The difference between CD and MP3 is hardly discernable. As mentioned in another cd-mp3 comparison in this thread the real difference is the really high frequency reverberation which is downplayed, making the music lose a little of that "airy" feeling.
pendragon 21st August 2007, 19:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
high VBR MP3 compressed with LAME and ripped with EAC

cant beat it tbh :p (in terms of space and quality, its hardly any worse then a CD tbh)

I use this too.;)
mikeuk2004 21st August 2007, 19:32 Quote
Voted MP3, but its either that or wma as most things I own and portable players work with both.
zoom314 21st August 2007, 19:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by K
I voted for CD, since if someone offered me the choice between a physical copy or a download I'm gonna go with the physical one. But really I've only bought like two CDs this year yet I've obtained many many albums. It's terrible, but hey, I have about 700 CDs at my parent's place collecting dust.

I'm not too fussed about all this lossless stuff though. I don't like low bit-rate MP3s but anything 192 and above sounds just fine to me. Even 128's ok sometimes. Beggars can't be choosers and all that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
MP3 because I'm lazy. too lazy to recode every thing to ogg or flac.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Amen to that.

I voted for MP3 too, But I burned a bunch of MP3's to CD awhile back and It's in My Mustang and I hardly ever listen to the Radio anymore(Shaker 1000w audio system). ;)
Aankhen 21st August 2007, 19:50 Quote
Where's WavPack? :)
The_Pope 21st August 2007, 19:55 Quote
Damn - I didn't read the whole list and already voted MP3 :(

Actually, truthfully, the question is "What is your preferred audio format" - which really means "what do you use most" right? Then MP3 is accurate. But of course, DTS > * :P
wharrad 21st August 2007, 20:12 Quote
CDs for real music enjoyment on the hi-fi.

Mp3's at 128 for the iPod in the car (can't see the sense in higher bitrates for portables, usually have an engine running or walking along the street with other noises).


One day I'll be bothered to sit down and rip a lossless copy of all the CDs as backups (It's a good idea), but the thought of the hours involved scares me (and the laser on the CD drive!).
supermonkey 21st August 2007, 20:21 Quote
I like having CDs that I can pop into my stereo. When I do rip them, I use MP3 because it's a pretty universal format. I don't own anything expensive enough to benefit from enhanced quality or lossless formats, so MP3 works just fine for my needs.

-monkey
bort 21st August 2007, 21:24 Quote
mp3 - simply because it can go from pc, to flash drive, to car stereo, to mp3 player #1, and mp3 player #2 without problem and it plays everywhere without a codec

some formats would simply not work where I work because we aren't allowed to do anything to our pc's
proxess 21st August 2007, 21:32 Quote
MP3 and AAC normally, OGG for the nice stuff!
Hypno 21st August 2007, 21:35 Quote
MP3 for compatibility but in the car i have to say CD.
Anakha 21st August 2007, 21:56 Quote
MP3 HQ VBR Rox my box's sox.
MaximumShow 21st August 2007, 22:25 Quote
Flac all the way. Lossless also give you the ability to encode to any other format, without transcoding, giving you the ultimate in compatibility.

On a good setup it would be a waste to use anything other than a lossless source.
Andy Mc 21st August 2007, 23:17 Quote
I much prefer to have my music on a physical medium and I'm not fused if it's CD or vinyl. If I have to have it digitally then I would ideally like FLAC or OGG, but 9 times out of 10 I settle for MP3 as that is all there is.......or that is supported.
DriftCarl 22nd August 2007, 00:01 Quote
I usually listen to www.di.fm and click on their AAC+ streams. I really am not fussed about the difference in quality from MP3/AAC/CD. when I am listening to music in the background while doing other things I dont even notice any sound quality difference.
Kipman725 22nd August 2007, 00:23 Quote
.WAV for lower cpu power needed to decode as I sometimes like to listen to music on very old computers. Also my music collection I intend to still be in use in 50 years time and WAV is a very simple format that is far older than any of the other pc media formats on here. It's also losses and can be transcoded (is that the right word) into any other format for mp3 players easily.
ozstrike 22nd August 2007, 00:32 Quote
I put mp3 for compatability.
However, I rip my CDs into FLAC for storage, and then convert to mp3 for my mp3 player. Most of my music is still in mp3 though.
z3rb 22nd August 2007, 01:09 Quote
320K MP3 for me.
Duste 22nd August 2007, 01:24 Quote
MP3, but I'm tempted to try out FLAC.
Icy EyeG 22nd August 2007, 02:14 Quote
I voted mp3, because I'm too lazy to use other formats.

Slightly off-topic:
  • It's funny to notice that people talk about vinyl and CD, but not about tapes (I remember when I had to record/buy everything in tapes if I wanted to listen to music on the go).
  • Maybe you should add DAT (Digital Audio Tape) to the poll (or merge it into the tape section).
  • DVD-Audio is too expensive and SACD, apart from expensive, is a totally closed technology, and this sucks (you can't make homebrew SACDs).
stephen2002 22nd August 2007, 02:55 Quote
I picked other. I use whatever my streaming service of the day happens to be using. I have very little music stored on my computer and I only use it when I can't get the net and I still really want some music.
notatoad 22nd August 2007, 04:15 Quote
if i actually buy a cd, i rip it to flac. might as well have a lossless copy, and my DAP can handle it. but really, i don't notice any difference between 256kbps mp3, 256kbps ogg, and flac.
evox 22nd August 2007, 04:36 Quote
80% is in mp3 (192k-320k) remaining is FLAC. the only complain I have with flac (.wav) is that, you can't store ID3 tags and album art. but the audio quality justifies it I guess :)
Bluephoenix 22nd August 2007, 06:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramble
FLAC, simply because it sounds the best and is open.
Most of my library is mp3/ogg however since a lot of stuff was found as mp3 and so converting it to ogg or flac without some highyer quality source available would be pointless.
.

too right
whypick1 22nd August 2007, 06:26 Quote
Everything I rip: FLAC (lossless because I have the space, and I can transcode to other formats without a quality loss)
Stuff I get from compressed sources: OGG (I like how it sounds more than MP3)
Some stuff I've been keeping around forever: MP3 (back when there was only MP3)
Backup on my multimedia hard drive: OGG (thankfully my hard drive can playback a lot of formats)
Stuff on my thumb drive attached to my head unit: AAC (because I don't feel like paying $20 for Winamp so that I can get the MP3 encoder)
Risky 22nd August 2007, 09:46 Quote
I ripped to MP3 at the early stage but then move to OGG once we got the Cowon (iAudio) players. Also good for Squeezbox

However the new car cam with the AMI inteface for the evil iPod so I've kept the old library and converted the OGG to MP£ for that. Currently in a retagging nightmare.

If I was starting over I'd rip the CDs to FLAC, but there would be gaps where some have been lost. I don't buy downloads. Physical CDs are far better value.
[USRF]Obiwan 22nd August 2007, 10:26 Quote
I would say vinyl, but the only reason for that. Is all my own made music is pressed on that format. :D

I wish i could multivote on different formats:
MP3 for compatibilty
DTS for kewl suround sound
Vinyl for nostalgia

etc
completemadness 22nd August 2007, 22:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Risky
Also good for Squeezbox
squeezebox is very nice (or the transporter if you really want the best)

its good to have 500gb music at your fingertips :) and if you use a Nokia N800 as a remote, you really cant beat it
wafflesomd 22nd August 2007, 23:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG


It's funny to notice that people talk about vinyl and CD, but not about tapes (I remember when I had to record/buy everything in tapes if I wanted to listen to music on the go).

That's because (cassette tapes right?) they sucked lol.

I found a cassette tape the other day, guess what was on it.

Hidden: Hanson
Harrybo 23rd August 2007, 00:53 Quote
MP3 like you said, compatible with everything!!!!
evanbraakensiek 23rd August 2007, 06:30 Quote
CDs for pure fullness of sound are the way to go, although I've never tried vinyl so wouldn't be able to compare. Usually if I have bought a CD, would convert it to 512kb ogg vorbis (or at least 300kb). Those with bitrate / space requirements, ogg vorbis really is a lot better than aac, mp3, wma etc at the lower end of the scale (comparatively), and I would choose a 64kb ogg over a 128kb mp3 any day. It's a better choice at the higher end of the scale purely because it compresses better.

Media Monkey - Ogg Vorbis - Creative X-Fi Xmod

Those who said they couldn't tell the difference between low bitrate mp3s (128kb eg) and the higher bit rate Ogg and FLAC music, try turning the volume up and hearing it distort and crucify any music with bass (of course this is subjective and depends on your headphones/earphones).
completemadness 23rd August 2007, 23:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by evanbraakensiek
..... depends on your headphones/earphones
well theres your problem, a set of headphones will never sound as good as a proper amp, with proper speakers, where you can really tell the difference
Plus a decent set of cans is like £150 or somthing crazy like that
wafflesomd 23rd August 2007, 23:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
well theres your problem, a set of headphones will never sound as good as a proper amp, with proper speakers, where you can really tell the difference
Plus a decent set of cans is like £150 or somthing crazy like that

After that post, all creditable knowledge on audio has been thrown out the door.
completemadness 24th August 2007, 01:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
After that post, all creditable knowledge on audio has been thrown out the door.
I was going to argue this, and go across the web and scourer lots of sources to back up my comments, But honestly, i cant be bothered, if you think headphones sound anywhere near as good as a real Hi-Fi setup, your the one without any decent knowledge of audio

I'm very fortunate to have listened to a decent selection of high end Hi-Fi (things like this) and although I'm definitely no audiophile, i can definitely hear some of the differences in this high end equipment
And i can tell you, even the very nice (and rather expensive) set of headphones my dad has, do not compare to a decent Hi-Fi setup, and if you really like your audio, you would listen to it on a full setup, and not through a set of headphones
wafflesomd 24th August 2007, 02:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
I was going to argue this, and go across the web and scourer lots of sources to back up my comments, But honestly, i cant be bothered, if you think headphones sound anywhere near as good as a real Hi-Fi setup, your the one without any decent knowledge of audio

I'm very fortunate to have listened to a decent selection of high end Hi-Fi (things like this) and although I'm definitely no audiophile, i can definitely hear some of the differences in this high end equipment
And i can tell you, even the very nice (and rather expensive) set of headphones my dad has, do not compare to a decent Hi-Fi setup, and if you really like your audio, you would listen to it on a full setup, and not through a set of headphones

I was more going for the whole, a decent set of cans cost $150.

I would not compare headphones to speakers. I only ever use headphones for portable usage (MDR-CD900ST), which are far below the price you named, and are the most neutral cans you will find.

I find it funny that you chose to link me to some old ancient and obsolete tube amp to showoff your high end gear prowess.

You probably should have factored in some other key components. The listening room, and the source. What's the point of having some nice speaker and amp, if the source sucks?

Anyways, you can get amazing cans for under $100 :) (AKG 501, if you can find them)
completemadness 24th August 2007, 03:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
I was more going for the whole, a decent set of cans cost $150.
i said £150 but that's probably $150 anyway
Your post was very condescending, and quite frankly rude, and doesn't actually add much to the thread

If you want to prove me wrong, go ahead, but make a decent, and complete point
Quote:
I would not compare headphones to speakers. I only ever use headphones for portable usage (MDR-CD900ST), which are far below the price you named, and are the most neutral cans you will find.
I'm not sure on the actual definition of cans, i thought that cans were the in-ear variety (and their called cans because they look like them)
However this is somewhat a grey area, and finding a definitive definition is probably rather hard
Quote:
I find it funny that you chose to link me to some old ancient and obsolete tube amp to showoff your high end gear prowess.
Firstly, they aren't tube amps, secondly, they aren't obsolete, thirdly, they aren't ancient, finally, i never said they were mine
I also find it rather amusing you just bashed a $5.5k amplifier, which you didn't even read about
Quote:
You probably should have factored in some other key components. The listening room, and the source. What's the point of having some nice speaker and amp, if the source sucks?
There are many many factors, and ofc, GIGO dictates a rubbish source will lead you to a rubbish output, but even if you feed gold dust into a set of garbage, you end up with garbage
Quote:
Anyways, you can get amazing cans for under $100 :) (AKG 501, if you can find them)
The original retail price of the AKG 501's was apparently £170, although its less now

And even then, I'm not convinced that either of the headphones you linked are true audiophile grade pieces of equipment, however, i haven't listened to them, and i don't even know if Ive listened to the best (or what is the best) hell I'm not even sure what the cans i listened to were, i just know they were reckoned to be very good, and their very pricey

Audiophile grade hi-fi is a very difficult area, and really, without listening to it yourself, its hard to judge, the best you can go on besides that is a reviewer you agree with

But my final point, and if we get back on topic
If you are judging your music format through a set of headphones, you are screwing up your source by your listening devices
A great set of headphones will still never beat a good set-up with good speakers, a good amp, a good preamp and a good source (and good cables and a good power source, but we really are getting a bit off here)
the best source is probably vinyl because it hasn't been digitised, however, sound is a personal thing, and some people prefer CD sound to vinyl sound

so i now have to ask you the question wafflesomd, if you believe you are such a prodigy in things related to audio, what setup do you actually have

And just to press on my point that audio is a personal thing, if you buy from a decent vendor (assuming you are buying retail this is, and even a lot of second hand sellers will do the same) in the hi-fi world, you will be allowed to trial the equipment at home for a week before you actually decide you want to buy it

Just to make the point absolutely clear, once more, i am not, and do not claim to be an audiophile, i did however make the point i have been very fortunate to listen to some extremely high end setups, things that cost like $100,000 maybe even more
wafflesomd 24th August 2007, 05:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
Alot of stuff.

1. Yah, I read what you posted wrong.

2. The AKG's can be found for $100 or less these days, and the Sony MDR-V6's are still amazing for the price, at meager $70.

3. What I own, my mains were DIY's, designed using WinISD and use Seas Excel drivers. I cross them with Behringer electronic crossovers. the signal is then sent to audiosource monoblocks.

4. Reading the entire review wouldn't do anything for me. The entire review is subjective to what the reviewers ears heard. I just assumed since the review stated in bolod blue letters "Tube Power Amp" that it was a tube amp. And yes, tube amps are old and obsolete. Heat, low output but very high impedence. They are much larger than any solid state amplification item. They require tons of power, most of the time being very dangerous levels of power, as well as the transformers for them are generally large and of course very heavy. So the amp is $5.5k? I guess that means its good huh Price is irrelevant.

5. I meant cans as in headphones in general.

6. "If you are judging your music format through a set of headphones, you are screwing up your source by your listening devices" - even though that doesn't make sense, I'll give you a chance to elaborate.

7. You were all good until you started talking about power and cables affecting sound. Power should never be an issue. If you live in a house, chances are your power is fine. No conditioners or harvesters is needed. Anyone who claims that cables affect the sound, never actually support the claim with any creditable data. The only thing they go by is subjective results. I have never seen anyone who claims cables affect sound, support their theory with graphs or any other sort of data.
Mister_Tad 24th August 2007, 11:58 Quote
put the handbags down before someone gets hurt
completemadness 24th August 2007, 18:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
4. Reading the entire review wouldn't do anything for me. The entire review is subjective to what the reviewers ears heard. I just assumed since the review stated in bolod blue letters "Tube Power Amp" that it was a tube amp. And yes, tube amps are old and obsolete. Heat, low output but very high impedence. They are much larger than any solid state amplification item. They require tons of power, most of the time being very dangerous levels of power, as well as the transformers for them are generally large and of course very heavy. So the amp is $5.5k? I guess that means its good huh Price is irrelevant.
Aren't all reviews subjective though, i guess it really depends if you agree with the reviewer
Nu-Vista's are basically transistors that were made for the military, the military didn't use them in the end and Musical Fidelity bought all of them, they then made a few things with them
There are only 500 of these amps, and they are generally reckoned to be very good for the price

[quote]6. "If you are judging your music format through a set of headphones, you are screwing up your source by your listening devices" - even though that doesn't make sense, I'll give you a chance to elaborate.[quote]
If you are judging your music format (ie, mp3, cd, ogg) through headphones, you are already losing a lot of the "quality" by not using a decent setup
Ofc you will be able to tell the difference between some 128kb/s mp3 and a 320 VBR one, but i think you will find that you will hear the best comparison with a good setup
However, this is really just personal taste, and with all audio, rather subjective
Quote:
7. You were all good until you started talking about power and cables affecting sound. Power should never be an issue.
Actually, i think it does make a difference, if you have listened to the noise on a mains supply, you will know what I'm talking about
Those filter things you can plug into the wall sockets make a difference, and there is (IMO) a tiny difference in the sound the amps make, but a lot of audiophiles (who can probably hear the differences better then me) will say it makes a big difference
Quote:
Anyone who claims that cables affect the sound, never actually support the claim with any creditable data. The only thing they go by is subjective results. I have never seen anyone who claims cables affect sound, support their theory with graphs or any other sort of data.
But with audio, is it not the subjective data that really counts, you could look at a thousand graphs, but if you really care about your sound, and you think lead X sounds better then lead Y - you will buy lead X

I cant hear a great difference with audio cables, but video cables make a big difference (even with digital), and you can really see the difference

P.S. be careful to whom you bash tube amps , cables, and anything else audio wise
Some people take this very much to heart (like a lot of the people here take computers to heart) and saying that they are wrong, or stupid, because they listen to older, or different technology, could easily get you in a lot of trouble

1 last note on tube amps, some people like the sound they make, and like we sit here with our 8800GTX's wasting away hundreds of watts of power, why cant they use valves if they think that is better for their audio
Mister_Tad 24th August 2007, 18:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
put the handbags down before someone gets hurt

That was directed at you too btw

Carry on your argument over PM if you must, you two have managed to take the thread completely off topic
boiled_elephant 24th August 2007, 18:37 Quote
Allow me to get it back on-topic, because this is an interesting topic.

I prefer mp3, but I don't mash it down to horrible levels - variable bitrate, 240-320. It's CD quality, but every mp3 player will still swallow it, unlike OGG (which is better, but still a bit convoluted to use).
Amon 24th August 2007, 18:42 Quote
Regarding the defense of FLAC by using the format as a CD backup, why not write a CD image? Not only do you keep the original tracks, the mixing of song transitions aren't lost in translation either for specialty albums.

And while I post here, does anyone listen to the Café del Mar albums?
Mister_Tad 24th August 2007, 18:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
Regarding the defense of FLAC by using the format as a CD backup, why not write a CD image? Not only do you keep the original tracks, the mixing of song transitions aren't lost in translation either for specialty albums.

EAC has provisions for creating cue sheets with the proper gaps and all that jazz

You can rip to flac and re-record for an identical copy ;)
The_Beast 24th August 2007, 19:07 Quote
Mp3 for me
wafflesomd 24th August 2007, 19:38 Quote
[quote]6. "If you are judging your music format through a set of headphones, you are screwing up your source by your listening devices" - even though that doesn't make sense, I'll give you a chance to elaborate.
Quote:

If you are judging your music format (ie, mp3, cd, ogg) through headphones, you are already losing a lot of the "quality" by not using a decent setup
Ofc you will be able to tell the difference between some 128kb/s mp3 and a 320 VBR one, but i think you will find that you will hear the best comparison with a good setup
However, this is really just personal taste, and with all audio, rather subjective


Actually, i think it does make a difference, if you have listened to the noise on a mains supply, you will know what I'm talking about
Those filter things you can plug into the wall sockets make a difference, and there is (IMO) a tiny difference in the sound the amps make, but a lot of audiophiles (who can probably hear the differences better then me) will say it makes a big difference


But with audio, is it not the subjective data that really counts, you could look at a thousand graphs, but if you really care about your sound, and you think lead X sounds better then lead Y - you will buy lead X

I cant hear a great difference with audio cables, but video cables make a big difference (even with digital), and you can really see the difference

P.S. be careful to whom you bash tube amps , cables, and anything else audio wise
Some people take this very much to heart (like a lot of the people here take computers to heart) and saying that they are wrong, or stupid, because they listen to older, or different technology, could easily get you in a lot of trouble

1 last note on tube amps, some people like the sound they make, and like we sit here with our 8800GTX's wasting away hundreds of watts of power, why cant they use valves if they think that is better for their audio

1. No, not all reviews are subjective. They are subjective to an extent. Some reviewers actually provide creditable data in their reviews.

2. "If you are judging your music format (ie, mp3, cd, ogg) through headphones, you are already losing a lot of the "quality" by not using a decent setup
Ofc you will be able to tell the difference between some 128kb/s mp3 and a 320 VBR one, but i think you will find that you will hear the best comparison with a good setup
However, this is really just personal taste, and with all audio, rather subjective"

So you immediatley assume that all headphone setups are inadequate for music, and that all headphones lose quality, simply because they are headphones?

Yah, no comment...

3. Sure, you claim to hear the difference in sound from cables, but where is your proof? Hmmm? I see no proof yet. Oh that's right, because there isn't any proof.

4. Thank you for advising me not to have an opinion.
Amon 24th August 2007, 21:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
EAC has provisions for creating cue sheets with the proper gaps and all that jazz

You can rip to flac and re-record for an identical copy ;)
Ah, I see. Thanks for the enlightenment.:)
Mister_Tad 24th August 2007, 21:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
rubbish

for god's sake man, you're done, finished, no more, finito

this is not the place, start another thread if you want to carry on arguing
any further off-topic rambling and I'm going to get angry, and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

PM each other if you just need to get the last word, but NOT here
wafflesomd 24th August 2007, 21:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
for god's sake man, you're done, finished, no more, finito

this is not the place, start another thread if you want to carry on arguing
any further off-topic rambling and I'm going to get angry, and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

PM each other if you just need to get the last word, but NOT here

Do you turn into the Hulk? Or the likeness of the Hulk?
Amon 24th August 2007, 21:24 Quote
http://www.marvel.com/comics/onsale/covers/0704/HULK074.jpg

Mister Tad had a bad day on the forums. But it all started with a bad day on the links.
Mister_Tad 24th August 2007, 21:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
Do you turn into the Hulk? Or the likeness of the Hulk?

I do, and then I get even more angry because its really difficult to operate a mouse and dish out suspensions with giant hands and fingers

seriously though, back on topic
create a "headphones vs speakers" thread if you must

and in the spirit of back-on-topic-ness

does anyone use FLAC or another lossless codec for portable players?
wafflesomd 24th August 2007, 22:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
I do, and then I get even more angry because its really difficult to operate a mouse and dish out suspensions with giant hands and fingers

seriously though, back on topic
create a "headphones vs speakers" thread if you must

and in the spirit of back-on-topic-ness

does anyone use FLAC or another lossless codec for portable players?

I do.

One problem some might have is lack of support for lossless codecs though.

Everyone should try Rockbox. www.rockbox.org
Mister_Tad 24th August 2007, 22:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
Everyone should try Rockbox. www.rockbox.org

Definitely will be picking that up when I get around to getting a new player, doesn't run on mine at the moment
completemadness 24th August 2007, 22:52 Quote
on the EAC with Lame alt-preset-extreme or whatever

is it the Lame bit that really makes the difference - or is it EAC ?

i like the "uber" standard
http://www.chrismyden.com/bestmp3guide.php
its a bit of work, but getting tags and good rips really does help in the future, especially when your library is like 5k songs
Ramble 24th August 2007, 23:08 Quote
Forgot to mention on my minidisc player ATRAC is the way to go!
Can't notice the quality difference since I'm using such awful headphones for that.
M3G4 24th August 2007, 23:50 Quote
Depends on what I'm doing. Watching a movie, DTS rules over Dolby Digital - the sound is more open, more defined and a hell of a lot more exciting. It gives that spine chilling feeling that good sounds should.

For music it's CD. I prefer to get the album art and such... to me, that's half of the album - and I haven't yet got a DAC for my iMac. Though to be fair it's more 50/50 - m4a if I'm too lazy to stick a CD in, otherwise it's CD.
Amon 24th August 2007, 23:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramble
Forgot to mention on my minidisc player ATRAC is the way to go!
Can't notice the quality difference since I'm using such awful headphones for that.
Yes! Another NetMD owner. I had one a few years ago. Sound quality wasn't noticeably different from a standard 160kbps MP3, while ATRAC3 was really a 136kbps compression. I avoided ATRAC3 Plus, which was a highly compressed 64kbps bitrate since the quality difference was noticeable--but not hearing-impairingly bad. ATRAC3 Plus is useful for, in an example, Sony's 512MB MP3 players that couldn't fit that many tracks.

Did you notice that the NetMD was a bit noisy when seeking? Very anti-climatic in a quiet room (read: classroom).:(
M3G4 25th August 2007, 13:02 Quote
Hehe I have a portable NetMD and a vanilla MDLP deck. Yeah, the noise is funny - little high pitched squeal between tracks! I prefer MD over casette. Once I've backed the casette stuff onto MD I'm going to put the tape deck in the loft!
ComputerKing 25th August 2007, 15:07 Quote
MP3 Ofcorse! Nice, clean, strong sound and small space ;) It's the best, and working on all thing in the world :D

Good luck.
Fophillips 25th August 2007, 15:29 Quote
Ogg vorbis ftw
<A88> 25th August 2007, 16:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Computerking


Good luck.
Thanks :D











:?

<A88>
boiled_elephant 26th August 2007, 17:27 Quote
What lossless codecs will go onto a Creative Labs player? I like the idea of lossless sound. Also, can anyone link the necessary software for CD ripping, provided it's free?

Tangent: how much audible difference is there between 320kb/s MP3 and lossless codecs?
Colonel Sanders 26th August 2007, 17:58 Quote
128Kbps Joint Stereo MP3s for me - I cant tell the difference between it and a CD on any of my stereos.

L J
RickDawson 26th August 2007, 18:34 Quote
Mp3, but only over 192k though, and an X-Fi to improve the quality (as my Mini ITX Hi-Fi has)
Fophillips 26th August 2007, 20:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by boiled_elephant
What lossless codecs will go onto a Creative Labs player? I like the idea of lossless sound. Also, can anyone link the necessary software for CD ripping, provided it's free?

Tangent: how much audible difference is there between 320kb/s MP3 and lossless codecs?

Lossless audio on a portable player is a waste of time, 320KB/s is more than enough.
walle 26th August 2007, 22:13 Quote
For me…

Vinyl for sound quality, CD’s for availability and ease of use. Mp3’s as a “necessary” "evil".
Ramble 26th August 2007, 22:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
Yes! Another NetMD owner. I had one a few years ago. Sound quality wasn't noticeably different from a standard 160kbps MP3, while ATRAC3 was really a 136kbps compression. I avoided ATRAC3 Plus, which was a highly compressed 64kbps bitrate since the quality difference was noticeable--but not hearing-impairingly bad. ATRAC3 Plus is useful for, in an example, Sony's 512MB MP3 players that couldn't fit that many tracks.

Did you notice that the NetMD was a bit noisy when seeking? Very anti-climatic in a quiet room (read: classroom).:(

Yea, I've noticed that quite a fair few times, silent while playing though. I don't find the quality too bad but using Sonicstage is enough horror. Shame, because the hardware is a nice bit of kit (like most Sony hardware). The thing has survived Iraw and a fair few operations (Kosovo, etc.) and it still works perfectly, it even looks new.
completemadness 27th August 2007, 00:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by boiled_elephant
What lossless codecs will go onto a Creative Labs player? I like the idea of lossless sound. Also, can anyone link the necessary software for CD ripping, provided it's free?

Tangent: how much audible difference is there between 320kb/s MP3 and lossless codecs?
http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/

i also suggest lame, and i did post the link to making "uberstandard" rips earlier
simosaurus 27th August 2007, 00:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
all FLAC here, after upgrading both my PC speakers and sound card many average bitrate MP3s became virtually unlistenable in comparison :/
may as well anyway, in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't take up all that much space

does that mean your sound card is 96khz/24 bit output? or higher?
Spaceraver 4th September 2007, 01:08 Quote
Long live the 320 VBR Mp3.
That's how I started and that is what most stuff plays without hiccups.
unrealhippie 4th September 2007, 11:46 Quote
Generally I try for 320 VBR Mp3 always, and sometimes FLAC. Mp3 is just so handy though, no conversion to put it onto my walkman and it will play on anything!
Atomic 4th September 2007, 13:13 Quote
mp3, works on whatever mp3 player I've got at the time :)

I prefer CD (or vinyl if it's an old album) if im near my hifi though.
GuardianStorm 4th September 2007, 14:39 Quote
MP3, 192 or better...usually 320 or Variable

and CD's in the Hi-Fi
Mister_Tad 4th September 2007, 15:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by simosaurus
does that mean your sound card is 96khz/24 bit output? or higher?

my sound card outputs the music, if its 16/44, then its 16/44 output, its its 24/96 or 24/192, then it sends that out.
Commodore 64 21st January 2008, 19:24 Quote
my favorite is FLAC, but i like MP3 too, but for me better is flac because i love good quality.
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