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Thread: Blind Tests Reveal that Apple's iPhone Preferred Over Neil Young's PonoPlayer for Music

  1. #21
    Super Moderator Zokunei's Avatar
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    I'm just hoping that HP's promise of having technology that will allow 100 TB of memory on a smartphone within a few years is true so that there's no reason for lossy files of anything to exist anymore. Right now offering even CD quality for a 16 GB phone would be kind of ridiculous.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by mrrom92 View Post
    As an audio engineer myself I've directly done comparisons on many occasions in studio. Between all sorts of formats both digital and analog. Original master tape, lacquer, pressed record, dsd, 32 bit float, 16 bit, 44.1, 48, 96, 192. You name it. There is certainly something lost at lower resolutions. Not a lot, and by all means 16/44 is adequate for most people. But then again, so are mp3s re-transcoded 7 times from YouTube. But it's there. If people are willing to pay for the ultimate in performance, then I don't see the problem with it. The problem is that people do not understand it, and also do not have the hardware to compare for themself, or even the trained ear to know what to listen for. I can't say I like the Pono approach but I'm glad that it's putting this in the public's eye.


    As we can both agree, the increase in performance is based in scientific fact, and indesputable math. There is no audio voodoo involved, no mystical shakti stones or magical cables, etc. In an age where less and less people are spending money on music at all, if the people who want even the slightest increase in performance want to pay a little more for it, that's not a bad thing. $20 for a high quality album is not at all an exorbitant amount. FLAC compression is very powerful, decoding is not processor intensive, and storage space is cheaper than ever. We're finally getting what digital promised 30 years ago - *THE* sound as heard in the studio. There's no reason to get lower quality files in this day and age. Whether or not our gear is capable of resolving that, or our ears can discern it, I'd rather live in a world where we all have the option to have the music we enjoy in higher quality, rather than one where lossy files are all that are available. Good on Hdtracks and Pono for taking the first steps in making this available. I personally can't wait to see when Apple will jump on the bandwagon too, and begin offering their audio in hi-rez. They've already begun accepting masters from labels in 24/96, it can't be long now. The pricing and the backlash will probably be much smaller - all it takes is apple for everyone to fall in love with an idea, apparently.
    As I've already said, I have no issues with 24-bit for mixing or mastering. (As you'll know, most studios are now moving to 32-bit float, so 24/192 is already behind the times.) Of course, one can add two signals with very different RMS gain levels and 24-bit will help avoid clipping or the need for equalization. I understand that. I am also not talking about mp3. We all understand mp3 is lossy. My specific question was - can you hear the difference between the exact same (flac, lossless) master at 16/44 vs 24/192? We both already know the answer to that. There is no scientific paper that has ever stood up to peer review that says any human being on earth can hear such a difference, no matter how well-trained their ears, or how expensive their equipment. But the 24/192 file is mathematically superior?! Yes it is. But let me give you a hypothetical... Your child (who does yet fully understand DSP) goes out tomorrow and spends their entire $30 monthly allowance on Justin Bieber's new album in 32/384. They're dissappointed when they get home, because it filled up the entire drive on their digital music player and it doesn't sound any different from the 24/192 copy you bought for $20 the day before. Not to worry, you tell them - the Fourier reconstruction IS mathematically superior and knowing that will help you "feel" the emotion in the music the ways Biebs intended. Are you happy your child made that purchasing decision? Are you happy with the merchant who promised them the 32/384 version would sound "amazingly" better? And if so, where does it stop? Would you be happy with me pushing a $40 version on your child at 48/512 the following day? Or a $50 version at 96/1024 the day after? At a properly-mastered 16/44 we are already at the point of, not just diminished returns, but NO more returns.

    While I respect your right to purchase music at whatever bit depth and sampling rate you want, a civil society also has a duty to protect the weak and the vulnerable - and even the ignorant - from charlatans and fraudsters, whether individual or corporation. That's why people like Kevin Trudeau are (rightfully) sitting behind bars now. I've no problem with anybody buying a pono player or 24/192 downloads, as long as they realize they're getting nothing for it but the satisfaction of knowing they have a mathematically superior signal that their ears will never be able to appreciate.
    Last edited by csglinux; 2015-02-09 at 10:32 PM.

  3. #23
    As an audiophile, I also only buy Monster Cable brand HDMI cables at $175/pop because I read on a blog they're made from Unicorns.

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