Lossless Schmossless?

As a follow up on yesterday’s post about the 256 vs 128 kbps debate, here’s a little challenge for you. Can you tell the difference? Haven’t had a chance to listen myself, but by all means: do tell us your result!

14 Responses to “Lossless Schmossless?”

  1. Duncan says:

    Doh!
    This file is currently inaccessible. Contact the file’s owner for details.

  2. Benedict says:

    I was listening to the low end – the one I picked seemed tighter and better deffined.
    I got it wrong. Pants. Stupid game.
    I think they should have picked a song with a wider frequency spectrum and dynamic range (that’s my excuss and I’m sticking to it).

  3. jim says:

    I got ‘em all … except the first, when I thought I was opting for the compressed one. Naturally some nice folks will never hear any difference, just like a profoundly tone-deaf person can’t tell when a band contains a single heinously discordant instrument.
    ( By the by, I heartily recommend Portsmouth Sinfonia to either fans of the discordant … or those who simply loathe the classics.)
    To my tender ears it’s dramatic, in a yucky way … if this had a smell it’d be gas-mask-worthy to me. Yep, definitely detect a digital ooze that’s pooting its bad self all over the loud & the quiet bits alike.
    Oh la la! Tres Kreepiophonique!
    “Les’ face it, peoples! Ugly as I mights be, I AM YO’ FUTCHUM!”

  4. Balint says:

    I said B – wich was the wrong answer… It’s funny to see that 50-50 percent is the average result (approximately), so It means (to me) that normally one cannot really tell the difference.

  5. bernard says:

    Technology of .. tears.
    Ahum. That’s for ICT people.
    Let’s go back to basics. For instance real music,
    Piano. The Belgian masters, just two ahead of their time:
    - Free Jazz tradition:Fred Van Hove
    http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mvanhove.html
    http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,445837,00.html
    Or
    - Contemporary ” classical music” : Daan Vandewalle
    http://www.rchrd.com/blog/2007/04/tonights_music_from_other_mind_1.html

  6. Benedict says:

    I didn’t notice the next song button. I got the rest of them right too! Phew, glad I redeemed myself.
    I think we’ll always be able to buy music in high/uncompressed quality. There will always be a market for it. The main reason for compression is to reduce the file size. As storage space and network speeds increase size will become less of an issue. This will make it triva for record companies to sell super high quality audio.
    However, a lot of modern releases are compromised at the mastering stage. This needs to stop before we get the benefits of higher quality recordings.

  7. Duncan says:

    Hmmmm! Was the test posted on April the First?
    The two songs (4 versions) I tried are all identified as using the Lossless codec and are the same size. Open them in a sound editor and they look the same – the compressed file would usually look more ragged than the smoother lossless one.

  8. jonnybutter says:

    I got most of them right, but Benedict is so correct that so much music these days is mangled at the mastering stage anyway (LOUD LOUD LOUD!!!!), so the real problem is that.

  9. Robot Cheeseburger says:

    I got them all right. It seems a lot of people posted here that they did. That says to me that either most of the people who got some wrong didn’t feel like taking the time to post their results, or that FZ fans are such quality sticklers that their ears are higher-than-averagely sensitive to quality. Or, since this is the internet, maybe we’re all just lying.

  10. jonnybutter says:

    maybe we’re all just lying.
    HA. I wouldn’t call it easy to tell the difference a lot of the time, but there is a difference. I notice it in the fades, silences, etc.

  11. MacAoidh says:

    Well, as encoders get more and more advanced, the differences are getting harder to spot. Though to be honest they could have picked more complex pieces….
    3/4

  12. Balint says:

    Funny that is happened just yesterday that we talked with a friend of mine about those high-end things. He seems to be crazy about them, finally. For me?… 128 kbps is just enough. :-)
    Anyway: while talking about recording quality – its always an interesting topic. But I’m mostly interested in music, and sometimes its not that easy to talk about. We should!

  13. metafunj says:

    I got the Liszt piece, but i wasn’t gonna listen to Elliot Smith. It helps to close your eyes.

  14. Nanook of the Anchorage says:

    Did anybody else pick one without listening? I do that with every survey, list, or anything else I get a chance to…and I think lots of others do.