The Mp3 Encoding Debate: Results Are In

A follow-up to this post: Cognitive Daily yesterday published its rather (un?)surprising results:

For both recordings, there was a significant difference between ratings of the 64 kbps sampling rate and the 128 kbps sampling rate, but no difference between ratings of the 128 and 256 kbps sampling rate. It’s looking like the 256 kbps MP3s offer no advantage over the much smaller 128 kbps MP3s.

Out of nearly 700 participants, 33 were able to detect a difference in audio quality between both sampling rates. I bet those 33 will be identified as being avid KUR readers! :)

8 Responses to “The Mp3 Encoding Debate: Results Are In”

  1. xorg says:

    It all depends what you’re listening to. If it’s Status Quo then there’s unlikely to much to be gained from a higher sampling rate. But for stuff like The Yellow Shark then you want the best audio quality you can get.

  2. Balint says:

    Yuppee, it means that my 128 kbps collection is just allright! :-) Anyway: the best things I’ll buy on CD, of course. Today I’ve just bought Jethro Tull’s Little Light Music, after having it in mp3 for years. Almost the best live album from them – after the amazing Bursting Out.

  3. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Pretty much all of my collection is encoded at 192 kbps — best of both worlds…

  4. bernard says:

    Reading a good book on this isuue might prove to be helpful.
    I have been told that a number of books from Timothy Dowd (the Emory Univ. Atlanta, he’s also teaching at the Univ. of Rotterdam) are truly worth reading.
    One of the best is ” From 78′s to MP’3s, The Embedded Impact of Technology in the Market for Prerecorded Music”

  5. Maroual says:

    I insist, IMO this study sucks. Another conclusion to it could be: most of the people do not have an equipment capable of rendering properly mp3s over 128 kbps.
    I stand on my position, mp3s suck and I won’t play them on my stereo because it is possible to hear a difference between a CD and a 320 kbps mp3.

  6. Maroual says:

    BTW 320 kbps mp3s hurt my ears when played loud on my stereo. This is the most noticeable difference. And this does not happen with CDs.

  7. Maroual says:

    I confess that I may not differenciate 256 kbps and 320 kbps. They could equally sound bad.

  8. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    Balint Says:
    December 1st, 2007 at 4:13 pm
    Yuppee, it means that my 128 kbps collection is just allright! :-) Anyway: the best things I’ll buy on CD, of course. Today I’ve just bought Jethro Tull’s Little Light Music, after having it in mp3 for years. Almost the best live album from them – after the amazing Bursting Out.

    Mp3s. Wav files. Flac files. Ogg files. It just gets so confusing after a while don’t it? Which is better? Which is worse? Or is it just audio snobbery? I don’t know. As long as my ears like it, it must be all right, I say…
    Enjoy Jethro Tull’s Little Light Music, Balint. I still think Bursting Out is their quintessential live album (I still get chills whenever I listen to “Flute Solo Improvisation– God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen– Bourée”).