The 256 vs. 128 kbps Debate

With Apple and EMI announcing “higher quality” (256 kbps) DRM-free music on the iTunes store at a slightly higher price, one might wonder whether the difference between the two can be heard at all.
Are iTunes’ Premium Downloads Worth It?

Probably not. Studies have found that as long as you’re using high-quality encoding software, music compressed to a bitrate of 128 kbps or more is “transparent”—in other words, most listeners can’t distinguish it from CD quality.

I have a pretty good idea what your response to that will be… :)

4 thoughts on “The 256 vs. 128 kbps Debate”

  1. Sounds a lot like a negative marketing paradigm to me, Barry. Then, again, I am one of those who refuse to lease music like software from the likes of iTunes et al, so I avoid the whole 256 vs. 128 kbps debate. To those that do…happy downloading…kaching!

  2. Well, I guess most of the people frequenting this site are more or less used to listen to music in a not-so-lossless audio format.
    And after all, in the old days, some people complained when recordings went from Shellac to vinyl, because you didn’t have to concentrate to listen to the record anymore, and so people wouldn’t really be paying attention to what they were listening to.
    So I think I will get along without the higher audio quality. You know, I haven’t been buying the 24k gold cds either, although I have been thinking about the OSFA.

  3. The first time I heard anything off of Joe’s Garage was back when Napster was still free. I downloaded Why Does it Hurt…, Joe’s Garage, and Lucielle… When I bought the full album I was suprised to hear alot of little nuances were not audible in the Mp3s. Some of those songs are highly layered like Joe’s Garage which adds more instrumentation almost every verse. It was almost like hearing totally new songs. Lucielle went from being boring to very relaxing and beautiful.

    Since that point I have stuck with CDs.

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