Test your ears!

June 9, 2008 - By

I find that the subject of music is one of the least covered areas on digg.com, but I did find this cool page a month or two ago. http://mp3ornot.com/ Basically it’s a test to see if your brain can tell the difference between an audio file of 320kbps vs. 128 kbps (320 is comparable to CD, 128 is a common web circulated quality for size considerations… I think Radiohead’s free In Rainbows was issued at this arguably low quality).

Basically audio quality is the amount of music information is passing through your speakers every second, the more kilobytes the more quality – to a point. While I think you will find this test is really easy, it’s not always. Inspired by this site I tested myself by playing a song in Mp3 (256kbps), on YouTube (I dunno, 5kbps (jokes)), on Vinyl, on CD and FLAC (lossless audio file, with ridiculously massive files, songs upwards of 20MB). It was neat. I couldn’t tell the difference between the mp3, CD and FLAC, YouTube sucked, and my amp for my record player is bad. Test yourself with the same song in a few formats, it’s worth it. Compare the same track on cassette, and it almost seems like an entirely different song.

Mixtapically, quality can be really important – especially on a mix with a range of songs in a range of qualities. A song you ripped nicely off a CD followed by a low quality track you got off of MySpace may actually be a painful transition. Aim high.

They say ‘less is more’ less now. When it comes to music quality remember ‘More is more’. Trust me, I’ve been guilty of the system-record complete with email received sounds stupidly added in the background.


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This post was written by ArleyM