24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - Printable Version
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24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - TonyBruford - 2012-03-06 00:33
From the introduction:
Quote:Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple's Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of 'uncompromised studio quality'. Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24/192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young's group several months ago.
The article continues with a technical explanation supporting the claim that there's no point in distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format.
I am not technical enough to understand what the article is saying. What say you?
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - Geoff P - 2012-03-06 01:48
Well there is always a way to construct a technical argument and pull out graphs and data.
Personally I decided by listening through my KDS and I don't care about these dry paper arguments, my ears tell my brain there is something going on when I listen to a 192/24 download album that I like very much and which sounds superb so bring on more 192/24. Fool that I am I will 'buy it'.
Incidentally the same sort of arguments have been attempted to explain why 44.1/16 CD must sound the best and have never explained to me why when I pull out the Vinyl version and spin it up my ears hear some intangible things that are more musical as do an awful lot of other people who play vinyl apparently.
I say trust your ears and make your choices that way.
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - dastrix - 2012-03-06 02:01
I agree, perhaps its just the SACD/24bit is mastered better? I dunno, in any case the 24bit sounds better. Be it the increased depth or the better mastering. I guess you'll never know.
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - linnrd - 2012-03-06 02:58
There is no point other than the simple fact that if it is the recording master, then one has now got the definitive version of the digital recording. There is a lot involved in reproducing just a voice and a guitar faithfully, much of which is evidenced by the fact that all D/A converters do not sound the same. While this is glibly skipped over making the use of a lovely "whiteboard graph" of gentler slopes, the fact that it is a key component of how A/D + D/A come close to being faithful to the original analog waveform.
Also, when there is a typo of the magnitude there is in the second paragraph (bold mine):
Quote:Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space.it tends to leave one with a sense of general unease. On the other hand, if one doesn't spot that one, then the rest of the article is rather impressive: there's quotes, "references", and graphs. I'd love to see this one on Powerpoint. Sigh...I had expected more from Xiph.
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - Warren - 2012-03-06 03:11
(2012-03-06 00:33)TonyBruford Wrote: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
16 bit is better than 24 bit? What a load of crap.
The article also says,
Quote:Some people are exceptionally well trained to hear nuances in sound and music most people don't even know exist.
Well for those of us with well trained ears that can hear the difference between 192 and 96 (from having played some free samples of symphonic records from http://www.2L.no) I think we should continue to make 24/192 available, both for those of us that can hear the difference and for those people in the future who simply decide to train their ears, and training one's ears to hear better is something one can do at any time.
I really wish people would spend more time learning how to appreciate music more than wasting their time messing around with numbers.
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - rockfather - 2012-03-06 09:37
(2012-03-06 02:58)linnrd Wrote: There is no point other than the simple fact that if it is the recording master, then one has now got the definitive version of the digital recording.
I suspect you will find that The Beatles and many of the Neil Young recordings mentioned have their masters on analogue tape (as they were recorded in the 60s and 70s). Digital recording did not really start getting used until the mid 80s.
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - VicJayL - 2012-03-06 10:38
The article seems wholly convincing to me and I would like to read a properly argued defence of 24/192 issues from Linn. (And I don't consider, "if it sounds better, it is better" - kind of "argument" valid, given the very detailed analysis in the article, the self-interest involved, and the massive possibility of self-delusion on all of our parts.)
This has disturbed me greatly, I have to say. I got into a very detailed argument in defence of high bit-rate issues on the Gramophone forum some time ago and believed I was being confronted by a selective use of scientific evidence as well as simple ludditism and envy, but this article is making me reconsider.
My argument was that I could hear the difference. I was challenged to try a double blind test which my wife and I organised with the result that neither of us produced other than random results. That, plus this article has left me very sceptical indeed.
Given what is at stake, I think we deserve a very detailed refutation of the article's arguments.
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - linnrd - 2012-03-06 10:45
(2012-03-06 09:37)rockfather Wrote:You suspect what I do. Hence the cunningly hidden term definitive version of the "digital" recording, which Linn (and others refer to as the studio master). While it is impossible to get definitive version of analog masters, what with the state of old tape being what it is, it is very possible to get the definitive version of the digital transfer.(2012-03-06 02:58)linnrd Wrote: There is no point other than the simple fact that if it is the recording master, then one has now got the definitive version of the digital recording.
I was implying (other than the fact that most of the article is cobbled together from facts that are irrelevant to to the thesis of there being "no point" to 24/192) that even if the article were correct in all its cobbled form, that the point was that one now would have the definitive digital version. And (with my desiccated humour being hard to convey in type) that one point is probably point enough to have 24/192.
Your comment bring up an underlying a concern (which worries me on the odd occasion it arises) that, if the old analog masters are stored in less than ideal conditions we may have already lost significant portions of those performances; this is a similar fate that has befallen several classic movies. To keep with the tone and visual analogy of the Xiph article, perhaps we should not be digitizing those films to 4K (or even 8K if the old film stock demands it), but simply sit further away from screens and/or use smaller screens at home. And while I'm at it, it's worth mentioning that we will probably be all splurging out in the future for films in 4K even though we bought copies of them on VHS (and Beta for those "ahead of the curve"), Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray. It might be worth setting up a pool to see what further lovely mutations that version of Star Wars might have.
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - DaveWr - 2012-03-06 10:58
Here is a rather technical paper from a well respected designer:
He is adamant that 192khz sampling rate is not required or desirable.
RE: 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense - Warren - 2012-03-06 11:00
(2012-03-06 10:38)VicJayL Wrote: I was challenged to try a double blind test which my wife and I organised with the result that neither of us produced other than random results.
The article implies CD is the best format, this is wrong, low res mp3 is the best format.
I suggest you do two things:
1. Give me your Radikal.
2. Sell the rest of your stuff quickly cheap and buy an iPod.
Or learn more about music.
I found when doing a random blind test a few months ago (CD vs SM), if I tried to work out what I was listening to, I always got it wrong. If I just sat back and enjoyed the music, and then reflected on how much I enjoyed listening to it, I always got it right.