Mark Tomlinson

Create Your Badge

Monday, April 17, 2006

I've been suckered by music compression

I've been suckered by music compression: "Then I put in a CD which had been created from a 128kps MP3. The difference was noticeable even before I sat down. The sound was flat, muddy and the channel separation was minimal. This was odd as I had selected 128kps as a compression standard that would be pretty good quality versus compression trade off."

Bad assumption. For speech, 64k is fine (an in mono even). For music, nothing less than 196k/side at the highest sampling rate. Even then, it may not be true to the original. Again, good enough for what? Listening in my car? Sure, ambient noise is plenty high. Home? Not a chance, back the originals for me as well.

Now I do mix down my own MP3 files, I run them through a mixer and a processor with a good bit of tweaking to suit my personal tastes. Still I understand and live with the fact that compression is throwing stuff away. If you are compressing just for mobile audio, pick what works. Compressing just for the sake of storage is silly.