*do* you still actually buy CD's?

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RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

BazzaRiley wrote:

320 kbps offers superb sound. FLACs come over at about 400-800 kpbs but, as Jane says, who can tell the difference? Perhaps only cats and bats. I find that lower bitrates are also exceptable unless very high frequencies are involved. Solo violin (i.e. high above the stave) is impossible to listen to at less than 256 but I have guitar music recorded at 128 (even at 96) and it is perfectly acceptable. It always amuses me to find pre-war recordings offered as FLAC. Pristine digitilization of less than pristine originals! LOL

Bazza,

I could certainly see not bothering to try and get pre-WWII recordings in FLAC! I was thinking more about recordings that were well-engineered say from the 50's onward? I wonder if Tony F still ever contributes here? I'd love to hear his thoughts too.

I must admit that often times the cost of downloads is less expensive (though not always the case!).

And what's up with Amazon's "Variable rate" by the way? Anyone here have any thoughts about that?

Best, P.

p.s. Interesting about guitar music and bit rate, B. Wonder if I would find it to be the same as you?

 

 

 

 

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

Any time, Petra.

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

Bazza, I agree with most of what you say. I can rarely if ever distinguish between 320kbps and higher rates. On my iPhone I have everything at 192kbps and find that quite acceptable with headphones.

One thing I disagree about, and I learned about this the hard way.  When I was a student I was copying broadcasts from the BBC of concerts and opera on to open reel tape. I didn't have much money and when the sound quality of the broadcast was poorer I used cheaper tape. Big mistake!  The fact is that all errors compound one another, so a recording that is just acceptable if degraded a bit more during transfer can easily become unacceptable, whereas a superb recording may become slightly less good but may remain excellent.

Ultimately, it's the music that counts though!

Chris

Chris A.Gnostic

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

Petra

There's a lot of debate about this...........and a fair amount of controversy. 320 mp3 is actually very high quality. Hardly anyone cannot tell the difference between mp3 (even quite a low quality mp3 and a losless format) in blind testing. I've done it myself and I can't (and like everyone else here, I like to see myself as a very sensitive listener). If there is an audible difference, it can only be discerned on the very finest equipment (which most of us don't have) and only in optimum conditions and only in a minority of recordings. Other people will probably tell you otherwise - actually, my hearing is ultra sensitive, blah blah blah - but I honestly wouldn't ever worry about it.

It is a bit like the SACD controversy: SACD never beats CD in blind testing (it is just a marketing gimmick for "audiophiles" with lots of cash; the main reason it is dying out, in fact), but when people aren't being tested they swear they can really, honestly tell the difference.

Sorry Jane,

I wasn't trying to ignore you nor be dismissive regarding your views. I do appreciate you taking the time to reply. Appologizes for not commenting sooner. I'm slightly confused about your first comments. When you said "Hardly anyone cannot tell the difference between mp3 (even quite a low quality mp3 and a losless format) in blind testing. I've done it myself and I can't (and like everyone else here, I like to see myself as a very sensitive listener). If there is an audible difference, it can only be discerned on the very finest equipment (which most of us don't have) and Hardly anyone cannot tell the difference between mp3 (even quite a low quality mp3 and a losless format) in blind testing. I've done it myself and I can't (and like everyone else here, I like to see myself as a very sensitive listener)." Did you mean instead "hardly anyone can tell the difference...." That was the impression that you gave me after reading the rest of your posting.

Anyway, I often can tell the difference over decent equipment (certainly between the worst compression and lossless depending upon the age of the recording and assuming that it's on semi-decent equipment). 

Need to get back to fixing my lunch.

All the best and happy listening,

Petra

 

 

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

I buy on CD still and will continue to do so as long as they're made, esp. disks from Alia Vox and ECM as you get more than just the music on the disk in the package, which enhances the experience for me.

I do have a collection of downloads, both MP3 and lossless, but find I'm far less likely to listen to these, and actually end up forgetting what I've got stored on my PC or external storage.

CD offers all the quality I need, noticing very little gain in HD files... and I simply prefer owning something I can hold in my hands.

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

I buy loads of CD's and always will, just like I have books on shelves rather than stored on a digital device. Its good to actually have the physical object and I work on a computer so want to be free of one outside of work.

Maybe pop music lends itself better to download but with classcial, having the printed information, libretto, artwork, etc, is a big part of the experience.

If you are worried about storage space, get one of those "wizards" like I did from Ian Edwards (see p109 of this month's Gramophone). A lovely piece of oak furniture for the corner of the room! Recommended. 

Graham

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

Petra01 wrote:

And what's up with Amazon's "Variable rate" by the way? Anyone here have any thoughts about that?

Variable rate stinks. Avoid.

I think any stereo recording should, if possible, be sampled at the hightest rate available. Take the Mercury Living Presence recordings, for example. Who would want them except in the very best sound?

As for the guitar, it is rarely played much above the stave (i.e. the 12th fret on the high E string) so no high frequencies to worry about. Perhaps because of the overtones, the piano comes across less well at lower bit-rates.

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

BazzaRiley wrote:

Petra01 wrote:

And what's up with Amazon's "Variable rate" by the way? Anyone here have any thoughts about that?

Variable rate stinks. Avoid.

I think any stereo recording should, if possible, be sampled at the hightest rate available. Take the Mercury Living Presence recordings, for example. Who would want them except in the very best sound?

As for the guitar, it is rarely played much above the stave (i.e. the 12th fret on the high E string) so no high frequencies to worry about. Perhaps because of the overtones, the piano comes across less well at lower bit-rates.

Bazza,

I had figured that the variable bit rate would be thus! LOL So, then you can't really tell what you'll be getting over Amazon then as (if I'm recalling correctly), I received the impression that sometimes they use V.B.R. and sometimes not? Anyway, given the fact that they don't provide artwork or T&T, I've never been tempted to order any music from them.

Thanks for the further information about guitar music.

Have a nice evening all!

Petra 

 

 

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

I strongly believe that, if you are a collector, you should buy/get the actual object of your collection and not the "notion or the content" of the object. Most of the expensive new releases have such extra information or material that cannot be replaced only with a download.  As Foales Arishes mentioned, the recent products of J.Saval on Alia Vox contain packages with books of 200-400 pages each with all kind of info, illustrations, photos etc. Glossa, in its French editions, has most of the Opera or Vocal releases in the form of Book-CDs, with also extremely rich documentation on the rare works one has to encounter.

In other words, the more we go to substitutes, the more we lose the actual object of our collection.

As for the so called controversy about the SACD versus CD, in my equipment (and not only) with all kind of blind or not test, one can notice the differences (wider space, better attaca on the dynamics, clearer definition of the music lines, even better tone of the instruments). And all these in SACD stereo. If you go to the full surround system, then, there cannot be any comparison. However, before I buy my Krell SACD player, when I played them in my Krell CD player, sometimes the SACDs sounded even inferior to CDs! So, each product is to be served by the appropriate equipment. By the way, the SACD format is not dying out at all. All Pentatone, 99% of Channel and Praga, 98% of Linn, 97% of Exton and Triton, almost all the new catalogue of Alia Vox, to mention few basic labels, are in SACD format.

Parla

RE: *do* you still actually buy CD's?

Petra01 wrote:

...I received the impression that sometimes they use V.B.R. and sometimes not?

P, that's poor practice if they are not telling you what you are buying. Check the small print. Emusic, I recall, did admit to using VBR but you had to search for the info.

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