Author Topic: The Classical Download Thread  (Read 257499 times)

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DavidW

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #660 on: August 27, 2009, 04:10:59 PM »
Oh okay. :)

Offline Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #661 on: August 27, 2009, 07:03:04 PM »
I was never into CDs as I never cared for their sound.  But I will say I prefer a CD ripped to Apple Lossless over the original CD, still I don't use such recordings except for background music.

Interesting web site. Do they sell real 88/96k audio? I'm not sure how they are being created, because from what I know ripping from SACD is at least difficult. Or do they get the source files from the labels? Maybe there's a statement on that web site? I do not want to buy transcoded 44.1->96 audio.

But some strange opinions there. aiff is the good old pendant to what is the RIFF WAVE on PCs. Nothing new here, no lossless data compression and (AFAIK) it doesn't support tagging... But they treat it like something superior and in the "which format should I use" section they talk about data compression and about audiophiles who hear a difference... Nothing, lossy nor lossless file compression apply on aiff. Strange, seems like there is some kind of faith factor...

The best developed lossless formats of course are flac, wavpack, tak etc., formats which support a 44/96k audio and such, and also support all kind of metadata fun.

I wouldn't say they add "warmth". They add as much warmth as your file compression programs add bytes to a text file. Lossless encoding<->decoding is a reversible and deterministic process and due to the modern file formats, a pretty efficient one regarding file size and en/decoding speed. No room for "warmth".

Lowest common denominator: IMO it's a good idea to always try to get the best available quality for a specific piece of music, because we can afford it. (TB hard drives)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 07:16:19 PM by Wurstwasser »

George

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #662 on: August 28, 2009, 05:49:36 PM »
It is to my ears and they are the ones that count to me.  :)

Not sure of the reasons why?  Perhaps less jitter due to re-clocking?  Perhaps warmth is added in the lossless conversion?  Who knows, but I think that is one reason computer audio is popular.

I think the most likely reason is that you are closer to the source. Rather than have the info be on a CD that needs to be read to get to the digital data, you can simply read the data directly when it's in a digital form, like Apple Lossless. Apple Lossless contains the same information as WAV or AIFF, by the way. Personally I think that XLD does a better job of ripping, as it was designed to do so without errors. The difference can only be heard on a decent stereo, but it is there. With itunes, ripping is more of an added benefit than the main function. After all, they want you to buy their downloads, not just import stuff that you already own.

Offline Valentino

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #663 on: August 30, 2009, 02:39:25 AM »
One should be careful comparing the sound of the original CD with Apple lossless played with iTunes/Quicktime, since by default Quicktime is set up with EQ...
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

George

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #664 on: August 30, 2009, 02:45:59 AM »
One should be careful comparing the sound of the original CD with Apple lossless played with iTunes/Quicktime, since by default Quicktime is set up with EQ...

Very good to know. I wasn't aware of that. Is there a way to change the default? Do you know what the EQ setting for the default is?

Offline Valentino

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #665 on: August 30, 2009, 03:50:12 AM »
I dunno how you set it up, George. I'm on the open source bandwagon.

But try this:
Quote
Du kan jo begynne med å sjekke om du har EQ på i iTunes (Equalizer under Advanced).
Og så kan du forsikre deg om at du har riktig sample rate osv stilt i Audio MIDI Setup panelet, i Verktøymappen.
Så skal du slå av alle sound enhancers, volume levelers, osv.
;D This translates to appx:
Check iTunes ->
Equalizer -> Advanced. EQ should be off.
Tools -> Audio MIDI Setup. Check for correct sample frequency.
Turn off all sound enhancers, volume levelers etc.

And: Set Streaming Buffer size to Large.
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #666 on: August 30, 2009, 06:50:20 AM »
I would imagine that even if the EQ is on, it would be on the default setting of flat.

Offline Valentino

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #667 on: August 30, 2009, 07:52:57 AM »
From reports I've read from people I trust it's not flat. Scary, isn't it?
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #668 on: August 30, 2009, 07:57:11 AM »
Well no I just checked under my itunes, I've never messed with the eq before, so it is at the default-- which is flat.  If people think that it's not flat, it's just their own biased perception away from flat.  For example, those that love bass will find something without a bass hump anemic or cold.

Offline Valentino

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #669 on: September 11, 2009, 10:31:25 PM »
It's not about thinking or feeling, but about comparing input and output data files.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 10:33:05 PM by Valentino »
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

Offline Coopmv

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #670 on: September 12, 2009, 05:02:10 AM »
It's not about thinking or feeling, but about comparing input and output data files.

As long as the copy is bit-accurate against the original, isn't that good enough?  No?

Offline Fëanor

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #671 on: September 12, 2009, 05:56:01 AM »
As long as the copy is bit-accurate against the original, isn't that good enough?  No?

I hope we're still talking about signal processing.  EQ, and any other digital processing, including digital volume control, will alter the bits versus the original file.  Whether you feel the bit twiddling is worthwhile is personal, but certainly the purists demand bit-perfect delivery the DAC.

I'm a semi-purist myself.  I know, for example, that iTunes running on a Window XP doesn't deliver bit perfection, even with all digital processing defeated.  That's part of the reason I prefer to use Foobar2000 with the Kernel Streaming add-in.  Foobar + KS does deliver bit perfection as evidenced by the fact that my HDCD indicator on my DAC lights when a recording is so encoded.

The other reason I like Foobar is that it's album list and play list displays are highly customizable, more so than iTunes or most other players.  (Foobar is only available for PC, not Mac or Linux.)

Offline Valentino

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #672 on: September 12, 2009, 08:59:34 PM »
As long as the copy is bit-accurate against the original, isn't that good enough?  No?
Yup.

(I do use a digital volume control myself, so the output to DAC is not "bit perfect". My ears like that.)
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

Offline Coopmv

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #673 on: September 13, 2009, 02:41:32 AM »
Yup.

(I do use a digital volume control myself, so the output to DAC is not "bit perfect". My ears like that.)

So some of the bits actually correspond to "louder" volume?

Offline Valentino

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #674 on: September 13, 2009, 03:57:47 AM »
Softer, rather. A digital volume control recalculates the bits. Output is only equal to input at -0dBFS.
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

Offline Coopmv

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #675 on: September 13, 2009, 04:04:26 AM »
Softer, rather. A digital volume control recalculates the bits. Output is only equal to input at -0dBFS.

I thought the bits were registered or recorded at the time of the original recording and technically they are fixed.  The digital volume control only alters the way they (i.e. the bits that make up the sound - 8 bits to a word and so on) are perceived but does not fundamentally alter them.     

Offline Fëanor

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #676 on: September 13, 2009, 12:45:11 PM »
So some of the bits actually correspond to "louder" volume?

Yes, the bits represent volume (amplitude) as well as frequency.  A digital volume control recalculates the bits to represent the lower volume.  One (or the principal) effect is to reduce the dynamic range.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #677 on: September 13, 2009, 12:49:01 PM »
Yes, the bits represent volume (amplitude) as well as frequency.  A digital volume control recalculates the bits to represent the lower volume.  One (or the principal) effect is to reduce the dynamic range.

But do the recalculated bit values permanently overwrite the original bit values? 

Offline Fëanor

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #678 on: September 13, 2009, 01:22:25 PM »
But do the recalculated bit values permanently overwrite the original bit values?  

No, the original files aren't modified, only the bits sent downstream to the DAC for playback.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 01:24:56 PM by Feanor »

Offline Coopmv

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Re: The Classical Download Thread
« Reply #679 on: September 13, 2009, 02:07:57 PM »
No, the original files aren't modified, only the bits sent downstream to the DAC for playback.

This makes a lot of sense since a digital volume control should behave just like an analog volume control in that the original source material is not altered.