Listening to CD Burned From MP3 Format File Vs One From FLAC Format

Whenever I do a backup of a CD I use .FLAC format since it uses less storage than a .WAV format file of the same sound and as far as I know, .FLAC is low loss and virtually indistinguishable from . WAV. Also, I am equating .WAV sound quality to that of an original commercial CD for purposes of this post since I understand that they are identical.

What I need information about is .MP3 vs .FLAC however. How different will an .MP3 file properly burned to a CD sound to the average person than the same file burned in .FLAC or than the same file on an original, commercial CD? Can most people really tell the difference from a practical standpoint?

Put another way, I am trying to determine whether to download the .MP3 version of an album and burning it to CD or to try and get the original CD instead. Is it worth paying more to get the original commercial CD of an album or will a downloaded .MP3 version properly burned to CD sound just as good from a practical standpoint?

Thanks for any input.

What’s the bit rate of the Cd you want to download? (128, 192, 320, etc.) The higher the better.

It’s always best to start with original CD, wav or flac of course…Having said that, try some sample mp3 files at various Bitrates, until reaching the one that [I]you[/I] can differentiate from original…Most can’t hear any difference, with proper listening test( ABX) between original and 192kbps, some even as low as 128kbps…Try for [I]yourself[/I], b/c [I]no[/I] one can hear what you hear…

[QUOTE=Whappo;2241060]What’s the bit rate of the Cd you want to download? (128, 192, 320, etc.) The higher the better.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the response. It depends on the site. In case of ones I download from Amazon, they apparently use 256kbs. In the case of other sites, such as Chandos, they use 320 kbps.

Also, how does this bit rate relate to the connection rate used for downloading? I won’t be moving to broadband for another month or two yet so right now I am still using dial-up at 56kb. Does that mean I am effectively limited to 56 kb for the CD bit rate?

The bit rate of the audio files has nothing to do with your download speed. The only thing that will matter is the “size” of the files, the larger they are the longer it takes to download. By the way, both of the bite rates you mentioned are high enough.

Mp3’s are like Limbo dancing, different artists can go lower…

Largely it’s a difference in the sonic quality to begin with.

It should be fairly obvious that older recordings from the 60’s and 70’s can be encoded at far lower bitrates than many newer recordings.

for example if you are ripping and compressing your Creedence Clearwater Revival greatest hits CD, any btrate higher than 128
is a probably a waste of time.

Ditto for early Beatles and Led Zeppelin.

Music recorded in the digital music era tends to be distinguishable
at higher bitrates

(The Second Shinedown album sounds terrible at 192K because of high frequency signals getting lopped off)

Another factor that I personally tend to harp on is the “need” to compress audio files beyond a certain point, because HDD space is “cheap”

For my personal use I save everything at 320K, not because I believe I can hear the difference above 224-256K, but rather because encoding at 320k saves a bit of time and I really don’t
need to save more space than reducing the size of the files by
77.5%, which is the savings from going from wav to 320K mp3.
(a Compression ratio of 4.5:1, FLAC only runs a 5:3 compression ratio)

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I personally use VBR encoding using -V 0 ~220kbps or -V 2 ~190kbps, since I [I]cannot[/I] hear any difference from 320k CBR or even original…Besides saving some HDD space, it makes me [I]feel [/I]warm and fuzzy, and it makes my toes wiggle…:wink:
It’s a shame music sites offer only CBR…Thank goodness we got Lame…:slight_smile:

My main issues with VBR are as follows:

1)Not as universally playable.
Some audio equipment will play CBR, but not VBR mp3’s

2)Even when your stand alone audio equipment will play VBR some
things don’t work right, often you cannot fast forward or reverse
within the track and attempting to drops you at the end of the
track either way

3)while I’m sure that some equipment or computer software
will display run times correctly, most don’t and some don’t
even display bitrate correctly.

while these things are minor they are still irritating, to me anyway.

Personally I have all my audio files on my computer three times
and backed up on other disconnected “Backup” drives, and I could
easily triple my music library without needing more Disc volume

I can’t help thinking that the recent and ongoing collapase in HDD
prices kinda made the point of VBR moot.

But if it gives you a “warm and fuzzy feeling” run with it:)

My main issues with VBR are as follows:

What a surprise!..:rolleyes:

But if it gives you a “warm and fuzzy feeling” run with it

Thanks!..Did I mention it makes me feel like dancing?:bigsmile:

It’s a shame music sites offer only CBR…Thank goodness we got Lame…

Payload Size: 6149941 bytes
Header found at: 62931 bytes
Encoder Delay: 576, Zero Padding: 1332
Length: 219 seconds
MPEG-1 layer 3
224kbit (VBR), 8422 frames
44100Hz Joint Stereo

CRC: No, Copyrighted: No
Original: Yes, Emphasis: None

From an album I just bought from Amazon…

Thanks olyteddy…I stand corrected…On the music sites, of course…

When I buy music I only buy from Amazon because they do offer quality encodes and reasonable prices. The 23 track ‘Seldom Scene’ album I bought was only $8.99.

Depending on the bitrate used for the mp3 when it was originally compressed you often cannot tell.

Generally speaking if the original mp3 was compressed to a
256K or 320k it’s REALLY hard to tell

at 192k certain artists are pretty obvious, particularly bands that
have a drummer that makes a lot of use of his cymbals.

I can think of one particular track where you can hear the stick strikes, but not most of the sound of the cymbal that was stuck,
the high frequency sound is simply cutoff.

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I’ve got some Amazon 320K MP3s that sound absolutely horrible. So the final bitrate doesn’t really tell you anything about what the audio has gone through on it’s way there, and whether it was handled with care.

This doesn’t really help the OP. Unfortunately there’s no way to know if the MP3 album will sound anything like the original CD. But a betting person might be well advised to assume it will not. If the difference is not important or noticeable to the OP, then all is well. But I’d buy a single song and check it out first before springing for the whole album. If it’s rare material, check eBay for a used CD.

[QUOTE=CDan;2243643]I’ve got some Amazon 320K MP3s that sound absolutely horrible. So the final bitrate doesn’t really tell you anything about what the audio has gone through on it’s way there, and whether it was handled with care.

This doesn’t really help the OP. Unfortunately there’s no way to know if the MP3 album will sound anything like the original CD. But a betting person might be well advised to assume it will not. If the difference is not important or noticeable to the OP, then all is well. But I’d buy a single song and check it out first before springing for the whole album. If it’s rare material, check eBay for a used CD.[/QUOTE]

ebay’s other site half.com is usually a better place to shop for used CD’s

But I’ve snagged some rare ones off ebay too…

BTW, when lookinf for something rare don’t restrict yourself
to north america. I’ve gtten a couple of my harder to aquire CD’s from sellers in Scotland and Australia and saved myself a small fortune.

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