Reply to post: Really Good, and good fun testing...

How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Really Good, and good fun testing...

Hi Chris,

I really liked this article because I believe there are major differences in the way audio is perceived.

You come up with some great arguments, and arguments I had with myself for a while. I was utterly convinced I could hear differences between mp3, ogg, wav, flac and CD. I mean totally convinced.

My friends said I was mad, but my total belief was that I could 'feel' differences in the way the audio affected me.

I worked in radio for a while and ended up looking at audio for a long time, and trying to see that 'thing' which I could hear the difference in. I couldn't. I just edited that bit of news or whatever to the finest point. Sometimes things in audio just 'worked', and don't ask me how.

Then, one day I realised there was a difference in the formats. I found how to test it.

I had the entire BBC Sound Effects Library at home on CDs from work while I was building an anti-drink-driving audio campaign. The BBC library is fun, and I found a CD, number 44, 'Cats'.

Being a Cat owner, I ran some of the CD tracks through the speakers and suddenly my 3 cats were in the room!!! Especially the howling cats sounds! This was weird!

Because the WAV rips were huge (I needed to put the CD's back in the office), I converted the WAV's to flac, having kept a copy in wav of the effects I needed, but still enjoying annoying the cats.

Flac and wav playback ALWAYS got the cats back into my studio, looking around to see where the 'other' cat was crying.

If I encoded that same sample to MP3, the cats here slept on and didn't bother. They looked around if it was ogg.

This taught me one thing. As a human I might not hear the finer bits of a sound, but we feel them.

Animals are great markers of sound, but we still feel those sounds in a way, they are air compression after all.

Anyway, if you want to annoy your Cats or Dogs, the BBC Sound Effects CD's are fun...

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