Music Compression

  laurie53 12:01 25 Dec 07

Once again, just idle curiosity, but how do MP3 players compare with DAB radio for signal quality?

I've seen a lot of criticism of DAB because of the distortion caused by compression. Are MP3 players, which presumably also use compression, any better or worse.

Academic interest only for me now, as I don't get anything above about 12kHz!

  Kemistri 12:37 25 Dec 07

Better. You can use whatever compression you like, space permitting, but you're stuck with what DAB provides.

Rough rule of thumb for use with typical PC speakers and headphones is: WMA can go down to 64Kbits p/sec before it sounds awful (allegedly - I have never used that setting); MP3 can go down to 128Kbps. I use WMA VBR at its highest ssetting for about 240-355Kbps and you won't spot the difference between that and the original unless you have keen ears (I do) and very expensive speakers indeed (I don't!)

DAB2 is in the pipeline, I think, in a few years or so. I don't know much about it or whether it's even definite, but it's supposed to address the compression issues.

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