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Unintended Aural Consequences of MP3 Compression

chrisd posted more than 11 years ago | from the lossy-compression-obsoletes-itself dept.

Science 670

zenst writes "A rather interesting read about possible damage to your hearing due to the way most audio compression techneques work. They mainly work by presenting a signal that the brain perceives to be the same as the original and it is this assumption that could effect our hearing and the way we hear."

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IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933714)

the first posts YOU

In the United States of America ... (0, Offtopic)

njchick (611256) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933801)

second fuckin post bitches f (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933718)

rom ekrout thanks by fuck matt havener's a faggot and clin'ts lan rox0-r

Well I'll be damned... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933720)

...first post... I think.

Re:Well I'll be damned... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933754)

...first post... I think.


Damn. And it would have been my first-ever first post on any message system ever. Ever. *sigh*


Heh, this was about Mp3s? Ohhhhhh yeah, forgot about that. ;)

woo-whooo (3, Funny)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933722)

I'm downloading 512kbps version songs of my entire library right now to avoid this!

Wonder if same true for Ogg as well (1, Insightful)

ashutoshmehra (546864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933723)

Got to yet read this article, but do u people wonder the same for other things like .wma/.ogg for audio or for that matter .jpeg/.mpeg for video... i guess such studies will soon follow too !!!

Oh thats what it is... (5, Funny)

antistuff (233076) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933725)

I thought my hearing was going from turing my speakers all the way up.

first affect vs effect post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933727)

nuff said

Huh? (-1, Offtopic)

SteweyGriffin (634046) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933729)

Mind repeating that?

Aural (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933730)

Soon as I saw the story on the front page I knew what awaited inside. Hundreds of posts from zitty geeks trying to be punker-than-thou by coming up with ever-more-obscure namedropping to make up for their lack of real style (or to pretend that they are actually old enough to have been involved). Drop the pretension kiddos. We all know that your Blink 182 CD is older than your copy of Bollocks.

I love how a whole new level of conformity has been created by the average bozo's efforts at individuality. It might almost work if your personal definition of individuality didn't depend so heavily on how you present yourself to others. I mean, what's the sense of being into bullshit like [insert pseudo-non-mainstream hobby here] if you can't talk about it to make yourself superior to your peers?

Kinda sounds like the Linux crowd, huh? "I'm so ALTERNATIVE by patching my kernel every day while you brainwashed Windows sheep meander in unenlightened tedium." Funny to think that if you had back all the time you spent tweaking and patching (for no good reason other than to say you have the latest version), you wouldn't know what to do with the workstation on your desk.

*sigh*

excuse the rant. caffiene has yet to be digested.

Great, the Record industry get you again (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933733)

I wonder if it is mis-inforamtion, to discredit MP3s in general. Not having read the link, I am an idiot.

Re:Great, the Record industry get you again (0)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933874)

I agree 100% The next report that will come out is that watching pirated videos will make you go blind.

Tinnitus (4, Informative)

The Gline (173269) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933737)

There are many reasons for hearing loss and tinnitus that have nothing to do with what you listen to or what volume you listen to it at and everything to do with, for instance, degenerative diseases of the inner ear. The article doesn't provide much to persuade me that MP3s are going to make people go deaf.

The article (4, Funny)

carlcmc (322350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933793)

is such a load of cr@p! MP3=tinnitus???? whatever.

As a healthcare provider and someone that works at Mayo clinic, this article does not even merit the cursory speed read.

Re:The article (1)

goldid (310307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933831)

amen. once again crap makes slashdot the home page look ridiculous.

Wow, you work for the Mayo Clinic! (3, Funny)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933867)

Even a Janitor there would be like an expert on what is or is not quackery.

Re:Tinnitus (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933845)

Ear infections can do it too. I had some nasty ear infections as a young kid and I have a small amount of tinnitus from it.

Oh, I see (0, Offtopic)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933739)

And here I thought this had to do with unintentionally downloading mp3s of Limp Bizkit songs...

well.. (-1, Flamebait)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933740)

as long as it does affect my hearing, I don't care.

Moderation totals: (-1 Grammar Nazi)

Re:well.. (2)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933765)

heh... does not...

Moderation total: (-1 Didn't use preview)

Shhh! Don't Tell the RIAA (3, Funny)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933742)

Knowing them... they might try giving money to help the military research sonic based weapons and get something to fight those pesky pirates!

Then again I suppose it will also depend on the quality of the speakers, and what frequency range they can properly output (as well as the soundcard and encoded track).

Re:Shhh! Don't Tell the RIAA (3, Funny)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933856)

No, they'll just add this to their anti-Internet warchest as the "documented dangers of digitally compressed music". Therefore, we must all buy more CDs... won't someone think of the children??

Music type... (5, Funny)

UnAmericanPunk (310528) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933744)

I listen to punk and hardcore music, so I don't think it matters what kinda compression is on my music, my hearing is gonna be lost either way!

Re:Music type... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933777)

Same here, but I already lost my hearing.

Re:Music type... (2)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933797)

I can vouch for that... I went to a Garbage concert and regretted not moshing like I usually would, so being further back I was in a direct line of the speakers.. I got my hearing back about two days later (and the ear wax production went to normal). Although I'm looking forward to hooking up my brothers DJ mobile speakers, all high quality BOSE with an output for about 3000 people.. but this old house might not have enough juice.

All we need is the legendary brown noise... and it won't be our hearing we'll be worrying about!

Great... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933750)

This is probably why I started listening to Barney and the Teletubbies...

Loses all credibility right here. (3, Insightful)

DxMaN (587019) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933751)

'But a continuous consumption of datareduced audio could possibly lead to fatal consequences' How? Why? Nowhere else in the article is even the start of a reason for this statement. I at least expected to see something along the lines of not hearing that semi while crossing the street. Remember, MP3s, along with marijuana, can kill you.

Re:Loses all credibility right here. (0, Offtopic)

Milican (58140) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933770)

Yep, I couldn't see a single instance of this being backed up by data. Its basically just a subjective article. What a bunch of trite!

JOhn

Re:Loses all credibility right here. (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933806)

Yep, I couldn't see a single instance of this being backed up by data. Its basically just a subjective article. What a bunch of trite!Yeah, but he's got a cross-section of an ear-canal! That ought to be good for, I dunno, 3 points or somethin'.

Do you think my parent's generation went all deaf because they were glued to A.M. radio, which distorted and dropped frequency ranges?

Re: bunch of trite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933840)

I'm sorry, but the noun form of "trite" is "triteness".

You should say "what a bunch of triteness," which means the item in question has alot of a quality of being overused or hackneyed.

The phrase "A bunch of tripe" comes to mind when thinking of triteness.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933789)

good points

I have serious concerns (1)

blisspix (463180) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933755)

I am concerned about anything that can affect my hearing. As one of the many many many thousands of people who already has significant hearing loss, I find it frustrating that I am almost forced into exposure to things that could make my hearing worse.

Do I smell a lawsuit? Nah. I just wish sometimes for a return to quieter days where my poor, remaining eardrum can cope without hearing trucks, airplanes, shouting from my neighbours, etc etc. I even work in a library and it's too damn loud.

Let's see... (3, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933756)

Tv ruins your brain, mobiles give you cancer, junk food makes you fat, computer monitors ruin your eyes and now they say mp3s cause hearing loss.

Is there anything left that wont slowly kill or mame you over time? They wont be happy until I'm sitting in a darkened padded room eating a liquid only diet.

Re:Let's see... (1)

morgajel (568462) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933792)

"They wont be happy until I'm sitting in a darkened padded room eating a liquid only diet."

then your muscles will atrophy. better give you a nice padded mouse wheel for excersise.

Re:Let's see... (2)

NorthDude (560769) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933803)

Time will kill you over time.

Breathing kills you (3, Funny)

Codex The Sloth (93427) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933822)

It just takes a while...

Re:Let's see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933835)

They wont be happy until I'm sitting in a darkened padded room eating a liquid only diet."

better be careful you dont choke or drown on that liguid

Re:Let's see... (4, Funny)

giel (554962) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933875)

You forgot to mention s*x!
However, I'm not sure yet which takes more damage during the act, my genitals or my ears...

Anyway, as I understand the article, only half of my hearing capabilities will be damaged if my girlfriend screams MP3 encoded, because my ears have been calibrated using analog screaming (the vintage stuff).

I think I can live with it either way...

this could be true (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933757)

I know people with inner ear implants must take several months to re-learn to hear. The implant produces sound patterns different than normal, but over a few months what is percieved as normal adjusts. Love him or hate him, this is what has recently happened to Rush Limbaugh...

No one uses MP3s (-1, Flamebait)

SteweyGriffin (634046) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933758)

Sorry, but I only use .ogg.

Ogg seems to work best at ~128K stream (best size vs. best quality). Ogg usually makes for a smaller file as well.

MP3 is an obsolete proprietary format. Only the really expensive commercial MP3 encoders actually produce decent compressed files.

Why anyone would use mp3 format for listening to their collection on their PC, or for sharing music via a P2P network is beyond me.

I guess most people like to wait longer to listen to poorer quality recordings...

Re:No one uses MP3s (2)

SiMac (409541) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933778)

LAME produces more than decent mp3 files. Did I mention it's open source?

MP3 is what's used for sharing because it's what's used for sharing. If MP3 wasn't the predominant file sharing format, people wouldn't encode in it. MP3 is the predominant file sharing format because it's what people encode in.

Re:No one uses MP3s (1)

Equidist (630494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933857)

"Sorry, but I only use .ogg" I don't care if you use .ogg. The majority of people use MP3 and until some sort of Oggster app creates media attention, people will continue to use MP3. "MP3 is an obsolete proprietary format." Holy hell! I would love to visit your world. If MP3s are obsolete, then how come there are so many MP3 players on the market? Surely once Apple listens to the benevolent Stewy Griffin, we will see the iOgg. Or would that be oggPod. "Why anyone would use mp3 format for listening to their collection on their PC, or for sharing music via a P2P network is beyond me." Because they are happy with it? Because they don't know better? Because they cannot tell the differance? Because their Gateway PC did not come pre-loaded with a .ogg player?

speculation (4, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933759)

The author presents only speculation, no evidence or mechanism. In fact there is a barely concealed paranoid rant about the mass media and DRM. By now MP3s are in sufficiently wide use that real hearing problems should be noticeable, yet I am aware of no studies or other complaints showing this to be the case. At worst, this is probably a "cell phones / power lines cause cancer" type nonissue.

Tintinitus and it's causes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933760)

One of the major causes of tintinitus is driving with your window open. Faster, highway driving causes a roar that will damage your hearing. The common symptom is the roar won't go away. IANAD though.

tinnitis (1)

lizzybarham (588992) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933761)

Tinnitis may occur for any number of reasons.

possibly unintended (0)

Fermicirrus (621606) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933762)

Maybe the the record labels and the motion picture experts group thought it would be funny make people deaf by listening to pirated music...or maybe it was a plot by the government to alter hearing in order for them to broadcast subliminal messages? heh

I wouldn't agree (1)

chamenos (541447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933763)

i listen to mp3s all the time and i can still tune my guitar or violin as accurately as an electronic tuner. sounds like that article was written by a conspiracy-theorists + audiophile pseudo-scientist.

Re:I wouldn't agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933850)

Or a pseudo-scientist trying to get a government grant for research. The government has an easier time throwing research money at things that are bleeding edge than at things that ... aren't.

obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933764)

these people had touble hearing to begin with.

crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933767)

This is a crappy article. The case isn't made AT ALL. There is no data to back up these claims. It is a hypothesis, nothing more. Couldn't you do better slashdot?

Hmmm... (3, Funny)

Phil Wilkins (5921) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933771)

"which would make the human of the cyberage even more insensitive than he already yet has become by the continuous mass media infotrash bombardment he is exposed to."

Ohhh Kay then...

Think I'll wait till someone with a smidgen of credibility has something to say.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

lizzybarham (588992) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933799)

Its a reference to the exhorbanent amounts of lights and sounds that many persons in this society experience on a regular basis, such as when sitting in front of the television or playing certian video games.

Science or Speculation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933772)

Although there are a few facts about MP3 compression and how the ear works, the article only goes on to speculate about possible problems. There is no science here, no study or even empirical evidence.

One might as well propose that CRT displays, which do not emit infrared, will cause the degradation of human eyesight. Without evidence or facts, speculation is simply speculation.

More RIAA FUD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933773)

"Danger! Danger! Illegal music can cost you your hearing! To ensure safe listening, only use properly-licensed intellectual property."

Next up: Unisys says JPEGs make you go blind! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933794)

"Be sure to only view GIFs, or you'll be walking with a white cane or a guide dog!"

This is FUD (5, Insightful)

seizer (16950) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933774)

I've only speed-read the article, but it's painfully obvious that this chap is spreading FUD.

The crux of his argument is that because the psychoacoustic model of hearing allows us to remove some frequencies, the ear will no longer calibrate itself correctly for "real" sounds. Wild conjecture, with no backup. Then he grumbles a little bit about his games using lossy codecs, and finally blames his own tinnitus on these games.

A bit of a loose argument, I have to say.

Re:This is FUD (5, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933861)

"The crux of his argument is that because the psychoacoustic model of hearing allows us to remove some frequencies, the ear will no longer calibrate itself correctly for "real" sounds. Wild conjecture, with no backup. "

From what he says, the only way that MP3s could damage hearing is if ONLY that type of compressed data could be heard at all times. As long as there are other things to hear (like the world outside of your headphones...) then there's no reason for the ear not to calibrate itself.

It's kind of like saying that apples are dangerous. Your stomach digests apples in a different way than when it digests meat. Eventually, the body will get used to digesting apples and not remember how to eat meat. So, when you finally do eat meat, your body will not know how to digest it. I don't eat apples very often. One day, I ate an apple and then I ate meat, and I had an upset stomach.

Re:This is FUD (1)

naChoZ (61273) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933868)

I didn't even read the article before I hit [CTRL][F] "FUD" in my browser to how many people here pointed this out. What a crock...

Seems to be pseudoscientific drivel? (5, Funny)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933775)

The author of the article seems to lack any relevant qualifications, any proof of his ideas, or indeed basic proofreading abilities.

He does say that CDs are overpriced though, so it must be worth posting on Slashdot.

Slashdot Effect or FIRST POST?! (1)

nsample (261457) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933779)



I decided to forego the keen opportunity of spamming "FIRST POST!" Instead, I grabbed a mirror, so others can read it after the /. effect kicks in:

mirror [stanford.edu]

'Tis the season to be giving, and I can't afford the cash to keep Mandrake afloat... this is all I've got to give!

Hmmm... (1)

Marijuana al-Shehi (609113) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933780)

The sound carrier industry plans however with their DRM campaign (digital rights management) to mix into any commercially distributed audio recordings so-called "digital watermarks"...

I wonder if the industry plans to lobby Congre$$ to absolve the industry of responsibility for any hearing loss endured by a large part of society, much like the pharmaceutical industry was recently absolved of responsibility for potential side effects of certain vaccines. I don't know, have any /.ers read the entire Homeland Security Act? Maybe they snuck it in there somewhere.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

DDX_2002 (592881) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933825)

Which industry exactly would be doing the lobbying? Napster? Aimster? Kazaa, from its offshore refuge? It hardly needs saying that the .mp3 encoders of the world are hardly the best friends of congress.

OTOH, who cares? The guy's entire rant is, I have [tinnitus/some medical condition], I [listen to mp3s/do x activity or use y product] occasionally, ergo, it's all [the mp3 industry/fill in the blank conspiracy theory target]'s fault. It's this sort of silly nonscientific anecdotal nonsense that brings the legal system and american popular media into disrepute.

Sounds like gibberish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933783)

That sounds more like psuedo science than anything coherant. If listening MP3 can damage the brain, what's next? Watching JPEG pictures can damage visual cortex? Viewing MPEG/WMA/AVI/etc. movie can cause eyeballs to fall off from the sockets?

I've heard this argument before. (1)

Stugots (601806) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933786)

In 1988, I worked with a guy who was a stereophile (sp?). He soldered his cable connections instead of just plugging them in, because the air gaps between the plug and the socket could ruin the sonic quality of the music. He had one chair, wood, in the center of his audio room, and that was all the furniture. He had a structural vibration isolation setup that looked like an Erector set that had gone through a transporter malfunction. Etc. He swore to me up and down that playing a CD would damage my stereo equipment. The little square waves that go up and down would go through the wires and tubes, and their sharp edges would damage the equipment that was prepared for nice round edges. Maybe he felt that the little square waves would scrape off the inside of the wire? I dunno, at that time I used zip cord to connect my speakers. Three years later, he bought a CD player. He spent something like $5K on it. (This was in ~ 1991.) The more things change...

utter crap? probably (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933788)

I'll be more likely to believe this when I see it printed in a peer-reviewed medical or scientific journal.

For all we know this was secretly put out by the RIAA :)

Hang on a sec... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933791)

Surely that's a good thing - your brain being able to deal with lossy audio. Maybe listening to MP3's while you're young means that your brain gets trained up for frequency loss in old age and fills in the gaps?

Sounds Like... (1)

Screamer49 (541759) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933796)

Sounds like an RIAA funded study.

Any scientific review of this theory? (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933800)

Or is this just some crackpot's homepage? Who is this guy, anyhow? Prophet of his own cyber-religion? Sounds credible enough. I bet the RIAA grabs this and runs with it, regardless. Hmm... maybe it's part of a carefully-constructed scheme to publicly discredit and humiliate them. Oh wait, they already did that on their own and nothing happened.

Huh? (1)

AnonymousCowheard (239159) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933802)

I couldn't understand you.

Say again?

what? (5, Funny)

nuckin futs (574289) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933804)

can you hear me now?

Re:what? (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933880)

Zoidberg: "I heard yelling! Was it angry yelling or busted hearing-aid yelling?"

Hermes: "I'm afraid it's a little of both."

Prof. Farnsworth: "WHAAT?"

What a load of horseshit! (0)

Chorizo911 (564085) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933807)

Last time I checked reality was still analog. Next he is going to say that HDTV will make you go blind. Damn and I thought it was the masturbation making me go blind.

This guy's thesis is plausible ... (1)

Paolomania (160098) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933808)

... if everything that enters our ears is filtered through an mp3 encoder from birth.

The years of exposure to non-compressed environmental noise that any child would have (be it in the country or the city) is likely to ensure that their hearing development is never stunted by listening to too much compressed audio.

The RIAA could use this info (2)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933812)

Does this mean that the RIAA will be seeding P2P networks with MP3s that contain the subliminal message "buy this CD, buy this CD"?

And I believe that listening to boy-bands will give you tinitus even if you keep the volume way down and wear ear-plugs. That's the price you have to pay for having really bad taste.

Lovely logic... (5, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933814)

" I have however some computer games with MP3 music, but I don't excessively play them. Despite I listen to music only quietly, I have repeatedly tinitus (and thus I also suspect the data reduction in radio and TV broadcasts as a cause)"

This guy seemed intelligent all the way up to the point where he wrote that particular line. If it only took that little of exposure to lossy sound caused him to have tinitus, then why aren't people by the millions complaining of hearing problems? I'm quite surprised he'd attribute his hearing problems to his hypothesis. I think it is far more likely there are other causes of his problems.

I also don't think, from what I've read here, that we're in any real danger of suffering noticable hearing damage from MP3s. The the main reason is that we don't listen to just MP3s 24 hours a day. Not even close! We'll be surrounded by compressed sound for years to come, but it'll never replace the natural every day sounds we hear all the time. Right now, as I write this, I can hear things happening all around me that definitely are not digital. As long as that noise is there, I can't imagine that our brain would focus in on the compressed sound itself.

It's an interesting hypothesis, but it doesn't hold up against real world data.

Peer Review -- scientific journals (2, Insightful)

goldid (310307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933817)

I must just note, as others have, that there is a reason that peer reviewed, scientific journals exist. When a doctor does study this, get it reviewed and published and the confirmed by other studies (or maybe after extensive meta-analysis) I might begin to believe it.

YESTERDAY: eggs make you live 20 extra years--eat a lot
TODAY: eggs will kill you
TOMORROW: eggs will make you live 30 extra years--eat a lot.

Ha. Medical science.

Nonsense. (1)

JBhoy (630783) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933819)

This article doesn't cite anything that supports the idea that listening to compressed audio injures hearing. I've read the article twice now, and even allowing for the author being German, I don't see any mechanism described that would make sense. Best I can figure, the author is suggesting that not having inaudible frequencies in compressed audio somehow detrains us to hear them with..what result? If cutting out inaudible frequencies damaged hearing, we would all already be deaf, given that virtually all computers have long used a restricted audio range. We've been in the era of digital audio for some time now. Tintinnitus is much more likely the result of excessive VOLUME than the result of excessive sound compression. If you turn up those headphones to 10, yeah, you might start to have hearing problem. This little piece of pseudo-science will, given the tendency of the internet to publicize the sensational and ridiculous as much as the factual and useful, have its fifteen minutes of fame. Ignore it, it is baloney.

Translation (2)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933820)

From the Article: "Unlike with compression and decompression of computer programs (e.g. ZIP), that is to say, during lossy data compression (data reduction) the original signal is not reconstructed 1:1, but to reduce the data amount, only control signals for a synthesizer programs (called CODEC) get recorded, those are optimized in a way that during rendition the CODEC can reconstruct from these an approximation of the original picture or sound signal that appears as similar as possible for the human conscious perception, but is not identical to the original signal."

Translated to English:

Lossy compression loses some of the data,

Death by MP3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933821)

But a continuous consumption of datareduced audio could possibly lead to fatal consequences

Erm... how exactly ?

I did RTFA, but I still don't see how listening to MP3s will kill me

FUD (1)

altaic (559466) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933823)

I'm sure the RIAA is sitting back right now, feeling very good about itself.

More FUD from the record industry (2)

Shishak (12540) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933824)

This has gotta be more FUD from the record industry to try to reduce the threat of mp3's. Think about it. Telephones have been digitizing and sampling voice for over 40 years. You don't here people saying that will make you deaf. CD's are samples of the real analog signal, do they destroy your hearing? Hell, just about everything you hear coming out of a machine is fake, digitized, sampled, compressed in some form it is all lossy. So, should we all go back to live acoustic concerts to save our ears?

Re:More FUD from the record industry (1)

blisspix (463180) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933838)

No, telephones don't make you deaf, but for those of us who do have significant hearing loss it does put a lot of strain on what hearing you have left to hear someone on the other end, and this strain is actually quite tiring after a while.

So while it isn't necessary a contributor to hearing loss, phones don't make my life easy.

Wait a minute (1)

tetro (545711) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933828)

but to reduce the data amount, only control signals for a synthesizer programs (called CODEC) get recorded, those are optimized in a way that during rendition the CODEC can reconstruct from these an approximation of the original picture or sound signal that appears as similar as possible for the human conscious perception, but is not identical to the original signal. The danger of this exploitation of human perception flaws is that especially by lossy audio data compression sound portions get destroyed those, although the brain would not pass them to the conscious awareness, are likely necessary for the human hearing's own perpetual calibration. First off, compact discs and any other recording mechanism are lossy to begin with. The actual resolution of actual sounds should be higher than CDs, tapes, records, etc. Based on this "research's" findings, all of these lossy recordings will make you deaf. I think this reasearch is BS and completely sensational in the worst regards.

Freak (1)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933833)

teachmaster of LOGOLOGIE - the first cyberage-religion

That about sums the article up for me... When the Scientologists finish their peer review of this article, maybe I'll pay more attention. :)

Arrgh! My Eyes! (5, Funny)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933836)

The article used jpeg compression on the pictures, I'll never be able to see properly again!

I listen to mp3s... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933839)

...and have occasional stomach problems. Everyone knows that stomach problems can be connected to inner ear problems. Does that mean I can write a web page about the dangers of mp3s on digestion and get /. to post my story on the front page?

I have this same problem... (1)

klui (457783) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933841)

but with my eyes. I look at too much porn...I mean JPEGs...and now my eyes canna adjust to the real world. The anti-aliased text on my computer screen doesn't help either.

Credentials & ability to communicate would be (1)

jmulvey (233344) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933843)

From the article:

...I consider the negligently increasing spread of neuroacoustic data reduction critical, since nobody has yet analyzed the health consequences, and of all by the nationally planned introduction as new TV and radio broadcast standards a future avoidance will become almost impossible.

I consider the negligently applied use of run-on sentences and poor grammer a standard for future avoidance.

This guy claim to be "a researcher of neuronomy and consciousness physics". Huh? Do a google [google.com] or yahoo [yahoo.com] on 'neuronomy'.. not exactly an established field. But he did paste in a pretty complex picture of the inner ear, so perhaps he's a researcher of note.

RIAA (0)

bace (628761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933844)

Could this be an evil ploy by the RIAA to scare us into buying CD's again?

Hm253 377 8706 (2)

Phexro (9814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933846)

As several other posters have pointed out, this guy is full of shit. He reminds me of the sort of people who call in to the Art Bell show [artbell.com] .

If anything, my hearing has gotten better since I started listening to MP3s. I remember when I first started encoding my CDs, I couldn't tell the difference between 128kb CBR MP3s and the CD source. I can't even fathom how I was able to believe that; I encode everything with LAME's r3mix [r3mix.net] preset now.

Intresting article... (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933847)

It says, basically "Listening to music with lots of information removed may be bad for your brain's neural filtering hardware. But on the other hand, it also hurts the music industry, which is good since CDs are over-priced."

cyberyogi (1)

colinemckay (610522) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933848)

I think I'll take anything said by someone calling himself cyberyogi (which he does on one of his other pages) with a grain of salt.

Oh, wait, salt's bad for me too. Is nothing safe any more?

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933849)

I'll take that risk.

Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933858)

After years of listing to Alanis Morrisette I can't understand a word anyone says unless they shreak it at the top of their lungs with an angry look on their face.

Quality vs. Quantity? (2)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933864)

I can see how, with *great* amounts of extrapolation, this might present a problem after prolonged periods of time in an isolated environment which *only* contained the offending constructions.

On the other hand, you could take your freakin' headphones off every so often, scrappy.

When listening to music, music isn't the only thing you hear. There's plenty of background noise going on. The fact that it gets filtered out so's you can listen to your tunes seems to indicate that the sensitive "circuitry" in your head is actually working just fine.

This article seems to be an idealized application of a half-baked problem.

But then, I'm no high-falootin' science guy.
GMFTatsujin

pr0n, mp3... (2)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933865)

Pr0n makes you go blinde...

MP3 makes you go deaf...

We're running out of things to do online. ...

Seriously, though. In the article it mentions how the sound waves have been changed and lack certain intereference frequencies that our ears normally 'filter out' and how that process doesn't happen with MP3 since the sound is already gone. What I'm wondering is if ALL artificial sound (MIDI, Electronic sythesis [think SID music, MODs, etc]) doesn't also lack these frequencies? Sound samples would have the full range, but simple wave-forms generated electronically wouldn't. After all, those sounds aren't full range and they would also inherently lack the natural "interferences" discussed in the article.

My point is -- if they say MP3s are bad for your hearing, the should also say that electronica music, some video games, some electronic devices, and just about anything that produces sound now days could be potentially harmful to our ears.

All I have to say... (2)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933866)

is this. [megat.co.uk]

Even the grammar.... (1)

brinticus (581532) | more than 11 years ago | (#4933873)

of this article is enough to make me think it's a hoax. However, the essay sure does have fancy pictures.

I've never read such nonsense in my life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4933877)

I'm an audio expert - I've had ears all my life.
This paper is complete crap.
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