Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?
So if I always listened to music in a concert hall with a 25000 watt speaker system then I might care. But instead I always listen to my music through earbuds or my car stereo or even my home stereo - where, as you say, "The difference in audio quality may not really be apparent".
So, to answer the question of the thread, NO, I can't really hear the difference between Lossless, Lossy Audio.
The people doing this are called DJs and their audiences. In case you haven't noticed, this whole EDM trend has sort of really blown up in recent years. It's not a fringe phenomenon anymore.
A few of these DJs (not many) have endeavored to try and keep providing their audiences with the best-possible audio experience. There's no question that lossy audio has less 'depth', punch, 'inner dynamics' whatever you may want to call it which has nothing to do with frequency response, but certainly relates to psychoacoustics and perceptually how it makes people feel.
The very imperfect vinyl still sounds much smoother and deeper (especially the bass) on these very large-scale sound systems. Many UK dubstep DJs still insist on playing vinyl. It's immediately apparent during gigs when the next digital DJ comes on. Their digital files may sound cleaner, but lack that punch, what sound system culture enthusiasts refers to as 'weight'.
Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?
While I agree that for most consumers it's really a bit of a moot point, the following may need to be kept in mind:
The difference in audio quality may not really be apparent when something is played back on earbuds or tiny computer speakers, rather than on a concert hall-sized system. These differences are very hard to pick out - even in an audiophile home situation - but become far more obvious once these same recordings are played on a 25,000-watt sound rig in a large auditorium.
Like taking a jpg logo you just lifted from a web site and blowing it up to a large billboard on the side of the road. Pixelation will occur, but won't be noticeable until you scale up to those large sizes. And yes, before someone dismisses this as irrelevant, do not forget the thousands of professionals who play recorded music for millions across the planet every week on those large sound installations. (granted, most of whom do not care one bit about audio quality)
But the difference is there, it's just a shame that no one wants to take the time to actually do these listening tests in large-scale environments with proper acoustics (clubs, concert halls, auditoriums). It should be added that if the venue in question has horrendous acoustics and tons of reflections, none of this will obviously matter.
These perceptual compression algorithms do in fact strip out the very essence of what bind the sounds together, the inner dynamics (so to speak) and it's truly a shame that by now it's become the new 'normal'. Even though vinyl is far more imperfect, on large-scale installation it has a much smoother presentation and the bass really comes out in ways that the castrated digital files do not seem capable of generating. The human ear is extremely sensitive to a lot of this once these details become noticeable due to the size of the room.
Ask Slashdot: How Would You Feel About Recording Your Entire Life?
.. someone else will have to be listening to it all. (not you)
Illinois Politician Wants a Kill Switch For Anonymous Speech Online
Some days, after reading about the same type of posts from allegedly-clueless politicians over and over again, I truly wonder if we're not the ones being played here.
It feels as if they exactly know how to propose things that will set us off, and the precise language that guarantees people getting up in arms about it.
Maybe they're really the craftiest, most masterful trolls there ever was? Elevating the art of trolling to heights the kiddies cannot even dream about? At least on Slashdot, it never seems to fail either!... just an observation in passing. (I do realize that this is fantasy, and in fact this dude is probably another brick added to the 'series of tubes' wall, which has reached pretty mighty heights if I may say so myself)
Derek Khanna Answers Your Questions
"side of the isle" ... yeah... congress as an island... I'd float this idea.
Ask Slashdot: Keeping Your Media Library Safe From Kids?
Buy a humongous hard drive (3Tb is good). Make a giant Truecrypt partition, like at least 1 Tera, ensuring that it's the type that can accommodate files larger than 4 gigs.
(NTFS for Windows, HFS+ for OS-X)
Copy all those movies to this partition while it is mounted. Unmount it... Then just mount it again with password when needed to either watch a movie or copy new ones into the partition.
If you run out of room, make a second partition on the same disk with the same password.
What Could Have Been In the Public Domain Today, But Isn't
TL; DR version: The Internet has pretty much made these outdated copyright laws somewhat irrelevant, merely an annoying series of obstacles that forced all of humanity's cultural traffic to reroute itself around them.
The only time the public domain issue might be a problem would be for those who want to make products for commercial exploitation. One suggested solution might be to crowd-fund them if production budgets are needed, and just give the result away for free!
As long as there is no expectation of direct financial gain and we manage to stay globally connected (regardless of who controls the copyrights), our cultural heritage is pretty much guaranteed to safely survive.
iPhone Infringes On Sony, Nokia Patents, Says Federal Jury
Given Apple's current stances on these very issues, I don't expect they're going to get a lot of sympathy here
Yet beyond the mere satisfaction of seeing the bully take a couple, it does highlight how inherently flawed the patent system has become, and that whether copyrights, patents or trademarks, it's all become so lawyered up as to defeat the very purpose of these limited protections.
That it arguably poisons the well for the rest of us and human innovation at large is something future generations are going to have to come to grips with; in the meantime as I don't see any short-term end in sight. Not a good time to be a start-up in that space.
City of Heroes Reaches Sunset, NCsoft Paying the Price
Difficult to comment without having the inside scoop, but "sudden-death-by-beancounter" seems to be an increasingly common ailment in the electronic age.
Was either deemed superfluous, not worthy of the time, and I can hear the famous "can we just move on to focus on the core IP development" from the accounting department.
All arguments in which players having developed an emotional bond and deep attachment to the game has little if no place at all anymore; even though ironically that was the very thing the developers tried to elicit from customers at the start of the project. But in corporate terms, this has no place in any company's strategy.
Chew'em up, spit'em out. Any questions?
Mike Storey and His Plate Reverb (Video)
I would like to mention that with due respect to Ecoplate there are many seasoned audio professionals who would argue that the best reverbs are proper acoustic chambers like Capitol Studios' basement rooms, the Power Station's stairwells in NYC or the ones rumoured to be at Abbey Road and Air Studios in the UK.
As far as getting awesome plate reverb, there'll be some who will say that a pair of well-tuned and maintained mono tube EMT 140 units ganged together as a stereo effect is pretty much unbeatable. But the maintenance and tuning is a real lost art that very few techs remember. Also equally worthy of mention is the EMT 240 gold-foil plate, which has a sound of it own and has arguably been used on so many records that it is a necessary part of a producer's arsenal to get certain vintage sounds.
Although looked on as black sheeps by many fancy mix engineers, spring reverbs like the ones used back in the day at King Tubby's and Lee Scratch Perry's studios in Jamaica are something that just cannot be emulated with software, and have become such an integral part of the sound of Reggae that some pundits might find it a bit disingenuous to say that Ecoplates are that superior. Just as much, many producers used to splash AKG BX-10 and BX-20 spring reverb on many a track to the point that that sound became an important part of pop music in the late 60's and 70's.
So I'd venture to say that for anyone reading this who hasn't had experience with the gear mentioned those pronouncements about Ecoplate being so incredible should clearly be taken as a matter of someone's taste, aesthetic and cultural biases, rather than as fact.
I did not even bother going into the high-end digital reverb category, with serious contenders from Quantec, Bricasti, EMT, Sony, Lexicon, TC Electronics and other brands, many of which have found favor with all of today's price-is-no-object top mix engineers.
Just the same way a Neumann U-47 microphone can sound pretty bad when not used properly if either of its irreplaceable VF-14m tube inside or its gold-foil capsule have gone to the dogs, this is yet another illustration of what an inexact science audio production really is.
As always, use your ears!
Will Microsoft Dis-Kinect Freeloading TV Viewers?
Sounds like a patent deserving the 'Philip K. Dick Award' in the paranoid invention category.
I can guess a remedial approach... it's always been each person's choice to stop passively watching spoon-fed prime time entertainment programs.
There's so much high-quality content out there that more of it arguably makes little difference, especially since this quantity keeps increasing at such an exponential rate that we don't even have the time to watch a sliver of it anyway... I really don't see much of a down side to refusing to kowtow to any systems featuring 'safeguards' such as this, and that would include similar features.
Steve Jobs' Yacht Revealed
All I can recall is the disappointment that occurred between the time I read the story and clicked on the link (anticipating a dreamy design of some sleek, yet-unseen and heretofore stunningly futuristic spaceship of the waters) and the first-glance impression when looking at the photos ("is this some sort of practical joke... structure looks like some gazebo-thing made out of Lego blocks with its square top... so totally, repulsively ugly not to mention impractical on the ocean"). Maybe it has some redeeming values somewhere else, but wow! That's a pretty amazing feat to design something that instantly feels this ugly.
On thinking about it a bit more, it did bring to mind the one-of-a-kind aircraft that Howard Hughes built, a monstrosity that he even managed to fly once, the Spruce Goose. But looking at it side-to-side, the biggest bird ever built seems fairly normal compared to this anomalous-looking ... 'thing'
Renamed "Steve's Folly', it will probably stay moored at some museum or other. Might just be the right kind of curiosity piece for Paul Allen to add to his collection.
Saudi Arabia Calls For Global Internet Censorship Body
Maybe we should reword this and describe this situation in tech terms.
Those wah-wah-bytes are really butthurt because they are very much like the classic monopolist telcos, some patent trolls, the **IAAs or anyone else who wants to continue to operate by steamrolling their competition, buying the laws to do this if necessary.
They have been historically accustomed to doing whatever they wanted, and are ready to go to any length to protect that monopoly. Just like the telco suing a town for giving its residents free wi-fi. Not so, you need to go through us...
And the wah-wah-bytes in question are certainly not ready to share these sophisticated mind control networks that took hundreds of years to build and maintain.
Why should anyone else have the right to be heard?
What's next after that, they're going to have to share the last mile of their brainwashing wires to let competing and unlicensed carriers deliver services over what they've built? Imagine! Suddenly having to allow others to freely voice their opinions, and for those opinions to be broadcast and heard without any control... that's just unheard of!
We should also takes these comments with a grain of salt, it's a show purely being put out for the home crowd to notice. The dudes saying this certainly aren't dumb enough to actually believe that it would work, but since Pakistan's prime minister clamored for the same thing the other day, they don't want to be less devout than the guy down the street and feel obligated to raise the stakes a bit higher on the BUPD scale (blind unconditional prophetic devotion).
But truly, once framed in corporate terms, all of it seems very far from outlandish. Quite the contrary, actually.... very practical and coherent.
Saudi Arabia Calls For Global Internet Censorship Body
Along the tortuous path of life, certain things irreversibly change over time.
Accelerating the path to freedom from the mental shackles of organized, dogmatic religion would appear to be one of the direct consequences of inter-networked people freely and finally comparing notes between different brands of those good old 'All-powerful-being / be very scared / you should feel guilty, you unworthy scum' methods of mind control that have been in place for hundreds of years.
This happens to exactly be one of the first telltale signs of their unwilling abdication, as their hateful 'religion of peace' disintegrates in the face of a collective, planet-wide yawn. A day to celebrate!!
Practical suggestion: close yourself off from the rest of the world instead. Miss you we will not.
Good luck, don't let the door hit you on the way out, and thanks for all the (fossilized) fish oil!
You Can't Print a Gun If You Have No 3D Printer
I certainly recall thinking to myself: "No way! This is about to open some mighty floodgates of industry regulation" and generally cause a category 4 sh*tstorm event by upsetting those who have suddenly been forced to think through the many consequences of such printing devices being made widely available to the general public without oversight.
It would only seem normal that whoever is in charge of domestic security would want to know all about this immediately, here and now. From an uniformed bystander's perspective (such as myself), investigating any similar scenario would appear to precisely be the very essence of their job description.
Given the current climate of constant knee-jerk hysteria as well as the über-paranoid security measures enacted on just about everything else, how can anyone even be surprised by this?
Ask Slashdot: How To Fight Copyright Violations With DMCA?
This really sucks, but from looking at this individual's Wikipedia entry he has successfully taken on far, far larger entities and caused enough trouble that it would seem as if he is some sort of well-funded masterful troll in his own way.
I think (unless you really want to go the predictably expensive legal route) the best course of action would be to find a way to start some sort of grass-roots effort to deface his entries and comment on all of these posts so that YouTube and WIkipedia are continuously overwhelmed with negative posts explaining the ploy, especially if you can find people who do it in in native tongue.
Then you can become a thorn on his side enough that at that time in my opinion he will just move on and pick other low-hanging fruits, driven by whatever motivates him and his organization of minions.
And if your work does not contain copyright notices, this incident should be a strong incentive to do it from here on out!
Neil Young Pushes Pono, Says Piracy Is the New Radio
OK I happen to share his desire to make good-quality content available to people, no problem there.
But speaking from a studio perspective, and unless we're talking about analog masters from tape such as older recordings from the 70's and 80's, most modern masters are very seldom mixed to analog anymore, the majority of those who care about sound quality print digitally at resolutions of 24-bit / 96 kHz. [in MP3 language, that's 4608 kb/s, a fair amount of bandwidth] Now there are a few mastering houses who do 24-bit / 192 kHz... but I'd wager that they are a real minority already with that. From the 90's onwards, often times producers and bands only had the foresight to mix down to 16-bit / 44.1 kHz for their 2-track masters, and that's all that is ever going to be available. So this business about high quality sources being available is quite already murky IMHO.
Anyway, the important thing to keep in mind is that this previously quoted 24-96 number happens to be the sample and bit rate that the now-defunct DVD-Audio format was using. (R.I.P.) And for all intents and purposes, this sort of quality is also already currently available for download/purchase on HDTracks for a lot of classic Jazz albums. Would love to see sales figures on what that site sells. But I am sure that it's not very much.
Then there's the small matter of the death of SACD, Sony's wondrous Super Audio CD format no one knows about (or understands even, as it is not PCM). All of the 'Golden Ears' agreed that this was supposed to be far better than any existing system, and yet it doesn't appear to have worked out so well at all.
So I am scratching my head trying to understand what this Pono format can do better, when the sources have already been available at that level of definition, and that unless one goes back to analog masters (when available) and do new transfers, there is no more 'quality juice' to be squeezed out of that particular lemon.
Like I said, good intentions, but sadly it seems that the market has already spoken twice with regards to rejecting any high-resolution formats as being viable.
Besides the producer, the artist and the engineer, very few people care, it would seem. Not to sound cynical, but even on file-sharing sites where all of that stuff is basically 'free', it would appear that those hi-rez version do not get much in downloads at all.
I mean, not that there's anything wrong with being a bit quixotic about things you obsess about, especially if you can afford it. That can only be positive in the sense of raising people's awareness that all digital sounds are not created equal, and that some are quite awful to listen to, while others can make for a reasonably pleasurable experience.
But anyway: #goodluckwiththat
Radio Royalty Legislation Described As 'RIAA Bailout'
I think that in this case the 800-pound gorilla in the room is the fact that US terrestrial radio has been able to successfully keep extending an exemption from paying royalties to the owners of the sound recordings that Congress has granted them since 1934 or so; at the time the exemption was given in order for them to build their FM networks... wait! they're still building them. That's what it must be ... or else it would imply that radio and the NAB who represents them were just a bunch of greedbags.. clearly, this can't be!
we're not talking about the publishing side, only sound recordings, which is totally different
Keep in mind that every other radio station in the entire world is paying this sound recording royalty for the use of music on their stations.
Made sense to give US radio a break when records were selling by the bucketload, but now that they don't anymore, what's the reason for those stations to keep making bushels of money off advertisers by broadcasting that music for free, only paying the songwriters but not those who own the recordings?
The kicker is that because of reciprocity laws, no US owner of sound recordings gets paid from radio stations in the rest of the world for those same royalties which go to black box and gets shared by foreign companies since the royalties are not paid to foreign copyright owners by US terrestrial radio.
Of course, on the other hand Internet and Satellite radios have to pay... lovely... >:(
Nobel Laureate Wiped From Pakistan's Textbooks As Heretic
Not really - Just a matter of degree, limited solely by how much power each group has over their respective countries... AIDS sucks more than the flu, but you don't really want to catch either of them.
But hey, I hear ya - It makes perfect sense to devote the full resources of the US government to hashing out whether or not whores... er... "young women"... should have the right to autonomy over their own bodies when it comes to reproductive health. Certainly, no fine upstanding Fundies would suggest beating people to death just because their god whispers sweet, sweet nothings to them in the dark...
Religion is a disease, which any sane person would seek to cure ASAP.
Wish I could have given you a nudge with this... thank for posting.
Credible Reports of a 7.85 Inch iPad Mini Emerge
I must surely be one of the lone dissenting voices with this idea, but - as a long-time iPad owner - I often found myself wishing Apple (or anyone else) also offered a hand-held touch-screen model that was twice as large, where reading books and magazines didn't feel so constricted and one could actually enjoy this wonderful portable medium for the experience it should be able to deliver around the household or elsewhere.
Probably won't happen until we have paper-thin computing devices.... but I can't fail to observe that this whole digital revolution keeps manufacturers bringing a lot of their smaller/cheaper/lighter 'innovations' at the expense of a certain comfort and quality standards we all sort of were taking for granted, and which had to do with basic ergonomics and functionality rather than cramming features into something that sacrificed the very essence of the user's experience with the device in question.