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Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Entertainment |

What to do when the MP3 is no longer enough

What to do when the MP3 is no longer enough

(CC) Maryalena

On 31 August 1982 Japan launched the first player, the Sony CDP-101, and with it, the first music CD album led by Billy Joel 52nd Street, which appeared in Japanese stores the first of October 1982.

That if it is clear that while the waltzes of Chopin, played by the Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau, and the album ‘The Visitors’, ABBA, had been recorded a few months earlier by Phillips using this technology, recently became available in the windows music stores in November 1982.

That year the CDP-101 had a price equivalent today of about $ 1,500, while each disc cost about $ 31 in Japan.

After three decades since this technological milestone, as it represented the first successful step towards digitization of music one hears at home, one wonders if the sound quality has improved as much as it has facilitated the process of obtaining new music recognized through the format.

Neil Young’s crusade against MP3

The influential Canadian musician (who was nicknamed ” the Godfather of Grunge ) has never feared to new technologies , and is currently on a crusade to improve the quality of mobile devices, because although the MP3 format has democratized access to music worldwide, it has done at the expense of irrevocable loss of sound quality.

The format of MP3 audio coding algorithm uses a lossy data compression quality, which also takes advantage of a perceptual limitation of the human being to hear certain sounds, which have been eliminated and can save a considerable amount of space to the format.

This means that an album that fits in a 700 megabytes can be compressed to a tenth of its size in order to be easily sent over the Internet, but deeply sacrificing sound quality.

Young says the actual sound quality is “the worst we’ve ever had” and said that the discharges were “degrading” the audio standard.

To remedy is working in a format that is now known as Studio Quality Sound (SQS), which will be released in 2013 along with a music player called ‘Pono’ and a music download service. The format SQS says the musician, looking to hear the songs as they sounded in the recording studio.

The free audio format without loss

While the market expects the proposed Canadian musician, currently the ideal format to support music CDs called (short for ‘free audio codec and lossless’), which is described by its creators as a MP3 format similar to, but no loss in audio quality due to compression of the information.

A song in FLAC format can achieve a quality indistinguishable from the original compact disc but half its size, which is also considerably less than a WAV file, the digital audio format most typical and versatile (can be opened by any player on any platform) which has no understanding of data, so because of that occupies large amounts of hard disk space.

The FLAC format is used by artists who want to give their fans the best quality sound without getting in trouble for software patents, because the format is free and open source.

For example, when your Internet rose Radiohead album ‘In Rainbows’ 2007 to be downloaded by fans, the leader of Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, the English band criticized for not making available to the public the FLAC format disc , accusing them of making a disingenuous as to stimulate digital downloads.

In general, phones, portable music and more modern equipment are capable of playing this format integrated. For PC, you can use VLC , or Winamp . While an iPhone can use the player ‘ Capriccio Free ‘, and in the Android VPlayer Video Player , or Winamp .

To buy FLAC albums can use sites like HD Tracks , which has an extensive catalog of popular music in that format, or places where independent musicians sell their stuff directly to the consumer as Bandcamp .

When size does matter

If you do not have much space left on the phone memory or computer hard drive, or not having a privileged ear can catch the subtle differences between a CD and a vinyl-can use or formats.

These are the compression formats that do have losses, but that nevertheless have a far superior sound quality to MP3 when compared to the same bit rates (which can reach the size of a file every second of sound).

Consider that the sound of an archive to a constant bit rate of 320 kilobits per second is indistinguishable, for most people, the sound of the original CD. Even they have performed various experiments between common users say where compression at 192kbps and is indistinguishable from a superior format and lossless. That if to warn that lowering the bitrate to 128kbps and can differentiate poor sound quality.

The AAC format can be played on almost any phone currently either an iPhone or Android, as well as audio players like iTunes or Winamp. The OGG format is free and open but less versatile, as it is not accepted by iTunes or the iPhone, having to use special programs such as the previously named ‘Capriccio Free’.

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