Jump to content

LongtimeListener

Why it is not a good idea to buy music file downloads (and CDs/streaming music probably, too)

Recommended Posts

On 14/09/2018 at 8:00 PM, Grant Slack said:

f you care to lose it, you could convert your files to PCM 24/48, and save a lot of storage space too.

Yep, have done this and am about to listen to them to check them out.

So far the 0 and 1 garbage noise is gone and the sound is still very good.

 

Still waiting for the final message from the channel classic engineer Jared what he can do about this. I would prefer the cleaned up files from him if possible

 

Anyway, thanks for the hint. You seem to know that stuff pretty well. Are you doing this as a profession?

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, just an enthusiast, but with a bit of a grasp of technical stuff.

 

Just to clarify, when you talk about 'the noise', do you mean you can actually hear it? If so, what does it sound like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

Just saw this thread. A great example of the knowledge, freely given on this forum. 👍

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Grant Slack said:

No, just an enthusiast, but with a bit of a grasp of technical stuff.

 

Just to clarify, when you talk about 'the noise', do you mean you can actually hear it? If so, what does it sound like?

Good to have such sophisticated, knowledgeable enthusiasts here in the forum 🙂

 

No, I cannot hear it. It must be a hazard for animals like dogs and cats, really, who are able to hear it.

 

What I dislike about it is

  • that it takes resources from the sound system which has no purpose at all.
  • It is  passed through to the amplifier and played into my living room through my speakers. We don't know to what extent, though.
  • Will my tweeter get damaged, we don't know.
  • The file size is large, here 3.8 Gigabyte for all 5 files, just to contain a huge load of unnecessary 0 and 1 noise, that will cost me downloading money.
  • I never intended to buy that unnecessary noise contained in the files that has nothing to do with the data (music) I wanted to buy
  • only the music was advertised, and it was not stated in the product description that it will have that noise as a by-product,

Therefore, I consider this as a faulty product.

 

Now, to open another can of worms which will probably bring in the vinyl enthusiasts. Link -> It is the world of overtones and it's effect on the sound and character of a tone. <- Link. It can be discussed that even non-audible overtones have an influence on the audible sounds and change their character. Under that view the 0 and 1 garbage noise discovered in those files could have a complete new unpleasant effect, indeed.

Link -> Even more food for thought <- Link

Link -> Article to the fact that instruments emit overtones in the ultrasound spectrum <- Link

Link -> More about this here <- Link

Edited by LongtimeListener

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, I am pleased to read that it is not audible. That is what I was assuming. An audible sound would be completely unacceptable (and a very big surprise to me).

 

While I don't deny your concerns for a minute, let me offer a few personal thoughts -- and that is all that they are -- on some of the broader topics that you have touched on, that might not be exactly the same as yours. I hope you don't mind.

 

Regarding wasted 1's and 0's. A .dsd file, or a .wav file, has a fixed total file size, set by the initial digitisation settings, which does not change with the loudness or qualities of the music, other than number of seconds. And, when it is high-res, like 24/192, a lot of those 1's and 0's are representing sounds way beyond human hearing, by being far above 20 kHz, or far below the quietest we can hear in the room. So, whether the process places some noise in those 'wastelands', or not, does not change the file size at all. It only changes where the 1's are placed and where the 0's are placed. Your downloading money is the same.

 

The only realistic way to not waste 1's and 0's, other than compression (ideally, .flac files), is to purchase a lower resolution version. Do I recommend that? Sadly, it's complicated. I want to say yes, but I can't trust the suppliers to give exactly the same original master at all resolutions offered (my fear is that they slip in a "loudness wars" CD rip for the 16/44 option. Even worse than that, we all know they often take a 16/44 original, and up-sample it to sell as high-resolution for a higher price. Now, that I do want to complain about. But it is futile. Too many have already complained, yet it happens.). And I do wish that 24/48 was offered more often. I would pick that if it was offered. I don't even know what to recommend to myself! :)

 

My views on your last paragraph, touching on areas over 20 kHz, are sadly very conservative. You talk about wasted downloading money, and I agree. But it pales, in terms of significance, next to wasted money on equipment dedicated to playing those wasted 1's and 0's. :)  I keep thinking: I know how much I would appreciate spending $5,000 on making my equipment play the music better between 20 Hz and 20 kHz, and how much I definitely would audibly benefit from it. So, why would I take those $5,000 away from that area (I am not made of money) and put it onto an area, where there is a massive debate about whether the gains are even slightly audible, or not, or maybe, or let's have a fight about it? ;)  In my very humble opinion, that is a decision that I find remarkably easy to make.

 

But, to finish on a technical comment. You did ask about overtones, and instruments that output frequencies very much above 20 kHz. No doubt about it, they do. I just want to comment that any interference tones, that appear in the audible spectrum, will still be present in a recording with a lower sample rate. That is my understanding, for what it is worth.


Regards

Grant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Grant for the well written opinion. I do very much appreciate opinions as I like a good debate as it helps to gain knowledge myself and deeper understanding.

 

An yes, I would not spend money on equipement re-producing outside 20Hz to 20Khz but it is still an interesting subject to watch.

 

I also have excellent CD recordings which pale a bad high resolution recording as the sound engineer was not willing or able to catch the sound well.

I find classical music is especially difficult as the room, the different instrument groups and the composite sound is hard to record. Composite sound means a melody/theme very often is created by mixing the instrument groups in expression, rhythm and dynamics like colours together to make the melody/theme appear. If the sound engineer in not able to catch this through various reasons, the whole piece falls apart even to a stage that it is un-listenable. A problem that even exists when you go to a live concert and the conductor looses the control over the orchestra.

As a side note, this is the reason you need a good sound system to get hooked on the sound scape of classical music.

 

I looked into other 192/24 files I have and they do not have that 0 an1 waste noise. So it must be possible to produce those resolution without them.

They have some data (music or noise) above 20kHz, but not such a huge amount like the recording in question.

 

If think, after what I have learned here, I will go only after 48/24 files now maximum. CD quality files will be checked on arrival for those dynamic range issues decribed above.

 

For the rest I just will sit down and enjoy the music. To be honest, it is just amzinng how perfect sound can be re-produced nowadays and being able to be part of it as listener is a real gift.

 

Thanks and cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


1 hour ago, LongtimeListener said:

....I looked into other 192/24 files I have and they do not have that 0 an1 waste noise. So it must be possible to produce those resolution without them.

They have some data (music or noise) above 20kHz, but not such a huge amount like the recording in question....

Again, a pleasure to read your post. Not wishing to extend an enjoyable conversation too far, but regarding the above extract, I am not sure if I misled you, and I wish to clarify.

 

Case 4 was originally a DSD recording, and that is what introduces the noise shaping.

 

Most 24/192 productions would be originally recorded in PCM digital, or recorded in analog and converted to PCM. PCM digital does not involve noise shaping. You will see no noise shaping on all music that does not involve DSD.

 

It was only the SACD logo, on the case 4 image you put in your PDF file, that alerted me to the likely presence of noise shaping. It was a surprise. I would have thought they would release it as a DSD download (which still has the noise shaping, by the way).

 

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Grant Slack said:

I would have thought they would release it as a DSD download (which still has the noise shaping, by the way)

They do, indeed.

 

Ok, my lesson learned here 😊: Beware of DSD recordings, the SACD label is an indicator, go for the 48/24 if in doubt 😉.

Thanks for clarifying, I am a much more conscious shopper in the future...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14/09/2018 at 11:49 AM, Grant Slack said:

if any DSD DAC removes all energy above 20 kHz, because that is effectively turning it into CD quality with a bit more dynamic range

?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×