July 4, 2004

What Goes In Your Ears

Tim Bray brings to life a point I recently discovered, compression on MP3 is rather poor sound quality. I unintentionally ripped a disk this past week at the lossless sound quality in Apple iTunes and ended up with 23 MB to 30 MB files in the Apple file format. I dumped the songs in my iPod and hit the road. That evening on my way home I listened to my disk I ripped, Danny Wilson's Meet Danny Wilson, and was utterly blown away by the lush tones finding their way to my ears through the Sony in-ear fontopia headset. I have been ripping my collection over the past couple years at 160 bits in the Apple format or in MP3 and getting 4 to 5 MB per song. Since my experience I am now ripping at 192 bits, but still not getting the lush sounds, although the quality is improved. I will run out of space at some point, but I will have much better sounding bits to listen.

Not everything needs the better sound quality, but there are many things in my collection that I may go back and re-rip so I have better travel versions with me.

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