CD vs MP3

So my CD arrived today and I worked out its the first one I’ve bought in about 6 years.  With my new found fascination with the 12cm shiny being I decided to conduct a test of CD vs MP3.

Not particularly scientific, but I listened to the MP3 versions of the songs and the audio straight from the CD through my overly expensive headphones and realised very quickly how much I was missing out not having CD quality audio in my life.

I was listening to songs I have played many times from the downloaded album and hearing things I have never heard before in the CD version.  This is making me think we should save the music stores that are supplying us with decent audio quality and stop buying sub-standard quality from iTunes etc.

Try inserting that CD the player and listen to it and be amazed.




5 Responses to “CD vs MP3”

  1. What sample rate are those iTunes mp3’s at then?

    If you sample at the highest possible bitrate for mp3, I bet you won’t be able to hear the difference. I don’t anyway.

    Getting your stuff from sites that offer 320kbps mp3 downloads, or FLAC (=no loss whatsoever) is a good option imo.
    It’s just sad you still have to pay more for the full quality FLAC download though.

    • I believe that iTunes content is 128/192kps in an attempt to keep bandwidth usage as low as possible.
      MP3 by definition is a compressional technique whereby some of the top and bottom frequencies are cut in order to save on space. This can sometimes mean that your file can only contain 2/3 – 3/4 of the intended content. I personally feel that people should have the option between downloading the MP3 or FLAC file (for the same price) and then can do with it what they will.

  2. MP3 compression is more complex than applying some sort of bandpass filter on the audio.
    In 320kbps I doubt you can hear the difference with the original recording, unless you have a top-notch state of the art soundsystem to blast those tunes on.

    I agree on the FLAC thing though. It should be at the same price.

  3. Yes, it’s unfair that FLAC is more expensive, definitely – and CDs too are more expensive usually than downloading from iTunes, which is just unfair.

    There seems little point in shelling out on decent speakers etc, to me at least – until most of my music is CD quality. Although right now it’s maybe as much as half and half.


  4. It makes sense that CD’s cost more of course. You get art, a box, and the fact that the physical CD had to be transported to a local shop, which needs electricity, and people getting payed to work there, makes it more expensive. Having people pay more for a small percentage of extra bandwidth usage is silly however.
    But then again, doesn’t iTunes suck anyway? It’s not even all DRM free on there, which is even worse, so you won’t be seeing me shop there, ever.

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