Monday, December 3, 2007

New Bitrate's being tested on eClassical!

We are now starting a test where we encode our files to MP3 320 kbps, which is the highest MP3 bitrate available.

We've got quite a few requests for higher bitrate and this is our response to that. We will evaluate the test based on customer feedback.

We have started with a few CDs but will continue with new releases from the record labels we work with. So when they send us newly released CDs, we will, during the test, encode them in MP3 320 kbps.

Also, the number of composers is now over 800!




Anonymous said...

Will previous releases be "up-graded" to the greater bit rate? And if so, will we be able to re-download our music at a faster bit rate?

RFroberg said...

Yes, we are slowly upgrading older material to the higher bitrate. But this is taking quite some time although we are working on it as fast as we can.

And there's nothing preventing you from re-downloading in the future, the same rules for downloading applies as usual.

Check the more info-page for a product to view the bitrate.


Pirate Killer said...

Don't forget that a lot of eClassical is available at in full CD quality via FLAC.

wymiana said...

There is no audible difference between 320 kbps MP3 and CD; so keep going at that rate! That's perfect!

RFroberg said...

That's my experience as well, that there is really no big difference in sound between MP3 320 kbps and CD quality, given the average audio equipment of our customers.

If you are unsure, why not take our listening test (nobody has got the full score yet with all correct answers).

It is a really hard test and it is not scientific at all and there just for fun and as a pedagogic way to start a dialog about sound quality and fidelity of different formats and sample rates.

It proves that under the given circumstances it is really hard to tell different sound files and qualities apart and there's a lot of factors playing in here.

First of all, the test shows how files that were created on my old laptop in different sound file formats sound on your equipment.

Secondly, you must be aware of the difference between sounding "good" and sounding "like on the CD".

Some people actually think certain music pieces sound better in a lower quality than on the CD. All ears are different, and all speakers, sound cards, headphones, HI-FI sets etc are different. People have different taste added to that.

To hear the difference (regardless of whether one thinks one sounds better or more beautifully or not) between CD quality and high quality music files is something you must train actually.

We aim to compress the sound as little as possible to stay near the sound of the CD. But then again, a CD recorded in the 60s and created in the 80s sounds not the same as a digitally recorded piece from this year (with all the newest technology) and put to a CD this year with the latest technology etc.

This is often a heated debate whether one file format is superior to another, and taste and preferences (and prejudices) often plays in! And what sounds good to one person for one type of music isn't necessarily what sounds good to the same person for a different type of music either.

In the future we would like to offer CD quality (or higher if we get it from the labels) music files so that each and everyone can then re-code to the format of choice (or keep them as is). Until then (it requires time and investments in storage to convert everything), we have settled for MP3 320 kbps.

Please try the listening test (bearing in mind that it is there mostly for fun) and join in the debate;-)