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CD vs MP3 Quality.

3995 Views 27 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  samurray
In an OTA thread yesterday, several people brought up this issue. Those posts were deleted since they hijacked an OTA thread.

I'd like to start that "debate" again here. (the people who were discussing digital vs analogue cameras in that thread may do the same in a new thread) ;)

If I recall the gist of what people were saying, they were stating that MP3s were better than CDs because 128 is higher than 44.

I believe people have got bitrate and sampling frequency mixed up...
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Yup, that's mixed up all right! The sampling frequency of CD is 44.1KHz. That means that the audio waveform is sampled 44,100 times per second. Each sample is captured with 16 bit accuracy. Simple math will show you that the bit rate of CD is therefore approximately 705kb/s. That's the number to compare to an MP3 at 128kb/s.

When an MP3 is uncompressed, it's output once again matches the specs of CD.
If you're playing the files back on your PC, then it's almost certainly your PC's sound card that's responsible for the hiss. The audio output on my Dell notebook, for example, is just aweful.
GQUEUE, it's like HD on a 12" TV. Sure it can be done, but you aren't going to see a difference, so it's overkill. A super compressed NTSC video signal will likely look just as good.

As it is with CD audio, or DVD-A or SACD....the difference will only be appreciable on reproduction equipment above a certain quality level.
When an MP3 is uncompressed, it's output once again matches the specs of CD.
Just so we're clear, this is technically correct in that the output is 44.1kHz/16-bit, but it should be noted that the samples themselves are not the same as the original.

BHoward said:
A LOSSY encoder will compress the data but when expanded MAY NOT be the same as the original.
WILL NOT be the same, but you may not be able to perceive the difference.
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