A while ago, I decided to switch to MP3 music instead of CD’s, so I painstakingly ripped all my CD’s (500+) onto my computer. It’s much easier finding albums on a computer than it is sifting through piles of CD’s only to find out that I put the wrong CD in the case that I was looking for. Plus, I really love “super random” play.
Anyways, I did all my encoding at 128kbps. After I finished (a week later!), I was talking to a friend of mine who had just finished doing the same thing with all of his CD’s, except he did then at 320kbps.
He and everyone I spoke with told me that at 128kbps the audio is pretty much garbage and that I needed to do it all over again.
I thought to myself: Why didn’t I rip them at 320kbps? Now I have to deal with inferior quality music or go through the entire ripping process again!”.
Can you hear the difference?
In any case, I have a fun test for everyone: Listen to these 2 clips. One is encoded at 128kbps and the other is encoded at 320kbps (over twice the bit rate). Can you tell the difference?
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Digitally, 320 may be better than 128, but the “naked ear” of the average music listener doesn’t possess the equipment, they don’t have a clue. During the 90’s, I worked for a DJ company that dubbed vinyl & CDs to cassettes using DBX. The cassettes were seriously analog and the dance floor did not know the difference. Now, we’re returning to vinyl, but if you don’t have a quality sound system, cartridge & stylus, combined, the sound-chain will be of sub-standard quality. Likewise, if you don’t have quality headphones or earbuds, you won’t be able to distinguish the difference between 320 & 128. For a house party or a wedding dance floor filled with drunk family, 320 vs. 128 is, “Much ado about nothing!”