Our monsoon continues and we had another fine rain storm this afternoon.
In the morning Jon and I compared AIFF, FLAC and 320kbps mp3 files in my studio, using Stax Earspeakers and a Stax tube amp. The FLAC files had been encoded and decoded using xAct, which is a fine FLAC app for Macintosh. The 320 mp3 was made with Peak Pro, which uses a LAME encoder – the same encoder we use for the ListeningLounge.
The result was what one would expect: AIFF, followed by FLAC and mp3. What we did not expect was how very close the quality between these formats was. Unless you have a great set of headphones or speakers – and the ears and experience to process what comes through them – you will not hear a difference. Another interesting point was that the treble side of the music was indistinguishable, it was the bass where one could detect shades of difference.
Interesting. I wonder if the difference between a 320 MP3 or a V0/V2 VBR MP3 (I prefer the latter, but I could very well just be imagining the difference, never having done a side-by-side comparison) and a lossless encode like FLAC or AIFF is really worth the enormous boost in file size.