avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,189 Member Since:20/01/2011

#22 [url]

May 3 17 1:44 PM

weedywet wrote:
I guess I read "so long suckers" as glee

you don't?

No.

Not at all.

It just that the amount of outright misinformation and Hype they used to introduce and market this device was a disservice to those of us who actually care about fidelity and work on ways to improve the sound of our records in a very obvious way, and certainly not just by denigrating existing formats as some evil boogyman to be vanquished by using a "better" DAC and through-hole capacitors..

So long suckers, indeed,

You mentioned Spotify.  It's horrible, but that has nothing to do with  the us/them dichotomy that lured unsuspecting consumers into Pono-land. 
Spotify streams at 160kbps.
This is not an ideal rate for music,and you can hear artifacts in some material, especially if the mastering engineer clips the ADC for "loudness". 

You can subscribe to Spotify "premium" but if you do, you must *manually* select 320kbps as a playback rate.  This is certainly acceptable as a streaming rate.  If consumers are interested in higher fidelity, they can purchase 16/44.1 FLAC or uncompressed files.  

The question that few asked is whether Pono was better than an iPhone, etc... I've seen measurement data and it doesn't look like the differences are at a level that would be audible to anyone.

So what they're selling, and what you're defending, is the mythology that they've achieved "better",  and you are supporting it with a straw man argument that if anyone doesn't agree that "better is better" then they must be _____.

So, no, not glee.. just satisfaction that such an unscientific and predatory marketing machine has not been able to "fool all of the people all of the time"...

So long suckers...



Last Edited By: zmix May 3 17 1:46 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,960 Member Since:20/01/2011

#23 [url]

May 3 17 3:36 PM

I have a friend who indeed compared his phone to PONO and went with PONO.
It sounded better to my ears for sure.

I can criticize their marketing blitz and STILL be sorry to see it go.

I DON'T think current formats are "good enough"

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#24 [url]

May 3 17 3:40 PM

"Good enough" for what, is the question, I guess.

Good enough to enjoy music for most? Yes. Good enough to not stand in the way of a good record of a good song moving the listener? Most probably yes. Good enough that the FORMAT is unlikely to be the "weak link" in the chain for virtually all contemporary listeners? In an extreme majority of cases, yes.

"As good as possible, as ever will be, or ever needs to be?" most likely not.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,960 Member Since:20/01/2011

#26 [url]

May 3 17 8:25 PM

by that measure cassettes were more than good enough

that doesn't mean I'd applaud the death of a medium that sounded better than cassettes. 

Last Edited By: weedywet May 4 17 11:45 AM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,189 Member Since:20/01/2011

#27 [url]

May 4 17 12:55 AM

weedywet wrote:
by that measure cassettes were more Jan good enough

that doesn't mean I'd applaud the death of a medium that sounded better than cassettes. 

Do yourself a favor.

Print something you've done recently to a cassette and give it a listen.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,777 Member Since:26/01/2011

#28 [url]

May 4 17 5:39 AM

Good enough is subjective as we all know and can only be answered by the individual. ESPECIALLY when it comes to art kids. So who exactly is to say when something is not good enough? You? Me? Our Government? Nope.

The public voted, pono lost... next...

BTW, I never said "good enough" and never would. I'm a Virgo and don't believe in that term myself. I will push myself and then some and still never feel good enough (or even like I measure up). That's my world.

As I said, the bandwidth is there, 24/96 streaming is possible, greed controls, greed wins, greed will be humanities downfall... look at history, it always is. Greed IS NOT good, despite what Michael Douglas says.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#29 [url]

May 4 17 7:49 AM

I wonder, Larry, whether greed is the only (or even main) factor here.

I think, more simply, that for now, the larger storage requirements of 24/96 files simply outweigh any sonic benefits for the typical consumer-- for even the best consumer playback, any benefit of 24/96 over 16/44.1 is largely hypothetical, for now.

The convenience of vinyl microgroove records likewise outweighed the benefits of analog tape for most consumers in the 1960s and 1970s. Not really "greed" though. More just a point on a spectrum of tradeoffs.

At any rate, format is hardly the most important link in the chain today. The sad reality is that the PRIMARY playback for many people under 25 today is the mono speaker on their iPhone, or maybe some earbuds if they're feeling fancy. Playing back a 24/96k file on THAT system is a little bit like putting the most expensive synthetic racing oil in your VW beetle. It's not going to make it 'high performance.' You're not even going to notice a difference.

That doesn't mean it's "worthless." Just that it's wasted on 90% of the audience.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,189 Member Since:20/01/2011

#30 [url]

May 4 17 8:57 AM

That's an interesting consideration.. just like 24/96, consumers were told that 1/4" reel to reel was "closer to the source" than an LP. Arguably it was a more popular format than 24/96, but ultimately not successful.

A friend boasted to me that he put his CD player on the curb.. I have thousands of CDs, I've converted some of them to WAV files and play from an iPod through my benchmark DAC, sometimes I play a CD, I also have an accumulation of LPs. I rarely play those. I started examining my listening habits. If I want to study a recording, I'll go for a CD, I have little desire to listen to the LPs, and if I just want to hear a song, I'll go to YouTube. I suspect these habits are shared by others.

24 bit has never been a draw for me because I've never once wished that my CDs had a lower noise floor, which is the only benefit of increased word with in a playback format.
96kHz has never been a draw for me either.
I don't think that my "emotional interaction" with music is compromised by any format in particular.. though I do believe the mere suggestion of the availability of "Hi-Res" is enough to instill a sense of doubt in a consumer about what they *might* be missing , especially those who already have a tenuous connection to their own emotional states.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,777 Member Since:26/01/2011

#31 [url]

May 4 17 9:02 AM

soapfoot wrote:
I wonder, Larry, whether greed is the only (or even main) factor here.

I think, more simply, that for now, the larger storage requirements of 24/96 files simply outweigh any sonic benefits for the typical consumer-- for even the best consumer playback, any benefit of 24/96 over 16/44.1 is largely hypothetical, for now.

The convenience of vinyl microgroove records likewise outweighed the benefits of analog tape for most consumers in the 1960s and 1970s. Not really "greed" though. More just a point on a spectrum of tradeoffs.

At any rate, format is hardly the most important link in the chain today. The sad reality is that the PRIMARY playback for many people under 25 today is the mono speaker on their iPhone, or maybe some earbuds if they're feeling fancy. Playing back a 24/96k file on THAT system is a little bit like putting the most expensive synthetic racing oil in your VW beetle. It's not going to make it 'high performance.' You're not even going to notice a difference.

That doesn't mean it's "worthless." Just that it's wasted on 90% of the audience.

Brad you missed my point on greed. As long as a limited number of gate keepers control the flow, greed will always be a factor.  Moreso these content "suppliers" are not including the content "providers" in their revenue stream... can't get more greedy than that. Sure you'll get a few 10ths of a penny but what do they get for all your hard work? All the profits. 

As for the hi res being wasted on the consumer, I agree. This is exactly why we have not moved beyond the CD spec.  Which is fine btw. Frankly I don't think we need to really.  

Ed Wolfrum would come on here and argue that the the red book CD spec is more than sufficient.  He was part of the committee that ratified the spec.  They did not do this in a microcosm, they actually had consumers in test groups listening to these things.  Average person could not hear any difference above 16 bit 44.1 sample rate. So guess what they decided on as "perfect sound forever".

Anyway, it's all about the music, not the medium. We all know that but we are all engineers who work to better our craft.  As long as we don't give up everything will be fine.

We keep looking, waiting, wanting a savior for this industry... well there isn't one and there isn't ever going to be one. Now ask yourself why?    The answer is a simple one to me... but I'm a simpleton.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,145 Member Since:23/01/2011

#32 [url]

May 4 17 9:04 AM

My POV on the question of audio quality, stated in an overly simplistic way, is that when a recording/playback system exists where, in a highly controlled environment and with source material that is very well known to the listener*, 1,000 out of 1,000 people are unable to differentiate the input from the output: only then will the issue of how good is good enough be settled.  

* The source could be a recording of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", a concert-level Steinway grand piano, the sound of their child's voice, etc.  

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#33 [url]

May 4 17 9:27 AM

I think we agree, Larry.

I'd just clarify that I think the issue of high fidelity and the issue of exploitative practices within our industry are largely separate. Even if Spotify started streaming 16/44.1k lossless, or 24/96k lossless, or whatever... the underlying issue for our livelihoods would remain.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,189 Member Since:20/01/2011

#34 [url]

May 4 17 9:58 AM

maarvold wrote:
My POV on the question of audio quality, stated in an overly simplistic way, is that when a recording/playback system exists where, in a highly controlled environment and with source material that is very well known to the listener*, 1,000 out of 1,000 people are unable to differentiate the input from the output: only then will the issue of how good is good enough be settled.  

* The source could be a recording of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", a concert-level Steinway grand piano, the sound of their child's voice, etc.  

1000 out of 1000 would be impossible, even in a placebo test.  500 out of 1000 would still be equal to guessing

The study of 700+ music professionals and engineering students resulted in much less than 50% accuracy in distinguishing between 16/44.1 and "Hi Res"

The issue I have with pure anecdote ("I have a friend who indeed compared his phone to PONO and went with PONO") is that it conveys nothing important about the object, and I'm immune to peer pressure, anyway.

Listen to the same track on repeat on any format and note the differences, I'm sure that if you were "Educated about how to listen" as one fake Hi-Res study claimed was key to getting "reliable" results, you would hear differences even where none existed.  Especially if you were pre-biased.

In reality, if a particularly staunch anti 16/44.1 consumer heard even one CD that sounded good to them, then it's not likely that the format itself is the problem.


Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#35 [url]

May 4 17 10:07 AM

Frankly-- I think I just used to care a lot more about such things than I do currently.

Perhaps one day I will care more again. But for now I feel there are "bigger fish to fry" (both within our industry at large, and within my own work particularly, as far as what will move it forward meaningfully) than 24 bit delivery.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jaykadis

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,431 Member Since:24/01/2011

#36 [url]

May 4 17 10:50 AM

Music used to be an end in itself, listening and doing nothing else. Now it's generally attached to some visual image or played during some activity as a background. Considering that, the quality is going to be less noticeable for the majority of listeners. Hence the general acceptance of compressed formats for their convenience. Arguing about uncompressed format quality may provide fodder for internet discussions but scientific studies prove futile because any differences in source material are dwarfed by the variability inherent in the auditory system.

I totally agree that if even one CD sounds good the medium is not at fault when other CDs do not. I once got a demo cassette from some duplication plant in Florida that sounded amazing. Delivery media are not what's destroying the music business and are not going to save it.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#37 [url]

May 4 17 11:14 AM

jaykadis wrote:
Delivery media are not what's destroying the music business and are not going to save it.

The point you're making, I agree with 100%. But I'd amend it slightly to say the fidelity of delivery media aren't destroying, and won't save. Because the practicalities of delivery media absolutely DID destroy it. The easily-copied-and-transmitted digital file certainly had a LOT to do with bringing down the "old" music business.

When a license to listen to music required the purchase of a discrete, physical good in a store, that's a LOT different of a business model than when it requires a streamed digital file (or even a downloded file, for that matter!)

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jaykadis

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,431 Member Since:24/01/2011

#38 [url]

May 4 17 11:21 AM

soapfoot wrote:

jaykadis wrote:
Delivery media are not what's destroying the music business and are not going to save it.

The point you're making, I agree with 100%. But I'd amend it slightly to say the fidelity of delivery media aren't destroying, and won't save. Because the practicalities of delivery media absolutely DID destroy it. The easily-copied-and-transmitted digital file certainly had a LOT to do with bringing down the "old" music business.

When a license to listen to music required the purchase of a discrete, physical good in a store, that's a LOT different of a business model than when it requires a streamed digital file (or even a downloded file, for that matter!)

Yes, copying has become easier from the cassette/LP days but it was an issue even then. I agree that easy copying has diluted the perceived value of music but cultural changes, in part influenced by that, are at the root of the problem. That and the ubiquity of recorded music. I should have said delivery media quality.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,145 Member Since:23/01/2011

#39 [url]

May 4 17 11:30 AM

Maybe timely: I had an errand to do this morning, so I took an issue of The Absolute Sound along to read while I was waiting to get to the front of the queue.  There were at least 3 shirt-pocket-sized high quality players similar to Pono mentioned and, based on my recollection, at a similar price point.  I don't know if Pono could play DSD, but the one being specifically reviewed was capable of up to 5.6 DSD (I think it said) as well as all the usual and hi res formats.  

Regarding sonic evaluations: I did a cd that recently went to manufacturing.  The client called me up and said the CDs from the production run didn't sound like the files in the DDP file.  My usual method when trying to sort out things like this is A. a null test, which his ripped example passed perfectly with the original and B. Import into Pro Tools, align the two examples to sample accuracy, pick a short section (like a 4 bar phrase) and loop it.  I like to use the Solo option that cancels the previously solo'ed track when a new track is solo'ed--this means a single mouse click switches between A and B.  Even after knowing that it had passed the null test, it was so unbelievably easy to swear there was a difference just by virtue of the mouse click that I really had to concentrate hard and spend some time before I signed off on them sounding the same.  

I am not saying that CD damper mats, etc, can't have an effect; I'm also not saying that two different CDs that would null can't sound different (due to error correction or other factors).  But I am saying that to get a real answer, you must concentrate hard, be aware of expection bias and be sure to compare apples to apples.  

Quote    Reply   
avatar

morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,323 Member Since:29/01/2011

#40 [url]

May 4 17 11:38 AM

zmix wrote:
 I do believe the mere suggestion of the availability of "Hi-Res" is enough to instill a sense of doubt in a consumer about what they *might* be missing , especially those who already have a tenuous connection to their own emotional states.
 


this is amusing.
 

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help