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  #1  
Old Oct 16, 2014, 08:50 PM
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Jedi QuestMaster Jedi QuestMaster is offline
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Default New HQ Digital Music Service (Pono)

I was excited when I read about this new digital download service:

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/neil-youn...182858224.html

I remember a couple years ago hearing Neil Young rant about the lack of quality in music these days. I always shared the same frustration: computing storage is getting larger, and computers aren't limited to the low bitrates that digital services have to offer. In fact, digital music can go above CD quality, but that's not normally the case.

My only concern is about that triangular music player; I don't see how that can sit well inside anyone's pocket or in their hand.

By the way, I never heard of HDtracks. Anyone try it before?

Either way, I hope these do well and see digital-only video game music offered in a HQ lossless format.

Edit: I just realized this should probably go in Miscellaneous Discussion.

Last edited by Jedi QuestMaster; Oct 17, 2014 at 03:03 PM.
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Old Oct 18, 2014, 12:19 PM
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Yotsuya Yotsuya is offline
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I attended the event and heard Neil Young introduce this, I didn't get over to the booth to give it a listen, but it seems like a great idea. I guess the idea is to recreate the full dynamic range from analogue recording into digital.

I was reading through some youtube comments on vinyl vs. digital and some said that it's impossible to truly recreate analogue recording as a digital version and I reason this is true though I have absolutely no basis or education other than my own listening. I don't consider myself an audiophile or snob or anything but I acknowledge there is a range of output quality dependent on source material, amplifiers and speakers/headphones. So even if it can't 'truly' recreate a vinyl listening experience it could at least get damn near, and it wouldn't degrade like a record does. So sounds cool!

One thing I wonder about is with video game music, it's usually created electronically, so unless they royally screw up the recording/transfer, the soundtrack should be true to the source without need for extended dynamic range or whatever, right?
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  #3  
Old Oct 18, 2014, 01:47 PM
LiquidAcid LiquidAcid is online now
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24/192 Music Downloads
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 04:01 PM
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LiquidAcid, could you elaborate on this? It's not exactly a short article
I got that extended range recordings are too extended and expand beyond human perception, but it's better than a truncated or compressed version right?
I also read he mentioned digital recordings are indiscernible from analog.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 04:18 PM
LiquidAcid LiquidAcid is online now
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I don't see what I should elaborate here, that's what the article is for.

tl;dr: 192kHz/24-bit music downloads make no sense (title!) and the only reason they're there is to pull money out of the pocket of people that still believe that digital audio makes 'staircases' out of their sine waves.

If you don't know how digital audio works, then I can recommend these two video episodes, also by Monty:
Link
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Old Oct 22, 2014, 05:40 PM
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Thanks for following up there, yeah I guess the first paragraph sums it up haha I think I skipped that part :S

Thanks for the video links too, that's pretty interesting, though a little deep for me, I just like video game music

Sorry if it's obvious, but I always heard vinyl is the best recording possible; according to that video digital and analog signals are identical so does that mean vinyl is in no way superior to digital recording?
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Old Oct 23, 2014, 04:18 AM
LiquidAcid LiquidAcid is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yotsuya View Post
Thanks for following up there, yeah I guess the first paragraph sums it up haha I think I skipped that part :S

Thanks for the video links too, that's pretty interesting, though a little deep for me, I just like video game music
No offense, but rather than read through a bunch of Youtube comments from illiterate people (on this specific subject), you should spend your time to read the article in full as well as watch the two video episodes.

All this audiophile bullshit relies on people being too lazy or ignorant to learn some facts about digital audio. Just saying that "(this is) a little deep for me" doesn't make it better.

On the one hand you jump onto this press release nonsense ("but it seems like a great idea"), not even questioning the fact that Neil Young might be a good musician, but not in the slightest an expert on digital audio. And on the other hand you cast aside the information that is provided to you, labeling it as 'too complicated'. The topic is not trivial, I acknowledge that, and that's exactly why you should be wary of people making these 'bigger numbers mean bigger sound' statements.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yotsuya View Post
Sorry if it's obvious, but I always heard vinyl is the best recording possible; according to that video digital and analog signals are identical so does that mean vinyl is in no way superior to digital recording?
No, it isn't. Like with the 192kHz/24bit myth, I won't go into details here, because other people have done this before:
Hydrogenaudio Wiki - Vinyl Myths


My 2 cents on the topic: Mastering is everything here. Get some classical recordings by Deutsche Grammophon and then we can talk about the CD (or 16-bit) lacking dynamic range.


EDIT:
I remembered that some while ago I computed the dynamic range of the tracks on the FINAL FANTASY Orchestral Album, which was released on Blu-Ray, advertised for having superior audio quality. The ranges can be found here. As you can see this thing about 'superior' is bullshit^3, none of the tracks exceed 20dB dynamic range. You can easily achieve 90dB (!) with 16-bit.

Last edited by LiquidAcid; Oct 23, 2014 at 04:27 AM.
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  #8  
Old Oct 23, 2014, 06:08 AM
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My main player is an Ibasso DX50. I tend to run the line-out into either an amp or my car and its really good. It's pretty much the same concept as the Pono, although the DAC's are different (DX50 uses a Wolfson DAC, which is known for being fairly warm sounding and is found in some iPods, Pono uses a Sabre ESS9018 DAC which is known for detail retrieval).

I'll be watching the reviews on this. The price on it is pretty fair, right in line with the newer wave of audiophile portables (the Sabre DAC is pricy, it tends to be expensive to implement) Hopefully they can get the sound right...The Ibasso players tend to change sound quality and characteristics with each firmware. They came out with Rockbox for it a few months ago and I've stuck with that.

Also, I can attest to the hi-res debate. I had some downloads of some vinyl in 24/96 and I felt like I was gaining a small bit of headroom...not quite enough to justify the size. Considering the majority of VGM is released only in standard 16/44.1, it's not a feature that would see much use anyway.
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Old Oct 23, 2014, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for the info/hand-holding, sorry if it's wasting your time. Those links are great, as I said I just scanned them but hopefully I can read them a little closer to get a better understanding.
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Old Oct 23, 2014, 12:48 PM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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Honestly, the best thing to do is use your ears. I love the IDEA of hi-res files, but they added very little in actual listening practice.
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  #11  
Old Oct 27, 2014, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yotsuya View Post
Thanks for the info/hand-holding, sorry if it's wasting your time. Those links are great, as I said I just scanned them but hopefully I can read them a little closer to get a better understanding.
If there's anything you don't understand in the stuff LiquidAcid gave you, no matter how basic or advanced, he or I can probably explain. I do highly recommend all of it as well. If you're not really interested enough to put that much of a time investment into it, let it suffice to say that all those people you see saying vinyl is inherently superior to CD or that analog has infinite resolution are really misinformed and wrong.
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Old Oct 29, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Hey, that's really nice to offer, thanks! Even from what I skimmed I kind of got the gist of the arguments and misconceptions regarding audio, but I can tell those are pretty solid primer-style resources. What really threw me off was all the video stuff he talked about in the second video. Fascinating, but seems a bit more complicated than the audio aspect.
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