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Thread: Audio Quality On ALL Devices

  1. DreamOperator's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by FoxKat View Post
    I have all that music on a 2TB NAS drive, and stream out to my phone while driving or walking at full FLAC (upto 1000kbps), using Jamcast (it's on the Play Store) on 4G. It's incredible to be able to listen to true CD quality while driving or walking and not to have to carry any of the music on my phone.
    Awesome!! Thanks for the heads up on Jamcast, I had not heard of that. Streaming FLAC, here I come!
    Thanks to all that make this Android community so great!
  2. oldblackcrow's Avatar
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    #12
    Thanks for the kind words and additional info guys! Great to know we audiophiles are lurking around here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyco2008
    I compared a FLAC (320kbps) album to AAC at 256kbps variable, I couldn't tell a difference with Beats Solo HDs.

    I mean looking through the forums, the concensus seems to be that most people can't tell the difference, and that those who can are just imagining it. I'm not saying you're imagining it, perhaps some songs do sound better, all I'm saying is that I personally cannot tell the difference.
    As stated above, your phone probably isn't the best device to listen for the differences. I've heard some pretty good reviews on the Beats cans, but even the best cans will sound like crap if the amp is not good quality. Probably better for you to listen on a home stereo setup. We can go through the numerous makes and models here, but I urge you to go to a dedicated audio store and bring a CD of your mp3s and of the original CD or FLAC files to hear the difference. Even if you can't afford the equipment you're auditioning, it's important to hear what you are missing.

    For example... I have a pair of Magnepan MMGs (which are not expensive or the best speakers) that I enjoy. My wife hated them for a long time because they are "too big". However, a few years ago I had them sent out to get re-imaged and temporarily substituted them for an old Sony set. One evening, we were listening to some tunes and she said, "what's wrong with the stereo, it sounds like ****". When I explained it was the speakers, she didn't believe me. But then the Maggie's came in and I set it up so she can hear the difference side by side. Now, she loves the Maggie's and decorates the room around the speakers.

    Enough emphasis cannot be given to the idea "quality in=quality out". And this goes for every part of the audio chain. But we with wives and budgets must do much homework to find the best balance of quality and price. To relate this back to smartphones, it's important to audition your smartphone's sound capability as well as other functions.... if sound quality is important to you. Remember, you chose to invest a decent amount of money on a good pair of headphones.... if you can't hear the difference between an mp3 and FLAC... then either the headphones are not as good as they seem to be or your device is not as clean as it can be... or some other part of the audio chain. I can almost guarantee it's not your ears or imagination (assuming you have no physical deficiencies).

    Keep us posted on your journey... I'm curious what you discover!

    Droid X2 CM7
  3. Super Moderator
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by DreamOperator View Post
    Awesome!! Thanks for the heads up on Jamcast, I had not heard of that. Streaming FLAC, here I come!
    It was written by a buddy of mine, I was a big part of the beta team, spent many months working with him to iron out everything. I got so used to him responding with something like..."Nobody else had mentioned that", or "I've never seen that before". Each time we worked to reproduce the problem on his end and then he'd come back with a fix a day or so later.

    Many of the features you'll find on it were my suggestion and a couple were put in just for me specifically, like being able to control the buffer sizes based on what communication protocol (i.e. 3G versus 4G versus WIFI) and still being able to tweak them in those various settings. I also requested the ability to tweak the pre-buffer size (how much if loaded before the music starts), and being able to increase the pre-loaded list size (items per page), specifically since I have some 60,000 tracks.

    He even had to change the database indexing method to support my library. I also have the server running on a Windows Server 2003 operating system and he made the software compatible for the server, and further enhanced it to pull from my RAID5 on that box.

    We also made it compatible with my SONOS and my two ROKU SoundBridges. The biggest fun was getting it to stream audio from the sound card (Virtual Soundcard). I can actually "listen in" on my home by leaving the microphone on the computer on and streaming the soundcard monitoring the microphone, or check out what my wife is listening to on the computer while I'm at work and freak her out when I repeat what she was playing!

    I hope you like it!

    Sent from my DROID RAZR MAXX using Xparent ICS Tapatalk 2 using Google voice to text translation. Please excuse any minor spelling, punctuation, capitalization or grammatical errors.
    Last edited by FoxKat; 05-22-2012 at 11:15 PM.

    "Professor FoxKat"
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  4. oldblackcrow's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by FoxKat

    It was written by a buddy of mine, I was a big part of the beta team, spent many months working with him to iron out everything. I got so used to him responding with something like..."Nobody else had mentioned that", or "I've never seen that before".
    Man, I can't wait to try this! This is exactly what I was talking about in relation to creative apps for we audiophiles! I travel frequently, so I have to wait til I get home.... I'm drooling. :-)

    Droid X2 CM7
  5. Master Droid
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    #15
    You mean people still buy cd's? Most people I know think it's a waste of money. I still prefer to have the original copy stored in cases in my office. I will look into this flac format some more as I am an audiophile. Thanks for the heads up.
  6. Droid Ninja
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by oldblackcrow View Post
    Thanks for the kind words and additional info guys! Great to know we audiophiles are lurking around here.



    As stated above, your phone probably isn't the best device to listen for the differences. I've heard some pretty good reviews on the Beats cans, but even the best cans will sound like crap if the amp is not good quality. Probably better for you to listen on a home stereo setup. We can go through the numerous makes and models here, but I urge you to go to a dedicated audio store and bring a CD of your mp3s and of the original CD or FLAC files to hear the difference. Even if you can't afford the equipment you're auditioning, it's important to hear what you are missing.

    For example... I have a pair of Magnepan MMGs (which are not expensive or the best speakers) that I enjoy. My wife hated them for a long time because they are "too big". However, a few years ago I had them sent out to get re-imaged and temporarily substituted them for an old Sony set. One evening, we were listening to some tunes and she said, "what's wrong with the stereo, it sounds like ****". When I explained it was the speakers, she didn't believe me. But then the Maggie's came in and I set it up so she can hear the difference side by side. Now, she loves the Maggie's and decorates the room around the speakers.

    Enough emphasis cannot be given to the idea "quality in=quality out". And this goes for every part of the audio chain. But we with wives and budgets must do much homework to find the best balance of quality and price. To relate this back to smartphones, it's important to audition your smartphone's sound capability as well as other functions.... if sound quality is important to you. Remember, you chose to invest a decent amount of money on a good pair of headphones.... if you can't hear the difference between an mp3 and FLAC... then either the headphones are not as good as they seem to be or your device is not as clean as it can be... or some other part of the audio chain. I can almost guarantee it's not your ears or imagination (assuming you have no physical deficiencies).

    Keep us posted on your journey... I'm curious what you discover!

    Droid X2 CM7

    My bad, I didn't clarify- I was comparing via my laptop, but I don't really know how a gNex has great audio quality and the TB does not... I mean it's analog so there really isn't like a scale of good audio jacks vs bad ones, at least I wouldn't think so.

    As for FLAC, I didn't know that the standard was upwards of 1Mbps, as it turns out the album I was comparing, the FLAC version is @ 1024kbps, which is like my 3G modem on a good day, my how things have changed...
  7. Super Moderator
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by xxwabbit View Post
    You mean people still buy cd's? Most people I know think it's a waste of money. I still prefer to have the original copy stored in cases in my office. I will look into this flac format some more as I am an audiophile. Thanks for the heads up.
    Yep. I have all 3,800 + CDs on shelving lining all the walls to the ceiling in a large closet. I love having the original artwork, but more importantly if you rip the CDs and either sell or give away the CDs, by law you are required to delete all copies of the original music, since you technically no longer have the license to the audio.

    Again, https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...=search_result is the streaming player and server combination (the server is installed on your home PC, the player above on the phone).

    As for ripping, Exact Audio Copy is the ONLY ripping tool I'll EVER use to rip to FLAC. It allows you to calibrate your CD ROM to known accurate calibrations, so that when a CD is read, EVERY BIT of data, including the silence before and after the starting and ending tracks is duplicated exactly. Again, a CD ripped with EAC in Secure Mode with No C2 and Error Correction off will either produce an exact duplicate or it will fail. For me, that's the only options.

    There are a myriad of options that can take this from an extremely accurate rip to a rapid and good quality copy. It also supports encoding on the fly to FLAC (and other lossy and lossless codecs). Audiophiles are the overwhelming percentage of users of this tool, and they provide tremendous support.


    Enjoy!
    Last edited by FoxKat; 05-23-2012 at 03:01 PM.

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  8. Super Moderator
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by oldblackcrow View Post
    Man, I can't wait to try this! This is exactly what I was talking about in relation to creative apps for we audiophiles! I travel frequently, so I have to wait til I get home.... I'm drooling. :-)

    Droid X2 CM7
    Let me know what your impressions are. The developer is still a good friend of mine and I am sure he'd appreciate some feedback.

    "Professor FoxKat"
    "Saving DROID Razr's, one battery at a time. :-)" - (credit SallyC)
    Avatar is Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86, from "Get Smart" (with his signature "Shoe Phone"), a SitCom TV series by Mel Brooks & Buck Henry, based on the spy thriller series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.".
    "Guidelines of Conduct" for DroidForums.net
  9. oldblackcrow's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyco2008 View Post
    My bad, I didn't clarify- I was comparing via my laptop, but I don't really know how a gNex has great audio quality and the TB does not... I mean it's analog so there really isn't like a scale of good audio jacks vs bad ones, at least I wouldn't think so.
    Any amplifier is qualified with specifications such as signal to noise ratio, frequency response, total harmonic distortion, wattage and other specs that affect the audio quality. Traditionally, wattage was a general qualifier on how good the audio sounded. The higher the wattage, it was argued, the less noise at lower volumes. Unfortunately, that was grossly misleading and in many cases, just wrong. Many things contribute to noise and distortion including the cleanliness of the power coming into the amp to begin with. Output jacks have negligible affects on overall quality.

    Anyway, all computers and smart phones use digital amplifiers, but they are of low quality for the most part (some better than others). Some sound cards/computer chips may use a Digital to Analogue Converter (or DAC), but this tells you nothing of the quality coming out of the system. This is why there are high end sound cards that bypass the internal sound card. There is an ongoing argument of what sounds better... a pure digital signal or an analogue. Regardless of your preference, one cannot choose the preference if the sound quality is so low that it doesn't matter.

    It is important to read the specs on the amp/pre-amp setup (receiver, if that's your taste). I would say it's better to go by specifications for your amp/pre-amp than with speakers/headphones. Amplifiers are pretty straight forward (dismissing the whole tube amp vs. integrated circuit and digital vs. analogue) and the better the specs, the more likely the better the amp. Speakers, on the other hand, are more personal and though specs are important, subjective opinion usually trumps specs.

    Like I suggested in the earlier post, it's best to audition this equipment in a dedicated audio store. I hope that clarifies your question.
  10. oldblackcrow's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by FoxKat View Post
    Let me know what your impressions are. The developer is still a good friend of mine and I am sure he'd appreciate some feedback.
    I most certainly will! Thanks! I'm also downloading EAC, as I have never heard of that program before. I've been using the FLAC player/ripper and have been rather disappointed on a few CDs. I have a suspicion, however, that my problems are with DRM... but this program should help me rule that out. Arrrrgggg! I'm stoked!
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