Forum » Feedback and Ideas

Increase in sound quality

 
    • Gakboi sa...
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    • 4 mar 2010, 07:42
    flapane said:
    No, Gakboy.
    That's all a subjective matter.
    I can say 90% of my friend can't tell if a song is more or less compressed, the main motto is "as long as I can hear it it's ok".
    That's not a matter of knowing how the human ear works, but of how normal people listen carefully to a song.
    You'd better say that lastfm users, being more or less audio/web geeks, do pay attention to audio quality.
    Some months ago I switched from mp3 128kbps to flac+nero AAC -q0.55 for every single song.
    It was a pain in the a**, but at least it was worth it. I won't persuade any friend that it was worth, by the way.
    Do you get what I mean? 128kbps mp3 still remains the standard de facto.


    You didn't read or don't understand what I said. It's not subjective it's scientific. The ear cannot enjoy music that has a flat dynamic over a long period of time. That is why people are paid thousands to master an album so that the songs have a natural dynamic. To explain... part of the mastering engineers jobs is to ensure correct track order, spacing between tracks (the length of silence between each track is not random) and relative dynamic between songs as well as a whole host of other things. Ever noticed that the first song on an album is never the same loudness as the third ? Or the way rock bands have 'slow' songs to break up a heavy set. There is a reason for that.

    And no 128k is not de facto. I don't know anyone who stills rips at 128k for their personal use but maybe that's just me.


    VITOS: I know all about the loudness war and actively support mastering engineers who refuse to play ball. But that's not what this is about. 128k takes those songs and makes the already destroyed unbearable. If we want to talk about loudness war we could also talk about **** D/A converters, speakers, ipod docs etc etc. It's up to professionals (inclusing last.fm) to provide the best quality possible so that consumers can squeeze the most out of the piece of junk they listen to music on. Not everyone can afford a $30k sound system but everyone can make a little bit more effort.

    An easy test is to listen to 70's soul (doesn't suffer from loudness war issues) on last.fm at work all day. Note the time when you become tired of the music and wish to switch it off. The next day listen on CD or similar quality rip. Also note when you become tired of the sound. Try it on some none audiophile friends too. The results don't lie.

    Your 2nd paragraph is pretty spot on. What really confuses me is why people fight for their right to have lower standards. Very strange.

    Gakboi
    • flapane sa...
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    • 4 mar 2010, 12:06
    Yes, you're right, I noticed that some band have 'quieter' songs between heavier ones. All those things you explained should be called 'psycho acoustics', if I remember well.
    Unfortunately we don't agree: Who tells that the ears cannot enjoy something? I already wrote you that the main motto for average people is "as long as the sound comes out of my headphones, it is ok". Please don't consider us audiophiles, geeks and so on but REAL, AVERAGE people. That's why most people rips at 128kbps (an answer they could give you could be: "so you can save space") and it's a standard de facto. They don't even know what an encoder is and if there are any differences among them.
    Furthermore people at hydrogenaudio will tell you to "do an ABX" and not "the more the bitrate, the better it will be". It's all a subjective matter.
    That's my POV speaking about REAL people (average dudes, not audiophile ones) I meet everyday in real life.
    Maybe UK is different and average users do care more about a/v quality, maybe it's something else, I don't know.

    Flapane - www.flapane.com
  • The jump to 192 or even 160 kbit/s would be very well received...at least add an option for subscribers. Definitely a feature worth paying extra for.

    The current streams sound like 96 kbit/s not 128.

    • yejunx sa...
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    • 31 mar 2010, 04:58
    I would be happy with 128k AAC instead of MP3.

    • Citizen1 sa...
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    • 4 apr 2010, 14:50
    yejunx said:
    I would be happy with 128k AAC instead of MP3.
    wont make much difference and i highlty doubt you could tell the difference.

    Working to become a more pleasant Citizen 2.0 : )
  • The quality of audio on Last.fm is definitely not "CD quality." It seems to vary a lot from song to song. Some songs have very bad song quality, and some are ok (I just use a 10-year-old 80w Microsoft Sound System). 128kbps is a pretty good bit-rate though, you have to listen carefully to notice the difference. Seems to just effect the quality at the extremes of the sound spectrum. I personally rip my music at OGG quality 6; not sure what mp3 CBR that is comparable to, but it sounds great.

    Anyways, I'd just be happy if they'd offer a way to flag bad quality songs and streamed at 128kbps. Still better than real FM radio.

  • well well, this dicussion is very strange somehow. Most People do not notice the difference between 128kB/s and better. Hm maybe. I mean ok when i look at the charts of last.fm there are many tracks which are not deserving being played in higher quality (imho).
    I know those people, who "can't tell the difference". My Brother is one of them.
    "Why should i pay 50 € for headphones, if i can get them for 5€?"
    But when i played some of his songs on my speakers (which are pretty expensive) he very well could "tell the difference".
    Don't get my wrong 128 kB is ok for most users - but maybe those users will someday become enlightened users.
    Enlightened by Spotify maybe.

    i expect some innovations from last.fm
    you guys can't expect, that everything will stay the same.

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 22 apr 2010, 22:59
    The traffic and computer capacities of the gone on-demand listening could be used for a better audio quality!

    Combo.fm: Combine your favourite radio stations! | My Blog | scala-lastfmapi | Cache2k - A high performance Java in-memory cache
    P.S.: Do not click here
    throw new PokemonException(); //Gotta catch 'em all
    My forum post reflects my personal opinion :)
    • elser82 sa...
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    • 23 apr 2010, 21:57
    128 is terrible. i'll try spotify as soon as my subscription period ends. come on, guys, open your eyes (ears) ! do you know other alternatives to spotify with good encoding?

    • Kove sa...
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    • 24 apr 2010, 16:08
    elser82 said:
    128 is terrible. i'll try spotify as soon as my subscription period ends. come on, guys, open your eyes (ears) ! do you know other alternatives to spotify with good encoding?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last.fm#Similar_services
    Good luck!

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 30 apr 2010, 20:25
    I too would be happy to pay for a higher bitrate streaming service...the current 64kpbs AAC HE is adequate, but with other services doing better, last.fm is falling behind. Don't be like the Wii and insist you will never go HD...

  • Haha, last.fm wtf srly?!

    On your Site/Category "Hardware" (botton right on the site or: "http://www.last.fm/hardware"; ), you show us some neat audio devices for home entertainment use and whatever.
    Products from logitech, Sonos, and others. Some you tell us are capable of streaming last.fm stations.
    Why the hell shall someone buy those devices and plug it in a a great stereo, when all last.fm stations will sound like my laptop speakers.
    Ok maybe not quite that bad, but unless last.fm won't go the next step and re-encode their music no one will buy such devices BECAUSE of last.fm compatibility.
    At least it is not a such good argument for logitech/sonos/... .

    I expect, that logitech (or other companies) whicht sell internetradiodevices would be happy about better audio quality.
    let's take this one you have on your site:
    IR 815 ( http://www.last.fm/hardware/muvid )
    it can play FLAC! that means " free LOSSLESS audio codec ".
    Why the hell should anyone, ho listens to flac on this device later switch to crappy last.fm stations??? I expect the most people would hear the difference then!

    why not switch to higher audio quality with special accounts.
    And people who buy those devices from logitech and others get a free acount for some months ?

    you're a company and you wanna make money i guess. For that you have to invest first. Invest in new jobs especially for encoding music in lossless.

    there would be so mutch possibilities: When a subscriber "loves" a song that artist gets a little money or something. And to make it fair - the first "love" track is worth more than the 1000th.

    your the biggest company in online radio stuff. don't stay asleep.

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 2 maj 2010, 21:54
    good point! ;D

    Combo.fm: Combine your favourite radio stations! | My Blog | scala-lastfmapi | Cache2k - A high performance Java in-memory cache
    P.S.: Do not click here
    throw new PokemonException(); //Gotta catch 'em all
    My forum post reflects my personal opinion :)
  • idea:

    when an artist gives you special lossless music, he/she gets money, if subscriber-listeners "love" tracks from him/her.

    that could become a new music-business-model.

  • Definitely Noticable sound quality

    I have heard songs on lastfm that I currently have on my Harddrive in 192 or 320, and the difference between the two is DEFINITELY noticable. I even have some in 128 kbps that sounds better than some of the songs on lastfm. I don't care about the codec used, but an increase in bit-rate would definitely be a step up. Like the guy above said, there's no point in this service if you have expensive speakers or similar, because the sound quality will just ruin the experience.

    Bandwidth/storage is dirt cheap these days. There is no excuse for not doing something. I even agree with the option of adding a 'tag' to mark songs that should be swapped out for a higher bitrate.

  • can't we make a petition about this?

    " please last.fm make music in higher bitrates available, even if we have to pay for it "

    ... by the way.
    does anyone here know Trentemoller? He's an electronic producer making very very sophisticated electronic ambient music.
    There's a lot going on in the < 8kHz regions. On my speakers its always jawdropping.
    I didn't dare yet to listen the trentemoller radio on last.fm.
    Some Artist really suffer from last.fm quality the most.

  • Re:So...

    konijntim said:
    I don't think much listeners listening CLASSIC MUSSIC *bragg*

    I also think so.
    __________________
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    • Primoz sa...
    • Användare
    • 30 maj 2010, 00:20
    I can suppoort SHadester on the difference between my MP3s and last.fm streams (i mainly have V0 MP3s). ANd as for alternatives to last.fm, are there actually any? Does any of the providers have a scrobbling ability? If yes, when will i have 80k scrobbles there, that will play some of the finest songs that will just ake me go 'wtf, how did i forget about this' and simmilar?

    Last.fm is kinda unique (to my knowing). Both in the service it does provide and could provide.

  • Yeah, better quality please

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 13 jul 2010, 02:13

    Just signed up.

    Hi all. I just signed up and the first thing I did was look for a way to increase the quality. I just came from Di.Fm and Sky.Fm where I paid double than Last.FM for a premium account and received 256Kbps streaming. I have el cheapo speakers but can really hear the difference. I would gladly pay double for at least 192Kbps. I also see this thread is nearly a year old so time will only tell.

    • Skiye sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 13 jul 2010, 14:13
    i would suggest ogg - its almost flac ;) hahaha

    even html5 is supporting native ogg file play with very simple scripting -

    example - view page source to see exactly how simple it is....


    its tough listening to different musics in 128mp3 - feel like i am not hearing all the sounds that i hear in the songs when i put the record/cd on. heavily compressed audio is what it is, and if thats all that is available - i'll take what i can get....but it would be awesome to have them in a (near) lossless format

    =)

    Redigerad av Skiye den 31 aug 2011, 16:18
  • I'm an avid user of free formats like OGG and FLAC, I have spent a lot of money to find stereo components that work to my satisfaction and I have converted all my cd:s to FLAC and it sounds like heaven. When I tune in to Last.FM it's like concealing the speakers behind woven carpets - the joy of music dies by suffocation!

    This phenomenon is apparent with any standard hifi-set and since it's becoming more and more common to setup your PC to your flat-screen TV and hifi speakers, it's really silly to think people are going to be satisfied with the current crap sound quality from Last.FM!

    Streaming FLAC is a bit much to demand, but 192kps AAC works pretty well. And since AAC is a widely adopted ISO/IEC-standard that performs better than MP3 for any given bitrate it's my preferred lossy codec choice.

    I live in Sweden and the Swedish Radio in addition to air, broadcast all their channels via the web using AAC up to 192kbps. (192kps link included for sound quality comparison with Last.FM.)

    http://sverigesradio.se/topsy/direkt/1607-hi-aac.pls

    Can you tell the difference?

    Regards
    Per in Sweden

    • axaladl sa...
    • Användare
    • 10 aug 2010, 17:03
    New subscriber here who's disappointed at having to use last.fm mostly as a music discovery engine instead of as a music listening engine. I'd gladly pay another buck or two a month to get 192/160. At least then I'd be able to hook it up to my hifi with confidence.


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    Redigerad av Jester-NL den 28 aug 2010, 12:31
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