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Increase in sound quality

 
    • afritzse sa...
    • Användare
    • 12 apr 2008, 09:29

    Increase in sound quality

    Are there any plans to increase Last.fm's song data rate from 128kbps to 256kps? And while they're at it, change the codec to AAC (I'm not sure about the licensing)?

    With the reduction in bandwidth and hardware costs, I would think that a more vivid sound quality is within reach, and should happen the sooner the better.

    • Jonty sa...
    • Alumni
    • 12 apr 2008, 16:31
    No, and no. We stream 128k mp3 both for licensing reasons, and because it's a decent trade-off of quality/size for people to stream on low-bandwidth links.

    Most people can't tell the difference between 128k mp3 and anything above that (as long as it's encoded well).

    --jonty

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 15 apr 2008, 17:49
    you can really hear the difference between 128 and 160 kbit/s. For example you can hear that something in the bass is missing and one thing which is really annoying are the missing pieces when cymabals are slapped...160 would be nice, really!
    Just compare Bat Out of Hell in 128 and 160 kbps, you'll hear it! 128 kbit/s sound cruel....
    or try some classic music, like The Four Seasons by Vivaldi

    Combo.fm: Combine your favourite radio stations! | My Blog | scala-lastfmapi | Cache2k - A high performance Java in-memory cache
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    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 20 maj 2008, 12:03

    So...

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

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 20 maj 2008, 19:57
    it was only a sample, of course :P

    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 :)
  • the quality is very acepteble

  • 128kps?

    personally, i find 192kps the 'sweet spot' for me. 128kps is certainly good for streaming though.

    but it's hard to believe that what's streaming is at 128kps. it is muffled and sounds like 64kps max from what i'm hearing.

    do you have to subscribe to get the 128k?

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 2 maj 2009, 15:19
    stream is ever 128k ;)

    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 :)
    • mgradyc sa...
    • Användare
    • 3 maj 2009, 08:41

    Doesn't always sound like 128kbps

    Most of my collection is encoded at 128 kbps, but it sounds much, much better than most of the streams from Last.fm

    I've seen the "Mona Lisa",
    and I've seen the "David" too.
    And I have heard Doc Watson play
    "Columbus Stockade Blues".
    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 3 maj 2009, 21:23
    depends on CBR/VBR/ABR and quality setting I guess....

    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 :)
    • keskju sa...
    • Användare
    • 20 maj 2009, 11:16

    Sound quality :-(

    Doesn't always sound like 128kbps I accept that. 128kbps is ok bitrate because i use last.fm by mobile but are you using some method that encode mp3 files so quickly that can't always get good quality. Normally 128kps sounds ok to me

  • 128 kbps is probably...

    ...the reason why I will not continue this otherwise great service. Spotify is 160 and sounds a lot better and that makes me use it a lot more than lastfm - even though lastfm is essentially a better service...

    • analogs sa...
    • Användare
    • 31 jul 2009, 18:12

    why not use an alternative codec?

    I'm with staffannorden. I'm a huge fan of Last.FM for its overall functionality but I really enjoy a higher bitrate.

    Hey Jonty -- MP3 certainly makes sense as a universal standard for downloading and actual file storage. But why wouldn't you guys go with something like OGG Vorbis (or any other open source codec) for streaming? Arguments can be made either way about what "most" people can distinguish but the 128k bitrate seems to be the sweetspot where the alternative codecs make a noticeable difference over MP3. And it's free/open source so it would seem like there aren't any licensing issues. Since you're supplying the client, there are no compatibility issues. Just curious what other considerations there might be.

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 31 jul 2009, 23:11
    the problem is: millions of songs are already mp3....they would have to re-rip the cd', as transcoding wouldn't improve the 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 :)
  • The quality of the sound at a bitrate level of 128kbits / sec depends A LOT on the mp3 encoder used. If the songs are indeed all encoded with mp3, LAME is the best way to encode them. LAME sounds very good at 128kbit CBR, I've done blind ABX tests with 128kbit and 320kbit, and on SOME tracks I cannot even tell a difference. I was using Sennheiser HD-600 headphones as well.

    Does anyone know what encoder last.fm is using right now?

    • Jonty sa...
    • Alumni
    • 3 aug 2009, 18:02
    tronester said:
    The quality of the sound at a bitrate level of 128kbits / sec depends A LOT on the mp3 encoder used. If the songs are indeed all encoded with mp3, LAME is the best way to encode them. LAME sounds very good at 128kbit CBR, I've done blind ABX tests with 128kbit and 320kbit, and on SOME tracks I cannot even tell a difference. I was using Sennheiser HD-600 headphones as well.

    Does anyone know what encoder last.fm is using right now?

    We use lame, I'm pretty sure we always have.

    --jonty

  • Jonty said:

    We use lame, I'm pretty sure we always have.

    --jonty


    Cool, do you know which preset or settings you all use to encode?

  • New to last.fm, would suscribe if the quality was better

    Using a decent headset right now, the quality is really a turn off. There's definitely a clear difference between the 192kbits mp3 / 320kbits mp3 / FLAC files I have stored locally.

    If the quality was improved I'm pretty sure I would subscribe.

  • Pandora's only edge

    I absolutely love last.fm and I'm eager to spend the $3/month subscription fee; however, I do notice that while last.fm has a much more robust package, Pandora offers 192 kbps for the same yearly fee of $36.

    Are there any plans to offer the option to stream higher quality like Pandora does?

    Thanks

  • I just registered for last.fm today, and really like the idea. I didn't know what the bandwidth was. Never really heard about what last.fm does before. Just seen it in the iPhone appstore. So you can't say that it's just placebo effect for me.
    But i really noticed a huge difference in the sound quality. One of the first songs i listened to was "hello" by lionel richie. I already have a ripped CD version of it on my iphone with 320kbit/s and the last.fm version sounds ugly in comparison.

    I really like the iea of last.fm but I will stop using it if the quality doesn't increase at least to somewhat acceptable 192kbit/s.

    You say that most people can't tell the difference. Well... Maybe, the most last.fm users, because as far as I can see, a long-time last.fm user doesn't really care about the quality. High-quality music lovers use apple's genious instead. Of course, you have to pay for the songs but you can also actually enjoy listening to them.

    I agree, that some songs sound somewhat ok in 128kbit/s but it's not acceptable for a service that is dedicated to music

    I think you've just lost a customer.

    You know, i'd actually pay for better quality, but i don't know why i should pay the monthly fee for the same bad quality content.

    Sad thing.

    EDIT:
    sorry, but i'm just listening to your disgusting version of "hotel california"

    that's it, i'm outa here.

    Redigerad av ariromano den 24 aug 2009, 19:57
  • (double post delete pls)

  • Quality is good ....nice work lastfm:)

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 27 aug 2009, 14:02
    I only use the service from home and have my computer rigged to some pretty spanky bose speakers. The only thing I find is I need to turn the volume up when listening to last.fm radio otherwise not a complaint. Well worth 3 bucks a month

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 30 aug 2009, 19:40
    @sea68 start listening to heavy metal(e.g. Children Of Bodom) and then you will hear with your bose speakers what the effects of 128 kbps are....you even haven't a single chance to understand the text, whereas at 192 kbps this is really possible

    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 :)
    • Primoz sa...
    • Användare
    • 9 sep 2009, 00:12
    At 256 kbits or somewhere thereabout i would REALLY consider buying a premium account. heck, at 36 € a year, i probably would, since last.fm always throws up freakishly good songs, unlike Winamp's random (where you just click next). However, even when it was free, i noticed the quality severely lacking, and i'm not using a top of the line system (only a lowly Kenwood HM-332, connected to the PC via the AUX inputs). I normally listen to V0 MP3s, which are all encoded from CDs/FLAC.

    So yeah, think about upping the quality. I can understand the bandwidth would be a problem, but since it's mandatory to subscribe in all but 3 countries, i can only see fitting to do so. Spotify for example provides a 320 kbit stream, but what good is that, if it doesn't have my listening habbits and can't throw up rocking songs every single time?

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