However the MP3 version does have less dynamic range than the FLAC version.
Or alternatively, the FLAC has more dynamic range than the mp3.
You're just playing semantics now.
The point is that they should both have the same amount of dynamic range.
If what I am reading on the Linn forum is correct then it seems record labels are driven by market forces on the quality of MP3. That the sound is made for the mass market that use MP3 files for portable players so the music sounds good in earbud headphones ? Seems a crazy idea why not make them sound as natural and best quality possible. This is the fight Neil Young has taken up also even to the point he has written a song on his new album about the wrongs of compressed music.
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THERE IS NO NEED FOR THERE TO BE ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL!
But there clearly is, more important then why do you think there is, and (I'm presuming the motivation for all the analaysis) why do you think there actually should not?
When an MP3 is converted from the studio mastered version of the music it sounds identical to the 'no compromise' 24bit FLAC version.
When an MP3 is converted from the CD mastered version of the music it sounds slightly worse than the 'no compromise' 24bit FLAC version.
Not sure what your linking to?
There are a few on here that don't get it, but Steve isn't one of them.There are no reasons, inherent in the formats, for these differences to exists. Clearly reasons do exist and Linn have given us their explanation for these differences.That is, Linn use the master intended for CDs to create the mp3, and use a separate master specifically intended for their Studio Masters. They do this as they don't want to confuse consumers with MP3s that sound different to CDs. The Studio Masters are marketed as sounding better, so no confusion there.Seems fair to me, although personally, I'd like the best mastering available across the formats.
^^That's it, basically. Also I suspect Linn wouldn't be allowed to sell D-I-Y MP3s from the studio masters of another label's music, but it would be good to know for sure. I did ask a few pages back if someone already on the Linn forum could put that question directly to Linn. I'm not a member of the Linn forum, and joining it just to 'have a moan' seems wrong.
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Linn's advertising and promotion of their 24bit recordings implies that the reason their 24bit recordings sound better is because they are 24bit, rather than 16bit or MP3.
Yet, when closely question about this issue, Jim C's explanation is that actually the sound difference is because they use different masters to produce 24bit and 16bit products, and that is primarily why they sound different.
It is misleading not to state this acknowledged fact at the point of sale.
No they do not.
Please take a careful look at these three pictures again. The downloaded Linn MP3 is differerent to the 'no compromise' studio FLAC version. But the MP3 that I converted myself looks (and sounds) exactly the same as the 24bit FLAC version.
Downloaded Linn MP3
Downloaded Linn 24bit FLAC (this is the 'no compromise' studio mastered version)
My MP3 converted from the Linn 24bit FLAC file
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The 'Turn Me Up' website helps to explain why reducing the dynamic range of music will reduce the sound quality.
Have a read of it and watch the video on there. The video in particular explains the effects of compressed dynamic range very well.
Thought you read this on the Linn forum ........
Again to reiterate, Linn does not do any remastering, nor any mastering at all of any third party content delivered to the download service.We do not hamstring any products in order to 'up-sell' ... that's just really really bad business. It would be terrible to do it to our own products, and even worse to do it to someone else's.
Linn's response to Steve's concern makes complete sense to me. It is the record company that calls the shots on the quality of the various formats and dictate to Linn what they can release.
This is simply the loudness wars discussion and no big conspiracy by Linn !
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It is to Steve's credit that he raised these issues.
Even Linn now agree that the files are different, but their promotion implies that it's due to 24bit replay availabilty.
They should state that the sound quality differences are due to the use of different sound masters.
Deal with the real issues, - don't shoot the messenger !
I think it is clear from Linn's posts that the 24 bit files and CD/MP3 files are (in most cases?) different masters. Fair enough for Linn, if this is how the record companies do it, Linn cannot do anything about it.
However, I think it also should be made clear at point of sale that the different files are actually different masters, so people know that any difference in sound quality can come not only from resolution of the file (bit depth + sampling rate) but from the mastering itself. This way people are not confused and may even buy both masters if they want (e.g. the 24 bit and the CD version or whatever choice they make).
I also think if that is not made clear, it is abusing customer trust in quality, as it woudl imply that the 24 bit file is 'definately better' while in fact it means 'definately different and definately at different resolution'.
I seem to have missed in all the posts - does Linn also produce a different master for CD for their own recordings? Or did they say the do not do it?
I think Linn should and can be trusted on their recordings' quality (the ones I have sound excellent) and I hope they can extrapolate this quality approach to selling music from other labels by clearly stating what they are selling. People then make free informed choice and know what they pay for..
Would that be fair?
Say, there was a record made in 1990. It was made in 24 bit. there was no hi-rez downloads at the time, so, naturally, they made a CD master from it, optimising for CD, for the loudness war at the time or whatever they wanted to do to it to release it on the available media and get the best financial return. Come 2000, the MP3 market emerges so they just take the CD version, mp3 it and sell. they either do not even think about the 24 bit or decide just to hold on to it as this is where the intrinsic value is (especially given the spreading piracy). Only natural. Come 2010 there is a new market emerging for hi-res music so some decide to finally sell the original 24-bit master, at a premium. All looks naturla to me. So we end up with different masters ont the market. The only thing missing is clarity on what is what at point of selling.
Another point - teh one in the OP - is to, in the future, try to avoid or minimise the negative impact of modifying the original masters, standardise some aspects of that step which should make music throughout the market/media better. And that is indeed a good thing - Beter quality music coudl be on the way, as per the OP.
Thanks to Craig for starting the thread, thanks to Steve for doing his thing diligently and honestly, thanks to Linn for replying and to all who contributed positively. No thanks to those who posted a lot of 'noise' and personal attacks in the thread. WHF could have supported the cause a bit better, I think.
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Again Linn explain everything on their own music store regarding all formats and always have done.
This file type should work with all computer types including PC, Mac and Linux. This is similar to what most other download sites refer to as "CD" quality. In fact, what they normally mean is that the file is digital, most other compressed music delivery sites deliver very poor audio quality. The audio that we offer is compressed but only to the point that sound quality doesn't suffer unduly (320kbps compared to other sites which are 128kbps).
If the download speed of your internet connection is a concern then this file is best for you. This type of download file is the only one to consider if you have dial up, the others are much too large to download over a dial up connection.
This statement is disengenuous in itself. The top selling online music stores (of which Linn is not one) sell or stream mp3 at or above 256Kbps, with 256 being the minimum. Certainly 128kbps can no longer be regarded as the norm.
It is the premise that 24 bit is inherently the best playback format that is wrong, when it can be demonstrated that CD resolution offers every bit of the audible quality and dynamic range of 24 bit. Lossy formats also have the ability to accurately portray this quality, but obviously there will be a threshold for audible artifacts at some point (not obvious dynamic compression or volume levels though).
Also people seem to be confusing mastering with remastering. An original 24 bit master will be mixed down for CD, this CD will exhibit every bit of the quality of the original master and subsequent compression to lossless and lossy will also retain the same quality as in the original master, right down the the level of compression artifacts that I mentioned before. Now, if the original master is remastered, the original sound has been changed (not neccessarily for the better as various releases show) and it becomes a different master. It could be argued that a 320kbps mp3 of the original, for example, is actually of better quality than the new master.
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Good post OD.
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