Ghost in the Machine, or Why MP3s Suck

From the moment the first sound is recorded or inserted into a project to the final mix and master, immense care is taken by the creator/musician/artist/producer to make it the best possible product that ears can hear.  No need to get into that process here, but let’s just say that years and years of learning and practice and trial and error go into figuring out how to EQ, compress, add effects, and mix a track to perfection.  Now after that song is mastered, with all of its beauty of stereo width and depth of frequency, most stores then sell a version of it that is at best 1/10th the size of the original file.  That means you, the listener, are literally hearing 10% of what was meant to be there.  This is not what the creator of the song intended, not even close.  But for some reason we are still using an encoding algorithm that was specifically designed for a time when storage was expensive.


This is one of the most interesting experiments I have ever heard done regarding the lossy nature of MP3s – the sounds that are left OUT of an MP3 after encoding from a lossless file.  Peep the vid above, check out the full article below.  When you get a chance, go buy a large hard drive and start downloading those lossless files when you buy music.   Listen to your songs in all the audio glory that was meant to be heard!

Check out the full article here



Have you seen any more cool experiments along these lines?  Please share below!

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About the author

I make weird beats as 1/2 of Subatomica with Jexime, and also dj from time to time. GM of Party Time Society Records. Station Manager of Burning Man Information Radio. I won my 3'rd grade spelling bee. Peep my personal soundcloud here, and Subatomica's here!

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