Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1113 (25:05)

Scott Wilkinson

Scott is back to talk about compression. Leo says that MP3 (or AAC for Mac) powered the music download revolution because it eliminated over 90% of the file size through compression. But now that we're in the broadband era, could we get back the lossless compression like FLAC? Scott says that the dirty secret about hi-res audio is that in many cases, music companies are taking the same CD files and just resamplling them. So you're not really getting a lossless file. Leo says that would be a rip off if it's true. Scott says it's also not hard to upsample the clips by using a spectrum analyzer. If there's a hard cutoff, then it won't be any better, but if it yields evidence of more in the higher ranges, it's possible.

Scott also says that high level systems can take advantage of true resolution audio. He's running an experiment on AVS on if you can tell the difference between resampled files and native high resolution files. Leo suspects that resampled audio does kill data, but Scott says there's a theory out there that says you can completely recreate the uncompressed, native audio track with no loss from resampled data.

Of course, there's nothing like a live acoustic performance. And that's what audiophiles are trying to replicate. But Leo says there's a lot of snake oil in the business where companies take advantage of people's belief that if you spend a lot of money, you'll get a better quality sound. And Scott agrees, saying if you get an improved sound, it's miniscule and not really worth the price. A live experience is hard to put a price on.