Do you download and listen to MP3 files? What do you think?

Do you download and listen to MP3 files? What do you think?
I use it and love it!
22% (45 votes)
I use it and hate it!
7% (14 votes)
I use it sometimes and don't really care
16% (33 votes)
I tried it once and did not try it again
9% (19 votes)
I've never tried it
23% (46 votes)
Not interested
23% (46 votes)
Total votes: 203

The MP3 audio format has been garnering significant press coverage of late: record labels abhor the piracy problems, consumers love the ease of use and access, and audiophiles can't stand the compressed sound. Does any of this matter to you?

Kasei's picture

When done correctly, MP3s don't have to lose any noticeable quality in compression. MP3s are here to stay, and they couldn't get much better.

David Gray's picture

High quality music is available cheaply on CDs. Why muck about with a low quality option.

George Bahrynowski's picture

Why doesn't Stereophile stick to high fidelity and not waste your readers' time on trash? Are you trying to compete with the PC magazines? You sure are going to lose readers looking for information on high fidelity.

Federico Cribiore's picture

I have checked it out on various systems and various levels of "quality." From what I have heard thus far, to even call it "high fidelity" is a travesty. It even makes CDs sound good. I truly HATED the way it sounded. Kind of like first-generation MiniDisc compression. I can't wait for something better to come around.

David S.  Dodd's picture

Quaint as it seems to have become, I actually prefer to sit and "actively" listen to music. Music is not something that I take lightly, and certainly not as a background "filler" or as an accessory to working on my computer. On the other hand, my son, who has to have music as an adjunct to anything he does, downloads MP3s constantly and plays them on his iMac whenever he's working. I must add that it sounds a little better than a car radio . . . but not by much.

Anonymous's picture

Tried it as background sound on my computer system. Compressed my own CD's. Works fine for that purpose. Tried creating a test CD from the MP3 files, bad,bad,bad..... But on the computer, who cares, its music for working to.

Craig H.  Kinsley's picture

The MP3 files are music to only the geek's ear. They may be fine for bringing in AM-radio-quality sound to one's computer, but for serious listening? Please. Still, like putting sunglasses on a blind dog, your average computerphile does not know better, nor does he care. Let 'em have 'em.

Carlos Snortingham, Jr.'s picture

It's just as easy to borrow a friend's CD and make a copy on my computer's recorder. Takes less time too.

J.  VeNard's picture

I use it to store old time radio shows that have long since become public domain!

Steve's picture

Audiophile are correct about the sound quality, musically some is lost and reduced detail. But is excellent format for storage.

Richard Francis's picture

I have used it on my computer speakers JBL and like it as background.

arnaud goulard's picture

off course, it sometimes sounds really bad but with a rather high rate it's ok. For internet, it's good enough. vqf is a lot better though.

john's picture

the sound quality is terrible in both the format and the fact that no sound card can match a decent cd player, plus it just seems wrong to connect the computer to an audiophile stereo

Joe Nies's picture

It's nice to have music in the background when I'm on the computer (12 hours) a day. I do NOT use it for serious listening.

J.  Caliguri's picture

I work for my cash and don't steal from people who work for theirs. You can rationalize stealing music but can never justify it!

Andre Othercorn's picture

Who cares about MP3?? I'm waiting for 32/192 to come, to finally put my turntable away . . .

YC's picture

Why would anyone with a half-decent hi-fi system be interested in MP3? But then, I suppose not everyone has a full hi-fi system in their office...

Sherwood's picture

It is better than realaudio.

J.H.  Pitcher's picture

Sound quality is not very good, even at 320kpbs. It's easy to verify---just compare it to the CD you've ripped it from!

Don Bagsit's picture

I use it onlywith my pc when my concentration is on my work and not on the sound from the speaker.

David Weisman's picture

Makes no sense to me. Musicians and composers need and deserve our support. Evaluating their work in any way other than the best possible presentation is not appropriate.

Jake Liebhaber's picture

Poor quality!! Enough said. When computers get better sound and download faster, then I will really care and use them as a means to select music to buy.

John,'s picture

Yes, I do play CDs on my computer while using it for any number of mundane and/or productive activities. However, I have no interest in MP3; i.e., low-grade audio that's supposed to be exciting because it's generally fun to download stuff from the Internet. When I want to listen to music for solace or big-time fun, I head for the sweet spot in front of my obsolete but respectable hi-fi.

Jim Dugger's picture

Lossy compression ala the Sony Minidisc... Gee, isn't there a reason we don't use cassette tape anymore?

D.  Cline's picture

It's not a bad preview if you want to buy the disk.

Paul Foley Whiteman AFB, MO's picture

The sound quality is so poor that I find it hard to believe that MP3 would be satisfying to anyone

Clip1's picture

MP3 is the easiest format to transfer from computer to computer, so I do use it, but only because I have to. How good can it sound on these sound cards anyway?