What do you think of MP3 as an audio format?

What do you think of MP3 as an audio format?
Love it. Here's why:
7% (7 votes)
Like it. Here's why:
17% (17 votes)
Don't care. Let me explain:
30% (31 votes)
Don't like it. Here's why:
25% (26 votes)
Hate it. Here's why:
21% (21 votes)
Total votes: 102

Digital copies of music in the MP3 format are all the rage. Have you heard an MP3 on a good audio system?

Dan Landen's picture

I still like my old lp's & cd's. There just isn't music available that I like in the mp3 format.

Geno's picture

MP3 just doesn't sound real. I used to argue about the benefits of lambskin over felt on my kick-drum mallet. With MP3 I'm lucky if I can figure out if it's a drum!

jcf's picture

it just doesn't sound as good

Ricardo's picture

Not going to download a bunch of junk. Not going to have the quality of records or CD's Who cares?

Robert's picture

It is based on a computer. I have been on the Internet for over a year now, and at least five times it has gone down—the service, that is. Here is my point: If music becomes available only on the Internet, then if you want music and the service is down, you are at the mercy of the computer service provider to get the latest music.

Guillaume L.'s picture

Well, the convenience is good. It doesn't sound great, but unless I'm sitting down to listen intently, the problems of a correctly encoded mp3 file are relatively minor.

YC's picture

I haven't heard MP3 on a good audio system, but since the bit rate is the same or lower than Dolby Digital 2.0/5.1 (a curse afflicting many music DVDs of late), I've no doubt it'll sound bad. Its very easy to hear how bad DD2.0/5.1 is compared to 48/16 because DVD players allow you to switch between DD2.0 and 48/16 PCM on the fly.

Joe's picture

I like not having to change CDs; I like that it makes good background music. I do not like how the dynmaics and detail are lost, but when you are having a party with a bunch of non-audiophile friends in a dorm room, who cares if Trent Reznor's voice sounds as if he woke up at five in the morning instead of seven!!! Relax, music can be fun and involving, you don't always have to have it all; if we did, we would only go see live music and not have a hi-fi. This is not to say hi-fi isn't valid; it is fun, but I would never let it not let me have fun.

Paul Martin's picture

The format seems bright, and the lower octave is dead in the music I downloaded from a well-known site.

Jake Stewart, Toronto's picture

Sounds a lot like my old Onkyo 14-bit CD, which I bought in 1987. I guess it is good for sampling a song to decide whether of not to buy it, or maybe head-bangers will like it through headphones on the subway, but it isn't going to excite us purists and audio snobs who have $800+ interconnects.

Eric's picture

MP3s don't even sound as good as CDs played through my computer. Since I prefer analog on my audio system, I don't see the point. The only reason I listen to MP3s is to get an idea of what a paticular artist sounds like to decide if I want to purchase an album.

Douglas W.'s picture

I've got an SBLive! Card in my computer—the output from that goes to a good separates setup with B&W 601S2 speakers. The result? MP3s are neither a shining example of good hi-fi nor a miserable attempt. The quality of files varies, and some are of near MD quality. In all, though, I'd say MP3s are useful, if a little frustrating for the true audiophile.

Federico Cribiore's picture

I really think it sounds just terrible: totally compressed, with no dynamic range. I have done some experiments with my recordings and have always been amazed just how much is lost in the process.

C.  Simon's picture

Haven't heard it on a good system... and I'm not too excited about it either...

Janice Mancuso, Reference Recordings's picture

Further encourages the devaluation of musical performances and performers' intellectual property.

CSO's picture

I spent $XXk on my system to hear lossy, compressed music? Get real!

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

I haven't heard MP3 through a good stereo, but I am afraid it will displace improved digital formats like SACD and DVD-Audio.

Ulf Andreassen's picture

no diskchange, acceptable sound

Peter Klucken's picture

Sounds bad.

Pauli Peura's picture

It makes all music sound bad.

Zack's picture

If you can find a really good MP3, you will be very surprised at the sound. I was amazed when I made my first CD-R with MP3s: I could not tell the difference between an actual CD on some tracks. The problem is finding a good-quality MP3 that is free of errors.

bob's picture

not enough sparkle and midrange

Dave W.'s picture

Its sound quality is not ready for prime time, but that's not uncommon for a technology in its early stages. Storing music in solid-state memory (flash cards & Memory Sticks) is a future I'd like to see happen. It's great for someone who likes the great outdoors or travels a lot. There's no way to take the listening room along, but an easy, good-sounding way to take the music along is welcome.

Peter VanGessel's picture

I use it only in my car, and even there it sounds like sh*t.

Dan's picture

No Bass, no highs, no soundstage, compressed image, in other words, doesn't sound like music.

Scott Piccini's picture

I would honeslty consider MP3's to be equal to CDs for sound quality. My computer sound system consist of a Technics(by Panasonic)SU-9070 pre-amp, Rotel RB-850 power-amp, and Energy bookshelf loudspeakers. I am very please with the sound I get everytime i listen to my favorite MP3. However, MP3s will never replace CDs for myself.

Jean-luc Olivier's picture

Vote/Part II I think it's great for sampling of pop music and foreign music, though, like music from the African Continent or music from Brazil or from France you never hear on the radio in the US ( Charles Trenet, Barbara, Jean Ferrat, Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin- the only thing americans know is the dreaful Maurice Chevalier and "ringard" fuddy-duddy sreaming Edith Piaf). After that you buy the real thing and listen to it on your high end gear.

Chris's picture

MP3 in my opinion would be the ultimate medium for use on the road. To date I have only experienced MP3s on my PC with Boston Acoustics Sub/Sat delivering the sound - for the ease of use you cannot beat it.

PD's picture

sounded too digital and incomplete.

Joe Plaziak's picture

Good for background music.