MP3 Players

I’ve been prompted to take another look at a perennial problem with MP3 players and Audiostrobe.

The problem is simply that some players require you to endure deafening volume before the lights respond.

The standard fix is to acquire an inline volume control so that full blast can be delivered to the AS Decoder whilst attenuating the assault on the eardrums.

Much concern is expressed over the importance of exporting AS-encoded content at 320kbs to ensure that the waveform maintains its integrity.

Well, what if all your efforts are for nought when your MP3 player mutilates the track?

I’ve just dangled a rag-tag assortment of MP3 capable devices off my Picoscope spectrum analyser and played a couple of simple test tracks. Most don’t take their job very seriously at all.

Most use equalisation to make themselves sound better with cheap earphones or speakers.

Some even have channel-blending effects active when all Effects have been turned off, just to create the illusion of depth and expansiveness – and destroying binaurals.

All but the best, or special purpose, attenuate the high end to remove their own hiss and noise – and AS signals.


P.S.   Medeli DR2 – Excellent. M-Audio Fasttrack Pro – Excellent. iPod Touch – Good (MP3 loaded via iTunes with default settings). Asus VIA PC Audio (all features turned off) – Good. Three no-name MP3 players and one laptop – not good.

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  • CraigT  On May 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    “Can I see the graphs, please?”.

    Sorry. No. I don’t keep them – one of the reasons I’m an inventor and not a scientist is that I’m pretty much completely psychologically unsuited to recording minutiae.

    My experiments are intended to permit me to confirm or deny possibilities, not to zoom in on any one thing or the other, but to acquire reasonable generalizations. My resources are too limited to do more.

    I also get creeped-out by how quickly a graph purporting to say one thing gets snaffled and used to say something quite different.

    Always happy to repeat experiments with documentation if anyone comes up with contradictory findings and gladly be right or wrong. Also happy to repeat other people’s interesting experiments if confirmation is required.



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