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Download quality

Download quality

Nov 1, 2000 12:00 PM

Hi Chriss, I enjoyed your Viewpoint called Future Delivery (September 2000). I have just a few comments. I have downloaded approximately 500 cuts from Napster and the quality is quite good in almost all cases. My personal standard is quality suitable for headphones or plugging my Rio player into my car audio system. Almost all the cuts on Napster are encoded at 128kb/s.

In my personal encoding experience with a Fraunhofer encoder, 128kb/s is quite adequate for almost all recorded material. Occasionally I find a cut that just doesn’t sound right at this rate, in which case using 160kb/s almost always solves the problem. If I have something really important, I use 256kb/s which sounds just great!

It is interesting to note that at 128kb/s, we are discarding about 90 percent of the WAV file data. A lot of radio stations run MP3s on the air and they don’t sound all that bad. Keep in mind that satellite radio will be heavily data compressed, and it won’t be lossless.

I like Napster for those cuts that just can’t be found in a record store, such as bootlegs and oldies.

Jim Somich President MicroCon Systems Broadview Heights, OH