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Washington Post: 7 Experts Sound Off After a Music Test

Jul 13, 2001, 20:32 (28 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert Thomason)

[ Thanks to Glenn for this link. ]

A recurring question about Ogg Vorbis has regarded how well it stacks up against other audio compression formats. This item attempts to answer that question in a shootout between MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Windows Audio Media, and MP3Pro involving members of the National Symphony Orchestra, a composer, a stereo salesman, and a rock guitarist.

"The test sessions were done in a home environment with an ordinary stereo system. We focused most of our attention on MP3Pro and Vorbis, the two newest formats, with Windows Audio Media and MP3, the older and more familiar formats, given more limited tests.

Of the seven listeners, two couldn't discern much difference between MP3Pro and Vorbis. The other five felt Vorbis was the least realistic, with MP3Pro sounding better and Windows Media Audio best of all -- but none of these formats achieved CD quality.

Most thought the beta version of the Vorbis encoder poorly represented the natural sounds of the individual voices or musical instruments. (A few disagreed, saying certain instruments sounded more synthetic in MP3Pro.)"

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