Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Audio Lost in MP3 Compression

All due credit, I found this on the website for Death & Taxes magazine. [LINK] There has been much hullabaloo in the last decade over lossy compression. Early in the time of online audio the loss was very audible. It was pretty crappy actually. Currently the Pono player has been hotly debated as either savior or snake oil among the audiophiles. Even Ars Technica was highly critical. Despite all the discussion what's missing had been an example of lost audio.Today I've finally found that example.


The song is Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner." If you can't recognize it from the audio above try the original version below. A Phd Student in Computer Technologies at the University of Virginia, Ryan Maguire [LINK] subtracted compressed audio form uncompressed audio leaving us the "missing audio" that is lost in MP3 compression. The video is similarly produced from the loss in MP4 compression. It's fascinating. A friend of mine commented.. "It sounds like Autechre."