When will Apple devices offer 24/192 audio?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by Kevzmusic, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Kevzmusic, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015

    Kevzmusic macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Today, for any serious music listener...256k, Mp3 320k, or even CD 16/44 audio is simply not good enough.

    24/96 is the standard whereby the digital realm meets the level of analog vinyl.

    All the current 'portable' amp/dac units (like Cypher Labs Theoren 720 DAC, ALO International, etc., provide 24/192)...so when is Apple going to follow suit?

    Plus, so do all the DAPS (Astell&Kern, Calyx M, Sony, Fiio,) and now the new PONO Player does too.

    IF Apple wishes to stay current/competitive in the future...it needs to activate 24/192 audio from it's devices. Especially, as several of the latest (made for iPod/iPhone) external amp/dac units (ie: Cyper Labs, shown below)...provide Hi Res audio quality.

    All HD files (FLAC, AIFF, WAV, etc) can be played using the ONKYO HD player app.

    The iPod Touch is a really neat/sleek music device...but, now it needs to get with the programme...

    KEV
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 940272 Suspended

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    #2
    I think Apple could bring back the iPod by doing this :p
     
  3. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #3
    You are mixing the wishes of an extremely niche market with the mass-market that Apple caters to. Virtually nobody, in the large scheme of things, cares about high-res audio. And those that do can already play high res from their iPhones.

    Apple will likely add this in the not too distant future if for no other reason than the dac's will all eventually support it natively, but high-resolution audio is a minefield to market. Few if any can hear the difference and increase in filesizes is substantial. Anything they claim will be ripped to shreds in the tech press.

    This has got to be very, very low on Apple's priority list.
     
  4. Kevzmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    iPhones do not currently play hi res files...they max out at 16/44...the same as iPads.

    KEV
     
  5. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #5
    Vinyl doesn't even come close to CD audio in terms of S/N. HD digital is all a hoax to separate the gullible from their money.
     
  6. Kevzmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Please don't lecture me.
    I have been a recording musician for 40+ years.

    24 bit digital files hold so much more data than 16 bit.

    It's like going from DX to FX in the photography world. The additional data, micro contrast, detail, etc. Yes, I shoot stock images too :)

    I agree that the mastering stage is a factor (and the loudness wars, compression, limiter, etc) has in many regards "sucked the life" and dynamic range, breathing room...out of many modern recordings.

    I fully grasp the benefits of the digital realm over analog-vinyl, etc.

    However, it's not a hoax...

    KEV
     
  7. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #7
    Natively. Yet as you say in your own first post, using 3rd party players with an external DAC you can. Of the few people who care about high-res files, even fewer will care about being able to play them natively from their iPhone when they will want to use their own amp and DAC anyhow.

    Please tell us how adding additional dynamic range above the 90dB or so CD is capable of has any benefit on the playback side of things when there is virtually no recorded music available that uses even half of that?

    This is what I mean about high-res being a minefield to market...
     
  8. Ffosse macrumors 6502a

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    #8
  9. Kevzmusic, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015

    Kevzmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    It's the bit depth difference...not the khz upper range.
    Yes, we cannot detect anything much above 20 khz...so 24/44 or even 32/44 would be adequate.

    Like I said...
    24 bit holds SO MUCH more RAW DATA than 16 bit.

    That's why it's used in the recording studio...as the capture SOURCE offers a LOT more to work with, headroom, etc.

    The best way for me to explain it is by using the photography comparison analogy. A much higher native resolution = far better micro contrast - resulting in better "definition"...clarity, detail, seperation, nuance, and so forth.

    In Photography it's "line/edge" definition...and how the space between pixals present. In music, it's sonic clarity and how it presents.

    This is how the digital realm operates. The two different mediums are parallel in this regard.

    With music also - clarity, definition, seperation, and detail is KEY also.

    Which relates to more "air" breathing room, dynamic definition, sonic clarity, and so forth.

    Also note...

    IF the source player does NOT provide native 24 bit audio....using an external amp/dac unit that does...will not suddenly UPGRADE the signal to 24 bit....it will simply offer the same 16 bit res...at a more optimal level.

    Nothing more...

    KEV
     
  10. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #10
    Bit depth has nothing to do with attributes like "clarity, definition, separation" or ""air" breathing room, dynamic definition, sonic clarity, and so forth."

    It determines the dynamic range that can be encoded; nothing more.

    This describes it in relatively laymen's terms: http://www.head-fi.org/t/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded

     
  11. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Congratulations, my friend, on being a recording musician for 40 years. I've been an electrical engineer for 30. Are you implying that sheer file size implies higher quality? File size means nothing. Here--let me pad your files with zeroes and you tell me if the sound gets better.

    You clearly understand that increasing the sampling frequency doesn't make a whit of difference to human listener. Music is made by people, for people...people whose range of frequency sensitivity is limited by the hardware we are born with.

    Increasing bit depth only improves the signal to noise ratio, and CD audio is already far above what vinyl can deliver. So your assertion that we need 24/96 to approach the quality of vinyl is ridiculous.
     
  12. Ffosse, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015

    Ffosse macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Apparently when Neil Young remembers listening to the Byrds on his car radio in 1965 it was so much better than an 320kbps mp3 file now. Yeah, right.

    You used to get it ALL..now we only get 5%.

    But he's happy to repackage any old file in a much larger container for a price.

    It must be better, it's way bigger. Great musician, but his hearing is shot and I doubt he understands the technology.
     
  13. Kevzmusic, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015

    Kevzmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Let's use the old photography comparison analogy again here.
    Are YOU seriously saying that a DX 12-bit/12Mpix image....has no more micro-contrast, line-edge definition (ie: clarity), detail, and presence....than an FX 16-bit/36MPix image does?

    Well, as a 35+ year studio macro stock photog...I can tell you it sure as hell does.

    It's the difference between a regular DSLR camera and a professional medium format system.

    Here's a few of my studio macro images as a reference point.


    http://kvincentphotography.ca/macro

    http://kvincentphotography.ca/stackedimages

    http://kvincentphotography.ca/designerflorals


    KEV
     
  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #14
    They're just having music mastered for the iTunes Plus format instead. https://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

    Right now they want to make files that sound "better" on existing equipment - Meaning every iPod, iPhone, and iPad ever sold, along with every machine that can run iTunes.

    And that's good for consumers because it doesn't cost extra, you don't have to buy new hardware, and it sounds "better".
     
  15. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #15
    You're making a fallacious analogy trying to compare digital imagery to digital audio.

    There are limits to what the eye can see as well. Once technology reaches that limit, adding more information doesn't improve the perceptive experience. If you say FX 16-bit/36MPix images look nicer than DX-12-bit/12Mpix images, then that just means the 12 bit images haven't yet reached the limits of the human eye. True or not, it's irrelevant to the digital audio discussion we are having. CD audio 16/44.1 audio technology has already reached the limits of our ears. Zhenya's link above explains it very well and I will repeat that here:

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded
     
  16. peccles macrumors newbie

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    #16
    My 5th gen nano plays Apple Lossless up to 24/48. I wished Apple would support at least 24/96 and multi-channel Apple Lossless. I hook up my iPod to my AVR to play music and I have been getting some of my music which has been reissued/remixed to 5.1 24/96.
     
  17. peccles macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Good article. So the A to D conversion can yield a perfect measurement of the waveform. If the A to D conversion was 24/96, is the music then converted D (24/96) to D (16/44.1) for a CD or is it just another A to D (16/44.1)? Can a perfect measurement of the waveform be retained going from 24/96 to 16/44.1?
     
  18. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #18
    Yes, the sound would be digitally down-sampled for distribution, and the resulting file would contain a perfect representation of the waveform.
     
  19. Kevzmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Please show me a link that indicates an iPod Nano can play and provide 24 bit audio output.

    Thanks,

    KEV
     
  20. chabig, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015

    chabig macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Kev, your photography is absolutely stunningly beautiful!!
     
  21. Kevzmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Mucho thanx Chabig...

    Please note...it's KEV, not Ken ;)

    IF I could sum up the difference between 16/44 and 24/96
    (or in the photog world DX 12 bit & FX 16 bit)....it would be one word.

    Presence.

    IF some folks cannot see or hear the difference - that's fine with me.

    However, I most certainly can.
    and that's precisely why we use these bit depths to capture both (RAW) music and images in the studio.

    IF there was absolutely no difference we wouldn't bother spending the extra money on better, hi resolution, professional equipment, etc.

    KEV
     
  22. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #22
    If you can answer how much 24/192 audio on iPods or other iOS devices would add to Apple's sales, I'll tell you when they will offer it.

    My guess at the answer is "very, very little" which means the reply is "never".

    If there was a market, then some company would sell these devices and make money doing it.
     
  23. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #23
    You continue to conflate two different things. In digital images, bit depth does relate to how many colors may be reproduced. That does not however, correlate in digital audio, where the bit depth merely determines the dynamic range that may be encoded. A symphony orchestra is the typical example of a musical piece that has a very wide dynamic range, from the noise floor of the hall it was performed in at perhaps 30dB, at which point the most delicate sections may be just audible above this floor, to the loudest sections which may very briefly reach 110db. (At which point it is loud enough to go deaf if played at that volume for any period of time.) That's 80dB, which can be fully represented by the 16bits of a standard CD. Encoding that same data at 24 bits does nothing other than allow an even wider still dynamic range to be encoded. It has nothing to do with the waveform which represents the actual sound of the music. All it would allow you to do is encode sound that is louder than any recording ever produced, and which would cause you to go deaf instantaneously were you to try and listen to it.

    Perhaps this link from a well-known photographic reviewer will have some sway over you. http://kenrockwell.com/audio/why-cds-sound-great.htm
     
  24. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #24
    In David Pogue's testing of the Pono with different people, everyone preferred the iPhone's audio.

    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/it-was-one-of-kickstarters-most-successful-109496883039.html

    And then he confronted the guy who said the iPhone sounded better, yet he actually was the only one already using a Pono. :rolleyes:

    I agree with him at the very end where he says most people who listen to music are doing other things at the same time. Music sounds different in every environment. That's why I like listening to it at 3AM in the morning, in bed.
     
  25. Kevzmusic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Ken Rockwell - LOL! :)

    Well known maybe....but that's about it.

    Let me ask you just two more questions here.

    IF 24-bit audio is technically redundant (as you so claim)...then WHY do we record that way in the studio?

    and, why do so many people say that they can hear the difference between 16/44 and 24/96?

    KEV
     

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