Satellite radio does indeed sound terrible. Plus it often cuts out in tunnels and sometimes in hilly
rural areas. And the content was not to my taste (same small groups of songs on each channel, no
real tastemakers like old-time FM DJs). Plus, I won't pay for radio, the whole idea is offputting.
As for NPR, I can hear digital artifacts often, especially with syndicated content. Also, with North
Country Public Radio in northern NY, they often cut in live and the difference in human voices is
quite striking. Lossy transmission takes some of the liveness and edge off human voices. Music
sounds OK but like an iPod when it's using the high-resolution stream. Amazingly, some of the
classical music shows overnight apparently use the 128kbps stream, becasue they sound like bad MP3
If NPR's transmission system is constrained to 256kbps, they should move to MP4, which has a better
encoding and psycho-acoustic setup, according to most listener tests I've heard about. I think MP4
is the basis of Apple's lossy format, which definitely sounds better than MP3 at lower bitrates (so,
by the way, do modern iterations of Windows Media).
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lou Judson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] [MLA-L] Future of CDs
>I have never heard it myself, but I've been told that XM satellite "radio" is the worst sounding
>medium around. Izzit true?
> ALL pubic radio is distributed via 128 (mono) and 256k MP2, and I hear some good stuff on NPR
> occasionally, in the car and clock radio mainly...
> Lou Judson
> Intuitive Audio
> On May 16, 2014, at 6:22 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> The only thing worse-sounding than 128kbps MP3 is streaming Spotify and Pandora.