From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

----- sometimes knowledge has a price:

There is a new book out that is essential reading for everybody who has to 
deal with data-reduced sound (which is, sadly, everybody - cellphones, 
internet, DAB, etc.):

The Perceptual Audio Evaluation: Theory, Method and Application
by Soeren Bech and - N Zacharov, 
Hardcover: 462 pages 
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd 2006 
Language English 
ISBN-10: 0470869232 
ISBN-13: 978-0470869239

It is expensive, but well worth it.

Kind regards,



> Hello, Steve,
> I will tell you a little story about a bad test design and a good test
> design.
> The bad test started at a lecture I was giving. Part of my standard 
> lecture shows "what is possible" at a given era by highlighting 
> high-quality sound from a given era (going back to a 1935 steel tape 
> copy). Someone asked about MP3 and I had one of the 1980s selections 
> both in my demo as a WAV file and on my Palm T3 as an MP3. The Palm 
> sounded way worse than the Sony CD walkman I was using for the rest 
> of the demo.
> When I got home, I took the original file, made a high-quality MP3 
> within Samplitude, converted it back to WAV and then cut between the 
> two recordings. I now demo the cut recording and the MP3 is almost 
> identical to the WAV file.
> So, just as with A-D and D-A converters and even CDs themselves which 
> over time have, for some people, received the reputation of "not 
> sounding good" for perhaps the wrong reasons. Clearly, here we were 
> hearing the deficiencies in the Palm T3 audio system as opposed to 
> the deficiencies in the MP3 format.
> I believe that my test is one of the few ways that one can do a test 
> and remove most of the external variables. I'm passing this story on 
> as an object lesson and as a caveat to anyone doing a listening test: 
> make sure that you're really listening to what you think you're 
> listening to and do NOT make assumptions. I believe that it is almost 
> impossible to do the test that you describe using A/B hardware 
> without the hardware differences influencing the rating of the format.
> Oh, and I emailed the organizer of the lecture this explanation and 
> requested she mail it to all attendees. I think she did.
> If you want the resultant WAV file I would be happy to share with you.
> Cheers,
> Richard
> At 09:32 AM 2007-06-13, you wrote:
> >Has ther been anything published in recent years that addresses 
> >actual listening comparisons between MP3 and CDs?  I'd prefer they 
> >have split the panels' sources into those that are acoustical (i.e. 
> >begin by pushing air)from those which start by exciting 
> >electrons.  It would be helpful if those doing the reacting were 
> >identified as professional or casual listeners as well.
> >
> >I 'm not looking for indivual reactions in print but a designed and 
> >controlled test.  Anything out there?
> >
> >Steve Smolian
> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Detailed contact information:
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.