Internet streaming to in-home bit rate question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-01-2012, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,
While many of the providers advertise "advanced" bit rates - Pandora One at 192k, MOG at 320k, etc, a knowledgeable source has told me that all in-home devices (including AV receivers) can only receive 128k MP3 audio. Mobile devices can receive a variety of different rates depending on the capability of the device and the network they are on, but never more than 64k AAC+.

Comments?
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-01-2012, 08:09 PM
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Your source isn't very knowledgable. Any device that can play MP3s these days can play up 320 kbit/s, the maximum that MP3 supports. There's no reason nor benefit for any sort of device to restrict the bitrate to below this. If your connection to the Internet is really, really slow, like say if you're using dialup, then you'll be limited to slower bit rates than that, but not because of any limitation of the device itself.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-02-2012, 02:54 AM
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It depends on the specific music application. As noted by a response from a Pandora rep below ...

Quote:
Free Pandora is 64k AAC+ on the web.

Pandora One subscribers get the option of 192k MP3 on the Web and when using the AIR Desktop App.

Most Home-listening devices get 128k MP3 – whether the account is free or paid.

Cell phones get anywhere from 24k to 64k in mono or stereo, depending on the phone, carrier, connection type, and in some cases the user setting.

The primary benefit of upgrading to Pandora One is no commercials
.

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post #4 of 16 Old 08-02-2012, 01:34 PM
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Varies depending on the equipment. Most MP3 players these days can handle up to at least 320Kbps if not even (unofficial but existent) higher e.g. 384Kbps. Some equipment also supports AAC, WMA, etc.

"Vintage" is good for wine, not for A/V equipment.

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post #5 of 16 Old 08-03-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All - thanks for the thoughts and comments.

The above may be true about MP3 players, but I'm guessing that AV receivers getting music directly from the web don't fall in that category.
Playing files - yes. Streaming from a computer - yes. But not directly from the web.
I also believe this limitation (in-home devices limited to 128k MP3) has to do with the service's API with in-home devices.

I also thought that "it should", but after listening for a bit, I believe that none of the services I have listened to sound any better than another.
Which leads to the conclusion that my Onkyo is limited to 128k MP3 while listening to the web directly from the unit.
Now, playing 96/24 files is another matter, indeed.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-03-2012, 07:05 PM
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Your Onkyo receiver is not limited to 128 kbits/s when playing music from the Internet. It can play 320 kbit/s MP3 from any source on the Internet that provides it at that rate. Not many sites will use higher bitrates, as 128 kbit/s is considered good enough, but any site that does will work just fine with your receiver.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-13-2012, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Ross Ridge,
I'm glad to hear that. Where does one find that information? Onkyo says nothing that I could find. Yes, they give lots of specs about the audio file formats they support (sampling, bit rates, etc), but nothing about directly from the internet. If you can point me somewhere, I would appreciate it a bunch.
Thanks, HNick
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-13-2012, 04:15 PM
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The fact that manual doesn't say that bitrates are limited to 128kbit/s on Internet sources shows that they aren't subject to arbitrary limit imposed by the receiver.

I have no idea why you would think AV receivers are subject to an abitrary 128 kbit/s limit, but its obviously not based on anything official by Onkyo or anyone else.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-13-2012, 04:20 PM
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At the very least .. as noted in post #3, AVRs with on board Pandora access are limited to 128kbps.

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post #10 of 16 Old 08-14-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

At the very least .. as noted in post #3, AVRs with on board Pandora access are limited to 128kbps.

That's the provider choosing to limit the bitrate, not the receiver. The receiver is still able to decode 320 kbit/s MP3s from any source in Internet that chooses to send it at that rate.

There's no reason for any AV receiver or "home-listening device" to use an arbitrarilly crippled MP3 decoder that isn't capable of decoding 320 kbit/s MP3s, especially if it needs to be able to decode 320 kbit/s MP3s from other sources.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-14-2012, 10:30 AM
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Regardless, it's still a 128kbps limitation when using "home audio devices."

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post #12 of 16 Old 08-14-2012, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Regardless, it's still a 128kbps limitation when using "home audio devices."

It's not limitation of the "home audio" device, it's a limitation of the Pandora service.

As I said before, and for the third time now, the original poster's Onkyo receiver can play 320 kbit/s MP3 from any source on the Internet that provides it at that rate. The fact that Pandora only provides 128 kbit/s MP3s does not in anyway refute this.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-14-2012, 04:01 PM
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Yeah, jd, Ross is right on this one. Pandora could raise their bitrate if they wanted. Aside from actual bandwidth limitations (for phones etc.), I bet there's not a single Pandora player that upping the bitrate would break, unless one has a decoder that auto-assumes 128Kbps instead of detecting it, which of all problems would be one of the easiest to fix.

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post #14 of 16 Old 08-14-2012, 04:10 PM
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I never said the limitation was as a result of the device itself ... rather simply confirming that what the Op was told (ie. Pandora is limited to 128kbps on home audio devices) was correct. Read my post #3. wink.gif

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post #15 of 16 Old 08-14-2012, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,
Thanks for all the comments - I've learned a bunch. An email from Pandora confirms the above:
Pandora on the Web or the Desktop app plays 64k AAC+ for free listeners and 192k for PandoraOne subscribers. Hopefully we can change the Pandora API so in-home devices like yours can receive higher bit-rate audio.
OK - I'll go try MOG as they advertise 320.
Thanks again, hnickm
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-15-2012, 05:52 AM
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I'd take 192Kbps AAC over 320Kbps MP3 any day, though the difference isn't big. AAC is a good bit more efficient than the OLD MP3 standard. Would be nice if they could get 192Kbps AAC to home devices...

"Vintage" is good for wine, not for A/V equipment.

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