Originally Posted by Gaugster
Was just experimenting with Foobar ABX this morning and it would be too disturbing to hop from track to track back and forth as others suggested.
It is completely unnecessary to do so in order to complete a foobar ABX test; you don't have to make any
switches whatsoever if you don't want to! [This is a common myth about foobar ABX testing though.] Indeed when many audiophiles evaluate, say, two power amps they don't do any switching either. They listen to one amp, disconnect it, connect the other one and then proceed to listen to it. They are exclusively trusting their memory for what the other amp sounded like when they had it wired up in their system previously, and you can use foobar ABX exactly
the same way, if that's how you prefer it:
Take two songs from your playlist remembering that the top one in the list is always labeled "A" and the bottom one is always labeled "B", throughout the whole test, and proceed to ABX them.
Foobar ABX doesn't force
you to do ANY comparsions at all if you don't want to. It just asks you, at each trial, to vote if the current song playing, called X, is either in actuality the "A" source you know from having heard it in the past, or the "B" source.
Listen to X at each trial and then proceed to cast your vote, simple as that!
Listen to X for minutes, hours, days, months, whatever; there's no rush. You aren't forced to do any
comparisons whatsoever, you simply have to answer one simple question before moving on to the next trial: "Is this song 'X' you are allowed to listen to over and over again for as long as you'd like (or to loop a smaller subsection of it over and over again, if that helps you) A or B?
If during the test you forget exactly what A or B sounds like you have two friendly little reminder buttons at your disposal, however there's absolutely no requirement to hit them at all, if you don't want to. If you feel your memory for what "A" sounds like is the way you like to make your choices, then by all means go by that, cast your vote at each trial, and then let foobar tally your score.
Foobar ABX doesn't force
the test subject to make any
comparisons at all if they don't want to, it allows
the test subject to make comparisons should they choose
to, but the important thing to remember is a full foobar ABX test may be carried out without making any comparisons at all, if that's what the test subject prefers, and indeed that's more typical for how most forum reviews I read here [as well as audio magazine reviews] are carried out.
Foobar ABX is great because by doing at least 11 trials or so, of correct answers, it shows that the odds of having done that by just dumb luck are almost "astronomical", or "0.0%" as it calls it by a rounded number. Conversely, people here guessing which version of which song is the hi-res version have a 1 in 8 chance of receiving a perfect score for all three songs, simply by dumb luck alone or guessing via a coin flip.