Originally Posted by HTNUT1975
I'm jealous! SB looks so cool, but I'm not for sure if it is worth the extra money (about twice the price), if I can use something like the Itouch/Iphone to control MOG via Apple TV on my system, and there's no sound quality difference. Maybe I'm missing something as far as what it can do. Do you use multiple services, or are you just using it primarily for MOG?
Well, one advantage is that if you are only using MOG then your Mac would not have to run all the time just to stream the Audio to your AppleTV. Logitech has an own internet service (MySqueezebox.com) that interfaces to MOG (and other services like Spotify, internet radio and so on) so that you can run a Squeezebox on it's own if you don't need to access music stored on your computer.
You can't do that with AppleTV so far, at least not with MOG.
Originally Posted by palmfish
MOG is the only service I use. I love that I can search for any album and BAM! there it is - usually. I have run into a few surprising gaps (King Crimson being a huge omission in my opinion).
Oh, there are a lot. With all of these services. I still find that only around 50% of my music library is available through MOG, Spotify, iTunes et al. And we are not only talking about obscure stuff here. Try finding, say, the Beatles on MOG or Adele on Spotify...
BTW, most people (myself included) can't tell the difference between 24/96, 16/44 FLAC, and 320 kbps mp3 in a blind test (assuming same track/mix).
This depends a _lot_ on the actual track. MP3 always suppresses certain characteristics of the sound and I do have some albums (mainly live stuff) where I'm very sure that you will immediately hear the difference between the 320kbps mp3 and the lossless version. 24 bits and higher sample rates mainly help when you want to do additional processing like room correction, replay gain, equalization in the digital domain since you immediately lose resolution due to rounding errors, it's really rare to hear any difference between 48kHz sample rate. The big advantage of the 48kHz sample rate is that mastering these days usually happens at 192 kHz and so you've got an even divider (4) when downsampling reducing rounding errors again, compared to the 44.1kHz CD format.
But your last point is important: the mix. My experience here has been mixed at best with online sources. MOG seems to be on the better side of things but I am really, really disappointed with Spotify here. A lot of what they have is radio edits with heavy dynamics compression that just sounds so much worse than original recordings it's not really worth streaming the stuff with more than 128kbps (which is for what these mixes usually are done). Since I suspect it's the record labels driving this I'm afraid no service will ever be immune to it.
If they say they can, they are lying (either to you or to themselves). Below 320 kbps, I can start to hear differences between the compressed and the lossless original if I listen VERY closely, but it's not a sure thing until the file goes below 128 kbps.
Well, as I said: it depends a LOT on the material. Absolutely no problem with today's chart mixes (since these are made for 128kbps anyway) but especially live material sometimes can be actually _very_ easy to distinguish.
That said: I never rip any studio albums to FLAC since all the recent ones (made over the last 5-10 years) are mixed for lossy audio formats anyway so you can be sure to hear no difference here, as long as you can stick to the original format.
Converting between different lossy formats (e.g. from mp3 to AAC) can also cause artifacts that are quite noticeable.