Originally Posted by jwf2tao
Over the years I have bought a large collection of MP3's, primarily for convenience. I have a large collection on the Amazon cloud. On my Android phone I use Player Pro, which has a DSP plug-in which offers a pretty good improvement in sound. At home, my set-up is pretty simple; Dell laptop connected to TV via HDMI, and I just added the new Pioneer speaker bar connected via digital audio cable. This is a huge improvement in the sound I can now enjoy. I have downloaded the HDTracks sampler and hope in the future to order my downloads using these superior sound files. But I'm also interested in improving my existing MP3's quality of playback. I've seen a couple of software enhancers- DFX Audio and DTS Audio Essentials...reviews on both seem mixed. I have also heard about "upsampling"...and that this can be done via software (feature in JRiver?), but I'm not even sure I understand what this is. Also wondering if there is a way to insert an outboard DAC in my configuration...and would that improve the sound of mp3's?
So looking for information, guidance, direction to sources of information. Any/all assistance greatly appreciated!
Mcnarus pretty much nailed in in post 2 I could not have said it any better I,ve tried up sampling (does nothing) DFX in particular didn't suite my preferences or help at all waste of time nothing you can't do with open source free software .
Software equalizers can sometimes make something sound more in line with your personal preferences but often introduce distortion.this is particularly evident as you increase the loudness .
Unfortunately loosy encoding means just that lost information.
If you must use mp3 which on your equipment should
be quite sufficient then at least try to stay to the higher bit rates
such as 256/320kbps. you will get much better results there.
some of the high bit rate mp3 isn't bad at all when a good encoder is used .
if encoding from lossless to mp3 Lame is one of the best encoder utilities
VLC might work well also both are open source and free to the end user.
I've read the Pioneer sound bars are pretty good enjoy it!Foobar 2000 (open source free)
is one of the best players out there I have plenty of different ones paid and free trust me on that one .
not to mention professional sound editing software and outboard studio gear mixers and equipment and a digital audio workstation can't do much with a lossy encoded file no room for manipulation it is what it is. even if it weren't you would need some decent editing software and maybe a Digital Audio Work Station and that doesn't come cheap .
If you were using phones or otherwise needed a decent analog 2.0 line level out the fiios E7 is a decent inexpensive headphone AMP/DAC
as far as just using it for a DAC only I can't say if you will hear improvement without seeing the data sheet for your particular computers audio chip
even at that the differences would( if any) likely will be inaudible on your equipment as it stands now unless you were using phones with the amp.
The PC to TV via HDMI and to sound bar with PCM coax is probably more than sufficient for mp***
Foobar 2000 has a pretty decent 18 band EQ , VU and Peak meters for eye candy also in preferences a playback gain setting calibrated in decibels
That's basically what any software sound enhancer does is allow for user adjustable or pr set EQ and gain adjustments
beyond that is wishful thinking .In fact despite having a digital audio workstation and lots of editing software and effects plug ins I'm listening to some.flac rips on Foobar 2000 right now.it's a top notch player .Audacity/Lame
together are excellent audio digital recording and file converting software as well as having effects and editing capability open source and free closest thing to a free workstation out there.
I would caution you if you record mp3 source material in Audacity (or any other proprietary format) to export it in a lossless encode such as .flac
or something because if an mp3 source file is looped (converted and re encoded back to MP3 ) it suffers from further degradation and data loss
that is a limitation of mp3 or any loosey encode in general by upsampling in this case you aren't improving source file but rather preserving it from further data loss . Other than that as a legitimate use of up sampling I can not think of another reason to up sample . when you export mp3 file out of audacity don't bring it back in there use another player like Foobar 2000. You can save project files for editing however and still export your recording and later export your edit .
OTOH You can loop lossless formats back and forth between lossless encodes without degradation .Edited by tubetwister - 10/11/13 at 2:24am