CD player vs usb flash drive - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-06-2019, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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CD player vs usb flash drive

Was just wondering. I don't have a cd player, but I was wondering if I really need one.

Currently, I just stream music, either through YouTube videos, or from the pandora app on roku, but I figured that either of those methods will likely never give the same audio quality as a higher resolution audio source.

I'm curious if it's possible to get high quality audio from a flash drive plugged into the front of the receiver, or do you really need to have a quality cd player with original, professionally developed CD's to get a good high quality audio through a home theater system?
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-07-2019, 05:24 AM
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Sure, a flash drive with WAV files will sound as good as a CD player. WAVs take up a lot of space though. Alternately, it’s generally considered that 320 kps mp3’s are indistinguishable from WAVs.

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post #3 of 14 Old 07-07-2019, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks. That's great to know
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-07-2019, 05:57 AM
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I have, and use, both ways depending on the situation. 750 cd's on a flash drive and a Yamaha 5 disc player. If I need to hear one thing in particular quick, I would use the flash drive to find and play it. Other times it's pick 5 discs off the shelves and just hit random and be done with it. Sound difference? Maybe the cd player just sounds better because it is physical and now you're not constantly pushing a button. Actually can listen and focus better not being preoccupied?
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-08-2019, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB553 View Post
Was just wondering. I don't have a cd player, but I was wondering if I really need one.

Currently, I just stream music, either through YouTube videos, or from the pandora app on roku, but I figured that either of those methods will likely never give the same audio quality as a higher resolution audio source.

I'm curious if it's possible to get high quality audio from a flash drive plugged into the front of the receiver, or do you really need to have a quality cd player with original, professionally developed CD's to get a good high quality audio through a home theater system?
Use FLAC or ALAC. The files are lossless and data compressed so they are smaller file sizes than WAV. With a 256 GB flash drive pretty dirt cheap there is no reason to compress files to MP3.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-08-2019, 08:50 AM
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A USB flashdrive will sound better than a CD as long as the music is encoded in either .aiff or .wav. The reason it sounds better is that you are playing exclusively a digital file and you don't have to deal with the laser mechanism, laser or other mechanisms that introduce noise. I prefer .aiff because it comes with cover art whereas .wav does not. Under no circumstances would I use mp3 or any codec that compresses the digital file.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-08-2019, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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What's the best music download site where you can get files in those formats? Been awhile since I've used music sites, last I remember, everything was mp3.

I do have a subscription to amazon prime which, I believe, comes with access to amazon music. Has anyone had good experiences with that service?
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-09-2019, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB553 View Post
What's the best music download site where you can get files in those formats? Been awhile since I've used music sites, last I remember, everything was mp3.

I do have a subscription to amazon prime which, I believe, comes with access to amazon music. Has anyone had good experiences with that service?
Aside from ripping yourself the CD, try HD tracks. Files are high rez, and you can specify the format (AIFF, FLAC, ALAC etc). You don't have to buy the high rez version, most can also be bought at normal cd 44/16. Don't know of others but I'm sure they exist. I generally prefer to buy the CD, then rip and store the cd. You might try surfing computeraudio.com, that forum may have a list of download sites or Steve Hoffman Music forum.

This site has a list of quality downloads available. The one they don't list is the Onkyo store. But be careful a lot of their stuff is MQA, but they also sell the regular versions.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/music/...ding-hd-music/

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-11-2019, 09:01 AM
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If you go to the trouble of ripping your cds and putting the files on a flash drive, you may want to consider the format your car will read, since many new cars don't have cd players. One of my cars will only read MP3, unfortunately, so I have two sets of flash drives.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-11-2019, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB553 View Post
What's the best music download site where you can get files in those formats? Been awhile since I've used music sites, last I remember, everything was mp3.
7digital is another good lossless and high resolution music download site with a wide selection. They have a great support staff that will refund you for any significant problem that may arise.
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-13-2019, 02:26 PM
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-14-2019, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB553 View Post
...amazon music. Has anyone had good experiences with that service?
I've had great experience with Spotify and Apple Music, so you should definitely try the Amazon setup. Apparently they stream at 256kbps VBR* which should sound fine. Seems you could download stuff as well
https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=15730321011
"Prime Music...Play music on all your favorite devices and download to play offline." NOT computers, but do you have a smartphone? Anyway, before starting a lot of messing around with USB, I'd try the Amazon Prime since you already have it.

*This means 256 KiloBit Per Seconds, Variable Bit Rate. Hardly anyone can tell the difference versus pure CD except on really good systems under controlled conditions. Even if this quality level may not be mathematically the same as CD, the sound is very musical, not like the original complaints about MP3 (which was like 128kbps back in the day, and that does sound bad).
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-14-2019, 09:17 PM
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Also consider Tidal and Qobuz, who have lossless/high resolution streaming plans. Amazon is rumored to be working on a lossless service for this fall as well.
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-14-2019, 10:55 PM
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Amazon is rumored to be working on a lossless service for this fall as well.
I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually have their own lossless codec. I hate that company with a passion.
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