January 07, 2011 11:49:13am
Re: A Transcoding Question
Hey WT -
The "bit rate" i think you are talking about has to do with MP3's and their quality. When you talk about 16 or 24 bit you are really talking about "bit depth" which is different. So, pardon me while I nerd out here and try to explain this to the best of my knowledge...
When you talk about bit rate as in 16 or 24 bit remasters or recordings, you are talking about bit depth or the number of bits you have to capture the audio. Try to think of it as levels on an EQ. 16 bit has 65536 levels
Your sample rate is a function of time which actually equates to the number of times the audio is sampled per second. The standard for CD’s is 44.1 kHz, or 44,100 slices or samples every second.
So now, using both of these pieces of info you can see how it relates to size and resolution of the actual recording you are hearing. That means a 16 bit recording has:
65,536 levels with 44100 slices of audio sampled every second
Now every bit of greater resoloution doubles the number of levels. So then a 24 bit recording at 96kHz would have something like 16 million levels sampled 96000 times a second.
My understanding is that MP3's store the sound as amplitude over frequency, whereas a normal WAV has it as amplitude over time. So what that means is that there really is no “bit depth” on an MP3. There is only a sample rate which equivocates to the bit rate or number of bits processed per unit of time. Higher the bit rate obviously means higher quality.
What does all of this mean? Think of it as kinda like HD vs. regular TV. Higher resoloution equals higher quality and larger file size. IMO, the difference between 16 and 24 bit is negligable on your average stereo system. Both are lossless, its just that 24 bit has more levels and is sampled many more times which leads to a much bigger file size and much greater resolution.
Mp3's are a different world. Encoder/Decoders use different algorythms for compression and Im still not so clear on the exact relationship between bit rate and sample rate.
Putting it simply, think of a 24 bit recording as having a sample rate og 96000k and a 16 bit recording as having a sample rate of 44100k. Quality and size of the file vary accordingly.
Audiophiles, feel free to add/correct/clarify or whatever..This is just my attempt at a 10 cent explination. Peace
This post was modified by Skobud on 2011-01-07 19:49:13