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aubuti
2010-01-11, 20:21
Most of my collection is flac, but Amazon currently has a lot of MP3 albums available for US$5, and I'm tempted to pick up some albums that I'd like to have, but not so much to pay full price for the CD. For some of them it would matter to be gapless. I understand that MP3s encoded with some more recent versions of LAME will playback gapless on SBS -- anyone know if Amazon's offerings were encoded with the requisite LAME? Thanks.

EDIT: While I'm at it, anyone know if Napster MP3 downloads (the ~5/month you get for free with a subscription) are gapless?

garym
2010-01-11, 21:40
All I have purchased have been Created with relatively recent versions of lame codec.

Aurumer
2010-01-12, 04:37
And all I have purchased (seem) to play gapless.

autopilot
2010-01-12, 05:58
A few i got from Amazon dont play gaplessly, which annoyed me. Not just on my SB's, but my iPod and iPhone too (which support gapless well).

andyg
2010-01-12, 07:02
I really think sites that sell MP3 files need to list more info, such as the source format, who encoded it, etc. For example I've bought some files from another site several years ago and they were clearly encoded wrong and not gapless. I recently bought an album from Napster and it turned out to be 128k instead of the usual 256. When I complained to them, they basically said,"too bad". Rhapsody's 192k MP3 files that you get with a streaming subscription are encoded wrong and are never gapless. They won't tell me, but I suspect it's because they encode them from a non-lossless source.

Amazon seems to generally be better than the above examples but you really have no way of knowing where the MP3 came from. Did Amazon encode it from lossless, or was it provided by the record label?

andyg
2010-01-12, 07:08
Forgot to mention, one thing I've thought about doing is to buy the same 2 tracks that should be gapless from each of Amazon, Rhapsody, and Napster, and others if possible. And then write up a blog post with some analysis of the files and encoding. Then try to get it some exposure to highlight the problems with selling MP3's.

autopilot
2010-01-13, 04:28
Forgot to mention, one thing I've thought about doing is to buy the same 2 tracks that should be gapless from each of Amazon, Rhapsody, and Napster, and others if possible. And then write up a blog post with some analysis of the files and encoding. Then try to get it some exposure to highlight the problems with selling MP3's.

That would be excellent.

Sike
2010-01-13, 07:37
Forgot to mention, one thing I've thought about doing is to buy the same 2 tracks that should be gapless from each of Amazon, Rhapsody, and Napster, and others if possible. And then write up a blog post with some analysis of the files and encoding. Then try to get it some exposure to highlight the problems with selling MP3's.

Get Engadget to look in to it. They seem to be good at that kind of thing. + Lots of exposure

maggior
2010-01-13, 08:34
Unfortunately the vast majority of people couldn't care less about gapless playback. New mp3 players are *still* coming out that don't support gapless playback of mp3 files.

It certainly won't hurt to try to give the issue some exposure, but I won't hold my breath.

aubuti
2010-01-13, 08:56
While doing some further digging I came across this thread on the Hydrogen Audio forums (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t69836.html) that indicates at least some of the MP3s Amazon is selling were encoded from lossy source material. And even worse, that at least some albums have 2-second gaps introduced, like the kind you get with poorly designed/configured CD burning software. (The relevant part is almost halfway into that long thread. To skip over the AAC vs MP3 discussion at the beginning of that thread search for "gapless" and start reading from there.)

So far I've only bought single tracks from Amazon's MP3 store, so gapless hasn't been an issue.

EDIT: and all the more reason why andyg's idea of doing some serious testing and writing it up in a blog would be a real contribution to music consumers. Now all we need to do is find him some spare time!

andyg
2010-01-13, 09:01
That Hydrogen Audio thread worries me, if the quality varies so much it will be harder to track down any problems and we'll need a larger sampling of tracks.

maggior
2010-01-13, 10:24
EDIT: and all the more reason why andyg's idea of doing some serious testing and writing it up in a blog would be a real contribution to music consumers. Now all we need to do is find him some spare time!

...or have him cloned :-).

After reading through some of that thread, I think I'll give Amazon or any other mp3 download service a wide berth. Encoded from a lossy source with 2 second gaps!! Eeek!

floydthecat
2010-01-13, 22:20
FWIW, there have been people who have encountered problems with certain tracks downloaded from eMusic. They have then downloaded the tracks from itunes and encountered the exact same error (an error that is not present on the physical cd). Emusic has stated that they do not encode the music themselves, the copy is given to them from the record label. However, I don't know if this is true for all vendors. Some people have reported downloading the same album from emusic and, say, Amie Street or Amazon, and the version from Amie Street/Amazon has a higher bitrate. Go figure.
(Most, but not all, of eMusic's tracks are gapless Lame btw)