now that i'm abusing my ears with all this audio testing, even with using somewhat-low-end equipment, i finally realise just how bad my MP3s sound. they all suffer a similar condition: lower frequencies become more pronounced, and higher frequencies become more compressed (the lower the bitrate, the more pronounced the effect, but more or less they're consistent across all bitrates).
i recently tried out a different codec, amusingly named "Monkey's Audio". nothing amusing with how it's able to keep the quality of a song perfectly similar to its original, though. =) the only bad thing is the size (we're talking about ~50% compression compared to uncompressed .WAV counterparts), plus there's no consumer product support for it. not exactly a better format in my opinion.
my idea of better audio is:
- sounds better than a number of lossy formats (MP3, OGG, AAC, etc.)
- maintains consumer product support (meaning there are products out there that will play back the format)
so i'm still sort of stuck with MP3, only that i'll prolly raise my bitrate bar from 192kbps to 256kbps now.