[ans?] MySpace (& Soundcloud, etc, etc...) quality check

Following comments on volume and playback quality in general, I have posted three (now four) versions of the same song on my Cactus Juice MySpace page (see sig for link). The song in question is “Worried about Nothing” and all versions are encoded from a 24-bit stereo WAV exported from C6.0.5, un-normalised, too big to upload.

The MP3 is 320k, encoded in Audacity using the LAME encoder.
The FLACs are encoded in WinAmp, with min and max compression.
The WAV is 16-bit saved out from Audacity.

MySpace then encodes the files further (they have confirmed this but not in what way).

The first impression is that they’re all a bit warbly and there’s something a bit horrible-sounding underneath. None of them sound like that in WinAmp, played back through the same interface and speakers. I was hoping that the FLACs wouldn’t exhibit the behaviour. Nor the 16-bit WAV.

Would anyone mind taking the time to have a quick listen and let me know what their first impressions are. It doesn’t take more than the first couple of chords here.

Thanks a lot,
Crotchety

[Edit: now also on Soundcloud for comparison]

Nice song :slight_smile:
Never used Myspace myself, but I can hear what you mean. It’s like that on most streaming websites though, they just have to keep the filesize small to reduce storage and bandwidth usage.

Thanks, stroph. I’ve now added a 16-bit WAV version, converted in Audacity from the 24-bit WAV and it still has the same problem, to my ears. What’s bothering me is that other tracks I listen to don’t - try going to the home page and clicking about. Don’t know what the problem is, unless it’s my engineering, of course…

Any suggestions welcome, I’d like to keep using the site but not if it’s going to sound like this.

I had exactly the same thing. Got a few acoustic guitar tracks up there and there’s a definite kind of subtle wobble that wasn’t there when i had it in Cubase. Perhaps on bigger tracks it doesn’t sound do bad, but when its just a guitar or something it really stands out. I tried loads of different versions trying to combat this effect but it remains to this day. I think its the media player they use. Its very poor quality.

download one of your uploaded files and compare it visually to the original by zooming in at the sample level …

If you want, you can send me the original file and I’ll temporarily put it up on my soundcloud account for comparison.

Thanks, Ulf, but you can’t do that from MySpace. I wouldn’t expect them to look the same anyway because of the re-encoding.

Thanks for the offer, stroph, but I’m going to get a account sorted out for myself - thanks for reminding me! - although I was a bit disappointed that they themselves re-encode everything down to 128k for playback.

One of the tracks I tried was acoustic and it sounded fine. Maybe it’s because it would have been mastered…? Where is your stuff? Couldn’t find anything under this name you use.

Anyway, I think I have enough feedback now to get back to them and see what they suggest. I’ll post back but if anyone’s managed to get anything up there to sound okay please let me/us know.

Cheers for all the help,
C

Sorry I should have posted as link. the tracks are here,… http://www.myspace.com/richardwardrop


I think the quality on The Stars From Here is especially bad. Anyway if it helps check them n see.

Ive all but given up on Myspace. The media player was part of the reason. Ive been working on a new project and had to make a new page for it but at one point i was seriously considering not bothering with myspace. Its not at all the site that it was, not sure many people use it, n the sound quality is awful. Anyhow good luck with it. :slight_smile:

Thanks, I’ll give that a listen when I have a moment and I’ll let you know how I get on.

Right, I’ve told MySpace what I’m experiencing and asking for guidance (however cheeky that may be for a free service). In the meantime, I have upload the 24-bit WAV and the two FLAC versions up to my brand-spanking-new Soundcloud account and invite you all to make comparisons (links in my updated sig). I’m not convinced I’m totally out of the woods…

Hear what you mean! I wonder if it’s because we know what our own tunes should sound like that other people’s didn’t sound too bad, because it took a while to notice on yours. But it’s there all right. Shame, they’re nice tunes and I’d like to hear them more clearly. Very atmospheric.

Anyway, better stay on topic…

And also better go and see to dinner before it boils dry…

Nice song man!

As for Mysapce player its always had that wabbley thing its something their processing does after you upload it.


again good song i enjoyed it…well recorded.

Thanks, man!

The way I’m hearing things so far is that Soundcloud is also sounding warbly - even better, wabbley (great word!) - with the FLACs and only the WAV sounds tolerably good.

Not to bad quality on here…http://www.showcaseyourmusic.com/

Thanks, Andy. Looks interesting. I’ve sent them a mail to ask what they do to the files. Cheers, C

I’ve had the exact same issues with Bandcamp… but its quite inconsistent. I prefer Bandcamp for their clutter-free/ad-free customizable interface but while some tracks sounds just fine, many however do not. Shame really. :confused:

Soundclick’s audio, in contrast seems to be pretty good generally, but their free accounts look BAD! - horrible ad’s, awful bland color scheme and layout etc. :confused:

I suspect all these OMD’s further encode your tracks regardless of the original format you uploaded.

Yes, what do we expect for nothing, after all? Of course, it could all be partly down to dodgy engineering…

I’ve still got some stuff up on Soundclick but never remember to go anywhere near the place. It was another that demanded 128k uploads for free accounts (Edit: still does) but at least you could theoretically sell stuff.

Audigist was another, I think it’s just been revamped, may be worth another look. [Edit: 192k mp3]

Hi Duncan

I haven’t used Myspace for a while so I don’t know to much about their sound quality except for checking your tunes recently. I have had experience with Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Both these allow for uploading wav files. Do not upload mp3 or other compressed formats because the encode the files again. One thing I found with bandcamp was that files that peak over -1dbfs sometimes sound bad. Do not normalize your files or export them with higher levels.

For a free soundclick account it’s best to upload a 128kbps mp3 for best playback. If you upload a higher quality file to a free account they compress it back down to 128k.

These are just my findings. Others may have different experiences.

Hi Dave, I was just thinking about emailing you. What do you use to host your stuff, where you showed me?

To my ears, Soundcloud sounded better with a WAV. I can’t hear much of a difference with 16- or 24-bit but the FLACs both sounded - where’s that great word gone…wabbley! I’ve got all four versions up there at the mo if you fancy a listen (link in sig), I’d be interested in your opinion if you’ve got time, because having just had another listen, I’m not sure any more…

As far as SoundCloud goes I’ve always uploaded 16 44.1 wav files and let them do the compression/conversion. I haven’t noticed anything obviously annoying with the result so that’s what I continue to do. I haven’t tried any other sites to compare quality. Then again, my songs probably aren’t the best quality to begin with :blush: .

In case you want to check out some samples …

http://soundcloud.com/scab-pickens

You should be able to download the 16 44.1 files to see if you can notice much of a difference from the stream.

Unless I’m way off, the file size that you upload to these sites is irrelevant – they all stream at 128kps. This is why I have been using the soundclick VIP account ($9.95/mo) which allows streaming at a 320kps. Another option is to purchase your own domain and webspace and stream from that (it’s actually fairly cheap nowadays)