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Audio-file Spectrum Analizer


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#1 noodle

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 10:17 AM

Do you feel sometimes that you are cheated with a fake bitrate value? So audio files are presented as lossless o with a high bitrate and they are really just some low or medium bitrate files "saved as..."?

Your suspicion might be a "weird" sound quality. Your file is supposed to be a lossless FLAC and it sounds lousy. What to do? Checking the wave output on an app like GoldWave or Audacity won't give you any clue. Wave pattern for a lossless file or for a really poor 36 bps or are similar. 

The solution is to use an audio file spectrum analyzer. Sounds "expensive" but it's actually just a freeware:

SPEK (IPA: /spɛk/, ‘bacon’ in Dutch) helps to analyse your audio files by showing their spectrogram. SPEK is a free software available for Unix, Windows and Mac OS X.

Features

  • Supports all popular lossy and lossless audio file formats thanks to the FFmpeg libraries.
  • Ultra-fast signal processing, uses multiple threads to further speed up the analysis.
  • Shows the codec name and the audio signal parameters.
  • Allows to save the spectrogram as an image file.
  • Drag-and-drop support; associates with common audio file formats.
  • Auto-fitting time, frequency and spectral density rulers.
  • Adjustable spectral density range.
  • Translated into 19 languages.

Look for the version for your computer's OS: Windows, MAC or Linux. It's very easy to use and to interpret. Just load the file and watch the graphic output. Compare the output of a legitimate FLAC or WAV with a low bitrate copy of the same file. That's all, folks.

 

http://spek.cc

 

This is the the image from Spectrum Analizer for a 320 bps MP3 file

thump_2434284nina-simone-pastel.png

 

This is the image for real lossless FLAC file of same audio file

thump_2434283spectral.png

 

Actually, if you listen both with good quality but standard headphones, you can't appreciate any difference in quality

Note that sometimes the issue is with the original, Someone made a lossless rip from a bad quality vinyl. Well, in this case, no way, SPEK won't help you. My general advice: just trust your ears; if your audio doesn't sound fine it is not a good copy.


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#2 SouthernComfort

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 11:02 AM

Thanks Noodle.