totamakAnd they call me nuts?
Los Angeles, CA
reply to Dustyn
Re: 128Kbps > 320Kbps MP3 What you are likely hearing is dynamic range compression (DRC) rearing it's ugly head. DRC is the problem issue that the "Loudness War" is all about. In short, DRC is the function of raising the overall apparent volume level of the music so it sounds louder at a given position by squeezing the quieter parts and louder parts closer together.
All mastered music has some level of DRC applied, even those from 40+ years ago. However it has gone way out of control in recent years, making for stuff that is fatiguing to listen to.
If both rip versions were from the same source, then what happened is whoever did the 256 Kbps encode used a software DRC function (a lot of encoding tools include a DRC function). That's why assuming the same source, the 256 Kbps doesn't sound as good though it's louder and has twice the bit rate. The DRC made the music less appealing to listen to. I ran across this frequently with downloaded MP3s where a higher bit rate version seems to be inferior to a lower bit rate version.
DRC is killing modern music.