We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: 25 Years of digital mainstream music and pirate programs sounding like crap!  (Read 1502 times)

Offline ThaDood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 959
  • Likely, not where you are.
    • View Profile
    • Extreme Part #15!
    • Email
Is this something to commemorate, really? Radio Survivor did,    http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2020/08/04/podcast-257-marking-a-quarter-century-of-mp3/     Now, why did I post this here? I didn't see the NEW TOPIC icon appear in the HUH category. Anyway, pirate stations have certainly taken advantage of the convenience of using .MP3 audio since about 1997. Which leads me to ask this, what pirate station was the first to try using .MP3 audio, and when? One way that you've noticed was when pirate relays stopped being 45min and 30min in lengths, or 1/2 the time of one cassette tape side. I still remember the September 1990 Radio Wolf Int. mentioning that the brief dead-air pause was them flipping over the tape. Ahhhhhhhh, memories.... 
Proving and convincing that someone is correct could be seen as a notable achievement. However, proving, and trying to convince, that someone is wrong can bastardize you for life.

Offline Kingbear Radio

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Universe
  • Kingbear Radio
    • View Profile
I would guess the first station to use mp3 on a broadcast did it in the 1990s, it would have taken a computer connected to a transmitter then. I would think the big switch to digital audio would have happened when the when recordable CDs, and then portable mp3 players came out, allowing stations to broadcast remotely.

Here I would get mp3s online, then record them to tape, having nothing else but the one computer to play them at the time, with not enough space to save a whole collection of files.

Mp3 audio quality is not necessarily poor, I'm sure that's up for debate in audiophile circles, and analog sources can be recorded at all different qualities on tape. Its just that mp3 didn't set out to be a poor quality format. There were a few poor encoders early on though, and a bigger problem was that to save space on storage media, people stuck with encoding at lower bitrates, perhaps not noticing the quality because of being dazzled by the new tech.

Here in the future, if you record using high bitrates like 320k and with a better codec like Lame, subjective quality can be good.

Now we could be storing uncompressed files, but I'm glad for mp3 early on, it gave us audio we might not otherwise have. I'll continue to use it.
K-Bear Radio

Offline Unca Billy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • 3 land; EPA
  • Mudhead
    • View Profile
Just a quicky.

Considering shortwave in full blown 300 to 3k AM; and more so in SSB; the MP3s are just "Fine as Frog's Fur".

Ever see fur on a frog?

Pretty damned fine, ain't it?

;-))
"Any (FCC) Commissioner who pays for his lunch is a fool."  p.35; Reluctant Regulators; Cole & Oettinger
e-QSL via howardlyon@aol.com

Offline Pigmeat

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 4653
    • View Profile
I've got a box of an entire decade of 60 minute cassettes, with "time to flip the tape folks" at the end. All of them were one off shows, many under different names. I never knew a pirate with just one station.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 28974
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
I've got a box of an entire decade of 60 minute cassettes, with "time to flip the tape folks" at the end. All of them were one off shows, many under different names. I never knew a pirate with just one station.

My guess is the number of pirate operators is roughly equal to the square root of the number of pirate stations.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 400 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline RobRich

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 1021
  • Tampa, FL USA
    • View Profile
Audio quality took a notable dive when commercial recording studios decided "louder is better" with dynamic compression. Slam recordings into an aggressive brickwall limiter. Now take that heavily cooked source, then cook it again with a broadcast compressor and/or limiter. o.0

That said, there are mathematical approaches to "declipping" audio. Often I use Stereo Tool when listening to digital audio via headphones or earphones; particularly heavily cooked online broadcast streams.

https://www.thimeo.com/documentation/declipper.html

There is a more affordable personal use license available via the Perfect Declipper site if not interested in any other paid ST features.

http://register.perfectdeclipper.com/
Tampa, FL USA | US Map Grid EL88
Airspy HF+ Discovery | Kenwood R-600 + R-2000 | 2x RTL-SDR V3 + NE602 | Si-Tex 200 | Soft66LC4 | Yaesu FRG-7
148' "Shielded" Loop-on-Ground | 2x 18' End-Fed Verticals | 31' Vertical | 2x PA0NHC MiniWhips

Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 256
  • Charlie's Point, California
    • View Profile
My guess is the number of pirate operators is roughly equal to the square root of the number of pirate stations.

Therefore, I was once 1.414213562373 of a person but since the US Supreme Court ruled years ago that corporations are people, maybe the math all works out.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2022, 2227 UTC by Charlie_Dont_Surf »
I don't STRETCH the truth.

"Every minute I spend in this room, my signal gets weaker.
Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, his signal gets stronger."

Offline Pigmeat

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 4653
    • View Profile
As CEO of FANCO Broadcasting, I ceased to exist as a person around 2004.I don't miss having to bathe one bit.