YouTube audio quality?

Discussion in 'Streaming Services' started by Lossless, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Lossless

    Lossless Active Member

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    I’ve searched long and hard on the internet for what seems to be a highly guarded secret on the audio quality of YouTube HD music videos and I found very little information if any so........
    While streaming music videos in HD 720p or greater I found the audio quality to be one of the better sounding HD audio providers compared to most paid audio only streaming services. YouTube recommends uploading 24bit~48kHz FLAC or linear PCM for music videos. I have an kHz indicator on my receiver
    946B8EC4-FE6D-4C36-9268-96518A3A5F0F.jpeg
    and it’s indicating YouTube is streaming at 48kHz-24bit AAC ,FLAC or PCM of which I’m not sure but sounds very very good. We debate about Qobuz FLAC vs Tidal MQA vs Spotify MP3 vs HDtracks FLAC etc, and as another AK member@DaveVoorhis pointed out,”The real elephant in the room is YouTube.” What are your thoughts of YouTube audio quality what type of threat they may be to other paid streaming services?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  2. tcdriver

    tcdriver AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have found that some YouTube video/music streams sound very good.
     
  3. PanheadXR290

    PanheadXR290 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have excellent results streaming from YouTube and the paid service YouTube Music direct from my Samsung phone ,right now I'm trying to find out which tablet or I pad is the best for streaming ,having my phone ring through the speakers while streaming sucks .
     
  4. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    A big factor is the audio that was uploaded in the original video. Most people are going to output to some lossy format...so it'll probably go through a transcode process on the YouTube side.

    I suppose it's possible if you uploaded the exact audio format they used...the software might detect that and just simply remux; but I don't know.



    I ripped this Laserdisc about 7 years ago; I uploaded raw PCM audio to Youtube and as a result...sounds to me like it's only gone through a single lossy compression.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Super Member

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    Cheap-and-dirty way is to look at the frequency spectrum to determine if low-bit-rate size compression has taken place. The graphs on the left only look at from 16 to 20k (1-100 on the X axis). More complex analysis might be needed to compare high-bit rate MP3 with LOSSLESS samples. The sample shown in purple is 320kps MP3.
    Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 6.34.03 PM.png
     
  6. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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  7. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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  8. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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  9. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    So the first thing...using anything working with MP3 in relation to YouTube audio is only handy as a guide. YouTube is using much newer and more efficient codecs than MP3.

    That being said, every lossy codec at most streaming bitrates will have some kind of difference in the spectrum. MP3 is known for it's "16 khz cutoff"....but the format YouTube uses has a sharper cutoff at 20khz.

    Lossy audio, unless it's practically lossless; can be usually detected by converting it to a mid/side matrix and listening to the side channel (also cheap vocal remove). The "washy" effects will become apparent instantly.
     
  10. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    I don't know why but if you check out TOTP vids they are supper HD





     
  11. WillVT

    WillVT Super Member

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    I have been wondering this as well. I see a lot of videos like all those posted above, which say things like "HD!" and "audiophile!"

    I am skeptical. Just because you upload a high def file, doesn't mean that's what people see on youtube. It seems the consensus is that it is all compressed. A lot of people say its 128kbps AAC. Like this blog post from a few months ago.

    I'm not as savvy on the technical side of all this, but I am curious. Has anyone here ever tried analyzing a youtube video with something like Spek?
     

     

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  12. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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    Well .. if I ever go the route of listening to my music by converting it to a mid/side matrix and listening to the side channel (also cheap vocal remove) .. definitely going all lossless at that point. :music:

    That would make Neil happy .. as I would not be listening to his music underwater anymore. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019

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