New research conducted by the Audio Engineering Library has found that MP3s and other low-quality compression formats have a statistically significant negative effect on “the timbral and emotional characteristics” of a song, reports What Hi-Fi.
Titled The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musical Instruments, the study compared compressed sounds over ten emotional categories at several bit rates.
Mp3s aren’t just compressing audio, they’re crushing the very soul of music one layer at a time. Time to buy that record player you’ve been saving up for.
The results showed that MP3 compression strengthened neutral and negative emotional characteristics (things like shy, scary and sad) and weakened positive emotional ones (like happy, romantic and calm). Interestingly, the characteristic anger was relatively unaffected.
The study suggested that the background ‘growl’ added by MP3 compression was the source behind the negative trend.
People may have already latched onto this phenomenon, given that vinyl recently outstripped digital sales for the first time ever.
This article originally appeared on The Vinyl Factory.
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