Better sounding music

The Ubuntu One Music Store sells high quality MP3 songs – most at 256 kbps and some at 320 kbps. One way to enhance your music even further is by using an equalizer. Rhythmbox doesn’t include this functionality out-of-the-box but I found a great plugin that does a fantastic job.

rbeq plugin

rbeq Rhythmbox equalizer plugin

Jorge at The Road to Elysium writes about the rbeq project. I tested it out over the weekend and was very impressed. Unlike some other equalizer plugins I’ve tried, you can make changes without restarting Rhythmbox and can even save presets. The plugin worked well most of the time though I occasionally experienced Rhythmbox crashes. Follow Christopher Kruse at the Corner of Seven blog for news on future updates.

I also made an rbeq equalizer presets file that adds to the existing equalizer settings. After installing rbeq, copy this file to ~/.gnome2/rhythmbox/plugins/rbeq, remove the ‘.txt’ from it, and restart Rhythmbox. I’ve found that the ‘presets’ file sometimes gets deleted so you may want to keep a backup handy.

5 Responses to “Better sounding music”

  1. Equalized Shoes Says:

    Cool !
    That plug-in even has some presets.

  2. YOYOC Says:

    Well,sorry not to agree.
    Recording engineers go through painstaking long process to produce quality faithfull recordings which do not need equalization to sound great.
    If audio reproduction requires such manipulation to sound well, there is something wrong with the recording, conversion to the download format or the reproduction process itself.
    Given, small plastic speakers bundled with a PC or 0.25″ drivers on laptop are uncapable of quality hi-fi delivery as are 90% of earbuds, due to such incapability no amount of manipulation or equalization will fix that. Its a matter of physics.
    The bottom line is that better sounding music does not come from equalizers but from, great music or equally great performers, well recorded and preserved in a quality format ( sorry to say that MP3 is neither such a format, try PCM, or better AIFF or FLAC), further reproduced through a quality player and the necesary hardware.
    I do not want to ruin the party just enjoy better sounding music.

  3. Andy Says:

    YOYOC – I agree with some of what you said (my music is all FLAC, I deliberately switched sound cards for audio quality reasons, my headphones are worth more than my computer, etc). However given that not everyone has the pleasure of speakers/phones with good responses, it is possible to improve quality through an eq or similar. It won’t bring the quality up to the same level as you or I get, but it can be an improvement.

    The recording engineer isn’t to know that you are playing stuff back on a system that distorts loud low frequencies, or mas a massive peak in the mids. An EQ here can help.

  4. Sean Says:

    Well, if it works and it’s free don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, I say. It’s not like anyone’s being asked to shell out big bucks for this plug-in, after all.

    However, I do agree that the best sound will come from a combination of things, including good origination material, good reproduction equipment (phnarr!) and a similarly good listening environment.

    For me compressed files are a convenience for music at my desk and on the move. I tend to buy the music on LP (preferably), or CD, and then rip it to ogg for my digital audio player.

    If I use an equaliser it is typically to iron out the wrinkles in a less than optimal live performance, and I can see that with cheaper PC speakers it might serve a similar purpose on the desktop too.

    Suck it and see.

  5. Zaiyah Says:

    YMMD with that anwser! TX

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