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A native of Canada, Robert attended the Carleton University School of Journalism in his hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. The program involved four years of intense training and internships at venues like Parliament Hill that led directly to his first radio job.
While working in radio news in Montreal, Quebec a friend told Robert about a job opportunity at the Weather Network, Canadas answer to The Weather Channel. When he showed up for what he thought was an audition for a national radio gig, Robert found himself in front of a TV camera and green screen and loved every minute of it. He was soon hired as a Regional Weather Specialist at The Weather Networks popular Toronto morning show.
But telling news stories remains Roberts true passion. That drive has led to exciting television reporting and anchoring roles in Toronto and at the ABC affiliates in Orlando, Florida and Salt Lake City, Utah. Robert broke a number of significant stories including one that led to reforms in how law enforcement is trained in applying state concealandcarry laws. Another dealt with public employees generating fake documents at a Driver License Division office. During his free time, Robert enjoys exploring Austins everexpanding list of restaurants, music venues, wineries and the winding roads of the Hill Country.
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Audio Codec Quality Shootout
Millions of people convert their CD collections to a compressed digital audio format, often without considering the format or settings they use. With several different popular formats and lots of quality settings, many users just pick an application they like and use whatever the default settings are. ExtremeTech readers generally a bit more handson and doityourself are more likely to seek out other applications or players and encode their audio exactly how they want.
Certainly a top consideration should be compatibility. We all have different audio devices, and it doesn matter how good your music sounds if it won play on your hardware. We leave that decision up to you; you know what software and devices you have and what they capable of playing. Encoding time is another possible consideration, but honestly, modern computers encode audio so quickly that the difference in speed between one format and another is practically a nonissue.
This article focuses exclusively on sound quality. There have been audio quality comparison tests before, but they usually focus on a single pair of codecs often comparing the codec du jour against MP3. These are usually conducted in special listening labs, where extremely highend audio equipment is used in a very controlled environment with expert, welltrained listeners. This method has its merits, but we think there value it doing it a different way for a change. We wanted to find out which codec and settings sound best to normal people under normal listening conditions at home on their own stereos and computers, using their own speakers or headphones.