I like to consider myself a casual, budget audiophile. I've ripped all of my parents' CDs I've kept over the years to store them as ALAC on my iPhone and modded iPod. I listen to music on my PC with a S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th MK II and JDS Atom with a handful of headphones I've bought off Massdrop/Drop. But I'm curious as to how important lossless is for music RECORDED no later than 2014.
With the rise streaming like Spotify & YouTube, I read somewhere many artists have been having their music to be mastered for the high compression and low bit rate. What's the real difference in listening to something in 24/96 vs. say buying Mastered for iTunes/Apple Digital Masters for music RECORDED in the past 6 years? I have a Tidal subscription, so if I were to listen to say The Weeknd's new album in lossless(not MQA) quality and then in high bit rate lossy, wouldn't they be the same master potentially tailored for high compression lossy streams? What would the advantage of lossless be for music mastered for lossy streaming?
Can we talk about the elephant in the room? Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, deliberately lowers quality of uploads for Android users, compression happens on the server side, so there is no excuse, also they are using the same version of libx264, so again no excuse.
Does Apple pays Instagram to do this? Is this legal?
Why Does smartphone reviewers like Marques-Brownlee
, UnboxTherapy never talk about this?
If is not illegal and it is not a disloyal, unfair action, why Google doesn't do the same for YouTube? Like deliberately lowers the quality of whatever it is uploaded from an iPhone or any other Apple product?
Here is a link of an article written in spanish that made some tests to prove what I’m saying. https://www.xatakamovil.com/aplicaciones/instagram-para-android-procesa-peor-imagenes-videos-ponemos-a-prueba-aplicacion
Basically, doesn't matter what you use to shoot a video, even if you use a Red Camera, or a Canon DSLR, even if you shoot your videos on an iPhone! if you upload that video using an Android it will look like garbage, if you upload exactly the same video using iPhone it will look crystal clear.
Tik Tok for example doesn't do this, and the overall quality of the app looks a lot much better than Instagram because of the same reason, Android and Apple users can upload crystal clear videos if they have a good camera.
Why nobody is complaining? I love pixel phones, and I love the camera picture style, but there is no sense on having this quality if I can not share it with anyone.
If this was fixed a lot of people, influencers, and creatives will be able to switch to Android.
“Happiness is only real, when shared"
EDIT: Please be aware that I'm not talking about recording video with the integrated camera app, I understand all the hardware variations that this involves and how hard it can be to achieve homogeneous results. I'm talking about uploading a video recorded with another app or device, using the app only as an uploader, shouldn't produce different results as the compression happens server side using the same version of x264 library.
EDIT2: Someone suggested to use Instander, an instagram mod which can manipulate some flags inside the app, one of this flags is able to override the video upload quality bitrate, I try this with the suggested value of 10mb, and it really worked, the uploaded result looks a lot more sharper https://imgur.com/a/vya4QKs
I will try a higher bitrate to see how hi can I go up, this also proves that it is just a setting and not a hardware variation in smartphones what is causing this as a lot of people suggest. I understand some phones might struggle with higher bitrates, but instagram could at least try higher values for latest processor chips, and not just put one low setting for everybody.
Another tool that yield interesting results was Inssist a chrome instagram client extension, you can upload stories and videos directly from your computer, however I found that this videos had to be carefully crafted, with a bitrate not very high so instagram don't compress them a lot, and not so low so they don't look ugly, in my tests using ffmpeg to encode the videos before uploading with a CRF of 20 or a 12mb VBR(6457k) yield very good results depending on the duration and darkness of the videos.