Okay, here's a really geeky one for 'ya. I had noticed for quite a while that some of my mp3 files just didn't sound right, but couldn't quite place the problem. I, of course, being a complete and total freak, have the ears of a bat or something; I can hear at least up to 22050 hz (that's the highest I've been able to generate a test tone, at least...). Here's the problem I discovered... SOME craptacular mp3 encoder out there is doing this to poor innocent audio streams. What you're looking at in that screenshot is a Fourier transform of the audio stream, showing the brutal massacre that has occured. Look around 16035 hz or so... WHACK. I guess whoever wrote this encoder decided that nobody would ever want the signal above that point. It's not just a nonlinearity in the encoder's frequency response --- the response just does not exist at all beyond that point. Occasionally it will attempt to make up for this by hurling in little pulses of what looks like almost white noise above that point.

Why am I babbling about this? I want this encoder banished to the Evil Toilet forever.

If you're using some archaic old piece of software to create mp3s, ditch that cruddy encoder and get LAME. For more info on mp3 quality, I suggest looking at r3mix.net.

If anybody can help me identify just what piece of evilware creates mp3s with this awful 16khz dropoff, please e-mail me at vxo at xidus.net so I can put that information up here.