High-quality MP3s not comparable to CD WAVs ??

Though I have read a numerous articles stating that
high-quality MP3s were "indistinguishable" from CDs,
I have been unable to create such an MP3 from a ripped WAV
(I can EASILY tell the difference).
So I am wondering if I'm doing something wrong.
I'm using LAME with the highest-quality settings
("lame -q 0 -m s --cbr -b 320 {wav} {mp3}"),
and I have also tried a few other popular encoders.
Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

In my experience you are correct. If you are doing that high a sampling rate then you are very close to the file size of the original. Why not just keep it WAV from the get go?

What a perfect name for a MP3 encoder! If you have even a modestly revealing system you will always be ably to tell MP3s from uncompressed WAV files.
This is slightly off-topic, but I just installed Windows Media Player 9, and it offers a version of the WMA format that is mathematically lossless.
Anybody who claims that mp3s sound the same as wav files has never used anything better than $20 speakers that came with their computer that butcher the sound no matter the source. Proper wav files sound better than mp3s s they contain all the musical information not just what the computer thinks is important. High quality mp3s (256 or better bitrate) will approach the quality of a decent tuner but thats all you can expect. Recognizing this limitation, mp3 is very useful for backround music when sound quality doesnt matter, and portable players are far and away the best solution for music when working out.
hear, hear, sailor720! i couldn't have said it better . . . .
Captain: Try this little test: Get a friend to play one or the other for you, and see if you can guess which one is playing. It's always easy to tell things apart when you know which one is playing.
There has been a lot of discussion around this exact topic.

Here are some facts:
A song on a CD is encoded at 1411mbps whereas the average MP3 is encoded at 128kpbs. Some people do encode them at higher rates like 320kbps, but that is the highest I've seen.

Here is my opinion:
I have done quite a bit of research and listening (friends have too) and this is the conclusion:

1411kbps = CD = GREAT!!!
128kbps = MP3 = CRAP
192kbps = MP3 = Sound better that 128, but still crap
320kbps = MP3 = Sounds worst than 192

My recomendation: If you must use MP3s, use them at 192kbps. They sound "ok" But stick with a CD if you can.

That's my opinion anyway.
I believe you are all leaving out the most important link in the chain. The MP3 files must go through a sound card.
I have had excellent results using the digital out on the M-Audio soundcard to a GW Labs Upsampler then to a modded
If you play music straight from the soundcard you will probably not get CDP sound.
I agree,MP3s don't even rival LPs and Cds but I'd have to say that they are better than "crap" like some say. Maybe if you try ripping directly from Cds rather than converting waves you'll have better results - thats what I do. You can download a free demo of the program to see if its anygood at

Sailor and others

I have beating my head against a wall since Xmas, trying to get my Apple iPod to navigate wav files. Despite the claims that all the iPOd hardware and software "supports" WAV files, they lack the MP-3 codes which is what makes the iPod special and worth the premium price in the first place.

All I wanted to do was have 30 uncompressed CDs for running and working out, but it really doesnt work.

I am using exact audio copy and LAME as well, achieving only mediocre sound with MP-3.

If anyone has any suggestions for achieveing decent MP-3 quality or getting an iPod to navigate WAV files, I too would love to hear your ideas.
The answer to all these quality issues is to find a lossless compression method as Matt8268 correctly pointed out. I did not know Windows Media Player 9 includes this feature. Matt 8268, what type of encoding speeds are you getting?

CWlondon, I experienced exactly the same with IPOD, but I got the tags working...
As far as a lossless solution to this problem... The format you want is FLAC. http://flac.sourceforge.net. Hardware is starting to support this natively now, and software tools have been around for a while.

I'm going to start being the FLAC evangelist around here, there are so many advantages to using a computer-based interface to access your music, and with a lossless scheme and the right ripper/soundcard/dac you can do no wrong.

It sounds like you have discerning ears and you're able to confirm what most audiophiles think of MP3 audio. Certainly using higher bit rate conversions up to 320 kbps will help improve the sound, but the file sizes really aren't that much smaller than a 16-bit/44.1 kHz .wav file when you consider what you've sacrificed in sound quality. Most people who listen to music really don't "listen" to their music, or the music they listen to isn't well recorded to begin with. I listen to MP3s as samplers, but I listen to CDs and LPs for the experience.

Perhaps the closest you'll ever get to .wav file quality with data compression is to consider Sony's ATRAC data "lossy" compression which is used for their Minidisc format. Some Minidiscs actually sound pretty close to the original CDs from which they were recorded--certainly much better than MP3s. ATRAC compression is Sony' proprietary technology, so I don't think you'll be able to get an ATRAC software encoder. That creates a problem in having to get a Minidisc recorder/player with digital I/O for transfers to and from your PC.

As for me, I am waiting for Apple to come out with the next generation iPod capable of storing .wav files for PC users. Only Mac users can access and archive .wav files on their iPods at the moment, and I am a PC user.
I didnt realize that the Ipod does not support .wav files. Does anybody know if a software update could fix this, or is this something that only buying a new Ipod could fix(i hope its not the latter because i just bought one)?

Also, im a little confused about AAC format. AAC has 44.1 khz sample rate, isnt that the same as a cd? The bit rate is 320 kbps which i thought was better than a cd. If someone could clear this up for me that would be great