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    the jackplug amplification will be tiny, im surprised your speakers are getting anything decent from it

    edit: soz didn;t read all of your OP, sounds like your amp and/or speakers might be kaput, try testing it with other sources.

    The jackplug should be on a converter cable going to two phono connections into an amp and from there amplified to some decent speakers.

    As for mp3 quality, higher bit rate sources, like 320kbit/FLAC, in my opinion can only be appreciated vs. normal mp3s on digital output, that is coax or optical bitstream audio output from a pc/any device to a digital surround amp with a superior DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) and from there to hifi stereo or surround speakers.

    360????

    CD quality audio is 192kbps,

    when im at home later I'll make a few samples at different bitrates for you to download at least then you can rule out the mp3 quality.

    until then, do a google search for a free OGG download, a couple of years ago they were tipped to take over mp3's as they have a better compression rate so you could get CD quality audio in a smaller file size, all rippers were suppossed to rip relative to cd quality.

    or thinking about it, do you not have any actual pukka music cd's around the house you can play through media player?

    Typical 55min album:
    192kbit: 80MB
    320kbit: 120MB+
    FLAC: 350MB+

    OGG is dead tbh, FLAC is slowly becoming the MP3 replacement, although bandwidth and hdd sizes need to expand more for that to happen, 1tb ipod isn't that far away

    Flac being a compressed CD but matching it bit for bit on the bitstream.

    Yes if your pc/device has optical/coax digital output then you can connect this to the digital input on your amp.

    Yes its dead, but this is just a test to eliminate that the problem isnt with file quality. saves downloading big mp3 files

    I assume you're using the line out from the soundcard and not the speaker output? If not the 'double amplification' would cause some pretty drastic distortion.
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