Listening to MP3s Could Make You Unhappy
A recent study from the University of Hong Kong shows that listening to mp3s might be making you unhappy. So...we're basically giving you a scientific reason to go mad building up your vinyl collection.
Translated by Lewis BarnesThis article originally appeared on Trax Mag
According to a study by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the compression of music into MP3 format exaggerates the negative character of sounds produced by musical instruments.
Could high quality sound be good for your mental health? Ronald Mo, Andrew Horner, Chung Lee and Ga Lam Choi, scientists at Hong Kong University, have looked into the effect of MP3 compression on our emotions. Their study was published in November 2016 in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Library.
The study analysed the emotional responses of participants listening to eight different instruments in both compressed and high resolution file formats. The scientists leading the experiment used samples of music at several different bit-rates covering ten different categories of emotion.
Drawing comparisons between compressed and high resolution formats, the study concludes that MP3 compression tends to strengthen neutral and negative emotional responses, while weakening the positive emotions provoked by listening to certain sounds. Feelings of fear, timidity and sadness were reinforced by listening to low-quality files; more positive feelings of joy, humour, tranquility and romance were diminished.
To view the full study,