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Craig's List - The Top Five Audio Abominations of All Time

By Craig Anderton | July 18, 2012

1
CBS Copycode
Say “hi” to stupid: Put a –50dB notch at 3,840Hz, and if a recorder senses there’s nothing up there, it can’t record. Besides, upper mids are for snobs. But it’s a brilliant strategy for protecting music: If the music sounds worse, no one will want to steal it! Hmmm, the catch is, they might not want to buy it, either . . . oopsies.

2
“The Worst Sound in the World”
It’s official—and I’m not making this up! After statistical analysis of more than 1.1 million votes, Professor Trevor Cox of the University of Salford’s Acoustic Research Centre found that the public considers vomiting the most horrible sound ever. But cheer up, techies: Microphone feedback came in a close second.

3
The Free Earbuds They Give You on Airplanes
Lilliputian bass, treble as ugly as political ads, midrange distortion optimized for masochists, and the same degree of comfort as sticking a No. 2 pencil in your ear . . . what’s not to like? Mitigating factor: The level of quality properly complements the in-flight alleged “chicken” dinner.

4
“Remasters” of Classic Tracks
Okay, some of these are done well. But the people who take perfectly good music and slap on a limiter and boost the highs deserve a special place in hell . . . like maybe the room where the Spice Girls play 24/7 at top volume with 14dB of limiting, 26dB of boost at 4kHz, 8-bit resolution, and an 8kHz sampling rate. But there is an upside: Even Satan won’t go in there.

5
P.A. Systems in Train Stations (Except Japan)
“Your attention please! Train number geemum to ummphnerk is now jupersnif at gate grigarf! Flig snapoo gronflinum!”

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