[PLUG] Noisy mp3s

Dale Snell ddsnell at frontier.com
Thu Nov 15 16:23:04 PST 2012

On Thu, 15 Nov 2012 12:03:31 -0800
"Richard C. Steffens" <rsteff at comcast.net> wrote:

> I have some mp3 recordings to transcribe. For some reason these 
> recordings have some noise in them. What it sounds like is the noise 
> left over when I use a filter in Audacity to remove some noise. (I
> know, that's a bit weird, but maybe some of you who use the Audacity
> filter will recognize the effect.) Anyway, the other weird part of
> this is that if I listen to them on my wife's Win7 machine, they are
> clear as a bell. They are also clear as a bell if I listen to them on
> my laptop running XP. The same laptop hardware running Ubuntu 10.4
> has the noise.
> Not all mp3 files on my Ubuntu machine exhibit this problem. So far, 
> it's just the two. They both were recorded phone conversations, but I 
> don't know the recording technology used. It could have been a hand
> held recorder sitting next to a speaker phone -- that's the usual
> technique -- or it could have been a fancy phone system that has the
> ability to record a call. The call is between two offices of a big,
> east coast consulting company that could very well have that
> technology.
> Anyway, does anyone have any ideas about why the sound on my Linux 
> machines show this noise while the sound on two Winders machines does 
> not? And more important, is there anything I can do about it, other
> than listening on XP while typing on Ubuntu?

Hard to say what this might be.  The only thing I can think of off
the top of my head is that you've got clipping somewhere.  Try
loading one of the errant files into Audacity and check for
clipping.  If it's there, use Audacity reduce the audio amplitude;
that should clear up the problem.

Hope this help,


The attitude of "Oh, you want it should work?  That costs extra!"
is the biggest security hole in computer software today.
    -- Anon., paraphrased (anybody know the real source?)

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