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Sample rate?

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Jun 15, 2003
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I've never really understood what the sample rate was when listening to music.

I know that somehow the quality is better when using higher sample rates, as the resampler in Foobar is supposed to increase the quality of the music.

Is the sample rate tied in with the bitrate in some way?


May 23, 2002
Seattle, WA, USA
bitrate is just how much data per time.
higher sample rate, more data in a given time interval. that is, the intensity level is checked more often.

However, resampling a digital signal will pretty much introduce problems. A higher sample rate of the original analog source is certainly helpful as long as you don't need to compensate for higher data rates by reducing sample depth (in which case it gets complicated to find the best compromise, like most compromises).

As far as I can imagine, resampling a 44KHz signal at 48KHz (for instance) is just going to screw things up. The digital signal is step-wise and blocky. Checking it's values more frequently won't give greater resolution, more likely give more flat regions and more sudden jumps in signal levels. This is not the form of sound waves. Waves are smooth: you know, wavy.

The digital to analog converter interprets the spaces between samples and smoothes the transitions from one bit level to another, depending on a number of things.
Resampling would just be digitizing that D to A interpretation at a different sample rate. This higher sample rate is a digitization (imperfect recording, make no mistake) of a digital data set made analog and then digitized again at a different rate. This doesn't sound like there's much chance for making an improvement.
Resampling is generally used for compatibility reasons.

...um... I typing my finger raw here and probably not making much sense anyhow.

...gotta sleep.