A discussion in the current thread Melco N10 Part 2 focussing on different sound of CD files ripped on different devices/software has speculated about whether rips were accurate, and on whether other factors such as metadata embedded in different ways by two different rippers might affect the playing process in some way.
However it has now reached the point where two files, one ripped by Melco and another on a PC, have been stripped of metadata and compared using cmp on a Linux machine, with no byte difference reported, meaning on that basis the two are identical. However, in listening tests on the two stripped files, same player/system, several people consistently heard a difference. And the two stripped files looked slightly different when the audio was analysed using Audacity.
On the face of it this is impossible - identical files yielding different audio. This is beyond me, hence this thread - what else might be going on to explain the anomaly?
Here’s a link to the post in the other thread reporting the data: Melco N10 Part 2