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  • mp3 encoding preferences?

    Ok, I don't want to start an argument about what format or quality is the 'best' but I would like to know what you use and why.

    I'm most interested in people who have done actual tests with their silver CD and compared their mp3s with that until they found encoding settings that they liked based on what they heard and regardless of file size.

    Thanks!

    (and I like the new look for the board on my blackberry. Much cleaner and easier to use. Whoever did that, thank you.)

  • #2
    Im using FLAC for all my CD. Lossless format, it only reduce the size by about 25-40%.

    Whit a high end systeme, not normal headphones or speakers, i ear the difference. Sound/Noise ratio seem to change and some little details are present on the Flac file but not in the mp3 one.

    Its take a good ear to hear the difference whit a 320kps mp3, but whit a fast A/B comparison, almost anyone can tell the difference.
    Carputer Athlon X2 4200+
    800tsv - Audigy 2 ZS - PowerMate - Wifi 802.11n
    All Audio Tunning done via Software. 7 channels.
    CDT ES-07 - HD2 - DRT25
    ED Nine.2x
    ED Nine.4
    ED Nine.1
    ED 110v.2 (x2)

    Comment


    • #3
      Exact Audio Copy / FLAC is your best option right now if you're looking for the best audio quality out there in a compressed format.

      ANY mp3 compression will cause a loss in quality.

      And yes, I've compared them before. 320 v. the CD, there IS a noticeable difference.
      Jan Bennett
      FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

      Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not real worried about file size, so how much compression is done isn't one of my concerns. Hard drive space is cheap and a couple 750 gig drives in the CarPC give me over a TB of space.

        What I'm starting to notice now though (after upgrading my low end a little) is that the bass seems to be distorted in my current library. I haven't done a lot of testing, but on some songs where there is a strong bass presence, the bass seems to warble a bit or distort. When I play the CD it does not do that so it must be the encoding of the file. (playing the CD through the PC using media player is clean too, so it's not the sound card's fault)

        So a FLAC lossless encoding sounds like the way to go... can you tell me what you personally use for encoding settings and what program you use to do the rip?

        Comment


        • #5
          a quick search on google will come up with a few FLAC encoders...

          http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=FLAC+encoder

          I use Apple Lossless Compression because i use iTunes in my home, and cant get FLAC to work with it...it sounds decent...

          EDIT: By decent, i cant tell a difference between the CD and ALC on my Logitec Z-5500's
          Trouble deciding on car speakers? Clicky Clicky
          Speakers: DLS Ultimate Iridium 6.3 Link
          Subwoofer: removed
          Amplifier#1 (Front Stage): DLS Ultimate A4
          Amplifier#2 (Sub) removed
          Carputer: Removed for tablet install

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          • #6
            I found one called Raptor. It's not stable under Vista though even though it's supposed to be. It only has one option for FLAC encoding, compression level. And the options are 0-8 with 8 being the best.

            I don't like non-descript settings like that... what's the bitrate, what's the difference between 4 and 8? Is all FLAC created equal?

            FLAC is 'lossless' but it is compressed... is there a better way that isn't compressed? Surely just a straight WAV isn't my only option there is it?

            Of course, my test FLAC file is 28.3 megs for a 3 min song...

            I've never used FLAC before, what about tags and support in the CarPC front ends?

            Comment


            • #7
              Here's the page I used to set-up my flac ripping marathon (that I'm still on btw...)

              http://www.carltonbale.com/project/cd-audio-extraction/
              Jan Bennett
              FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

              Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd really suggest reading up a bit, here's a few good sites:

                http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/
                http://www.digital-inn.de/forum14/
                http://flac.sourceforge.net/format.html
                http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....ess_comparison
                http://www.losslessaudioblog.com/?p=40

                Good luck.
                Jan Bennett
                FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  For my computer as source I use FLAC exclusively...

                  For ripping the CDs, EAC has long been the top choice, although I currently think DBPoweramp has overtaken the EAC software and does a better job.

                  So Now I use DBPoweramp for my ripping unless the CD is very scratched and then i will use EAC.

                  One other note is the Accuraterip database. It is an online database of ripped music file stats, when you rip your music, it compares it with other people that have ripped and gives a quality number that is equal to how many others have ripped the same song and it came out identical to yours..

                  EAC vs DBpoweramp

                  DBPoweramp

                  http://www.accuraterip.com/
                  Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.

                  ___________________________________
                  Current SYSTEM
                  AMD64X2 2.5
                  Xenarc
                  ZAPCO DSP-6
                  ARCAUDIO SE Amps
                  Rainbow Profi CS365 & Profi Vanadium 12"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Flat compression level does not impact the resulting quality, its only impact the file size. Flac are what Zip is for file. When you zip a file, you lose nothing.
                    Carputer Athlon X2 4200+
                    800tsv - Audigy 2 ZS - PowerMate - Wifi 802.11n
                    All Audio Tunning done via Software. 7 channels.
                    CDT ES-07 - HD2 - DRT25
                    ED Nine.2x
                    ED Nine.4
                    ED Nine.1
                    ED 110v.2 (x2)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If I take a step back though, what advantage is there to using something like FLAC versus just a straight WAV rip? If I'm not worried about file sizes then is there anything I'm missing by just doing a straight WAV rip?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nothing wrong with .WAV rips, they are the original uncompressed file..

                        You still need EAC, DBpoweramp, or another ripping software that rips in a secure mode and corrects for errors.

                        I think lots of people do not use WAV due to mp3 players and other players that do not have a large amount of storage. I had an Alpine MP3 capable deck in my truck and could put 120 songs on one disc vs. 20 .wav files

                        I use FLAC just to save 30% of my drive, i have a 500Gb full now and will start a second one.. Although as you say, hard drives are getting amazingly affordable, no real need to save space anymore due to expensive storage..

                        LATERS
                        Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.

                        ___________________________________
                        Current SYSTEM
                        AMD64X2 2.5
                        Xenarc
                        ZAPCO DSP-6
                        ARCAUDIO SE Amps
                        Rainbow Profi CS365 & Profi Vanadium 12"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I actually have dbpowerAMP from a long time ago, I was using it exclusively at one point. I've grabbed the new version but I guess I have to re-buy the codecs if I want to use it to encode to mp3.

                          I may just do WAV rips though, I don't see any reason for me not to at this point. I can put 21,000 songs on a single 750 gig drive and that's more than enough for me. I mean, I really only have about 5 or 6,000 in my library anyway. And adding 750s if/when I need them isn't hard. I can't see myself getting to 21,000 anytime soon.

                          Thanks for all the input guys!

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                          • #14
                            Before starting, make sure YOU audition a few different types of encoding. I was originally planning on converting everything to FLAC, but after some experimenting, I noticed that I just couldn't tell the difference between FLAC and a 320kbps MP3 file 98% of the time. I guess my ear isn't as sensitive as some and my system is a relatively low end/low power one. There are other advantages (compatibility, namely) to using MP3 vs. FLAC if you don't want or need lossless encoding.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, I have started that process actually. The only reason I even started thinking about this was because I recently upgraded my low end (2 subs instead of one and doubled the power of my amp output through wiring magic) and I heard some distortion that I previously did not hear.

                              Only certain songs with prominent low ends distorted, and the CD of that song did not distort. That left me to blame the encoding of my mp3 version.

                              I haven't finished my testing yet, but I may end up with simply making 320 rips of my music instead of switching formats.

                              I can always do straight WAV rips like I said since space isn't an issue, but I'm used to MP3s and if I can find a good setting that I'm happy with then that's that.

                              Thanks again for the input.

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