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Settings to encode mp3s?

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  • Settings to encode mp3s?

    192 kpbs? Anything higher is not worth it?

    Should I be using VBR?

    Stereo mode: Joint Stereo or Normal??

    Should I filter frequencies below 10hz considering the human ear can't hear it anyway? Or will that mess somethings up?

    Or should I ditch .mp3 and use AAC?

  • #2
    i like ogg because there is no gap between tracks like in mp3, i heard that the latest lame can avoid this but i'm not sure if any players suppoert it yet
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    • #3
      192 is fine. All mine are 160 or 192 (prefferably 192) because I really can't notice a differance with anything higher.
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      • #4
        there used to be a site called r3mix that was filled with technical info about the best way to rip mp3's but i think it's gone now because i was just unable to get to it.

        lots of people saw it as the athority on mp3 quality so the settings it called for were built into a number of programs.

        EAC (exact audio copy) is one of these programs and is also a fantastic ripping and cd imaging program. It's error correction has worked for me when all others have failed. It's doesn't encode the mp3's itself but it will call lame. And you can easily set it up to call lame using the r3mix settings.

        Lame is an open source project revolving around making the best mp3 encoder.

        Anyway here is what you need to do. Download EAC and a command line LAME implemantation. Sorry i don't have links but i'll bet you can find them both in under a min. First put the lame files in a dirrectory on your pc then install EAC, it will ask where LAME is in the install. Then go into the options of EAC and tell it to use the r3mix settings.

        It will make 160 VBR's that sound great. I've got about 50gig of mp3's made this way and have been very happy.

        hope this helps


        • #5
          No comments about using AAC instead a la itunes?


          • #6
            I set 192 VBR lossless using LAME and EAC.
            Aura MR62 (F and R)
            My Current MP3s


            • #7
              Do all you guys reccommend variable bit rates?

              Currently all of my WMAs are encoded at 128kbps or 160kbps fixed bit rates(and some wavs I've ripped off DVD at 1000+kbps ). Anyways, I dont intend on going back and recoding all 2000+ files but just wondering what the argument for VBR was, maybe I should encode future music in this manner?

              Am using Windows Media Player 9 in the car for playback/ripping.
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              • #8
                Let me first say that I don't have as much expierence with wma's as i do with mp3's.

                The point of VBR is to get a smaller file size without losing any sound quality. Depending on what's going on in the music the software picks an appropriat bitrate to encode it. For example if there is just a bass drum thumping without anything else there isn't that much information to record so the software picks a low bitrate, then say the high hat kicks in and so do the keyboards, well now there is a lot more information and higher frequency info too. To encode all this information thE software picks a higher bitrate. When all is said and done the size of the file is that of a file with the average of all the bitrates. Using VBR just avoids sampling the music at a rate that is higher than necessary in the simple places and cranking it up in the complex ones.


                • #9
                  and just to add another .02. I preach this all the time but for the best sound quality/file size ratio nothing beats .wma with 192VBR Lossless setting. It's just the files size is a bit much for my liking.
                  Aura MR62 (F and R)
                  My Current MP3s


                  • #10
                    I personally don't like .wma, but maybe that's just because I have to use WMP to get them to play back right. Mine are coded anywhere from 160-192. Some even are as low as 128, and as high as 320. But those were ripped on my brothers mac (itunes), as mp3's so I haven't had to re-encode.
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                    • #11
                      This doesn't really seem to make a difference as long as you only play back on PC, but my Sony Xplod MP3 HU doesn't seem to like VBR. It seems like one out of 20 songs I play (I think it's the few I've d/l'd) starts to warble or skip every 2-3 seconds. I watch the display and the counter seems to slow down, then suddenly jump two numbers every time it skips.

                      Anyway, these same songs play fine in Winamp or WMP, so for the most part, it doesn't seem to be a problem, It just made me shy away from VBR. I'm not too concerned with saving that extra few percent that VBR saves over CBR.

                      Again, that's the only downside I've experienced to VBR, but if you're planning on using the MP3's on multiple platforms, you might want to consider that. As for quality, I haven't really noticed a difference in any of them.


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                      • #12
                        Here is yet another couple pennies to add to the pile.
                        At the radio stations for which I am the engineer, we use 320Kbps CBR MPEG2. Thats right 2. Anything not MP2 is WAV. We are currently re-ripping all MP2s as WAVs for better sound quality. MP2 and WAV have pretty much been the standard for radio station audio, mostly due to availability of hardware decoding/no decoding to ease system load. With the availability of such HUGE HDDs for real cheap, I think WAV is the way to go. There is absolutely no system load for decompression, thus they'll play on just about anything.
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                        • #13
                          i don't want to start the wma vs mp3 war that has been covered in countless forums across the internet but i'll say why i use mp3's. Seeing as i'm listening to the files for the most part in my car which is far from a good acoustic environment, even if i do have nice audio equipment the quality of the encoding will not be the limiting factor as far as the listening expierence is concerned. That is assuming of course that the mp3's or wma's were encoded using reasonable settings. This fact makes the "which sounds better" portion of the argument moot.

                          The size advantage likley goes to the wma's but it's really only a very slight advantage so i'm not really concerned about it.

                          This leaves only one issue to make a decission on. The compatibility issue. You will be able to use mp3's on more devices than you will wma's or apple's or sony's new formatts as well. Like my archos 20gig player for example, it plays and records mp3's but nothing else. These formats may be technically superior but the fact that the digital music listening population is already using mp3's is a hard force to resist.


                          • #14
                            I prefere MP3 VBR, but I don't have any mp3 players that can't handle it. It makes it harder on a player because it's difficult to calculate length or move to a time specific position in a file, or if there's only enough buffer for 192kbps or something and you're trying to play a HQ VBR that ranges way over that. There are advantages on a PC though. If a is block not very complex it can be much smaller, and more complex can be a large as you want resulting in a small (more like random size) file that sounds as good as very high constant bitrate, where with CBR it has to fit silence into the same size block as the most complex sounds, so it's either wasted space or crappy sound.


                            • #15
                              Highest quality VBR for my ripper

                              Most music hovers around 128 - 192 as an average so space is conserved nicely and quality is excellent