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  • Supacon
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Fastest Way to Encode to MP3
I am curious to know the fastest MP3 encoder and settings for said encoder that are available, with no regard for any other parameter, such as quality or filesize.

My guess is that using low cbr bitrates in an encoder like xing would be up there... of course, I'm not interested in paying for such an encoder... is there a superfast mode for lame?

I basically want to convert a bunch of flacs I have into very small mp3s as quickly as possible so that I can use the ID3 tags to store metadata.  I have a program that can scan MP3s for BPM (Tempo) information, then embed it into the ID3v2, which foobar can read, then transfer back into the FLACs.  I'm sure that this program isn't picky about the quality of the file, as long as it can distinguish beats and such.  I wish foobar just had a BPM scanner plugin, but at this point, it seems the best way.

If anyone could let me know of the fastest ways to encode MP3s, then I'd be much obliged!

  • AtaqueEG
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Reply #1
What the hell is wrong with LAME?

It encodes at 10x realtime on a current computer (well, that is what I get)
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  • jmartis
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Fastest Way to Encode to MP3
Reply #2
I am curious to know the fastest MP3 encoder and settings for said encoder that are available, with no regard for any other parameter, such as quality or filesize.

yeah, the Helix encoder encodes one minute of wav in one second, thats 60x realtime  (on my machine), at 128k CBR. Plus you get very good quality.

J.M.

  • Hanky
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Reply #3
I would say Helix or GoGo-no-coda
Perhaps even LAME could be fast enough, with some speed-over-quality switches.
  • Last Edit: 27 May, 2006, 03:09:03 PM by Hanky

Fastest Way to Encode to MP3
Reply #4
lame -q 9
^^ as fast as lame can go

fastencc is pretty fast too
Vorbis-q0-lowpass99
lame3.93.1-q5-V9-k-nspsytune

  • guruboolez
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Fastest Way to Encode to MP3
Reply #5
nyaochi's comparison is still an excellent ressource in that regard.
=> gogo 3.13a -b128 and HELIX -V75 were both on top on his computer (the encoders may react differently on other CPU).

  • Supacon
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Fastest Way to Encode to MP3
Reply #6
What the hell is wrong with LAME?


Seems to be a very passionate reply for an innocent request!

There's nothing wrong with it, I'm just wondering what is the fastest, and I believe LAME to be focused more on quality than speed.  Even within lame, I am curious to know what the fastest way to use it is.

The thing is that I have many thousands of songs to encode, and this is a process that could take about a week with the normal highest quality settings that I use, and I'm just going to end up throwing the encodes away in the end, most likely. 

But still, I thought others might be interested in such information.  Thanks to all who have posted their comments.

=> gogo 3.13a -b128 and HELIX -V75 were both on top on his computer



Thanks guruboolez. That sounds like what I'm looking for.  I'm not sure what -V75 translates to, but of these two, which do you suppose would be the better quality?

  • Supacon
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Reply #7
Alright... I"ve been playing with helix, and it's a bloody fast encoder.  Based on Xing, I recon.  I'm not expecting the quality to be superb, but I don't really care, as long as I can hear the music without too much distortion.  I've also found that downmixing to mono and encoding at the lowest bitrates also increases speed, and so far, this is what I've found for a small test file I've been playing with:

Code: [Select]
"01.wav" "01.mp3" -V75 -X2 -U2        3.1s
"01.wav" "01.mp3" -V10 -X2 -U2        2.8s
"01.wav" "01.mp3" -V10 -X2 -U2 -M3    1.8s (mono, ~50kb/s)


So that last command seems to be the fastest I could come up with.  Two seconds per track should be acceptable... the MP3 encoding process of a 10,000 song encode should only take 6 hours!  Nice.

As for lame, some experimenting lead me down this path:

Code: [Select]
lame -m j -q 9 -b 24 --noreplaygain 01.wav   -   2.6s


The smaller the bitrate, the faster the encode, but obviously at 24 kb/s, the quality is quite atrocious.  Perhaps even too terrible for my application.  The helix encoder is still faster and acheives much much better quality.  I don't think lame can get anywhere close to the quality of helix in the same amount of encoding time (at least for these fast encodes)!

Can anyone think of anything faster than this?
  • Last Edit: 28 May, 2006, 05:57:22 AM by Supacon

  • guruboolez
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Reply #8
I tested both gogo and Helix last summer; test is in french, and the graph has moved here.

But I based the choice of my setting on the average bitrate of short samples; it's only later  --after I collected the corresponding full tracks--  that I realized that Helix VBR was handicaped by a too low VBR setting (I don't remind the exact value, but something like 10 kbps were missing).

I advice you to compare blindly both encoders yourself.


Can anyone think of anything faster than this?


For pure bench purpose try with lower samplerate (<44100 Hz). It should increase the encoding speed. At 8Khz LAME is much faster than at 44.1 Khz; but I don't know if Helix support MPEG 2.5 mode. Anyway, try 32 Khz or 24 Khz.
  • Last Edit: 28 May, 2006, 06:03:12 AM by guruboolez

  • MedO
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Fastest Way to Encode to MP3
Reply #9
I played around with settings of LAME for another thread which I can't find right now... Anyway, the command line
Code: [Select]
lame -q9 --noreplaygain -ms

gives about 70x encoding on my Celeron M 1,4Ghz.
You might like to try -b192 with this if the quality seems too low, this still gives about 64x encoding here.

I didn't time the helix encoder when I tried it now, but it seemed th have roughly the same speed.

  • shadowking
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Fastest Way to Encode to MP3
Reply #10
I've used gogo 3.13 here an there with abr mode and j/s.. 128k is only good enough for me using LAME3.97, but gogo 160k abr produces consistant results for portable use.
wavpack -b350hhj0cc --use-dns

  • Supacon
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Fastest Way to Encode to MP3
Reply #11
Hmm... I'm doing pretty good already with hmp3 (Helix) but I can't seem to find an option to change the sampling rate. 
edit:The -A 2 22050 option works, and it's also a very minor (~0.1s) improvement in speed per song.

With LAME, using 22,000 as opposed to 44100 makes about a 0.1s improvement in speed for a song, which isn't substantial enough to justify it, in my opinion, but it does speed it up.

I'm not sure, but perhaps making small, low bitrate files will actually speed up the BPM calculation that MixMeister BPM analyser does.  Do smaller MP3 files scan more quickly for replaygain?
  • Last Edit: 28 May, 2006, 06:36:05 PM by Supacon