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Topic: Higher than 320kbps? (Read 21918 times) previous topic - next topic
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Higher than 320kbps?

So, why is .mp3 capped @ 320  kbps?

Would be nice to have an option for say 400-500kbps. Would be a nice size/quality ratio I think.

I don`t know everything about .mp3 so no trolling about what I`ve should have know or similar. Enlighten me instead;)

thanks

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #1
Would be a nice size/quality ratio I think.


Could you please share some samples with us where 320 kbps mp3 produces poor quality according to your hearing ?
Or to refine the question, for what purpose are you planning to use mp3 at those bitrates, instead of lossless compression ?

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #2
So, why is .mp3 capped @ 320  kbps?

Would be nice to have an option for say 400-500kbps. Would be a nice size/quality ratio I think.

I don`t know everything about .mp3 so no trolling about what I`ve should have know or similar. Enlighten me instead;)

thanks

From Wikipedia :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3
Quote
Non-standard bitrates up to 640 kbit/s can be achieved with the LAME encoder and the --freeformat option, however few MP3 players can play those files.

http://mp3decoders.mp3-tech.org/freeformat.html

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #3
With Lame and the --freeformat parameter you can encode up to 640 kb/s, but the compatibility with most decoders is broken.

EDIT : beaten by fred_frno

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #4
Nice size/quality ratio? I'm not sure about that. You can force LAME to encode at higher bitrates using the freeformat switch. But you shouldn't be doing this because of

* Nearly zero support for freeformat streams

* But more importantly: It's not clear that MP3 does scale that well for upper bitrates. The fixed filterbank and fixed codebooks have been optimized for lower bitrates. So, you might not experience the expected quality gain for a given increase of bitrate.

If you want to have 500 kbps streams you might be better off using WavPack lossy or something like that.


Edit: Darn .... Am I that slow?  I hit "reply" when no reply was visible.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #5
Nice size/quality ratio? I'm not sure about that. You can force LAME to encode at higher bitrates using the freeformat switch. But you shouldn't be doing this because of

* Nearly zero support for freeformat streams

* But more importantly: It's not clear that MP3 does scale that well for upper bitrates. The fixed filterbank and fixed codebooks have been optimized for lower bitrates. So, you might not experience the expected quality gain for a given increase of bitrate.

If you want to have 500 kbps streams you might be better off using WavPack lossy or something like that.


Edit: Darn .... Am I that slow?  I hit "reply" when no reply was visible.

I agree. With some problematic samples (castanet), --freeformat -b 640 is not better than --preset insane because pre-echo problems is inherent to MP3.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #6
Would be nice to have an option for say 400-500kbps. Would be a nice size/quality ratio I think.

The optimal size-to-quality ratio is actually the lowest bitrate at which *you* can't tell the difference between the lossy file and the original source (i.e. the mp3 is transparent to you).  Example: For virtually all the music I listen to, I can't tell the difference between the orginal CD and an mp3 encoded with LAME at -V 4 (VBR, varies around 165 kbps).  For me, any higher settings/bitrates would be wasting bits and drivespace on audio I can't hear.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #7
Thanks for the replies and for keeping it civilized and educational!

I can tell (or think I can) the difference between vbr encoded mp3 and lossless on my ipod. Not for all kinds of albums or styles but for some.
And that`s really all that matters.

For instance, for those familiare with it, I think the latest Tool alb. sounds better(more punch, crispier cymbals etc) in lossless than mp3 on my ipod.

The problem is obviously that lossless sucks a 10 gig ipod free of space fairly quick, hence my question.
I was trying to find some golden, middle way;) Is there any?

I won`t dabble with the freeformat stuff.

And no, I don`t think a 320 or vbr ex. sound bad...just think it can sound better in some cases. It`s still compressed.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #8
Im suprised no one has posted yet suggesting you try to blindly test if you can really hear the difference, especially on an ipod which doesnt come with the highest fidelity headphone. Try an ABX test (search the board - its everywhere here). Personally I use ~115 vbr LAME on my ipod and probably could drop to ~100 and be just as happy. I keep everything backup with FLAC and transcode even though I cant usually hear any difference.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #9
If you want absolute quality, I think you should just go lossless. At least that way you can have no doubt in your mind that the fidelity hasnt been touched with an sonic-altering algorithm. 

Just enjoy the music bro,
-Joe

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #10
For instance, for those familiare with it, I think the latest Tool alb. sounds better(more punch, crispier cymbals etc) in lossless than mp3 on my ipod.


IMHO, your iPod just uses different postprocessing for mp3s and for lossless files. There's a possibility that with lossless you have some replaygain, dithering, noise shaping, etc. On top of that, mp3 decoder may not be of highest quality... Can anyone, who knows more about iPods confirm or deny my thoughts?
lame -V 0

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #11
The first thing I did when I bought the ipod was to toss out the horrible earbuds that came with it. (For those wondering Im using porta pro & a closed phillips headset. The porta pro sounds pretty good now after years of use hehe. The phillips set is quite new so it still a bit "hard". Been pondering on something better but im not made of money)

For mp3s i use lame vbr new V0,3.97b2, and lossless is made from flacs to wave to wma lossless to apple lossless (a lenghty prosess but it works. Def. open for suggestions on this one; how to get flacs to the ipod?). Not sure if it involves postprocessing of any kind.

Haven`t done the pepsi challenge. Don`t think i will.

One other thing is that i think a lot of jazzalb. sound better lossless than compressed. This is in a noisy environment such as the subway etc and i need to turn the volume up.
Not saying this applies to every alb known to man though.

As Erukian said, I might just go lossless all the way.

And most definetly enjoy the music;)

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #12
For mp3s i use lame vbr new V0,3.97b2 (...) One other thing is that i think a lot of jazzalb. sound better lossless than compressed. This is in a noisy environment such as the subway etc and i need to turn the volume up.
Not saying this applies to every alb known to man though.


You initially said nothing about perceived quality (as in "this sounds better than that"). But since you just did let me say I agree with Eli's suggestion: Try doing some blind tests to prove to yourself that you hear differences. This is a great opportunity to check what quality level you really need for your iPod. I'm quite happy using -V4 for my portable.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #13
Haven`t done the pepsi challenge. Don`t think i will.

One other thing is that i think a lot of jazzalb. sound better lossless than compressed.

Then don't expect anyone here to believe (or care) when you say something "sounds better" than something else.  I think you may have fallen into the trap of the placebo effect - lossless is exactly that, lossless, and most of what you think sounds "compressed" is likely your personal bias, since you're already aware that you're listening to something that's been compressed.

Have you read the terms of service, specifically TOS #8?

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=3974

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #14
[...]
One other thing is that i think a lot of jazzalb. sound better lossless than compressed. This is in a noisy environment such as the subway etc and i need to turn the volume up.
[...]


Mmm.... Could there be a chance that what you're hearing is clipping?  being an -V 0 --vbr-new encoding, it is quite surprising to find a difference.
Yet, "more punch, crispier cymbals etc" is not a description of any artifact that MP3 adds. At much, there's the possibility that it's  pre-echo, but that should be verified. Else, we have to assume that this is a moot case.

Quote
just think it can sound better in some cases. It`s still compressed.


This especially puts us in the perspective that you simply don't care, and imagine things.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #15
As SebastianG said if you're out for best quality and allow for 400-500 kbps you're probably best off using wavPack lossy which you can use with your iPod if you switch to free Rockbox firmware.
With this you can be pretty sure there will be no audible difference from the original.
And you can allow for lower bitrate: wavPack @ ~ 350kbps is sufficient IMO even for extreme quality demands.

I did similar considerations concerning mp3 once and wanted to use 320 kbps. But I realized using ~250 kbps yields practically the same quality. Perfectness is not achievable with mp3 but a a very very good quality is. As for VBR I share your considerations. In the very high bitrate range it doesn't offer advantages but provides for a certain danger that it makes things worse (though this is rare). To me Lame's ABR is the best way to go in the very high bitrate range (though there's nothing wrong using cbr 256). As for the encoder in the very high bitrate range I prefer old Lame 3.90.3 up to now because of it's quality robustness.
I'm with the other contributors who say transparent quality is usually achieved with something like -V4. Unfortunately this is not valid for the universe of music. harpsichord for example requires a higher bitrate for very good quality (abr 224 or better IMO). But with a good encoder in the 250 kbps range you're pretty safe (with the exception of perhaps pre-echo issues in case you're sensitive towards that which you can check with samples like castanets).
lame3995o -Q1.7 --lowpass 17

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #16
As SebastianG said if you're out for best quality and allow for 400-500 kbps you're probably best off using wavPack lossy which you can use with your iPod if you switch to free Rockbox firmware.
Does it come with s/w? (link?)

I`ve settled on vbr V0 for rock & pop, i realized i can`t justify the filesize/quality ratio. Some albs i still think sound better with lossless but it`s to few to have them all be lossless.

If the firmware will let me use the pod the way i want to i might consider switching.

With jazz I`ll go with lossless. The mp3s just make the horns sound too hard on loud volume.

Again, thanks for the replies!

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #17
[deleted]

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #18
What?! Why not just go from CD (or FLAC) to Apple Lossless directly.  All that extra steps and conversion can only introduce extra room for error.

With jazz I`ll go with lossless. The mp3s just make the horns sound too hard on loud volume.
That statement means nothing to anyone on this forum and just makes you look like you like to say things without proof, unless you can provide an ABX test from the original vs. ~320kbps MP3 that confirms what you think you hear.


Are you serious? Not everything is science! All that really matters is what you hear isn`t it!?

Lot of stuff is not directly from a cd. With cds I own I use that method yes.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #19

What?! Why not just go from CD (or FLAC) to Apple Lossless directly.  All that extra steps and conversion can only introduce extra room for error.

With jazz I`ll go with lossless. The mp3s just make the horns sound too hard on loud volume.
That statement means nothing to anyone on this forum and just makes you look like you like to say things without proof, unless you can provide an ABX test from the original vs. ~320kbps MP3 that confirms what you think you hear.


Are you serious? Not everything is science! All that really matters is what you hear isn`t it!?




Yes, and the problem is that most people have no idea what they actually hear.  Thats why ABX is required around here when making statements that are contentious.  Fact is most people have no idea what they can hear, in spite of what they may think.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #20
Are you serious? Not everything is science! All that really matters is what you hear isn`t it!?

Hearing is a matter of perception; but when it comes to compare two different signals you have to listen them separately. That's why any audio comparison involve not only your perception but also your memory: comparison is a confrontation between a present experience and a past one, between what you're currently hearing [experience] with what you heard previously [reminiscence]. But memory is faillible. That's why even trained and professional people are able to detect difference between A and... A. And that's why ABX is often required to validate any comparison.

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #21
Can I ask a question.

Is it possable to do VBR above 320kbps? Sorry if its already been asked, I must have missed it! 

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #22
Not with MP3. --freeformat (bitrate up to 640 kbps) is CBR only (at least with all existing encoders, but I'm quite confident that MP3 specifications don't allow VBR + freeformat together).

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #23
[deleted]

Higher than 320kbps?

Reply #24
Interesting, you get flac support (and more) with this firmware. Too bad I`ve got the 2nd gen ipod.