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There is a first issue if MP3 will be tested at 96 kbps. MP3 has a sample rate 32 kHz at 96 kbps while AAC, AotuV, Opus - 44.1 kHz. Sampling issue.Possible solutions are resampler or higher bitrate for MP3.
Possible solutions are resampler or higher bitrate for MP3.
The fact that Lame resamples to 32 kHz at 96 kbps shouldn't worry too much IMO. Maybe the lack of HF is easily noticeable, but at 96 kbps there is worse to be frightened of for mp3.
Anybody who thinks that MP3 should only be tested at 128kbps or above needs a reality check.
I think it would be a good idea to make another AAC listening at first (Maybe just QT vs. FhG) since the development of the Winamp encoder has been quite active.
Ideally I'd like to see, somewhere in the 48-96kbps range: Vorbis, FhG, FhG-free, Apple AAC, LAME (if 96kbps), Opus and USAC. Though it's likely too early for USAC.