For archiving, only lossless formats like WavPack, FLAC, etc. are ideal; they will preserve the audio with no changes, sample-for-sample, regardless of encoder settings. In contrast, lossy formats like MP3 are designed to save space by changing the audio in subtle, often imperceptible ways, even at the encoder's maximum settings.
Why in this day of cheap storage would you "archive" in a lossy format? ]
First, the near-universal compatibility of MP3s; and second, because frankly I can't tell the difference between a -V0 -q0 MP3 and an AAC or ATRAC, even when it's played on high-end equipment.
1 - If you can't hear the difference why are you splitting hairs about fringe behaviors of the encoder? 2 - If you can't hear the difference why is a 640kb frame needed?3 - If the near-universal compatibility is really a reason why are you asking about incompatible variants?Rip to lossless, and transcode to lossy upon transfer to your DAP/Phone/Car for the next fiveish years. After that your portable devices will hold enough to make the transcoding step unneeded.
(1) Do you see any point in recompressing my CDs using LAME 3.99.5? The vast majority of them are already compressed with 3.98.4. 3.99.5 seems to give a small file increase on the higher quality settings, but I'm really only concerned about the audio quality.
CBR will give you the best compatibility. But.... VBR will give you the best audio quality for MP3 format.
frankly I can't tell the difference
... for every given CBR file, there is a VBR file which does indeed achieve the same quality without increasing size.
Quote from: Porcus on 22 July, 2012, 12:35:37 PM... for every given CBR file, there is a VBR file which does indeed achieve the same quality without increasing size.As long as you're not talking about converting a CBR320 file to a VBR file using mp3packer (a procedure which doesn't change the audio data) that's not correct.
If you're addressing me: No, I don't, and I can't see I've written something like this. Personally I'm into -V0 (resp. my 3.99.5 -V0+ variant which is a bit more demanding than -V0).
If compatibility is what you are worried about then flac is the most compatible.