CVBR prevents the situations where bitrate goes too low. CVBR is actually on par with TVBR (if not better).The word "true" doesn't imply better VBR.
CVBR scores a tiny tiny tiny bit above TVBR - but marginally (4.391 vs 4.342 for Bootstrap and 4.39 vs 4.34 for ANOVA).
The comparison isn't really fair because equivalent filesizes aren't being compared - and if you are willing to go for the 7% bigger filesize - then you could rather just bump up the TVBR quality setting and probably get a better TVBR quality vs CVBR quality at the same filesize.
• The first part - about your AAC encoder choice and settings is answered above. I don't believe CUETools lets you use a commandline encoder, so might not be the choice here.
I am questioning your goals here. If using ~96 kbps is your goal I assume you are looking to save space. If so, why the embedded album art, its a complete waste of space. Only windows media player/zune dont read folder.jpg. All other players like winamp and foobar do, as well as android and rockbox. (actually im not sure about itunes/ipod).
I believe dBpowerAmp's DSP plugin system also lets you deal with ReplayGain when converting, though I'm unaware of whether it applies the EBU R-128 or original algorithm or gives you the option.
QuoteI believe dBpowerAmp's DSP plugin system also lets you deal with ReplayGain when converting, though I'm unaware of whether it applies the EBU R-128 or original algorithm or gives you the option.It can write RBU R128, the R9 DSP effects (which are in beta test), and also all the other things on the list (except detect Pre-emphasis which is not detectable outside of a CD Ripper AFAIK)