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Topic: Lower bit depth in custom encoder - will foobar apply dither? (Read 508 times) previous topic - next topic
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Lower bit depth in custom encoder - will foobar apply dither?

Hi. I needed to lower the bit depth of some music I bought in 24 bit format to 16 bit for my audio player which does not play 24 bit Monkey's Audio properly. So I converted the files using foobar to APE and in the custom encoder settings window, I put 16 in the Highest BPS mode supported field under Bit depth (Format is: Lossless or hybrid). When I feed the converter 24 bit files like this, will it apply dither automatically?

Re: Lower bit depth in custom encoder - will foobar apply dither?

Reply #1
Don't do it there. In the setup, select "Output bit depth" and then there is a "Dither" pull-down to the right of it.

If you have one of those hardware players that support Monkey's (some of them didn't even support other compressed formats?!), note that for a while there were incompatibilities in the handling of 24 bits, see,123663.msg1022348.html#msg1022348 . You might want to try encoding using 8.49 and current and check if it matters to the player. Old apes at

Re: Lower bit depth in custom encoder - will foobar apply dither?

Reply #2
Thanks, I have completely overlooked that option in the format selection window.
The player(s) I'm talking about are Shanling Q1 and Samsung Galaxy S23 with Foobar. While officially Foobar for Android does not support Monkey's audio, it does actually play 44.1/16 files encoded on Extra High with no problem on my S23, probably because the phone supports APE, as per specs? But with 24 bit, it poops the bed.
I don't actually care about listening to 24 bit, I'll happily downgrade to 16 bits on those few files I have in 24, I don't think there is any audible difference for humans.

Re: Lower bit depth in custom encoder - will foobar apply dither?

Reply #3
Shanling is a company that have been active on head-fi and responded to bug reports with firmware upgrades. Dunno, but you can try.
As for foobar2000 mobile, it uses ffmpeg's APE decoder - at least when it has to, like on the ten year old Samsung S3 I brushed the dust off for testing. I don't know if it does anything different on a device which has APE support.

So by way of ffmpeg, foobar2000 also supports WavPack and even TAK, which for higher resolution can outcompress the monkey, depending on material:
... I don't know how much of this is due to the material's sampling frequency and how much is the bit depth. But "fake 24-bit" files (16 bits packed in a 24 bit container) is something Monkey's does quite bad, it doesn't know the wasted bits and spends space encoding zeroes.  I keep my 24 bit files as 24 bits (simply because that is the audio the artist sent me ...), and if I were to transcode I would choose a different format than I usually use. (Monkey's would be one such for me.)
I wouldn't even be surprised if the Shanling uses ffmpeg and would play other formats too. Maybe you would have to resort to the old trick of renaming the extensions ...

But, while I'm at it:
Have you tested battery life on the Shanling with this or that format? Try encode the same few-hours corpus as WAVE, as AIFF, as FLAC and as Monkey's (for which decoding CPU load depends on the mode ... try Extra High?) and see what difference it makes.


Re: Lower bit depth in custom encoder - will foobar apply dither?

Reply #4
That's some interesting info, thanks!
I'm too lazy to be doing the battery life testing on the Q1, but it is an interesting topic: so far there seems to be a significant negative impact to the Q1's battery life compared to what I've been using before switching to APE (which was AoTuV at q8.0). If the impact turns out to be too serious for me, I might try switching to WavPack (or even FLAC) and see what the difference is (both in file size and Q1's battery life).
I don't really want to bother with reporting the 24 bit issue with APE files to Shanling. One thing is that I think hi-res is BS and don't really want to bother (the albums I have in 24 bit are either bought on the artist's page or on Bandcamp and there is no option to download 16 bit lossless instead, which I would definitely do if the 16 bit versions of the albums were just a few bucks cheaper than 24 bit), another thing is that I already reported another issue with the Q1 (does not play when connected to my Sennheiser Momentum 3 via BT) on head-fi *spits on the ground after saying that website's name* and they simply informed me that the Q1 is end-of-life and so no firmware fixes are forthcoming.