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Topic: Which encoder to use today? (Read 1228 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • AlexQc
  • [*]
Which encoder to use today?
I decided to start rip my whole CD collection to the AAC format and I want to get the best results possible while keeping the files "portable". I was going to use the Nero AAC Encoder with EAC but I searched the Web for 2 hours last evening to validate my choice but now I feel I'm more confused than I was before.

During my search I read here on the forum that Nero AAC was outdated. Which encoder do you use today? CBR or VBR? I usually trust more CBR over VBR for MP3s as the results seems more consistent and the gained space with VBR is not really a big plus for me but I'm not sure my experience with MP3s apply with AAC...

To give you an idea I always use 320 CBR for my MP3s and I'm mostly listening to rock/metal music.

Any input welcome!

  • eahm
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Re: Which encoder to use today?
Reply #1
While I could point you to some listening tests to see how good lossy codecs are good at lower bitrates (~64+ kbps) today, I will list what I think the best options are for each lossy for convert and forget about it, make sure you keep the lossless copy so you can reconvert in the future if that's too much or the files are too big for your portable use, I sometimes go down to ~64 Opus for example.

MP3: (LAME) V2+/~190+ (V3/~175 is near transparent as well but to be on the safe side)
Ogg Vorbis: (Default or aoTuV) or ~160+ (~128 is really good as well)
Opus: (1.2.1) ~160+ (~128 is spectacular but again...)
AAC: (Apple, FhG/Winamp, FhG/FDK) ~160+ (like the others, ~128 is spectacular)

Some transparent settings recommendation links:

LAME: http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=LAME#Recommended_encoder_settings
Ogg Vorbis: http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Recommended_Ogg_Vorbis#Recommended_Encoder_Settings
Opus: https://wiki.xiph.org/Opus_Recommended_Settings#Recommended_Bitrates / http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Opus#Music_encoding_quality
AAC: https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,99359.0.html (post from 2013)
  • Last Edit: 06 October, 2017, 05:27:26 PM by eahm

  • zima
  • [*][*][*]
Re: Which encoder to use today?
Reply #2
[...] CBR or VBR? I usually trust more CBR over VBR for MP3s as the results seems more consistent and the gained space with VBR is not really a big plus for me but I'm not sure my experience with MP3s apply with AAC...

To give you an idea I always use 320 CBR for my MP3s [...]
You're just wasting space with 320 CBR, MP3 is most likely "consistently" transparent to you at much lower bitrates (and AAC - even lower; do an ABX test, it can be humbling) & there's nothing wrong with VBR.

If you don't care for space, the "proper" way would be to rip your CDs into FLAC format and keep that on ~stationary HDD,  converting to lossy format for portable use.
  • Last Edit: 06 October, 2017, 05:50:58 PM by zima

Re: Which encoder to use today?
Reply #3
I decided to start rip my whole CD collection to the AAC format and I want to get the best results possible while keeping the files "portable". I was going to use the Nero AAC Encoder with EAC but I searched the Web for 2 hours last evening to validate my choice but now I feel I'm more confused than I was before.

During my search I read here on the forum that Nero AAC was outdated. Which encoder do you use today? CBR or VBR? I usually trust more CBR over VBR for MP3s as the results seems more consistent and the gained space with VBR is not really a big plus for me but I'm not sure my experience with MP3s apply with AAC...

To give you an idea I always use 320 CBR for my MP3s and I'm mostly listening to rock/metal music.

Any input welcome!
By the sound of it it looks like you're lossy-encoding for achival purposes. If that's the case, many on HA can tell you why that's not a good idea.

Besides, I'd even risk saying that, your apparent preocupation with quality (your searching for the best AAC encoder there is; this "encode to CBR instead of VBR" thing 'cause "results seems more consistentthing" - whatever that means) point out to your reencoding it all into another encoder/setting/format anytime soon - what I call "format hopping" - been there, done that.
In short: I wouldn't forgo lossless encoding in the process (assuming you haven't/won't) as well: at least all the ripping process won't be wasted. I know the CDs will be there but that is a process that takes time and as you mention disk space is not an issue...
Listen to the music, not the media.

  • AlexQc
  • [*]
Re: Which encoder to use today?
Reply #4
I think you are right I will save a "master" in FLAC and do an AAC version on my mobile, car, etc.

Now I'm still puzzled by all the AAC options... Even if it's lossy I would like the best quality possible and consistent results.

Which AAC encoder do you use. 256kbs seems a good VBR transparent quality...

Thanks for your input!

  • eahm
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Re: Which encoder to use today?
Reply #5
AlexQc, did you read the second post?

AAC: (Apple, FhG/Winamp, FhG/FDK). Those are the three best, "best" to "worst" considered by listening tests at ~64-96 but please, at 256 you could even use a 20 years old one, it wouldn't make much difference.

So, again: Apple (iTunes required or you can make a portable version) or FhG/Winamp (really fast) or FhG/FDK (standalone and open source).

  • polemon
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Re: Which encoder to use today?
Reply #6
Is it just me, or is this question popping up in more or less regular intervals? Maybe something like this should be put on the Wiki?

  • saratoga
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Re: Which encoder to use today?
Reply #7
The wiki does list recommended encoders:

http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=AAC#Encoders_.2F_Decoders_.28Supported_Platforms.29

But there are no references and the recommendation may be out of date.

  • eahm
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Re: Which encoder to use today?
Reply #8
The wiki does list recommended encoders:

http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=AAC#Encoders_.2F_Decoders_.28Supported_Platforms.29

But there are no references and the recommendation may be out of date.
Also FhG/Winamp is missing, how?