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Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

I am converting these "electronic music" genre files @ 128k but the encoder was going as high as 150k consistently. Is the encoder struggling? Should I go higher? I am using 128k only because opus wiki says 128k is "pretty" transparent, for me such an assurance is enough for me.

So do you use different bit rates for different genres? Different for each album? If so please list them.

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #1
I encode everything at 160k VBR.  From what I've read here, that's the point at which the codec's practice of "generalizing" the response curve above 16kHz ceases (see the thread at https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,116005.0.html).

Note that the HF "making stuff up" (quoting the developer there!) threshold is only relevant to the few lucky (?) people who can actually hear sound above that frequency in a way that affects actual transparency.  I don't know if my ears can, but I like to err on the side of caution and at the cost of only a couple of added mb's or so to file size I don't have to worry about it.

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #2
160kbps VBR? I assume you mean -V 4 in LAME for example which will aim for that?

I don't change the bitrate, I think I use -V 4 for everything, or maybe -V 2 purely because space isn't an issue :)

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #3
160kbps VBR? I assume you mean -V 4 in LAME for example which will aim for that?

I don't change the bitrate, I think I use -V 4 for everything, or maybe -V 2 purely because space isn't an issue :)
This topic is in Opus subforum, and nobody mentioned MP3 before in this thread.

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #4
Note that the HF "making stuff up" (quoting the developer there!) threshold is only relevant to the few lucky (?) people who can actually hear sound above that frequency in a way that affects actual transparency. I don't know if my ears can, but I like to err on the side of caution and at the cost of only a couple of added mb's or so to file size I don't have to worry about it.
You can test it on a (fairly extreme) sample here: https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,115880.0.html
If you don't pass this ABX test then probably it'll be safe for most music. I didn't encounter any other music so far which has at least as much energy above 16000 Hz.

And even then, when the amount of energy in that band is so pathologically high, Opus encoder (1.3) decides to keep them when used with --bitrate 128 — I just tested it on this sample. So it will certainly keep them if there are even more of them.

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #5
Thanks magicgoose for the pointer to your sample.  I have to say I enjoyed your comment later in the thread, "..when it reaches the point where I can hear them, I'd rather not hear them."  I expect I would end up with exactly the same conclusion, haha!  Cool about finding opusenc 1.3rc still keeps that when using 128k.

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #6
Quote
I am using 128k only because opus wiki says 128k is "pretty" transparent, for me such an assurance is enough for me.

You can't go wrong with Opus @ 128kbps.

To quote the wiki page on Opus....

48kbps = "nice sound, may have problems with cymbals"
64kbps = "nice sound, detectable differences to original"
96kbps = "approaching transparency"
128kbps = "Very close to transparency"
160-192kbps = "Transparent with very low chance of artifacts (a few killer samples still detectable)"

so given that info the sweet spot is between 96-128kbps, especially when used on portable devices where you likely won't be in some optimal listening environment etc. that's why I think most people will prefer either 96kbps or 128kbps. anything over 160-192kbps is overkill and I would probably avoid anything under 64kbps unless your very limited on storage space.

p.s. I left off 32kbps, as while that's not bad for the bit rate, I can't really see many situations where one will need to go THAT low on the bit rate for quality sake.

Quote
So do you use different bit rates for different genres? Different for each album? If so please list them.

If one wants to nitpick that might be a option (I would not know the details though), but if your mainly concerned with sound quality and don't want to overthink things just use 96kbps or 128kbps or 160kbps and forget about it. but I will say if you got some music your not too concerned with having more of the higher tier sound, and want to shave some file size, 64kbps is a option.

so I guess a lot of that boils down to what kind of storage space your got to work with whether bit rates lower than 96kbps are worth considering or not.

p.s. I have been using the 64kbps setting for some of my less important music even though I typically use 96kbps and between those two I pretty much got my collection to fit onto a 8GB MicroSD card (about 3,000 songs at the moment) with about 500MB or so free storage space left on it. so depending on how large ones collection is etc, you can still get plenty of music on 8GB of storage space with the 64kbps and 96kbps combo. hell, if I had to use 64kbps exclusively to squeeze even more songs onto that 8GB MicroSD card I would probably not complain overall. come to think of it, I might play around with 32kbps/48kbps/64kbps/96kbps just to see if I can notice any obvious differences on the setup I use for portable music which is Hauwei y336-a1 phone with Sony MDR-NC7 headphones as it's possible I may be able to use a lower bit rate than is generally needed in which case ill have room to breathe if I ever need to re-rip my FLAC music to lower bit rate Opus especially given v1.3 should be released very soon which apparently made improvements in the 48kbps and lower bit rates.
For music (especially on-the-go)...
-I suggest Opus @ 96kbps (or... 64kbps minimum, 128kbps maximum). *preferred choice*
-I suggest AAC(Apple) @ 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). *secondary choice*
-I use Foobar2000 (/w Encoders Pack etc) to convert FLAC to Opus/AAC(Apple).

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #7
Many years i use to convert CDS to MP3 320 CBR or V0-1 but so very late i found that settings of OGG Q7 and up  more better than mp3.
But If you have a good ears you can catch sometimes some annoying artifacts of mp3 compression and some anemic and castrated sound....
But life in plastic (sound) its fantastic...  

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #8
This topic is in Opus subforum, and nobody mentioned MP3 before in this thread.

Apologies, I'll pay more attention to the subforum on the front page in future ... now where's the embarrassed smilie....

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #9
I use only 192 kbit/s for all stereo Opus encodes and don't worry about quality. With other codecs I use 256, and 320 with mp3. There is no need to hunt for the optimal bitrate today, unless one enjoys this process. Time and peace of mind cost more than bandwidth and storage.

 

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #10
@j7n

Quote
I use only 192 kbit/s for all stereo Opus encodes and don't worry about quality. With other codecs I use 256, and 320 with mp3. There is no need to hunt for the optimal bitrate today, unless one enjoys this process. Time and peace of mind cost more than bandwidth and storage.

Unless 320kbps MP3 is required is simply a waste of storage space. I never understood those who use 320kbps MP3. it seems v0 (245kbps) is the highest setting people would use on MP3 (as it's the highest quality VBR setting) unless 320kbps is required for some reason because it's basically the same but saves on file size. but for efficiency sake v2 (190kbps) is probably a good all around choice for MP3 and still somewhat efficient.

but basically... MP3 is not worth using in this current decade anymore given it's generally worse than AAC/Opus as it takes more bit rate to reach a given level of quality as if one is primary concerned with compatibility you can stay with AAC, as while it's not as widely supported as MP3, it's close enough, and if one wants to use the best lossy encoder there is, without worrying much about device compatibility, Opus is where it's at. that's why I generally see the AAC/Opus combo as the clear best choices when encoding lossy music today with MP3 being the 3rd option.

like as a general guideline... It seems like beyond about 192kbps for Opus/AAC is pretty much a waste of storage space given the wiki page on Opus says it's completely transparent at 160-192kbps outside of some killer samples and I would imagine AAC (Apple) is similar.

so if you don't want to play around with stuff and got some storage space to burn, which appears to be the case for you, but have even the slightest concern for efficiency then 192kbps is about the high end of the bit rate one would consider using for lossy audio. plus, as far as your time goes.... given the AAC encoders topped out in quality roughly 8-10 years ago(?) there is no need for having to re-rip much anymore if you ripped your music collection in the not too distant past.

so if audio quality is of super high concern, use lossless if you can. if not, use a lossy encoder at a decent bit rate (96-160kbps (maybe 192kbps)) and don't worry ;) ; I see 128kbps as a general sweet spot as you can't really go wrong at that bit rate with AAC/Opus and, as a bonus, you don't waste storage space either. but with all of that said, if all your concerned with is high quality sound on a lossy encoder, then the settings you chose (192kbps+) you can't go wrong.
For music (especially on-the-go)...
-I suggest Opus @ 96kbps (or... 64kbps minimum, 128kbps maximum). *preferred choice*
-I suggest AAC(Apple) @ 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). *secondary choice*
-I use Foobar2000 (/w Encoders Pack etc) to convert FLAC to Opus/AAC(Apple).

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #11
I am converting these "electronic music" genre files @ 128k but the encoder was going as high as 150k consistently. Is the encoder struggling? Should I go higher? I am using 128k only because opus wiki says 128k is "pretty" transparent, for me such an assurance is enough for me.
For some reason no one answered this question, which is pretty fundamental to understanding the encoder, I think. Yes, many types of electronic music are difficult to encode, due to the synthetic instruments, with chiptunes being the most difficult genre to encode that isn't random noise. (But some chips do use random noise to stand in for sounds....) I have a library of favorite chiptunes that I'll regenerate and encode as codecs change, and for every single one, the bitrate is far higher than anything else I encode. The hard jumps just don't fit with an MDCT at all.

Opus's bitrate selection is really more like Vorbis's quality parameter, it's a quality-shaping profile that's given a bitrate based on extensive testing. Overly simple inputs, like pure vocal samples, or overly difficult, like chiptunes, will throw off the encoder significantly.

There is a way to constrain Opus to specific maximum bitrates, but unless you have an absolute need, you should let the encoder use as much or as little bitrate at the quality you're happy with.

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #12
@foxyshadis

Quote
There is a way to constrain Opus to specific maximum bitrates, but unless you have an absolute need, you should let the encoder use as much or as little bitrate at the quality you're happy with.

You pretty much summed it up there.

or I could say.... while I don't know the technical detail, I think it's still pretty safe in terms of sound quality to just select 96kbps or 128kbps or 160kbps and be done with it as these seem to be standard options (given info in Opus wiki page) for someone who wants quality sound while still maintaining some level or a higher level of efficiency as I figure going any higher than about 160kbps, efficiency is pretty much shot and any lower than 96kbps and one may start to gamble on sound quality a bit.

even if someone thinks the 'encoder is struggling', if it sounds good to the listener then it does not really matter much. hell, come to think of it.... I would imagine it's just the way the encoder works as no matter what bit rate you choose, be it high or low, the more complex music will always use noticeably higher kbps than the selected bit rate.

hell, even the quote you quoted basically acknowledged that 128kbps was a choice you can't go wrong with as I think at 128kbps is a setting that will please all bit the semi-paranoid/OCD types of people who are worried about the smallest artifact once in a while. but personally, between 96kbps and 160kbps... ill take 96kbps every single time given it's not far from half the bit rate with sound quality that's not far off from the 160kbps setting on plenty of music. using higher bit rates with lossy files on modern encoders like Opus just ain't worth it (especially on average-ish range headphones etc) as if someone is worried about sound quality that much and has storage space to burn, they are probably better off using lossless files if possible.
For music (especially on-the-go)...
-I suggest Opus @ 96kbps (or... 64kbps minimum, 128kbps maximum). *preferred choice*
-I suggest AAC(Apple) @ 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). *secondary choice*
-I use Foobar2000 (/w Encoders Pack etc) to convert FLAC to Opus/AAC(Apple).

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #13
I am converting these "electronic music" genre files @ 128k but the encoder was going as high as 150k consistently. Is the encoder struggling?
No. It just tries to stick to your target bitrate on average. It analyzes the audio and decides where to subtract bits from and where to add those extra bits in so that the whole file has a consistent audio quality.

So for 128k, it might encode some parts at 100k, and then use those now available 28k to encode another part at 158k for example. If you were to specify a higher bitrate like 192k, then you'd find the encoder would do the same thing there. It would encode some parts at a lower bitrate, and then use those extra bits to encode other parts at a higher bitrate.

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #14
For some reason no one answered this question, which is pretty fundamental to understanding the encoder, I think. Yes, many types of electronic music are difficult to encode, due to the synthetic instruments, with chiptunes being the most difficult genre to encode that isn't random noise.

I agree very much with this. Big chiptune fan here and as i converted today again some random C64 tracks to Opus one can clearly see that especially that that kind of music is pushing the encoder quite a bit - with a setting of 256 kbps the end result had an average bitrate shown as 338

So, if one is converting very unusual electronic music... it is in general better to go a bit higher - around 160-256 kbps in my opinion.

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #15
Only with really hard to encode music, which is usually 256k ~ 320kbps. 

Re: Do you set different bitrates for different genres of music?

Reply #16
I'd have to say no. I think the reason is, that my personal defaults are rather good, and the only exception to this, is when using ultra-low-bitrate speech codecs, but that's a an entirely different use-case. Either the overall presets are good-enough, or the music I'm listening to is just not diverse enough.

I'm OK with either ¦)

 
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