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Topic: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I? (Read 1322 times) previous topic - next topic
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Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

My friend got a new motorcycle and asked me to make him a mixtape. Since his head-unit supports MP3 files via CD, I was thinking about encoding at 96kbps, which will allow me to fit ~16 hours of music on a 700mb CD-R. Now yes, MP3 @ 96kbps sounds terrible... I know. However, my reasoning for this is...
  • The speakers aren't exactly top-notch, so they probably won't benefit from a higher bitrate.
  • He's fine with FM and SXM radio, which are both low-bitrate.
  • The vast-majority of the time he'll be listening while riding, so I don't think he's going to notice the quality while the wind and engine are in his ears.
  • Having 16 hours of music on one CD will be super-convenient since he won't have to change discs practically ever, especially since his head-unit has a shuffle mode.
My only concern is that low-bitrate MP3 takes a noticeable impact on the sound of drums, which might be a problem since he listens to classic-rock. Also some songs, such as Baba O'Riley by The Who, have noticeable amounts of noise-artifacts in my MP3 encodes. Maybe I could make adjustments such as filtering before encoding to MP3? Really though, I don't think he'll notice, or more importantly... care. What do you guys think?

My source files are ALAC ripped from CD btw.

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #1

I agree the background noise is so awful he might be fine with it. Give it a try as you can do a higher bit rate if he DOES find the
96 kB objectionable. As for the SXM, MY car has Sirius and my wife's car has XM and believe me they are not the same. With
Sirius some of the lower bit rate channels get the metallic under water treble that is less bad on XM. My Sirius does not get
any of the 300 numbered channels while XM does. My normal listening is from 192kbit MP3s from CDs.


Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #2
Using VBR would be a better choice if his player supports it. Average bitrate of results of lame -V7 would come close to 96kbps and probably sound a little bit better than CBR.

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #3
I had similar situation with my car. BMW 5 series from 2002.
This car is pretty old but insulation is very good and speakers are okay.
Unfortunately, I can only use single CD in the trunk.
I managed to fit 200 songs on a single CD. Total length 14:06:22.
They were encoded using LAME V6 preset. (Average 115 kbit/s)
I am an audiophile, I can easily hear some artifacts now and then but it's not really annoying.
V6 is obviously much better than 96 kbit/s CBR but it is still pretty low bitrate.
When it comes to 96 kbit/s CBR, I would personally experiment with different MP3 encoders (LAME, Fraunhofer, Helix)
and maybe even resample to 32 kHz using SoX.

Are you sure that his headunit only supports MP3?
Lots of them are cheap units that support many different formats but simply ignore them because they don't have .mp3 extension.

Lots of them support WMA which is supposedly better at lower bitrates.
Some of them also support AAC-LC but they are not telling you that in manual.
For AAC-LC you can also try ADTS stream. (.aac extension)

The best way to do this is to grab re-writable CD and do some experiments above.

Edit: Forgot to add average bitrate for VBR files.
gold plated toslink fan

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #4
Listening to loud music while riding a motorcycle seems like a good way of cutting one's life short.

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #5
Are you sure that his headunit only supports MP3?
Lots of them are cheap units that support many different formats but simply ignore them because they don't have .mp3 extension.

Yeah I'm not exactly sure, I'm just going off of the owner's manual...
Quote
Receiver features include:
-Electronic single in­line CD/MP3 player with track up/down, forward and reverse scan,
repeat and random play functions.
-CD/CDR/CDRW compatibility. Double­sided CDs will not play in this unit.
-MPEG 2.5 Level III (MP3) file format compatability

I could definitely try it though. Hopefully I can get VBR MP3 work at the least, as it definitely sounds better than 96kbps CBR,

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #6
With storage space in mind I would either use V5 (130kbps), or V7 (100kbps) at the lowest, and forget about it. hell, I think V5 is a pretty good default choice for most people given it's... A)efficient and B)sound quality is still high enough for most people (given listening tests around here). so I don't see using V5 as ever a bad choice for MP3 in general. he could always use another CD if really needed.

p.s. but in all honesty, if I was driving a motorcycle (which I have before in the past), I would be enjoying the experience of the ride and completely skip the music. but I guess if riding a motorcycle is a routine/daily type of thing for him, I could possibly see a bit of music here. still, even for safety reasons alone... one probably wants distractions at a minimum. so in this regard, I tend to default to no music on a motorcycle as a general rule.
For music I suggest (using Foobar2000)...
1)Opus @ 64kbps or 96kbps. NOTE: using 64kbps on Samsung J3 /w Foobar2k.
2)AAC (Apple or FhG(Winamp)) @ 96kbps.
3)MP3 (LAME) @ V5 (130kbps). NOTE: using on AGPTEK-U3 as of Mar 18th 2021. I use 'fatsort' (on Linux) so MP3's are listed in order on AGPTEK-U3.

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #7
It can work .

-b96 -f --lowpass 12.5

-V5 --lowpass 12.5
wavpack hybrid 320k -hx4s.5c

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #8
The problem with non-44.1 KHz "stereo" mp3s is the further you get from that, the more likely a hardware mp3 player will barf on the files.

Back in the early days of podcasts circa 2004, my Dell DJ would do weird stuff with certain mp3s such as play them at a weird speed/pitch, to the point where part of my workflow was reencoding/resampling/etc to something it definitely would be ok with

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #9
Listening to loud music while riding a motorcycle seems like a good way of cutting one's life short.

Listening to loud music while riding a motorcycle IS a good way of cutting one's life short.

Re: Making an MP3 CD @ 96kbps... should I?

Reply #10
Listening to loud music while riding a motorcycle seems like a good way of cutting one's life short.

Listening to loud music while riding a motorcycle IS a good way of cutting one's life short.
Probably second only to ' wheeling whilst on the phone - no protective gear on.'
Listen to the music, not the media it's on.
Wavpack -hb4.3