Re: Qaac vs FDK vs FhG vs FAAC ? Which one is better now in 2021?
Reply #11 – 2021-04-02 08:01:39
I voted for QAAC (i.e. Apple AAC) since it appears that's pretty much the standard around here for standard AAC (AAC-LC) files.
but from what I can tell from listening tests around here is that QAAC and FhG (i.e. 'AAC (Winamp FhG)' preset in Foobar2000) are pretty much the same (although at least on Windows, FhG encodes files a bit faster than QAAC does the last I knew even though playing around with it on Linux through WINE recently, they are about the same encoding speed with QAAC maybe being a bit faster. but this is likely a total non-issue with semi-modern CPU's on a desktop computer). so those two would be the only ones I would personally use as after that I think quality starts to degrade to my knowledge (i.e. I would avoid using any other encoder besides QAAC(Apple AAC) or FhG for making standard AAC files). plus, there has not been any quality improvements in roughly 10-12+ years now on standard QAAC as mentioned at the following link by IgorC (from Nov 2019)... https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=118446.msg977450#msg977450 MiGamer5 ; naturally use the proper encoder for Foobar2000 to get best quality AAC-LC (.m4a) files... Apple AAC or FhG. here is a post that will make it nice and easy for you to make Apple AAC files with Foobar2000... https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=115883.msg962088#msg962088 (I also got the FhG files (three .dll files with a Dec 2013 date on them) if you need em which I doubt since QAAC is what people generally default to around here) ; also, if storage space is any concern I suggest you use 96kbps CVBR and forget about it as that will be easily good enough for most people and still maintains top notch efficiency to. if you are not a fan of 96kbps, then go with 128kbps setting as I figure much beyond 128kbps efficiency starts to take a solid hit and beyond 160kbps or 192kbps is overkill/waste of storage space (this seems to be a pretty good guideline from what I can tell just reading around these forums over the years on listening tests etc). or to put it another way... I am confident that most people would find 96kbps to be good enough when listening to music straight up, especially when not comparing it to the lossless source. or put it this way, while going higher than 96kbps can help clean up the sound a bit, it's not significant and bit rate starts to increase a good amount and eventually you reach a point where gains are very little to non-existent. hence, my general 96/128/160/192 kbps settings as just about everyone will want to use one of those four settings in my opinion(although if someones not that picky and wants to save even more storage space they could probably get by going even lower than 96kbps but I don't suggest it personally to account for people of all ages potentially listening to it), especially anyone who has even a smallest concern with storage space efficiency and on the flip side is not super paranoid about squeezing the last drop of sound quality out of it etc. NOTE: TVBR vs CVBR... TVBR, which is probably a bit more common, will save you a little storage space over CVBR on average. but CVBR 'might' be a little safer on sound quality across a wide range of music and I think that might be especially true where you find music that drops to bit rates that are unusually low as CVBR helps force the bit rate to stay closer to around your selected bit rate and I think using CVBR would probably be more beneficial when your already using the lowest bitrate that's considered pretty good on standard AAC-LC which is 96kbps as while some people can probably get away with say 80kbps etc, it's probably not worth the risk to gamble with sound quality. everything lower [then about 320kbps] is pointless. why reduce quality, to save a few megabytes? it's not 1995 anymore, even at lossless music is not big. the reason to use AAC is because you can't use anything better (like flac) on the device in question While I can see your point/reasoning, while I agree with on some level, I tend to see things a bit differently overall as while I agree storage space can be very cheap nowadays (i.e. 128GB MicroSD for around $20) it sort of defeats the point of using lossy in the first place which is to get the smallest file size while maintaining a high enough level of sound quality. in that regard, even for people with storage space to burn, it seems more than around 192kbps on standard AAC (AAC-LC) is largely a waste of storage space and I would even argue to use 96kbps (CVBR) or maybe 128kbps since that's likely the sweet spot for most people and is quite efficient at those bit rates to as I tend to think unless someone is really picky/paranoid, 160kbps or 192kbps settings are the high end of what people should even consider using in my opinion as beyond that point it's pretty much a total waste of space. hell, even on MP3 it seems beyond v2 (190kbps) is pretty much a waste of space to and that's generally considered the worst lossy format simply because it takes more bit rate to achieve a certain standard of audio quality. but as you probably already know, AAC (and other lossy formats) tends to pull ahead of MP3 mainly around the 128kbps and lower as even a recent test by IgorC (which I think was sometime last year) on the 192kbps range with lossy encoders basically shows that while MP3 was the worst (so it's best to use another lossy encoder if possible), it's not by much and MP3 @ v2 (190kbps) is pretty much guaranteed to be good enough for darn near everyone. also, another reason in my favor to use a decent bit rate is someone with a average smart phone, while they got a fair amount of storage space, it's not like they have a boatload of it either by default. just off the top of my head... there are probably many people who still have 16GB or 32GB smart phones (or thereabouts) and if someone was storing their music collection in there, it's still going to be overall better to want efficient lossy files. hell, it appears quite a few smart phones may work with Opus at which point I would dump AAC and switch to that if possible since you can even further lower the bit rates and still get pretty good all-around sound from it (i.e. Opus @ 64kbps (or keep Opus @ 96kbps and enjoy further improved sound over AAC @ 96kbps)). p.s. or another thing I could say... AAC vs Opus, with both at 96kbps, the average person might not even notice a difference between the two (even though given listening tests around here, Opus is the winner) where as with MP3 at a similar bit rate, say v7 (100kbps) it's more possible they will notice the difference. like it won't be as difficult for them to ABX the MP3 as it would be the AAC/Opus files. I don't see much point in CDDA -> 320-ish lossy. For portable use - which is when I go lossy - I would choose opus at two-figure bitrates. Exactly. because with lossy in general, even though some people have storage space to burn, it's all about efficiency. so in that regard when it comes to Opus, 96kbps is probably a pretty good default choice. hell, I would not even mind using 64kbps with the Opus format, especially if storage space is of any concern and just going from 96kbps back to 64kbps that's files that are roughly 1/3rd smaller which can be a decent storage space savings on a smart phone for example if you got plenty of music as, off the top of my head, there are probably still quite a few smart phones that don't have storage space to burn (even though I realize some can add a MicroSD card and all which would give it plenty of storage space).
Last Edit: 2021-04-02 08:14:42 by ThaCrip