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Topic: Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables (Read 7347 times) previous topic - next topic
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Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

I've created a guide for the general PMP-using public in how to go about creating your library around optimizing the quality/file size mix.  Since it's mostly based on knowledge I've gained here at HA, i'd like some feedback, if anyone has the time to look at it.

I'd love to have it posted somewhere permanent here at the forums or in the wiki, if it's deemed worthy.

**updated file to reflect changes in my post below**
**another update to the document**
**Mar 9 - Updated with my most recent version.  I consider this releasable.  I've made many changes from the original, based almost entirely on the feedback in this thread.  Please share it with others.**

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #1
In my humble opinion, that's absolutely excellent! There is a definite need for this to be made publicly available in as many places as possible to dispel the FUD and utter nonsense that seems widespread with regard to lossy encoding. Well done that man!

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #2
It looks like a fine document, but it may be a bit difficult to read (maybe it's because i wanted to read it too fast  )

Here there are a couple of things:

In page 5 you mention lame 3.98.2 and in page 1 you mention 3.98.1

In page 8 you mention the typical usage is 10 trials. It is 8 for "easy trials" or 16 for harder ones.

The rest seems ok (but again, i read it a bit fast )

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #3
You had me up until you incorporated screenshots from Foobar.  Even at 140%, the images were far too low-rez to view (very fuzzy and hard to read).  The content around and in the PDF is nice, but the helpful image aren't actually helpful.  A good first pass but needs a bit of work.

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #4
Very nice document.
Images were also an issue. All images were fine for me at 100% until page eight through the end.

terry

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #5
Very nice document.
Images were also an issue. All images were fine for me at 100% until page eight through the end.

terry



sorry, not to be a grump, but ALL images, regardless of size, were blurry.  Here's an example.

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #6
Did not suggest otherwise....just another data point.

terry

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #7
You had me up until you incorporated screenshots from Foobar.  Even at 140%, the images were far too low-rez to view (very fuzzy and hard to read).  The content around and in the PDF is nice, but the helpful image aren't actually helpful.  A good first pass but needs a bit of work.


I noticed that after I posted.  You're totally right, images are junk.  I'm not sure what happened, but I think I've fixed it.  Uploading to original post asap.

I've also made a couple other minor fixes, including the two issues mentioned by Jaz.  I just let my wife read it (she's non techie), and she says it's understandable, so I hope i'm ok there.


Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #8
I'd love to have it posted somewhere permanent here at the forums or in the wiki, if it's deemed worthy.

An important part of the wiki is that anyone with an account is able to contribute or modify anything on the site.  Private ownership of a pdf document does not comply with this.  Send a PM to Jan S. for access and if you have any questions.

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #9
I thought this was a good and easy read.  It took me a few minutes to thoroughly read all ten pages looking at the pictures.  My only complaint is that some of the images do not use a correct aspect ratio.  For example, on page 9, the image looks like it was either stretched vertically or squished horizontally.  It made things kind of difficult to see.  I am not sure what was going on but it could be an issue with the software you are using.  I know that OpenOffice's document editor used to make images blurry when exporting to a PDF document so something along those lines might be happening.

Other than those few image issues, I thought it was a pretty good document.  I don't know if it will be pinned here on hydrogenaudio but I think it should be stickied on ilounge.

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #10
I like your guide. Few comments:

1. It carries iPod in the title (both picture & text). For the iPod ecosystem AAC would probably a better choice (much better bang/byte-ratio) so it should at least be mentioned. Nero aacenc on the PC and Quicktime on the Mac are very good encoders. The iTMS's success will make it harder and harder for DAP player manufacturers to ignore AAC. Especially if they want to gain back a piece of the huge iPod cake. After all it's an established industry standard and licensing costs are not really high.

2. The text's readability is not good. You probably can't change MS Word's suboptimal word spacing algorithm, but you could change line lengths. It's agreed among typographers that character counts per line should not go above 72. Increase left and right margins a little bit. Top and bottom could also use some more air to breath. It looks excellent if margins and text area dimensions relate to each other in the golden section's ratio. But lets not overdo...

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #11
Nice guide! But it is definitely not for beginners! 

Beginners don't have an idea about lossy and lossless to begin with. At least, they don't know those terms.

So either you described your target audience as too broad (quick fix) or you have to give a broader introduction to the topic of audio compression (long fix).

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #12
This a very good guide and I like it. Had I read this earlier in my ripping career, it would have saved me a considerable amount of time. It should definitely get a prominent place here at this forum (not sure how this could be done with PDF).

The guide's conclusion is to choose MP3 for the iPod. This conclusion is defensible, but I believe that AAC uses less space for the same quality. Admittedly, this belief is so far only based on other people's tests and loosely backed up by some preliminary investigations for my own music. Since the guide's aim is to allow people to make the most of their iPod, AAC should therefore get a bit more coverage. AAC would also allow applying replay gain in reversible manner.

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #13
Nice guide; it would really be a great addidtion to the wiki (as a page, not PDF) as a starting point for newcomers.

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #14
I've made quite a few changes based on the feedback so far.  I really appreciate the help.  Will upload latest version as soon as I'm done with this post.  Most notably I've added more detail about my decision to not recommend AAC, added a section describing lossy and lossless compression,  and re-done all screenshots to preserve detail when zoomed.

An important part of the wiki is that anyone with an account is able to contribute or modify anything on the site.  Private ownership of a pdf document does not comply with this.  Send a PM to Jan S. for access and if you have any questions.


I'm not sure how to proceed.  This is my first such creative effort, so I'm not sure of my options.  I'm not concerned about losing control of the document here at HA in the wiki, as any changes by HA members are likely to be for the better.  However in the wild beyond the borders of HA, I'd prefer not to have to fight with changes made by subjectivists, and would like to retain control. Thus the copyright and .pdf format.  Are these incompatible goals?

This is all falling under the unlikely assumption that the guide gains any popularity at all.  I'm a rookie at all this.  I don't even know if saying copyright... at the bottom of the document provides any legal status whatsoever. 

Can anyone shed some light on this at all?  As a last resort i can just create wiki page and dump the .pdf on the rest of the world without any copyright.

*edit* Readability of the .pdf is still an issue.  Anyone have any font/size or other suggestions to help?

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #15
I don't even know if saying copyright... at the bottom of the document provides any legal status whatsoever.

It may protect the specific wording of the document but not the general content nor does it necessarily keep the document from being redistributed and modified. You can't and do not "own" the general knowledge contained within the document -- this isn't really classifiable as a creative work.

I'm not even sure why you would want to copyright it in the first place. I mean, of what benefit is that to you or to anyone else?

As a last resort i can just create wiki page and dump the .pdf on the rest of the world without any copyright blah blah'ing.

That would be preferable, I think. PDF is a good solution for certain things, but a wiki article is much more appropriate for general peer-reviewed knowledge.

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #16
I am going to pipe in about the usage of AAC.  The guide expresses gerwen's reasons for using Lame mp3 as recent listening tests showed it to be very robust at -V 5.  Additionally, I have seen a countless number of people over at iLounge who rip all their CDs using iTunes (and its default 128kbps "CBR" setting) only to find out that their files cannot play on other devices.  These people then normally just use iTunes to convert their AAC files to mp3 files resulting in further quality loss.  I think it would be better if people started off using Lame from the get go.

 

Guide to creating size optimized MP3's for portables

Reply #17
Uploaded a version i consider good enough to release.  Feel free to distribute it. 

I didn't want to remote link the upload above on other sites, so I used a free file host here:
Encoding Guide

Will try and add it to the wiki as soon as I can.