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Topic: best solution to compress audio (Read 2201 times) previous topic - next topic
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best solution to compress audio

good evening, i'm new around here.
here's my problem:
i want to create a music library of all my cd's at the best quality possible, beteewn all the formats i'm at a lost.
so i decided to ask somebody who's already done the reserch.
please include paid programs.
i'm an audioslave and i want to start doing things right.
fire walk with me

best solution to compress audio

Reply #1
EAC + Lossless Codec of Your Choice.

best solution to compress audio

Reply #2
i want to create a music library of all my cd's at the best quality possible, beteewn all the formats i'm at a lost. ...

Unfortunately you dont't write what is the purpose of your library.

If it's only about archiving and you have sufficient disc space lossless is the way to go. Use Monkey, wavPack or FLAC - they're all good. Monkey provides the best compression ratio (but there's no big difference) and is pretty fast. I personally would use Monkey extra high mode (-c4000).

If you're not a perfectionist and/or do not have sufficient disc space wavPack lossy is very attractive. wavPack lossy doesn't use a psychoacoustical model and so is error-restinant to the possible flaws of those. wavPack lossy just adds a little noise which usually is absolutely inaudible when using 300...400 kbps. If you allow for an additional safety margin and use a bitrate in the 400...550 kbps range this is a very good solution even for archiving. Compared to lossless this means you get half the file size for pop/rock music even when using this safety margin. And transcoding from high quality wavPack lossy isn't a real quality issue.

If it's about playing the library on a PC or PC based music system, it's the same thing: go lossless, or extremely high quality wavPack lossy.

If it's about playing the archive on a DAP this choice is more problematic if you want to be able to use your archive in the future. You must make up your mind in this respect.
Your choice is a lot less problematic if you keep a lossless archive in parallel to the productive archive. This is what many HA members do.
In this case you don't have to care about the future and use a current attractive format usable on your DAP.
If you don't have a DAP yet you can buy one that supports Rockbox free firmware (for instance iRiver Hxxx or Cowon iAudio do so), cause with this you get a choice of very attractive formats.
You can use wavPack lossy (in the 300...400 kbps range) for instance or MPC at very high bitrate (for instance quality 8) which IMO are the most attractive formats on a Rockbox based system - MPC mainly because of it's low battery drain apart from its quality.
Vorbis is a very good format too supported by many DAPs, but often Vorbis has a negative impact on battery drain.
AAC seems to slowly get a wider support on DAPs which is most welcome because of it's good quality. You can't use it on Rockbox armed DAPs so far (except for iPods, but for them there is native AAC support).
AAC is already now very good qualitywise, and still has the potential to be improved.
You can use a lossless format like wavPack or FLAC, and DAPs with a high capacity HD become more widespread. However HD will often spin up, and even in case that's inaudible it has a negative impact on battery drain.
Which brings focus to forthcoming DAP technology. We see more and more DAPs having a 8 GB flash memory right now, and sometimes DAPs using SD memory cards. So we are pretty close to not having to use a HD. An interesting DAP is for instance the Panasonic SV-SD100VEGS which uses SD cards and supports AAC.
With respect to this IMO it's very attractive to create a very high quality AAC archive. If I hadn't my DAP already (iRiver H140), and hadn't encoded already nearly my entire CD collection I guess I'd do it this way and put all my hope into AAC.

Good old mp3 is interesting too. Iit is supposed to be most future-safe at the moment if you do have to decide for a specific format right now. Like MPC it has a low footprint regarding battery drain. And quality can be very high despite the age of this format. But may be more than with other formats it is most disputable which encoder and setting to use. You can find out on your own reading a lot in this forum and trying out for your own. mp3 has additional benefits. Using mp3cut you can do some basic editing (cutting, fading in and out) with the encoded files in a way which is lossless in a practical sense. Using mp3gain you can bring all your tracks to the same perceptual loudness in a way that is independent of the music playing machinery. Not many formats allow for such a universally usable replaygain technique (AAC does so as well).
lame3995o -Q1.7 --lowpass 17


best solution to compress audio

Reply #3

Wow - excellent reply!


Not much more to add, Hal' hit it dead on, but I personally prefer FLAC for all of my audio archiving.  I dig the 'save some space - but don't loose any quality' thing.

Andrew D.


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