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Topic: Bandcamp internal transcode settings for FLAC, AAC-M4a and OGG (Read 1129 times) previous topic - next topic
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Bandcamp internal transcode settings for FLAC, AAC-M4a and OGG

I always wondered what where their decision considering encoding, so I asked bandcamp support what where they using for the transcoding when you download an album and this was the answer:

  • FLAC: version 1.3.1, set to -6
  • M4A (AAC): fdkaac, set to -w 19000 -m 4
  • OGG: vorbis-tools 1.4.0, set to -q 6

OGG set to -q 6 seems a great middle ground to me. Too many download/streaming services tends to inflate the size of their files for a supposed higher quality. This no-nonsense approach is refreshing imo.

From what I know, m4a has the best quality/size ratio of all the one proposed, even better than mp3 v0, it is also compatible with most devices. (ogg clearly is not unfortunately)

Re: Bandcamp internal transcode settings for FLAC, AAC-M4a and OGG

Reply #1
FLAC 1.3.3 at -6, not 1.3.1. I made a download today (a curious case of mistagging, I had to check whether it was me) - and that does definitely say "reference libFLAC 1.3.3 20190804".
But -6 seems correct, I have actually tested it only a few weeks ago. A bit weird since -6 is nearly as slow as the much better -7.

I bought a lot from Bandcamp until they cancelled my purchases after I had paid, then refused to provide the download and pointed at their anti-piracy policy - something I got in writing from the band themselves was wrong, the label in question did in fact distribute legally.

So these days I only buy on Bandcamp Friday, where the platform promises to waive their cut.
In 35 hours: https://isitbandcampfriday.com/

Been a few charity purchases this year. For example
https://houseofmythology.bandcamp.com/album/slava-ukraini
https://bspliveseries.bandcamp.com/album/bsp-live-series-2021-09-04-kharkiv
https://blackflagsoverbrooklyn.bandcamp.com/album/riffs-for-reproductive-justice (2022 update: they ask you to please donate directly instead.)


Re: Bandcamp internal transcode settings for FLAC, AAC-M4a and OGG

Reply #3
Yes there is higher resolution too. Stats from my collection: Nearly 20 percent is 24-bit, but less than ten percent is > 44.1 kHz. Apparently they serve what is uploaded.

According to the https://get.bandcamp.help/hc/en-us/articles/360046719513-How-do-I-upload-music- , uploads must be WAVE, AIFF or FLAC. But the requirement of stereo only is not enforced, I have a few mono; most recently published is this fifty-ish year old track that was probably mono all the time. But 24 bits it is!  ;D
So artists probably just export to whatever. Sensible would be for Bandcamp to reject what FLAC rejects. (float and non-LPCM WAVE/AIFF.)

Of course there must be tons of MP3 transcodes there. Imagine how many basement musicians who save that way. There is a way to offer external download link like this, and that is sensible to those who want to offer lossy.
Also, one can upload video (I think those are transcoded to a variety of formats from mobile to HD, kinda like YouTube). Hosted by twentythree.com. Examples: next to the two first tracks at https://cultofluna.bandcamp.com/album/a-dawn-to-fear

Re: Bandcamp internal transcode settings for FLAC, AAC-M4a and OGG

Reply #4
But the requirement of stereo only is not enforced, I have a few mono
Curiosity led me to tags "5.1" and "multichannel" ... but apparently, multichannel uploads are blocked. Leading artists to delivering separate (mono, if you are lucky!) .flac files per channel. Name-your-price examples:
The https://kpocius.bandcamp.com/album/metro download has a stero, and five mono files named Kasey Pocius - Metro - 02 Kasey Pocius - Metro (BL) etc. Comes with a PDF explaining channel allocation - but hey, what about a hint about remuxing them together?
The https://conditionalrecs.bandcamp.com/album/brostep-in-the-style-of-florian-hecker download ... uh-oh. One stereo downmix. Then the eight channels in eight files rkss - Brostep in the Style of Florian Hecker - 02 Channel 1 all of which are stereo. Which probably prompted the addition of four more: rkss - Brostep in the Style of Florian Hecker - 10 Channels 1 & 2 etc. Channel allocation not given. Well then, half a gigabyte for eight minutes of music.

Lossy downloads are allocated the same as well. So ... quite some size difference between MP3 at V0 and MP3 at 320 then. Difference is most extreme with that "Metro", quoted as 32.5 vs 136. (But sizes given are not always reliable at all. Sometimes I have seen big differences between WAVE and AIFF, downloaded both out of curiosity, and they are same size.)

M4A (AAC): fdkaac, set to -w 19000 -m 4
Actually, the Brosteps ... download has a <tool> tag saying fdkaac 1.0.0, libfdk-aac 4.0.0, VBR mode 4

Re: Bandcamp internal transcode settings for FLAC, AAC-M4a and OGG

Reply #5
Does anyone also know what resampler Bandcamp uses when converting to 44.1 kHz from other samplerates for lossy? Lossy on bandcamp is always 44.1 kHz regardless of lossless' samplerate.