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Topic: why 192kbps? (Read 5701 times) previous topic - next topic
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why 192kbps?

I'm new to these forums, so if this has been asked before, I apologize. When I download mp3's from irc (or other places) that are released by groups, they are almost always encoded 192kbps/stereo.  Why do they insist on using this cbr setting when there are so many better options out there? I've never run into software or a recently released device that isn't compatible with vbr. It's just so frustrating, because many songs sound like crap with 192.

why 192kbps?

Reply #1
Since to many 128k sounds like CD-quality, and stuff like LAME presets aren't well advertized. 

why 192kbps?

Reply #2
I must admit that I have problems to spot differences between 192 cbr (even FhG) and lame aps when I listen to e.g. "modern" pop music (which is, of course mostly preprocessed in a way that it mostly sounds like crap anyway) ... but my ears/equipment/listening environment are not that good anyway.

Sometimes I just "sense" that there is something wrong with the high frequency parts on 192 kbps cbr mp3s that are available throughout ed2k or kazaa ... I don't bother too much because if I really like the music, I'm going to buy the appropriate CD anyway so that downloading mp3 is just like some HQ "preview" for me.

Music parts containing "critical" passages (in a sense of spectral complexity) are not commonly encountered in pop music (IMO this will be the case more often with rock/jazz music containing more upper tones anyway) so Britney shouldn't be that much of a problem in 192 cbr ... 

the real problem to me isn't the cbr bitrate format (at least not the only problem due to --alt-preset cbr 192) ... but using encspot you will see that a significant amount of these files are encoded with the xing engine which implies that audio catalyst has been used for ripping in most of the cases ...
The name was Plex The Ripper, not Jack The Ripper

why 192kbps?

Reply #3
The vast majority of people use some kind of generic encoder ( Musicmatch, Mediaplayers etc) to encode their music, so it's usually a straight encode with whatever the default setting is. They may put the "slidebar" up a notch or 2 on the settings page to get a higher quality file but thats about it, when I talk about LAME or Ogg Vorbis to people I know, I get the "is he from this planet" look. It is only people like us on these pages that are paranoid enough to seek the perfection that can never really be reached (in our own minds anyway). The fact that we come back to these pages over and over is proof enough that we are always looking for something new or improved.

why 192kbps?

Reply #4
Quote
The vast majority of people use some kind of generic encoder ( Musicmatch, Mediaplayers etc) to encode their music, so it's usually a straight encode with whatever the default setting is. They may put the "slidebar" up a notch or 2 on the settings page to get a higher quality file but thats about it

No. All major ripping groups have strict guidelines for MP3 encoding. The allowed settings and encoders are clearly specified. It's just that these guidelines haven't been updated in years and are hopelessly outdated. Those groups have a clear paradigm, but they don't realize that their reasons aren't valid anymore.

why 192kbps?

Reply #5
Quote
No. All major ripping groups have strict guidelines for MP3 encoding.

Yes. Use crappy 192k CBR, with old crappier LAME(3.88 beta), and put a tag on it       

why 192kbps?

Reply #6
there are a few groups out there that do use -aps these days, its SLOWLY cathing on... what gets me is that they do CBR 192 but with STEREO and not Joint Stereo :no:
Chaintech AV-710

why 192kbps?

Reply #7
The problem of the mp3 scene is its size (~400 crews, 20-25GB of new rips daily); such a huge "organism" needs standards to exist. A sudden change in the encoding standard would create a huge disarray, perhaps even split the scene (think of all the dupes, standard disagreements, transcoded releases...) Besides, it is true that a lot of people involved are (naturally) quite ignorant in terms of audio compression quality, and 192 FS (JS has been OK for a while now too) does sound “good enough” to most ears.

At the same time, several groups who truly appreciate music they release have been releasing internally with higher quality mp3 settings and even in mpc, and EAC has been the standard for CD ripping with most established crews for a long time.

Changes will happen but gradually. I think there is going to be a switch to a different codec rather than a change in mp3 settings. Anyways, the scene is still a lot of fun.

why 192kbps?

Reply #8
Let's look at it this way: It has a decent file size with decent quality. That's about it. It's like a minivan, doesn't do one thing right, but tries to be several things at once.

That's only restricting this to CBR. Obviously a 192kbps ABR/VBR file would be quite nice, but as the others have said, it hasn't quite caught on yet with the majority of rippers/individuals. 320kbps is just too big for a lot of users, especially if you're on a dial-up connection. 128 is a nice size, but quality is piss-poor.

Of course, since I have broadband, I tend to get the popular 192kbps files for trial-listening purposes. Works for me.

P.S. Kind of a silly question in the first place, right? Coulda guessed all the answers that others have posted...

why 192kbps?

Reply #9
Basically, it's 'cause nobody cares.  192kbps is transparent to the vast majority of people on the vast majority of music.  I'd bet even many people in forums like this who use --aps would actually have trouble ABXing 192kbps if they had to, let alone actually picking it out during casual listening.

why 192kbps?

Reply #10
Quote
... what gets me is that they do CBR 192 but with STEREO and not Joint Stereo :no:

It's quite ok for CBR 192 kbps stereo  coz in P2P like KaZaA, you will get crappy files mostly encoded with LAME 3.89 cbr 128 kbps STEREO, sometimes even with CRC 
128 kbps encoded with FastEnc is much better than the LAME as only joint-stereo is alloud for FhG......still click and ring!

Should make "stereo" setting in future LAME 3.94 to joint-stereo, get rid of the "joint-stereo", then people will have to use either mono o joint!
Is there anyway to implement the joint-stereo from MPC to MP3?????


Buying CDs is  much better than downloading mp3s

why 192kbps?

Reply #11
Quote from: kotrtim,Apr 17 2003 - 07:36 PM
Quote from: bubka,Apr 17 2003 - 03:17 PM
Buying CDs is  much better than downloading mp3s 

That's what downloading APEs off of the mule is good for.

I still buy, out of my own paranoia, and I like having the original.

WinMX, is xing/blade city! Every high bitrate file I get off of WinMX is xing or blade. I don't use those P2Ps anymore. Kazaa is pathetic, all FhG @ 128k, and LAME 3.83 stereo 160k. easyLAME and EAC really do need to be seen by more... 

why 192kbps?

Reply #12
Quote
WinMX, is xing/blade city!

All of the 320 kbps files sound worse than LAME 128 kbps js
They must be transcodedfrom some 128 kbps up to 320 kbps STEREO with XING & BLADE

Just wondered why these people transcode from 128 to 320?
Is a waste of space and time + QUALITY DETERIORATION

why 192kbps?

Reply #13
Please educate me, for I'm ignorant.

Are you people actually complaining about how the music you are pirating (<--- ignorant part) doesn't live up to your standards? 

Why don't you just buy the CD?  Problem solved.

<  bracing myself for the flames  >

why 192kbps?

Reply #14
Quote
there are a few groups out there that do use -aps these days, its SLOWLY cathing on... what gets me is that they do CBR 192 but with STEREO and not Joint Stereo :no:

that is really the stupidest thing they can do because "--alt-preset cbr 192" preset was specifically designed for joint stereo. so, simply "overiding" the default setting by putting in "--alt-preset cbr 192 -m s" will screw things up big time. if people insist on using stereo at 192 kbits, use gpsycho instead (for example -b 192 -m s -h --lowpass 19)

omni: you have a point, but there is more to it. one of the reasons this message board is here to show people how to archive the music they love at maximum quality and the best way to do it. if you go on some mp3 newsgroups and IRC chatrooms, the "advice" people give to others like joint stereo is a no-no, 192 kbits is as the best it gets, ogg vorbis is crap and worst than mp3, etc... is just laughable. a lot of these tips are based on old, and most of the time, inaccurate information. the way i see it, you can either take advice from people here at hydrogen audio who are committed to the highest quality, or you can take advice from the other "experts" who base their information on, well, bullshit, as none of the advice they give makes sense
Be healthy, be kind, grow rich and prosper

why 192kbps?

Reply #15
Quote
Basically, it's 'cause nobody cares.  192kbps is transparent to the vast majority of people on the vast majority of music.  I'd bet even many people in forums like this who use --aps would actually have trouble ABXing 192kbps if they had to, let alone actually picking it out during casual listening.

Try 192 on death or thrash metal and you can easily hear the quality lacks.

why 192kbps?

Reply #16
Quote
Try 192 on death or thrash metal and you can easily hear the quality lacks.

Depends on what you mean by "easily hear."  If I compare the original source material to the recording very carefully, I may be able to tell a difference (but only with difficulty and multiple listenings; I'm not good at detecting slight differences in things like distortion).  However, I've never found a non-MPEG-test-sample mp3 where 192 CBR "sounded bad"; i.e. had noticeable artifacting.  If I could tell the difference at all, it was only by repeatedly comparing to the original source recording, and noticing slight differences in distortion or background hiss.  And really, if already highly distorted music is distorted a tiny bit differently, it doesn't make all that much difference to me.  Noticeable artifacting, like what you get with 128 CBR Xing, is what I'm more worried about, and I haven't seen that at 192.  I still use preset standard of course, since it's about the same bitrate, and there I've never noticed anything at all.

why 192kbps?

Reply #17
Omni,

I am not qualified enough, to judge if you are ignorant or not, but I can see clearly, that you've missed the point of the discussion here.
Let me help you:
People are discussing here the quality of the encoding (pirated, not pirated, or whatever it is), NOT pirating music.
Please, do yourself a favor, and realise, that MP3 encoded audio DOESN'T MEAN pirated audio.
So, the discussion here goes more like "why the hell they insist on using LAME 192 CBR STEREO for encoding (pirated or not) MP3, while there are better solutions for encoding at ~192 kbps MP3, for example LAME APS
If you are interested at audio piracy, and the piracy in general, I can recommend you to search better places for discussing the matter, because you'll be more than dissapointed at Hydrogen Audio.

P.S. English is not my native language, so please excuse me if I made some mistakes.
However, I'm sure you got my point.

why 192kbps?

Reply #18
Quote
Why do they insist on using this cbr setting when there are so many better options out there?

Simple - They don't know any better. 

why 192kbps?

Reply #19
Quote
Please educate me, for I'm ignorant.

Are you people actually complaining about how the music you are pirating (<--- ignorant part) doesn't live up to your standards?  

Why don't you just buy the CD?  Problem solved.

<  bracing myself for the flames  >

so what are you doing here..???

why 192kbps?

Reply #20
Quote
Miles wrote:
People are discussing here the quality of the encoding (pirated, not pirated, or whatever it is), NOT pirating music. Please, do yourself a favor, and realise, that MP3 encoded audio DOESN'T MEAN pirated audio.


I'm actually with omni on this one, struggling to see how this thread wasn't started with pirated music in mind. The release groups mentioned earlier (those encoding at 192kbps stereo) exclusively distribute material tho which they do not own the copyright.

As for 'hard-to-get-stuff' for which many people Kazaa use...this is usually put up by audiophiles who care about quality. These people tend not to use Xing with 192kbps & stereo but are usually better educated.

why 192kbps?

Reply #21
Quote
Please educate me, for I'm ignorant.

Are you people actually complaining about how the music you are pirating (<--- ignorant part) doesn't live up to your standards?  

Why don't you just buy the CD?  Problem solved.

<  bracing myself for the flames  >

Sometimes there isn't a CD to buy anyway (bootlegs for instance) or there are rare items that have been distributed only via gigs/internet, or limited to 100 copies alone (or even less). The mp3 scene makes everyone a favour by giving us the chance to listen to stuff before spending our precious money for an album that used all the marketing tricks there are to decieve us into thinking that is worthwhile. Your ears are the best judge...

Thanks to mp3s I have increased the number of cds I buy.

This issue though has been discussed thoroughly in the past...just a comment: there aren't only immoral, unlawful "pirates" out there, but also "legitimate thieves & exploiters"

why 192kbps?

Reply #22
I buy CDs but I live in Colombia and you can't get even easy to find discs.

for example:

Elton John - 11-17-70
Elton John - Empty Sky
Iron Maiden - Live After Death
Iron Maiden - Powerslave
Meat Loaf - Bat out of hell


So sometimes you have to download MP3s to actually hear the muzak. I downloaded and burnt the whole 11-17-70 album from Kazaa, and as soon as I traveled to the US I dumped the MP3s and kept the CD (my backup, though), however, I must say, those 128Kbps MP3s sound REALLY good when you've only heard a radio broadcast or a TV programme.

Anyway, people pirating Britney Spears or Shakira (and it's sad to mention her since she's from my country) can actually say 128 is CD-Quality since for that 'good mastered' (read as Butchered) music there is no difference.


If you can't buy something because it is not sold and you need it, my belif is, you don't affect anyone by taking it (only in abstract issues, like copyrights).


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My theory is that after some c't' test determined 256 was not disernable from source realease groups averaged their actual bitrate (128Kbps) with Transparent (256Kbps) and got 192Kbps. It's supposed to be better than 128Kbps but caring about the up/download times.
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you."

 
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