Hydrogenaudio Forums

Hydrogenaudio Forum => Polls => Topic started by: Jplus on 2013-02-15 15:50:59

Poll
Question: For use at home:
Option 1: Lossless, because I'm saving a lossless copy anyway. votes: 214
Option 2: At least two steps higher quality than N, because I'm paranoid or because I want to accomodate for people with better ears (please post: how much higher?). votes: 27
Option 3: One step higher quality than N (e.g. -q N+1 for Vorbis, -V N-1 for LAME, etc.), because I want to take a safe margin. After all I didn't check all music in the world. votes: 33
Option 4: The same quality N, because I want things to sound the same as on the CD but I don't want to waste more space than necessary. votes: 17
Option 5: One step lower quality than N, because the few audible differences I hear at that setting don't annoy me and I like to shave off 16-32kbps. votes: 3
Option 6: Even lower quality than the previous option, because I find efficiency more important than perceived quality (please post: how far down would you go?). votes: 1
Option 7: My choice is not listed above (please post). votes: 8
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Jplus on 2013-02-15 15:50:59
This new poll is meant to fix some flaws in [a href='index.php?showtopic=99451']the old one[/a]. Please re-cast your vote!

Discussion is always welcome, even if your poll choice doesn't explicitly ask for it.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: garym on 2013-02-15 16:06:14
Lossless at home (FLAC), mp3 Lame (V2) for portable.  I voted use better quality than N (with my N being mostly V4). No particular reason I use V2, just always have as it seems to be a good tradeoff between transparency and size.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: andrew_berge on 2013-02-15 16:53:30
I use lossless for both. Why? Placebo, mostly, but also because my player has 64GB of memory, so there's enough room for all the music i listen to regularly.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: clobon on 2013-02-15 17:44:10
Hi,

so I voted:

For use at home: At least two steps higher quality than N
Because I just want to get sure that I won't hear any artefacts. Not even with better gear.

For portable use: Higher than quality N:
Will be answered below:

How do your choices in polls 1 and 2 relate to each other? I use the same codec and the same settings in both cases.
So I just copy what I got on my Computer to my portable, why bother recoding or encoding twice?

Why not lossless? Why? I got the CDs right here. I just don't need it three times (CD, lossless and lossy). CD and lossy is enough.
I go as high as ~226kbs (ogg). Does it for me most of the time.

Regards,

Clobon
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ExUser on 2013-02-15 18:32:09
For portable use, I use whatever I feel like at the time. Encoding some albums that mean a lot to me? Musepack. Do I think I'll be sharing with friends? MP3. Am I in a mood to play with the bleeding edge of technology? Opus. Many of these codecs are in development, too, so I go up and down to see if my self-testing is still valid. There's really no rhyme or reason to my lossy use. That's all fine and dandy, as I keep lossless originals.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Unown on 2013-06-13 16:45:58
Lossless for home use because space is cheap, I prefer the convenience, and it’s best for proper transcoding for portable and other uses.

Higher than quality N for portable use because I want a slight safety margin. I perform ABX testing with some tracks I know very well and with a few tracks I know to be more problematic for lossy codecs, but my music collection is big and varied, so it wouldn’t be strange for some other track I’ll be encoding to demand higher quality settings to achieve transparency.
The ability to connect a portable player to some good speakers or directly expose its files to some other PC is also very handy. So while the quality might not be that important for use in the portable player itself, I still prefer to have transparency and then some.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ChronoSphere on 2013-06-13 18:31:06
Home use: lossless, for faster access should I happen to have to transcode for friends etc.

Portable use: lossless as well, mainly for convenience reasons, simply copying the files over is faster than having to transcode them first. Also, some tags didn't get transferred in the past (like covers) and I like to have my metadata complete even for portable use for OCD reasons
Now foobar also transfers covers, but rockbox apparently decodes flac with much less processing power required than, say, mp3, so I probably won't change my behavior anytime soon. Have to test that though.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: skamp on 2013-06-13 18:39:31
Portable use: lossless as well, mainly for convenience reasons, simply copying the files over is faster than having to transcode them first.


Are you sure about that? Lossless means a lot more data to write, and caudec reports a write speed of about 5.7 MB/s when transcoding FLACs to Musepack on my laptop, and that's a lot faster than some slow microsdhc cards or some internal flash media (though a lot slower than my iPod Classic). You would get similar or better speeds with, say, foobar2000.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: TomasPin on 2013-06-13 19:58:49
I mainly use my iPod for listening at home, with a fairly decent pair of headphones. I like listening at night before going to bed, so I choose to use N+1 quality (in my case I used Nero AAC before switching to QAAC a couple of months ago) as it's usually quite quiet around me at that time. So far, so good.

For my daily commuting I choose to load slightly more compressed versions, both data and volume-wise, on my smartphone. I use QAAC as well at V50 which is the transparent spot according to some not-too-torough ABXing I had done at home. Again, so far so good. I could go below that in account of the noise around me, but space is not a concern and I like to be safe 
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: aztec_mystic on 2013-06-13 20:39:40
I chose "Higher than quality N" for portable use.

Storage space is not a binding constraint for me in portable use as long as I go for some lossy format. (Space might become a constraint if I opted for lossless.) So, I go for N+1 or N+2 just because I can. Also, that way I leave some margin of error.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ChronoSphere on 2013-06-13 21:39:34
Portable use: lossless as well, mainly for convenience reasons, simply copying the files over is faster than having to transcode them first.


Are you sure about that? Lossless means a lot more data to write, and caudec reports a write speed of about 5.7 MB/s when transcoding FLACs to Musepack on my laptop, and that's a lot faster than some slow microsdhc cards or some internal flash media (though a lot slower than my iPod Classic). You would get similar or better speeds with, say, foobar2000.

FLAC -> MP3 (directly to clip+): 2:40 (+0:12 for scanning/applying replay gain)
FLAC -> MP3 (encode to RAM, then copy): 0:27 (+0:12 for scanning/applying replay gain)
FLAC -> FLAC (directly to clip+): 0:50

So while copying FLAC does take longer (0:50 vs 0:39), it is still more convenient because I don't have to load the converted tracks to foobar and scan them to get my replaygain values. I wish foobar would just keep the replay gain tags while converting. It's not like the music will have a different volume after conversion anyway...
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: BFG on 2013-06-13 22:24:19
My focus is on future-proofing: I always create a FLAC copy of all of my CD rips, and also create a LAME -V0 MP3 copy (using halb27's LAME variant which improves problem samples and automatically applies MP3Packer).  Even at that quality I'm able to fit half of my library on a single 32GB microSD card, not to mention the cheaper, larger capacity chips that are likely to become available in the future; and the lossy quality should be high enough for people with far better hearing than I.

Fun fact bonus: A lot of people don't like Blackberries, but it turns out that they natively support FLAC.  Who would've guessed?
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: aztec_mystic on 2013-06-13 22:25:37
I wish foobar would just keep the replay gain tags while converting. It's not like the music will have a different volume after conversion anyway...

This is really OT but foobar's converter can compute replaygain for the output files (just check the corresponding box in section "Other").
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: db1989 on 2013-06-13 23:02:49
If I may be presumptuous, I think ChronoSphere’s point was: Why reinvent the wheel? If the destination is lossless, there’s absolutely no need to recalculate gain. Well, OK: <insert technicality about the possibility of the source being scanned by the older algorithm here>. It would be sensible to at least provide an option to transfer tags untouched between lossless files and only to re-scan if the user stipulates it. Re-scanning might not matter much in terms of CPU, but it’s still unnecessary in a majority of cases.

Also, yes, very OT. I clearly recall this being discussed already in the right section (where I probably said something very similar to the above), so let’s keep it there.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: eahm on 2013-06-14 08:15:49
Lossless for home use because space is cheap, I prefer the convenience, and it’s best for proper transcoding for portable and other uses.

Higher than quality N for portable use because I want a slight safety margin. I perform ABX testing with some tracks I know very well and with a few tracks I know to be more problematic for lossy codecs, but my music collection is big and varied, so it wouldn’t be strange for some other track I’ll be encoding to demand higher quality settings to achieve transparency.
The ability to connect a portable player to some good speakers or directly expose its files to some other PC is also very handy. So while the quality might not be that important for use in the portable player itself, I still prefer to have transparency and then some.

Same here.

Home: Lossless

Portable: AAC (qaac) TVBR Q63
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-06-14 09:33:09
"Quality N, just in case I end up spending some time in a quiet place." because I often plug my portable into a stereo and don't want to hear artefacts.

btw, "Now that you found your lowest transparent setting" - that depends entirely on content. I picked the setting that's mostly transparent for my ears on the content that I usually listen to. Picking a setting that's more likely to be transparent on problem samples will hugely increase the bitrate for everything else, so I don't do it. If I ever think I hear a problem, I just say to myself "it's still better and cheaper than cassettes and MiniDisc - be content " - and the times I've checked, the "problem" has been present in the original (though occasionally it's exacerbated by mp3 encoding).

Cheers,
David.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Propheticus on 2013-06-14 11:22:24
Lossless/source for @ home. Don't see the use in playing a format lower than what I've got available and keeping 2 versions of files.

When transferring to my portable musicplayer I now use AAC (qaac) 256Kbps CBR. It's a 16GB player, so there's no need for the smallest of formats. I don't carry around my whole music library. AAC 192Kbps is supposed to be 'transparent', but I use 256Kbps for peace of mind mostly. Some types of music/certain clips (extreme cases) might be more difficult and show more artifacts, so I'd rather be on the save side and pick something a bit above N.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ktf on 2013-06-14 14:43:24
I voted lossless at home and lossy N for portable use, but now I come to think of it, that's not the whole story. I use lossless playback (FLAC) when using my notebook, lossy N (vorbis -q 3) for portable, but for DLNA-use (streaming to XBox, set-top box etc.) I use MP3, because an XBox won't play FLAC or Vorbis.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: RonaldDumsfeld on 2013-06-14 16:02:13
I have two basic libraries.

An everything ripped archive kept at home. Almost all FLAC so I can  use tags. Default foobar setting (5).

A portable/cloud  jukebox. Almost all 320bps CBR (N+n) because that's how the downloads come so it keeps everything consistent.

Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: maggior on 2013-06-14 16:47:32
In actuality, I've never determined at what point I loose transparancy of lossy encoded music.  What I do know is I can tell 64 kbps mp3 and ATRAC (used to be a minidisc user) from the source and that in my listening in the car and on my iPod, my LAME mp3 files encoded with default settings (-V2) appear to be transparent to me.  I've never listened to my LAME mp3's and thought "gee, I wish I had my lossless copy with me, this doesn't sound the same.".

So my N falls somewhere inbetween 64kbps and 190kbps.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: nimd4 on 2013-08-12 17:52:34
Now that you found your lowest transparent setting..., Do you choose for fidelity, efficiency, or a compromise?

Cool topic!.. 

Most definitely, I will probably *always* use lossless - as a rule, generally - because once encoded, once it's compressed, the 'extra' data is chucked (away), truncated + gone for good; && if I haven't gone lossless, then - most certainly - I will use the highest, second highest, MP3 setting(s): that is, including bit-rate AND quality (teh 'quality' setting is sometimes hidden and/or tucked-away in options somewhere, depending on the front-end used).

Btw.,
Quote
An MP3 file can also be constructed at higher or lower bit rates, with higher or lower resulting quality.
@
Code: [Select]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3

P.S.
Quality, transparency @
Code: [Select]
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=LAME#Maximum_quality_and_archiving
&&
Code: [Select]
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Transparency

^ just some quick links, in case whoever is reading isn't (too) familiar w/what's going on (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=7516). ;-s

P.P.S.
64GB of memory

Showoff! ;-P ;-D
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: jkauff on 2013-08-13 03:29:48
I have two portable use cases. One is my iPhone, which can play FLAC with a 3rd party player but has only 16GB of memory. The other is the USB stick for my car, which will only play WMA, MP3, and AAC. If my car player could play FLAC, I'd just copy the lossless files and be done with it, but given the two use cases I have to transcode. I use QAAC TVBR Q80. Probably overkill, especially for the car, but space is not an issue on the USB stick and I don't keep that much music on my iPhone.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: DARcode on 2013-08-13 08:32:59
Home: WavPack lossless
Portable: WavPack lossy (correction files left out) on my Android smartphone, qaac AAC (quick ad hoc transcode from WavPack lossless, deleted after the album/track in no longer in my rotation) on my DAP for the beach and the gym.
Sharing with pals: LAME -V0
[Settings in my sig.]

EDIT: A tad more specific.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Destroid on 2013-08-13 08:35:41
Lossless at home, in particular TAK on audio CD's. Portable gets AAC VBR 100-130kbps unless it seems distorted and I'll try the next higher setting, which does not happen often (and re-encoding is trivial anyway).
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: LedHed8 on 2013-08-14 05:26:21
Archival:  3 independently lossless ripped libraries of music I really love on separate hard drives; FLAC, ALAC, and WMAL.  Balance of "so-so" music is on the largest drive ripped lossless with any of the aforementioned 3 I felt like using at the time.

Home/Desktop:  A mix of lossless (ALAC), aac (either iTunes plus or equivalent qaac setting of 256kbps cvbr), lame V0, halb27's lame V0 cvbr0 "insane" setting, and a few misc. purchased tracks/albums from various sources (mainly GooglePlay or iTunes).

Portable Flash Drives (for work):  Mainly lame V0 for compatibility with any equipment.

Rockbox'd E280R 8gb with 32gb micro sd card:  Mostly Vorbis aoTuVb6.03 at the .q5 quality setting.  Some misc. aac and mp3 files.

Rockbox'd Sansa ClipZip 8gb with 32gb micro sd card:  Almost all FLAC level 4 with a few purchased aac and mp3 favorites.

My wife's Rockbox'd Sansa ClipZip 4gb with 32gb micro sd card: Mostly Vorbis aoTuVb6.03 at .q6 and .q5 quality settings.  Some misc. aac and mp3 files.

Kid's Rockbox'd Sansa Clip 2gb:  Mostly Vorbis aoTuVb6.03 at .q4 quality setting.

No transcodes on anything, ever.  If I can't purchase in cd or lossless, the original purchased file stays "as is" except for added metadata or ReplayGain or SoundCheck info.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: birdie on 2014-01-02 11:56:10
At least for the first question my choice is not listed above.

I use lossless for the music I really love but I use the highest possible MP3 quality or at least 256Kbit AAC for less stellar tracks which I find likable but not likable to store them lossless.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ChronoSphere on 2014-01-02 13:31:17
Hmm, you might regret that one day, birdie. Tastes change, I'm going through my library every few years and every time I notice I like some songs I didn't like more and some I liked, a bit less.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: punkrockdude on 2014-01-02 13:39:12
I picked these ones:

One step higher quality than N (e.g. -q N+1 for Vorbis, -V N-1 for LAME, etc.), because I want to take a safe margin. After all I didn't check all music in the world.
If I had more storage I would use FLAC but right now I do not so I use very high bitrate Ogg Vorbis (aotuv 6.03) with some extra parameters like impulse_noisetune=-15 among others. I haven't done extensive ABX using standard settings versus using extra parameters but I am happy with the result.

Quality N, just in case I end up spending some time in a quiet place.
In the scenario I use -q 3.5 with impulse_noisetune=-15 which end up around ~135kbps average.

I use the same lossy codec, but at home I use a higher quality setting than for portable
As described above.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Jimi Justin on 2014-02-09 22:25:56
I have over 12TB of almost exclusively FLAC. I just dont have the patience for conversion or archiving another format. As a matter of fact if I only have something in super hi res sampling rates that would require dithering it stays home. If someone would come up with a portable foobar interface I would probably have a 2tb drive in my pocket.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2014-02-10 09:47:18
I have over 12TB of almost exclusively FLAC.
26,000+ CDs / 3+ years of music?

And I thought I had too much.

Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2014-02-10 10:46:34
Lossless (FLAC) for home use, because it's also my backup for all of my CDs. A true backup only makes sense if it's lossless :-)

For mobile use, I've settled on LAME V4, because that's where it achieved transparency for me way back when I ABXed it. I'm sure LAME has improved since then, but V4 isn't hugely storage-heavy compared to V5 or V6, so I just stick with V4.

Then again, sometimes I'm lazy and I just drag the FLAC albums directly to my media player. I've got lots of storage space on it anyway and it saves me the time it would have taken to reencode.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Goratrix on 2014-02-10 10:57:29
I rip everything to FLAC, but don't use it for listening, just for archiving. The reason is that my primary listening device is the 160 GB iPod Classic, both at home (in a dock) and portable. So for listening, I have the a selection of my lossless library converted to LAME -V0, which is quite an overkill, but that's what I started with many years ago, and I like the whole library to be consistent. V0 gives me about 18,000 to 20,000 songs on the full iPod, which is more than enough. And even if I used a lower setting I wouldn't be able to fit my whole library into the iPod, so it's not worth the hassle right now. In the future, when there are 256+ GB devices available, I'll probably do a encode of the whole collection to 256 AAC as a definitive listening solution.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Dark_wizzie on 2014-05-02 00:01:18
I listen FLAC at home. I don't even own a portable music player atm but when I did, I used whatever MP3s I could find. When I'm at home my expectations for music quality shoots up. When I'm outside, not only do the sound of others drown out and adversely affect the music quality, I also have a different set of standards when I'm on the go. I can deal with crappy netbook speeds outside of home. At home if I lag I rage. So as I said, at home I expect much more.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: zima on 2014-05-31 21:39:37
For portable use, Vorbis aotuv q1 or q2 (with a bunch of random files thrown in) because I still didn't bother to get a large microSD card for my Sansa Clip Zip.  Portable is usually listened in conditions when such low settings don't really matter.
I might look into Opus once things stabilise a bit.

At home it's chaos, because I still treat my collection as ~temporary; usually I just keep portable encodes, but it's everything between them and FLAC. Anyway, Spotify gets more and more use...
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: musikomaniak on 2014-05-31 22:15:52
Why even for portable use I prefer lossless ?
For facility, because I copy lossless music from PC to card for smartphone and because if I'm with friends I use speakers for good music (as good as possible)
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: NuKleos on 2014-06-03 10:48:12
Storage and bandwidth have been ample for quite some time now, so it makes no sense to bother with transcoding anything. Clutter is your enemy, lossless all the way!
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Vietwoojagig on 2014-06-03 11:07:19
I use lossless at home if possible.
If I buy things, I use 256 AAC or 320 MP3.
Everything is converted to 128 AAC by iTunes before moving it to my iPod/iPhone.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: darkbyte on 2014-06-03 11:57:42
At home and for archiving i'm using lossless.

My only portable is my Android phone, and right now i'm using Musepack to encode my music, since Poweramp handles this very nicely. Also it's very fast to decode and the overall quality while the phone transcodes to SBC for A2DP playback seems the best with this format (haven't ABX'ed though so handle this statement carefully). Maybe lossyflac would be even better, but it results in 300kbps+ bitrates while Musepack files are somewhere between 192kbps and 256kbps.

On my laptop i'm using 256kbps VBR Opus 1.1 right now which seems like a bit overkill but i'm staying with this setting to leave a safety margin for listening on headphone and i'm using this because Hydrogenaudio's wiki states that this is the sweet spot with the codec if i'm aiming for consistent transparency. I know that Opus sounds great even at 96kbps with most of the files but the encoder still has issues with some samples in unconstrained VBR mode so I'm a bit paranoid. The file sizes are still very good, comparable to the iTunes Plus preset of QAAC.
Sometimes my brother needs mp3s for his car stereo and i found that transcoding from this format still resulting in great sounding files.

Once Poweramp starts supporting Opus i will probably move on from Musepack altogether to Opus. Also i'm planning to create some kind of streaming station on my home server so i can listen to music in a browser from everywhere and sync music from there to my phone. New browsers already supporting Opus so this seems to be a good choice.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: lithopsian on 2014-06-03 12:05:11
Flac and Vorbis.  I encode lossy one step higher than transparency for most music.  I know that there are still some artefacts at this level because I can hear them on some test tracks, but it is never noticeable in music.  I mostly listen to the lossy tracks in noisy places anyway.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: julf on 2014-06-03 14:11:53
Storage and bandwidth have been ample for quite some time now, so it makes no sense to bother with transcoding anything.


Still not true for mobile devices or car stereos.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: NuKleos on 2014-06-08 14:38:56
Storage and bandwidth have been ample for quite some time now, so it makes no sense to bother with transcoding anything.


Still not true for mobile devices or car stereos.



If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking. Even so, there are things like external hard disks one could employ for satisfying such "needs". In any case, being unable to pack enough musik in a memory medium to enhance a ride/walk is not a problem of storage size.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Thad E Ginathom on 2014-06-08 21:49:11
I haven't found my lowest transparency setting. Occasionally I might dabble in such research, but mostly, no... I'll just stick to lossless wherever possible (ie available) at home.

On the move... well, I don't so that much moving, now commuting has vanished with the working life and travel is infrequent. I casually wonder about comparing MP3 and OGG, but don't sweat it too much.

As to carrying around one's entire library, whatever happened to the pleasure of thinking of a piece of music, anticipating it, and listening to it when reaching home/
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: stephan_g on 2014-06-08 23:45:46
As to carrying around one's entire library, whatever happened to the pleasure of thinking of a piece of music, anticipating it, and listening to it when reaching home/

I would listen to a whole lot less music if I could only do so at my stationary setup at home. With a portable player, you can walk about the house (who wants to be chained to the computer all the time?), listen in bed, and obviously drag it along wherever you (have to) go, making public transport a more pleasant affair along the way.

I voted lossless / lossy (> N, because N generally is about LAME 3.98 -V 6 for me) - though strictly speaking, this is only true for material sourced from CDs. Lately I've been buying a fair bit of stuff in MP3 -V 0 to 320k that would have been hard to obtain otherwise. I don't bother transcoding this because I have a 32G µSD card in my Clip+ these days, and the quality of lossy to lossy transcoding is an unknown to me.

A modest collection of several hundred albums like mine can easily be made to fit a portable device these days. Even like that, I can't remember more than a fraction of what I have at any given time (a bad memory for names runs in the family) - that fraction varies though.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2014-06-09 09:42:05
If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking. Even so, there are things like external hard disks one could employ for satisfying such "needs". In any case, being unable to pack enough musik in a memory medium to enhance a ride/walk is not a problem of storage size.
You're implying that a) I've ripped music that I will never listen to (probably true!), and/or b) I should take some time to figure out which music I want to listen to on my portable device, and maybe change it around sometimes.

Why?

So I can avoid encoding to lossy?

OK, it's a slight hassle, but an automated one, so who cares?
It doesn't change the perceived sound quality on my portable device, so that's irrelevant.

The idea of having to curate your portable music collection to be a carefully selected subsection of your main collection is very 1980s/1990s. I did it with cassettes and Minidiscs but I'm not about to start doing it with mp3s. I'll still do playlists and compilations, but that for convenience and gives me more listening choices, not less.

Cheers,
David.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: probedb on 2014-06-09 11:41:21
If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking. Even so, there are things like external hard disks one could employ for satisfying such "needs". In any case, being unable to pack enough musik in a memory medium to enhance a ride/walk is not a problem of storage size.


What a ridiculous thing to say. So you're saying I can't carry my entire music collection with me? Wow.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: skamp on 2014-06-09 11:57:07
If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking.


Obviously it's the opposite. If I want to carry my entire collection around, it's precisely because I don't want to listen to the same stuff all the time; it's because I want to have the widest choice possible. I don't even know what you mean.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: yourlord on 2014-06-09 18:49:08
I don't carry my entire library with me not because I feel a need to only carry a subset at any one time, but because my library has my wife's, son's, and daughters's music in it and I just don't care to ever listen to the vast majority of their music. Every bit of music in my library I will ever choose to listen to is transcoded to lossy and carried with me. The same is true for my wife and kids as they have lossy transcodes of their music on their own devices.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Kohlrabi on 2014-06-10 18:53:54
I moved some posts violating ToS #5 and the trolling rules to the recycle bin. Please try to stay on topic, and stop trolling or feeding.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: slks on 2014-06-11 03:24:23
My transparency level for lossy codecs is somewhere in the 100 - 160 kb/s range, depending on the codec.

For home and archival use, I use lossless whenever possible. Sometimes that is not possible if certain music is not available in a lossless format. In these cases I use the highest quality available,  which thankfully these days is almost universally 190 kb/s and up, or more-than-transparent.

My portable device is not very large, and I like to have a good selection available, so I use sub-100kb/s bit rates there.  Specifically, what Apple's AAC encoder calls "96 kb/s vbr"

When I make my own or my friends' music available online to sample, I use transparent settings (These days the codec of choice is AAC or MP3 but I have used Ogg in the past)
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Meeko on 2014-07-02 14:47:12
* Lossless always at home.

* Higher than Quality N (128kbps AAC or less) - old habits are hard to break....I like 192kbps and its small enough not to take a lot of space, yet guarantees quality.  My abx point is easily less than 130kbps.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: sephirotic on 2014-07-02 22:52:33
I did some extensive tests back when I adopted AAC( Nero) to find my Sweet spot of transparency.

For nero, this interval is usually Q0.5 at good listening conditions. But it actually fluctuates from Q0.4 to Q0.5 depending on source and background noise/focus.
I consider Q0.4 fine for listening at street/car/bus or with easy samples. (e.g. old Piano recordings)
With the exception of Killer samples, I've never found any type of music not being transparent at Q0.5 (170~180kbps).

Before Nero I used to use mp3 at 192cbr (for compatibility) and V2 VBR (for late LAME encodings). 160kbps was not transparent for me with mp3. Back in 2003 I had a chinese portable cdplayer which wouldn´t play VBR properly so I got traumatized and only transcoded to CBR192 mp3 for the next 5 years or so before switching to AAC.
Even today sometimes I need to transcode to mp3 for compatibility and then I use Lame V2. In 99% of the cases, It's 100% transparent to me, (actually I'd say V3 is transparent at 95% of times, I use one step more just to play safe) but in more than one occasion in the past I stumbled upon some difficulty samples that LAME couldn´t handle even at V1 and I could hear discernible artifacts. That's why I ditched Mp3 for aoTuV in the first place.
I used aotuv for about 3 years at around 200kbps (I found it's transparency threshold to be around 180kbps) before getting fed up with it and switching to AAC (I further detail my experience with aoTuV bellow)

So that's pretty much is it.

AAC all the way, FLAC for a few portion of my favorite music
Q0.5~0.6 for Lossy storage at home.
Q0.4~0.5 for portable listening
Usually I use 0.4 for "easier" music like piano chamber or quiet music, Q0.5 for more agitated or my favorite tracks.
In some rare cases I may go as down as 128kbps for nero but I'd never use HE for music. FdkVBR128kbps for video is ofter my first choice, but in some rare cases I may consider using HE for low quality video. But then again, a low quality video would probably be playing on a smartphone without headphones so I'd rather process is to mono 48kbits than using HE 48kbits or opus (due to lack of compatibility).

INB4: You should stop using nero, It's outdated and deprecated
Not really: see here (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=106180)

Hmm, you might regret that one day, birdie. Tastes change, I'm going through my library every few years and every time I notice I like some songs I didn't like more and some I liked, a bit less.


I also can´t afford the luxury of storing everything in FLAC. I have near 300 gb of music, Twice if you count my cold backup. I'm already squeezing the limits of my 6tb RAID 5 array + the corresponding backup so even for storage I only choose what I consider the "best" to store in flac. That's less than 5% of my library. In my country, importation TAXES makes HD not that much cheap like you guys are accustomed in america or even europe.

While tastes do change, I don´t usually start liking something more than I did in the past, only "losing the hype" of my current favorite band/composer, specially when related to pop Music. Classical music on the other hand, I store the master pieces and great symphonies in FLAC, but for everything else, Even if I find myself listening to a new chamber piece of bartok that was buried in my collection and fallen in love with it, since I already store everything in N+1 with AAC codec I never had any problems or regrets in not having in in FLAC. Even if I do, I could always try to find the original CD and re-riping it agay, which I rarely did. LOSSLESS is only useful for transcoding, editing or pretty much placebo anyway.

While transcoding from lossy to lossy (200kbps~ AAC to 150kbps AAC for listening on smartphone) usually is a taboo, I never really found the quality to significantly degrade. A lossy to lossy transcode from 200 - 150 will still sound better than a Lossless to 128kbps AAC transcoded file in my opinion (for playing on a Smartphone).

That would have been the only problem for me in storing music in Lossy format: transcoding lossy to lossy. While I do mix sometimes music for my personal video works, Video soundtracks tend to not suffer so much of absolute source quality since the viewer is mostly focusing on the image. And I don´t do much mixing on the soundtrack of my videos. Besides that, I'm not a mixer nor a dj so I don´t need LOSSLESS sources to edit without losing quality. I don´t really see why people that aren´t do either besides placebo.

A thing about LOSSLESS however, is being future proof.
I've made the mistake in the past of investing in the hyped aotuv optimization as the definitely superior and "future" lossy codec. I started transcoding large parts of my library into aoTuV with the expectation it would be widely spread. That never really happened. While Android players TODAY are finally accepting niche codecs like aotuv and Opus, I was already fed up with it back in the 2008s~ stuck with a deprecated unsupported format which I was already transcoding to other lossy formats for years by that time since I still had cheap nokias cellphones. And at the same time we saw the rise of the optimized AAC format surpassing aoTuV in both quality and compatibility. That was the time I choose AAC as my solely Lossy format and dumped OGG since it's highly optimized and pretty much accepted ANYWHERE. Only stupid car sounds still don´t accept it, but I plan on buying a new modern Pioneer sound with AAC native support now. Before that I'd have used use the LINE-IN with my cellphone playing AAC anyway.
That is why, by the way, I'll never adopt Opus. Even with its vastly superiority when used at very low bitrates, which is great for video! But I don´t want to transcode my videos for the lack on compatibility in the audio, and the size of the video stream is so much bigger than the audio that I don´t mind increasing the audio track up to the 96kbps mark where opus starts to lose it's advantage towards the universally accepted AAC anyway (for videos).

Storage and bandwidth have been ample for quite some time now, so it makes no sense to bother with transcoding anything.Clutter is your enemy, lossless all the way! (...)
If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking. Even so, there are things like external hard disks one could employ for satisfying such "needs". In any case, being unable to pack enough musik in a memory medium to enhance a ride/walk is not a problem of storage size.


So many things wrong in this logic I don´t even know where to start.
I don´t even know what is worse, being victim to placebo like dumb audiophiles, or not enjoying a full symphony Like you probably don´t Since you can hardly fit all the symphonies of a couple of romantic composers together with anything else in a 32 gigabyte SD card together with APPS videos and other files. Imagine if you only had an Iphone without expandable storage. Gives me the chill just to imagine fitting my old 16gb iphone with FLAC music. Almost like recording a couple of Audio CD's for a 6 hour road trip 10 years ago and wasting several hours nitpicking a selection of my music. I can´t do that to every weeked! How many music do you have anyway? 500? And you call yourself an "ekletic"?

However, I do agree that if I really must listen to a an specific piece of music from my collection, I can always remotely access it through the internet on my cellphone and download it. But then again, I'd hit my 2gb bandwidth limit quite fastly if I had to download it in FLAC format, with just comes back to the initial point that using a bloated-by-placebo-format on the run is just plain DUMB. (I do access my library remotely, but when I do, I ofter transcode it to 128kbps AAC to save my data plan and avoid weak signal hiccups)
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: UNHchabo on 2014-07-03 00:03:02
I rip my CDs to Flac, and buy Flac from artists that only sell digitally. So far I've only bought a couple pieces of lossy music, because they weren't available in any other format.

Then I wrote FlacSquisher (http://sourceforge.net/projects/flacsquisher/) to help me encode my music to lossy formats:
*Ogg Vorbis at -q 4 for my Rockbox'd Sansa E200
*MP3s at -V4 for my car and phone

I've never done extensive ABX testing, but those settings seem to be good enough for noisy environments, even if I could ABX in an ideal environment.

Several years ago my CD collection was stolen; at the time I had ripped the songs I liked from my CDs to 160kbps CBR using whatever ripper came with my computer. A few months later I bought new speakers, and could suddenly hear tons of artifacts in my music, so since then I've been really paranoid about making sure that I have my music backed up in full quality, even if I can't hear the difference. As a side benefit, this means I can lower the bitrate for the lossy files, freeing up more space for a wider variety of music.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Mach-X on 2014-07-07 04:51:28
Flac for CD ripping/at home playback. Like Canar, bounce around different codecs for portable use depending on dap du jour. Abx'ed lame at v4 with some effort and settled on v2. I consider that n+2 I think because what I heard during abx I would not have noticed in the wild. Also mp3/id3 is so universal.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: JabbaThePrawn on 2014-07-22 22:51:19
When I first got into using the computer as a music source, I used WMA lossless when ripping CDs, because I had Windows and it was already there. Also, when I put files onto my portable player, Windows Media Player could, assuming you selected the setting, make a separate lossy WMA copy (at a bitrate of your choice) that would end up on the DAP, without losing the lossless original or making a duplicate in the WMP library.

Is there a Foobar equivalent of this utility for FLAC files? I don't know - I haven't looked into it. It'd be useful, for space reasons.

As it is, it's lossless all the way these days. Storage is so cheap, and life's too short to mess about with such things unless you have absolutely no choice.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: JJZolx on 2014-07-23 04:20:07
> Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...

I've never wasted my time doing this. For home I use FLAC. For portables, Mp3 encoded using LAME -V2, which seems to be good enough for the job. Any space savings to be had from using a lower level of VBR encoding are largely meaningless to me.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Dark_wizzie on 2014-07-23 04:58:53
Storage is so cheap. Playing FLAC makes me happy inside. So I keep FLAC.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ribonucleic on 2014-08-14 22:21:10
After finding Howard Shore's complete scores to The Lord of the Rings no different at V0 than at 24-bit FLAC, I adopted that as my N. Though with my mediocre ears and listening set up, I suspect I'd be lucky to ABX the difference even at V4.

Still, at home, I want lossless. With a 3 TB drive at Costco selling for $110, meditating on that pristine bit stream is an affordable luxury. (See preceding comment.)

When it's time to load up the iPhone, space limitations demand that I let iTunes transcode to 192 AAC. I feel a little unclean when I think about it. But, as indicated earlier, for me, it's certainly overkill.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: MusicExp on 2015-01-14 12:22:22
I use flacs whenever possible, if not highest mp3 bitrate. In my car I use mp3's.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: robojock on 2015-01-14 18:44:07
I use mp3 320kbps home and portable. It is just easier for me as i don't have to do any conversions from lossless files, it's one file that works everywhere for me. I also dj and that's the bitrate I get from most my sources. Which sounds good to my ears 
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: MusicExp on 2015-01-16 11:12:55
Yea well, it is a gamble tbh. I heard 320 mp3s that sound better than flac. It is more important on how it was originally recorded and mastered.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Fairy on 2015-01-16 13:40:06
Yea well, it is a gamble tbh. I heard 320 mp3s that sound better than flac. It is more important on how it was originally recorded and mastered.


Well, thats not possible if the mp3 and the flac were made of de same source recording.

I do have seen FLAC that were transcoded 128kbit/s mp3's. Thats not a flaw of Flac but plain user error or fraud.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: MusicExp on 2015-01-17 13:11:05
I'm just saying that sometimes the original recording is so bad that it doesn't matter in what format you listen to it.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Tr4shCr4fT on 2015-09-04 23:07:22
back in the days, when downloading music was cool and easy... i transcoded everything to 64k he-aac, lol

recently found my old mobile phone backup and realised how terrible that sounds wiht my ne Pistons

now i go flac for cd rips and 320k mp3 or 256k aac for single tracks, and 128k opus for mobile use
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: theriverlethe on 2015-09-05 01:05:11
I picked the most popular choices.  I feel so lame.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: lamedude on 2015-09-05 10:00:44
back in the days, when downloading music was cool and easy... i transcoded everything to 64k WMA, lol
TFTFY 
You kids don't know cool and easy if you weren't there for Napster.  I remember Lars complaining like it was yesterday.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ghot567 on 2015-09-09 19:16:12
well since i use a PSP i use nero aac at 170k since I've gotten better results than other encoders I've used.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Nystagmus on 2015-09-30 03:07:17
I use 16-bit 44.1 kHz FLAC for my SoundCloud uploads, my portable media player, and my computer home stereo system. 
I like FLAC because I can add meta tags and PNG images, and because it uploads and downloads about twice as fast as WAV but is still lossless. 

A Sansa Clip Sport is my portable media player which is FLAC capable before and after Rockboxing.  Mine isn't rockboxed though. 

I remember the days when people acted like 22 kHz mono was great for computers because it was better than phone quality.  I feel that CD quality needs to be the lowest common denominator, and no lower than that. 
To my ears MP3 lossy encoding often degrades the cymbals and highhats and some synthesizer modulation effects.  I listen to my own compositions so I'm familiar with how they sound before and after encoding. 

High bitrate M4A's might be acceptable to me, but they don't offer those at Amazon.com, the place where I buy most of my music.  Also, my media player can't seem to play M4A's correctly anyhow. 
I do buy FLAC audio from http://AddicTech.com (http://AddicTech.com) though also, and occasionally from http://BandCamp.com (http://BandCamp.com) as well.  I feel like FLAC is better than CD because CD's can get scratched.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: mohaba on 2015-09-30 05:57:40
Lossless at home because I have a copy anyway.

Portable was vorbis at q0, now is opus at the closest equivalent, which I think is 64kbps.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: greynol on 2015-09-30 15:46:38
To my ears MP3 lossy encoding often degrades the cymbals and highhats and some synthesizer modulation effects.  I listen to my own compositions so I'm familiar with how they sound before and after encoding.

People who can hear lossy artifacts usually don't need to be familiar with the material being encoded.

Out of curiosity, have you ever performed a properly controlled test in order to be sure you are actually hearing artifacts?
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ghot567 on 2015-11-22 21:14:34
For home listening i use musepack and flac/CD's as my archives.

90kb/s for dark ambient, ambient and drone ambient.

170kb/s for everything else.

Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: yuki96 on 2015-11-23 01:46:43
I use FLAC for both home and portable use, because my music collection is not that large (it's just shy of 25 GB), and it fits just fine on a microSD card. I'd convert to a free lossy format (like opus or vorbis) if space was a major concern, but it is not, since storage is rather cheap. I also find it easier to have just one version of everything, perhaps with two copies (one for desktop and one for mobile). It's easier for me to keep track of my music this way, and my portable copy serves as a complete backup of my desktop too.
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Incuriousity on 2015-11-23 02:45:11
I will just go with 256 kbps on any codecs since all of them is not even transparent on 200 kbps for me. Just to be safe. FLAC for home listening
Title: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: lock67ca on 2015-11-25 16:19:39
FLAC for archiving.

I've been using LAME on the --alt preset standard or -V2 setting for about 13 years for portable use. Tried AAC and a few others but, I've always stayed with LAME at those settings, since I've never had any problems with it. Really is the sweet spot for me, in terms of sound quality and file size.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: AliceWonderMiscreations on 2016-12-09 15:28:54
I do not use quality settings.

I use 128 kbps for opus for general audio, 32 kbps for opus for spoken content. Both are well above what I personally tested as transparent.

I know that using a quality setting could reduce the space used but it doesn't really matter to me.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Satellite_6 on 2016-12-11 18:36:13
Lossless, because lossy is not consistently transparent for me at any bit rate.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: greynol on 2016-12-11 19:05:46
Lossless, because lossy is not consistently transparent for me at any bit rate.
Since you have golden ears, it would be a shame if you didn't help out with public listening tests.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: jumpingjackflash5 on 2016-12-11 20:27:26
I use FLAC whenever possible, at home either (mostly) 16/44.1 (CD version) or 24/48 if that true (not upsampled) version is available (rarely available on web stores or it comes from my own digitization of analog tapes). For mobile 16/48 (16/44.1) FLAC, dither with modified-e-weighted noise shaping. For playback on old minitower which supports only MP3 I use CBR 320 kbps or VBR V0.

I know that is probably overkill regarding threshold of practical audibility, but I do not want to skate on the border of audibility (neither pursue craving for XXX kHz or DSD, however). Rather I prefer formats that are practical for use and offer robust container for audible spectrum. The above is what I have great experience with and does not disappoint me at all on my favourite records. In this sense it is transparent for me.


Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Nichttaub on 2016-12-13 04:44:04
Since I've actually done ABX testing and confirmed that for demanding music in my collection 128k is almost transparent, I've elected to go a notch higher and have never felt that I'm hearing anything encoder-related during listening (as opposed to testing).
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2016-12-13 08:29:26
I ditched FLAC, since I couldn't hear a damn difference between that and MP3 anyway.

I buy a lot of music on Bandcamp, and their standard download format is V0 MP3, so that's what I've settled on when I rip CDs as well.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: jumpingjackflash5 on 2016-12-13 08:43:39
The difference can be very subtle and only on some tracks but I just did this listening test FLAC vs 320 kbps MP3. I did a direct conversion from FLAC (CD 16/44.1) to MP3 using foobar GUI and lame.exe. Not a strict proof (score 11/16), but I still prefer FLAC to MP3 when possible.

foo_abx 2.0.2 report
foobar2000 v1.3.13
2016-12-13 09:41:30

File A: music.mp3
SHA1: f535306b9fb103b219d433c51b56ad0556deb574
File B: 13 Gvendolína.flac
SHA1: 3e457cced230fac33725c499b6ef8af8b9c6f686

Output:
WASAPI (push) : Reproduktory (Sound Blaster Audigy Fx), 24-bit
Crossfading: NO

09:41:30 : Test started.
09:42:14 : 01/01
09:42:25 : 01/02
09:42:30 : 02/03
09:42:39 : 03/04
09:42:42 : 04/05
09:42:46 : 05/06
09:42:52 : 05/07
09:43:03 : 05/08
09:43:06 : 05/09
09:43:11 : 06/10
09:43:13 : 06/11
09:43:16 : 07/12
09:43:24 : 08/13
09:43:26 : 09/14
09:43:29 : 10/15
09:43:32 : 11/16
09:43:32 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 11/16
Probability that you were guessing: 10.5%

 -- signature --
4f6fa72dc3412870e27cd438d2e4f69fa00646c7
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: greynol on 2016-12-13 15:42:10
5% is the typical threshold for acceptance, but at least you provided something, unlike the rest of the hit-and-run, self-professed golden ears.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: jumpingjackflash5 on 2016-12-13 16:11:15
I know that is why I wrote that is not a strict proof, moreover as I wrote I am not that good in abx testing, those scores 11-12 I can achieve on tracks where I suspect a difference typically only after longer break e.g. In the morning and then taking the test once. I am less successful if I were asked to repeat this score e.g. 5 times in a row. Similar results i obtained when I tried some more aggressive noise shapers against dithering without noise shaping (but in noise shaping case i kept only that log, not those files anymore). 

But when the tracks are really the same "digitally", i achieve usually 7-9, e.g. flipping a coin. So maybe I can perceive some difference.

Still I consider 320 or V0 as acceptable when space or flac compatibility is an issue. I chose for this test an album/song which I know that has a lot of drums and cymbals and that I remembered feeling much better when listening from CD than from MP3. Large majority of MP3 is completely ok and I cannot distinguish them from original.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: greynol on 2016-12-13 16:25:28
A lot of words to explain inadequate proof.

I am less successful if I were asked to repeat this score e.g. 5 times in a row.
It also appears you need to review the information here:
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,16295.0.html

Additional conversation here will be binned for being off-topic.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: doom-drone on 2016-12-13 16:39:59
Not using Flac or mpc/apple/ogg/opus. Using Winamp AAC instead since after redoing a test with my more demanding music it sounds great at 256kbps VBR. As for people wondering why i switch so much in the past?, My collection is large so testing is hard & being with a 64gb micro sd didn't help when i found the sweet spot was 256k with FHG.

The rest have track's that have artifacts at even 320k or need to be manually set to 350k+ while I've never had that problem with FHG AAC.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: greynol on 2016-12-13 16:46:33
Since you have golden ears, it would be a shame if you didn't help out with public listening tests.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: doom-drone on 2016-12-13 17:09:17
Since you have golden ears, it would be a shame if you didn't help out with public listening tests.
That kinda dawned on me as i was typing that post out, Might try out if another one happens or just do random one's from a few in my collection.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Slipstreem on 2016-12-13 19:00:01
Might try out if another one happens or just do random one's from a few in my collection.
Don't be surprised if you fail miserably with ABX tests comparing high quality lossy to lossless despite being absolutely certain that you won't. Nearly everyone does. It's quite normal.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: doom-drone on 2016-12-13 19:33:47
Might try out if another one happens or just do random one's from a few in my collection.
Don't be surprised if you fail miserably with ABX tests comparing high quality lossy to lossless despite being absolutely certain that you won't. Nearly everyone does. It's quite normal.
Thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: Kasi1560k on 2017-07-02 20:27:44
I fail ABX'ing at 192k with FHG AAC but i picked 256k for safety reasons and i have 200gb micro SD space anyways.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: shadowking on 2017-07-04 14:30:22
Slightly OT:

For people already using lossless at home:

 Abx is important as just a scientific experiment but can turn out a waste of time and space on portables and practical living.  The main priority is bandwidth conservation while preserving some fidelity .
Theres no need for 'safety'  -You already have 100 % insurance from the lossless archive. Of course many don't want very bad quality either so ther needs to be a balance. Why should abx have much do with anything when you already listen lossless at home ?   Anyway the poll results show it doesn't affect anything when it comes to portables, perhaps makes things worse, makes people even more worried, paranoid and use excess 'safety' settings ...  For users of *only* lossy its a different story.

Consider:

For big sdcards and limited collections  / requirements just use lossless and forget  transcoding and abx altogether.

If transcoding consider modern (non-mp3) codec at 100k or less by not using 'full transparency' as the *only* criterea.

For older mp3 players try 96k cbr/abr resampled to 32khz. 
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ThaCrip on 2017-10-24 11:12:41
After reading these posts i am surprised a fair amount of people use 320kbps MP3 as it seems like a waste of storage space because assuming your device can play AAC your better off, if your the paranoid type, to use 256kbps TVBR(or CVBR) Apple AAC and be done with it as that will still maintain high quality for the paranoid types and will save a fair amount of storage space to over 320kbps MP3. even Apple AAC @ 192kbps average (or so) is a pretty strong quality setting (given the ABX test linked to below from Jan 2012).

for me personally...

-Computer = FLAC or lossy variations

-Portable = Apple AAC @ 128kbps (of which i recently changed from LAME v2 (190kbps average) as sound quality is easily good enough for me and saves plenty of storage space especially when you got a 16GB MicroSD card to work with and was getting a little tight for space it's a way to get about 33% of your storage space freed up which is a lot when talking around 14.5GB or so and encoding stuff @ 128kbps. basically frees up GB's of space with 128kbps vs 190kbps. so unless you got a boatload of storage space it's not worth using higher than 128kbps (for Apple AAC) for portable use. but if i had space to burn, to where i would not even be close to using it up, i 'may' consider using 192kbps or 256kbps for good measure as it seems like no one complains (well next to no one) about sound quality @ 256kbps on Apple AAC. but even with that said, i might still go with 128kbps because since i keep a backup copy on my hard drive i would rather just keep the extra GB's of storage space for other stuff as i am already using enough of it for FLAC already.

I think Apple AAC @ 128kbps is a good setting for most users and still keeps file size minimal (and you can always re-encode from FLAC to a high bit rate if you ever needed to). like a solid balance between sound quality/file size as sound quality scores still maintained a 4.00+ average according to this test from Jan 2012... https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,102875.msg846373.html#msg846373 ; i figure anything around that 4.00 range (or better) should be good enough in most music for most people especially if those 4.00 range scores are done by people with 'golden ears'(i.e. above most people) which makes it all that more likely that 4.00 range score would be even higher for many people and would basically be transparent or not far from it for many(probably most?) people. also, according to that test... while 192kbps further cleaned up the sound, as it's in the high 4's for the average, it also used 50% more bit rate to do it over 128kbps. that's why i feel 128kbps (or so) is the sweet spot of Apple AAC as it seems to have a nice balance of sound quality/storage space. plus, i suspect after a certain point... you got to be really focusing to notice some artifacts and when your just sitting back enjoying your music you most likely ain't going to be focusing too much on artifacts etc and even if you can notice a little blip here and there it's probably not to the point it detracts from your overall enjoyment of the music.

as for the general poll... i voted for "One step higher quality than N". because while i don't know my exact ABX point, as i never thoroughly tested too much of my music, i would figure 96kbps is close either way and 128kbps is not all that much larger and i feel gives a decent safety margin for me and, like i already mentioned, i feel 128kbps Apple AAC is a fairly safe setting for most people in general as it's not like if someone was hearing music played @ 128kbps will notice anything obviously negative.

NOTE: but i guess it depends on how one defines that 'one step higher than N' because looking at Foobar2000's Apple AAC settings when using that slider bar to adjust Apple AAC quality and assuming i use 96kbps as my measuring stick, then there is actually two bumps to get to the 128kbps setting (i.e. 96 > 112 > 128). but close enough as a 32kbps difference is still close enough to one step ;)

p.s. as for personal ABX testing... i have not spent a lot of time on them but i can say with both Opus/Apple AAC that once i hit the 64kbps setting (with MP3 it was v7 (100kbps average) for equivalent if i recall correctly) it's no longer easy for me to ABX without much effort which is why i feel 96kbps would even be good enough for me but i just play it a bit safer and use 128kbps as i figure it's not worth getting that extra 25% (or so) disc space savings (like from 128kbps to 96kbps) unless your really straining for storage space but i can't really see myself using Apple AAC under 96kbps setting in general as if i had to go under that i would simply buy more storage space especially considering prices of 32-64GB MicroSD cards right now are around $15-25 which would double or quadruple the storage space i have now in my Sansa e250 v1.

@Kasi1560k

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I fail ABX'ing at 192k with FHG AAC but i picked 256k for safety reasons and i have 200gb micro SD space anyways.

According to IgorC, he says there is no AAC encoder better than Apple AAC @ 96kbps or higher and he mentioned this earlier this year and even recently. i just mention him as he seems like one of the more respected members around here.

I think the only advantage of FhG is it encodes files faster and there might be a edge at low bit rates (i.e. under 96kbps).

but with that said... your already using paranoid high bit rates (basically 256kbps or so on up) so i doubt anything i said here really matters.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: halb27 on 2017-10-24 14:15:28
Well, a few years ago I checked AAC quaility using Apple and Winamp FhG. My ears are anything but golden which means for instance usually Lame 3.99.5 -V5 mp3 is absolutely fine to me.  But I'm pretty sensitive to certain tonal problems which can be present with practical listening. As for that I realized that FhG AAC (Winamp version) was a little bit (not much) better than Apple AAC at that time.
It took a ~170 kbps setting to make the hard tracks become transparent.
But I admit that the differences were very small, and for a bitrate like 96 kbps on average things may be different.

For a practical choice I think you can simply behave like this (it was the opus developer presumably who for the most part made me think like this):

a) ignore killer samples which are not relevant to you or which you can easily treat in a special way
   (this covers for instance harpsichord music which - in case it should be relevant - can be easily identified and used with a high bitrate setting)
b) if you like to have the overwhelming part of your music be encoded transparent or very close to that
   - use a ~128 kbps setting for mp3 (and a good mp3 encoder like Lame 3.99.5)
   - use a ~96 kbps setting for AAC (and a good encoder like Apple AAC)
   - use a ~80 kbps setting for Opus (and the current opus encoder).
   Qualitywise I'd prefer Opus among these codecs.
c) If ypu like to have presumably all of your music transparent except for a)
   - use a ~200 kbps setting for mp3 (and a good encoder like my lame3995o variant)
   - use a ~170 kbps setting for AAC (and a good encoder like Winanp FhG or Apple AAC)
   - use a ~140 kbps setting for Opus (and the current opus encoder).
Details can very a bit according to your mileage. But I think this is an appropriate guidance.
 
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: halb27 on 2017-10-24 14:16:48
Sorry, wrong edit.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: includemeout on 2017-10-24 14:47:33
For a practical choice I think you can simply behave like this (it was the opus developer presumably who for the most part made me think like this):

a) ignore killer samples which are not relevant to you or which you can easily treat in a special way
  (this covers for instance harpsichord music which - in case it should be relevant - can be easily identified and used with a high bitrate setting)
b) if you like to have the overwhelming part of your music be encoded transparent or very close to that
  - use a ~128 kbps setting for mp3 (and a good mp3 encoder like Lame 3.99.5)
  - use a ~96 kbps setting for AAC (and a good encoder like Apple AAC)
  - use a ~80 kbps setting for Opus (and the current opus encoder).
  Qualitywise I'd prefer Opus among these codecs.
c) If ypu like to have presumably all of your music transparent except for a)
  - use a ~200 kbps setting for mp3 (and a good encoder like my lame3995o variant)
  - use a ~170 kbps setting for AAC (and a good encoder like Winanp FhG or Apple AAC)
  - use a ~140 kbps setting for Opus (and the current opus encoder).
Details can very a bit according to your mileage. But I think this is an appropriate guidance.
Those seem to be quite realistic guidelines - specially their first half, considering what you said about said Opus developer's recommendations of using higher bitrates for problematic tracks only.

I wonder if they'd ever make into our wiki somehow.
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: includemeout on 2017-10-24 14:50:24
It's just my two cents, @ThaCrip , but do all your replies have to be so lecture-like, given their sheer size?
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ThaCrip on 2017-10-25 11:11:57
@halb27

Quote
Well, a few years ago I checked AAC quaility using Apple and Winamp FhG. My ears are anything but golden which means for instance usually Lame 3.99.5 -V5 mp3 is absolutely fine to me.  But I'm pretty sensitive to certain tonal problems which can be present with practical listening. As for that I realized that FhG AAC (Winamp version) was a little bit (not much) better than Apple AAC at that time.
It took a ~170 kbps setting to make the hard tracks become transparent.
But I admit that the differences were very small, and for a bitrate like 96 kbps on average things may be different.

If the differences were very small (like you talking 5kbps-ish or less?) would that mean it's possible for another person to feel differently? ; like that 'too close to call' sorta thing from a quality standpoint. like where IgorC's claim of "No AAC encoder is better than Apple AAC @ 96kbps and higher" is still correct (especially for an average) even though what you said is not wrong either as your talking more of a specific thing (and you even said it was 'very small') where as i imagine IgorC when he made that claim is looking at the wide data available. just some random thoughts on this little thing.

also, it appears the Winamp FhG encoder has not been updated in a while (the files needed to encode FhG in Foobar2000 are dated Dec 2013) and i would imagine Apple AAC has not been updated, in terms of sound quality adjustments, in years either(?). so assuming that's correct things likely have not changed since you last tested.

also, i see your 170kbps setting for AAC recommended for basically all music being transparent outside of killer samples. but... at least in Foobar2000, with the Apple AAC encoder there is no strict 170kbps setting as it goes from 160kbps to 196kbps. basically when you start from 64kbps it increases by 16 in each quality setting (i.e. 64/80/96/112 etc) with the slider all the way up to 160kbps and after that it jumps by 32kbps with each raise in quality with the quality adjustment slider til it hits the max setting which is 320kbps.

so with that said... would the 160kbps setting qualify for 170kbps in AAC(Apple etc) and similar to LAME v2 (190kbps) comparing to his 200kbps suggestion? ; because correct me if i am wrong, but when your setting is only 8-10kbps away from what he mentioned it seems like the encoder, on more complex music, will likely shoot up the average bit rates to those 170kbps for AAC and 200kbps for MP3 when needed. hence, i can use the 160kbps(Apple AAC) and 190kbps(MP3) settings and would be within his general settings.

as for your general guideline that you got from a Opus developer with the A/B/C stuff... it appears Apple AAC 96kbps is better than LAME v5 according to this listening test from July 2014... http://listening-test.coresv.net/results.htm ; but i get the general point in that 96kbps Apple AAC and LAME v5 is close enough in quality and he used those settings for THE minimum for quality sound on a lot of music.

but anyways, with the whole A/B/C stuff... to comment more specifically on your B and C general guidelines, i can't really fault that as it appears with 'B' the Opus dev was selecting THE lowest setting where a lot of music is transparent or close to it and with 'C' he more or less found a MINIMUM setting for the more paranoid types of people. sorta like sweet spots you could say for two groups of people.

but it makes me wonder... if Apple AAC @ 96kbps scored that well (i.e. 4.40 average (and only three samples went below a 4.00)) in those July 2014 listening tests, how much better would Apple AAC @ 128kbps be? ; because unless there is barely any difference it seems like you would be not too far from perfection(since i imagine that 4.40 average of AAC 96kbps would shoot up a fair amount with Apple AAC 128kbps), outside of some killer samples, in which case 170kbps range would be mostly a waste of bitrate unless your more of the paranoid type(?). but, since i already mentioned, that Opus dev seems to have made his choices around THE minimum quality setting for more of the common person (option B) and then the more paranoid type (option C) then i can't really fault it.

so given that info... that's kinda why i suggested the 128kbps setting as the sweet spot for Apple AAC in general as it gives a minimal file size, while not as minimal as the 96kbps setting, might clean up the sound a bit better (like raise that 4.40 average score a fair amount) without spending all that much more bit rate and in the big picture 128kbps is still a pretty small file size as i don't know exactly where people draw the line of what's considered 'high' or 'low' bit rates, but, as a ball park figure, lets say 128kbps qualifies as either the lowest point of a high bit rate or the highest point of a low bit rate (even if opinions vary i got to be close) and that just shows you it's still a pretty minimal file size and considering it's sound quality/file size i feel it's difficult to justify using higher bit rates, especially outside of the occasional problem sample or those more golden ear-ish types of people. NOTE: i believe read around here not long ago that some Opus dev (it may have been someone else) considered 128kbps 'a high bit rate'(but they might have been referring to Opus specifically as i can't recall off the top of my head right now), but it's probably not surprising since that encoder tends to focus more in "lower bit rates" and has already achieved quality sound at 96kbps(if not 80kbps like you and the Opus dev you mentioned suggests).

also, it makes me wonder how Opus @ 80kbps compares to LAME v5? ; would it be fair to say, given what i can tell in that July 2014 listening test, that Opus @ 80kbps/Apple AAC @ 96kbps/LAME @ 130kbps(v5) are about the same in sound quality?

but with all of that said... i imagine he (the Opus dev you mentioned) formed his opinion on those core things based on what he observed with people in general out there? ; like with more of the common-ish type of person vs the more 'golden ear'-ish/paranoid type of person.

------------------------------------------

@includemeout

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It's just my two cents, @ThaCrip , but do all your replies have to be so lecture-like, given their sheer size?

I don't know, I guess it's just sorta the way i talk on certain subjects etc. I don't mean anything by it. you can just skip reading most of my post if you want to, no offense or anything. like just skimming through my post above will give you the gist of my thoughts.

NOTE: I actually read this entire topic before I made a post as it's kinda cool just to see what others do and how they approach things etc ;)
Title: Re: Now that you found your lowest transparent setting...
Post by: ani_Jackal3 on 2019-07-30 11:17:55
I'm sticking to Lame V4 for portability & support. Lossless for home use.
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