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Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Hello everyone!

I want to convert my FLAC files to AAC, getting the best possible quality. In my researches I found that QAAC is considered the best encoder these days, but I also realized that it has a maximum bitrate of 320, whereas Nero AAC with a quality setting of 1 goes above that. Which would be better to use in that case? I must admit, I have no idea what makes one encoder better than another and am overall a beginner in all of it.

Thanks for any help,
Dennis



Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #3
Yes, but whether or not an individual (or group of individuals) has reliably identified audible differences between encoders can be assessed through objective means.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #4
Apart from that though, how big of an advantage is a bit rate above 320? In my opinion, it would be a big one, but since I'm not an expert I thought I'd ask here.

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #5
In my opinion, it would be a big one
Before attempting to speculate, let's see if you can provide a ballpark guestimate on the bitrate of this decoded mp3...
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #6
Apart from that though, how big of an advantage is a bit rate above 320? In my opinion, it would be a big one, but since I'm not an expert I thought I'd ask here.

That is an absurdly high bitrate for AAC. 

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #7
In my opinion, it would be a big one
Before attempting to speculate, let's see if you can provide a ballpark guestimate on the bitrate of this decoded mp3...

The tvbr 127 encode with QAAC came out at an average bit rate of 239, the Nero one came out as 363.

Apart from that though, how big of an advantage is a bit rate above 320? In my opinion, it would be a big one, but since I'm not an expert I thought I'd ask here.

That is an absurdly high bitrate for AAC. 

I know it might be "overkill" to a certain extent, but I figured better too high than too low. :)

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #8
Before attempting to speculate, let's see if you can provide a ballpark guestimate on the bitrate of this decoded mp3...

The tvbr 127 encode with QAAC came out at an average bit rate of 239, the Nero one came out as 363.

He means the bitrate of the MP3 that file came from. 

I know it might be "overkill" to a certain extent, but I figured better too high than too low. :)

Then you probably want more like 160-200k VBR. 

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #9
The tvbr 127 encode with QAAC came out at an average bit rate of 239, the Nero one came out as 363.
That didn't answer my question, though I will tell you that you're far better off not doing what you did with either codec.  This doesn't mean you couldn't transcode that mp3 to a smaller aac without any audible quality loss.  This also isn't to say I couldn't have given you this sample using an even lower bitrate mp3.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #10
Sorry about any confusion there. The original files are FLAC, not MP3. I have problems deciding whether to use QAAC with the tvbr 127 setting, or Nero AAC with a quality setting of 1, to convert those.

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #11
The flac you downloaded was derived as follows:
CD -> WAV -> MP3 -> WAV -> FLAC

Please tell us what you think was bitrate of the mp3.

Doing this does not involve the use of an aac encoder!
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #12
I had no idea that FLAC files came from MP3s. Do you have a link to an article that explains it more in detail?
Anyways, the FLAC file is 704k. That is all I know.

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #13
flac files can essentially come from anything.

Did you actually listen  to the sample?  I'm asking you to use your ears, here.  Pretend I had simply given you an mp3 file.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #14
I figured that turning an MP3 into FLAC would be counterintuitive, turning lossy into lossless...
Are you saying I should basically just listen to the different files and pick the one I think sounds best?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #15
I gave you just one file and am asking you to guess the bitrate of the mp3 from which it was sourced.

This will go a long way in helping you make sense of any reasonable answer someone might give you in response to your initial post.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?


Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #17
Ok, once again, my apologies. I had totally overlooked the attached file. My bad, and the source of all the confusion here. I would say the attached file wasn't higher than 96k.

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #18
I don't find that answer to be very credible and just underscores the reason why I presented you links on double-blind testing.

Let's try this again...
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #19
It sounds better, but I honestly can't say what quality each file is based on the listening. I guess I'm not experienced enough.

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #20
Did you perform a double blind test to determine that?  If so, I'd like to see a log of the results.

Would someone else be willing to perform a properly controlled comparison, present a log file and comment on any audible differences so that the OP understands the expectations of this community?
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #21
I didn't do a proper test with any software. Just listened to the first file you had sent me and then once you had sent me the second, compared them a bit. What software would you want me to use?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #22
foobar2000, using the ABX comparator utility, as mentioned in one of the links from my first reply.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #23
Apart from that though, how big of an advantage is a bit rate above 320? In my opinion, it would be a big one, but since I'm not an expert I thought I'd ask here.
I'd do a comparison (an ABX test) between, say, 200kbps and 320kbps AAC. If you can hear a difference let us know.

In my experience 200kbps is already overkill for AAC. Using 320kbps or higher seems ridiculous and at that point you might as well just use lossless.

Re: Q1 Nero AAC vs QAAC

Reply #24
foobar2000, using the ABX comparator utility, as mentioned in one of the links from my first reply.

I did a comparison, I had 7/16 correct, a possibility of guessing of 77%. I didn't save the log file since I wanted to another test, paying more attention to details. In hindsight, I changed my mind. I'll just use my experience from this and the tool(s) for other cases.

Apart from that though, how big of an advantage is a bit rate above 320? In my opinion, it would be a big one, but since I'm not an expert I thought I'd ask here.
I'd do a comparison (an ABX test) between, say, 200kbps and 320kbps AAC. If you can hear a difference let us know.

In my experience 200kbps is already overkill for AAC. Using 320kbps or higher seems ridiculous and at that point you might as well just use lossless.

Thanks so much for your input. I will do those tests in the future when the need arises. At least I now know better how to do such a thing. :)

 
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