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Topic: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6. (Read 750 times) previous topic - next topic
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Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Hi, all.  I registered here years ago, but have been away for a long time.

I have 208 CDs ripped to mp3 (LAME 192 VBR for rock, 320 VBR for classical).  I've read that Vorbis has better sound quality, so I'm thinking about re-ripping my CDs.  I'm more concerned about getting better sound quality than reducing storage space.  From what I've read, I'm thinking I'd rip the Vorbis files at q6.  In terms of sound quality, do you think it would be worthwhile?

I read that most people find q5 to be Vorbis' sweet spot.  I appreciate the opportunity to save storage space, but the difference in how Vorbis encodes stereo at q6 and above appeals to me.  If I understand it correctly, q6 and above encodes the left and right channels separately.  Below q6, the channels aren't encoded as discreetly, and an algorithm is used for the stereo effect.  Do I have that right?  If so, I like the idea of encoding the channels discreetly even if I usually won't hear the difference.

I already ripped a few albums to Vorbis at q6 and compared them with the mp3 at 192 VBR.  The mp3 sounded a bit more detailed and bright, but sometimes at the expense of sounding a little harsh.  The Vorbis rips weren't quite as bright and sounded a bit more laid back and lush, but still nicely detailed.  I'm leaning toward the Vorbis' sound.  It was just a casual comparison, not a full ABX (I've tinkered with the tool, but haven't read up on the method of a proper test).  I might do that, but in the meantime would be interested to hear your thoughts about whether the re-ripping would be worthwhile.

Thanks!

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #1
I think if you're paranoid you should go lossless.  ;)

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bit more laid back and lush, but still nicely detailed.
I'm always suspicious when people use meaningless words like that...    Can you measure (or hear) 3dB more lushness?     :P  And, non-blind tests don't cut it around here.

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, but the difference in how Vorbis encodes stereo at q6 and above appeals to me.  If I understand it correctly, q6 and above encodes the left and right channels separately.  Below q6, the channels aren't encoded as discreetly, and an algorithm is used for the stereo effect.  Do I have that right? 
I don't know about Vorbis but if it's like MP3 & AAC, it uses M/S encoding.   That part of the process is lossless and 100% reversible back to regular L/R stereo.  

That makes the compression more efficient because whatever is identical in the left & right doesn't have to be encoded twice.   And with lossy compression the "limited bits" can be used to give you better quality.

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #2
...I'm more concerned about getting better sound quality than reducing storage space....

Go lossless (eg: FLAC), You'll never have to worry about re-ripping CDs that can deteriorate over time. If listening to the files on your computer, there's plenty of players supporting FLAC. You can always have a 2nd rip in more specific formats for portable devices.

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #3
a better codec for now is opus. vorbis better than mp3 (potatoes better than mp3), but not "as wow". maybe you can try a wavpack hybride. or musepack.

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #4
At those bitrates mp3 is fine and local storage is not an issue for 208 lossy albums. That would be around 15..20gb and would fit on a 32gb sdcard. For streaming perhaps less can be more attractive .

Re rip only to lossless codec, otherwise leave as is.
wavpack 4.8 -b256hx6c

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #5
[…]I'm more concerned about getting better sound quality than reducing storage space.  From what I've read, I'm thinking I'd rip the Vorbis files at q6.  In terms of sound quality, do you think it would be worthwhile?
The answer is in the question: use -q6 if you want better sound quality.
Looking for a sweet spot is more complicated. Some people — and probably most people I suppose — will be pleased by vorbis at 110…130 kbps, maybe lower. In other words, -q5 is probably still too high to be the sweet spot… unless you're trained to catch artifacts.
From my souvenirs, there's a slight quality and bitrate gap between -q5.99 and -q6 and some artifacts (I used to call it coarse sounding) disapeared when using -q6. I used to hear them long time ago and I probably won't hear them today.
So if you really want to secure the quality over the bitrate recuction, use -q6 instead of -q5 (or even -q7 over -q6, etc…).

May I ask why you choose Vorbis? You said that you read that it has better sound quality than MP3. Keep in mind that Ogg Vorbis was replaced by Ogg Opus and the latter is more efficient. AAC is also better than MP3. If you want save some space, you can also consider these formats.

If you really want to maximize sound quality: use lossless. On classical music bitrate isn't so high (my own library is ~580kbps with flac -8); on rock it will be much higher. You can easily and quickly batch encode them for other usage. And you won't have to worry anymore about hearing something wrong or finding the sweet spot.


Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #7
I have over 400 albums ripped with Xiph's standard Vorbis encoder at q6 quality level.  These albums are stored on my tablet and I use the Android application, "Neutron" to cast all the music to my network attached UPNP audio renderer (GGMM M-Freebox with the Qualcomm chip) via Toslink into the stereo receiver.  The link between the tablet and M-freebox is in the flac format so there is no conversion loss.  The UPNP renderer  to my ears, sounds fantastic.  I would prefer to use OPUS but my audio player doesn't seem to recognize OPUS's R128 tags for replaygain.  Vorbis is just fine though. I have no gripes.

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #8
Thanks for your replies.

I did an ABX comparison of an mp3 at 192 VBR and a Vorbis at q6, and this time they were indistinguishable.  The A and B buttons, along with the ability to set a start and end time, made it easier to realize I wasn't hearing the differences I thought I heard the first time.  With the more casual comparison, I was relying too much on memory and had too much of a time gap during the switch between the files.

I was thinking I'd do an ABX comparison of FLAC and mp3, but I really should rip everything to FLAC anyway for backup purposes.  My original plan was to have the CDs themselves as the archive (carefully stored in the closet).  I wasn't concerned about deterioration, but it is a possibility.  There's also the possibility of other forms of damage.  Since I'm ripping everything to FLAC anyway, I might as well keep a copy on my hard drive for listening.  It'll all fit on my phone's SD card too.  If space ever becomes an issue, I can always transcode to lossy.

Thanks again!

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #9
Storage gets cheaper and bigger very quick so I would suggest lossless.

There is a hybrid option left, lossywav + flac. With the right parameters (and correct block size (!)) you can gain quite some space with virtually inaudible difference.

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #10
I use Aotuv https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,115774.0.html at q3. On some rare listening test samples I needed q4, but even that was rare. I stopped doing it not to train my ears. I want to enjoy music. I decided on q3. More than enough for listening on the go.

Vorbis with FLAC archive makes up a good combo. It has the same, and most sensible, and most flexible tagging system. Easy to transfer my numerous custom tags. Having said that perhaps Opus follows the same.

Also officially supported by Android. Having said that I still use a hw player.

 

Re: Replacing mp3 rips of 208 albums with Vorbis - worthwhile? Also, q5 vs q6.

Reply #11
Storage gets cheaper and bigger very quick so I would suggest lossless.

There is a hybrid option left, lossywav + flac. With the right parameters (and correct block size (!)) you can gain quite some space with virtually inaudible difference.

This is true to an extent. A 32 gb player will store similar amount of lossless tracks compared to an 8GB lossy player of the past.
wavpack 4.8 -b256hx6c

 
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