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Amazon encoder

I recently started using Express Rip. I have been reripping all my CDs at MP3 vbr 32-320 V0. I have some MP3s I bought recently from Amazon that came with the CD. So I ripped them to compare and the bit rates on all the tracks matched up perfectly. I surmised that Express RIP and Amazon must be using the same LAME encoder. I am new to this and was ripping everything with WMA 192cbr which sounds fine but I was always curious. I compared the intro to South of Heaven with both rips because it has alot of varied tones. I had my wife listen because her ears are more sensitive than mine. She didn't know which track was WMA or MP3. On the third listen she said 'that one is clearer' indicating the MP3. It's not a huge difference but it is slightly brighter.

Re: Amazon encoder

Reply #1
In the 90’s people started using PC’s and Internet for audio.
At that storage was expensive and bandwidth very limited (www=World Wide Wait).
MP3 was the perfect answer to this problem due to its small size.
Today storage is cheap and bandwidth in abundance.
This makes me wonder why you still rip to a lossy format.
Rip (for the last time) to a lossless format e.g. FLAC.
If you still need something compact e.g. for a portable, transcode the FLAC to a lossy format of your choice
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: Amazon encoder

Reply #2
My answer to your question is distortion reduction. My system is designed for the least amount of distortion, in my vehicle anyways. I have the latest Alpine digital amp  S-A55V with .03%thd, gold plated RCAs etc. I don't use any boost settings (bass boost, loudness etc.) My S-S65c speakers top out at 22K. My old ears can't hear over 16K so I wanted the best midrange possible. If you are familiar with frequency filtration you will understand that it will eliminate frequencies that you can't hear and cause your speakers to overwork causing distortion. A good lossy encoder can do alot of the work for you. Everyone is amazed at how clear my stereo is. You can crank it way up and still hold a conversation in a normal voice. Your ears don't hurt or ring after extended cranked thrash metal. That is from the elimination of distortion. I hope my explanation makes sense. By the way I highly recommend the JL cp108lg-w3v3 ported sub. It is unreal.

Re: Amazon encoder

Reply #3
Oh yeah, for some unknown reason you still can't buy FLAC files on Amazon. I think you can occasionally get them on Bandcamp.

Re: Amazon encoder

Reply #4
Unless you can provide ABX results, it doesn't matter what you or your wife subjectively thought about the audio quality (TOS#8).  Realistically speaking, if WMA @ 192 sounded fine, there's no reason to re-rip, especially to another lossy codec, unless it's for compatibility reasons -- though I certainly can't blame you for switching from WMA to Lame-encoded MP3.

Also for what it's worth, I think Bandcamp offers FLAC as an option for _all_ albums, not just occasionally.

 

Re: Amazon encoder

Reply #5
Yeah, I only used band camp a couple of times. I am a sucker for Amazon convenience. I am not here to tell people what to do. This isn't a lossless forum, it is an MP3 forum. I am just discussing my evolving new hobby.

Re: Amazon encoder

Reply #6
Unless you can provide ABX results, it doesn't matter what you or your wife subjectively thought about the audio quality (TOS#8).  Realistically speaking, if WMA @ 192 sounded fine, there's no reason to re-rip, especially to another lossy codec, unless it's for compatibility reasons -- though I certainly can't blame you for switching from WMA to Lame-encoded MP3.

Also for what it's worth, I think Bandcamp offers FLAC as an option for _all_ albums, not just occasionally.

I can't imagine there'd be compatibility issues with WMA (Standard). It's unfortunate that anyone would use it as it has consistently fallen behind other codecs, including MP3, in listening tests where it was included. But as far as playback goes, Rockbox supports it and so does FFMpeg, Gstreamer, VLC, etc. So even on Linux, if you just happen to have a bunch of WMA files left as a holdover from bad encoding decisions you made on Windows a long time ago, they would still be usable.

The only listening test where Microsoft WMA beat MP3 was in a test they paid for, where the company used a much older version of LAME than was current at the time, and the latest WMA.

One of the LAME developers even "corrected" the test by taking the WAV files and passing them through the then-current LAME and at that point MP3 pulled out ahead.

One of the signature artifacts of WMA, especially at low bitrates, which makes it a much more jarring experience than any other codec, is an annoying ringing noise it introduces into the audio. Only at very high bitrates can this be overcome.

At one point, they had a music store in Windows Media Player called URGE, and they were using 192k, which is three times higher than what Microsoft claimed was necessary to "basically have CD quality". If their prior claim was  true, then why would that be necessary?

 
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