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LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #25
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Yes i meant LAME@ 320 Vs. other encoders @ 320 and ofcourse you would compare them individually to the original wave to find out which encoding is closest to it.

I don't mean any old encoders but the latest from all the other encoders like Blade, FhG or the one which comes within iTunes.

I was just reading on the net and many tests have shown that iTunes encoder is better than LAME.

I have no idea what ABX is and how to really test other than purely just listening to the encoded files and comparing them to the original.

Which tests? The only empirically valid, double-blind test I know of that used iTunes found it to be the  worst modern MP3 codec @ 128kbps. Though quality isn't necesarily a linear function when it comes to audio codecs (e.g., a codec's performance at X bitrate doesn't always correlate to its performance at Y bitrate), I would surmise that iTunes MP3 encoder would be much worse than LAME at high bitrates as well.

Also, audio quality cannot be determined by comparing wavs in a spectrum analyzer, or doing casual A/B comparisons: the only empirically-valid, scientific way of doing this is through a double-blind (placebo-controlled) test, known as ABX. This way, you have no idea of what you are listening to and therefore your ratings cannot be colored by placebo effects, i.e. "warm, fuzzy feelings" for a certain bitrate or format.

(Edit: fixed URL)

iTunes' mp3 encoder is not all that bad, it just has a really whacko and outright -strange- VBR mode (which is really what let it down). I for one would like to see how it does in pure CBR mode with other encoders (which is what 320kbps would be; you can't have 320kbps VBR)

LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #26
I think maybe 320 mp3 has a legitimate role. It takes up about 1/3 the space of lossless.
That is a good thing! If I did everything lossless I'd have to buy another TB of disk.
It, by all accounts, sounds the same as lossless  (I think sometimes I can tell the difference,
but that probably has more to do with the cd reader and DtoA conversion on a computer compared to a good stereo).

If you keep your primary library at 320 bps mp3, it takes up less room than lossless, and if you want
to rerip down to lower resolution for noisy environments (or crappy stereos) you can likely
get away with ripping down from the 320 mp3s.

Has anybody compared a 128, or 192, mp3 ripped from a 320 mp3 v.s. the same ripped
from a lossless?

Here is what I do. I rip Cd's to 320 mp3. If later I need to rerip them no problem. No question
they sound just as good as lossless except for a few examples. (except like I said, my computer can just not put out as good as sound as my stereo - I use is a Edirol UA-1x usb connection between my computer and stereo - which is not crap -but still leaves something to be desired.) And some songs I don't want
to take any chance on, Bob Marley redemption song, and Bruce Cockburn Bone in my Ear occur
to me as examples of songs I want on lossless even though I may not be able to tell the difference between then and a 320 mp3.
I rip LPs using lossless since I don't want to do them again.

LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #27
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Further information in 3rd generation iPod available here:
iPod badly distorted

Also experienced problems with jitter on low cost mp3 flash players at 320 kbps.

Sorry for bringing this up again, but I suppose this distortion issue for 320 kbps MP3's on the iPod and several other players will also affect MP3's encoded at any VBR with -B 320, such as -APS, -APE and even -APM?

LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #28
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I think maybe 320 mp3 has a legitimate role. It takes up about 1/3 the space of lossless.
That is a good thing! If I did everything lossless I'd have to buy another TB of disk.


I hope you're being ironic. A TB will hold about 3500 losslessly encoded albums. Do you run a radio station or something?
I suppose you realize that, wherever you live, hard disk prices have dropped to about 0.50 EUR/USD per GB. If you're that picky about sound quality that you're willing to encode to 320 kbps MP3s, with all the disadvantages they have, then spending 100 EUR/USD on a 200 GB hard disk, enabling you to store some 600 lossless albums, is an investment well made. At least in my view.

LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #29
When cash converters are selling used CDs at £1 (~1.50 euro or dollars) each, paying half as much again for the HDD space to store them losslessly (for five years until the HDD dies) doesn't seem like a good investment!

320kbps mp3 has a role, but I'm not sure that that role is as a "near lossless" solution for subsequent re-encoding. There are already good "near lossless" codecs for that.

If you have to encode a codec killer sound into mp3, then 320kbps is useful to do the best that you can with mp3.

If you have an mp3-only device and want to get the best possible quality irrespective of size (Hmm, then why did you buy an mp3 device?) you can use 320kbps mp3 for fast CBR encoding, if your player will play them back. However, aps almost always gives the same quality in a smaller file.

Cheers,
David.

LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #30
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When cash converters are selling used CDs at £1 (~1.50 euro or dollars) each, paying half as much again for the HDD space to store them losslessly (for five years until the HDD dies) doesn't seem like a good investment!

First off, you're talking about used CDs. New ones, which I assume most people prefer, are by ordinary still 10 to 15, sometimes 20 EUR/USD each. Compare that to the 0.15 EUR/USD or so the HDD space would cost you when storing an album losslessly. That's just 0.75 to 1.5% the cost of your CD. With HDD prices in a constant free-fall, lossless audio storage will be getting even cheaper. Puts things into perspective, wouldn't you say?
Secondly, any sound medium, be it a CD or a hard disk, is subject to wear. I won't deny that archiving your music collection losslessly doesn't relieve you of the obligation of precautionary matters, such as a regular back-up. Heck, having your CDs in a safe place alongside your lossless rips is good enough a back-up to me. But that's a different discussion, really. That's what other threads are for.

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320kbps mp3 has a role, but I'm not sure that that role is as a "near lossless" solution for subsequent re-encoding. There are already good "near lossless" codecs for that.

Call it near lossless or whatever you want, if it's not plain lossless, it'll degrade in quality whenever you need to convert to another codec. And that's the reason lossless codecs exist anyway.

 

LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #31
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It's very hard to do listening tests on such high bit rates. Even 192 is pretty hard.

I think tou are wrong. Try to compare castanets sample encoded with lame at 320kbps vs radium tweaked fhg codec at 320kbps and ms mode. It is easy to abx. There is bigger preecho in case of lame.

LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #32
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It's very hard to do listening tests on such high bit rates. Even 192 is pretty hard.

I think tou are wrong. Try to compare castanets sample encoded with lame at 320kbps vs radium tweaked fhg codec at 320kbps and ms mode. It is easy to abx. There is bigger preecho in case of lame.

He probably means real music on average and not specific problem samples.

LAME @ 320 Vs. Other mp3 Encoders @ 320

Reply #33
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I hope you're being ironic. A TB will hold about 3500 losslessly encoded albums. Do you run a radio station or something?


No, just like music...

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I suppose you realize that, wherever you live, hard disk prices have dropped to about 0.50 EUR/USD per GB.


My box is full, so I have to use external disks. You find me a decent external
(firewire) disk at $.50/GB and I'll be all over it. Last one I bought cost me $1/GB. Still not too bad compared to what the same thing would have cost a few years ago.

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At least in my view.


That is the best thing. What works for you, and makes you happy, may not work for me. And what works for me may not work for you. But we can each choose to do what makes us happiest. A reasonable arguement can be made for both sides, and there is no "right" answer. If you have endless disk space use lossless - otherwise comprimise as you see fit.

 
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