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Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Hello -

I primarily use FLAC while listening via my computer.  However, my portable mp3 player (Sony Walkman 16GB) only supports wma and mp3.  I always encode my mp3's at CBR 320 KBPS (V0?).  I started using EAC and LAME 3.98.2 recently.  I decided to convert my FLAC's to MP3 via Foobar2000 and I noticed that the highest bitrate for conversion is like 260kbps VBR V0...  Why doesn't foobar allow the "insane" setting of 320 CBR?! 

Does anyone know of a method in which I may convert my FLAC's to CBR 320 via the LAME encoder? 

Thank you.

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #1
The -V settings are variable bitrate (VBR), -V 0 would result in VBR mp3 files at around 250kbps.  By default, foobar2000 only allows people to use Lame's -V settings.  You must use foobar2000's custom encoder option to encode 320kbps CBR files.  I strongly suggest that you conduct blind ABX tests to determine that 320kbps CBR is what you need for your lossy music as many people, including myself, just don't hear the "benefits" when going from -V 0 up to 320kbps CBR.  In fact, many people perceive that Lame at -V 5 (~130kbps VBR) is transparent for them.

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #2
I strongly suggest that you conduct blind ABX tests to determine that 320kbps CBR is what you need for your lossy music as many people, including myself, just don't hear the "benefits" when going from -V 0 up to 320kbps CBR.  In fact, many people perceive that Lame at -V 5 (~130kbps VBR) is transparent for them.


Ok.  So, basically VBR 250 is nearly impossible to discern from CBR 320?  I figured that would have something to do with it... However, out of curiosity, what is the best method in which to convert FLAC to CBR 320 MP3's using the LAME encoder?  I can't quite figure that one out... There are some forms of music (mostly classical) in which I simply can't listen to in lossy formats... but if I must, I have very high standards (only 320kbps w/LAME CBR). 

Thanks!

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #3
Doesn't your curiosity extend to at least ABX testing LAME in VBR mode to see whether it meets your needs rather than just going for CBR320 without knowing whether you need to or not?

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #4
There are some forms of music (mostly classical) in which I simply can't listen to in lossy formats... but if I must, I have very high standards (only 320kbps w/LAME CBR).


How do you know unless you conduct a blind ABX test?  You can't make comments like this without conducting blind tests in order to make your claims serious.  I can help you encode at 320kbps using Lame and foobar2000 but I strongly suggest that you conduct a blind ABX test so that you can determine what is right for you.  That way you can further solidify any audio quality statements that you do make by showing us your blind ABX test results (otherwise audio quality claims violate the terms of service here on hydrogenaudio).

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #5
Kratos.

As kornchild2002 said, you can use the Custom option, which allows to use and store custom command lines. The custom option is as good as the default MP3 VBR encoding option. The default option just hides the used command line from the user.

It is easily possible to use any LAME command line with foobar. I have stored several alternative settings and I am costantly removing and adding new stored settings for special purposes (like testing codec versions and options).

For instance,

- save an MP3 VBR setting, say -V 2, select it and press the Add New button (in Preferences > Tools > Converter...)
- it'll start with the stored -V 2 setting, but you can change the "MP3 (LAME)" option to "Custom" and edit the command line.
- if the stored parameters are -S --noreplaygain -V 2 --vbr-new - %d change the line to -S --noreplaygain -b 320  - %d to use "insane" aka CBR 320 kbps (in the recent LAME versions the plain "-b 320" setting is the same as "--preset insane").


I'm not saying that using "insane" would not be insane. 

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #6
Doesn't your curiosity extend to at least ABX testing LAME in VBR mode to see whether it meets your needs rather than just going for CBR320 without knowing whether you need to or not?

Cheers, Slipstreem. 


Basically, it's more of a psychological thing... Even if my ears can never tell the difference I still feel as though there is one.  Storage space is not an issue, and I just feel more confident when I have CBR 320 MP3's... you know?  I understand this all sounds crazy... but it's just me.  It's not necessarily that I can notice every little nuance or artifact in high bitrate MP3's... but at least if I'm listening to one I am convinced that it's as "good as it gets" when it comes to compressed lossy formats.

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #7
That way you can further solidify any audio quality statements that you do make by showing us your blind ABX test results (otherwise audio quality claims violate the terms of service here on hydrogenaudio).


What?  That's pretty intense...

Like I said... it's not entirely about sound quality for me... I don't know how else to say it.  Weird, I know.  Sorry.

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #8
You do know that -V 0 can use 320 kbit frames whenever they are needed, but can also use less than 320 kbits when the extra bits add no audible improvement?


Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #9
Folks, Kratos hasn't said - or done - anything that violated the TOS. He asked a reasonable question about how to do something in foobar2000 that wasn't explicitly visible by default, and when pressed he provided his own (personal) reasons for wanting to do so, without making any claims regarding the actual sound quality he was able to perceive.

He is already aware of the logic/illogic of this preference, but it is his system, and his choice.

Kratos, if you use the steps outlined by Alex B you should have what you wanted.

    - M.

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #10
Basically, it's more of a psychological thing... Even if my ears can never tell the difference I still feel as though there is one.

And, frankly, the best way the "break" that line of thinking is by doing ABX tests. Select a handful lossless tracks you're extremely familiar with, encode them to 320kbps, V0, V2, and also to something much lower, such as V5. Start by trying to discern the lossless file from the 320kbps encode, then go down to lossless vs. V0, lossless vs. V2 and so on. See at which point you can start discerning differences, if at all (but take occasional breaks when you begin to feel fatigued). With LAME, you may even find that V5 is transparent for you with the handful of tracks you're most familiar with.

I used to be feel the same way about lossy as you do. I only had relative faith in bit rates higher than 192kbps, and I was certain that anything lower than that was universally terrible. I also always thought that I was missing "something" regardless of how the bit rate was, and that something about lossy encoding in general was "wrong". Then I participated in the 64kbps multiformat listening test last year, and all of my erroneous thinking flew right out of the window. Now, no bit rate is universally "too low" -- it's only what's transparent, not transparent but still adequate for the intended purpose, or both not transparent and inadequate. There's no more "this sounds good, but there must be something wrong with it" feeling any longer.

To break the psychological boundaries that don't allow you to ever trust low or moderate bit rates, you need only to compare lossless and low/moderate bit rate audio in a double-blind environment, finding out for yourself how low is "too low", and making all of your future encoding decisions based on that.

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #11
Basically, it's more of a psychological thing... Even if my ears can never tell the difference I still feel as though there is one.

And, frankly, the best way the "break" that line of thinking is by doing ABX tests. Select a handful lossless tracks you're extremely familiar with, encode them to 320kbps, V0, V2, and also to something much lower, such as V5. Start by trying to discern the lossless file from the 320kbps encode, then go down to lossless vs. V0, lossless vs. V2 and so on. See at which point you can start discerning differences, if at all (but take occasional breaks when you begin to feel fatigued). With LAME, you may even find that V5 is transparent for you with the handful of tracks you're most familiar with.

I used to be feel the same way about lossy as you do. I only had relative faith in bit rates higher than 192kbps, and I was certain that anything lower than that was universally terrible. I also always thought that I was missing "something" regardless of how the bit rate was, and that something about lossy encoding in general was "wrong". Then I participated in the 64kbps multiformat listening test last year, and all of my erroneous thinking flew right out of the window. Now, no bit rate is universally "too low" -- it's only what's transparent, not transparent but still adequate for the intended purpose, or both not transparent and inadequate. There's no more "this sounds good, but there must be something wrong with it" feeling any longer.

To break the psychological boundaries that don't allow you to ever trust low or moderate bit rates, you need only to compare lossless and low/moderate bit rate audio in a double-blind environment, finding out for yourself how low is "too low", and making all of your future encoding decisions based on that.


Ron, Thanks for you informative post... I appreciate it.  What you described is basically exactly as I currently feel.  I will certainly give those tests a shot to try and "get over it" as I say.  I did re-encode several of my FLAC albums as V0 MP3's, and so far they sound great.  Props to M as well for showing me some support... haha. 

Thanks again for the replies.

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #12
Personally, I use -V4 for portable use. It provides small files, and the artifacts are not particularly objectionable to me, if I even notice them. In a noisy environment, outside of blind testing, I simply don't notice the difference. Even in a blind-test environment, I frequently fail to differentiate the two on a random subset of my collection.

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #13
Personally, I use -V4 for portable use. It provides small files, and the artifacts are not particularly objectionable to me, if I even notice them. In a noisy environment, outside of blind testing, I simply don't notice the difference. Even in a blind-test environment, I frequently fail to differentiate the two on a random subset of my collection.


Yes, for portable use I think I'm going to start with V0 and go from there.  I doubt I'll go any lower at this point... Of course, on my computer I'll always listen to FLACs or WAVs (unless MP3's are the only version I have of a particular album).

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #14
Doesn't it just drive you nuts when you ask a simple question about how to do something and people jump in and tell you, 'you don't want to do that', and when you politely explain your reasons they ask you to give them proof. He wasn't asking you to do it to your music! Personally, I agree 100% that lossy formats sound bad. Oops, did I just violate the Mann Act?

There's a page here which makes it clear.

http://www.tech-talkers.com/index.php/2009...p3-with-foobar/

Foobar w/LAME encoder - no 320 bitrate?

Reply #15
No, but you did violate our Terms of Service. The question is already answered and I am closing this thread to prevent further trolling.

 
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