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The reason I use [blank] for lossy is:

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Topic: What determines which encoders/settings you use. (2011) (Read 26713 times) previous topic - next topic
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What determines which encoders/settings you use. (2011)

Reply #25
Apple lossless is used as a CD backup and for playback on home audio and PC. I started off with FLAC but I now use iTunes to sync lossy music with my iPhone and various iPods. Using Apple lossless and AAC allows me to simultaneously edit my lossless and lossy files. There are a number of deficiencies in iTunes, e.g. handling of multiple artists, but the overall simplicity of the approach makes me stick to it.

Excuse me, could you please explain better this point? Do you mean to say there is a way to have two differently encoded version of every track of your collection in different locations (say, lossy on internal HD and lossless on bigger external one) and keep their tags automagically in sync?

It's very simple indeed. I do keep lossy and lossless versions in separate locations and both versions are imported into iTunes. Since all relevant tags are identical, lossy and lossless tracs of an album for instance appear under the same album. (This applies in spirit to tracs without album.) If I want to change the album title for both lossy and lossless, it's just two steps to select and edit both kinds of tracs in one go. Similarly if I want to just change one individual trac, both lossless and lossy version sit next to each other in the iTunes listing and can be selected for a simultaneous edit. The same applies to all sorts of changes because iTunes has quite complex filtering capabilities and by default the lossy and lossless version always sit next to each other in the resulting display. Should that not be sufficient, then I resort to tools such as the mighty mp3tag where the changes have to be applied sequentially to both lossy and lossless -- but that may be due to my limited knowledge of advanced mp3tag features.

Syncing to iPods or iPhone is then simply done based on dynamic playlists which filter the collection and also filter out lossless files. Easy to set up and a smooth ride.

Kudos for the initial idea go to Kornchild, btw.

What determines which encoders/settings you use. (2011)

Reply #26
Lossy: Compatibility. I selected compatibility because I never have to worry about whether an MP3 will play somewhere.  On the other hand, my collection is in FLAC so I can transcode to whatever is necessary; as such, I could transcode to whatever the best codec for the target device would be, but since I only use tools whose source code is available, and because my portable player doesn't support Vorbis, I use lame (I'd quite possibly use lame anyway, just because I know it's transparent to me).

Lossless: Other.  I use FLAC for a few reasons.  First off, it's totally free, meaning the specification is not secret, and source code is available. Also, momentum.  I've been using it for years, and I don't really feel like converting it all to another format.  It's simply not worth a few percent of compression.  If I run out of space I'll just buy new drives.  Compatibility is also a reason.  Since flac is free and has been around forever, I'm more confident that it'll be supported if I switch players on my computer (I don't see myself using lossless on a portable device, at least not for a long while).

I do periodically think about switching to WavPack; in my tests it has slightly better compression than FLAC, and is licensed in the same way.  Like FLAC, WavPack comes with a library that provides an easy API for adding support to a player that can't play WavPack (I wrote a WavPack plugin for a library of mine, and the entire source file, including comments and blank lines, is 145 lines of C code).  There is also support for WavPack in TagLib, which is nice.  The two downsides are: 1) decompression time slows down as the compression level increases and 2) the gains aren't so great that I want to re-encode my entire library.

Encode: ABX.  My portable player's drive is large enough that I don't have to worry about filling it up, so why not what I can ABX?  I'd bet, though, that I could go a lot smaller since I mainly use my player in the car and at the gym, neither of which demands the highest music quality.

What determines which encoders/settings you use. (2011)

Reply #27
Lossless: FLAC, compatibility
Lossy: MP3 (LAME), compatibility
320kbps CBR, highest quality

Tried OggVorbis for some time and compatibility was not an issue... it was the lack of cover art support with the software I use.
With MP3 I acutally managed to hear a difference between 320kbps and lossless once in a club with a pretty great sound system (I'm a DJ). Most of the times I can't ABX 192kbps from lossless but when I realized that there is a sonic difference, I started using FLAC where I can or at least 320kbps on MP3.
FLAC you...!

What determines which encoders/settings you use. (2011)

Reply #28
I have multiple reasons for my choices, but I voted based on the factor which held the most weight.

For lossy I use Vorbis for 2 primary reasons; the quality at lower bitrates (vorbis at -q2 blows my mind with how good it sounds for such a low bitrate), and the spec is fully open and royalty free.

For lossless I use FLAC purely for compatibility, and part of that compatibility is the fact the spec is open and royalty free. It's close enough to all other comparable lossless codecs in features and compression to not care about anything else.

I encode all vorbis files at -q2, or ~96kbps because that's the point where any remaining artifacts become tolerable, and I only use these files on DAP's where I want to maximize my storage capacity.

If forced, I encode to mp3 at -V2, or ~192Kbps because that's the level where mp3 artifacts become tolerable. These only go on DAP's that don't support vorbis. I do not own any such players, and never will, so this option never really gets used.

What determines which encoders/settings you use. (2011)

Reply #29
To fill in these blanks:

I use MP3 for lossy for compatability.  The portable players I have can only do MP3/WMA so the choice there is obvious.

I use FLAC for lossless for compatability.  Again, a lot of things I use like foobar, xmplay, audacity support FLAC.

I encode MP3 for high quality.  I paid for space, so I may as well use it.  I don't need my entire music collection on a portable player all at once.
foobar2000, FLAC, and qAAC -V90
It just works people!

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