Mp3,Ogg,Flac etc

What format do you use? Ive have found that Flac really drains my battery as does Ogg.In the past(on other mp3 players) these have been my chosen formats.But they use more battery power.So ive ventured into the world of Mp3.To be honest I cannot really tell any difference in sound using my Klipsh x5 headphones.My other question is can anyone here honestly tell the difference in 128k 256k or 320k when using headphones?

Most tests seem to be compairing sound quality when you rip them to CD and then listen over large speakers and not headphones.

I can 1 million per cent hear the difference between 128K and 320K MP3’s. They sound “fuller” and generally louder. IMO, anyone ripping at less the 256K MP3 are doing themselves a disservice. What you save on size isn’t worth what you lose in quality.

Message Edited by Peregrine on 03-30-2010 02:27 PM

Is that with using your headphones mate?

Maybe its cause im old now .LOL

Peregrine wrote:

I can 1 million per cent hear the difference between 128K and 320K MP3’s. They sound “fuller” and generally louder. IMO, anyone ripping at less the 256K MP3 are doing themselves a disservice. What you save on size isn’t worth what you lose in quality.

Agreed 1,000,000%.

I often rip at 256k or 320k  but VBR…

anyone have any observations on VBR versus CBR?

(for the un-initiated  that’s Variable BitRate  or Constant BitRate)

Tapeworm wrote:


Peregrine wrote:

I can 1 million per cent hear the difference between 128K and 320K MP3’s. They sound “fuller” and generally louder. IMO, anyone ripping at less the 256K MP3 are doing themselves a disservice. What you save on size isn’t worth what you lose in quality.


Agreed 1,000,000%.

I’ll agree, assuming that you are ripping with WMP’s subpar MP3 encoder. If you are using the better LAME MP3 encoder, the V2 setting, which is variable bitrate that averages 192k, is indistinguishable by almost everyone from the original CD, unless they have excellent hearing and equipment to listen to it with.:wink:

@eyeball wrote:

Most tests seem to be compairing sound quality when you rip them to CD and then listen over large speakers and not headphones.

The only “real” test I’ve read was one conducted by Sound & Vision several years ago. In that test, they were actually comparing MP3 vs AAC vs WMA.  They brought in a trained listener from each of the codec creators plus the author of the article and conducted a double-blind test.  All the trained listeners were able to tell the original material from the compressed versions and three of the four were able to accurately identify each of the codecs. Surprisingly, it was one of the trained listeners who couldn’t identify the individual codecs.

I can’t recall the exact bitrates tested, I think it was at least 128K.  I do recall that they used headphones and IIRC they used over-the-ear electrostatics, similar to these Sennheisers.

I also recall that the material was chosen because it was know to cause specific encoding artifacts with each of the codecs. For example Pearl Jam’s Daughter was chosen because the interactions between the vocals and the acoustic guitar at the start of the piece are know to cause problems for codecs.

Personally,I can almost always identify mp3s. MP3 encoders add a 3db bass boost and because I really hate overboosted bass, I tend notice it.

The artifact that most people can hear is distortion on cymbals. Instead of being a nice clean ringing sound, the encoder adds a bunch of noise and you get a sound which some people describe as “frying bacon”.  I’ve also noticed a similar problem with The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me.  The rain at the start of that song also ends up sounding like frying bacon even at high encoding rates (I’ve tried 320K CBR and can still hear it).

So, yeah encoding artifacts are real and can be heard, especially by trained listeners.  However, at high-bit rates you’ll be really hard pressed to hear anything on the vast majority of music out there.  Every now and then you’ll run across a piece of music that the encoder can’t handle and generates a bunch of nasty, easily heard artifacts but they’re really rare.

timn wrote:

I often rip at 256k or 320k  but VBR…

anyone have any observations on VBR versus CBR?

(for the un-initiated  that’s Variable BitRate  or Constant BitRate)

CBR is ancient tech, and wasteful of space. Think of VBR as like a shrink wrap around your music…small when necessary, and big when necessary. A singer-songrwriter singing a song with an acoustic guitar for 4 minutes will make for a much smaller file than a 4 minute song done by a speed-metal band with multiple instruments and voices going wicked fast.

Contrast that with CBR being a box for the same stuff, with lots of free space for the contents to rattle around…but less room for more music in the same room…so those 4 minute files will be the same size!  Of course, to get VBR, you can’t rip with WMP unless you use WMA. But the LAME encoder, which is part of many dedicated CD rippers, and also in MediaMonkey and Winamp( at least the paid versions, although you can replace the time-stamped LAME with the perpetual one with the free MediaMonkey) allows this more efficient technology with MP3. 

I can almost see JK98 raising his hand,  stating that he thinks VBR uses extra battery compared to CBR (he has said this) and I believe  that is hogwash. :wink:

Marvin_Martian wrote:


timn wrote:

I often rip at 256k or 320k  but VBR…

anyone have any observations on VBR versus CBR?

(for the un-initiated  that’s Variable BitRate  or Constant BitRate)


CBR is ancient tech, and wasteful of space. Think of VBR as like a shrink wrap around your music…small when necessary, and big when necessary. A singer-songrwriter singing a song with an acoustic guitar for 4 minutes will make for a much smaller file than a 4 minute song done by a speed-metal band with multiple instruments and voices going wicked fast.

 

I can almost see JK98 raising his hand,  stating that he thinks VBR uses extra battery compared to CBR (he has said this) and I believe  that is hogwash. :wink:

Depending on why I rip I change from VBR to CBR. I use CBR when I am doing production at work and I need to keep everything uniform but for my player I use VBR. For airing on the radio is use WAV and FLAC so thats not really helpful.

If you want my opinion only use VBR for your player, its just better. If you decide to use a lossless codec go with FLAC. 

@knifethemac wrote:

MP3 encoders add a 3db bass boost and because I really hate overboosted bass, I tend notice it.

 

 

No MP3 encoder worth using does this.  If you’re using some broken old encoder, you might one to try something better.  Its really easy to spot mp3s from bad encoders.  Much harder from smart encoders  :)

@knifethemac wrote:

 

The artifact that most people can hear is distortion on cymbals. Instead of being a nice clean ringing sound, the encoder adds a bunch of noise and you get a sound which some people describe as “frying bacon”.  I’ve also noticed a similar problem with The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me.  The rain at the start of that song also ends up sounding like frying bacon even at high encoding rates (I’ve tried 320K CBR and can still hear it).

 

 

 

 

  

Its more commonly called preecho.  Since its basically an echo, but it arrives before the original tone. 

I do LAME 3.98 -alt preset extreme.  It’s a decent balance between size and quality, at least for me and I use Sennheiser CX-500s…  If I’m really interested in listening to the album in detail, I do FLAC.    FLAC doesn’t beat up on battery too much from what I see.

Eyeball wrote:

 

What format do you use?

    

     MP3 at –V3.  http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lame_Compiles#High_quality:_HiFi.2C_home_or_quiet_listening.

 

My other question is can anyone here honestly tell the difference in 128k 256k or 320k when using headphones?

 

      

     Most listeners, with most music, will probably not be able to hear a difference at c. 175 kbps or higher.  Please see the above link for the explanation.

 

Most tests seem to be compairing sound quality when you rip them to CD and then listen over large speakers and not headphones.

     One can ABX using loudspeakers or headphones.

The “what bitrate is best” argument only makes sense when it’s difficult to change the media’s bitrate. If you rip to a lossless master, like FLAC, then converting an album to whatever bitrate/codec you like is only a couple of clicks and 2-3 mins for that entire album. Don’t like the sound and think the bits aren’t enough? Re-convert. The software/UI is there to allow easy conversion. If your software won’t, then find better software.

MP3’s biggest limitation relative to more modern codecs like AAC is that it lacks surround-sound. Surround music may not be popular yet, but movie soundtracks are in 5.1/7.1 now. Ripping a song or theme music from these isn’t as straightforward as redbook audio, since you’d want to avoid downmuxing to stereo (unless encoding to MP3 of course). For techies, some audio tools worth checking out.

BeHappy
http://behappy.codeplex.com/Wikipage

EAC3To
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=125966