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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 1,581
Registered: ‎11-26-2008

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...


@Conversionbox wrote:

@fuze_owner-GB wrote:

@Conversionbox wrote:

@shenanagins1091 wrote:
I have some time to burn and am bored. Alright, first let's get it out there that I have never really considering doing this before and have no idea how to go about this. By converting my mp3s to OGG or FLAC, will the sound quality improve? Is it a simple & free process. I'd also consider using the Replay Gain feature as well.

I recenly did this myself. (I did mine back in January). The sound Quality thing... I guess it depends on how good your ears are. I conveted some of my mp3 files to Ogg and could hear more crisp high notes and more deep low notes, but many others hear no difference. I played with Flac a bit but not enough to form a definite opinon on sound quality from a conversion. On a new rip, Flac is the best I have heard (ogg is a vey close second IMO). To test sound quality changes find a few of your files that you are really farmilliar with (the ones you can hear in your head) and convert them to the other types then give a listen and see what you think. I dont know about the cost of flac conversion (I did it at work so I didnt have to install the program) but MediaMonkey will convert to OGG in the free version. I would however suggest you rerip whatever you can into the format you choose.


This has to be a perceived notion.  Once the high end (depending on bit rate and encoder ....anywhere from 12.5 to 15KHz and up is dramatically damaged) is stripped away, converting to ogg vorbis will do nothing to get it back.

 

I had to do a clinical analysis on the differing encoders and how well they performed for a client a while back and this is one of the tests I performed.  Converting to ogg vorbis from a MP3 file only worsened the waveform of the file.

 

But...... If you hear little or no difference or a perceived improvement.... Kudos to you....


@gb. All I said was that I could hear them. What I think happend with the conversion is that my bit rate and in turn quality bumped up slighly, and I was able to hear things that I was not able to on a lower quality mp3. I have since re ripped @ 320 kbps mp3 on my desktop and I can hear the same Highs and lows that I hear in OGG. I think thats the change. Who knows maybe Im just losing it.


Yup... That's why there is more than 1 codec and more than 1 setting.  Everybody's needs and wants are different.  The only thing that really matters is how the files sound to you....Smiley Happy

"Before I sink into the big sleep...I want to hear the scream of the Butterfly"
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SanDisk User
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎04-09-2009

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...

Converting from a lossy format to another lossy format will never produce an increase in sound quality, only, at best, no noticeable decrease in sound quality according to ABX tests.

 

Conversionbox wrote:

 

"All I said was that I could hear them."

 

ABXed?

 

"What I think happend with the conversion is that my bit rate and in turn quality bumped up slighly, and I was able to hear things that I was not able to on a lower quality mp3. I have since re ripped @ 320 kbps mp3 on my desktop and I can hear the same Highs and lows that I hear in OGG. I think thats the change."

 

You probably only imagined it.  It happens to everyone, including me.  It is the audio equivalent of the placebo effect: http://www.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_plac.htm.

 

 “Who knows maybe Im just losing it.”

 

No, you are not losing it.  Please see the above link for the explanation.  The only proper way to evaluate sound quality is to ABX the WAVs with their corresponding lossy files.  Vorbis will produce the same sound quality as MP3 but at slightly lower bit rates: http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Recommended_Ogg_Vorbis#Recommended_Encoder_Settings: “Most users agree -q 5 achieves transparency,” which is c. 160 kbps.

 

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lame_Compiles#High_quality:_HiFi.2C_home_or_quiet_list...: For MP3, however, -V3—c. 175 kbps—“will normally produce transparent encoding (transparent = most people can't distinguish the MP3 from the original in an ABX blind test).”

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SanDisk User
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2008

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...

you know thats like when people changes their spark plugs in their vehicle with new one that suppose to  give more Hp. THey will say they cna  feel the extra power even though  there is no more extra there. We call that the Butt Dyno.  THey want to covence their selves that all that extra money they spent on the part  was worth it and didnt throw the money away on  uselss parts.

 

THats wht it sounds like here.  You think  you  can  hear a difference so your brain  fools you in to  hearing this differnce that isnt there. 

 

Best way to  tell is to have a friend Take a MP3 file  and convert it to  like OGG   and play the 2 songs for you. THis way you dont know which  is which and do  a few songs liek that and then  take your score down of how many you pegged right and wrong. THat could geive you  a better answer. 

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 2,954
Registered: ‎09-06-2008

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...

mp3s at 128 kbps are adequate--not even good--sound quality. Leave them alone because any conversion will either make them much bigger (lossless like FLAC) or worse (lossy like ogg). 

 

You need to start with a good-quality source before you compress it.  I suggest you do a test. Get a CD you know fairly well and convert one song a bunch of ways. You can use the free Media Coder to make mp3s at various bitrates (128, 192, 256, 320), ogg at various bitrates, and FLAC.

 

Put them all onto the Sansa and see how much difference it makes through your headphones into your ears. Try to randomize them so you don't know which one you are listening to--so your ears are making the decision, not your brain reading numbers or format types. Then pick the one that you think strikes the best balance between sound quality and file size. 

 

Audiophiles drive themselves insane with this stuff because they look at numerical readouts and see that ohmigod there's a tiny bit of lost information between 14,500 and 14,750 Hz in the left channel. Can you hear that? Can I hear that? Probably not. 

 

You may well notice an improvement in sound quality between mp3 at 128 kbps and mp3 at 192 kbps. But between mp3 at 256 kbps and a FLAC file that's 5 or 6 times larger? Highy unlikely. 

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SanDisk Fanatic
Posts: 269
Registered: ‎11-28-2008

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...

Well my music sounds pretty good to me with these headphones, even the 128 kb/s ones. It's more than "adequate" in my opinion, but if it was possible to improve this, I'd be up for it.
4 GB Red Fuze, Black Silicon Case, Red JVC Marshmallow Headphones. A 1 GB m240 as well, those were the days.
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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 1,581
Registered: ‎11-26-2008

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...


@Black-Rectangle wrote:

mp3s at 128 kbps are adequate--not even good--sound quality. Leave them alone because any conversion will either make them much bigger (lossless like FLAC) or worse (lossy like ogg). 

 

You need to start with a good-quality source before you compress it.  I suggest you do a test. Get a CD you know fairly well and convert one song a bunch of ways. You can use the free Media Coder to make mp3s at various bitrates (128, 192, 256, 320), ogg at various bitrates, and FLAC.

 

Put them all onto the Sansa and see how much difference it makes through your headphones into your ears. Try to randomize them so you don't know which one you are listening to--so your ears are making the decision, not your brain reading numbers or format types. Then pick the one that you think strikes the best balance between sound quality and file size. 

 

Audiophiles drive themselves insane with this stuff because they look at numerical readouts and see that ohmigod there's a tiny bit of lost information between 14,500 and 14,750 Hz in the left channel. Can you hear that? Can I hear that? Probably not. 

 

You may well notice an improvement in sound quality between mp3 at 128 kbps and mp3 at 192 kbps. But between mp3 at 256 kbps and a FLAC file that's 5 or 6 times larger? Highy unlikely. 


That's a pretty broad statement.  I for one can easily tell the difference between a 256kbps encoded file and lossless flac or wave, but that's me.  Everyone's ears and hearing capabilities are different.  I know my hearing is in the upper percentile as I have it checked every quarter.  For some 128kbps is adequate, for others it is definitely lo-fi.  No one can judge what is acceptable but the person doing the listening.

"Before I sink into the big sleep...I want to hear the scream of the Butterfly"
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SanDisk Fanatic
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎07-20-2008

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...

Concerning quality, FLAC>OGG>MP3.

Concerning size(smallest first), OGG>MP3>FLAC

 

Since the fuze and the clip both support FLAC and OGG, it would be best to encode your songs in OGG because you get the same or even better sound quality for almost half the size or less. Of course it's personal preferrence though.

 

If you would like to archive your music, it would be best to encode in FLAC at the highest quality setting.

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 1,581
Registered: ‎11-26-2008

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...


@d_headshot wrote:

Concerning quality, FLAC>OGG>MP3.

Concerning size(smallest first), OGG>MP3>FLAC

 

Since the fuze and the clip both support FLAC and OGG, it would be best to encode your songs in OGG because you get the same or even better sound quality for almost half the size or less. Of course it's personal preferrence though.

 

If you would like to archive your music, it would be best to encode in FLAC at the highest quality setting.


There are no quality settings within FLAC.  You can't get any better than lossless.  There are different compression settings, but this does not affect the quality of the file, just the size.

"Before I sink into the big sleep...I want to hear the scream of the Butterfly"
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SanDisk Fanatic
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎07-20-2008

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...

[ Edited ]

@fuze_owner-GB wrote:

@d_headshot wrote:

Concerning quality, FLAC>OGG>MP3.

Concerning size(smallest first), OGG>MP3>FLAC

 

Since the fuze and the clip both support FLAC and OGG, it would be best to encode your songs in OGG because you get the same or even better sound quality for almost half the size or less. Of course it's personal preferrence though.

 

If you would like to archive your music, it would be best to encode in FLAC at the highest quality setting.


There are no quality settings within FLAC.  You can't get any better than lossless.  There are different compression settings, but this does not affect the quality of the file, just the size.


Got the two mixed up lol. Level 0 to 8 compression settings I believe.

Message Edited by d_headshot on 04-09-2009 08:13 PM
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SanDisk Fanatic
Posts: 328
Registered: ‎04-07-2009

Re: I'm considering converting my MP3s to a format with better sound quality...

I totally agree that 128 is... heck not even adequate. Downright awful. As has been suggested: rip something to 128 and then to 320. My best friend was a staunch 128 ripper.... until I made him sit down with headphones and listen to tracks ripped at both 128, 320.

He's ripping to 256 now. There is a HUGE difference. He was shocked that he had to turn the volume down when the 320's came on because they are a little louder (and fuller, and cleaner, and crisper).

I am not an audio snob either. Really.

 

 

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4GB Red Fuze/16GB Card