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Offlineivi
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Variable vs. 320kbps
    #3295873 - 10/30/04 01:38 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Which one of these is higher quality? I can't figure out. Sorry for dumb question :smirk:


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: ivi]
    #3296762 - 10/30/04 11:08 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

well, "variable" is an encoding method. 320kbps is the bitrate. So, its not a matter of one over the other - you can have a 320kbps variable track.

are you trying to rip some music? I can provide instructions on how to rip the best quality mp3/ogg if you are interested (I file-share and cannot stand poorly ripped music so I would gladly help).


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Offlinebbbaaa
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: Vvellum]
    #3297099 - 10/30/04 01:11 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

If you really want good quality you should try to get flac files. They are lossless and I imagine they wouldnt be much larger than 320kbps mp3s.


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Offlineivi
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: Vvellum]
    #3299681 - 10/31/04 01:27 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

No, I don't have problems with ripping music. I always rip my CD's to 320kbps mp3 and this format/quality/size serves me well.

Are OGG or FLAC files much better?

It's downloading. Well, for example, which will be higher quality -  a 14.9 MB variable bitrate mp3 file (and yes, the bitrate varies instantly during playback from one hundred something to 320kbps) or the very same song as 15.6 MB 256 kbps mp3 file? Does file size have anything to do with the quality? What are the differences, pluses and minuses of both variable and usual encoding methods? :shrug:


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Edited by ivi (10/31/04 01:40 AM)


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: ivi]
    #3299878 - 10/31/04 02:28 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

No, I don't have problems with ripping music. I always rip my CD's to 320kbps mp3 and this format/quality/size serves me well.




what encoder are you using? "320kbps mp3" can be different with different encodings. Highes bitrate doesnt necessary mean highest quality. The best mp3 encoder is LAME - handsdown.

Quote:

Are OGG or FLAC files much better?




well, .ogg and .flac arent the same thing, of course. .flac is a lossless encoding, meaning the recording doesnt lose digital info from the original CD to the file. .wav is also a lossless encoding but the problem with .wav is the extremely large filesize; this makes .wav impractical. .flac is basically .wav with a reasonable filesize (although still quite large compared to lossy encodings). .flac is also opensource, I believe.

Monkeysaudio's .ape encoding is also a good lossless choice.

.ogg is a lossy encoding, meaning some digital info is lost - it's not exact because it is compressed further to reduce filesize. .mp3 is also a lossy encoding. the difference is .ogg is opensource and provides better quality than .mp3 per filesize. see: http://www.xiph.org/ogg/vorbis/listen.html

I highly recommend .ogg - most excellent quality with very small filesizes. the downside to .ogg encoding is not all portable players support it - only a few do. so, if you use an ipod, you wont be able to play .ogg

Quote:

Does file size have anything to do with the quality?




yes, typically filesize translates into better quality, however this is not always the case. Different encoders "sound" better than others and retain more digital info than others.

you can get better quality/smaller filesize with a LAME alt-preset standard encoding at 256kbps than you would with a generic 320kbps encoding. dig?


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Offlineivi
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: Vvellum]
    #3299908 - 10/31/04 02:45 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

O.K. Then let me put my question this way - which will be higher quality - a 14.9 MB variable bitrate mp3 file (and yes, the bitrate varies instantly during playback from one hundred something to 320kbps) or the very same song as 15.6 MB 256 kbps mp3 file considering both are encoded using LAME?


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: ivi]
    #3300881 - 10/31/04 02:18 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

LAME is a variable encoding - all LAME tracks will be variable. So, your hypothetical really isnt possible. If both files are the same song and encoded with LAME, then the lesser bitrate file wouldnt be larger in size than the higher bitrate file. Plus, with LAME, even --preset extreme doesnt usually exceed 260kbps.

So, lemme go back to your original question:

Quote:


It's downloading. Well, for example, which will be higher quality - a 14.9 MB variable bitrate mp3 file (and yes, the bitrate varies instantly during playback from one hundred something to 320kbps) or the very same song as 15.6 MB 256 kbps mp3 file?




so, a 320kbps Variable 14.9MB vs. a 256 15.6MB file, correct?

Well, again, the exact quality would depend on how the tracks were encoded (and with what encoder). Some encoders out there plain suck ass - some people use shitty ghetto rippers. The variable might be full-stereo which sounds terrible instead of joint-stereo which sounds great, but such info isnt provided.

Bitrate is not the only determining factor for sound quality.

A 130kbps musepack file will sound better than a 192 mp3. And a 192kbps wma will sound worse than a 192kbps mp3.

So, with all that said, I really have no idea - the answer is unknown. I really wish people would learn how to rip properly if they are going to share.


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Offlineivi
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: Vvellum]
    #3300953 - 10/31/04 02:44 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

So, O.K., people are gay rippers and file sharers, but tell me then how to choose which files to download?  If bitrates/filesizes actually don't mean so much concerning sound quality, what should I look at not to get some crappy ghetto gay ass rips? :confused:


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Edited by ivi (10/31/04 03:09 PM)


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: ivi]
    #3301053 - 10/31/04 03:14 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

well, bitrates are an indictator of quality, but there is no certainty - that's what I'm getting at. In my opinion, an mp3 <192kbps sounds bad - highends are swishy and lowends are flat - digital loss is noticable. An mp3 of >192kbps is usually a good bet. If the choice is between a 192kbps and a 256kbps, go with the 256 - this just means that the chances are greater that the 256 will be better. It's really just a guessing game - you have to play the odds with mp3.

If you see .ogg (ogg vorbis) or .flac (FLAC) or .ape (monkeys audio) or .mpc (musepack), you can be pretty sure they'll sound great.

another way to gauge the quality is to look to see if the files are released by ripping crews/release groups. Look for the initials like bpm, usf, rns, fnt, esc, tronik, bmp, rh, nuhs, butt - these are people that enjoy putting out quality rips of (mostly electronic) music - they can especially be found on the soulseek network. you can check their releases here: http://www.mp3shitter.com and other sites like it


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: ivi]
    #3301057 - 10/31/04 03:15 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

oh, and here's a real good site to check out: http://doc.hydrogenaudio.org/wikis/hydrogenaudio/FrontPage

it should answer whatever question you might have.


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Offlineivi
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: Vvellum]
    #3301219 - 10/31/04 04:12 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Thanks a bunch, that's some useful info there :thumbup:


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Edited by ivi (10/31/04 04:21 PM)


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Offlinenonoman
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: ivi]
    #3301383 - 10/31/04 05:08 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Someone just turned me on to cd-ex available from sourceforge. Allows you to use LAME encoder and select bitrate. Before, I was using dBpowerAMP and making LAME 256 rips. Now I shoot for LAME 320s.


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Offlinenonoman
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: nonoman]
    #3301387 - 10/31/04 05:09 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

bi0 is da man.


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InvisibleTinMan
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: ivi]
    #3301449 - 10/31/04 05:30 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Variable encoding is meant to change bitrate as the detail of the song increases/decreases. It tries to make the smallest file size without sacrificing ANY quality, but in the long run you would be better off to encode at a fixed rate, 192kbps+ is fine. 320 may be overkill. If a song has a wide frequency spectrum, i.e. deep bass, high pitched vocals and may instruments/effects, the frequency spread is larger and results in a larger file, yet if its something simple such as just a voice of a man speaking, the bitrate will stay pretty constant with the tone of the voice. The main idea behind encoding like this is not to waste a constant bitrate of encoding and the space in the file on silence and simple recordings, when the encoder could instead decide to drop down the bitrate when it doesn't see it necessary to waste it. I personally prefer fixed, sometimes the tone of a variable bitrate encoded file sounds a little off as compared with the original.


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: nonoman]
    #3301731 - 10/31/04 07:03 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

cdex is good shit.

I use Exact Audio Copy with LAME & ogg: http://www.exactaudiocopy.de

EAC is excellent but kinda a bitch to configure properly.

I also recommend RazorLame: http://www.dors.de/razorlame/index.php
it's real easy to setup & encode with LAME.


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OfflineBarbi
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: Vvellum]
    #3307796 - 11/02/04 04:32 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

bi0 said:

Well, again, the exact quality would depend on how the tracks were encoded (and with what encoder). Some encoders out there plain suck ass - some people use shitty ghetto rippers. The variable might be full-stereo which sounds terrible instead of joint-stereo which sounds great, but such info isnt provided.





fyi, full stereo is more accurate but larger. Joint stereo is not 'better', it just tries to save filesize by taking shared left/right imaging and making it one set of data instead of two individual (stereo) paths.


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OfflineFliquid
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Re: Variable vs. 320kbps [Re: Vvellum]
    #3560696 - 12/30/04 10:18 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I used to be a cdex addict, but I have to say jetaudio is a good tool for convertion as well. And it even converts into variable (up to 320 kbps) WMA 9 format.


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