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Old Mar 05, 2002, 12:07 AM
ujiba ujiba is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3
Default Which type of audio encoding to use?

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The lame encoding is the best for audio files right? But at what settings will it be best(e.g. VBR or no, 128kbps, 290 kbps, etc)?

Also, is it worth it to compress CDs into audio files with monkey audio? And which of the monkey audio settings has the least lost(fastest setting, extra high setting, etc)?
Old Mar 08, 2002, 03:27 AM
Van Nugent Van Nugent is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 6,779

Yep, Lame is considered by many as the best codec.

VBR gives you the smaller file size while still maintains the quality of the song. If you wanna save space, go with VBR and if not, go with CBR. But be careful, some stand-alone MP3 players do not support VBR.

So what bitrate should you use? Again, it depends on the space you have, whether or not your player supports the higher bitrate, as well as you can hear the difference from your system when going to a higher bitrate. Let's talk about the sound quality at different bitrates:

* 16 to 24kbps: The sound is about what you'd get from telephone. Many encoder will default to mono encoding at these BRs because it doesn't make much sense to encode in stereo at these low BRs.

* 32 to 48kbps: AM quality sound.

* 56 to 80kbps: FM quality sound.

* 96 to 112kbps: Near CD qual. Much better than FM but not "quite" satisfactory when compared with the CD source. 96kbps is a good choice for many portable MP3 players because it sounds good and the file size is small.

* 128kbps is the most commonly used bitrate by many people. It's very close to the CD qual and lots of folks are satisfied with this bitrate. But from my experience, as well as others', it lacks the warmness and "air" that you can get from CD qual because bass below 60Hz and hi frequency above 12KHz or so are dropped off during the encoding process.

* 160 to 192kbps are closer to CD qual and these BRs normally are used for archive purposes for good HiFi system.

* 224 to 320kbps are used to archive music for high-end systems. Jumping from 128kbps to 256kbps will give most people noticeable improvement in both lo and hi frequency responses. The MP3s sound much closer to the CD tracks when play on high end systems. 320 is the highest BR you can encode as of today.

Nobody can tell what BR you should use. It depends on your own preferences and your system. I hope the above info will give you a general idea in making your choice.

A nice ripper/encoder/decoder is CDex that can be downloaded here *********** .

Forgot to talk about Monkey. Compressing a whole 650MB CD of waves in highest mode only save you a few MB's as compared with normal mode so I think you should go with normal to save CPU time when compressing and decompressing (to play on WinAmp, for example). Normal and hi modes will not change the qual of the files because Monkey is lossless compression.

Last edited by Van Nugent; Mar 08, 2002 at 03:45 AM.

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