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Guide to Ripping & Encoding High Quality MP3s
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Moguta
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Old Mar 28, 2009, 12:11 PM #101 of 108
Guys, what's the difference between the modes "new VBR" and "old VBR" on Lame encoder?
I am kinda new in ripping my CDs using VBR. Previously I ripped'em using CBR.
I use the following settings in Easy CD-DA Audio Extractor
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/8054/settings1u.jpg

Should I be using Min bitrate limit when I am ripping with VBR V0?
As LiquidAcid explained, there's no reason to use the old VBR mode. The new mode is much faster & generally higher quality.

I know the Min & Max Bitrate settings are probably a bit confusing for newbies. They do NOT refer to the averaged bitrate of the overall file. To explain what it means, I have to get a bit technical, so I hope I don't lose you here:

MP3s consist of a series of audio "frames", each frame representing about 26 milliseconds of audio. Variable bitrate (VBR) works by giving these frames different sizes based on how complex the audio-data is in that section. In a constant bitrate (CBR) MP3, however, these frames are all the same size. For example, every frame in a 128Kbps CBR MP3 is about 417 bytes.

Somewhat confusingly, those minimum & maximum bitrate settings mention Kilobytes per second when they're actually limiting these 26ms frames. For example, setting a minimum bitrate of 128Kbps means the VBR encoder will use a minimum frame size of 417 bytes (the frame size used in 128Kbps CBR MP3s). Restricting the frame size like this is a problem, because an unrestricted VBR MP3 can use any frame size from 104 bytes (32Kbps equivalent) to 1,044 bytes (320Kbps equivalent). For VBR to work best, it needs access to this entire range.

Even if you need smaller files, a maximum bitrate setting is NOT the way to go. One, you'll be limiting the encoder's ability on the most complex audio passages, making audio flaws much more likely. Two, a graph of frame sizes is usually spike-shaped... meaning the larger and smaller frames are used far less often than the mid-size frames. So limiting the maximum bitrate won't even affect that many frames, and thus won't save much filespace anyway.

Setting a minimum bitrate is just wasteful, as there are many songs which won't need high bitrates to sound just like the original. I have some -V2 encoded files that are slightly less than 120Kbps, and others that are over 200Kbps. It's just VBR working as intended: encoding based on the audio complexity, with the goal of consistent quality, rather than encoding to a certain filesize.

The lesson here is to never use the minimum & maximum bitrate settings under any normal circumstances. If you want different filesizes, either change the VBR preset number, or use average bitrate (ABR) mode for more targeted sizes.

I was speaking idiomatically.


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Frolov
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Old Mar 28, 2009, 01:00 PM Local time: Mar 28, 2009, 10:00 PM #102 of 108
Thanks Moguta & LiquidAcid!




I know the Min & Max Bitrate settings are probably a bit confusing for newbies. They do NOT refer to the averaged bitrate of the overall file. To explain what it means, I have to get a bit technical, so I hope I don't lose you here:

MP3s consist of a series of audio "frames", each frame representing about 26 milliseconds of audio. Variable bitrate (VBR) works by giving these frames different sizes based on how complex the audio-data is in that section. In a constant bitrate (CBR) MP3, however, these frames are all the same size. For example, every frame in a 128Kbps CBR MP3 is about 417 bytes.

Somewhat confusingly, those minimum & maximum bitrate settings mention Kilobytes per second when they're actually limiting these 26ms frames. For example, setting a minimum bitrate of 128Kbps means the VBR encoder will use a minimum frame size of 417 bytes (the frame size used in 128Kbps CBR MP3s). Restricting the frame size like this is a problem, because an unrestricted VBR MP3 can use any frame size from 104 bytes (32Kbps equivalent) to 1,044 bytes (320Kbps equivalent). For VBR to work best, it needs access to this entire range.

Even if you need smaller files, a maximum bitrate setting is NOT the way to go. One, you'll be limiting the encoder's ability on the most complex audio passages, making audio flaws much more likely. Two, a graph of frame sizes is usually spike-shaped... meaning the larger and smaller frames are used far less often than the mid-size frames. So limiting the maximum bitrate won't even affect that many frames, and thus won't save much filespace anyway.

Setting a minimum bitrate is just wasteful, as there are many songs which won't need high bitrates to sound just like the original. I have some -V2 encoded files that are slightly less than 120Kbps, and others that are over 200Kbps. It's just VBR working as intended: encoding based on the audio complexity, with the goal of consistent quality, rather than encoding to a certain filesize.

The lesson here is to never use the minimum & maximum bitrate settings under any normal circumstances. If you want different filesizes, either change the VBR preset number, or use average bitrate (ABR) mode for more targeted sizes.


I understood.
First of all if you saw, I am using 320Kbps for the Max bitrate, which is the highest bitrate for the MP3 format. Ergo I am not "limiting" the VBR algorithm, because I chose the Max Bitrate to be 320Kbps.

The truth is that VBR is marvelous (in compare to CBR 320Kbps), because I save space for the whole album, which "additional" space was killing me in the upload (as I happen to have relatively slow upload speed).


On the other hand by using a min bitrate, I just waste some space, right?
For istance there's a frame tha needs 140 Kbps, but I've set the min bitrate on 224Kbps. Hence the VBR algorithm is going to choose 224Kbps for that particular frame, and subsequently waste some bits (224-140 = 84), right? My rational guess is that this won't affect the transparency of the mp3, right?

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
Moguta
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Old Mar 28, 2009, 01:37 PM #103 of 108
You're right, a 320Kbps maximum bitrate is the same as not having a max bitrate at all. Sorry if it came across like I was attacking you. This was not my intent, rather I was just trying to give a full explanation.

And yes, you'd just be wasting space with the minimum bitrate. But why specify a minimum? It's essentially saying that you don't trust the VBR mode to pick the right bitrate, but you're using VBR anyway. I would just disable the min/max and let the algorithm do its thing. In my personal opinion, -V0 is quite overkill enough. I typically use -V2, and there are many songs I can't hear a difference on (even through my hi-fi headphones) when I go as low as -V3 or -V4!

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Basil
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Old Mar 28, 2009, 02:10 PM Local time: Mar 28, 2009, 01:10 PM #104 of 108
Ugh, all this time I've been using 192kbps as a minimum bitrate in EAC, but no maximum bitrate. Time to go change some settings again.

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LiquidAcid
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Old Mar 28, 2009, 05:22 PM Local time: Mar 28, 2009, 11:22 PM #105 of 108
Luckily I only fetch your FLAC encodes Grovyle

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wvlfpvp
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Old May 16, 2012, 09:28 AM #106 of 108
I know this thread hasn't been updated in forever, but I'm running into MAJOR issues with Lame and Windows 7, mainly that it refuses to encode the mp3s, even when I'm using RazorLAME.

Additional Spam:
OK, I figured it out:

On the newer versions of EAC, don't be dumb like me and choose LAME as the compressor. Choose User Defined. Like the faq says.

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Last edited by wvlfpvp; May 16, 2012 at 09:38 AM. Reason: This member got a little too post happy.
Timberwolf
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Old May 30, 2013, 11:49 AM #107 of 108
Hey Moguta, I'm trying to set up the most recent Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 (and LAME 3.99.5), but I'm having trouble getting this code through:

Quote:
Enter under "Additional command line options":
(These commands determine what methods will be used to encode the audio)

MP3
Code:

-V 2 --vbr-new %s %d

NOTE: Make sure no extra spaces or discrepancies are included when you enter or copy these commands! This can cause the encoder to fail when it tries to encode the music, and you will just end up with WAV files!

I copied and pasted it under "Additional command line options" like your guide says, but when I hit "OK" it gives me an error message: "Invalid replacement tag found."

(The default code is %islow%-V 5%islow%%ishigh%-V 2%ishigh% --vbr-new %source% %dest%

should I just use that?)

Any ideas? Thanks.



Edit: I think I figured out what the problem was. It's the new parameter markers. Instead of %s for source and %d for destination, they're now %source% and %dest%. So I ended up typing in: -V 0 --vbr-new %source% %dest% which is accepted.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.

Last edited by Timberwolf; May 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM.
Moguta
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Old Jul 18, 2013, 06:07 AM #108 of 108
Evidently this guide needs a bit of updating, since EAC now uses the recommended encoding method for LAME (-V 2) when the "high quality" option is checked (%ishigh%-V 2%ishigh%). Plus, nowadays I tend to rip with Burst Mode and Test & Copy then look at the CRC column for "OK" results, since this is so much quicker than Secure Mode.

Still, glad to see it's a useful resource after all these years. ^.^

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