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Guide to Ripping & Encoding High Quality MP3s
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Spikey
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 01:08 AM Local time: Apr 12, 2007, 04:38 PM #26 of 108
Check this out, folks:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=54085

Everyone using V2 as a standard yet?

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Rimo
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 05:57 PM #27 of 108
I can't see what you're trying to say.

If it's that LAME (including its -V2 setting) is a good codec like it was discussed not so long ago and that is actually mentioned in the first post of this thread, sure, I agree. If it's that you actually want to discuss about LAME's settings/presets (and in answer to your question at HA), -V2 is not the best VBR setting to reach the highest quality, technically. However, it is considered to be transparent by the majority, so the advantage of using it over higher settings like -V0 is that it will make the filesize smaller while still having a "perfect" quality (in relation to transparency). I guess some people have better ears and they find the sound is bad with -V2 (which surprises me!) and they prefer to go with -V1 or -V0, but in my opinion, the quality difference is so small that I'm not certain if it's actually worth it. At that point, switching to another format would be better, if extremely-high quality is the objective.

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Moguta
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 08:43 PM #28 of 108
Check this out, folks:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=54085

Everyone using V2 as a standard yet?
This thread has been recommending -V 2 for quite some time now... in fact, ever since the --preset/--alt-preset modes were abandoned to introduce the -V switch.

I'm not too sure what new you're trying to point out here.

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Spikey
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 09:51 PM Local time: Apr 13, 2007, 01:21 PM #29 of 108
Nothing, I just find the sort of relative complexity of MP3 encoding amusing.

I'm also relieved to find a good standard that everyone can easily use, without ridiculous custom switches.

But I guess what I was hinting at was, is everyone using this standard and does everyone understand it I'm guessing not.

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- Spike

I was speaking idiomatically.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 10:21 PM Local time: Apr 12, 2007, 09:21 PM #30 of 108
I think I remember a time where #gamemp3s used to encode their CD rips in -V 2, but they switched to -V 1/-V 0 some time ago. I've always encoded my music projects in -V 2 and I'll keep it that way for a while (hell, I think this very thread was where I got the command line from and I've been using it since late 2005).

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
Moguta
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 10:27 PM #31 of 108
Nothing, I just find the sort of relative complexity of MP3 encoding amusing.
Well, it is a highly mathematical process with so many possible implementations.

But I guess what I was hinting at was, is everyone using this standard and does everyone understand it I'm guessing not.
Hehe, no and no. I mean, you just linked that HA thread... and its only one of many more like it. People in that forum get rather tired of all the "newfangled" command line combinations that newbies come up with and try to claim as THE BEST!

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Spikey
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 03:53 AM Local time: Apr 13, 2007, 07:23 PM #32 of 108
V1 and V0 is pretty impressive, although even by my standards it sounds like overkill.

Quote:
Well, it is a highly mathematical process with so many possible implementations.
Well, I know that, but what I mean is for such a widely used format, it's taken until now to come up with easy to encode high quality MP3's. Most people don't understand VBR, let alone alt preset whatever.


Quote:
Hehe, no and no. I mean, you just linked that HA thread... and its only one of many more like it. People in that forum get rather tired of all the "newfangled" command line combinations that newbies come up with and try to claim as THE BEST!
Yeah, I tried to ignore that stuff. Not very useful

So, V2's the recommended standard, that's good to hear.

I'm also glad you've put time into working on this, Moguta

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Spikey
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Old Jun 15, 2007, 04:24 AM Local time: Jun 15, 2007, 07:54 PM #33 of 108
An update:

The latest version of LAME is LAME 3.98b3, and a very easy to use (not command line) interface is LAMEDrop, which can be found here (at the newly designed Rarewares.org page):

http://www.rarewares.org/mp3-lamedrop.php

If you're anal and *must* use a "100% stable" program, there's a 3.97 version as well. But people wouldn't release public beta's and keep updating them if they were worse (hint: 3.98b3 = best MP3 encoder out there).

So all you people using old MP3 encoders (before 3.97), grab LAMEDrop today, it's as easy as you can imagine!

- Spike

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Moguta
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 03:28 PM #34 of 108
But people wouldn't release public beta's and keep updating them if they were worse (hint: 3.98b3 = best MP3 encoder out there).
Then, using your logic, because there's an update out there with a higher version number, by that fact alone it must be better than all versions that came before it? Have you ever heard of "version regression"? For example, LAME 3.90 had been recommended as the preferred version over LAME 3.93 because of a regression in quality. And numerous programs have had flaws introduced, or re-introduced, in successive versions. It's pretty much an inevitable part of developing complex, and even sometimes simple, programs.

And when we're talking about perceptive audio encoders, something so difficult to objectively evaluate, where the "better"-ness of a program is based on how it sounds to the human ear, something not measurable by a computer nor even easily objectified by humans themselves, it needs thorough testing to ensure that the changes introduced have indeed improved the overall quality.

Thank you for the news of the new 3rd beta of 3.98, but as of now, 3.97 stable remains the recommended version of LAME both at HydrogenAudio and in this guide.
Also, thanks for letting us know about the RareWares site redesign. It seems I will need to update the links in my first post.

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Last edited by Moguta; Jun 17, 2007 at 03:53 PM.
Dee
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Old Jun 18, 2007, 09:40 AM Local time: Jun 18, 2007, 09:40 AM #35 of 108
I'm getting a weird error from EAC. I recently installed it on my work computer (currently posting from it), and this is what I get when I try to compress it:



(I know image quality sucks... don't have photoshop on this computer!). It looks similar to the other person's error on the first page. I still have all the wav files when I ripped the CDs. Any suggestions?

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Moguta
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 09:30 PM #36 of 108
I'm getting a weird error from EAC. I recently installed it on my work computer (currently posting from it), and this is what I get when I try to compress it:

http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/9606/untitlednq5.jpg

(I know image quality sucks... don't have photoshop on this computer!). It looks similar to the other person's error on the first page. I still have all the wav files when I ripped the CDs. Any suggestions?
Judging from the command line it's attempting to pass, it appears that you have your Parameter Passing Scheme ("EAC" menu -> Compression Options -> External Compression tab) set to "LAME MP3 Encoder". It should be set to "User Defined Encoder", at the very bottom of the list.

Hope that helps!

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Spikey
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 10:13 PM Local time: Jun 22, 2007, 01:43 PM #37 of 108
Moguta:

Quote:
Then, using your logic, because there's an update out there with a higher version number, by that fact alone it must be better than all versions that came before it? Have you ever heard of "version regression"? For example, LAME 3.90 had been recommended as the preferred version over LAME 3.93 because of a regression in quality. And numerous programs have had flaws introduced, or re-introduced, in successive versions. It's pretty much an inevitable part of developing complex, and even sometimes simple, programs.

And when we're talking about perceptive audio encoders, something so difficult to objectively evaluate, where the "better"-ness of a program is based on how it sounds to the human ear, something not measurable by a computer nor even easily objectified by humans themselves, it needs thorough testing to ensure that the changes introduced have indeed improved the overall quality.
I take your point man. I'm going to be using b4 because it has advantages over 3.97, and I use high bitrates (apparently there's no issues with b3/4 at high bitrates).

And Moguta- maybe you should consider recommending LAMEDrop, not command line utilities. Then noone is using switches, everyone's using a simple to follow VBR method and it's easy to explain to newbies.

Quote:
Thank you for the news of the new 3rd beta of 3.98, but as of now, 3.97 stable remains the recommended version of LAME both at HydrogenAudio and in this guide.
Also, thanks for letting us know about the RareWares site redesign. It seems I will need to update the links in my first post.
Don't forget, Wiki's at HA are quite often out of date People have lives.
For example, the recommended Vorbis encoder is an inferior encoder to the best (stable I might add) one out there (it's not even on RareWares!).

No problem man, we're ultimately in agreement I think. <offers hand to shake>

- Spike

I was speaking idiomatically.

Last edited by Spikey; Jun 26, 2007 at 11:27 PM.
Moguta
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 11:28 PM #38 of 108
I take your point man. I'm going to be using b4 because it has advantages over 3.97, and I use high bitrates (apparently there's no issues with b3/4 at high bitrates).
I'm not sure "no issues" is quite accurate. All lossy codecs tend to have audio issues, and I did see some early comparisons in a HA thread where it seemed that 3.98 improved the handling of some problem samples and receded in others. Although, it's probably true that there are no major, glaring issues.

And Moguta- maybe you should consider recommending LAMEDrop, not command line utilities. Then noone is using switches, everyone's using a simple to follow VBR method and it's easy to explain to newbies.
That might be a good idea, at least for those who want to only encode from WAV. I've just never liked the *drop interface (no menu or buttons?), and some may find transcoding useful. But I'll consider.

For example, the recommended Vorbis encoder is an inferior encoder to the best (stable I might add) one out there (it's not even on RareWares!).
o.O I'm not sure what you mean by that. I thought AoTuV beta5 was the latest Vorbis, unless you're referring to all the chipset-optimized compiles.

No problem man, we're ultimately in agreement I think. <offers hand to shake>
I think so, too. No hard feelings here. *Shakels*

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?


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sabbey
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Old Jun 30, 2007, 05:08 PM Local time: Jun 30, 2007, 02:08 PM #39 of 108
Anyone upgrade to the latest version of Exact Audio Copy, V0.99 prebeta1? Wondering if it's worth upgrading to...

How ya doing, buddy?
Moguta
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Old Jul 1, 2007, 12:47 PM #40 of 108
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=55852
Here's the list of new features, although most people probably don't need to worry about them. The addition of AccurateRip, however, is a quick additional method to ensure the security of your rips.

You'll also notice some bug reports in the topic I just listed, although seemingly only with a couple of the new features. Personally, I'd advise waiting just a little while, until bugs can be found and ironed out.

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sabbey
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Old Jul 3, 2007, 06:47 PM Local time: Jul 3, 2007, 03:47 PM #41 of 108
That's what I plan on doing, but do want to try out AccurateRip and couldn't figure out how to set it up with the last release...

Oh well, I already have two different versions of EAC installed, I can wait!

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Spikey
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Old Jul 4, 2007, 01:44 AM Local time: Jul 4, 2007, 05:14 PM #42 of 108
Yeah, I'm going to get a new EAC pretty soon
Gotta love that proggie.

Quote:
I'm not sure "no issues" is quite accurate. All lossy codecs tend to have audio issues, and I did see some early comparisons in a HA thread where it seemed that 3.98 improved the handling of some problem samples and receded in others. Although, it's probably true that there are no major, glaring issues.
By "no issues" I meant no problems compared to 'stable' 3.97, not that it's lossless or anything :P


The early comparisons relate to 3.98a, if I'm not mistaken, or older 3.98b versions.

At high VBR bitrates (which we should use as the norm), 3.98b4 is a better encoder. But it's not really worth changing the recommended version until the next stable one comes out, I agree.

Quote:
That might be a good idea, at least for those who want to only encode from WAV. I've just never liked the *drop interface (no menu or buttons?), and some may find transcoding useful. But I'll consider.
Why do you need buttons?
And, all the menu's can be accessed by right-clicking the program once opened.


I think it's much easier for the average user (I use it ), plus, it's easier to get good quality music out of it- no silly custom switches or nonsense like that, you select a bitrate (e.g. 220) and VBR and away you go (as well as tagging options where appropriate, etc).


Quote:
o.O I'm not sure what you mean by that. I thought AoTuV beta5 was the latest Vorbis, unless you're referring to all the chipset-optimized compiles.
Hehe, pepoluan from HA upgraded the Wiki after I wrote that post (not because of me, there was a debate on HA subsequently and coincidentally). b5 is now recommended. At the time of posting they were recommending 4.51.


Thanks for the shake!

- Spike

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VampireHunterD_
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:01 PM #43 of 108
Hey, just wanted to offer my thanks for this fantastic guide! I used a similar one from the GFF forums several years ago... Now I can only wince when people rip with Windows Media Player. Sure it's fast, but it's also crap

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
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Moguta
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 09:38 PM #44 of 108
Thanks for the compliment, and I'm glad you find this guide useful. And, if you'll notice, the very first thing in the guide is "new news" from 2005... so the similar guide you speak of having used is probably a previous version of this one.

While some people -- the mentioned Windows Media Player users included -- may not care much for the quality of their sound as long as notes and voices can be heard, I'm always eager to help those who wish to preserve and revel in every small aural detail of their music!

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Taka
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Old Oct 20, 2007, 06:30 PM #45 of 108
Here's a little history: When I first started encoding to VBR from lossless sources, I used Lame 3.90.3 with the APS (Alt Preset Standard) preset then I switched to Lame 3.97 and used the V2 preset (not --vbr-new) which I believe is the same as APS. Now I've been using this encoding setup for some time (around a year) and I've had no complaints with it.

However, I've been hearing that --vbr-new is recommended over normal vbr. I recently encoded 2 MP3s (of the same song) one with the normal vbr preset and the other with the --vbr-new preset and I've haven't noticed any difference in quality at all, just that --vbr-new is a little faster when encoding.

I've also heard that artefacts are more worse with --vbr-new then normal vbr but some sources say that --vbr-new is better quality overall than normal vbr.

So, I was wondering, should I make the switch to --vbr-new?

I was speaking idiomatically.

Last edited by Taka; Oct 20, 2007 at 06:37 PM.
Moguta
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Old Oct 21, 2007, 10:21 PM #46 of 108
Hydrogen Audio currently recommends --vbr-new because of the noticably quicker encode speed and because in their listening tests, quality generally either slightly improved or was no noticeably different. I'd say go right ahead.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?


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placebo
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Old Nov 23, 2007, 05:58 PM #47 of 108
Lightbulb

please, could someone tell the equivalent supa-high quality audio settings (windows, LAME, conversion from CUE (FLAC or APE) to tagged mp3's) for

foobar2000?

i have only foobar2000, no other tools.

FELIPE NO

Last edited by placebo; Nov 24, 2007 at 07:09 AM.
Moguta
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Old Nov 26, 2007, 09:08 PM #48 of 108
Sure. Using the latest version of foobar2000 (0.9.4.5), open the Preferences tree under the File menu.
Find and click Converter, directly under Tools.
Check the existing Encoding Presets for the text MP3 (LAME) | 190Kbps | V2, fast.
If it already exists, use that and skip the next step.
If not, click Add New, select the MP3 (LAME) encoder from the drop-down, move the quality slider to ~190Kbps (*) V2, and activate Fast Mode (--vbr-new).

Now, whenever you right-click and Convert your music, select MP3 (LAME), 190Kbps, V2, fast from the drop-down, make sure ReplayGain Processing and DSP Processing are OFF, and let it start chuggin' away!

How ya doing, buddy?


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Lousy
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 05:52 PM Local time: Feb 18, 2008, 12:52 AM #49 of 108
Hello Moguta,

is the LAME V2 better than LAME CBR 192? Many/Most files which i encoded with LAME V2 have an average bitrate of ~160; only few reach an average of 190+. So those 160-VBR's, are they indeed better than a potential CD-rip to 192-CBR?

192-CBR (=average is 192) is higher than ~160 (=average is 160). Isnt higher better? That's why i am asking..

Thanks, best, Lousy

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Old Feb 17, 2008, 06:31 PM Local time: Feb 18, 2008, 12:31 AM #50 of 108
VBR modes are better tuned in general. There is no extensive work done on the CBR encoding modes, simply because encoding in CBR is deprecated anyway. You don't use CBR if you don't have to.
If you want to gain maximum quality use VBR V0.

You still have the option to use a freeformat stream encoding, allowing bitrates above 320kbit/s - but as I stated in several other threads: the MP3 encoding algorithms has some flaws by design, flaws that won't go away by simply increasing the bitrate. It's the way MP3 was designed and VBR V0 takes it too the limit by balacing filesize and encoding quality.

If you want more quality change the encoding format to something like Ogg Vorbis or AAC. If you want to stay with MP3 and use a modern/recent audio playing device -> use VBR V0

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