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Best Audio Format


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6 replies to this topic

#1 ComputerMan23

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 08:48 PM

so which is the best format. i have some of wma's at 192kbps, which is nice. but i have some mp3's at 320kbps. which is the better and why, plus which bitrate is the best. :thumbsup: thanks. also is the Loseless good too?

thanks.


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#2 -David-

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 12:41 PM

Hi ComputerMan23

There are many views over this topic, but i'll throw in my two cents.

Plus which bitrate is the best?

Personally i like the 192kbs bit rate. I think that 320 is going over the top and means the file sizes are very large and you can only get a small amount of music into a certain space. Also, on the other end of the spectrum, 128 is not enough quality and can break up at higher volumes. The 192kbs is a happy medium in one way.

Which is the best format?

I prefer Mp3 or AAC. They all perform well, but i use itunes and other such programs which download the files as standard in MP3.

Also is the Loseless good too?

I don't have too much experience with this, but did try it out for a while. I don't compress my music at all so i wouldn't really know :thumbsup: Take a read here. This link gives a good summary of the various compression techniques, and goes into more detail than i could possibly offer.

:flowers: So to recap, in my opinion it should go something like:
-Mp3/AAC
-192 bit/rate.
-Your choice of compression.


Hope this helps :trumpet:
David

#3 ComputerMan23

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 05:20 PM

Sweet ok, im getting a 60gb ipod soon, so i was unsure what is the best of best. :thumbsup:

Thanks Dave!

#4 Sprite_Feedback

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 09:25 PM

Asking what the 'best' anything is a loaded question. Like what is the best car etc.
It all depends on what you want to do with the music format.

If you want to archive your audio then you should choose a lossless format as that way in the future when you want to convert to another format, very few formats last forever, you can convert them without loosing any quality. Conversly if you convert something to a lossy format you cannot convert it again to another lossy format without loosing even more quality.

If all you want to do is transfer your music to your portable audio player then it might be better to use a lossy format, especially as very few portable players have support for lossless formats.

I almost always use a lossy format, mostly FLAC, especially now that HDD space is soo cheap and also because i find ripping my own cd's a tedious process that should only be done once ever. However if i just want to shove some songs on my phone i use mp3. Also if i am going to give some audio files to a friend i will usually convert to mp3 using the LAME encoder considered to be the highest quality mp3 encoder by many audiophile sites on the net. For my on use in the past i have used ogg vorbis (lossy) and APE (lossless).

The mp3 format is the most portable music format as I am not aware of any portable player/operating system that will not play them. WMV is a microsoft only format and as such is much more restrictive, although it does have a lossless setting on it is not reccommended for archival use.

The bit rate on lossy formats is indicitive of the quality setting of the file. The highest AFAIK for lossy formats, at least it is for mp3, is 320kbs which is as close as it can get to being lossless. So in your case the 320kbs mp3s should be 'better' quality than the 192kbs wmvs (this depends on the source audio being of equal quality and the applications used to convert being set up propperly, correct codecs used etc). Now you may or may not be able to tell the difference and i freely admit that i cant tell the difference very often, if at all, between a good vbr 192 mp3 and a lossless file but if you convert the mp3 file to another lossy format you very quickly start to hear the difference.

I have never used an IPOD and I hate itunes with a passion but i would presume that you would be best keeping the mp3's rather than the wmvs as IPOD, being MAC oriented prefer apple's aac over wmvs but as said above mp3s work with everything.


apologise if this doesnt make sense. I will try and have a look at it tommorrow after some sleep and give it a clean up. :thumbsup:

g

#5 BlackSpyder

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 09:55 PM

.Atec is usually how my files end up. Since I have a MiniDisc player and thats the way it likes the files to be. Most times I rip CD's to an MP3 and then let it Sonic convert them when I move them to MD. For an IPOD I imagine either OGG or MP3 would work (find the most compression if your worried about the disc space.) Usually 128 KHz is what I rip at and the sound quailty is good. (Headphones always make anything sound bad.) OGG works with Fedora Core right from the go. However MP3's require special programs to play. So if you have Fedora Core or Red Hat Linux it would be better to use .OGG

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#6 nosnhoj#3

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 06:25 AM

Hey there,

I have several Gigs of MP3 files on my PC, and I needed to convert them to another format so I could upload them to my phone. I fought for awhile with the inability to create a good sound and still have a small file, then I figured it out.

I started playing around with .m4a or .aac, and although it is not the base format for the bulk of my music, I was impressed. I am able to convert a 320KB MP3 at 44100, into a 32KB .m4a at 8000, and the quality is great.

However, I am not saying that the music that you listen to everyday should be broke down to those specs, in fact, at a 192KB rate, the quality is awesome, and the file is smaller than MP3 format, hence the emergence of ipods and other players.

MP3 format definitely has the monopoly for versatility, but .m4a is starting to become a basic format, and I suspect in the near future we will see more and more equipment supporting it. I am not sure of the exact specifications, but I do know that .m4a can be compressed quite a bit more than mp3 and still preserve the same sound.

The basic principle withMP3 is that 128KB is CD quality, meaning that in the compression process, frequencies above a certain level are removed, for the simple fact that the human ear has a difficult time processing those particular frequencies anyway. This is where .m4a comes in. The compression process is much more accurate in the removal of the "Noise" that we are not able to notice.

I think that this is not so much a debate, but more of a preference, cause if I could compile 8 or 9 full CD's on one disc, and my car stereo supported .m4a, naturally I would lean that way, as apposed to .MP3 allowing 4 or 5 full albums per CD.

I have also heard that it's possible that DVD+RW will replace CD-R or CDRW, and I have played around a little bit with this. I burned a 4.7GB disc of music and it retained all the ID3 tags and quality. The only problem right now is the lack of equipment available for the disc to play on, as far as I know, they only work on PC's, but I could be wrong. So as much as I like the .m4a format, most all my music will stay as MP3's, and I will just wait till the technology catches up.

Sorry for the rambling, It's bed time.

nos :thumbsup:
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And when I'm wrong, I could have been right....
So I'm still right, cause I could have been wrong.

#7 Sprite_Feedback

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 11:18 AM

However, I am not saying that the music that you listen to everyday should be broke down to those specs, in fact, at a 192KB rate, the quality is awesome, and the file is smaller than MP3 format, hence the emergence of ipods and other players.


AFAIK Apple have gone with the aac so that they can have their own format, like MS have gone with wmv, also with the capacity on portable audio devices growing all the time there will come a time that you will be not be able to fill the capacity with all your music and quality will become more important

The basic principle withMP3 is that 128KB is CD quality, meaning that in the compression process, frequencies above a certain level are removed, for the simple fact that the human ear has a difficult time processing those particular frequencies anyway. This is where .m4a comes in. The compression process is much more accurate in the removal of the "Noise" that we are not able to notice.


Steady on. This is not the case. While improvements in the various MP3 codecs has lead to an increase in sound quality 128bit is NOT ever considered cd quality. Depending on your set up you can tell the difference betweek 128bit mp3 and a cd. While it is true that the current term is more likely to be 'transparency' as in can you tell the difference between the cd and the cd. From what i gather it is probably somewhere about 192bit vbr that will hit that for most people. Maybe even going as high as 224 but I suppose what you need to do is see what works for you and stick with that.

I have also heard that it's possible that DVD+RW will replace CD-R or CDRW, and I have played around a little bit with this. I burned a 4.7GB disc of music and it retained all the ID3 tags and quality. The only problem right now is the lack of equipment available for the disc to play on, as far as I know, they only work on PC's, but I could be wrong. So as much as I like the .m4a format, most all my music will stay as MP3's, and I will just wait till the technology catches up.


It does this because when you burn a compressed media file to a disc, be it CDR/CDRW/DVDR/DVDRW/HDD/etc/, you are burning it as a data file so it should be an exact copy. The only difference is the capacity of the strorage device and ability of various audio devices to read that format.

g




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