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What level of encoding for smallest sacrifice of quality?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Back in my $10 ear bud days, I'd pop in a CD, rip it into 192Kbps MP3 format, and claim that it was as good as CD-quality. Needless to say, I made head-fi's vomit.

Since I picked up my Grado's I noticed the difference between CD and MP3 quality. I had to abandon all those horrible rips I found off of Napster (rest in peace -- Napster, that is) all together.

So, what level of MP3 encoding is required to really get as-close-as-possible CD quality sound, and yet still have some decent file size space sharing? After all, the reason I even encode is to save space and CD shuffling in the first place.
post #2 of 51
My suggestion is to not listen to MP3's! Heheh. I've never found them to have the fidelity I like.

Okay, if I had to listen to MP3's, I'd encode at the very highest bitrate I could afford to given the storage space of whatever device I'd be using to listen to said MP3's.

I do own a MP3 player (Rio 500), but only use it for Audible audio books.
post #3 of 51
Hard drive space is _darn_ cheap these days, so I usually do 256 or 320 kbit/s encoding for my mp3s. Although, that was a few months ago - I don't even use mp3s anymore (I'm all CD's now!), except for portable listening. On my portable player I use 160 kbit/s and some 128 kbit/s (its a 6 gig player, so I can afford the space ).
post #4 of 51
Thread Starter 
320 kbps? Yikes. I think that's like 80% of the original WAV filesize.

What kind of portable player do you have? Jude handed me down some heinous D-Link unit with like 8,192 bytes of memory (woo.. 8 times more storage than a Timex Sinclair) that makes my Win2K bail.

Hey Jude, want it back?
post #5 of 51
I rip most mp3's at 256k bitrate, since it's only a small loss compared to 320k bitrate and takes up less space. I've got about 60 albums ripped onto my computer right no, and still have more than half the hard drive left. Also, it would be better than 320k on a HD player.

oh, and 320k is way less than 80% of the original wav size. Wav's have a bitrate of 1411k!
post #6 of 51
I have a Personal Jukebox PJB-100 (http://www.pjbox.com/). Its a darn nice player.

Sorry about editing your message, I wanted to see what moderator powers can do
post #7 of 51
Go to www.r3mix.net for some good information.

Here's a summary of that site.
They recomend RazorLame, which is a high quality vbr encoder. For best results go to the experts tab and type "-V1 -mj -h --athtype 3 --lowpass 19.5 -b128 -B320" into the custom options and select the "custom options only" tab.

"-b" is the minimum bitrate and "-B" is the maximum bitrate. "V#" is the quality. You can watch a detailed graph of the file as it encodes and adjust the settings.
post #8 of 51
first, with good headphones, you will always (OK, more or less) be able to distinguish between CDs and MP3s.

with that in mind, if you're at home or at work with all your CDs around, listen to the CDs for the best musical experience.

if you listen to MP3s because you don't like the hassle of inserting and removing CDs, etc etc, and listen to them mainly at your workstation, encode at highest possible bitrate--use EAC, LAME and all that. (although, even at highest bitrate, VBR or CBR, LAME encoded cdparanoia WAV files, Coltrane sounds like ****, and i can't stand it.)

with pop/rock, you will have better luck at lower bitrate. even 128kbps VBR will do. my 128meg RIO sounds fine with decent phones, but i can definitely tell the difference. ah the price i pay for ultra-portability...

i usualy use LAME, 128-256kbps VBR, highest quality, highpass filter around 30 kHz (not sure about this fig). average file size is comparable to 192kbps CBR files.
post #9 of 51
.wavs are 1440kb/second.

320k mp3s are 320k.

They are about 25% the size of a .wav, and sound the same in many cases to my ears, but can still sound worse on many occasions.

If you encode for max quality, use 320k CBR. If you encode for max quality/space for a portable, you want to use the VBR settings someone else mentioned. 192k is fine for a portable. 128 isn't in most cases.
post #10 of 51
I have had good results using the VBR rather than the 320K. In fact some songs sound smoother in the lower 160K mode. But most often it's 192 or 256.
post #11 of 51

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Edited by DickTheRick - 6/13/14 at 5:44am
post #12 of 51
I'll check it out. It sounds good, except I like my music Nomad Jukebox compatible
post #13 of 51
.

Edited by DickTheRick - 6/13/14 at 5:43am
post #14 of 51
Where'd they go >? yEa!
Cool poll

ok -
post #15 of 51
Good recordings, or cds I couldn't replace, I rip to ALAC, then downsample to AAC 224 for the ipod for longer battery life
Average recordings I rip to AAC 224a
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