Best digital format?
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Guyferd

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Yeah.. I will rip alot of cds soon...
with either of these formats:
with Lame 3.92 192 kbps..
or Ogg vorbis
or Monkey's Audio -> what's this
or Windows Media player 8

which one will give the pure cd-quality sound?
thanks alot!
 
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aeberbach

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Monkeys Audio is a lossless format whereas all the others are lossy, i.e. they discard some information. Monkeys Audio is like the WAV format but uses a better form of compression. This isn't so surprising when you think that the original CD format was developed close on 20 years ago.
Personally I use MP3 VBR with minimum bitrate 128k. I can't tell the difference.
WMA I've never really looked into, but I read it's not up to MP3 standards.
Ogg Vorbis I haven't tried. Mostly I haven't tried it because it doesn't work in any of the portable players I've owned. The recommendation of free software fanatics on slashdot is not a plus.
 
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Jackangel

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Of course, nothing can compete with lossless compression formats like Monkey's Audio (.ape files) in terms of transparency, but you're likely to get around 2:1 compression, perhaps a bit better if you use the option for highest compression (which takes longer). There are other lossless codecs which are popular these days, like lpac and flac (if I remember correctly). It's likely that you'll want more out of your storage space than that, however. Many people think ogg is better than mp3 at higher bitrates, but that the real strength of ogg is at low (<128kbps) bitrates. However, for high (>=192kbps) bitrate encoding, mpc (Musepack) is considered the best. One of its downsides is that it isn't nearly as widely-supported as mp3 or even ogg, and certainly not in the average portable player. You should look into mpc before deciding, however.

These are just my impressions based on what I've read. Places like www.hydrogenaudio.org have a number of forums dedicated to various compression schemes.

piece,
rp:AUM
 
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TimSchirmer

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DAT!

Oh, you mean on computers...

umm... wav? i don't know!
 
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JMS

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I have done a test using "proper" comparison procedures as described in my post in a previous thread: http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showt...threadid=20223
and in my opinion, Ogg Vorbis at 128kbps (nominal) is worse than MP3. There is one track where the symbol has a rather noticeably strange decay under OV but not under LAME/MP3/128kbps. I have not yet found one such instance in the MP3 tracks. Based on my limited testing, my opinion is that OV is just hype.
 
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Ruahrc

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I previously had all of my music in EAC/LAME 3.92 192CBR. They were great, and with my newbie ears they were CD quality.

Just recently, however, I switched over to VBR encoding. I guess it makes more sense- since you can get the extra fidelity in the "heavy" parts of the track by sacrificing fidelity on the "easy" parts.

I originally was doing them all over with the "--r3mix" preset (Average bitrate ~180kbps YMMV) but I kept getting songs with really low bitrates i.e. ~128. So I decided to try "--alt-preset standard" (Average bitrate ~192) Those would have been plenty for me but then I figured well I mind as well prepare for the future, so I went ahead and did them all in "--alt-preset extreme" and my average bitrate is about 240-250.

(Keep in mind that my 192 files were fine, but I wanted to bury the issue in my mind and just encode them at a quality where I should never need to upgrade it)

One downside to this preset extreme is that on my iPod the HD will be spinning up more often to refill the buffer, reducing my battery life. I have some files that are 16MB in size meaning every 2 songs it has to spin up.

As far as the other formats: from what I heard windows media puts a lowpass at about 15KHz or so meaning they all sound warm. Ogg and the others were not supported on portabes so for my usage I had to go mp3.

HTH

Ruahrc

P.S. it has been said that a study was conducted in Germany using 300 "Audiophiles" and top grade equipment (Orpheus, B&W Nautilus 803, etc) and they concluded that LAME CBR of 256kbps was the threshold of CD quality (i.e. anything at 256 CBR or greater was indistinguishable from the original CD) --taken from www.r3mix.net under "Quality"-- so if you want to be safe and be assured of CD quality then maybe go 256k or alt preset extreme
 
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Guyferd

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Thanks for all the reply.

I think I should go for the LAME 192kbps CBR. They are indistinguishable from cds to me...
I would try the monkey's audio some other time ..
 
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MTRH

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joint stereo - Always!
And use "--alt-preset cbr 192" if you insist using 192CBR.
Did you give "--alt-preset fast standard" a try?

btw. I should point out that MPC is superior already from "--standard" which could be as low as ~140kbit, bits are irrelevant; suffiecient bits are allocated for sample given.
 
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Guyferd

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what's the difference of joint stereo and stereo?
please forgive my ignorance.
I'm a newbie when it comes to this :d
 
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MTRH

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it's the difference of having two channels - always, or having two channels only when there is an percievable difference between the two. Thus saving lots of bits for a single mid channeö which ofcourse, will yield in a better sounding copy.
 
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