High BR mp3 vs High BR ogg vs lossless
Nov 21, 2008 at 8:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

thoughtcriminal

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Let me first state I have no way of really testing this myself, as my DAP does not support ogg or flac, and since getting my new cans, I've noticed my notebook sounds pretty horrific. I have no external DAC, so thats out as well.

However, come my next portable upgrade, all the players I'm looking at support ogg and flac.

Right now, all my portable music is stored in mp3 format, 192k at a minimum, most 256k or higher, Constant bit rate.

Because of space constraints, Flac won't be an option for everyday portable listening.

What I'm wondering is if it will be worth it to rerip my collection to, say 400k average BR ogg? will I hear a noticable increase in quality? (for arguement, lets assume I'm using a Cowon D2)
Due to the VBR nature of ogg, I'm hoping they won't be much larger than my current mp3s.

Also, can the top quality ogg rate (500k) reach a level of sound quality as to be nearly indistinguishable from lossless compression?
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 10:33 PM Post #2 of 8

nick_charles

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thoughtcriminal /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What I'm wondering is if it will be worth it to rerip my collection to, say 400k average BR ogg? will I hear a noticable increase in quality?


My meta analysis of (published controlled) listening tests indicates a roughly 2% probability that you will be able to detect a difference. Lots of people swear blind they can hear a difference between high bitrate codecs, when blind tested the number able to actually detect differences drops to about 2%

I personally am not in this 2% but I am neither jealous or resentful of those who are.

Quote:

Also, can the top quality ogg rate (500k) reach a level of sound quality as to be nearly indistinguishable from lossless compression?


Never having used ogg vorbis I cannot comment on this. But nearly indistinguishable is somewhat vague, my nearly indistinguishable may be very distinguishable from your nearly indistinguishable.

No doubt there are some controlled listening test results out there but I havent read them...hey this is the science forum after all
biggrin.gif
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 11:23 PM Post #3 of 8

krmathis

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You should not that Ogg is a multimedia container, which can hold both lossless (FLAC) and lossy (Vorbis, Speex, ..) encoded audio. And even video if you like.
To cause less confusion you should refer to 'Ogg Vorbis', since it seems like you talk about lossy compression here.

Regarding audible differences between lossy and lossless audio I highly recommend you encode some test samples and give it a listen. Cause we all have different music, gear, and especially different set of ears. What is transparent to some, can be non-transparent to others.

But its safe to say that higher bitrate (for lossy audio) = less data loss ,and hence less risk of audible difference.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 1:11 AM Post #4 of 8
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Nov 22, 2008 at 1:56 AM Post #5 of 8

thoughtcriminal

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Have a look at this:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f15/lo...-p-7-a-225356/

That'll give you a visual idea. If you're going to rip lossy, I'd suggest LAME V0 as your best option.



wow, that certainly is interesting. I'm a little disappointed with the ogg vorbis results. I guess I'll use Lame V0 to rerip my lower bitrate files, and keep the high BR files
Thanks to all for your replies
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 12:11 PM Post #6 of 8

krmathis

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Yeah, I think going LAME V0 is a nice move.
LAME is a well regarded MP3 encoder, and provide great software/hardware compatibility. To me the obvious move when going above 320Kbps lossy would be lossless (Apple Lossless or FLAC), and not Ogg Vorbis at 500Kbps.

Enjoy!
 
Nov 26, 2008 at 10:06 PM Post #7 of 8

Pio2001

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thoughtcriminal /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What I'm wondering is if it will be worth it to rerip my collection to, say 400k average BR ogg? will I hear a noticable increase in quality? (for arguement, lets assume I'm using a Cowon D2)
Due to the VBR nature of ogg, I'm hoping they won't be much larger than my current mp3s.



You may or may not hear a quality improvement according to your sensitivity. But mp3 CBR at 160 or 192 kbps has audible problems.

So if you listen very carefully, you should hear an improvement. However, the improvement will basically be the same if you just switch to mp3 or Vorbis VBR around 200 kbps. Vorbis 400 kbps is a waste of space. All it can achieve vs Vorbis 200 kbps is removing a glitch that you may hear during one second, once every 30 CD ripped.

400 kbps VBR is 400 kbps. It takes the same place as 400 kbps CBR. The bitrate is an average value, not a max value.
This average value can vary a bit. The real bitrate is usually lower on classical, and higher on pop music.

Quote:

Originally Posted by thoughtcriminal /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Also, can the top quality ogg rate (500k) reach a level of sound quality as to be nearly indistinguishable from lossless compression?


Yes, to my knowledge, nobody in the world has ever been able to distinguish Vorbis -q10 from a lossless sample in a double blind listening test.

-q9 was achieved once (here : http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=57785 )

In comparison, distinguishing Lame 320 kbps from lossless is quite common. For example here :
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=59645
And here too :
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=59461

At lower bitrates, Vorbis is usually superior to mp3 :
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=36465

Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Have a look at this:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f15/lo...-p-7-a-225356/

That'll give you a visual idea. If you're going to rip lossy, I'd suggest LAME V0 as your best option.



Nice pictures, but they give absolutely no idea of the sound quality. The purpose of a lossy codec is to remove the most possible frequencies with the smallest possible audible impact.
They massively use psycho-acoustic masking, so that most of the degradation visible on the pictures are actually inaudible, except some bits of it. The problem is that the picture can't tell which degradation falls within the masked zone, and which doesn't.
 
Nov 26, 2008 at 10:58 PM Post #8 of 8

chinesekiwi

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Well, I have a Cowon D2 and most of my stuff is Vorbis -q8 and it's really hard, to make a difference between lossless and -q8 for me. I can tell the difference between mp3 and Vorbis easily. (Vorbis has a much more warmer sound and much more definition and depth. Details are the same though.).

Anyway, high BR Ogg is redundant IMO.

I'd go Vorbis if I was you.

For lower bitrates e.g. speech purposes, Vorbis is not good as it's not designed for that. Vorbis is designed for higher bitrates (e.g. 128kbps and up).

For lower bitrates, in fact, WMA and Speex is best for lossy purposes.
 

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