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View Full Version : Bit Rate.




Shaneuk
Nov 12, 2010, 03:46 AM
I keep reading things about bit rate on here and different formats to put your music in. I just use Mp3 at the moment and I was wondering if using any different formats really makes that much difference to the sound quality?



firestarter
Nov 12, 2010, 04:06 AM
Generally speaking:

mp3 is an older format. 128kb/s mp3 and below starts to sound noticeably bad to most people.

aac is a newer format. 128kb/s sounds OK to most, and can also fare better than mp3 at lower.

You should really do your own tests to see what you like. Personally I think 256kb/s mp3 or aac sounds pretty indistinguishable from CD - although for certain tracks I can still hear the difference clearly. I can clearly hear that 128kb/s is poor both with mp3 and aac.

I find that compression shows most clearly on high frequency tones (cymbals etc.) when there's complicated music in the background.

Shaneuk
Nov 12, 2010, 05:21 AM
Okay thanks. Does anyone have any other formats, or any comparisons?

firestarter
Nov 12, 2010, 05:48 AM
http://tinyurl.com/32udmsb

Shaneuk
Nov 12, 2010, 06:19 AM
http://tinyurl.com/32udmsb

Don't you think I've tried that? Googling something is the first thing I would do. Everything all the searches came up with means nothing to me. I guess it was too much to ask for some help.

firestarter
Nov 12, 2010, 06:53 AM
Don't you think I've tried that? Googling something is the first thing I would do. Everything all the searches came up with means nothing to me. I guess it was too much to ask for some help.

Well I told you about the two main formats on the Mac, but your reply seemed pretty dismissive. If you want formats to use on iPods etc. then you're stuck with aac, mp3 or Apple lossless - so information about anything else will be a waste of time.

Give some more details. What are you trying to do? Have you experimented yourself with different compression to see if you can hear the difference?

Shaneuk
Nov 12, 2010, 08:41 AM
Well I told you about the two main formats on the Mac, but your reply seemed pretty dismissive. If you want formats to use on iPods etc. then you're stuck with aac, mp3 or Apple lossless - so information about anything else will be a waste of time.

Give some more details. What are you trying to do? Have you experimented yourself with different compression to see if you can hear the difference?

Oh right, I didn't know they where the main ones, like I said I don't know much about it. What I was on about with the second post is what about FLAC and some of the formats which I keep seeing in posts.

I have had a listen between Mp3 128 and Mp3 192 I think, honestly I can't really hear a difference. Basically I just want to see all the options I have for compressing music.

firestarter
Nov 12, 2010, 08:50 AM
FLAC won't work on an iPod. You could use Apple Lossless, but it would take 8x more disk space than an mp3.

Your best option is probably to choose 160 kb/s aac and stick with it. It's a pretty good compromise between space used and sound quality.

Personally, I import everything using Apple Lossless, and then cross-convert them to 250kb/s VBR LAME mp3s which I use on my iPods. I keep the Apple Lossless, 'cos I don't ever want to be re-importing.

jampat
Nov 12, 2010, 09:13 AM
Oh right, I didn't know they where the main ones, like I said I don't know much about it. What I was on about with the second post is what about FLAC and some of the formats which I keep seeing in posts.

I have had a listen between Mp3 128 and Mp3 192 I think, honestly I can't really hear a difference. Basically I just want to see all the options I have for compressing music.

Space is cheap now (especially for audio, even high bit rate encodes are small). I always encode for the future, 128 sounds fine on the terrible stock earbuds, but through a decent system or good IEM's sounds quite horrendous. Re-encoding is a giant time commitment that I would rather not do. Just something to keep in mind

darkplanets
Nov 12, 2010, 10:02 AM
I use 320 MP3 CBR and lossless, although admittedly much of that is FLAC, not ALAC. I have to get around to converting it someday.

Anything below 320 sounds poor to horrendous, at least in my opinion.

FixYouriTunes
Nov 12, 2010, 11:02 AM
I work in the music/entertainment and media industry and am constantly delivering audio files, songs, beats etc to clients and most clients prefer to receive 320 mp3s. I personally think those sound pretty darn good.

They sound pretty darn good that most of my clients (who produce television, ads, videos etc) don't even bother to write and ask for a higher quality audio file like an AIFF or WAV file because the 320 MP3 sounds so good.

I have personally started to import all of my music in 320 and will most likely have to go back and reimport all of my older music in this bit rate.

That's my two cents!

Rawkfist
Nov 12, 2010, 05:24 PM
Go to www.computeraudiophile.com and www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com and poke around. You will learn more than you need to know about bit rates and computer audio. I still don't understand everything I know.