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Dnix
Sep 7, 2013, 11:03 PM
I encoded an album, using various "common" settings:


256 CBR
320 CBR
256 Constrained VBR
320 Constrained VBR
True VBR 110
True VBR 127


What the heck, I don't know which to choose. They all sound too similar. Even the so-called "CBR" behaves almost identical to the "Constrained VBR" as far as bitrate fluctuations. Apparently, that is just the nature of AAC.

My initial instinct was use 256 Constrained VBR, match the maximum iTunes quality, and call it a day. But some people on the internets swear by the True VBR.

What do you guys use?



QuarterSwede
Sep 7, 2013, 11:13 PM
On the rare chance I have a CD to rip (once a year?) I use iTunes and the iTunes Plus setting. Anything 256 AAC+ is indistinguishable from raw source. I don't care if you have golden ears, you can't hear a difference. Human hearing just isn't that good (more so the older one gets).

Nermal
Sep 7, 2013, 11:22 PM
I use afconvert, because I'm OCD and I like my files to match those that Apple sells through iTunes.

afconvert source.wav intermediate.caf -d 0 -f caff --soundcheck-generate
afconvert intermediate.caf -d aac -f m4af -u pgcm 2 --soundcheck-read -b 256000 -q 127 -s 2 final.m4a

There's a droplet in the mastering tools (http://images.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/docs/apple_audio_mastering_tools.zip) that makes this much easier :)

Dnix
Sep 7, 2013, 11:41 PM
Basically the Max VBR-C 256 setting should also produce an identical (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=70405) file.

Anyway, sounds to me like you guys are saying just go with iTunes quality...

ChrisA
Sep 8, 2013, 01:48 PM
...
What do you guys use?

Apple lossless. Why would I buy a CD and them save it as a lower quality file?

Any AAC bit rate is less then the quality of a lossless format. Disk space cost only 5 cents per gigabyte, compressing the file saves about 1/10th of a cent is disk storage cost.

Nermal
Sep 8, 2013, 02:40 PM
Disk space cost only 5 cents per gigabyte, compressing the file saves about 1/10th of a cent is disk storage cost.

With a traditional hard drive, yes. With an iPhone or similar, the storage cost is about 100 times as expensive.

Dnix
Sep 8, 2013, 03:12 PM
Apple lossless. Why would I buy a CD and them save it as a lower quality file?

Any AAC bit rate is less then the quality of a lossless format. Disk space cost only 5 cents per gigabyte, compressing the file saves about 1/10th of a cent is disk storage cost.

The AAC versions are for portable devices that aren't powerful enough to drive any "serious" audio gear. And the smaller files just stream & cache quicker with iSub.

I use a combination of lossless and vinyl at home. I usually grab the MP3's from somewhere. But I thought I'd try encoding some AAC files, with the settings of my choice.

With a traditional hard drive, yes. With an iPhone or similar, the storage cost is about 100 times as expensive.

Yes, there is also that.

QuarterSwede
Sep 8, 2013, 03:39 PM
OP, where do you do most of your listening?

Dnix
Sep 8, 2013, 05:17 PM
OP, where do you do most of your listening?

I don't know. Maybe 60% in my room, 40% while on the bus or something.

QuarterSwede
Sep 9, 2013, 04:39 PM
I don't know. Maybe 60% in my room, 40% while on the bus or something.
What kind of setup do you listen on in your room?

Dnix
Sep 9, 2013, 08:00 PM
What kind of setup do you listen on in your room?

Nothing super fancy, I hope one day to get better gear. A separate processor and amp, like Outlaw. Better headphones and/or speakers.


Basic AV receiver (Onkyo)
Slightly modified 1200MK2
Raspberry Pi (MPD) + iPad / iPhone remote
Alessandro cans