PDA

View Full Version : What Bitrate should I rip at


kenyabob
Feb 1, 2004, 03:56 PM
I have been ripping my cds at 160kbps in an mp3 format, becuase I hadnt decided whether or not I would get an ipod, so I needed mp3 format so I could use it on all players. I think I will get an ipod, so is 160 kbps on mp3 good enough for cd rips, and if so, what the AAC equivalent, for example is 160 mp3 equal to 128 AAC. What format do you guys rip cds with and at what bitrate?

James Craner
Feb 1, 2004, 04:13 PM
I have an iPod and rip at 192kbps AAC, however the best answer would be to try different rates and choose the lowest rate that you can't hear a significant difference by moving to a higher rate.

kenyabob
Feb 1, 2004, 04:52 PM
How did you ever settle on 192?

bennok
Feb 1, 2004, 05:01 PM
I rip at 128kbps AAC 128 because it frees up space on my iPod, and the quality quite good. Size/Quality ratio is good for the iPod.
Now, I *can* hear the difference between those and mp3s I rip in LAME --alt-preset standard. When I buy a CD, I rip it at both of these bitrates. The AAC goes to the iPod, and the MP3 is for playing through my computer and archiving.

If you're ripping in 160 and the quality is good enough for you, 128 AAC should be higher quality than that.

Hope this helps.

kenyabob
Feb 1, 2004, 05:41 PM
What would a 128 AAC be comparable to in terms of MP3? What bitrate does lame rip at?

bennok
Feb 1, 2004, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by kenyabob
What would a 128 AAC be comparable to in terms of MP3? What bitrate does lame rip at?

I believe apple said that 128 AAC yielded better sound than 192 MP3s. The details of all that is unclear, but iTunes encoding of a 192 MP3 vs. iTunes encoding of 128 AAC file sound very comparable to me.

lame --alt-preset standard is an encoding algorythm(?) that analyzes the source data and picks the best bit rate for each frame of the MP3. So it's variable bit rate, those songs that need higher quality get it, but you end up with the incredible sound at a reasonably small file size. Songs seem to range from about 180kbps to 230kbps, but it depends on what you're encoding. I'm sure you could search on google for more info.

kenyabob
Feb 2, 2004, 06:14 PM
are there no articles available detailing the distinct differences between AAC and MP3. I mean what do most people use, whatever is comfortable?

kenyabob
Feb 2, 2004, 06:42 PM
also whay app do people use to rip using lame?

Jetson
Feb 2, 2004, 11:40 PM
I've settled on ripping CDs at 192kbps AAC.

I'd love to gain the space savings of ripping at 128kbps AAC. However, I have found that some high amplitude source material will record with an unpleasant "gurgling" sound, as though there's not enough headroom and the algorithm doesn't cope with it too well. A few of the songs I purchased from the iTunes Music Store have this problem I noticed. I haven't run into that problem when recording at 192kbps AAC.

Here is a great article showing the frequency analysis of a WAV source with copies coded in AAC, MP3, and WMA. It graphically shows that the AAC codec is superior in terms of matching the original signal resolution and frequency response (from 20Hz-20kHz).

http://www6.tomshardware.com/consumer/20020712/2u4u-05.html

SeaFox
Feb 3, 2004, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by kenyabob
What would a 128 AAC be comparable to in terms of MP3? What bitrate does lame rip at?

There are no hard and fast answers for comparisons. It's like asking what speed Pentium 4 a 1.8 Ghz G5 is equivilant to. These are different codecs and will have different results on differnt kinds of music.

Even if you eventually decide on a given codec/bitrate, you will find some songs sound better than others once compressed. And this can vary on a song by song basis.

I use Audion for encoding in LAME Mp3.

jbembe
Feb 3, 2004, 03:34 PM
Anyone know what the default on iTunes is? I assumed with the updated versions that my new CDs would be ripped into the AAC format automatically, but I didn't check. I normally have everything set at 192 variable...

skymac
Feb 3, 2004, 09:50 PM
Well when i rip a cd to my computer i usually rip at 128-192 for the computer(128 75% of the time) then 112 for the iPod, yes in some songs i hear issues when using my iPod but its not so bad, any lower than 112 however it gets a little sketchy.

Thidranki
Sep 9, 2005, 10:30 PM
The AAC goes to the iPod, and the MP3 is for playing through my computer and archiving.

I haven't heard anything about Apple Lossless and how that compares in size and quality to AAC and MP3.

If your saving your files as both AAC AND MP3, wouldn't that take up uneccessary space? (umm, not quite sure on what archiving is)

rockthecasbah
Sep 9, 2005, 10:44 PM
i would have to agree with the 128ers in the forums...great size / quality. I truthfully cannot notice a difference between that and a cd on stereos let alone headphones...It is very wise to think now about how large your library may become and rip to a moderate size.. :)

ham_man
Sep 9, 2005, 10:47 PM
If you have a PeeCee, the universalist in me would suggest using EAC - LAME set to -preset standard to rip your tracks. If I was in this position though, I would use Apple's AAC VBR encoding set to 192 kbps to rip. And it is in iTunes...

DJY
Sep 9, 2005, 11:04 PM
I am also a 192 AAC man.

iTunes by default from memory rips at 128 (like iTMS).
I played a bit when I first got my iPod.
I found I couldn't notice the difference all the time when playing on my iPod via headphones... but could as soon as I plugged my iPod into different sources, or played music via AirTunes (from my PB) into my home theatre system.

I regularly plug my iPod into stereos, cars, even sound system in lecture halls. My student love it as they arrive - they are never sure what music is going to be pumping out when they arrive!

ammon
Sep 25, 2005, 04:21 PM
If you have cheap head phones you can't tell the difference between 128 and 192. But if you have really nice ones (ie studio head phones) even 192 wont sound very good.

TrenchMouth
Sep 25, 2005, 05:45 PM
I would use Apple's AAC VBR encoding set to 192 kbps to rip. And it is in iTunes...

alright i just noticed that VBR is availible for ACC in iTunes. but it does seem to act a bit differently than it did with the MP3 codec. it does not allow you to change between low medium and high, and it does not show up in the information about a audio file that you rip that you did it with vbr on...so whats the dif between vbr for acc and mp3?

clayj
Sep 25, 2005, 06:31 PM
I rip at 192 kbps... at that rate, you have to be a serious audiophile to be able to tell the difference between the original CD and the ripped file.

h00ligan
Oct 15, 2005, 03:35 AM
I rip at 192 kbps... at that rate, you have to be a serious audiophile to be able to tell the difference between the original CD and the ripped file.


All these people are talking trash about hearing the difference.. Post up some ABX logs then i'll believe it. For *most* popular music you aren't gong to be able to hear the diff from 128 aac to 192. Seriously, download an ABX program and see for yourself. Rip from cd to wav. Convert wav to 128 aac. Convert bac to wav. Export both wav files and abx them - it has to be double blind.

There are also sweep tests to find out where your high pass cutoff is - which iirc 18 is about average. If yo uhave some canalphones lke the er6p's you are more likely to hear a difference.

AAC is night and day to mp3 and i can't pass an abx test on most music between lame and orig or aac 128 and orig.

That said - the tunes you rip yourself seem to sound a LOT better than the ones you buy at 128.


ABX and GET RID OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT. And don't cheat the logs - they are there for YOU. WHy bother claiming to hear more than you can and losing file size....what's the point.

and if you really really want to get serious about it - go to hydrogenaudio.com and read a lot. Be prepared to have TOS rules cited if you claim something sounds better without providing abx logs.

There are also people running listening tests like this

http://www.rjamorim.com/test/aac128v2/results.html

Lacero
Oct 15, 2005, 04:13 AM
128 Kbps AAC or 192 Kbps MP3.

Blue Velvet
Oct 15, 2005, 05:49 AM
All these people are talking trash about hearing the difference..

Yeah, whatever. With good headphones or speakers, the difference between 128AAC and 256AAC is like night and day.

If you're happy with ripping at a lower bit-rate, then that's OK too. I'm not going to hold that against you... so why get all shirty about others who want the best they can have?

Just because you can't hear any difference, don't assume that others can't either.

WinterMute
Oct 15, 2005, 06:28 AM
Yeah, whatever. With good headphones or speakers, the difference between 128AAC and 256AAC is like night and day.

If you're happy with ripping at a lower bit-rate, then that's OK too. I'm not going to hold that against you... so why get all shirty about others who want the best they can have?

Just because you can't hear any difference, don't assume that others can't either.

Well said Blue, I'm having this very discussion with my new students, tone based sweep tests don't tell the whole story anyway, the monitoring system you use is absolutely vital and hearing can be trained to detect the differences between almost any form of recording.

Hearing is like any skill, gifted amateurs can be pretty good but professionals rely on it for a living and are an order of magnitude above them. Plus they've got the kit to make the judgment with.

In the end, if it sounds good to you then thats the rate to rip at, if you're short on storage, and don't mind a little degradation in the audio, rip at at lower rate.

I'm still griping about 320Kbps AAC and the amount of power lossless takes to run.

Lacero
Oct 15, 2005, 06:52 AM
I only hear a very miniscule difference between 128Kbps and 320Kbps AAC on $250 headphones. So from my own limited observation and experience, 128Kbps is fine for 99.98% of music out there and for general listening. I do believe a little bit is all in a person's head. You know, like people say they prefer bottled water but in a blind taste test, 80% choose the tap water. :p

Lau
Oct 15, 2005, 07:37 AM
Is there a way to downgrade the quality? I'm quite happy at 128 AAC, but some of mine is 192 AAC and I'm short on iPod space. In the same way you can "Convert to MP3", can you reduce the quality (and therefore the file size) without re-ripping the CDs?

Edit: Duh, the answer's here (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=1757907#post1757907). :rolleyes: That old chestnut of google being better than the forum search....

andiwm2003
Oct 15, 2005, 07:45 AM
I only hear a very miniscule difference between 128Kbps and 320Kbps AAC on $250 headphones. So from my own limited observation and experience, 128Kbps is fine for 99.98% of music out there and for general listening. I do believe a little bit is all in a person's head. You know, like people say they prefer bottled water but in a blind taste test, 80% choose the tap water. :p

well that depends what water you test ;)

i found for classic you should go as high as you can maybe even lossless. but that is rarely practical.

my everyday music is good enough at 128AAC since i'm not using expensive earphones and i don't have an expensive car stereo.

to put it in a nutshell: try different settings with your music and your player. then pick the highest bitrate that you can afford with your given harddisk space. you might upgrade your hi-fi system in the future and it would suck to rerip the cd's again.

Lacero
Oct 15, 2005, 07:55 AM
Is there a way to downgrade the quality? I'm quite happy at 128 AAC, but some of mine is 192 AAC and I'm short on iPod space.
I don't know if you'll be saving that much space. My cut-off point is usually anything 256 Kbps or beyond, will I consider dropping it down to 128 Kbps. I backup my 320 Kbps rips just in case new codec technology comes out where you can store it down to 64 Kbps or even 32 Kbps, without having to go through the donkey work of re-ripping from CDs.

applesticker
Oct 15, 2005, 07:55 AM
the cds that i really love and listen to all the time i just rip as aiffs and everything else gets encoded in mp3 at the highest bit rate that itunes supports :P - works for me but not great if you are trying to save on hd space
;)

h00ligan
Oct 15, 2005, 12:25 PM
I only hear a very miniscule difference between 128Kbps and 320Kbps AAC on $250 headphones. So from my own limited observation and experience, 128Kbps is fine for 99.98% of music out there and for general listening. I do believe a little bit is all in a person's head. You know, like people say they prefer bottled water but in a blind taste test, 80% choose the tap water. :p


Exactly, and most people saying they hear a difference cannot pass an abx test.

Passing an abx test is considered 12/16. Of course I think there IS a difference, but without 5k in home gear or at the very least some $300 headphones you won't notice it for the most part. Style also has a lot to do with it as well. You are going to have an easier time abx'ing classical than you are pop, rock, rap. There are whole pages dedicated to "learning" the art of listening - but what's the point? So you can sit there and pick apart tonal differences in compression algorithms.

The bottom line is for all those recommending high bitrate rips - if you DO hear a difference and it IS substantial enough for you to rip to 320 - then you are in the .05% minority. Ripping to losless if you have the drive space does have one huge benefit though. You can transcode to go even smaller as the technology improves witout reripping -if your ears are gold, you can't do that from 320.

WinterMute
Oct 15, 2005, 09:28 PM
Exactly, and most people saying they hear a difference cannot pass an abx test.

Passing an abx test is considered 12/16. Of course I think there IS a difference, but without 5k in home gear or at the very least some $300 headphones you won't notice it for the most part. Style also has a lot to do with it as well. You are going to have an easier time abx'ing classical than you are pop, rock, rap. There are whole pages dedicated to "learning" the art of listening - but what's the point? So you can sit there and pick apart tonal differences in compression algorithms.

The bottom line is for all those recommending high bitrate rips - if you DO hear a difference and it IS substantial enough for you to rip to 320 - then you are in the .05% minority. Ripping to losless if you have the drive space does have one huge benefit though. You can transcode to go even smaller as the technology improves witout reripping -if your ears are gold, you can't do that from 320.

The point is that some of us earn a living from being able to quantify the differences in different recording scenarios and making the recordings sound as good as they possible can.

If no-one really cared about audio quality we'd still be listening to wax cylinders, but that's not the case. The CD is regarded as a bottle-neck in my industry, we can record at much higher fidelity but we are probably the only people with the kit and the ears to hear it.

Personally, I think 320Kbps AAC sucks through a halfway decent system, but is perfectly acceptable in a noisy environment through ear-buds. If my students can hear the difference then most people can once the problems have been pointed out.

Santaduck
Oct 15, 2005, 09:42 PM
For most any recording I would care to listen to, I could ABX 128 vs 320 any day, on stock white earbuds. Easy.

The tricky part is this: it's not about hearing more bass or more treble. Indeed the more compressed versions might sound like they have more "treble", but the problem is it's harsher.


Here's how I tell: find a recording you really like and know well. Rip it at both 128 and 320 (or AIFF). Then listen to the first 30 seconds over and over, but instead of listening for bass or treble, listen for enjoyment and comfort. My non audiophile friends who try this tell me that the 128 one, they could easily turn off at 30 seconds, but the 320 or AIFF one was hard to turn off becuase they got into the groove and wanted to keep listening.

Now, these nonaudiophiles: if I gave them an ABX of their favorite tracks before I demonstrated the above, they would probably fail. However after they realize that they are listening for enjoyment, I would bet that more than 5% of regular ipod users would pass an ABX of known recordings they are familiar with.

If you want to test this yourself, I recommend an acoustic recording where you can hear a natural echo/reverb in the recording space. The reverb sounds much less natural in 128.
__________________________________
Of course, ripping at 320 is probably too disk/flash-consuming for most users including myself. I can hear a difference at about 192 or 225 (as compared to 128), so I use those rates, but for my favorite recordings that I play over and over, I easily use 320 without blinking an eye.


Offtopic would be debating the merits of 'cd-quality' 44.1/16 audio, and higher sampling/bit rates, or even vinyl :)

WinterMute
Oct 16, 2005, 05:01 AM
Offtopic would be debating the merits of 'cd-quality' 44.1/16 audio, and higher sampling/bit rates, or even vinyl :)

Sure, it's probably another thread, but I've discussed it many times here.

The Digital Audio forum is a good place to find informed and knowledgeable comment.

I habitually record at 24-bit now, 96Khz when available (my home systems are stuck at 44.1 for the moment) and often at 192Khz for the comparison.

My personal audio preference is 2" 30ips analog tape mastered to 1/2" or 1" 30ips 2-track, but it's very expensive and increasingly difficult to find the studios.

CD is a poor bottleneck in my book.