MP3 bit rate

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Hackcomic.com, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. Hackcomic.com macrumors regular

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    #1
    When turning your Cds into MP3s- what bit rate do you use? Is there really a hearable a difference between 128, 160 or 192?
     
  2. KC9AIC macrumors 6502

    KC9AIC

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    #2
    I haven't ripped any music for a while, but when I did, I used 128 kbps. It's good enough quality, but now I have better fidelity headphones, and I can notice some imperfections, but not enough to bother me. I would say that unless you really care about audio quality and/or have headphones that will really emphasize the compression, 128 is fine.
     
  3. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

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    #3
    If you've got the HD space, or if you don't plan on shoving it on any low-space MP3 player, I say screw it and go for 192.
     
  4. unixkid macrumors member

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    #4
    y mp3

    Y u using MP3 its crap... use AAC u can use a lower bit rate and get PROFOUND quality improvements.
    I personally rip in 256 in AAC but u should use 160 in AAC u will get GREAT results! AAC is the state of the art audio, it was developed by adobe. If u still feel the stupid need to use MP3 dont use anything lower than 160 u will thank me later. Believe me i have 15,000 songs and counting in iTunes and i wish i did it earlier.

    If u use AAC at 128 u will have the audio quality of an MP3 at 192 but keep an incredibly small file size at the same size of an MP3 at 128
     
  5. Hackcomic.com thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Interesting never heard of AAC- but now I see it on itunes.. But what type of portable players play AAC? And does AAC burn to a CD jsut like Mp3s? I admit I hate the highs on Mp3s- even at 128 it sounds pretty bad.
     
  6. Oirectine macrumors regular

    Oirectine

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    #6
    Here's what I've found (note: everyone's ears--and speakers--are different. YMMV.):

    128 kb/sec MP3--Horrible. the high register sounds like crap, cymbals sound... really bad. The only exception is with some classical pieces, I can't tell at all that they are low bitrate.

    160 kb/sec MP3--Bearable, but not as good as it could be. I can definitely still tell, and it doesn't sound as good to me as I know it could.

    192 kb/sec MP3--Sounds fine. Sounds as good as my ears (or my crappy headphones?) can discern for most songs.

    128 kb/sec AAC--Sounds fine to me. Again, I need new headphones.

    192 kb/sec AAC--What I rip at, just to be safe (hey, I have a 60 Gig harddrive, why not?)

    I'd like to suggest that you take into consideration your disk size, and the size of your music library. I have a library of about 3000 songs (encoded at various rates) and it isn't even 20 gigs. So if you have extra space, go for the bigger bitrates. If you don't... well then you don't really have much choice, do you?
     
  7. Hackcomic.com thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
  8. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #8
    i rip at 192 aac, which is the minimum that people should rip at... quality is so good that it'll sound great on different systems, and in today's world when storage is soo cheap, why not?

    paul
     
  9. Opteron macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Re: y mp3

    Are you sure:confused:, I'd almost swear that the "Advanced Audio Codec" was developed by the Dolby Labs.

    Secondly Why listin to a compressed audio format when CD's are so prevelent. PCM audio is the Best, there is no question about that, However it does use 10MB per minute or so.

    LaserDiscs use PCM audio, and you can hear the difference over a DVD, which use AC3 or AAC (can't remember)
     
  10. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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  11. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #11
    I have to use MP3 since my car plays MP3s my DVD player plays MP3s and everything else I have except my computers and my iPod play MP3s only.

    From what I have found researching and my own hearing tests 192 with maximum VBR is the minimum for near CD quality. Honestly it doesn't matter if it's MP3 or AAC if you rip with iTunes it won't be like the original CD because iTunes sucks for ripping. In any case if you want something as near as possible to CD but also want to save some space then 220 should be your minimum otherwise there is a some audio loss.
     
  12. geeman macrumors regular

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    #12
    AAC is great - better dynamic range, smaller file size for the same (subjective) sound quality, etc. I also read somewhere that the AAC codec is 'easier' for CPUs to decompress, resulting in reduced CPU resource when playing AACs (and maybe extended battery life when using either a laptop or iPod).

    The only hassle is that it's a real pain when I want to burn an MP3 CD for my car. I have to either convert the AACs to MP3s (not a good idea if you're after good sound quality) or re-rip the original CD tracks to MP3s, burn the CD, then delete the MP3s.

    The AAC vs. MP3 question depends on a combination of your own minimum standards of sound quality, whether you use any other equipment that plays MP3s only and your available HD space.

    Some audiofreak friends of mine don't use the iTunes MP3 encoder at all, as they say that it's not all that. They use the (unfortunately named) LAME encoder.

    If you're after ultimate sound quality it means ripping the CD tracks to AIFF files, but these often average 40Mb+ each!

    (anyone want a 1.0Tb iPod???) :D :D :D
     
  13. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

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    #13
    That's all a moot point though if you don't have or don't plan on getting an iPod.
     
  14. KC9AIC macrumors 6502

    KC9AIC

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    #14
    I only used 128 MP3 because I use iTunes 2 (only have OS 9), which doesn't support AAC, and the computer I use for ripping has only a 4 gig hard drive, and my music collection, even at 128 kbps takes at least half of that. When I buy a new computer in a year, I will rerip at probably 192 AAC.

    Yes, AAC was made by Dolby.
     
  15. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #15
    AAC is a better quality, smaller file size and is "open" (as opposed to WMA, also better than MP3).

    MP3 is around 10 years old, I think it's in everyone's best interests to look to other formats, whether it be WMA, AAC, Vorbis etc etc.

    As AAC creates better quality files at smaller sizes, it gives great benefits for iPod users. More songs, and more battery life (the HDD spins up less) and a better sound :)

    AAC was created by a group of companies, I can't remember them all but major sound-houses and even people you may not expect like Sony. But whoever said it was created by Dolby is mostly correct, as they pulled it all together.

    AppleMatt
     
  16. Vetinari macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I thought AAC was very good at bit rates of 192 or above. After re-ripping all my CD's however, I discovered (too late!) that AAC was not supported by the Tivo Home Media streaming option. In my quest for greater compatibility, I discovered the iTunes Lame helper application ( http://www.blacktree.com/apps/index.html?iTunes-LAME/index.html ). To my ears, the 192 VBR LAME (alt preset standard) sounds as good/better than 192 AAC (with an added benefit of reduced filesize). It's certainly worth including in the comparison when trying to do the Pepsi challenge for the right encoding type/bit rate.
     
  17. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #17
    Yeah the Lame helper for iTunes is definitely the way to go for best quality but if you are like me and have hundreds of CDs to rip it is excruciatingly slow. I usually get 22-28x rip speeds with iTunes at 192-220kb/s but with lame it's 4x.
     
  18. 1macker1 macrumors 65816

    1macker1

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    #18
    Mp3 is the best. Unlike the proprietary format that Apple and MS uses, it can work in darn near everything.
     
  19. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #19
    Read the thread. AAC is not proprietary.
     
  20. Vetinari macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Yup, its slow alright. I just import 5 to 10 CD's as AIFF into iTunes (which usually pops up convenient a "Replace Existing" dialog). AIFF importing doesn't take too much time. Then I pull up a Smart Playlist (kind = AIFF) and let iTunes-LAME do its thing overnight. Unfortunately, the "delete-source" doesn't work in my case because iTunes-LAME will not transfer ratings. Ususally doesn't take too long to manually rerate and delete the AIFF's, though.

    DP1.8 PowerMac arrives tomorrow--apparently, iTunes-LAME can encode 2 files at once using both processors.
     
  21. unixkid macrumors member

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    #21
    rong

    AAC is FAR better than MP3 and AAC is not proprietary 1macker1.
     
  22. RubberChicken macrumors regular

    RubberChicken

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    #22
    VBR vs AAC

    I did a few blind test comparing MP3 160, VBR 128, AAC 128 and AIFF. The results were so mixed that the only conclusion was the differences were so minor that most people need not use higher rates. I initially ripped my library as straight MP3 160, then redid it as 128 VBR (Variable bit rate) on good quality (go into custom MP3 settings). The VBR files were smaller than straight MP3 and a bit higher in quality.

    VBR files can be burnt to CD for most MP3 compatible players without reconverting (lossy). But do a test first, my NAD MP3 compatible CD player cold not play VBR CDs, but the DVD player and car stereo were fine. To get AAC on CD you have to burn them as AIFF or convert to MP3. You won't fit many AIFF tracks on a CD and a second lossy conversion to MP3 will degrade quality.

    iPod is currently the only player that will play AAC. I have recently bought iPod 20 which I often hook up to the stereo and will eventually get into the car ( thanks ice-link! http://icelink.densionusa.com ) so I may rerip the whole library in AAC.

    Apple swears 128 AAC is as good as CD. Some people have heavily criticised iTunes' lack of the highest quality setting found in Quicktime Pro (I think) and used by Apple for the music store. However I have seen a reply from Apple that claims the ripping time is vastly increased using the highest setting with very little appreciable difference in quality over iTunes built-in.

    The final word.. if you don't need to burn to CD or use a player other than ipod, then rip AAC 128.
     
  23. Hackcomic.com thread starter macrumors regular

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  24. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #24
    Re: VBR vs AAC


    There's a reason Apple claims that THEIR AAC files are the same as CD. That's theirs not all AAC at 128. The reason is the music on the iTunes music store is ripped from the original masters not CDs as we do. CD quality is a form of compression in it's self so by moving up to the original music source Apple can rip their files at 128 and have a reasonable comparison to CD quality.
     
  25. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #25
    Of course it can. The post above yours is simply pointing out that the audio quality of AAC 128Kb is not "good enough" for some people for CDs.
     

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