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VBR or No VBR - 9/8/2002 4:03:08 PM   
MP3Mogul


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When encoding MP3's there are alot of choices to choose from with all of the software on the market. The everyday user has seemed to have adopted the 128K encoding, however, this does not produce the optimum result. While 256K encoding is considered to be "Studio" a well encoded MP3 utilizing LAME and VBR can produce astounding results. I have experimented with the sound quality and found that the naked ear cannot distinguish the difference between a properly encoded MP3 with VBR and the original wav/cd.

While VBR takes up more room (and you never know how much) since it depends on the song, 128K is predictable, but there is alot of loss of music when playing back. So where do we go from here? Do we take up more space with VBR encoded files or do we stick to what seems to have become the standard 128K? Any thoughts???
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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/9/2002 4:13:53 AM   
john

 

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I thought 192 CBR with LAME was now the standard


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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/9/2002 4:43:30 AM   
MP3Mogul


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I wish it was John, but seems that everywhere I look and everyone that I know (in the USA) at least is still using 128K, and 90% are not using LAME. There is a very noticable difference between MP3's encoded with LAME, and MP3's that are not. I would like to see at least 256K CBR become the standard, that's studio quality and cannot be distinguished from the original!


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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/9/2002 11:43:03 AM   
john

 

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256kbps produces files with big size...


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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/9/2002 2:45:58 PM   
Clint


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I find for MP3's, the best compromise for size/quality is 128kbps, latest EAC & LAME + a high fidelity DAE drive (like Plextor, Yamaha, [even Lite-On's are good there] latest models). That way, you can fit heaps more MP3's on your MP3 CD that you made for your car/portable MP3 CD player. Even though it is only '128kbps', it still produces suberb peaks if used with the above equipment, and good hardware and/or software decoders....

There isn't much difference between the above and the original (sound/quality wise) anyway You can tell, but I can also distinguish the diff between LAME encoded 256kbps MP3 & my high-end Sony HiFi stereo system [:0]






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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/10/2002 12:56:53 AM   
MP3Mogul


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Awesome, Clint you have fantastic ears! I have however noticed a significant difference in 128K files and 256K files, it's very noticable with high end equipment, as Clint mentioned. I was encoding with Lame 128K, switched to VBR (low compression) and finally decided to encode with LAME @ 256K, no I don't get alot of songs on the mp3 cd's like I did, but it's great for backup because of the noticable sound difference. Besides, these old ears can't hear too well anyway!


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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/10/2002 4:21:30 AM   
john

 

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For everyday music (aka Trance, dance music), i think 192kbits is ok. Maybe for ROCK or Classic music you must jump to the 256Kbits


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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/11/2002 1:02:00 AM   
MP3Mogul


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Exactally! The more complicated the piece, the higher encoding you need to reproduce the music correctly! That's why I like the VBR encoding, it uses what it needs but the filesize is so "unpredictable". Since hard-drive space is of no essence to me, I just started encoding all at 256K (studio), but if space was not at a premium, I would go with 192K.


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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/11/2002 8:36:34 AM   
razor911

 

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quote:

I know (in the USA) at least is still using 128K, and 90% are not using LAME.


U are damn right and actually 75% dont even know which encoder they are using!!!

I agree with you about the vbr quality. It is really good especially when one uses vbr0. It is sad that people are encoding at 128 kbps when theoratically 192 kbps should be used. But still i think 256kbps will satisfy most users (i.e. if you have disk space to spare)

Razor911:

And The Ego Has Landed!!!

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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/21/2002 3:53:32 AM   
300B

 

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If you encode at 256k, try LAME with --alt-preset extreme. This is a VBR preset which will produce slightly smaller files with likely a better sound quality. Remember that the resuling bitrate is an average (This may be only 200k) but the encoder is free to crank all the way to 320k for periods when it needs to. IMHO VBR should ALWAYS be used unless you have specific reasons not to.

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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/21/2002 5:42:14 PM   
MP3Mogul


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I very much agree with the VBR settings when making MP3's. Yes, it's true that the resulting file size is unpredictable, but it lets the encoder stretch the bit rate when needed, say on a complicated guitar run, and shrink the bit rate when the piece is less complicated. Not being concerned with hard-drive space, this is the best choice for me, and the best choice when storing back-up files of my cd's.


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RE: VBR or No VBR - 9/30/2002 3:15:14 PM   
manichei

 

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For use on the computer I always use Ogg Vorbis, superior to MP3. Too bad my MP3 Player only supports MP3. Luckily the first ones with Ogg support are for sale now.

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RE: VBR or No VBR - 10/1/2002 12:40:10 AM   
MP3Mogul


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Manichei,
The OGG format is supposed to be immune to generational loss during copying/transferring etc. I don't find that this could be any truer than with MP3's. Also the OGG format takes huge amounts of drive space for your music. As the industry has adopted MP3 as the standard, I don't think that OGG format will ever take off.

After sampling both OGG format and MP3 format on high end equipment, my old ears cannot detect any difference. With that said, why would you want to utilize a format that takes 3 times the amount of drive space per song?

Do you have some experiences with it you would like to share with us?


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RE: VBR or No VBR - 10/1/2002 2:28:15 AM   
300B

 

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MP3Mogul wrote:

Also the OGG format takes huge amounts of drive space for your music.

I've found that OGG is substantially SMALLER for a given quality. I don't use it much either due to lack of portability.

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RE: VBR or No VBR - 10/1/2002 1:08:13 PM   
manichei

 

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300B gave a part of the answer. When you make a MP3 file and an Ogg file of the same song and make the files equal in size, then the Ogg file has better quality and many people share this opinion. Also Ogg is completely free, where there is a patent on MP3. People use MP3 for two reasons: portable players and the amount of MP3 you find on the net.

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RE: VBR or No VBR - 10/1/2002 1:22:09 PM   
MP3Mogul


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Wow!

That's just opposite my experience with the OGG format, as the file sizes I saw were huge! I also watched a special on TV last nite from the Maker of DivX using MPEG-4. He has plans to work on a new technology for MPEG-3 Also. This will be interesting to see what develops.


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