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  1. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    MP3 sounds better on speakers. WMA sounds fine in headphones. In fact, with a 32MB MP3/WMA player, I can squeeze about 35 songs onto it in WMA low-download format. It sounds terrible on speakers, but is fine with headphones.
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    Originally Posted by flaninacupboard
    The best sounding compression scheme i've come across so far is Atrac. at around 280kbps it's got enough bits to accurately represent the music, and because it's not designed with lower bitrates in mind (the LP atrac modes are a very recent addition) the audio model used is not as harsh as formats like MP3 and WMA.
    If anyone is interested in lossless compression for archiving audio (or for use in an audio server, real time decompression is possible with these) check out FLAC audio and monkeys audio.
    is Atrac the codec realone players use?
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  3. Member flaninacupboard's Avatar
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    no, Atrac is the format used in minidisc recorders, and more recently sony have relased portable cd players that can decode Atrac files.
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    i just downloaded realone player and it does uses that codec





    i think i'm going to play with it since
    it is suppose to have superior quality
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  5. Member flaninacupboard's Avatar
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    ok then, i'll amend my statement

    Atrac was created by Sony in the late 80's to be used in minidisc recorders. the Net MD saw the codec become available for use on PC's and it would seem now used by real networks as well.

    Make sure you use the 264kbps option, Atrac really isn't designed for the other options, if you want something lower MP3 is more suitable.
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  6. I though they developed that in the mid 90's. Went to the launch at Summer CES in 92 or 93. Oh well.

    WMA at super low compressions sounds like two sword or two sharp edges sliding on each other some times. IE compresson errors.
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    Originally Posted by flaninacupboard
    .

    Make sure you use the 264kbps option, Atrac really isn't designed for the other options, if you want something lower MP3 is more suitable.
    i will do that
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  8. So over all, MP3 sounds better on good speakers and WMA sounds good on headphones right? All my songs on my computer are MP3 Lame 320kbps CBR. Should I change it to VBR? Using Blade or Lame to encode the MP3 file? Will converting MP3's from CBR to VBR save me more space? Usually a typical song to me is around.. 10~15MB. Would a VBR MP3 file be a smaller size and sound better? Or should I just stick with my Lame CBR files?
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  9. Member
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    MP3 is transcodable, WMA is not.
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  10. LAME --alt-preset extreme is extremly (hence the name) quality, and is about 100 - 120 MB for a whole 80min CD.
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  11. Member flaninacupboard's Avatar
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    Nightwing,
    Yeah, MD was launched for sale in '92 but development of the system started in '88/'89.



    So over all, MP3 sounds better on good speakers and WMA sounds good on headphones right?
    I think the point here was that cheap headphones are so bad you don't notice how awful WMA is, wheras on good speakers, you do.

    Would a VBR MP3 file be a smaller size and sound better?
    Well obviously if you're re-encoding the files you already have, they can't end up sounding better than they do already, that would be some kind of magic
    However, using VBR you would be able to keep the files sounding identical, yet at a lower filesize. apparently. i've never bothered with VBR mp3, don't see the point. even at 320kbps you're compressing music by over 75%, why make it worse?
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  12. So no point of changing all my lame encoded 320kbps CBR files into VBR? I want to try to save space also. All of my songs take like 5GB of HD space.
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  13. Member flaninacupboard's Avatar
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    well, you would gain some space, probably 20% smaller or so? so 4 gigs instead of five, but probably with a slight quality hit.
    5 gigs is nothing really. this machine is full (20 gigs) the jukebox is full (20 gigs) and i've got two DVD-r filled with more stuff (so another 9 gigs)
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    Why no mention of AAC, I have an Apple Mac and that offers AAC as well as MP3 - also Nero supports AAC.

    I have done no comparisions, but they say that AAC is CD quality at 128 kbps.

    Neil
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  15. Originally Posted by flaninacupboard
    no, Atrac is the format used in minidisc recorders, and more recently sony have relased portable cd players that can decode Atrac files.
    Cool. Are these out in the UK yet? And what kind of price tag will they have?
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  16. On the reviews I remember seeing (and some of them were pretty well done), MP3 encoded at 256 kbit/s CBR stereo is transparent to the source CD audio in double-blinded A-B testing.

    TRANSPARENT means that you can't tell the difference.

    If you think that you can hear a difference, there may be a number of reasons:
    • Psychological -- if you really believe that MP3 has inferior sound to the source CD-DA, and you KNEW that you were listening to MP3, your subjective experience may be lower.
    • Poor quality MP3 encoder -- and I consider anything other than the newer implementations of the LAME encoder of the Fraunhofer codec as possibly poor quality
    • Poor quality encoding process -- IMHO, if you are ripping your audio CDs in "burst mode" on most standard drives, you will probably have ripping artifacts (unless you have a Plextor).
    • Confounding factors -- your PC is not the best environment for testing audio quality of any sort. For a proper test, you need to decode the MP3 file back to WAV and burn it onto as an audio CD. Then have a double-blinded A-B test with the original CD vs. the MP3-decoded ones. This will give you are hardware-neutral test.

    VBR MP3 encoding is very good (if you use LAME). It allows you to attain the same general audio quality (at or near transparent) at a lower bitrate.

    MiniDisc players (expect for the newer long play models) use the ATRAC-1 codec. The long-play modes (e.g., in NetMD) as well as the newer Sony products use the ATRAC-3 codec.

    Regards.
    Michael Tam
    w: Morsels of Evidence
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  17. Member flaninacupboard's Avatar
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    MiniDisc players (expect for the newer long play models) use the ATRAC-1 codec. The long-play modes (e.g., in NetMD) as well as the newer Sony products use the ATRAC-3 codec.
    Not strictly true, ATRAC4 was out before 1997, type-R followed shortly after, and "ATRAC-3" was just picked to sound a bit like "MP3" which is a bit silly really.

    ATRAC cd walkman here: http://products.sony.co.uk/productdetail.asp?id=1_62_2596
    buy online from argos for 150 with thisreally long URL!

    Or 135 from Qed-uk.
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  18. MP3 FOREVER - only closest competition to MP3 imho is Ogg Vorbis
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  19. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Vitualis, I'm sure you and others know this, but I'm just putting it out here as a reminder--

    The "Transparency" of a codec is only valid when just being presented as is (maybe cuts-only editing also). As soon as you process, filter, mix, recompress, etc. a file, the differences will steadily and increasingly become quite apparent. Also, most codec tranparency comparisons are done as shorter segments. There is something to be said for longterm comparison. Listener fatigue seems to me to be much worse when listening to a supposed "transparently" compressed version of a cut, than when listening to the LPCM version.

    My vote still goes to Mp3 (for most stuff) or AAC (for VERY High quality, when I want to use DRM that I can live with).

    Scott
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  20. Originally Posted by Mike_Minh
    So over all, MP3 sounds better on good speakers and WMA sounds good on headphones right? All my songs on my computer are MP3 Lame 320kbps CBR. Should I change it to VBR? Using Blade or Lame to encode the MP3 file? Will converting MP3's from CBR to VBR save me more space? Usually a typical song to me is around.. 10~15MB. Would a VBR MP3 file be a smaller size and sound better? Or should I just stick with my Lame CBR files?
    You will lose some quality if you convert to VBR as the MP3 codec is lossy.I use lame encoder and alt-preset ABR 192kbps which IMO combines size,quality and usabilty.
    You might consider converting to OGG or APE(Monkey) which is lossless.
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    the differnce between mp3 and cd in like night and day
    even mp3s encoded at 320 kb/s

    the music is not as full, bass not as deep, and they treble is roll off (this is the most information that they take off)

    the major magazine (stereo review,home theather, sound and vision) have stop a/b blind tests, because every body could easily tell the difference.

    the magazines actually use to put mp3s down for this reason.
    what they didn't realize was that it sound better than 80% of the other formats and that you didn't really miss anything unless you directly compared it to the cd

    the average joe probably couldn't tell without being a/b

    but there is a big difference
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  22. Originally Posted by vance43211
    the differnce between mp3 and cd in like night and day
    even mp3s encoded at 320 kb/s

    the music is not as full, bass not as deep, and they treble is roll off (this is the most information that they take off)

    the major magazine (stereo review,home theather, sound and vision) have stop a/b blind tests, because every body could easily tell the difference.

    the magazines actually use to put mp3s down for this reason.
    what they didn't realize was that it sound better than 80% of the other formats and that you didn't really miss anything unless you directly compared it to the cd

    the average joe probably couldn't tell without being a/b

    but there is a big difference
    You would probably only be able to tell the difference at high bitrates if you knew one file was an MP3 and one was a WAV. As well as you only being able to tell the difference if you actually knew exactly what the original sounded like.

    Otherwise an ordinary person would never guess they were listening to an MP3.

    At lower bitrates however, anyone can tell it is compressed.

    BTW: is anyone else having a problem with the e-mail notifications?
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  23. Member SaSi's Avatar
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    Hey guys,

    WMA is quite simple to define: Microsoft Media. Different versions of course.

    But when you talk about MP3, which encoder do you refer to? Each one is different and some produce so bad quality audio.

    I think it is crucial to compare different encoders. The ones that come with some CD burning / ripping programs are not as good.

    I bought Xing v.1.5 before it was bought out and disappeared. It encodes at 128kbps as good as other encoders do at 192kbps. Of course, "real" music, i.e. natural instruments, sound terrible at that bitrates, especially if the content has lot's of high frequency energy.

    Try a violin, chello and piano trio from a good CD source. This type of music (according to my findings) is the best test for any encoder. It has low frequency (the chelo), high frequency (violin) and broad spectrum with a high dynamic range (piano).

    Also, talking about bitrates, quoting 128kbps or 192kbps, implies CBR. You should not encode audio with CBR for exactly the same reason nobody encodes DVD Video with CBR.

    I have tested classical music with VBR MP3 and found that I can't hear the difference when the encoding bitrate varies between 96 ~ 224 kbps. The "average" - dividing duration by size, usually turns up to be around 160~180kbps. I do my tests with a pair of headphones (rather than speakers) because headphones introduce much less distortion and I can listen loud enough without having shoes thrown at me :P

    I would be inclined to admit that WMA may be slightly better than MP3 at the same bitrates, but - for me - the priority was on compatibility.

    Just my thoughts...
    The more I learn, the more I come to realize how little it is I know.
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  24. I use the Fraunhofer MP3 Codec in Cool Edit 2000.

    I think it is one of the best audio editing softwares available.

    I sometimes use the MP3 file encoder in Nero but that gives crap quality compared to the Fraunhofer Codec quality, so I now just rip my CD's to waves using Nero and encode to MP3's using Cool Edit.
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    i use musicmatch and mymp3pro which use Fraunhofer

    i going to try out that atrac out though
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  26. Originally Posted by vance43211
    i use musicmatch and mymp3pro which use Fraunhofer

    i going to try out that atrac out though
    I wouldn't bother with ATRAC, I don't think many media players support it.

    Although, as a minidisc user, I know it does give a much fuller sound than MP3.

    Just for file sizes high quality ATRAC (SP for minidisc) takes up about 144MB for 74mins.
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    if it sound as good as advertise

    i will just use for ripping and coverting to cd with my very best cds


    since it is shorter than wave files
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  28. Member flaninacupboard's Avatar
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    You would probably only be able to tell the difference at high bitrates if you knew one file was an MP3 and one was a WAV. As well as you only being able to tell the difference if you actually knew exactly what the original sounded like.
    This is perhaps true. i sat down the other day with my pioneer cld-2950 Laserdisc player, which has cd replay capability. the unit cost 800 ($1200) new, and that was in 1993. it was bloody expensive in other words. The DAC inside was one of the best available at the time. Plus the huge transport inside the player makes disc stability and tracking about as good as it can get.

    I sat next to it my NAD C-541i cd player, bought earlier this year for 300.($450)

    I sat with two copies of radioheads new album "hail to the thief" and began to listen, A/B-ing.
    Took me about 7 tracks and 30 minutes to notice any difference at all. what was the difference?

    Nad replaying a cymbal: Tssssssssss
    Pioneer replaying a cymbal: Tsssssssss

    Not a lot. Now listen to an MP3 of the album on the NAD,
    MP3 on Nad: Tsssssss

    Can you notice this listening casually? no. can you notice the difference on a complex musical mix? oh yes. If anyone can ever play me a non-losless codec that sounds the same as the CD original of the nine inch nails album "The Downward Spiral" i will eat my hat. and my entire wardrobe.

    As i've stated before, music compressed with a reasonable bitrate (like 128 and up) does not sound bad, it's just not as good as the CD.

    You know what irritates me? "bands" like marilyn manson who record an album in a damn expensive studio on ******* expensive equipment, mix it, and then decide it really needs lots of distortion on every track.
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  29. Banned
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    [quote="flaninacupboard"]

    You know what irritates me? "bands" like marilyn manson who record an album in a damn expensive studio on ******* expensive equipment, mix it, and then decide it really needs lots of distortion on every track.
    it seem a lot of artist is doing that these days
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  30. Originally Posted by flaninacupboard
    You would probably only be able to tell the difference at high bitrates if you knew one file was an MP3 and one was a WAV. As well as you only being able to tell the difference if you actually knew exactly what the original sounded like.
    This is perhaps true. i sat down the other day with my pioneer cld-2950 Laserdisc player, which has cd replay capability. the unit cost 800 ($1200) new, and that was in 1993. it was bloody expensive in other words. The DAC inside was one of the best available at the time. Plus the huge transport inside the player makes disc stability and tracking about as good as it can get.

    I sat next to it my NAD C-541i cd player, bought earlier this year for 300.($450)

    I sat with two copies of radioheads new album "hail to the thief" and began to listen, A/B-ing.
    Took me about 7 tracks and 30 minutes to notice any difference at all. what was the difference?

    Nad replaying a cymbal: Tssssssssss
    Pioneer replaying a cymbal: Tsssssssss

    Not a lot. Now listen to an MP3 of the album on the NAD,
    MP3 on Nad: Tsssssss

    Can you notice this listening casually? no. can you notice the difference on a complex musical mix? oh yes. If anyone can ever play me a non-losless codec that sounds the same as the CD original of the nine inch nails album "The Downward Spiral" i will eat my hat. and my entire wardrobe.

    As i've stated before, music compressed with a reasonable bitrate (like 128 and up) does not sound bad, it's just not as good as the CD.

    You know what irritates me? "bands" like marilyn manson who record an album in a damn expensive studio on ******* expensive equipment, mix it, and then decide it really needs lots of distortion on every track.
    Yeah I know, I listen to a lot of punk and all the distortion messes up the crash on the drums when it is compressed. I have been messing about with the new NOFX album (best album yet, for anyone interested) and it doesn't seem like they are playing the crash or hi-hat at all it is just a really high pitched electronic sounding "ding".

    I have tried different compressions of MP3's out on my friends and they find it hard to compare them and say they wouldn't care if they were listening to the CD or MP3, but once I hear it on CD compared to MP3 there is no way I would want to use an MP3 if I had the choice between them. Saying that I do find it hard pushed to tell the difference between MP3's with bitrates of 192k and higher, usually the only give away is that the track doesn't seem as "full" as it does on a CD.

    Are laserdisc players recorders any good for video (in comparison with S/VHS on high quality VCR's) or are DVD recorders or HD recorders better?

    Laserdisc is kind of a thing before my time but it seems interesting with everyone talking about them. Do you have any links for it?
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