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Mark S
05-22-2004, 10:15 PM
Hello everybody,

I'm sorry to bother you with such a basic question, but I've spent a lot of time searching on the internet for the answer - and I think I have it - but theres so much technical information that I dont understand that I'm not sure ...... so I finally found this forum.

The question: I've been using the dbpoweramp (great product, by the way, so easy to use) to convert my entire collection of CDs into mp3s. The question is, what settings should I use to get the absolute best sound quality? The closest to the actual CD quality? I don't care at all about file size, I want the best quality.

I've been using a bitrate of 320 (which I think is the highest?) and I've been using stereo, not "joint stereo" or "dual channel". Is that right? Is there anything else I should know???? Do you think this will give m,e about the same quality as the original CD?

Also, sometimes, maybe every 7th CD I convert, there's a track or 2 which can't be copied ...... but I'm assuming thats because of scratches on the CD, not because I'm doing anything wrong ...... does that seem right?

THANK YOU SO MUCH for any advice you can give,
Mark

rij73
05-22-2004, 11:18 PM
In my tests, I can't tell the difference between 320 and the CD when using the latest LAME encoder on rock music. Sometimes in classical orchestral music, there are little problems, but that's why I never rip classical cd's to a lossy format like mp3 anyway. Everything you say sounds right to me, but I'm not one of the experts here, just an audio enthsiast! Good luck...

MARK S
05-22-2004, 11:28 PM
Thank you for the reply!!

So, 320 is the best, thanks. Am i right to use "stereo", rather than "dual channel" or "joint stereo"?

And here, I'll really show my ignorance. I'm not sure what "lossy" means ....... anyway, I'm interested in getting the highest quality ripping ..... I also listen to some classical music ...... so what way of ripping would be recommended then, if not MP3 ("lossy")? To get the highest quality? Can I do it with dbpoweramp, or ?? Where/how??

Thank you again and sorry for the questions.....
Mark

ChristinaS
05-22-2004, 11:55 PM
A quick Google search has revealed this page that summarizes the various kinds: http://www.angelfire.com/rock/motar/sounds/lossless.htm

Mark S
05-23-2004, 12:13 AM
Thanks!!
theres nothing on that page though (;

Unregistered
05-23-2004, 12:25 AM
ok, so i too searched google, and found this:
http://mp3.radified.com/

you think THIS is the way to go? any advice would be appreciated. if i can get "lossless" ripping from dbpoweramp, id rather use that.... but if not, does anyone out there have a program to recommend?

Mark S
05-23-2004, 12:26 AM
by the way, i wrote that last post .... i forgot to type my name in the box

xoas
05-23-2004, 12:59 AM
dBpowerAMP offers a variety of lossless formats, the most popular of which seem to be Monkey's Audio and FLAC. To use either of these or other codecs, you will need to download the codec for the format(s) you want to use. You can find these at Codec Central (you will find a link towards the top of the page).
Best wishes,
Bill Mikkelsen

ChristinaS
05-23-2004, 02:44 AM
Thanks!!
theres nothing on that page though (;
OOPS! I guess you're right, I dropped the "l" at the end of the URL! Sorry about that.

http://www.angelfire.com/rock/motar/sounds/lossless.html

Razgo
05-23-2004, 08:33 AM
and each to their own too. you want the best quality? then you have to rip to lossless like monkeys or flac. you will need lot's of hardrive space though. but with cheap hardrives that's not such a big issue these days.

when i want the best lossy compression quality i go for ogg at 192.

MARK S
05-23-2004, 08:48 AM
thank you!!
for lossless: of monkeys or flac, or any others, which would you recommend? (as far as quality, number of audio players theyre compatible with ..... and also likelihood that in the future it'll continue to be compatible with players (i dont want to convert all my cds to a file type that in a year will be extinct) goes)
?? which is the most popular file type of lossless?? sorry im really new to this

Razgo
05-23-2004, 08:53 AM
well thats the best thing about lossles. you can rip to monkey and find you want a mp3 player but it only supports flac. so no problem you just convert your ape to flac. no quality loss at all. you can convert from lossless to lossles sall day long without any probs.

i think both flac and monkey is being supported in a lot of mp3 players these days?

i'm not sure.

keep in mind lossless is just like a zip file. that's all it does. it doesn't remove any audio it just compresses it.

ChristinaS
05-23-2004, 09:07 AM
That's all very good, but for internet streaming I think there are only a few formats that are generally supported: mp3, wma and real audio. By necessity these have to be compressed to a higher extent, even for high-speed connections. Thus I personally prefer wma @ 128 kbps over mp3 @ 128 kbps which results in identical size files, as the wma quality is roughly that of an mp3 @ 256 kbps, and which will be played by WMP without any additional downloads of software. Yes it is lossy, but I am not aware of any other choices for this purpose.

Razgo
05-23-2004, 09:12 AM
i don't think he is interested in using his collection for streaming?

RossRoy
05-23-2004, 09:33 AM
I had my whole collection to lossless before, but I ended thinking "What the !?!?!? Why take up an entire 200Gb hard drive just for music, when I have the CDs on hand?" Sure, I LOVE not having to look through 200+ CDs just to find a specific song, but it can be done just as good with a lossy codec with, to my ears, no difference at all between the CD itself and the lossy (I use OGG at q.7 or 224kbps) but uses up what? not even half of what it did with APE and/or FLAC?

And when transcoding to MP3 for my portable, even then, I can not much tell a difference between the transcoded MP3 from the OGG.

Honestly? Even classical, with OGG at q.7, sounds great, even when cranked up on my sound system, so why waste 200Gb just to "know" you have lossless when in fact it doesn't change what I actually hear? And to be fully honest? It must be my mind playing tricks or the decoder or something, but OGG seems to pack more "ooomph" than APE or FLAC.. kind of if the sound kept better channel seperation and low end frequencies.. Weird I know, I must be crazy but eh! that's me! ;)

Razgo
05-23-2004, 10:07 AM
Weird I know, I must be crazy but eh! that's me! no not weird just Canadian :) lol j/k couldn't resist :p:p

i have a really old cd with 11 albums burnt on it in mp3 and still sounds good :)

RossRoy
05-23-2004, 10:15 AM
no not weird just Canadian :)

Are you implying Canadians are weird??? Well you are right!!
:thumbup:

* I am not Canadian, I am Quebecan!! *

MARK S
05-23-2004, 11:31 AM
thanks administrator, regular, super moderator,

1. No, i dont want them for streaming ...... its all for ME.

2. Ya, Ive already asked myself the question - is it worth all the effort? Is it worth filling a 200gb hard drive? Ill have to test to figure that one out .... I use Sennheiser HD 600 headphones, theyre pretty sensitive so probably I WILL hear some difference .... at least I SHOULD

3. Thus far, before I got involved with all of this trying to figure out about what "lossless" is, Ive been ripping my CDs to MP3s (lame) using the dbpoweramp, bitrate of 320, frequency of 48000. 2 things about this :

A. was i right to use 48000 rather than 44100? I have no idea what the difference is, but its higher, so I went for it.

B. Now I see many mentions of "OGG" ...... whats OGG? Is it better than what I was doing in A ??

- Very appreciative of all the help newbie

RossRoy
05-23-2004, 11:45 AM
A. was i right to use 48000 rather than 44100? I have no idea what the difference is, but its higher, so I went for it.


Actually, 48000 will not make any difference, seeing as the CD itself is at 44100. At best, it will be exactly the same, and worst case scenario, the "upsampling" might bring in some undesirable artifacts, so I'd leave it to 44100 which how a CD is encoded anyway.



B. Now I see many mentions of "OGG" ...... whats OGG? Is it better than what I was doing in A ??


OGG is just another audio codec, like MP3 and APE and FLAC. I think it gives better quality than MP3, and so does most of the people ;) At equal bitrate, OGG blows MP3 away in terms of audio fidelity. Now encoding time (which shouldn't be an issue, but is for some people) and compression ratio, I have no idea, I never did any comparison nor have I read anything about it.

Personally, I think going at 320 kbps for MP3 is overkill, but that's just me. between 256 and 320, I personally can't hear a difference and I highly doubt that many people can on a blind test. What I do usually with MP3 is use the ALT-PRESET set of switches. I usually go for Alt-Preset-Standard, but if you want more quality, go for the Extreme or Insane setting.

OGG does it in a different way. You can still give it a bitrate you want to use, but as I understand it, the preferred method is to use the Quality setting that ranges from q-.1 (or 48kbps) to q1 (or 500 kbps). Again, my personal opinion is that q1 is way overkill, whereas q.7 (224kbps) is my setting of choice, but Razgo here believes q.6 (192kbps) sounds brighter (unless he changed his mind :p).

I guess you will have to do a listening test for yourself. You will probably get as many different preference as there are people answering you.

Oh and by the way, great headphones! I have Sennheisers myself, though a lesser model, the HD570, they still sound great! And yes, OGG at q.7, I can't tell the difference with the CD using 'em.

MARK S
05-23-2004, 01:06 PM
SENN hd570 headphones!! cool! they also sound great ..... not even worse than the 600s i think, just different ...... ya so you know where im coming from with the sound quality obsession .......

OK, so I downloaded the OGG and I'm running a test with them. From what I understand, theyre not as good as the monkey files, but definitely better than mp3. I set it to rip at top quality (500) , but you think thats overkill ?? No difference between that and less? ...... anyway ill test different settings .... 1 question : would you recommend ripping at 'variable bitrate'? Of the options, based on what I read, thats what I chose.

I see the 1st song has been ripped, its bigger than an mp3, but smaller than an APE file. i guess that makes perfect sense.

RossRoy
05-23-2004, 01:11 PM
Well like I said before, I can't tell the difference between the CD and a q.7 OGG file which is at 224kbps, so for me, 500 would be way overkill. You may have more sensitive hearing than I do though!

Definitely go variable bitrate, unless you know you don't need it. What happens is it allows the codec to go over the preset bitrate for harder to encode segments, and drop back lower for quieter moment. Think of it as adaptive resource allocation. So, overall, your file would be on average 224 kbps, but you can have spikes at over 300 kbps and passage at less than 196, it all depends on what's happening on the audio.

Unregistered
05-23-2004, 01:23 PM
>>Well like I said before, I can't tell the difference between the CD and a q.7 >>OGG file which is at 224kbps, so for me, 500 would be way overkill. You >>may have more sensitive hearing than I do though!

Ill definitely test both ...... so I guess the only? advantage of going for a "q.7" over the 500 (which i guess is CD?) setting is that it makes the file size smaller, right? Ya, if they sound the same, why not?
Can you hear a real difference between the .ape files and the .ogg files? i guess you CAN definitely hear the difference between the mp3 and the ogg files, i think you said that in an earlier post ...... that OGGs are clearly better ....

OK, ill definitely go variable bitrate.

thank you again for all your help. im sitting here on the floor in japan for the last 12 hours trying to work this out, its already 1 in the afternoon here!!

MARK S
05-23-2004, 01:24 PM
by the way, i posted the last post. forgot to type my name .

Razgo
05-23-2004, 04:09 PM
to my ears OGG -q.6 192kbps is cd quality. save typing your name and just register ! :)

Paddy
05-24-2004, 08:04 PM
Can you hear a real difference between the .ape files and the .ogg files? i guess you CAN definitely hear the difference between the mp3 and the ogg files, i think you said that in an earlier post ...... that OGGs are clearly better ....


Best way to test is to listen yourself, everyone has different hearing and have different opionions of which is best. Just Rip an album or a couple of songs to wav, then compress them using the different codecs at different bit rates and then compare their sound quality and their file sizes yourself. Best to try MP3, OGG and MPC aswell as APE :D

Unregistered
07-16-2004, 01:34 PM
So, 320 is the best, thanks. Am i right to use "stereo", rather than "joint stereo"?


I don't know about Dual Channel, but Joint Stereo is mathmatically equal to stereo. Meaning that you would get the same sound with Joint Stereo than you would with normal stereo. The only difference being is that you will have a file marginally smaller if you used joint stereo.