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Thread: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

  1. #1

    What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3? I have over 1,000 CD's to rip and I want to make sure I'm using the best ripping software and settings available. I paid $26 today...yet on some free rip programs you can select 320 bit rate, but when I select mp3 LAME the options are:"Quality (VBR)", "Bit Rate (ABR)" "Bit Rate (CBR)" and "Free Format". Did I make a mistake?

  2. #2
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    Re: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliottrv View Post
    What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3? I have over 1,000 CD's to rip and I want to make sure I'm using the best ripping software and settings available. I paid $26 today...yet on some free rip programs you can select 320 bit rate, but when I select mp3 LAME the options are:"Quality (VBR)", "Bit Rate (ABR)" "Bit Rate (CBR)" and "Free Format". Did I make a mistake?
    Why not rip the CDs to flac, instead of mp3?

  3. #3

    Re: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    Using iTunes...and I don't think it plays flac, but I could be wrong

  4. #4
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    Re: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliottrv View Post
    Using iTunes...and I don't think it plays flac, but I could be wrong
    Try alac then.

    flac and alac are both lossless formats, i.e. same quality as original CDs.

  5. #5

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    Re: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    Try alac then.

    flac and alac are both lossless formats, i.e. same quality as original CDs.
    For those who aren't familiar with the terminology, alac is Apple Lossless.

  6. #6

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    Re: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    You didn't make a mistake. You bought a good product.

    Consider ripping the files to Apple Lossless (ALAC). This will give you the best quality, works with iTunes, and you can always convert to another format (lossless or lossy) in the future. If you're loading the files to an iPad/iPhone, iTunes has an option to convert the music to 128/192/256 kbps AAC as it is loaded to the device. This will let you keep the high quality ALAC files on your Mac and still save space on your iPad/iPhone.

    If you start with mp3 or AAC (both lossy), you've lost some information right at the start. You can convert from mp3/AAC to ALAC/FLAC, but you'll never get back the lost info. The quality will only be as good as the mp3/AAC.

    With respect to lossy formats, if you're strictly within the Apple ecosystem, consider AAC instead of mp3. You'll get better quality at the same bit rate. Downloads from the iTunes store are 256kb AAC CBR. I don't claim to have the best ear, but I cannot tell the difference between 256kbps AAC and 320kbps mp3.

    To answer your original question (finally!) about mp3s, I believe the general consensus is that VBR V0 (highest setting) is the same quality as CBR at 320kbps. VBR will save some space compared to CBR.

  7. #7

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    Re: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    I'll try to answer your question.

    Comment: Several years ago I chose to encode my library in MP3 format becase of the space savings -- even in that format I need a 128GB key or card to hold the whole thing, which was one of my goals . Using the high quality LAME settings I use, a typical CD takes around 100MB (ten CD's per GB). We listened to several encoding methods before doing this and you CAN hear the diffenence, but for much music played via the various internet streaming codecs the limiting factor is still the quality of the recording itself -- go to UTube and play SarahJarosz "BuildMeUpfromBones" and see if that is good enough quality. If you need SACD or better listening quality you will HAVE to go lossless and your storage space requirements will multiply. Reduced storage size is the only reason not to go lossless.

    OK. MP3 encoding is still gradually evolving -- this is not a backwards compatibility problem, just a gradually improving encoder. Headquarters for that effort is the HydrogenAudio forum, Lossy Audio Codecs, MP3, MP3-Tech. Halb27 on that board leads the efforts. Grossly oversimplifying, there have been two development paths, the 3.99.5 series and the 3.100 series which just recently MAY have merged into 3.99.5n if I understand correctly.

    1. Read some in that forum to catch up. Download links are in forum posts but more than one version is available -- study first.
    2. Download a current version and unzip it so that that Lame.exe is available.
    3. Go to c:\Program Files (x86)\Illustrate\dbPoweramp\encoder\mp3 (Lame), (or similar if your install is different), rename your existing Lame.exe (if any) to Original_Lame.exe or something else descriptive, and then copy over the Lame.exe from the package you just downloaded.
    4. Start dbPoweramp CD Ripper -- my version is a couple years old so this is what I see: In the Encoder settings box at the bottom of the screen, select VBR, and set VBR Quality to extreme resulting in -V 0 . Then click on the "Advancd" button, and in the "Additional CL1" box, type "-q 0 -cvbr 0 -Y" (note there ARE spaces between a switch and it's numerical value). In the "Your final Lame CL1" box you should read: "-V 0 -q 0 -cvbr 0 -Y -noreplaygain".

    Briefly:
    The -V 0 switch turns on the highest variable bit rate encoding (but largest file size).
    -q 0 says "don't limit the amount of processing it takes to fully implement the algorithms".
    -cvbr 0 only works on more recent halb versions, roughly those from 2015 (you did do step 1, right? )
    -Y also only works on halb versions and influences high frequency encoding
    -noreplaygain is added by default by dbpoweramp.

    If you aren't in a hurry the newest 3.99.5n version has some new options but it just came out.

    The above methodology, as far as I know, results in the highest quality MP3 recordings -- today --
    Last edited by ggunnell; 01-22-2016 at 03:01 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    I'm using version 15.3. When selecting VBR Slow or Normal or Fast, and <clicking> the Advanced Button, anything I add to the "Additional CLI" input line, is just that, it's additive to what is contained in the contents of the "Final LAME CLI:" line. In a 10/23/2014 post, when another user was having this problem, Spoon advised:

    "Re: Wanting to Edit Final Lame CLI?
    If you select the encoding as normal, on the advanced page you can add -q 0"


    However as I mentioned, selecting the encoding as "Normal" didn't help. But now, rather than on the Advanced Page as Spoon mentioned in 2014, the Encoding (Slow, Normal, Fast) drop down selection box is on the main menu, not on the Advanced page....

    So, perhaps I overlooked a step.....or am doing something out of sequence etc....

  9. #9

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    Re: What is the highest quality CD rip setting for mp3?

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    Why not rip the CDs to flac, instead of mp3?
    One those Highly Educated answers on the internet "why doesn't anybody just answer the Question anymore?"

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