title
Products            Buy            Support Forum            Professional            About            Codec Central
 
Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 86

Thread: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

  1. #1
    brandonjp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    37

    Question MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    When I rip an entire cd to wave it's take just under 2 min. When I rip to MP3 it'll take around 13-15 min. I'm encoding everything at 320kbps. In an old post ( http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?t=2176 ) Spoon mentioned a noticable difference at 128kbps when using the faster but crappy codecs. Could a faster codec still give me quality if everything's at 320?

    It's not been a big problem, but there are times when I just wish it was faster. I'm a dedicated dMC user, but I was on a friend's machine using MusicMatch Jukebox to encode at 320kbps and it was about 5 min. per cd and the quality still seemed to be there, but I'm not sure what mp3 codec MusicMatch uses.

    Any ideas/suggestions?

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    139

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Technically it all depends on how sensitive your hearing is. Personally I can't tell the difference between mp3 at 128 and a CD unless I'm playing it really loud and listening close, while at the same time I know someone who can identify the write speeds of a given burned music CD. Go figure.

    Athough, if you're encoding at 320 I would assume quality is an issue. Honestly, I would say you've got to just trust your ears; download a fast mp3 codec and just spend a few minutes testing yourself.

    Just want to clear up a few things, does you have a generally older/slower computer than your friend? How long does it take you to convert wave files to mp3 at 320? Around the same time? The speed of encoding is directly related to the speed of the computer, so keep that in mind. On my recently purchased computer the difference in ripping time between MPEG Suite and Lame at high bitrates is less than two minutes (I tend to multitask while ripping so I leave Priority on Normal, I'm guessing it would probably go up to about 4 minutes if I have it on High).

    Question to anyone: can CLIs encode at the same time as ripping?

  3. #3
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    38,875

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Not the CLI, a Wave file will be created.

  4. #4
    brandonjp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    37

    Lightbulb Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Well, it's not really too vital to your survival, but if anyone's interested, I did test different MP3 codecs for speed vs. quality. For my purposes, the race was between dMC's standard LAME MP3 codec and the MPEG Suite 2000 MP3 codec (http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codec-central-mpeg2000.htm). Here's my unnecessarily lengthy report...first, though, I'm using Windows XP on a Pentium III 1Ghz with 512 RAM...

    For this important test, I chose only the finest musical specimen...none other than the 4 minute and 39 seconds of bliss in Amy Grant & Vince Gill's stirring duet "House of Love" - track 4 from Amy's 1994 release of the same title on A&M Records (as if I really needed to tell you all, since I'm sure the disc is in your collection too!)
    I also tested other random tracks from Johnny Cash's American IV: The Man Comes Around, Fountains of Wayne's Welcome Interstate Managers, Vigilantes of Love's Summershine, and Pedro the Lion's Control. All conversions were made in dMC's CDGrab.exe, ripping each time from the CD to the specified file/format. However, time results were practically the same, the disc being ripped made not much of a difference. ANYWAY, here were my results as far as encoding time is concerned: (sorry all the colums start to slant here!!)
    RIPPING TO.........CONVERSION TIME.....FILESIZE
    WAVE - 16/44.1............0:16..............48,063 KB
    LAME - 128..................2:45..............4,361 KB
    LAME - 320..................1:38.............10,901 KB
    MPEG2000 - 128............0:45.............4,359 KB
    MPEG2000 - 320............0:51.............10,898 KB
    Now, here are my personal opinions on the sound quality:
    Well, needless to say, but the WAVE sounded best - full range of the wonderful sonic spectrum (especially for Amy Grant!). As for the others...

    LAME - 128kbps -
    missing a bit of low end, sounds like standard MP3 compression that you're used to.

    MPEG2000 - 128kbps -
    missing more of low end than LAME, and highs and mids were a bit more lossy and un-crisp, overall a bit thinner, but not as bad as I expected.

    LAME - 320kbps -
    better range of sound (of course) than lower bitrate, but still a bit loose on the low end, for most non-archival purposes it would work fine (however, I still prefer Monkey's Audio).

    MPEG2000 - 320kbps -
    quite impressed again, still a bit thin, naturally not as much as lower bitrate, but did sound a bit falsely compensated in the the ends / low and high ends a bit muddy.

    This was certainly a non-technical investigation into the codecs. It took realistically about 25 minutes. However, for those interested, I would guess that for most ears the MPEG2000 codec wouldn't lose too much. For me, the faster conversion is worth the quality loss, as my current project is simply archiving several older (usually untouched) discs for a friend's DJ service, which will never actually play about 90% of the MP3's I'm archiving. If you're deciding for yourself, it's easy to test, and for quick comparison I'd recommend listening to each track in 3 different ways: at low volume, high volume and through decent headphones. And switch back and forth between bitrates listening to the same part of the track on each file.

    Bottom line...for this quick project I'm finishing and for my personal listening collection I might possibly use the MPEG2000 codec if I'm in a hurry (because when converting 1000's of wav's to mp3, the faster codec is pretty sweet), but will more than likely stick with dMC's included LAME. However, MP3's for any other purpose, I'll for sure stay safe with LAME. (but i'm still a monkey's audio fan at heart!)

    sorry if you wasted your time reading this! thanks & good day...
    --brandon

  5. #5
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    146

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Brandon - Can I ask if you are just archiving CD's? At 320kbs You will obviously not be using them for portables! I am just asking as if you are after achieving quality at a high bitrate then I would suggest using musepack (mpc) instead as this has been proven to be superior to lame when encoding at the high bitrates. I will see if I can dig out the links for you. Give musepack a try at either the quality level 5 (standard) or quality level six (extreme) and see what you think.

    On another note I certainly wouldn't use the MPEG2000 codec as it is no longer developed and I personally think it sounds awful. If mp's are a must then you could try the gogo mp3 codec which was based on Lame 3.89 and optimised for speed. As for Musicmatch it users a Fraunhofer codec or the mp3pro one. Both are behind Lame and MPC.

    Personally I do find the converter slow when compared to encoding waves with another frontend but I do wonder sometimes what the rush is when people are after speed against quality!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    israel
    Posts
    49

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomb
    Brandon - Can I ask if you are just archiving CD's? At 320kbs You will obviously not be using them for portables! I am just asking as if you are after achieving quality at a high bitrate then I would suggest using musepack (mpc) instead as this has been proven to be superior to lame when encoding at the high bitrates. I will see if I can dig out the links for you. Give musepack a try at either the quality level 5 (standard) or quality level six (extreme) and see what you think.

    On another note I certainly wouldn't use the MPEG2000 codec as it is no longer developed and I personally think it sounds awful. If mp's are a must then you could try the gogo mp3 codec which was based on Lame 3.89 and optimised for speed. As for Musicmatch it users a Fraunhofer codec or the mp3pro one. Both are behind Lame and MPC.

    Personally I do find the converter slow when compared to encoding waves with another frontend but I do wonder sometimes what the rush is when people are after speed against quality!

    I'am with Tomb on this one

    To me use of mp3 320Kps is non sense...
    Why?
    Because at same size you can get much better quality

    I'am using MPC braindead as my backup format
    SUPERB sound , FAST encoding and size more or less like mp3 320.

    MPC braindead is the lossy format the closest to lossless format.

    Converting it to any other formats give exellent results very very close to original cd converted to this format.

    Anyway , up to each to find out...

    PS: i use Braindead because of the converting to other formats aspect.

    If for listening quality only , no need to use Braindead. Extreme will do

  7. #7
    brandonjp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    37

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    no, i've not tried MPC...i think mainly becuase I don't know much about it (as in how to play the files). that's why a fast mp3 codec appealed to me for this project because I the mp3's could be played on whatever music player is used...in the event that the files are ever played. My intention is to archive the discs to either a hard drive or to data DVDs. So space is in some ways a concern, but the quality also is important....and so is easy access

    As for the speed issue, it is a bit tedious at times, but normally not a problem when I'm doing stuff for my personal collection. For this project, the faster the codec = the faster I get the job done, so that's why I was simply searching for something fast.

    I'll try MPC..........
    .......okay, i just converted some of the waves from my test to mpc.....
    really really does sound great, but dbpoweramp was the only player i had that could play it.
    it's speed however (using standard setting), wasn't much faster than LAME....usually around 10 seconds or so less than to LAME

    Well...i just attempted to try the Gogo mp3 codec, but it crashed MusicConverter.exe so....no results on it.

    ?? -- as of now I'm still using LAME...i've got about 30gb already converted and about 20gb of waves waiting to be converted (but I won't do it just yet), then about...well, too many cds still yet to convert. my question is.....what would be optimal? speed is not really biggest concern...compatibility *1, then quality, then size, then speed. what is there (or is there anything)like LAME mp3 @ 320kbps that would give better quality, and possibly less filesize, yet still be very compatible across players??

    by the way, thanks so much for your help thus far!!
    --brandon

  8. #8
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    146

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Hi Brandon.

    Foobar 2000 plays MPC natively. You can download it from here:

    http://www.foobar2000.org/download.html

    For Winamp 2x, 3x and 5x use the plug-in from:

    http://www.saunalahti.fi/cse/mpc/winamp/index.html
    Note that are different plug-ins for 2x (5x) and 3x

    Gogo is fast but as I stated earlier is based on an old version of Lame. Try downloading the codecs from http://rarewares.hydrogenaudio.org/mp3.html and use this front end http://home.wanadoo.nl/~w.speek/download/Wav2Gogo.exe with them. You will need to rip files to wav first though.

    As for compatibility mp3 is still the most popular codec. However if you are going to archive your files with a lossy codec then again I would say mpc but you will not be able to play them on a DVD as a CDRW etc. I doubt mpc will ever be supported on any hardware players to be honest. One final one you could try is MP4/AAC (same thing just different containers) using the archive setting or audiophile setting if using NERO. The codec Spoon uses is Fast Enc and that is not really the best one to use. Try a demo of NERO or use Itunes which is free. Both are hefty downloads though!

    MP4 will eventually replace MP3 and is starting to be supported on other non-pc hardware if what I have read seems to be true! Most players support MP4/AAC nowdays. Again Foobar does natively and I would use this plug-in for Winamp 2x and 5x http://rarewares.hydrogenaudio.org/files/in_mp4.zip.

    You could stick with Moneys Audio although I prefer FLAC!

    Let us know how you get on.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tomb; 01-10-2004 at 04:39 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    23

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Quote Originally Posted by brandonjp
    LAME - 320kbps -
    better range of sound (of course) than lower bitrate, but still a bit loose on the low end, for most non-archival purposes it would work fine (however, I still prefer Monkey's Audio).

    MPEG2000 - 320kbps -
    quite impressed again, still a bit thin, naturally not as much as lower bitrate, but did sound a bit falsely compensated in the the ends / low and high ends a bit muddy.
    --brandon

    curious if you did some double-blind test with that files...
    are you sure you're not affected by placebo effect?
    difference between 320kbps mp3 and original wav is sometimes heared by 0.01% of population...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    check this site:
    http://www.airwindows.com/encoders/index.html

    They have a comparison of a few mp3 codecs. Lame 256kbps is actually better than Lame 320kbps. Blade is best at high bitrates, and seems to skip less than Lame in most cd players.
    MPC is definitely the best lossy codec. For lossless I use wma9 lossless. The only time that I use mp3 is for use in my cd player.
    Last edited by Link500X; 04-14-2005 at 04:47 PM.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    23

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Interesting site.
    Bur forgive me: the only way to estabilish the "transparency" of a lossy codec is to do blind listening tests (ABX test), not graphs, nor measurements.
    This is the way developers tune the codecs for best quality.
    If you can't tell the difference between original wav and compressed file in a blind test (avoiding placebo effect) then it is transparent for you.

    You can try yourself... http://www.kikeg.arrakis.es/winabx/
    give it a try with a lame --preset standard or --preset extreme mp3, that surely it is not a 320kbps mp3.

    No doubt instead that mpc and vorbis are better than mp3 at the same bitrate.

    Best regards.
    Last edited by alrakis; 04-16-2005 at 11:15 AM.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    It is hard to tell the difference at high bitrates. But as I said before, Blade skips less than Lame in my cd player. Plus you can still use Blade for free in dbpowerAMP; after 30 days you must pay for Lame compression.

  13. #13
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,290

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    You know what? I can never understand why the Lame encoder has a liscence fee for encoding mp3s but the Blade encoder doesn't need a liscence.......it just confuses me......

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Blade is probabily free because it is no longer under devolopment. One of the reasons that devolopment stopped on Blade is that the developer did not want to have to pay for distributing the MP3 codec. Some other MP3 encoders might be free also, but I haven't tried any them recently.

  15. #15
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,290

    Re: MP3 Quality/Conversion: LAME vs. others

    Oh I see now.

    (Link500X, how come you're not online ever on AIM, MSN or Yahoo! Messenger? I've been trying to contact you for days now!)

    Well, LAME is under development, but it's opensource.......does that mean anything?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •