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Thread: Lossy Format Comparison

  1. #1

    Lossy Format Comparison

    I figured I would do this thread after comparing multiple formats...

    The album i chose for this test was The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (grabbed the nearest CD I had in perfect condition)

    Ripped using EAC to FLAC (lossless format)
    Converted from FLAC to other formats using dbpoweramp
    AAC files were ripped and encoded with iTunes (commonly agreed upon as the best AAC encoder)

    All lossy files (except CBR wma) encoded to ~192Kbps VBR (this is what i suggest most people rip to)

    size comparisons (whole album)
    FLAC compression level 8: 371MB
    MP3 LAME aps (--alt-preset standard): 86.4MB
    Musepack xtreme preset: 87.7MB
    Musepack standard preset: 74.1MB
    Ogg Vorbis -q 6: 77.1MB
    WMA 192Kbps CBR: 86.1MB
    WMA 192Kbps VBR 85.8MB
    AAC: 86.4MB
    WavPack Lossy Mode: 89.2MB

    as you can see MP3 and AAC are equal on file size while ogg wins by nearly 10MB

    per song comparison wil come later

    observations on sound quality

    FLAC: no different from the CD because it is a lossless format

    MP3: good sound but has the expected differences in quality from the original most of the differences are fairly subtle and the better your equipment the more noticable the differences will be

    Musepack xtreme: While I have a slight bias towards ogg this format is definately the best also slightly larger than MP3 and AAC at the same bitrate

    Musepack standard: according to the musepack website you should compare standard to alt-preset standard and at ~170Kbps musepack compares favorably to ~192Kbps MP3 and is smaller than ogg

    ogg: yes i have a slight bias but i'm not the only one who will tell you ogg is better than mp3... at higher bitrates however the differences between the 2 formats aren't so big

    wma: not impressed with this... it's alright but then again i used CBR it sounds about the same as 192kbps CBR mp3

    WMA VBR: this is about equal on sound quality to MP3

    AAC: about equal with ogg for sound quality

    WavPack Lossy Mode: WavPack is most commonly used in lossless mode but it has the ability to do lossy encoding and in lossy mode the sound quality is comparable to musepack standard


    Overall...

    FLAC: If sound quality is your #1 priority over HD space lossless if the way to go

    MP3: THE most widely supported lossy format LAME is the best encoder I suggest using it for your mp3 encoding

    Musepack: IMO the best lossy format for sound quality/size however I know of no portable players that support this format (please if you know of one feel free to say something) and some software players don't include musepack support "out of the box"

    Ogg Vorbis: sounds better than mp3, smaller file size and there are a few portable players that support it though there is a drawback... while vorbis lets you get more music on the player it also reduces battery life (actual reduction of battery life varies depending on model of player)

    WMA: uh... it's alright... many portable players support it

    AAC: if you rip with itunes i strongly suggest this format over mp3 especially if you also have an ipod

    WavPack: a good format for lossless and it's lossy mode while good isn't worth bothering with unless you are encoding high resolution audio (which really shouldn't be lossily encoded) also no hardware players support wavpack at this time
    Last edited by DrkJedi82; 12-03-2005 at 08:52 PM.
    eat right, exercise, die anyway

  2. #2
    Balls of steel.
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    Definitely Vorbis over AAC because more media players support it.

  3. #3
    Bah, HUMBUG!
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    Flac > You

  4. #4
    well duh but not everyone has the HD space for lossless
    eat right, exercise, die anyway

  5. #5
    THANKS FOR THE INFO!!!!


    hehe... always wanted to say that.. seriously though, nice comparison... I'm mostly using mp3 right now, just because the cd player in my car supports MP3/WMA and I'm definately *not* using wma... ugh.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

    Lassev: I guess there was something captivating in savagery, because I liked it.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Bah, HUMBUG!
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    Originally posted by DrkJedi82
    well duh but not everyone has the HD space for lossless
    Saddly nor do I

    So I just burn them to cds

  8. #8
    No Longer Homeless!
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    Who does FLAC have a compression level if it's lossless?

  9. #9
    Because better compression results in more strain on the cpu

  10. #10
    Balls of steel.
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    Originally posted by Vincent Valentine
    Who does FLAC have a compression level if it's lossless?
    Does zipping a text file result in you loosing some of its contents? :p

  11. #11
    No Longer Homeless!
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    Okay, I wasn't sure how that worked.

  12. #12

  13. #13
    that it does
    eat right, exercise, die anyway

  14. #14
    wtf is a catloaf?a
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    I usually just use 160kbps MP3s, except in rare cases where I can still here digitization (usually on the high end, like cymbals and the hi-hat). I was using the usual 128 kbps, but started noticing that digital sound I hadn't noticed there before. Still happens on some songs at 160kbps, particularly if there's lots of instruments or a wide frequency range in the song.

  15. #15
    Originally posted by DogSRoOL
    I usually just use 160kbps MP3s, except in rare cases where I can still here digitization (usually on the high end, like cymbals and the hi-hat). I was using the usual 128 kbps, but started noticing that digital sound I hadn't noticed there before. Still happens on some songs at 160kbps, particularly if there's lots of instruments or a wide frequency range in the song.
    use VBR i suggest using LAME for encoding with --alt-preset medium (~160Kbps VBR) but i seriously still suggest using at least ~192Kbps VBR
    eat right, exercise, die anyway

  16. #16
    Everyone's favorite alcoholic administrator!
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    CD, MP3, OGG, it all sounds the same to my ears.
    Code to the left of him, code to the right of him, code in front of him compil'd and thundered. Programm'd at with shot and $SHELL. Boldly he typed and well. Into the jaws of C. Into the mouth of PERL. Debug'd the 0x258.

  17. #17
    Bah, HUMBUG!
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    Originally posted by JediGandalf
    CD, MP3, OGG, it all sounds the same to my ears.
    What you need to do is record a sample.

    On a program like goldwave, record a wav file. You can record what plays over your line out.

    Take the same song, about the same segment, and record onto the wav file from various file formats. You'll be able to notice the change for shure, then.

  18. #18
    Balls of steel.
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    Maybe this should be stickied.

    I usually encode to 192kbps CBR MP3, or the rough equivalent in Vorbis. I use LAME through Audacity. If it's something that I want to archive, I'll go to 256kbps or FLAC.

  19. #19
    Shintock reads my mind.

    Thread has been stickified.
    The music industry is a cruel and shallow money trench where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

  20. #20
    I almost always use LAME mp3 at 256kbps. I find it to be the most efficient in terms of quality versus filesize.
    The music industry is a cruel and shallow money trench where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

  21. #21
    (Still) On 13 week vacation
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    .ogg > *
    >>untie shoes

  22. #22
    ••ps, I did it again
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    Is lossy *really* a word?

  23. #23

  24. #24
    ••ps, I did it again
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    I already looked it up, but I bet it's LIEING.

  25. #25
    Just for the hell of it, would you mind examining Sony's ATRAC3 format too? I'd like to see how it fares as compared to the other formats (Since I can only use ATRAC3 and MP3 on my PSP)

  26. #26
    i would if you could show me a good atrac3 encoder other than sony's crappy bloatware
    eat right, exercise, die anyway

  27. #27
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    I rip all my music in EAC using Ogg Vorbis quality 7...good enough for lossless studio monitoring. I've heard good things about Musepack, but honestly Vorbis is so far in development and so complete that I see no reason to switch.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  28. #28
    Redeemed Scoundrel
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    Originally posted by Shintock
    Maybe this should be stickied.

    I usually encode to 192kbps CBR MP3, or the rough equivalent in Vorbis. I use LAME through Audacity. If it's something that I want to archive, I'll go to 256kbps or FLAC.
    I've heard that LAME is a much better encoder than CBR.

    I prefer the mp3 format b/c it is practically universal, and a lot of players (including the one in my car) reconize it. Most of my mp3s are > 192 kbs, although I will settle for 128 kbs on things that aren't as important.

  29. #29
    Originally posted by Pagewizard_YKS
    I've heard that LAME is a much better encoder than CBR.
    CBR isn't an encoder it is a way of encoding (constant bit rate) LAME is capable of CBR encoding but VBR is MUCH better for sound quality
    eat right, exercise, die anyway

  30. #30
    Balls of steel.
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    I've switched to iTunes recently, and I've been re-ripping my CD's in 256kbps AAC. Sounds great to me.

  31. #31
    Hey guys, did you hear about Something Awful?
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    Cool.

  32. #32
    Just thought you might be interested in this tidbit of info:

    The PSP (as many of you know) is now able to execute homebrew code, so emulators and programs can be written for the PSP.

    But more on topic, there is a specific homebrew program, PSPAmp, which is based off of XMMS (and thus, Winamp). The biggest thing about this, is it supports much more than MP3 and ATRAC3.

    While currently the program is in closed beta, here's the expected list of support formats:

    MP3 (durrr)
    *WMA
    ATRAC3 (Durrr)
    *AAC (Non-secure, of course)
    Musepack Xtreme & Standard
    AIFF (mac format)
    WAV
    FLAC
    OGG
    *MIDI (Limited support. Currently employs a FM synth, sounds like an SNES :p)

    Everything with an * is buggy at the moment, and support may be dropped in the future.

    But I thought I would point out that this would be a way of listening to Musepack on a portable device, something I haven't seen yet either.

  33. #33
    yeah but i'm not gonna bother using the music features of the PSP (when i finally get one) [insert photos of iriver here]
    eat right, exercise, die anyway

  34. #34
    Loves Thrawn426... something something
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    Could someone point me to a free program that can rip in ogg, and mp3. I know I can use programs like realplayer (the free version) for mp3, but I want a scrict ripping program. I know need a media player built in.

    I just want something thats free, and that can rip cds in the ogg and mp3 format.

    And thanks for the informative thread
    Flipsides crackers are the best crackers to have ever existed

  35. #35
    well the best ripper is EAC but it is a little tricky to set up and requires external encoders for mp3 and ogg

    also to properly test any C2 features of your drive (a good C2 feature can speed up the rip alot using secure mode) you'll need a badly scratched audio cd... if you don't already have one you can always burn one and scratch it up

    also i suggest http://www.accuraterip.com (the installer is for dbpoweramp but you can copy the dll to the EAC folder) after installing accurate rip into the EAC folder before ripping put in a few ORIGINAL COPIES of some audio CDs so accurate rip can check your drive's read offset (using a burned disc will give inaccurate results) it's best to do this with at least 3 discs that accuraterip recognizes as a key disc


    now for setup guides EAC

    any format you would want to save to

    for encoders i suggest http://www.rarewares.org get LAME for mp3 and the latest aotuv encoder for vorbis
    eat right, exercise, die anyway

  36. #36
    ••ps, I did it again
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    Lossy Format Comparisons sure are important!!!!

  37. #37
    Hey guys, did you hear about Something Awful?
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    Need good headphones with this.

    Darth Beyer DT990's like mine, or Sennheiser HD500-600 or so.

  38. #38
    WMA files 64 kbps rule! 23 MB per cd!! w00t! except if you have a Dream Theater CD, then it's prolly more XD

  39. #39
    Apparently they removed your ears at birth..
    "NAILFACE" - spe

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Seb View Post
    Apparently they removed your ears at birth..
    I could end up frying mine, and could go deaf - which is like not having ears at all... Nothing beats music a full volume however, despite the fact I use a minidisc player with the Sony speakers and earphones I got free with it...

    The Sonic Stage software is awesome and I just can't live without it.. (oh damn I cannot actully find it). Even Duffy's 'Rockferry' sounds great on the system (Yes I confess to that). Saying that I've expermented using different formats but there's no real difference .

    'Life Is Loud'

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