Poll: Audio encoding. FLAC or 320kbps mp3?

What kind of audio encoding do you prefer?

FLAC
6 votes
mp3
25 votes
Other
2 votes
don't know
1 votes

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LonelyAmure

LonelyAmure

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In the realm of audio and music as we know it today, there are many types of different audio encoding, used to rip music or audio from a certain sound source in different ways, whether it's a disc or even a live recording. Now, if you're an audiophile out there like some people are (you probably don't even need to be) and love listening to quality music with high bitrates, I'd like to ask.

What kind of high quality encoding do you prefer?

For those of you that don't know:

Info on FLAC
Info on MP3

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UberDog

UberDog

Infinite Wubz...

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mp3

There is more of a standardization for Hardware and Software.

That is my $0.02

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ndox900

ndox900

ndeso forever ^_^

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mp3 for me :D

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for FLAC or APE, i record them into DAT for hifi listening
and MP3 320kbps for Ipod, i can't tell the difference once i'm outdoor.

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The best quality will be wav.

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  • Jun 23, 2010
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Mp3

cuz you'll never find any differences in sound quality of Mp3 320 and lossless formats
Of course difference exist, but you can't hear it - I approve.

also, most flash/hdd players and other portable devices from all losseless formats suppots only wav,
not easy to download wav music now - everybody uses flac/alac ets.

TiffYG2133

TiffYG2133

• WINNER •

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MP3 because that's what my MP3 player...uses...plays!

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bukx

bukx

~:SMT fanatic:~

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i like both FLAC and MP3 but still prefer MP3~

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kikaruu

kikaruu

I'm fairly innocuous.

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MP3.

1 Disk space is limited at the moment. You can't fit much hi-fi into 4-10 gb.
2 Even though I'm a producer, I don't have superhuman hearing. 320 (or even 192) sounds fine to me. Besides, most people get 128-320 kb/s mp3's when they buy them, anyway, so why worry over a bit more fidelity when no one else cares? Although I listen to the songs I write in 320 or 160 just because I double release in 320/160.
3 Sharing. Not everyone owns a system that plays FLAC. If I want to share a song with someone, or a preview of a track that I want an opinion on, there's no point in sending FLAC since no one I know uses FLAC. MP3 is perfectly fine in this case, as it's smaller and still sounds alright.
4 I was born in the '90s. MP3 holds a bit of nostalgia value.

My only complaint is that MP3 is not FOSS. I really don't like the idea of licensing (since my main DAW could benefit from mp3 export if it was cheap enough) and compression from WAV can result in unsightly artifacts. Like chirps. Eugh.

~Kikaruu

You should check out my free music! http://www.last.fm/music/Kikaruu/

  • Jun 23, 2010

GanymedeNites

GanymedeNites

Bebop FTW!!!

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MP3 is the only way to go.

  • Jun 23, 2010
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Quote by kikaruuMP3.

1 Disk space is limited at the moment. You can't fit much hi-fi into 4-10 gb.
2 Even though I'm a producer, I don't have superhuman hearing. 320 (or even 192) sounds fine to me. Besides, most people get 128-320 kb/s mp3's when they buy them, anyway, so why worry over a bit more fidelity when no one else cares? Although I listen to the songs I write in 320 or 160 just because I double release in 320/160.
3 Sharing. Not everyone owns a system that plays FLAC. If I want to share a song with someone, or a preview of a track that I want an opinion on, there's no point in sending FLAC since no one I know uses FLAC. MP3 is perfectly fine in this case, as it's smaller and still sounds alright.
4 I was born in the '90s. MP3 holds a bit of nostalgia value.

My only complaint is that MP3 is not FOSS. I really don't like the idea of licensing (since my main DAW could benefit from mp3 export if it was cheap enough) and compression from WAV can result in unsightly artifacts. Like chirps. Eugh.

What are you talking about?

WAV is a uncompress format not a compression. There is no compression in WAV. If you want a good MP3, FLAC or any other types of lossless formats. You will start with WAV and then encode to the format you want.
If you start with a low 192bitrate MP3 and encode to 320 it won't give you a boost in quality since the original music file is already deteriorated.
And I'm glad these days media storage are getting larger in size like them Blu-Ray where you can watch hi-def movies with high quality uncompressed audio like LPCM. There was this movie or game that comes on a Blu-Ray disc and the size of the audio itself is already 25gb.


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  • Jun 23, 2010

hironohiro56

hironohiro56

Death vs Rebirth

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dont know, well not yet. xD

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+1 tiki 223

wave is RAVE format, there no adjustments, only bit depth (ex: 16, 24) and discretisation rate (for ex 44100, 48000)

Ardith

Ardith

white flame

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My music player uses MP3, and I need to conserve space on my storage, since I like to collect tons of stuff on there. Speaking of Other, I heard ogg is a nice format? but I don't know that much about it...

kikaruu

kikaruu

I'm fairly innocuous.

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Quote by tiki223

What are you talking about?

WAV is a uncompress format not a compression. There is no compression in WAV. If you want a good MP3, FLAC or any other types of lossless formats. You will start with WAV and then encode to the format you want.
If you start with a low 192bitrate MP3 and encode to 320 it won't give you a boost in quality since the original music file is already deteriorated.
And I'm glad these days media storage are getting larger in size like them Blu-Ray where you can watch hi-def movies with high quality uncompressed audio like LPCM. There was this movie or game that comes on a Blu-Ray disc and the size of the audio itself is already 25gb.


That's not what I meant (although you are correct). WAV is lossless, and compressing it down to MP3 loses some data. Using LAME, I sometimes get artifacts due to the compression process from WAV to MP3 (maybe a better term or cause would be glitches -- my comp is a dinosaur, and RAM restraints cause the oddest things to happen). I still haven't isolated why, but I'll probably switch programs one day so it doesn't matter.

I never upsample, and I never re-encode from low bitrate to high bitrate. Like you said, there isn't a difference because the data i already lost. However, I occasionally re-encode from a higher bitrate to 160 kb/s to fit more music on my PMP (which is a PSP-1000). With cans, I don't really mind, since I get background noise from my surroundings anyway.

And, if I use a sample that was low-quality (e.g. 11 kHz, 60 kb/s), it'll be upsampled in output because other samples are of a higher quality (WAV and FLAC), and the output from the VSTs I use are of a higher quality (48/96kHz, lossless). But that's due to overall rendering, and not everyday resampling/re-encoding.

Did I clear that up?

~Kikaruu

You should check out my free music! http://www.last.fm/music/Kikaruu/

  • Jun 23, 2010
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I always prefer mp3 ^^

  • Jun 24, 2010
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Quote by kikaruu
That's not what I meant (although you are correct). WAV is lossless, and compressing it down to MP3 loses some data. Using LAME, I sometimes get artifacts due to the compression process from WAV to MP3 (maybe a better term or cause would be glitches -- my comp is a dinosaur, and RAM restraints cause the oddest things to happen). I still haven't isolated why, but I'll probably switch programs one day so it doesn't matter.

I never upsample, and I never re-encode from low bitrate to high bitrate. Like you said, there isn't a difference because the data i already lost. However, I occasionally re-encode from a higher bitrate to 160 kb/s to fit more music on my PMP (which is a PSP-1000). With cans, I don't really mind, since I get background noise from my surroundings anyway.

And, if I use a sample that was low-quality (e.g. 11 kHz, 60 kb/s), it'll be upsampled in output because other samples are of a higher quality (WAV and FLAC), and the output from the VSTs I use are of a higher quality (48/96kHz, lossless). But that's due to overall rendering, and not everyday resampling/re-encoding.

Did I clear that up?

My parent has some old cassette tapes in which they bought during their youthful years and would like to listen to it on their MP3 players.
So I've took the cassettes, recorded them to my system via wav, then encoded them to MP3, and there were no artifacts.
Since you're a producer, I assume you must have some fancy sound equipment and most important a dedicated sound card?
If not, then consider getting a dedicated sound card.

Why?

Integrated audio codecs lacks its own digital signal processor which off loads the work to the CPU. Since the CPU is already working on the audio chores, running the encoding software will require CPU cycles as well. If you got a low to moderate processor, there won't be enough resources for everyone, which might be the reason for your artifacts or "glitches". Dedicated sound cards have a hardware based DSP* which will take care of your audio while your CPU can focus on one task.

For professional audio solutions take a look at M-Audio or EM-U.
BTW: Asus also has a sound card with build in HDMIs


* not all will have a DSP.
e.g. Audigy 2 SE is a dedicated sound card, but it's audio codec lacks DSP so it still off loads to the host.

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  • Jun 24, 2010

kikaruu

kikaruu

I'm fairly innocuous.

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Quote by tiki223My parent has some old cassette tapes in which they bought during their youthful years and would like to listen to it on their MP3 players.
So I've took the cassettes, recorded them to my system via wav, then encoded them to MP3, and there were no artifacts.
Since you're a producer, I assume you must have some fancy sound equipment and most important a dedicated sound card?
If not, then consider getting a dedicated sound card.

No, I don't use any fancy equipment. I release albums as a hobby, not for profit, so I mainly compose, mix, and master through different pairs of headphones, earbuds, stereos, laptop speakers, and desktop speakers (in order to replicate different home systems) driven by my headphone jack. Cheap? For sure. High quality? Not exactly. It works, though, and none of my listeners have really complained, so... As long as the music sounds good through different sources, I'm happy.

Now, I've considered a dedicated card, but at this point, I couldn't justify the cost. I make music for myself to fill voids in my collection, really. (Other people happen to like my music, so I started releasing.) Mainly, however, I am my own top listener; I don't mind the quality I get from a standard pair of headphones. That's enough for me. If I ever get to a point where I'm selling, then I will definitely get a dedicated card. There's no way that I'm letting occasional glitches into an album for profit, unless it's glitch-based music. And I haven't written glitch in a while. (While I'm at it, decent monitors and a sub will be another purchase around that time of purchasing a dedicated unit.)

I have looked over a few cards, but I haven't went shopping. I compose on a laptop, so it'd hopefully be a PCMCIA/PC Card, likely with 2x2 IO for whenever I get around to mixing. But such a model is a bit much/nonexistent at the moment, so I'm waiting a little longer. Failing that, I've considered a USB-based system, but haven't looked much further due to insufficient funds, and a lack of need.

By the way, what software did you use to encode those cassettes from WAV to MP3? Like I mentioned, I'm using LAME at the moment, and if there's a better solution, I'd like to know, you know?

~Kikaruu

You should check out my free music! http://www.last.fm/music/Kikaruu/

  • Jun 24, 2010
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kikaruu, why don't you take a look at ECHO Indigo DJ, it's an ideal sound card for laptop. I used it to drive my Sennheiser HD600, the sound is satisfactory.
About the software you mentioned, you can try Adobe Audition 3.0. i use it a lot for recording and editing, it has a lot functions and very easy to use.
Some of my friends said that external sound cards using FIREWIRE is better than those using USB, i don't know why, but many products only have FIREWIRE. I used M-AUDIO firewire SOLO, i think it's a good choice, not to mention it has 48v fantom power supply which is very useful when doing session work.

tiki223,when you transribe those tapes, did you use a casette deck with advanced DOLBY noise reduction system like DOLBY S? That hardware-based noise reduction is lot better than post production softwares.

kikaruu

kikaruu

I'm fairly innocuous.

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I checked out the line, but the Indigo DJ isn't 2x2. It only has 2 analog 1/8" outs, but I was looking for 2 in, 2 out. It's not a dealbreaker, but it would make mixing go a lot smoother. When I earn 150, I'll start seriously weighing the pros and cons of a soundcard.

Adobe Audition... *heads to main site* Oh wow. That's overkill for simple re-encoding (and the price tag!) and I already have a DAW -- Renoise. Thanks, though. I guess I'll start researching another option.

As far as Firewire vs. USB, it's a latency thing. Firewire allows for lower latency than USB, which can become noticeable and problematic. USB is also susceptible to noise/EM and is reliant on the CPU, unlike Firewire.

*checks computer* I don't have a Firewire jack. Sad face.

~Kikaruu

You should check out my free music! http://www.last.fm/music/Kikaruu/

  • Jun 24, 2010
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Mp3... i don't know why i prefer mp3... just do.

...Watermelon...

  • Jun 24, 2010

tsuyutsuki

tsuyutsuki

The comeback (?)

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mp3. I never used a FLAC before, so I choose the mp3. n_n

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Quote by tiki223
By the way, what software did you use to encode those cassettes from WAV to MP3? Like I mentioned, I'm using LAME at the moment, and if there's a better solution, I'd like to know, you know?

The software is bundle with the sound card so I'm not sure if you can use it without the dedicated hardware.
Since the last time I've ever done it was 5 years ago, the software has changed.
The original version supports WMA to MP3, but the new one (supports Vista and Win7) only does WAV to WMA.
If you want to save as a MP3, users will have to pay $10 bucks! :\

Quote by archangel12345
when you transribe those tapes, did you use a casette deck with advanced DOLBY noise reduction system like DOLBY S? That hardware-based noise reduction is lot better than post production softwares.

Nope, just a good old fashion granny cassette player.

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  • Jun 24, 2010

LonelyAmure

LonelyAmure

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One thing's for sure. Uncompressed WAV takes a heck of a lot of space. I wouldn't pick wav, and I'm not a professional at what I do, so like, I don't really appeal to it.

I chose mp3 because I'm a casual listener (even if this is my own thread), but FLAC would only appeal to me if I actually bought any music CDs that I would want to back up to my External HD =| and plus, there aren't a lot of devices that support FLAC, and like Kikaruu said, not many people use FLAC. FLAC imo would be ideal for me to only backup or duplicate an audio disc on my computer~ FLAC compression, however, is very useful in a lot of cases where WAV would take too much space ^^;; after all, some of us don't have space for uncompressed audio, so FLAC provides a means of no loss and also savvy on disk space when you compare it to WAV...

I use mp3 very often, in my mp3 player, in my computer, and other devices that I could just plug and play and uses mp3.

Not a re-encoder much though. :o

@kikaruu, if you're using a desktop, I think there are some types of desktops that don't normally come with a firewire port so you have to install your own via PCI card. And yeah, Firewire is much faster than USB. Me, I have a firewire port, but the external HD I have right now, it doesn't have a firewire port but a USB port, which I'm fine with. (though I would have gotten a WD mypassport but that costs more)
Laptops usually come with a 4 cell firewire port, like mine does. (and it's 4 years old <.<)
Adobe Audition is one of the best audio re-encoders on the market, but gahahahaha O.O;; working professional lol
My DAW is FL Studio 9. I know, I suck >_< this laptop is clunky so whateva~
I'm not a DJ or an audio producing professional, again, so I wouldn't know about external sound cards. =| much less interfaces and external hardware used for DAWs, mainly because I don't specialize in that kind of stuff~
@tiki223 you are right on a ton of parts. Lol no comment :)

We are so going off topic xDDDD

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