Do higher bitrates pay off?

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Do higher bitrates pay off?

Post by butters » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:03 pm

Too much trouble to copy and paste the 4 page article. Basically the article takes 4 self-proclaimed audiophiles and has them listen to 3 versions of the same songs. The results are surprising.

Article
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Post by |darc| » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:46 pm

I can definitely tell when something is encoded at 128kbps. 160kbps is probably acceptable under most circumstances, but I prefer 192kbps just to keep things safe. When it comes to bands that are really important to me, I choose lossless not necessarily because of its higher quality, but also because of its archival nature.
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Post by Thomas » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:03 pm

|darc| wrote:I can definitely tell when something is encoded at 128kbps. 160kbps is probably acceptable under most circumstances, but I prefer 192kbps just to keep things safe. When it comes to bands that are really important to me, I choose lossless not necessarily because of its higher quality, but also because of its archival nature.
Well said. 192kbps is the lowest I will go, but usually I stick with VBR (V2 w/ lame 3.97). The only lossless stuff I grab is stuff I have on vinyl, just to archieve it incase something happens to the vinyl.
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Post by BlackAura » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:32 pm

It always depends on the source material, your speaker equipment, and your ears (how well your ears pick up high-frequency harmonics will make a big difference). Occasionally, something will sound fine at 96kbps, and 128kbps is often fine. However, there's some source material that's really hard to compress, and would require 192kbps to get good quality.

Which is why I usually use VBR. And usually either Ogg Vorbis or AAC instead of MP3.
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Post by butters » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:36 pm

BlackAura wrote:It always depends on the source material, your speaker equipment, and your ears (how well your ears pick up high-frequency harmonics will make a big difference). Occasionally, something will sound fine at 96kbps, and 128kbps is often fine. However, there's some source material that's really hard to compress, and would require 192kbps to get good quality.

Which is why I usually use VBR. And usually either Ogg Vorbis or AAC instead of MP3.
Unfortunately most portable audio devices don't playback Ogg or AAC...
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Post by BlackAura » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:04 pm

butters wrote:Unfortunately most portable audio devices don't playback Ogg or AAC...
All of mine play at least one of them, usually Ogg Vorbis.
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Post by Thomas » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:11 pm

BlackAura wrote:
butters wrote:Unfortunately most portable audio devices don't playback Ogg or AAC...
All of mine play at least one of them, usually Ogg Vorbis.
Most of the newer models of mp3 players are able to play all sorts of formats these days with the stock firmware. And a lot of 3rd party firmware can be installed on different players to allow them to be played.
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Post by SadisticSaviorX » Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:33 am

|darc| wrote:I can definitely tell when something is encoded at 128kbps. 160kbps is probably acceptable under most circumstances, but I prefer 192kbps just to keep things safe. When it comes to bands that are really important to me, I choose lossless not necessarily because of its higher quality, but also because of its archival nature.
I do just about the same but 192kbps VBR is what I use for just about everything I encode. I haven't dabbled in lossless because I don't notice a quality difference after 192k.
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Post by melancholy » Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:53 am

I just 128k CRB everything and say screw it. I'm all about space over quality.
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Post by |darc| » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:08 am

melancholy wrote:I just 128k CRB everything and say screw it. I'm all about space over quality.
You're much better off doing something like 96k VBR mono. Smaller and better quality, less annoying than low quality stereo.
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Post by melancholy » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:19 am

|darc| wrote:
melancholy wrote:I just 128k CRB everything and say screw it. I'm all about space over quality.
You're much better off doing something like 96k VBR mono. Smaller and better quality, less annoying than low quality stereo.
There are a lot of things I could do better. But with a music collection as large as mine, it would take days to try to change it all and I'm just not willing to do that at this point.
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Post by Roofus » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:34 am

I do 192 CBR
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Post by Caboose » Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:10 pm

My headphones are too crappy to be able to tell the difference in most cases.
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Post by Sir Savant » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:41 pm

Caboose wrote:My headphones are too crappy to be able to tell the difference in most cases.
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Post by not just souLLy now » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:28 am

I reencoded a lot of my collection a year ago from mainly 128kb MP3s and WMAs to a minimum of 192kbps lame encoded VBR MP3s, I was shocked at just how much better they sounded- sounds that I thought were part of some songs turned out to be just glitches and I also heard background noises I'd never heard before (since I only listen to music through my PC or MP3 player, never from an original CD). Deftones - White Pony and A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms were the best examples of albums that totally changed for me.
I'm not a semi-bitrate nazi and I'm irritated if I have something in a low bitrate or a crappy file format and can't get a better version.
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Post by Zealous zerotype » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:07 am

I just do V2 for most stuff. I fail to see the quality diffrence between v2 and v0 and see CBR as a waste of space.
SCO=SCUM=M$=SCO it keeps repeating :P
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Post by Christuserloeser » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:45 pm

I started my collection a few years ago at 192kbps CBR via CDex (which I think uses lame) but I noticed problems with Nine Inch Nails' Fragile. I got studio headphones so even when encoded at 320kbps and q=0 I could tell the difference between the 16bit WAV and the MP3.
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Post by Zealous zerotype » Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:21 pm

Could you tell a diffrence or did you just think you could tell a diffrence. Do an ABX test and prove it to your self to see.
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Post by Quzar » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:40 am

not just souLLy now wrote:I reencoded a lot of my collection a year ago from mainly 128kb MP3s and WMAs to a minimum of 192kbps lame encoded VBR MP3s, I was shocked at just how much better they sounded- sounds that I thought were part of some songs turned out to be just glitches and I also heard background noises I'd never heard before (since I only listen to music through my PC or MP3 player, never from an original CD).
That's exactly how I felt when I moved from 192kbps vbr mp3/320cbr to lossless. You're still missing so much that you just don't know is there.
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Post by Christuserloeser » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:05 pm

Zealous zerotype wrote:Could you tell a diffrence or did you just think you could tell a diffrence.
I could easily tell the difference.

Let me put it this way: In the original 16bit WAVs there were like 100 Trent Reznors chanting. In the MP3 there were like maybe 50, which is quite a big difference.

That said, MP3 is still what I use. It's just that I am aware that it can't really compete with a lossless format.
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