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Thread: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

  1. #31
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    i rip all my cds to FLAC. so that i can play them on a beagleboard hooked up to a hifi running mpd (controlled by any computer in the house). from FLAC it is easy to convert to any other formats. i keep an mp3 copy of everything on my laptop, to save a bit of space, and so that i can easily copy onto other devices. all the metadata survives the conversions.

  2. #32
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    Best is mp3 because of compatibility.

    Since I got back into Linux I use FLAC and ogg because I prefer the quality of flac for archiving and ogg for portability.

    It has meant that I've had to buy an ogg compatible music player because my phone won't play ogg or flac. I had to get one off the net because the sales guy had no idea what ogg was.

  3. #33
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    FLAC (or ALAC in an M4A container - it's just as good at lossless compression, but has some support on iDevices) is obviously the best choice for archiving audio.

    In terms of lossy formats, going for quality at a given bit rate, the current (Feb 2013) ranking of codecs for stereo music is:
    - Opus (brand-new codec from xiph.org)
    - AAC (normally in an M4A container; for extra compression you can use the 'high-efficiency' profile, though I can hear noticeable artefacts with very-low-bit rate, even on my £15 'walking around' headphones - but it should be reasonably acceptable for listening on a train)
    - Vorbis
    - WMA (should be on-par with Vorbis, obviously not particularly relevant to this forum)
    - MP3

    ...however, LAME can encode MP3s very well, for my 'walking around' headphones I find that using a quality setting of 3 (VBR; averages to around 150-195kbit/s over a number of tracks) is transparent with CD audio. It's only on speakers or studio-quality headphones that you'll hear a difference - and even then, you'll generally have to be listening out for it. Generally speaking, it's only at fairly low bit rates (<128kbit/s) that you'll hear any difference between codecs. In terms of compatibility with devices, the ranking would go:
    - MP3
    - WMA
    - AAC in an M4A
    - Ogg Vorbis (a surprising number of MP3 players support it, though it's often undocumented in the manual)
    - AAC-HE in an M4A
    - Opus (you won't find compatibility on any hardware players yet, though since it's an IETF standard, support may grow in the coming years)

    On my computer, I store music as FLAC & transcode to whatever is the best format a specific player will support; at the moment that means VBR MP3 for my ancient stupid-phone.
    Last edited by evilsoup; February 9th, 2013 at 07:20 PM.

  4. #34
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    Yea LAME is exceptional for encoding MP3s.
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  5. #35
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    I use mp3's. Every OS and device can read them.

  6. #36
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    Quote Originally Posted by evilsoup View Post
    - Opus (brand-new codec from xiph.org)
    The specs on that actually look very nice.
    I will have to see if I can play it on my phone.
    EDIT: The answer that that is "not yet" but there are plans to implement it.
    I could convert my audiobooks to Opus to save space, they don't really need to be in flac.

    My portable headphones are pretty good so my music still needs to be lossless.
    Last edited by arclance; February 10th, 2013 at 04:54 AM.
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  7. #37
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    I have been writing an audiophile encoding program recently, so I have done quite a bit of research and testing. As far as I am concerned it comes down to 2 codecs:

    - Nero AAC with -q 1.0 (My >30000 song archive would explode the disk if it were all FLAC)
    - FLAC with --best, of course (For HD audio, masters, etc.)

    By the way, I'd be more than happy if you tested the app: https://tari.in/www/eng/software/odio/
    Last edited by TariBuntu; June 20th, 2013 at 11:30 AM.

  8. #38
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    I use FLAC. (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
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  9. #39
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

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  10. #40
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    Re: Whats the best format to encode music in today?

    @arclance

    Thanks for the tip. Being an audio person, I just had to check everything there was on the net about Opus. I examined tons of graphs, read multiple testing reports - even did some listening. Here are the findings:

    - For maniac quality (almost lossless) encoding, the Nero AAC still seems to be the leader
    - For a limited bitrate encoding Opus beats everything else
    - As I stated on my site, if you have no space issues, forget everything and go for FLAC

    NOTE 1: when I talk about NeroAacEnc, I mean -q 1.0 (max quality variable bitrate).
    NOTE 2: NeroAacEnc is free and proprietary
    NOTE 3: Opus is free and open
    Last edited by TariBuntu; June 21st, 2013 at 08:00 AM.

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