Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Difference between CD and MP3

Difference between CD and MP3
July 03, 2006, 03:31:34 PM
What's the difference between an audio cd burned from mp3 files and an audio cd burned from flac files? Is there a big difference?

Re: audio cd's
July 03, 2006, 03:45:41 PM
MP3 is whats known as lossy compression - it greatly reduces the size of the original wav file at the loss of sound quality. As such, any cd burned from this depends on the quality of the compression.

FLAC on the other hand is LOSSLESS compression - it produces a bit-by-bit copy of the original ensuring the best sound quality albeit resulting in a much larger filesize.

Re: audio cd's
July 03, 2006, 03:55:10 PM
Quote
MP3 is whats known as lossy compression - it greatly reduces the size of the original wav file at the loss of sound quality. As such, any cd burned from this depends on the quality of the compression.

FLAC on the other hand is LOSSLESS compression - it produces a bit-by-bit copy of the original ensuring the best sound quality albeit resulting in a much larger filesize.


Is it true that the perceptible difference between MP3 and CD goes to 0 once you hit 192 kbps?

Re: audio cd's
July 03, 2006, 05:57:14 PM
Quote

Is it true that the perceptible difference between MP3 and CD goes to 0 once you hit 192 kbps?


For me, yes. For most others, yes. For others, those who have the absolute best hearing, hell no. There does exist a contingent where even bitrates like 320kbps will make them notice a loss, and piss them off to no end, and while their troubles are not relevent to most, I think that FLACs would be a far more preferable solution if one was to do something like archiving music for public consumption, say as a way of preserving it, and the Administrator of this forum was wise to try to collect lossless versions of rare metal recordings, as they may be used to preserve music in a lossless manner so that those with the best ears can hear them perfectly.

Re: audio cd's
July 03, 2006, 06:43:33 PM
Quote

For me, yes. For most others, yes. For others, those who have the absolute best hearing, hell no. There does exist a contingent where even bitrates like 320kbps will make them notice a loss, and piss them off to no end, and while their troubles are not relevent to most, I think that FLACs would be a far more preferable solution if one was to do something like archiving music for public consumption, say as a way of preserving it, and the Administrator of this forum was wise to try to collect lossless versions of rare metal recordings, as they may be used to preserve music in a lossless manner so that those with the best ears can hear them perfectly.



Ah, I see, thanks for explaining that.  I actually can't even here a difference at 128, but I can't go lower than that.  I think whenever I get around to getting a new computer (unnecessary right now) I'll rip everything to 192, and perhaps set up a sort of archive with FLACs.  I mostly use MP3s out of habit, size, Soulseek preference, and for my ipod (it was a gift, before anyone cries jew on me).

Re: audio cd's
July 03, 2006, 11:59:38 PM
Quote


Ah, I see, thanks for explaining that.  I actually can't even here a difference at 128, but I can't go lower than that.  I think whenever I get around to getting a new computer (unnecessary right now) I'll rip everything to 192, and perhaps set up a sort of archive with FLACs.  I mostly use MP3s out of habit, size, Soulseek preference, and for my ipod (it was a gift, before anyone cries jew on me).


Please also make sure to use the right encoder. If you have WMP 10, you can use mp3 professional for free. Just follow the steps here (the important steps are described in english, the only thing you need to do if you have the player installed is to download the .reg file and double-click on it). If you don't have or want mp3 pro, use lame or oggenc2. oggenc2 is about as good as mp3 pro, with the downside that it produces .ogg rather than .mp3.

Make sure to encode at 224 kbps or higher (level 6 for oggenc2) for good quality, and don't forget the HQ setting for mp3 pro.

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 07:07:27 AM
Quote

Please also make sure to use the right encoder. If you have WMP 10, you can use mp3 professional for free. Just follow the steps here (the important steps are described in english, the only thing you need to do if you have the player installed is to download the .reg file and double-click on it). If you don't have or want mp3 pro, use lame or oggenc2. oggenc2 is about as good as mp3 pro, with the downside that it produces .ogg rather than .mp3.

Make sure to encode at 224 kbps or higher (level 6 for oggenc2) for good quality, and don't forget the HQ setting for mp3 pro.



So, the encoding makes a significant difference in audio quality?  I didn't know this.  If you could go into a bit more detail into the various encodings and their uses, I and the board would be very appreciative.

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 07:49:31 AM
Quote


So, the encoding makes a significant difference in audio quality?  I didn't know this.  If you could go into a bit more detail into the various encodings and their uses, I and the board would be very appreciative.


What he was talking about was using MP3Pro. I don't recommend this personally, as this format suffers a loss in quality if not played on an MP3Pro compatible player. MP3Pro isn't a bad format quality wise, but there are better alternatives which entirely replace the aging MP3 format.

MP3 is basically an obsolete format, being invented almost 20 years ago actually. The reason the encoder matters is that while MP3 is a set format, the sound that's "discarded" is different depending on the encoder.

The worst encoder, and for a long time unfortunately the most common encoder, is Xing. This encoder is infamous for cutting out ALL frequencies above 16KHz, which is still in the range of human hearing, and thus this encoder will sound like utter shit even at 320kbps.

The best MP3 encoder I would say is LAME, although I have heard of problems with recent versions, if one can track down version 3.91 of the LAME encoder, this was the last version I know to work without problems. I am unsure if they were corrected, but the LAME project suffered from disorganization and uncorrected bugs after that release, which came out several years ago.

Fraunhofer is a solid MP3 codec made by the people who invented MP3s, and is never a bad choice of encoder. It has very good quality.

Blade encoder I know nothing about, except that its quality is mediocre.

I would say that OGG Vorbis (.ogg), an open source format which has many (compatible) variant encoders created by people for either specialized purposes or higher quality, is one of the best formats to encode audio into now. Support is lacking on trendy devices like the iPod, but don't get a trendy, inferior device like the iPod and you're fine.

MP4 (.m4a) is a decent format as well, and is fairly well supported. It is a decent choice of format.

WMA is good, better than MP3 quality rise, but has Digital Rights Management features, which means that someone may download a WMA file and discover that its unplayable without a decryption key. As such, this format will always suck in my mind.

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 02:06:46 PM
Quote

What he was talking about was using MP3Pro. I don't recommend this personally, as this format suffers a loss in quality if not played on an MP3Pro compatible player.


I think that (even) at high bitrates mp3 professional is better than LAME - can you provide further information?

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 02:10:21 PM
Quote
Over the years, as your ears get used and trained, you can't really listen to anything else than original quality, otherwise it's kind of "annoying".


The problem with portable audio CD players is that the CD might get damaged.  :(

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 02:20:31 PM
Quote

I think that (even) at high bitrates mp3 professional is better than LAME - can you provide further information?


It's better if it's played by a player which supports MP3Pro, definitely. However, many audio players DON'T, and play it as a regular MP3, and just plain don't use the extra sound data that is in the MP3Pro file, and the sound is actually worse this way. Basically, MP3Pro files can be played on any MP3 player, but only on special ones that support MP3Pro specifically do they not sound like shit. There are licenseing issues with MP3Pro, so many do not. Since they both have the same extension (.mp3), a user might not realize that he's downloading an MP3Pro file.

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 02:31:57 PM
Quote

It's better if it's played by a player which supports MP3Pro, definitely. However, many audio players DON'T, and play it as a regular MP3, and just plain don't use the extra sound data that is in the MP3Pro file, and the sound is actually worse this way. Basically, MP3Pro files can be played on any MP3 player, but only on special ones that support MP3Pro specifically do they not sound like shit. There are licenseing issues with MP3Pro, so many do not. Since they both have the same extension (.mp3), a user might not realize that he's downloading an MP3Pro file.


I don't see how extra information for low quality rips(!), even if not recognized,  result in a loss of audio quality for high quality rips if compared to LAME, since still the premise is that mp3 professional encodes better than LAME at high bitrates even without this extra information.

Would a standard waveform analyzer recognize the difference, then?

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 03:20:04 PM
Quote

I don't see how extra information for low quality rips(!), even if not recognized,  result in a loss of audio quality for high quality rips if compared to LAME, since still the premise is that mp3 professional encodes better than LAME at high bitrates even without this extra information.

Would a standard waveform analyzer recognize the difference, then?


You're not understanding what MP3Pro is. MP3Pro is different from other MP3s. It has two ways it stores sound data: one is readable as regular MP3 data, the other is specialized MP3Pro data. Media players which only play MP3s but without special MP3Pro support will only recognize the former data, but an MP3Pro enabled player will recognize both the former data and the latter.

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 03:36:49 PM
Quote

You're not understanding what MP3Pro is. MP3Pro is different from other MP3s. It has two ways it stores sound data: one is readable as regular MP3 data, the other is specialized MP3Pro data. Media players which only play MP3s but without special MP3Pro support will only recognize the former data, but an MP3Pro enabled player will recognize both the former data and the latter.


mp3 pro is available for high bitrates now. Again: what is your source?

Personal testing experience:

a) Fraunhofer mp3 professional and LAME encoding results in ~ the same filesize
b) comparable oggenc2 encoding (VBR) results in a somewhat smaller filesize
c) LAME encoding is inferior to mp3 pro and oggenc2 encoding

Re: audio cd's
July 04, 2006, 03:53:50 PM
Quote

mp3 pro is available for high bitrates now. Again: what is your source?

Personal testing experience:

a) Fraunhofer mp3 professional and LAME encoding results in ~ the same filesize
b) comparable oggenc2 encoding (VBR) results in a somewhat smaller filesize
c) LAME encoding is inferior to mp3 pro and oggenc2 encoding


MP3Pro is available at high bitrates. My POINT is that it requires special support to play at the quality you're listening to it at, and you have this special support in your media player. To others it appears to be a regular MP3, which it is NOT. Furthermore, licensing difficulties means that not all players will support it, thus causing the sound quality to suffer greatly on these players.

Read all about the MP3Pro format and all its technical aspects here: http://www.digit-life.com/articles/mp3pro/index.html