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#94468 - 05/16/05 11:57 AM MP3 incoders?
bray Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1805
Loc: Colorado
After doing some extensive A/B comparrisons between some MP3s and redbook cds I've become very dissapointed in the MP3s.
Currently I use iTunes to convert to MP3s and I was wondering what else is out there that would work better.
All of my MP3s are at 190kbps or higher. I've been told with that compression rate the MP3s should be "virtually transparent" when compared with redbook cds.
Whatever program(s) suggested must work on a Mac and the end product must be able to be played on an iPod.
Any ideas?
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#94469 - 05/16/05 12:58 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Somebody here put me onto CDEx recently. VERY fast and very good. I use it w/ my iPod on a PC though. Not sure if there's a Mac version, I tried to google but didn't see anything w/ a quick search.

I'd be interested what answer you get. I'm going to call a favor and see if I can get a discount on a Mac Mini this week.

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#94470 - 05/16/05 02:33 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
James_T Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 715
Loc: Seattle WA
ARS Technica has a great article about this. They recommend LAME and I personally use Exact Audio Copy as the program to rip. It requires more know how than most programs, but it's fast and efficient and always works for me. Meaning even discs that are not supposed to be rip-able are. Also, you may want to make it a habit to hold the shift key down as you close your CD-ROM door as this disables most of the DRM software.
I hope that's helpful

jr
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#94471 - 05/16/05 05:49 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
Engine_Joe Offline
local

Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 239
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
If you use iTunes, why encode to MP3? I encode AACs from my CDs at 192 and find that to sound notably superior to MP3s. No need to change programs if you like those results.
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#94472 - 05/16/05 05:55 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
curtis Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 1501
Loc: Manhattan Beach, CA
iTunes ripping MP3 vs AAC is a no brainer....it does not do a good job with MP3.

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#94473 - 05/16/05 06:31 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
Thasp Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 339
iTunes is the worst MP3 encoder there is. Check blind listening tests done by hydrogenaudio.org - even xing, well known as being the worst audio encoder(they traded quality for speed) did better than iTunes encoded MP3s.

They also push AAC hardly so that they can push other players that don't support it out of the market - go figure.

LAME is the best encoder. Check around hydrogenaudio.org, --alt-preset standard is the standard you should use. It's VBR - the bitrate will change according to how complex the passage is, and it uses custom switches that you can't use just by screwing around with it. HA.org is like the NRC of psychoacoustic audio compression so to speak: I think you'll find a great wealth of information there.

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#94474 - 05/16/05 08:17 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
Engine_Joe Offline
local

Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 239
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
AAC is not a proprietary format - it's not Apple's fault if any given other portable player doesn't support it. AAC is basically "MP4" - a completely public codec. That's kinda like blaming an encoder for not supporting ogg vorbis files.

You're thinking of Apple's Fairplay DRM, which is only supported on the iPod. That only applies to AAC files downloaded from the iTunes Music Store.


Edited by Engine_Joe (05/16/05 08:24 PM)
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#94475 - 05/16/05 11:24 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
It's been said but LAME with Exact Audio Copy is hard to beat.

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#94476 - 05/16/05 11:47 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
curtis Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 1501
Loc: Manhattan Beach, CA
FWIW, I use CDex with the latest LAME dll.

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#94477 - 05/16/05 11:56 PM Re: MP3 incoders?
Thasp Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 339
Whoops, I confused where they were screwing people, my bad..

It's still sneaky as hell to make the MP3 encoder suck hard so the AAC encoder looks better. Making an MP3 encoder worse than xing takes careful engineering..

CDex and EAC in their secure modes will rip CDs best due to the checking algorithms. If a CD has a hair on it or a huge scratch, it'll read it better than any other player.

Lastly, the latest LAME encoder isn't always the best. The people who made the --alt-presets and who worked on lots of the LAME code stopped at 3.90.3. It hasn't gotten much better since than, especially in --alt-preset standard. in ABX some of the new versions test worse, there hasn't been any improvement. That's what's still recommended by HA now..


Edited by Thasp (05/16/05 11:58 PM)

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