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What determines which encoders/settings you use. (2011)
2011 Reason Poll
The reason I use [blank] for lossy is:
Compatibility [ 103 ] ** [55.68%]
Quality [ 74 ] ** [40.00%]
Match Purchased Music [ 3 ] ** [1.62%]
Other [ 5 ] ** [2.70%]
I use [blank] for lossless because:
Compatibility [ 101 ] ** [54.59%]
Compression [ 29 ] ** [15.68%]
Features [ 27 ] ** [14.59%]
Other [ 28 ] ** [15.14%]
I encode everything lossy at [blank] because:
Highest Quality [ 54 ] ** [29.19%]
Based On What I Can ABX [ 85 ] ** [45.95%]
Absolutely Pack DAP [ 20 ] ** [10.81%]
Other [ 26 ] ** [14.05%]
Total Votes: 238
  
antman
post Jan 4 2011, 01:14
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Isn't this a new years tradition. smile.gif

I thought instead of doing yet another "which lossy/lossless/bitrate do you use" poll, we'd do something a little different. I'm more interested in the reason why people use which encoders and settings they do.

And to start:

Lossy: Compatibility, MP3 (AAC tags have given me problems in the past, mostly on cell phones).
Lossless: Compatibility, FLAC (if a media player doesn't support FLAC, there's a plugin somewhere that will make it).
Encode: Absolutely pack out whatever mp3 player/cell phone I got. I can't ABX for shiznit. V5 most of the time, V4 when I'm feelin fancy laugh.gif

Compatibility can also be read as: compatibility with the devices I own.

I know there's gonna be a firestorm for leaving a quality as an option on lossy, but we're adults here. Let's be civil.

And maybe this way we'll a trend not just within codecs but for everyone that's on here.
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mixminus1
post Jan 4 2011, 02:49
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Yay, a new year's poll!

...and I'm pretty much with antman on this one:

Lossy: Compatibility, MP3 - it plays on anything, anywhere (if you ignore PCs - but *include* cell phones with media playing capabilities - I'm thinking there are now more devices in the world that play MP3 than any other format...including audio CDs or WAVs).

Lossless: Compatibility, FLAC - well-supported for ripping and encoding under both Windoze and OS X

Lossy encode: Several years ago, I did several ABX tests with (then 3.96.1) LAME @ V2, failed all of them miserably, and have never looked back (well, except for herding_calls, but 3.98.4 has conquered that one, too wink.gif )


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"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."
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Cokemonkey11
post Jan 4 2011, 05:54
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I use MP3 for lossy because it's the most compatible.. It works on my phone and mp3 player, and I don't have to worry about transcoding any music I download (My OCPD would force me to do that, I can't keep different types)

I chose "other" for lossless because my favorite thing about FLAC is that it's open source. I'll always choose the open standard if I don't need an alternative.

I chose "other" for my lossy encoding rate because I like 320kbps.. for no reason. I simply don't need to save space, disk drives are cheap these days, and it's easier to keep one set of music than try to use lossless for libraries and another set for home stereo and another set.. etc. I just don't have time to organize my music that much.

Cheers


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Sounds come and go, but music lives forever.
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TechVsLife
post Jan 4 2011, 07:18
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I now use AAC/M4A as lossy and apple lossless for the greatest compatibility (with devices that are the most widely used, which also happen to be the ones I own)--& also quality advantage (at least in principle or design, perhaps in fact slight or none) of aac/m4a over mp3.

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kornchild2002
post Jan 4 2011, 12:33
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1. I now use iTunes/QuickTime AAC for lossy encoding as every device I have works with it (whether it is my Droid X, various iPods, Xbox 360, stand-alone Blu-ray player, etc.) and it is easier to just use one program (ie iTunes) for managing and encoding my lossy files.
2. I use ALAC for lossless encoding as I am currently tied to the Apple universe in terms of portable players. I don't see the sense in me using any other lossless format if I can't play it with my media managing software (ie iTunes).
3. My lossy settings are based on what I can ABX, just one step above that for my own, dumb "safety." I can't ABX iTunes AAC at 160kbps VBR so I encode at 192kbps VBR. I still have plenty of space on my 4G 64GB iPod touch to carry around my best of playlist, 200+ music videos, and over 8GB in apps with about 10GB worth of free space.
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DonP
post Jan 4 2011, 14:24
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The survey frames the questions with the assumption that you do everything the same way for the same reason, which sure doesn't apply to me.

Except for lossless. There I stick with Flac for compatibility. Mostly what I keep archived in Flac are rips from vinyl, live concert recordings, and albums purchased online (if available as lossless) as they are a PITA to replace compared to reripping a CD.

For lossy, it's mostly vorbis. That is the most compatible in my universe of computers and players. I make a point of getting mp3 decoders for my linux computers, but that has to be done every time I install a new release, while vorbis works right away. I also have a fair amount in musepack (plays on all the hardware, but not all player programs I might want to try out on PC), and mp3.

For bitrate, it depends on how much I like that album, and whether it's for the car, background music,etc, vs sitting in front of the living room stereo basking in the soundstage. For casual, generally in the q0 to q4 range, q6 if I don't want to worry about it.

For long voice recordings (like audio books, sometimes transcoded podcasts) I take the pack-the-dap option with speex, typically around 10 kb/s.

This post has been edited by DonP: Jan 4 2011, 14:29
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Pri3st
post Jan 4 2011, 15:25
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Lossy: I use MP3 for compatibility - speed.

Lossless: WavPack, for compression and also because is compatible "out of the box" with the software that I use (foobar2000 and zumocast).

Lossy encode: V2 as it is recommended. I am afraid to use V4 or V5 wink.gif even though I cannot ABX them.

This post has been edited by Pri3st: Jan 4 2011, 15:28


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lameboy
post Jan 4 2011, 15:42
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lossy: LAME MP3
lossless: FLAC
lossy encode: V0

Compatability and open source encoders/decoders are important to me.
It may be that V0 is overkill for me, but I like the "paranoia padding factor" smile.gif

BTW, regarding compatability: How's the support for ID3v2.4 coming along?




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XLD // FLAC // LAME
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zombiewerewolf
post Jan 4 2011, 16:56
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Lossy: Quality, AAC (Most electronic devices released in the past few years support AAC; DVD\Blu-ray players, Mobile phones, DAPs... There's no reason to stick with MP3 anymore).
Lossless: Compression, TAK (It's hard to beat TAK's compression/speed ratio. I also like the fact that the developer actively improves his codec).
Encode: Based On What I Can ABX, Since I fail to ABX even MP3@128kbps. So, just to be safe, I choose to encode one step further; AAC@160kbps.
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Notat
post Jan 4 2011, 17:07
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Lossy: MP3 for compatibility and because that's what you download from most music stores (except iTunes).

Lossless: I've never used a lossless encoder. I don't really see the point. I use WAV for stuff that needs to be lossless (my own recordings). I still have a bunch of CDs sitting on a shelf that never get played; Those are lossless.

Encoding: I don't do much encoding these days. I can sometimes hear (what I think are) artifacts in some of my very old LAME 160kb MP3 files. The stuff I download now is all generally >200kb. It sounds good but I obviously don't have anything to compare it to.
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dyneq
post Jan 4 2011, 22:17
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Agree with DonP that the poll is not well designed (I choose my encoders for both compatibility and quality reasons), so I'm not going to participate in the official poll, but here are my current strategies:

1) LAME. Apple made me 'upgrade' my old iTunes files to get rid of their DRM and even though I now use Rockbox on my portable, I no longer use Vorbis because LAME does a good job and is universal.

2) FLAC. I did experiment with WavPack and liked it alot, but use FLAC for the same reasons I use LAME: works great and is the most universal codec out there.

3) I can ABX some of the well-known, difficult-to-encode samples at V 5. Instead of using fractional increases in quality to find my sweet spot, I decided to just go with V 4 and enjoy the music!
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antman
post Jan 4 2011, 22:40
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QUOTE (dyneq @ Jan 4 2011, 15:17) *
Agree with DonP that the poll is not well designed (I choose my encoders for both compatibility and quality reasons), so I'm not going to participate in the official poll, but here are my current strategies:

I'm sorry if my poll has offended you. laugh.gif It was late and kind of thrown together. Next year there will be a pre-poll to determine which choices will be added in the official poll. rolleyes.gif

I just wanted to try something a little different. I don't think there's any doubt that in the standard poll that FLAC/LAME would reign supreme, again. But in this day and age you can find happiness in which ever setup you use. I just wanted to know why you use what you use. Today you could use WMAL & WMA exclusively and doesn't make you bad person. laugh.gif

I thought the third question was truly the most interesting. I wanted to know who actually base settings on what they hear and not what the superpowers on here hear.
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indybrett
post Jan 4 2011, 22:45
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Lossless FLAC 6
Lossy LAME v3

Both for hardware compatibility.

v3 on the LAME as it's the best "bang for the buck" for me. Dropping everything over about 16k saves a ton of space on metal music, and I can't hear those frequencies anymore anyway, lol.





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flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro
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DonP
post Jan 4 2011, 23:15
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wrt the choices on how I pick a rate, I've confirmed that sample pairs I can abx with concentration are generally not discernible if I'm only hearing one. So I don't feel like I need a safety margin. If I happen to hear some artifact at that level that bothers me (hasn't happened yet) I can then check with abx and recode the track with a higher setting or different format.

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Stephan37
post Jan 4 2011, 23:46
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Hi, y'all! Happy new year!

I have just finished ripping more than 1000 CDs and my strategy was:

MP3s (V2 setting) for car, ipod etc. (Compatibility - my car's stereo doesn't play AAC)

ALAC (m4a) for lossless - I use Itunes and a Sonos at home which both support m4a and my Ipod, too of course

both done at the same time using dbpoweramp

I use the V2 settings without much thinking. I know that it's definitely overkill, but I don't care since memory costs next to nothing nowadays.

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dyneq
post Jan 5 2011, 00:19
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QUOTE (antman @ Jan 4 2011, 17:40) *
I'm sorry if my poll has offended you. laugh.gif It was late and kind of thrown together. Next year there will be a pre-poll to determine which choices will be added in the official poll. rolleyes.gif

No offense taken laugh.gif (and I hope I didn't offend you)! I wouldn't have participated at all if I didn't think you had some good ideas. If I remember correctly, some of the previous annual polls had the same design limitations. I just didn't want to put in answers that did not reflect my true usage patterns. I'm very interested in what other members are doing and why.
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UNHchabo
post Jan 5 2011, 00:34
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Lossy: Quality: I use Vorbis for my laptop and my Rockbox'd Sansa, because it gives better quality for the bitrate (or lower bitrate for the quality, however you want to look at it). Also, the Vorbis format natively supports gapless playback, unlike MP3. However, I also encode to MP3 for the sake of a USB stick I use in my car. In that case, I use MP3 instead of one of the other formats my car supports (WMA, AAC), because MP3 is so ubiquitous.

Lossless: Other: I use Flac. A big reason is compatibility; it's the only lossless format that can be used by just about anything, partially because it's the only major lossless format that has an open standard. Probably the main reason is the amount of testing that's done though; since so many people use Flac every day, any issues present are bound to be caught by someone else before they destroy my data. smile.gif

Lossy encode: -V2 for LAME, -q 6 for Vorbis. In both cases, I'm only able to ABX killer samples. Occasionally I'll hear artifacts that I can't consistently ABX, but they're so minor that it doesn't bother me. I listen to the lossless sources often enough that I feel my settings are a good tradeoff for when I don't have the space for the lossless versions.

Incidentally, those are also the two default settings I chose for each encoder in FlacSquisher. (aren't shameless plugs great? smile.gif)


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http://sourceforge.net/projects/flacsquisher/
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B7k
post Jan 19 2011, 16:31
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Flac for backups of my cd's
lame mp3's @ -v3 for portability.
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halb27
post Jan 19 2011, 20:55
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lossy: quality based best choice for me is lossyWAV | FLAC, and I don't care much about bitrate which anyway is pretty low with current lossyWAV, but for compatibility issues (with my wife, friends, relatives) I switched to good old mp3 which at very high bitrate is so good that it doesn't make me really miss something.

lossless (for CD backup): TAK


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KFal
post Jan 20 2011, 08:41
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1. I use AAC. It is compatible with all devices I use for playback, but so is MP3. Originally I went for AAC in the past because it is the theoretically superior format and it appealed to me that I should get superior quality at the same file size when compared to MP3. I never really verified this but stuck to AAC because I was and still am happy with the quality it delivers. From all that I read and hear (listen to) there is no compelling reason to switch to any other lossy format.

2. Apple lossless is used as a CD backup and for playback on home audio and PC. I started off with FLAC but I now use iTunes to sync lossy music with my iPhone and various iPods. Using Apple lossless and AAC allows me to simultaneously edit my lossless and lossy files. There are a number of deficiencies in iTunes, e.g. handling of multiple artists, but the overall simplicity of the approach makes me stick to it.

3. I am using NeroAAC to encode at quality 0.5. Testing using ABX had shown that I could not reliably identify differences at that quality setting. I pondered if I should try going even lower to save space -- or rather higher to add some safety margin for not yet tested music. On one hand I had no storage problems on my portable players and on the other hand continued listening did not reveal problems. Overall I decided to stop fretting with quality settings and ever since I am happily just enjoying music.


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hlloyge
post Jan 20 2011, 09:05
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Well, I primarily use FLAC for archiving, but will use anything else if I feel adventurous smile.gif APE, Wavpack... whatever. Since it is archiving, it is not crucial which format it is, as long as it is free to use at home smile.gif
For lossy I use AAC, Nero@0.48, since I can't ABX even 128 kbit mp3, I took a bit of overhead (around 175 kbit) for all possible artifacts to be squashed. I used to use lame mp3 at similar bitrates, but changed to aac since I got iPod.

That's about it.
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Canar
post Jan 20 2011, 21:29
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FLAC usually for mastered (ie. 16-bit) material.
WavPack for unmastered (ie. 32-bit float) material.
MP3 for portable/distribution. I never use above V2. I often use V5 when trying to pack my Clip+.
I've distributed some of my mash-ups in FLAC / LossyWAV --standard, which I also use for all my vinyl rips, as the increased noise floor of LossyWAV works well to discard the uselessly-high noise floor of vinyl rips anyhow.

This post has been edited by Canar: Jan 20 2011, 21:34


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uncajesse
post Jan 21 2011, 07:44
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Lossy: Quality, Lame V0...

I think the first question is diluted because people are mixing it between formats, and encoders. I voted quality, because i use Lame/Settings for quality.

I do use the mp3 FORMAT for compatibility, but the question is asking why you use the ENCODER & settings you do. Not format. And it doesn't specify how to pick from which lossy format to vote on. So I just went with what I use for most things, which makes sense in both cases I guess. But still... Confusing, no?
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Nessuno
post Jan 21 2011, 09:00
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QUOTE (KFal @ Jan 20 2011, 08:41) *
Apple lossless is used as a CD backup and for playback on home audio and PC. I started off with FLAC but I now use iTunes to sync lossy music with my iPhone and various iPods. Using Apple lossless and AAC allows me to simultaneously edit my lossless and lossy files. There are a number of deficiencies in iTunes, e.g. handling of multiple artists, but the overall simplicity of the approach makes me stick to it.


Excuse me, could you please explain better this point? Do you mean to say there is a way to have two differently encoded version of every track of your collection in different locations (say, lossy on internal HD and lossless on bigger external one) and keep their tags automagically in sync?

P. S. For the moderator: maybe this post should change subj or place. If so, please handle it properly. Thanks...


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FelixIvory
post Jan 21 2011, 12:44
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1. I use AAC.
2. flac.
3. I am using the newest NeroAAC to encode at quality 0.75.
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