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Which codec do you use?
ancl
post Sep 29 2001, 17:54
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Hello everybody!

Since we now have a board for all(?) important audio codecs, it would be interesting to know which one (or two) you people use, and for what purpose.

Me myself is using nothing but mpc (-xtreme -scale .90) for the moment. In the old days, I simply used AudioCatalyst (yes I know, Xing, but I didn't know better sad.gif ), in vbr mode.

The reason for using mpc now is that it gives me superb quality all the time, without the need of testing different switches, and this with reasonable file sizes.

I don't have any portable player at the moment, but if I eventually got one I believe I can reencode my mpc's to mp3 or wma or ogg or whatever is supported without any big disadvantages. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but reencode from mpc is not as bad as from mp3, right?)

So, which codec are you using, and why?
Please, come on everybody and lets here your opinion.

/Andreas
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CiTay
post Sep 29 2001, 18:21
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I mostly use MP3, for compatibility reasons. Although i could convince the majority of my friends of LAME's advantages over other encoders (some used Xing/FhG 128 CBR, some Xing VBR), there are no doubts for them to stay at MP3... for instance, one guy spent a lot of money for a Nomad Jukebox, and obviously he wants to use a format that can be played by it biggrin.gif

So i'm happily exchanging some LAME MP3s here and there, and with this modified --dm-preset insane setting i'm using, it doesn't sound too bad really. I'm aware of the superior MPC quality, but oh well... /me is quite pleased with LAME MP3.
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Artemis3
post Sep 29 2001, 21:11
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Hi; i'm mostly using Lame here; not much command line fiddling; just --dm-preset standard wink.gif Ok, since i have a little stream at live365, im also using -b32 -a -h --resample 22.05 --lowpass 11 --nspsytune --athtype 2 --noshort for the streaming. Please tell me when the next free ogg enabled relay service appears. (Make sure it supports push streaming or give us some server space for us NAT impaired users (damn IPV4!)).

I'll really play with Vorbis after version 1 release is made.

I have hopes for both AAC and MPC; let's see if they will they gain momentum and popularity; still i'll be probably pushing vorbis smile.gif


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Uosdwis R. Dewoh
post Sep 29 2001, 21:39
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Ahoy.

I'm a mpc man too. The majority of my rips are encoded using -standard -nmt 9 -ltq fil, which has yielded excellent results so far. More important or critical music will be given special treatment in the future. With HDCD's I burn directly to CD-R or compress losslessly using Monkey's Audio. That way I can burn any song to a CD-RW for playback on my HDCD-equipped CD player when I so desire. Btw, those mpc tweaks are something I picked up from one of Dibrom's posts on the r3mix forums. smile.gif

Cheers,

Uosdwis
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Pio2001
post Sep 29 2001, 22:03
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Just for the statistics, I usually don't compress music, I directly copy to audio CDs.

Sometimes I have several tracks that are not worth burning, so I use MP3. I'm currently using dm xtreme.

For DivX movies, I'm using mp3. The setting depends on the movie. I like DM Xtreme, that I still have to ABX on "non killer samples". I encoded yesterday a bad mono soundtrack with r3mix -b56 (don't know if it was a good idea, but it worked). I'm considering using the raw AC3 stream for 2 channel sound for the next works.
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ChristianHJW
post Sep 29 2001, 22:42
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Lame VBR or ABR ( still learning ) , but only for the soundtracks of my DivX movies, i dont compress music.

I decode the AC3 ( 2 ch 192 kbps or 5.1 384 or 448 kbps ) with HeadAC3 from TheRealDarkAvenger ( uses azid.dll , incl. 2 pass normalizing ) into a 24 Bits WAV , make sample rate conversion with SSRC ( still 24 bits both WAVs ) and then feed it into Lame.

Bitrates are in most cases under 140 kbps, means V4 or V5 for VBR or ABR for lower bitrates.
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Garf
post Sep 29 2001, 23:07
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Let me add to the statistics (statistics? aargh wink.gif)

I currently use both MP3 (forcedly, it's an older collection that someone else ripped for me, all Xing@128), Vorbis with my own mode, MPC and Monkey's Audio.

My main gripe with the latter is that I can't play the files when programming on the Linux system. Fortunately, it has a well-working conversion option. If I am getting ready for a long hacking session I convert a few CD's to mpc -standard and copy them over.

The good CD's all go to Monkey's Audio. The lesser ones get Ogged with my own mode. When the Ogg encoder gets a bit more stable I'll likely make it all high-bitrate Oggs.

For DivX movies, I use mp3@112kbps. I find the sound quality a bit less important when watching a movie, and I'm not sure the Linux DivX player I use (aviplay) actually supports anything besides mp3.

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krsna77
post Sep 30 2001, 00:12
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For quite a while, I used --r3mix --scale .98 diligently, and I still like it.

That having been said, though I've tried to fight it off, I've found myself using mpc more and more for my own stuff. I just like the way it sounds (clean), and the fact that I can squeeze such a high bitrate into such a relatively small filesize! I use -xtreme -scale .98.

mpc rocks - even if *sigh* there's goofy software patents in there. I'd like to use ogg vorbis out of principle (I use it sometimes) - but we'll see what the 1.0 release is like before I make that decision... smile.gif

Any new CDs go to flac first. I like Monkey's Audio, but flac is about 99% as good, and is open, so I can create flacs in Linux / FreeBSD as well as Winders. It also has great Winamp / XMMS plugins, so no complaints there. smile.gif (flac.sourceforge.net)

I still use --r3mix (lame 3.90a) for files for friends, though because none of my friends use mp3 hardware, I may likely force them to switch to ogg when 1.0 hits. We'll see (they do bitch when I give them mpc files - but ogg does promise wider adoption)... wink.gif
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outscape
post Sep 30 2001, 00:16
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mainly mp3, but i am thinking about switching to mpc altogether


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Garf
post Sep 30 2001, 00:24
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QUOTE
Originally posted by krsna77
mpc rocks - even if *sigh* there's goofy software patents in there. I'd like to use ogg vorbis out of principle (I use it sometimes) - but we'll see what the 1.0 release is like before I make that decision... smile.gif


I'll definetely fully switch over to ogg as soon as there are no problems with the vast majority of material I encode. My own mode probably fits this definition, but I know what's in the make with RC3 and I prefer to wait just a bit, because two of the things that are most improved are just the ones I had trouble with.

QUOTE
Any new CDs go to flac first. I like Monkey's Audio, but flac is about 99% as good, and is open, so I can create flacs in Linux / FreeBSD as well as Winders. It also has great Winamp / XMMS plugins, so no complaints there. smile.gif


Yeah, I know FLAC, but I use MA mainly because it's easy. I have EAC set up to make APE files out of everything. If I need to convert them to another format, I can do it via MA and it even handles tagging for most formats (ogg being the notable expection).

Now that I have EAC set up to put all info in the filenames anyway FLAC would probably work just as well, but I'd still miss the 'convert' feature of MA.

On Linux this is less of an issue of course due to the possibility of scripting, but I'd still have to write the scripts, whereas now it's all done for me.

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Dibrom
post Sep 30 2001, 03:40
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As many may know, I use MPC for my personal archival encodings. The quality is simply amazing and it is the only codec which can reliably provide transparency for me on most of the electronic music I listen to.

That having been said, I also use mp3 and like to use LAME when it compatibility needs to be taken into consideration. I mostly use mp3 when I send files to other people or when I encode files for portable use.

It seems quite a few portables are now beginning to support AAC though and I have been experimenting with it a little more too, so thats another interesting possibility.

And of course there is vorbis. I really hope this format takes off because an open source, cross platform, patent free format is quite a nice thing to have smile.gif I'm taking a bit of a "wait and see" approach here but it does seem like everything is shaping up very quickly. I can't wait to see what the first "stable" release is like. The possibility of wavelets in the future also sounds quite interesting...
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sphoid
post Sep 30 2001, 04:36
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well ive been an advocate of mp3 for quite some time.. i can remember dibrom coercing me back some years back before it was widely publicized into using it. I too have been guilty in the past of using AudioCatalyst with the Xing codec which i feel should be outlawed and the source thrown into the pit of hell.. but i digress. Ive dabbled in some of the other alternatives (aac, vqf, lqt, epc, etc) pros and cons on all of these formats vary but in the end i have always come back to mp3 for a number of reasons.

I would very much like to embrace mpc as i feel that it offers the most bang for your buck considering sound quality versus bitrate however i share dibrom's wait and see sentiment as its kind of iffy as to what the next wide spread use codec will be. My primary concern is the adoption of codecs in portable players. I personally would like to see Sonic Blue include mpc support for the rio volt but who knows if and when that would happen. For the time being i am content with my phillips expanium.

My weapon of choice is the Lame codec using dibrom's presets. I like mp3 for its portability and reasonable soundquality, however i will probably use mpc for my personal archives.
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tangent
post Sep 30 2001, 06:27
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Vorbis 160kbps

So far my hearing isn't that good, and I have difficulty distinguishing a well-encoded 128kbps MP3 from original, therefore I chose the next bitrate up in case my listening ability improves in the near future. I choose Vorbis because I find the need to support open-source unpatented project.

However, I try not to encode anything unless I need to, prefering to wait it out until the full release of Vorbis.
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merg
post Sep 30 2001, 07:31
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I'm a Lame (--r3mix) mp3 guy. I encoded all my cd's (4235 tracks) with this with versions 3.88-3.89 and I'm extremely happy with it. I tried the Ogg Vorbis encoder and liked the quality a lot, but I can't play them on my RioVolt... so I'll stick to mp3 for a while.
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tomb-raider
post Sep 30 2001, 07:31
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Psytel AAC

Delivers excellent qaulity, could not hear any quality difference between aac and mpc at the same bitrates.
However, there are a lot s***ty patents attached to it , so would like to use ogg as soon as it gets worth it .rolleyes.gif
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Jon Ingram
post Sep 30 2001, 10:03
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Vorbis at 128k, or 160k if I can notice any artifacts (which is rare), for home listening -- I'm not going for transparency, but to be able to store all of my music on my computer.

If I want to store music for later encoding, I use FLAC. I can't understand why anyone would *archive* material using a Windows only format like MA.
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David Nordin
post Sep 30 2001, 11:26
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I too used to kill CDs with AudioCatalyst back in the days, In 8 to 10x(!)ohmy.gif
first 192kbps then VBR "High quality":P

Nowadays I use EAC C2 and LAME, my line... err...

--vbr-mtrh -mj -V0 -q2 --nspsytune --nsmsfix .9 --ns-sfb21 1 --athtype 2 --ns-bass -(4-8) --ns-alto -(4-8) --ns-treble (0/1) -Z -c --scale 0.96 --disptime 1

-mj ? Well I thought --nspsytune did that autostylee, but nooo..
-c you ask! only for you my friend wink.gif

I'm wondering what vorbis would be like if LAME crew went there and did some good:confused:

baibai...


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Jan
post Sep 30 2001, 11:34
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I used to be satisfied with 128k mp3 in the past and thought Xing was good!!!:mad: Then I bought some quality speakers and realized that I was betrayed! Then I found lame and am very happy with -r3mix. I'm just beginning to experiment with mpc, but don't know if the differences I hear with my AKG headphones are only psychological! sad.gif

So, I guess I stick with mp3 and switch to the std dibrom setting - just to be on the safe side (for MY hearing capabilities that is).

But why all the discussions about lame "shutting down"? Do we really need this growing variety of lossy encoders? Won't only 2 or 3 survive after all anyway? So why not stay with mp3? Or is its development already at its limit?
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elfin
post Sep 30 2001, 12:37
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I tried them all.

At first in 1996 I used l3enc from FHG
Then layer 3 producer 1 and 2
For some period of time I even used Audio Catalyst's VBR, for what I'm very sorry. sad.gif
I also tried to Use AAC, but I didn't like it.

Then I found about LAME. I Used it a lot and liked it a lot.

Now I'm testing ogg Vorbis, and I hope it will satisfy the quality demands.
But at the moment I just Use Money's Audio, so I can encode from it to Vorbis when it is mature. smile.gif

I'm also considering MPC. It satisfies the quality criteria and is the best sounding encoder of all. Maybe I'll even start encoding everything with MPC, if ogg Vorbis won't be done very soon or if it will not satisfy the quality. rolleyes.gif

CDR's are so cheap now so in any case I'll use higest bitrate.
I'll just use the encoder that gives the best quality at 1:4 or 1:5 compression. I wont take any risk of finding artifacts later. I had my "Audio Catalist" dissapointment. cool.gif
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stoff
post Sep 30 2001, 14:02
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Well, any decent CD that comes my way will just get burned to CD-R using EAC. No compromise here.

Otherwise it's all LAME VBR for me and my Rio Volt. It's a matter of compatibility (and pretty good quality).

The moment my Rio Volt will support Ogg Vorbis I'll give it a serious test and might even change. cool.gif

MPC and AAC is out of question because of compatibility issues. But if someone would code MPC support into the the Rio firmware, ahhh well. :drink:

regards stoff
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YouriP
post Sep 30 2001, 15:04
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If I were to backup my audio, I'd use Monkey's Audio, even though I feel it is kind of bloated and would rather use LPAC with a good WinAmp plugin.

If I have to distribute audio with other people, I use Lame MP3. Can't beat the compatibility of MP3.

But if I'd have to use a form of compression for myself (including video distros, which btw, I would never use DivX for because I absolutely loathe it (do some tests between various encoders and you'll see why) and I truly can't wait for Ogg Tarkin), I'd go for AAC. The simple reason being that I am not looking for transparent audio - I'm looking for a codec that can deliver the best quality at the lowest bitrate. AAC is the only codec that can satisfy that demand.
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tangent
post Sep 30 2001, 17:44
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I remember there was one period in time when I used 112kbps Real Audio .ra smile.gif

Of course, that was before I heard of mp3 and started using l3enc
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SNYder
post Sep 30 2001, 19:40
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I'm an APE man, personally. I've gott pleanty of hard drive space, so size means nothing, but quality means everything. But when I do have to go to a lossy format, if I am uploading it to music sites I choose r3mixed mp3's for compatability reasons, but if I am sending it to someone who I know knows what they are doing, I go with MPC.
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Sawg
post Sep 30 2001, 19:44
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I used to be a "what's wrong with Xing @ 128kbps"

Anyways now for archiving its MP3 @ 320kbps (Lamed) and for sharing or ripping for friends its r3mix preset for Lame
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HansHeijden
post Sep 30 2001, 20:52
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Though I love to experiment with all formats, there are just a few I actually used until now.

I've been using Monkey's Audio since it started, for (temporary) harddisk storage. I like it's speed, good compression and handy user interface.

Until recently, I used QDesign mp2 at 256 or 320 k for CDR backups. Two years ago it surely was better than Lame (version 3.50 or so)! Nowadays I settle for Lame mp3 at 320 k. Just don't dare to compromise into lower bitrates, I rather make 128 k versions in addition.
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