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foo_pod transcoding for best possible quality
tater
post Nov 20 2005, 03:35
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I looking for any advice on transcoding my library of Flac files ont my iPod via foo_pod. I've tried the several seetings offered - both ACC and Lame - but those still result in files of under 200bps.

Since my iPod is 30gigs and I'm more concerned with quality I would like to keep my transcoding at or above 320bps.

I know there is a Custom Settings dialog, but haven't figured out how to use it.


Thanks for any help or ideas!

tater
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clintb
post Nov 20 2005, 03:40
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QUOTE (tater @ Nov 19 2005, 08:35 PM)
I looking for any advice on transcoding my library of Flac files ont my iPod via foo_pod.  I've tried the several seetings offered  - both ACC and Lame - but those still result in files of under 200bps. 

Since my iPod is 30gigs and I'm more concerned with quality I would like to keep my transcoding at or above 320bps. 

I know there is a Custom Settings dialog, but haven't figured out how to use it.


Thanks for any help or ideas!

tater
*

Would you be open to converting with Foobar/iTunes, then just using iTunes to transfer the actual music? If so, check out "iTunesEncode.exe" by Otto. Search for it on HA. If you're looking to use the management stuff of foo_pod, then I have no answer for ya.

Good luck!

p.s. No real need to use such a high bitrate with the latest iTunes AAC encoder. On a recent test, the iTunes AAC encoder did extremely well at 128K VBR...this was a test performed by one of the resident "golden ears".

This post has been edited by clintb: Nov 20 2005, 03:43
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tater
post Nov 20 2005, 04:06
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Well, i'm trying to get away from iTunes, for a lot of reasons.

I currently have both a large FLAC, and a large ALAC collection that I want to consolidate into one FLAC library. I only want to convert to another format when loading music on my iPod.

Perhaps this isn't possible - but if I could get better quality transcoding out of foo_pod I'd be pertty much where I want to be.

I'll check out itunesEncode.exe......

BTW, I use EtymoticsER-4P's - I *can* hear a difference between 128 and 330bps AAC encodes.

Thanks

This post has been edited by tater: Nov 20 2005, 04:08
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clintb
post Nov 20 2005, 05:49
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QUOTE (tater @ Nov 19 2005, 09:06 PM)
Well, i'm trying to get away from iTunes, for a lot of reasons.

I currently have both a large FLAC, and a large ALAC collection that I want to consolidate into one FLAC library. I only want to convert to another format when loading music on my iPod. 

Perhaps this isn't possible - but if I could get better quality transcoding out of foo_pod I'd be pertty much where I want to be.

I'll check out itunesEncode.exe......

BTW, I use EtymoticsER-4P's - I *can* hear a difference between 128 and 330bps AAC encodes.

Thanks
*

Ah, you're using the same headphones I am. Love those...

Anyway, if you want to get away from iTunes, which I understand, check out iTunesEncode...it's what I use and is super easy.

My process:
1. Rip with EAC to single FLAC/cuesheet (cue is external).
2. Load the .cue in Foobar so I get tracks represented as opposed to one file if I loaded just the .flac.
3. Use Foobar to handle any extra/misc tagging duties.
4. Use Foobar to apply album gain on all complete albums and track gain on tracks.
5. Use Foobar in combination with iTunesEncode to convert to .m4a for use on my iPod.
***Caveat to #5: I'd use the command line option in FB2K to convert to .mp3 LAME if that's the flavor of the day.
5. Load up the freshly converted files, .mp3 or .m4a, in iTunes and send 'em on to the iPod.

My current project is cleaning up all tags, case/formatting/correct names, album art and lyrics. Ugh, that's worse than ripping!
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Aero
post Nov 20 2005, 05:51
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QUOTE (tater @ Nov 19 2005, 08:35 PM)
I looking for any advice on transcoding my library of Flac files ont my iPod via foo_pod.  I've tried the several seetings offered  - both ACC and Lame - but those still result in files of under 200bps. 

Since my iPod is 30gigs and I'm more concerned with quality I would like to keep my transcoding at or above 320bps. 

I know there is a Custom Settings dialog, but haven't figured out how to use it.
*

You can use any encoder you want (including iTunes) with foo_pod and the Custom Encoder dialog. One note of warning - various iPods are picky about the AAC encoder. I have had good luck with the Nero AAC encoder, but even that doesn't work on the iPod Shuffle. FAAC also seems to work well, but the quality may not be as good, bitrate for bitrate.

Since you don't have a problem encoding at 320kbps, my suggestions in order are:

0. Use the LAME Best Quality preset. Your 30GB iPod won't seem so large once you start filling it up with 320kbps songs, and '--preset fast standard' really is good enough for a portable audio player - especially since you have the uncompressed audio on your computer.

1. Use the Custom Encoder with LAME 3.97beta and --preset insane. The settings you want are Encoder: lame.exe, Extension: mp3, Parameters: --preset insane %s %d.

2. Use the Custom Encoder with Nero's AAC encoder, and the NAACEnc.exe command line interface. Your settings here are 'NAACEnc.exe', 'm4a', '-normal -qh -lc %s %d'. Also make sure the BPS settings is 16.

3. Use the Custom Encoder with iTunesEncode. I believe this should work, but you'll have to experience to be sure. You can transcoding using either AAC or ALAC, so if you really wanted perfect quality, you could automatically transcode from FLAC to ALAC using iTunes' encoder.
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tater
post Nov 20 2005, 15:43
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clintb, Aero - Thanks very much for your help and suggestions.

I will give LAME encoding a try, and experiment with some of the presets, and custom settings.

It looks like I'll be able to do exactly what I hope, with the use of the foo_pod and the LAME 3.97beta encoder.

BTW - Aero - many thanks for foo_pod, and for helping me (us) be able to dump iTunes ! biggrin.gif

tater
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tater
post Nov 20 2005, 15:55
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Now.....If anyone has any ideas on how best to convert my library of ALAC encoded files from my iTunes Library on my PC into FLAC, (or whatever lossless might work best) so that I can manage and play them with Foobar....

BTW: Most of my current ALAC files originated from FLAC files that I no longer have. Doh!
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saratoga
post Nov 21 2005, 00:34
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QUOTE (tater @ Nov 20 2005, 07:55 AM)
Now.....If anyone has any ideas on how best to convert my library of ALAC encoded files  from my iTunes Library on my PC into FLAC, (or whatever lossless might work best) so that I can manage and play them with Foobar....

BTW: Most of my current ALAC files originated from FLAC files that I no longer have. Doh!
*


.8.3 and some of the older .9 betas can decode ALAC. Recent betas had it removed because the decoder is really buggy and occasionally crashed foobar. It also couldn't write to ALAC tags correctly. For your purposes, installing .8.3 into a folder somewhere out of the way and downloading the decoder and FLAC encoder should work fine. AFAIK foobar can read ALAC tags, but I haven't tried it.
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