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Newbie question : LAME 3.xx.xx ?, Wich version should I use ?
xp_98
post May 30 2005, 07:53
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Hello, this is my first post

Sorry to ask a typical newbie question :

I use EAC to encode my CDs, with LAME encoder. I usually use --alt preset extreme or --alt preset insane (mostly). Encoding time doesn't matter, quality is very important.

I couldn't find out from reading the topics about LAME, which version I shoud use...

How will I get the best quality :
- with 3.90.3 ? (official ?)
- with 3.96.1 ? (better ?)
- with 3.97 alpha 10 ? (best so far, but alpha = issues ?)

I don't want to wait for "3.97 final", because I have a lot of CDs to encode in the next weeks...
So what is the best choice ?

Thank you for your help
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Garf
post May 30 2005, 09:04
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There is a recommended settings and recommended compile thread for a reason...
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xp_98
post May 30 2005, 09:56
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QUOTE (Garf @ May 30 2005, 09:04 AM)
There is a recommended settings and recommended compile thread for a reason...
*

Yes, but the latest update is august 2004 !.. so it won't help me to decide if I should use 3.97 alpha 10 or better 3.96.1 or better 3.90.3...

What would be your advice ?
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Garf
post May 30 2005, 10:03
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I already gave you my advice!

Did you even read it? The posts I referred to do have comments about 3.96.1 and when it should or should not be used.
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QHOBBES 2.0
post May 30 2005, 10:11
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If you want "the best quality" go with lossless like FLAC. If you insist on using MP3 rip some tracks with 3.90.3 then with 3.96.1 on API, if you can't hear the difference use which ever one is faster.

This post has been edited by QHOBBES 2.0: May 30 2005, 10:11


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sPeziFisH
post May 30 2005, 10:36
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I cannot give an advice, but here's what I am doing:

lossless: wavpack (..if you've got the space..; in the past I used Ape and Flac (chronical ordered))
mp3: lame 3.96.1 --alt-preset standard

I only use mp3 for not changing the CD all the time and it fits fine to my needs (hifi here, not PC-speakers)
Don't give too much on 'quality', if there's are real mentionable difference there's the next question if you (or the average-guest at your party) are able to hear it, this also depends on your playing-setup.
If you are paranoiac maybe use '--alt-preset extreme/insane', but I have never done this.
It's about music and this is mostly also fine if it is played a nuance more worst than possible - if you are sitting in the kitchen with friends you won't give sth. on quality, otherwise it will be an idea worth to recalibrate yourself smile.gif

edit: typos

This post has been edited by sPeziFisH: May 30 2005, 10:38
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xp_98
post May 30 2005, 12:30
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QUOTE (Garf @ May 30 2005, 10:03 AM)
I already gave you my advice!
Did you even read it?
*

Of course, but I didn't find if 3.97 alpha10 is better for quality than 3.90.3 or 3.96.1 (sorry if the answer is obvious - I'm newbie in MP3 world) ?

QUOTE
The posts I referred to do have comments about 3.96.1 and when it should or should not be used.
Sorry but maybe I didn't search the right place or did not understand all : could you please give the link ?

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evereux
post May 30 2005, 12:47
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http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=28123

read the small print


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xp_98
post May 30 2005, 13:32
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Thank you. smile.gif

So just one question left : using --alt-preset insane and sometimes --alt-preset extreme, is 3.97 alpha10 better than 3.90.3, or is there no noticeable difference ?
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guruboolez
post May 30 2005, 13:53
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You should try by yourself. There are few people on this board able to compare two different encoders at this bitrate, and nobody did it in the past as far as I can remember.
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Gambit
post May 30 2005, 13:56
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Oh my...

Use --preset standard with 3.90.3 or 3.96.1. The results should be equal, but 3.90.3 is slower. I doubt you can hear a difference with extreme/insane.
3.97 is alpha so if you want to use it for archiving, you better wait for the final.


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xp_98
post May 30 2005, 14:32
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OK, thank you all smile.gif
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Jebus
post May 30 2005, 17:24
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My, some snippy replies in this thread. The choice is actually a little difficult at this point....

LAME 3.90.3 --alt-preset standard (recommended, but conservatively, by HA)
LAME 3.96.1 --preset standard (faster, quality is sometimes better and sometimes worse than 3.90.3, smaller files, not as well tested though.)
LAME 3.97 (alpha 10) --preset fast standard (faster still, probably better quality, but still alpha so bugs are possible.)

I am personally using 3.97 at this time, since it seems to me that, alpha or not, a lot of listening tests went into it and it seems to be the highest quality at the fastest speed.

If you are really conservative, and want to be absolutely positive nothing really bad happens in some weird cases (instead of mostly sure), use 3.90.3.

This post has been edited by Jebus: May 30 2005, 17:28
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Canar
post May 30 2005, 19:48
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Jebus: It has nothing to do with conservatism. It has everything to do with sensibility and thorough testing. Currently, 3.90.3 is the best tested and has delivered proven results. This is why it is the current recommended encoder. Unless you can prove why you need a different version, use 3.90.3. Using anything else will give suboptimal results in terms of quality. Every other choice is a decision to trade off quality for speed.

If you are looking to get the best quality from MPEG Layer 3 audio (which was ostensibly never designed for true perceptual transparency anyhow), use LAME v3.90.3.


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xp_98
post May 30 2005, 19:50
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Thank you for this answer, it's clearer for me now.

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sony666
post May 30 2005, 19:56
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things are going slow in the mp3 world nowadays smile.gif
the poineer work for LAME 3.x was done 1999 to 2001, now it's mostly unattractive (but still important) tunings
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Canar
post May 30 2005, 20:00
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QUOTE (sony666 @ May 30 2005, 10:56 AM)
things are going slow in the mp3 world nowadays smile.gif
the poineer work for LAME 3.x was done 1999 to 2001, now it's mostly unattractive (but still important) tunings
*


Between 3.97 and 4.0, the LAME team (however populated it is these days) is busy working on making the world's best MP3 encoder even better. Worry not. wink.gif


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anykey
post May 30 2005, 21:09
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I am glad that xp_98's questions have now been answered. It helps not only xp_98 but other newbies who pop in here from time to time to try to learn something about encoding. xp_98, thank you for asking your questions and to the many who gave helpful answers, thank you too smile.gif
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Jebus
post May 30 2005, 22:31
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QUOTE (Canar @ May 30 2005, 10:48 AM)
Using anything else will give suboptimal results in terms of quality. Every other choice is a decision to trade off quality for speed.


Well even assuming you are right on the first point (and i'm not convinced... there was a LOT of testing on both 3.96 final and 3.97 alphas... and a year of heavy use with 3.96.1 by the majority of readers here), I'm not sure why that means that 3.90.3 is in fact for SURE better than the later ones, as you imply. If anything, 3.97 tested clearly better according to Guruboolez's recent tests (primarily), and frankly I trust his ears more than your opinion. But I did warn that there is a slightly higher chance of unknown problems with the more recent versions.

I certainly did NOT mean conservativism in the negative (neo-con?) sense. I meant conservative as in safer.

This post has been edited by Jebus: May 30 2005, 22:40
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Madrigal
post May 30 2005, 23:33
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As for conservatism, in the past I have always held out for stable versions, but in the case of 3.97a10 I make an exception.

My usage history has been:

3.90.3 --alt-preset standard
replaced by
3.96.1 -V2 --scale x.xxxx
replaced by
3.97a10 -V2 --vbr-new --scale x.xxxx

Regards,
Madrigal
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Canar
post May 31 2005, 05:53
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QUOTE (Jebus @ May 30 2005, 01:31 PM)
I certainly did NOT mean conservativism in the negative (neo-con?) sense. I meant conservative as in safer.
*


So if I'm not misreading you here, you acknowledge that it is safer, yet do not use it? That seems to be an exceptionally odd juxtaposition of beliefs.


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litmitil
post May 31 2005, 06:50
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QUOTE (Canar @ May 30 2005, 08:53 PM)
QUOTE (Jebus @ May 30 2005, 01:31 PM)
I certainly did NOT mean conservativism in the negative (neo-con?) sense. I meant conservative as in safer.
*


So if I'm not misreading you here, you acknowledge that it is safer, yet do not use it? That seems to be an exceptionally odd juxtaposition of beliefs.
*



If everybody only used what is considered "safer" because it is the most tested there would never be any progress. Innovation would come to a halt.
3.90.3 is great, but LAME continues to improve. In my opinion, Jebus has hit the nail on the head in his expanation of the current state of affairs.
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guruboolez
post May 31 2005, 08:14
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QUOTE (Canar @ May 30 2005, 07:48 PM)
Currently, 3.90.3 is the best tested and has delivered proven results. This is why it is the current recommended encoder. Unless you can prove why you need a different version, use 3.90.3. Using anything else will give suboptimal results in terms of quality. Every other choice is a decision to trade off quality for speed.
*

That's just wrong. Lame 3.90.3 was tested in 2001-2002, and the fresh-builded --alt-preset standard appeared to work better than 3.89 --r3mix for similar bitrate. That's all. Claims based on very old tests have no validity anymore. All we know is that 3.90 is better than 3.89. Point. It's like saying that DivX 3.11 is the best MPEG-4 ASP encoder over DivX6 or Xvid 1.1, or that PsyTel 2.15 is the most pertinent AAC solution. Yes, it was true three years ago. But it doesn't mean that such statements are still true, just because a band of lazy people prefered to parrot blindly some recommendations rather than spending some of their free time to submit any feedback to active developers.

Did you ever tested 3.90.3 over 3.97, as it was requested by lame developers? I can't find any results. It's simply very rare to find feedback on HA.org these days... Then how could you prove that encoder x is superior to encoder y when you don't perform any blind test? I have tested several alphas of 3.97 and also 3.96.1 on many aspect and a big variety of sample. And based on my experience, following HA rules, I can say that 3.90.3 is not only slower but also have quality issues partially corrected by 3.97 alphas which makes latest alpha preferable (but maybe unsecure) for people looking for the best possible quality to any older lame versions.

Don't spread wrong information on this board please, or submit your test results if you have interesting things to reveal about 3.97 possible flaws. Gabriel & Robert are still working on lame, and that's the moment to submit all known issues.

This post has been edited by guruboolez: May 31 2005, 10:11
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navin
post May 31 2005, 12:42
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QUOTE (Madrigal @ May 31 2005, 04:03 AM)
As for conservatism, in the past I have always held out for stable versions, but in the case of 3.97a10 I make an exception.

My usage history has been:

3.90.3 --alt-preset standard
replaced by
3.96.1 -V2 --scale x.xxxx
replaced by
3.97a10 -V2 --vbr-new --scale x.xxxx

Regards,
Madrigal
*


what is --scale x.xxxx?
if one has the disk space why not use --alt preset extreme? by being conservative do you mean that extreme might not work as smoothly as standard?

also how does one prevent EAC from crashing if the ID3 tags are not fully populated (freedb.org).

i am using....
--alt-preset extreme --id3v2-only --pad-id3v2 --ta "%a" --tt "%t" --tl "%g" --ty %y --tc "EAC LAME 3.90.3 Extreme" --tn %n --tg "%m" %s %d

BTW what is the advantage of using wapet? with say the following command line.
%d -t "Artist=%a" -t "Title=%t" -t "Album=%g" -t "Year=%y" -t "Track=%n" -t "Genre=%m" lame.exe --alt-preset extreme %s %d

sorry for being a diffcult but i want to archive 600 CDs and want a setting that is future proof (when bigger 4GB Ipod shuffle come out for example) or when playback systems can diffrentiate between APS and APE.

This post has been edited by navin: May 31 2005, 12:44
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Canar
post May 31 2005, 14:46
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QUOTE (guruboolez @ May 30 2005, 11:14 PM)
Don't spread wrong information on this board please, or submit your test results if you have interesting things to reveal about 3.97 possible flaws. Gabriel & Robert are still working on lame, and that's the moment to submit all known issues.
*


Then, by your standards, the administration itself is spreading wrong information.

QUOTE (JohnV)
3.97 Alphas and ALL future alpha versions -> ALPHA versions are for testing only! These include new code and are not tested or tuned at all. Many things are usually seriously broken or changed! DO NOT USE for anything, except for testing!


QUOTE (Dibrom)
The currently recommended LAME version:

Download LAME 3.90.3


I'm merely attempting to help a new user figure things out, and reiterating the standard Hydrogenaudio position on these things. I suggest you take up your quarrel with the administration, not me. I've yet to hear from anyone whose opinions and ears I respected (other than yourself) that stated 3.97 is to be preferred over 3.90.3. The artifacting at those bitrates is beyond my ears; I acknowledge this fact, and have ABX results that show that I very likely can't hear a difference.

This post has been edited by Canar: May 31 2005, 14:51


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