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Recommendations uploading files for the Amazon Cloud Player?
Droosh
post Apr 2 2011, 05:49
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I'm new to the forum and to the differences between modern encoders of mp3 and aac. I'd like to rip several CDs to the new Amazon Cloud Drive for the purpose of then using the Amazon Cloud player app on my android smartphone connected to my home audio system. Which encoding format, settings, and Windows software do you recommend for me rip files for the maximum quality? I have Roxio Creator 2010 Pro, but would be happy to install something better that you might recommend for this project since Roxio appears a bit limited in it's settings for Lame and AAC.

Unfortunately the file formats are limited to lossy mp3 and m4a. Here is a link with more detail:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/dis...0593730#options

I posted the same topic in both the MP3 - General and AAC - General forums. I apologize if this is inappropriate. Mod, please feel free to move my post(s) to the correct forum.
Thanks for your help!!
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kornchild2002
post Apr 2 2011, 14:17
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You only need to put a post in a single location, otherwise it is considered cross-posting and is against forum rules (pretty much every set of forums out there doesn't like it when people cross-post). You probably could have put this in the general area as you are looking at both mp3 and AAC. Eh, that doesn't matter though.

First and foremost, I suggest you search the forums as the topic of "what software should I use to rip CDs and what settings should I use?" has been discussed ad nauseum. Everyone has their personal preferences in terms of CD ripping software. The two big ones, at least from what I have vaguely observed in the forums, are EAC and dBpowerAMP. They are both Windows only programs that offer secure CD ripping and have the ability to use a variety of different encoders. EAC is free and dBpowerAMP isn't (but it is still very inexpensive). I use dBpowerAMP simply because it tends to offer a graphically simpler way of ripping CDs while EAC is essentially command-line driven (at least in terms of editing encoder settings). I suggest that you download both, play around with them, and see which one you like. I can recommend a Mac OS X ripper as well if you are under that platform.

As for the encoder, I don't think you will run into any issues if you go with either Lame mp3, Nero AAC, or iTunes/QuickTime AAC. The best thing you can do is run a series of blind ABX tests to determine what encoder and setting works best for you. Or you can search the forums as this topic has really been beaten to death.
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Droosh
post Apr 2 2011, 16:58
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Thanks. I see that dbPoweramp has a free trial, so I'll give that a shot. I had actually downloaded it already figuring it would be better than Roxio. I did read quite a bit yesterday about encoding formats. I'm doubting the value vs time required for a real double blind test in this situation. My ears aren't what they used to be (I'm a former percussionist). This is true especially in the upper range, and although smaller file sizes would save me money in the long term, I plan to keep a high VBR between 192-256 as my family will also be accessing this music, and I do want to keep high enough quality that I won't need to re-rip later. I therefore don't want a sample size of just yours truly, but rather came here for some recommendations of consensus settings to make the file essentially transparent when compared to lossless for 99.9% of listeners. Given what I've been reading it appears that either of the three codecs recommended above would meet that threshold at this bitrate. Correct?

So, please allow me to rephrase the question...
Assuming:
1. I won't have a future compatibility issue with either file format
2. High VBR (192-256)
3. Other settings that would achieve transparency for the vast majority of enthusiast listeners

Does one of the three encoders generally offer smaller file sizes across a diverse spectrum of music? If your answer is that AAC trends a bit more efficient at the equivalent transparency threshold vs LAME, would you see a benefit to maintaining one format since music that I buy from Amazon will be 256 kbs mp3? If AAC, what bitrate or quality setting would be transparent to most people as discussed, what settings would be comparable to Amazon's mp3 store?

Thanks again for humoring this newbie.

This post has been edited by Droosh: Apr 2 2011, 17:11
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greynol
post Apr 2 2011, 18:04
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 2 2011, 06:17) *
(at least in terms of editing encoder settings).

You mean pretty much only in terms of editing encoder settings.

QUOTE (usernaim @ Apr 2 2011, 07:38) *
Their is a free version of dbPowerAmp that is in many ways superior to EAC. Quicker, easier to set up, just as secure.

Nonsense and binned as such!

Sheesh you guys!!! dry.gif


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greynol
post Apr 2 2011, 18:18
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QUOTE (Droosh @ Apr 2 2011, 08:58) *
Does one of the three encoders generally offer smaller file sizes across a diverse spectrum of music?
Theoretically AAC should provide for smaller files of the same quality as MP3, but Lame has had the benefit of more years of fine-tuning.

QUOTE (Droosh @ Apr 2 2011, 08:58) *
If your answer is that AAC trends a bit more efficient at the equivalent transparency threshold vs LAME, would you see a benefit to maintaining one format since music that I buy from Amazon will be 256 kbs mp3?
I don't know that I follow. If you're asking if you should create MP3s simply because that's the format Amazon uses then IMO, the answer is no.

QUOTE (Droosh @ Apr 2 2011, 08:58) *
If AAC, what bitrate or quality setting would be transparent to most people as discussed, what settings would be comparable to Amazon's mp3 store?
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=16295

This post has been edited by greynol: Apr 2 2011, 18:18


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Droosh
post Apr 2 2011, 19:20
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Thank you greynol. You say theoretically AAC is more efficient at the transparency threshold, however LAME has the benefit of being more fine-tuned. I'm looking for an opinion then not based on theory, but on real world. Which one would you say is more efficient? For that one, can you give me some quality settings advice that will give me the smallest file size while being transparent for the vast majority of audiophiles.

Thanks for the opinion on consistency with Amazon. I don't really see any issues with uploading something different either. I was just thinking that there might be something I'm missing, like batch archiving of downloads in the future if I decide to leave Amazon's cloud for Google's, etc.

Thanks for the ABX link. I had read that. I'm just not going to do that as I'm interested in encoding not just for my ears and there is no way my family cares enough to sit through a properly conducted ABX test. I'm just looking for efficient settings that would be transparent to lossless for most people. You know much more than me, so even though your ears are different, your advice and your personal experience adds value.

Thanks!

This post has been edited by Droosh: Apr 2 2011, 19:26
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greynol
post Apr 2 2011, 19:34
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QUOTE (Droosh @ Apr 2 2011, 11:20) *
I'm looking for an opinion then not based on theory, but on real world. Which one would you say is more efficient? For that one, can you give me some quality settings advice that will give me the smallest file size while being transparent for the vast majority of audiophiles.

Again I have to encourage you to conduct your own double-blind tests.


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DonP
post Apr 2 2011, 21:03
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QUOTE (Droosh @ Apr 1 2011, 23:49) *
I'm new to the forum and to the differences between modern encoders of mp3 and aac. I'd like to rip several CDs to the new Amazon Cloud Drive for the purpose of then using the Amazon Cloud player app on my android smartphone connected to my home audio system.


If it was me and it was really only several CDs, I'd just use the CDs.

if you are going to want to stream to your phone away from WIFI, consider whether your provider is up to streaming 2-300kb/s everywhere you might want to listen. I've read a lot of complaints from people who haven't been able to stream even 128 kb/s radio stations reliably.

Can your android phone take a microSD card? It's fairly cheap these days to get a card almost equal to your amazon quota (20 gb I think)

For me the benefit of cloud storage is when you want to access your stuff away from home.
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Droosh
post Apr 2 2011, 21:43
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Thanks DonP. Benefits I see to the Amazon Cloud player:
1. My wife, kids, and I can all share the same cloud drive (same goes with purchasing Apps from the Amazon Appstore BTW).
2. The music is more safe in the cloud rather than my sd card or even my NAS at home.
3. We can play the music from either of our phones or any web browser either at work, home, in the car, or when traveling. We have unlimited data plans, so I'm not concerned with my carrier.

Also, FYI - Amazon's cloud player technically isn't streaming so my carrier can't cap the bitrate. You are downloading and playing the music you own at whatever bitrate/format you happened to upload. In the case of Amazon purchased music, you don't pay for the space and you are playing the actual 256kbs mp3 file from Amazon's mp3 store.

I'm leaning toward the dBpoweramp software ripping and encoding with the Nero AAC at q .55. I figure this will be high quality for most all listeners on any system. Any drawbacks or advice? I had trouble using this software with LAME as it wanted me to pay and register despite the free trial.

Thanks again.
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kornchild2002
post Apr 2 2011, 22:17
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You could have literally figured all of this out for yourself by now. It doesn't matter what "most people" think is transparent as most people won't be listening to your music. I don't understand the reluctancy that many people have when it comes to conducting their own blind ABX tests. Instead of asking the same question 5 different times and getting (essentially) the same responses, you should go off and conduct your own set of blind tests (which is basically what everyone is saying). Someone can come in here and say that 320kbps Lame mp3 is the highest quality option while another can suggest that 64kbps iTunes AAC provides better quality. Who would be right? There is absolutely no need for you to encode anything at such a high bitrate (320kbps) if you aren't going to benefit from it. Additionally, going down to 64kbps may introduce audible artifacts. How can you tell which person's recommendation is right for you? Conduct your own tests. Seriously, it wouldn't take you much time at all to just pull a few tracks from your library, start at a low bitrate setting, and go up from there. You could test each encoder and move on. It doesn't matter if Billy Bob over there uses Lame 320kbps or if Mike uses 64kbps LC-AAC as you will be figuring out what is right for your needs.
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Droosh
post Apr 2 2011, 22:28
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You evidently didn't read my post. There is no need to be rude. What good would my doing ABX testing with my ears do for my wife's experience? I'm more interested in the average of the critical listeners' abx testing results than my own personal results. I know I don't have more "golden ears" than many of the audiophiles in here.

That said I do appreciate the ethos here of to each their own and that there is no perfect answer.

This post has been edited by Droosh: Apr 2 2011, 22:28
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greynol
post Apr 2 2011, 23:50
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Have your wife partake in some listening tests if you're concerned about her listening experience.


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twostar
post Apr 3 2011, 00:20
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My advice is to rip securely to lossless. Keep the files somewhere safe. Convert to either MP3 or AAC at 128kbps. Upload those to the cloud. If after some listening you decide they're not good enough, convert to a higher bitrate and replace them.

Links to other's ABX tests are here.
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kornchild2002
post Apr 3 2011, 00:53
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QUOTE (Droosh @ Apr 2 2011, 15:28) *
You evidently didn't read my post. There is no need to be rude. What good would my doing ABX testing with my ears do for my wife's experience? I'm more interested in the average of the critical listeners' abx testing results than my own personal results. I know I don't have more "golden ears" than many of the audiophiles in here.


I am not being rude but I am stating the obvious. You could have sat down last night, set aside an hour, and have gone through a good chunk of your CD collection by now if you had followed the responses. I also read your post but again, you were given the correct responses. So you can continue to keep asking the same question in a different way, go with what you think is alright, or take the hour and conduct your blind ABX tests. As pointed out by others, you can always have your wife sit there after you have determined your setting and see if she can ABX it. I highly doubt your kids are going to care as, in my experience, most younger people just want the content. They don't care about bitrate, CD ripper, encoder, VBR, etc. type stuff. They just want to listen to their music. Again, I am not being rude but I am being blatantly obvious.
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Droosh
post Apr 3 2011, 02:08
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QUOTE (twostar @ Apr 2 2011, 19:20) *
My advice is to rip securely to lossless. Keep the files somewhere safe. Convert to either MP3 or AAC at 128kbps. Upload those to the cloud. If after some listening you decide they're not good enough, convert to a higher bitrate and replace them.

Links to other's ABX tests are here.


Good advice and thanks for the link as well.

I'm all set.
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