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How accurate are programs that detect and fix Mp3 errors?
post Nov 24 2011, 03:13
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I scanned my music library with both Mp3test and Mp3val. Both programs detected different errors in various files. I recently ripped an album with foobar2000 that was ripped with minor errors, neither program detected these when scanned. How accurate are programs that are intended to detect errors and what does fixing these errors accomplish as far as audio quality?
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post Jan 29 2012, 11:54
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MP3 files are composed of blocks (packets) of fixed size, that have a header indicating what is inside. Some of these packets have special meaning, like the VBR header (the vbr header is a packet that allows correct seeking and song length estimation for VBR files).
MP3 files also use to have "attached" data like ID3 tags at the end(v1, v2.4?) or start (v2.3).

* MP3Val: Checks that each block starts where it is supposed to start, that the header of those blocks is consistent within the file and that, if present, the VBR header is consistent with the length of the file.

*VBRFix: Its only use is to correct the VBR header. This header has 100 points to seek from start to end of file in steps of 1% of the duration. It can fix it or add it, if missing.

* Foobar2000: As the name implies, foobar rebuilds the stream. This means reading the file and packing it again. Its use is the same as MP3Val, but foobar2000 also writes the vbr header and maintains the tags.

* MP3repacker: This program has two uses: get a VBR file out of a CBR file and viceversa. To do this, it needs to rebuild the stream and in doing so, it will correct any packet that could have a problem (IIRC, it reports such situation).

And as has been said in previous posts, this only corrects errors in the file, not in the audio.

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