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Transcoding all my Musepack MPC files, [Moved from General Audio]
12345
post Apr 23 2012, 07:09
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Hi.
I have about 400 records in Musepack --insane --xlevel that I encoded back in 2002. I wonder how I should go about with these files. I'm mostly on OS X and Songbird these days, and the Musepack support is not great.

I think that I want to transcode the files to a (lossy?) format. Re-ripping would be too much of an effort. Do you think the result will be OK? Is musepack --insane an ok starting point for transcoding? My instinct is to go with something like LAME -V 0, but I'm also considering converting them to FLAC, which in some ways seem insane, to not lose quality in the transcoding process and to be prepared for further transcoding to other lossy formats that will be more popular than MP3 in the future. Though I wonder if that time will ever come during my lifetime. It's still the most popular lossy format 10 years after I encoded my Musepack files, though AAC has won some ground via Flash Player MPEG-4 support and iTunes.

Thing is, my hearing isn't what it has been (genetic hearing disorder). So I will probably never hear the difference or be able to judge what's close to transparent myself. I want my friends and family to be able to enjoy the music in its full effect though.

Ideas?

This post has been edited by 12345: Apr 23 2012, 07:33
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Kohlrabi
post Apr 23 2012, 08:22
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Stick to LAME VBR, and be happy with the music. I cannot really tell you which setting to use, you can just still conduct an ABX test of your MP3s vs. the Musepack sources to tell if you can regularly find differences in those encodes. Though VBR -V0 is a "safe" route. Just keep in mind that you cannot restore any lost information. Ultimately it's about whether you're content with your encodes, and which solution is most practical to you. Encoding to FLAC from Musepack is a waste of space, though. If you're really worried about quality, consider re-ripping maybe one at a time if you have the time, but like you said that's a huge effort (though in the end you can save everything as FLAC/ALAC).

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Apr 23 2012, 08:28


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smok3
post Apr 23 2012, 08:38
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i'd go with FLAC/ALAC and do a note in metadata that this was upsized from musepacks.


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twostar
post Apr 23 2012, 10:00
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I would re-rip to lossless. Since there's no deadline, 1 per day wouldn't be too much of a hassle. While completing the re-rip, I would just live with the MPCs. They've worked fine in 10 years anyway.
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Porcus
post Apr 23 2012, 12:00
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I don't use appleware, so I don't know how easy or hard it might be to get your player of choice to cooperate with Musepack, but there is the official OS X tool: http://www.musepack.net/index.php?pg=osx . Also, you can reencapsulate (without transcoding) into a Matroska container, in case you have a player which cooperates with Matroska which cooperates with Musepack.

Assuming you would like to transcode (which brings forth an 'ewww!' gut reaction here, but let's be pragmatic):
- if you want to go to a lossless format, then I would not only tag them with 'transcoded from lossy', I would also mark it clearly in the filename (like, .mpc.flac). Had you been on a platform with better/easier support of multiple lossless formats, I would even have taken a totally different codec than anything else. Just to ensure you don't confuse them if/when you re-rip.
- if you keep your mpc files as backup, then you can go mp3 until you encounter a file which really doesn't sound good. Should you find a reason to complain, you have the .mpc files. 400 records? In these days, you probably have a couple of old hard drives you would otherwise throw away, and which would contain the mpc files and another backup of them.

This post has been edited by Porcus: Apr 23 2012, 12:02


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LithosZA
post Apr 23 2012, 12:28
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QUOTE
- if you want to go to a lossless format, then I would not only tag them with 'transcoded from lossy', I would also mark it clearly in the filename (like, .mpc.flac). Had you been on a platform with better/easier support of multiple lossless formats, I would even have taken a totally different codec than anything else. Just to ensure you don't confuse them if/when you re-rip.


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12345
post Apr 23 2012, 13:17
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 23 2012, 13:00) *
I would also mark it clearly in the filename (like, .mpc.flac). Had you been on a platform with better/easier support of multiple lossless formats, I would even have taken a totally different codec than anything else. Just to ensure you don't confuse them if/when you re-rip.
Yes, I had thought about tagging them with "Transcoded from Musepack" or something similar. But that file extension naming scheme is great. I'll be able to search and spot them from a file manager in no time.

QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 23 2012, 13:00) *
- if you keep your mpc files as backup, then you can go mp3 until you encounter a file which really doesn't sound good. Should you find a reason to complain, you have the .mpc files. 400 records? In these days, you probably have a couple of old hard drives you would otherwise throw away, and which would contain the mpc files and another backup of them.
That's a great point. I have lots of storage. I'll just archive the Musepack files on HDDs after converting them to .mpc.mp3.

Thank you all for your input, lossy it will be, with archived Musepack files.

Perhaps AAC with Quality 0.55 in Nero AAC would be a viable option. From what I understand it's quite effective at lower bitrates. What bothers me about AAC in MP4/M4A container is the metadata. From what I understand from this blog post there's no real standard for metadata except for a set of badly documented iTunes-style tags. Is this right? Is this what foobar2000 uses?

Another related question regarding the conversion from Musepack... I have APEv2 metadata in some weird fields like <CATALOG NUMBER> that I'd like to transfer to <LABELNO> if using ID3v2.4 and MP3. Will foobar2000 handle this conversion of metadata?

This post has been edited by 12345: Apr 23 2012, 13:30
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mll
post Apr 24 2012, 06:04
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QUOTE (12345 @ Apr 23 2012, 14:17) *
Another related question regarding the conversion from Musepack... I have APEv2 metadata in some weird fields like <CATALOG NUMBER> that I'd like to transfer to <LABELNO> if using ID3v2.4 and MP3. Will foobar2000 handle this conversion of metadata?


I'd say, make sure the albums you have are in Musicbrainz' database, maybe adding some missing data like the catalog number, and then, after the transcoding operation is complete, tag them with Musicbrainz' Picard tagger which would handle ths kind of tagging questions.

Secondary benefit : the data you enter in Musicbrainz benefit everyone. smile.gif

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slks
post Apr 24 2012, 09:42
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I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that Musepack, being a subband codec and fundamentally different from AAC, MP3, etc., would be not so bad as the starting point for a transcode. It makes sense, that the artifacts from Musepack are qualitatively different, and so wouldn't compound quite as disastrously with the artifacts from a transform codec. Pragmatically, I think audible artifacts from transcoding MPC --extreme to LAME -V0 are going to be few and far between. Although I've never ABX'd anything like that myself.

What I'd do, in your case, is slowly chip away at making proper lossless rips of the CDs, and listen to the transcoded MP3s in the meantime.


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smok3
post Apr 24 2012, 10:01
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QUOTE
Perhaps AAC with Quality 0.55 in Nero AAC would be a viable option. From what I understand it's quite effective at lower bitrates.

why not appleware AAC, from what i hear is pretty good.


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Porcus
post Apr 24 2012, 10:47
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QUOTE (slks @ Apr 24 2012, 10:42) *
I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that Musepack, being a subband codec and fundamentally different from AAC, MP3, etc., would be not so bad as the starting point for a transcode. It makes sense, that the artifacts from Musepack are qualitatively different, and so wouldn't compound quite as disastrously with the artifacts from a transform codec.


http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=32440 .


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12345
post Apr 25 2012, 21:47
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 24 2012, 11:47) *
QUOTE (slks @ Apr 24 2012, 10:42) *
I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that Musepack, being a subband codec and fundamentally different from AAC, MP3, etc., would be not so bad as the starting point for a transcode. It makes sense, that the artifacts from Musepack are qualitatively different, and so wouldn't compound quite as disastrously with the artifacts from a transform codec.


http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=32440 .
Interesting, thanks!
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Porcus
post Nov 19 2014, 11:05
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As I said above: keep the originals. (Costs you nearly nothing, does it? And another backup is anyway useful.)
And make sure to tag and name your transcodes. Like file.mpc.m4a if you choose AAC.

A question, re one of my comments above: is musepack-in-matroska likely to have more support than .mpc?

This post has been edited by Porcus: Nov 19 2014, 11:06


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