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More XLD Questions / x Lossless Decoder (LAME 3.99 320 kbps), [TOS #6: moved from General Audio]
666dondraper
post Jun 1 2012, 01:33
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IS (Use C2 error pointers) necessary when ripping CDs?

What else can I do with the settings in the preferences to optimize the quality of the LAME 3.99 320 kbps output?
The sampling frequency is set at auto, likewise to the stereo mode, the overall quality is high @ 320 kbps. I use the XLD secure ripper. I feel like I'm doing something wrong after I rip each CD, they don't sound good like the files I've purchased from this online music store Bleep.com do. Bleep.com used the LAME encoder which is how I got to know about LAME encoder and ever since I've been trying to doing the same thing with the CDs I have but they quality doesn't sound stellar.

Let me know what kind of settings you guys use for the XLD.
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antman
post Jun 1 2012, 03:29
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Where do we start with this...

Bleep.com states they encode everything using Lame 320kbps CBR.

http://support.bleep.com/entries/20545598-...y-are-your-mp3s

And you're saying your 320kbps encodes don't sound good...

You're about to get a warning from the moderators on here to read the Terms of Service #8.
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666dondraper
post Jun 1 2012, 04:30
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QUOTE (antman @ May 31 2012, 19:29) *
Where do we start with this...

Bleep.com states they encode everything using Lame 320kbps CBR.

http://support.bleep.com/entries/20545598-...y-are-your-mp3s

And you're saying your 320kbps encodes don't sound good...

You're about to get a warning from the moderators on here to read the Terms of Service #8.


I do know that, that is how I knew about LAME 320 kbps CBR.

What I said, was the way I've encoded things; that doesn't sound good not that 320 kbps doesn't sound good. That's a clear misinterpretation of what I was saying.
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antman
post Jun 1 2012, 05:50
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Well you're not being clear on what "don't sound good" means. What does that mean? They're artifacts? You can blantantly tell the difference between a track you've ripped/converted to the same track purchased online? Are you comparing a cd released in 2011 versus 20 years ago? 320kbps isn't going to improve the mastering of a cd.
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Nessuno
post Jun 1 2012, 08:10
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QUOTE (666dondraper @ Jun 1 2012, 02:33) *
IS (Use C2 error pointers) necessary when ripping CDs?

Not strictly necessary.

First of all, it depends on your own ripping system suporting them: see this old post of mine and the following replies http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=765840

Then, if the CD you are going to rip is found by XLD in Accuraterip database, you can use the fastest "burst" settings and if the results are ok and the confidence index is not too low (say, above 2 or 3), you can be confident that you extracted exactly all the music related information content that is in the CD. Otherwise, if the CD is not in the db or you get wrong results, use slower "secure ripper" option and "test before copy" and if you get consistent results you can still be confident that you ripped correctly your copy of that CD, which in the latter case can be a slightly different press than the ones used to feed the AR database.

Generally speaking, if your CDs are in good conditions (i. e. not too scratched or damaged or very badly pressed) you're very unlikely to find audible glitches even with less accurate ripping options, like for example the ones used by iTunes internal ripper.

What you say after:

QUOTE
I feel like I'm doing something wrong after I rip each CD, they don't sound good like the files I've purchased from this online music store Bleep.com do.

is another story, already addressed by antman.

This post has been edited by Nessuno: Jun 1 2012, 08:23


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666dondraper
post Jun 2 2012, 03:37
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These are two pictures of my settings. Do they look alright, they're practically left untouched. I haven't altered the other settings so that's why I'm not showing them. Let me know your thoughts on them.

XLD Settings Images

This post has been edited by db1989: Jun 2 2012, 08:38
Reason for edit: deleting pointless full quote of above post
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666dondraper
post Jun 2 2012, 04:31
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QUOTE (antman @ May 31 2012, 21:50) *
Well you're not being clear on what "don't sound good" means. What does that mean? They're artifacts? You can blantantly tell the difference between a track you've ripped/converted to the same track purchased online? Are you comparing a cd released in 2011 versus 20 years ago? 320kbps isn't going to improve the mastering of a cd.
Doesn't sound good meaning that it doesn't sound loud enough, the clarity is skewed. No, I cannot blatantly tell the difference between a track I've ripped/converted to the same track purchased online. I'm comparing it based off a completely different basis which I understand makes my claim absolutely retarded but I just wanted to know if I was personally doing anything wrong in the conversion process. It's a CD released in the late 90's so it's not anything recent. I always thought that 320 kbps would improve the quality unless going off of what you said, I presume not.

This post has been edited by db1989: Jun 2 2012, 08:39
Reason for edit: Please position quotes above your reply for logic of reading.
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db1989
post Jun 2 2012, 08:50
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QUOTE (666dondraper @ Jun 2 2012, 04:31) *
Doesn't sound good meaning that it doesn't sound loud enough

Ignoring your subsequent elaboration that “the clarity is skewed”, which is so non-specific as to be useless, let’s focus on this statement about loudness, which might help us get somewhere. It’s a well-known trick of the mind that many people interpret louder audio as sounding better, when in reality it can be exactly the same ‘quality’-wise but simply amplified.

Are you having XLD write ReplayGain to your ripped files? Its recommendation might well be a reduction in volume. Is your player – whose identity and type (hardware or software) you have never specified – capable of reading and acting upon RG information?

QUOTE
No, I cannot blatantly tell the difference between a track I've ripped/converted to the same track purchased online.

This takes us back to #8 of the Terms of Service. Barring some objective difference in the files/process, such as the above, you need to provide objective evidence that you can hear a difference.

For example: perform double-blind ABX tests of two versions of the same song, which you think are good and bad respectively, against the uncompressed original from the CD. Or, if you absolutely must (but this is almost always recommended against) because you have no original file, at least ABX the two MP3s against each other.

That way, you can prove or disprove that you can reliably discern between them when you don’t know which is which (=double-blind). Sighted testing makes possible confirmation bias and the placebo effect, both of which remove all validity from claims about sound quality.

QUOTE
It's a CD released in the late 90's so it's not anything recent. I always thought that 320 kbps would improve the quality unless going off of what you said, I presume not.

Improve the quality as opposed to what? The original stream on the CD? It should be obvious that that is not going to happen.

This post has been edited by db1989: Jun 2 2012, 08:55
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666dondraper
post Jun 2 2012, 19:32
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Here's a link to my settings:
My XLD Settings

I am not having XLD write ReplayGain for my ripped files, it is left unchecked. I move the ripped file into iTunes so I listen to it from there after I do the conversion on XLD.

How can I perform double-blind ABX tests of two versions of the same song?

Sorry I'm completely new to all of this, I apologize for my lack of objective evidence and claims but would like to know how to proceed correctly from here on out.

This post has been edited by db1989: Jun 2 2012, 23:44
Reason for edit: as in posts #6 and #7
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Nessuno
post Jun 3 2012, 10:42
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QUOTE (666dondraper @ Jun 2 2012, 04:37) *
These are two pictures of my settings. Do they look alright, they're practically left untouched. I haven't altered the other settings so that's why I'm not showing them. Let me know your thoughts on them.

XLD Settings Images

I'd set also: "Treat AccurateRip mismatch as an inconsistency in log", "Test before copy" and "Only when the track does not exist in AccurateRip DB".
Have also a test run with C2 pointers enabled and if your drive doesn't hang, then leave it checked.

When XLD finishes ripping, search the log for errors, minding what has already been said about AR mismatches.

BTW: if you often get AR mismatches, look also if "Read sample offset correction value" shows alternate values for your drive (click that little triangle pointing downward on the right of the field) and make different tries changing them.

About encoding options, I personally don't see any sensible reason for using CBR and this matter has been already discussed ad infinitum here. Just anedoctically: I use AAC with quality target 110 which means roughly 256kbps VBR and in my whole library iTunes shows bitrates ranging from 74 to 314 kbps! wink.gif

This post has been edited by Nessuno: Jun 3 2012, 10:43


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