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Two stupid(?) questions about LAME
BFG
post Jul 22 2012, 00:22
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Hello all. As you can see, I'm new to the boards, but have perused them as a guest for some time.

I'm still trying to learn the ins and outs of audio archiving, and after doing considerable reading I've started archiving my CD collection with LAME, using the -V0 and -q0 (highest quality VBR) settings.


I have two (potentially stupid) questions for those more experienced than I:
(1) Do you see any point in recompressing my CDs using LAME 3.99.5? The vast majority of them are already compressed with 3.98.4. 3.99.5 seems to give a small file increase on the higher quality settings, but I'm really only concerned about the audio quality.


(2) I've noticed that LAME VBR always uses MPEG 1-Layer III bitrates (32, 40, 48 ... 320), presumably because CDs are always at a 44.1kHz sample rate. Would it be possible to combine MPEG 1 and MPEG 2/2.5 (8, 16, 24...144, 160) bitrates in the same file? If so, would those be readable by most players? And what about using freeformat options e.g. 288 or 640 kbps?
I'm thinking that allowing MPEG 1 and MPEG 2/2.5 in the same file, if that's possible, would allow VBR files to be a bit smaller with no quality loss - since silent sections, for example, could be encoded at 8 kbps instead of 32. And it'd be nice to have freeformat options above 320 kbps available since this is for archiving.
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AliceWonder
post Jul 23 2012, 02:53
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They are compatible with ALAC today, now, but AAC has patent issues just like MP3 does, and I believe they will last even farther into future than MP3 patents, which restricts devices and software that support the format to those who either ignore the patents, are sold in countries where there aren't patents, or ignore the patents (like happened with MP3 during it's initial decade).

You might have to download software to decode flac on some platforms but that software is both free and readily available just about anywhere.

Can I play an ALAC file on Linux?

I purchased the fluendo plugins so maybe I can, but without that purchase it is only possible with third party libraries that can not legally be distributed by my distribution vendor, meaning either I have to compile myself and watch for security patches myself or trust a third party repository in another country that unlikely has a commercial entity behind it.

That's a problem that doesn't exist with flac, where bona-fide companies can choose to distribute support with their products (like foobar2000), far more trust-able than a small group who run a server outside the US for explicit purpose of circumventing patent distribution laws.

I believe, btw, there are quicktime plugins for flac that make flac work in QuickTime and thus iTunes, no?

This post has been edited by AliceWonder: Jul 23 2012, 02:55
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kornchild2002
post Jul 23 2012, 11:04
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QUOTE (AliceWonder @ Jul 22 2012, 19:53) *
They are compatible with ALAC today, now, but AAC has patent issues just like MP3 does, and I believe they will last even farther into future than MP3 patents, which restricts devices and software that support the format to those who either ignore the patents, are sold in countries where there aren't patents, or ignore the patents (like happened with MP3 during it's initial decade).


That still doesn't help FLACs case and its current compatibility rate which is far, far less than that of mp3. Like I said, every single digital media device out there works with mp3 files as-is yet only a very, very, very small percentage work natively with FLAC. Given the amount of iPods, iPhones, and iPads floating around, I would also venture to say that native ALAC support is also beyond that of FLAC. That's just an educated guess on my part and native FLAC support is growing as it has been included in Android 3.1 and above. However, the sheer volume of previously sold iDevices (and the combination of all three along with the continued lack of Android tablet sales) are much higher than Android smartphones, particularly ones running Android 3.1 and above (which would limit smartphones to Android 4.0 and above as 3.1 is a tablet only OS).

Either way, mp3 is still the "universal" audio format in terms of compatibility and FLAC has a long way before that changes. Given Apple's reluctance to adopt the format on their mobile devices (they aren't the only ones, just look at Microsoft), along with many other contributing factors (support from manufacturers of various devices such as Blu-ray players, car stereos, etc.), I doubt FLAC will ever be as common as mp3. FLAC may have all sorts of benefits over mp3 and again, I am not knocking the format itself. However, those technical and patent benefits still haven't catapulted it to the same compatibility level as mp3 (or even AAC).
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Posts in this topic
- BFG   Two stupid(?) questions about LAME   Jul 22 2012, 00:22
- - Soap   Why in this day of cheap storage would you "a...   Jul 22 2012, 00:50
|- - BFG   QUOTE (Soap @ Jul 21 2012, 18:50) Why in ...   Jul 22 2012, 01:03
||- - Soap   QUOTE (BFG @ Jul 21 2012, 19:03) First, t...   Jul 22 2012, 01:08
|||- - BFG   QUOTE (Soap @ Jul 21 2012, 19:08) 1 - If ...   Jul 22 2012, 01:13
||- - Porcus   QUOTE (BFG @ Jul 22 2012, 02:03) frankly ...   Jul 22 2012, 14:32
|- - Glenn Gundlach   1: Last month I bought a 2TB Hitachi drive for ...   Jul 23 2012, 06:33
- - lvqcl   (0) http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=...   Jul 22 2012, 01:00
- - soundping   @ BFG Have you seen this page? CODEhttp://wik...   Jul 22 2012, 07:02
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (soundping @ Jul 22 2012, 00:02) CB...   Jul 22 2012, 12:59
|- - greynol   QUOTE (soundping @ Jul 21 2012, 23:02) CB...   Jul 22 2012, 17:09
- - JJZolx   QUOTE (BFG @ Jul 21 2012, 17:22) (1) Do y...   Jul 22 2012, 07:33
- - Porcus   It is maybe fruitful to point out what is correct,...   Jul 22 2012, 17:35
|- - halb27   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jul 22 2012, 18:35) ... f...   Jul 22 2012, 20:49
||- - Porcus   QUOTE (halb27 @ Jul 22 2012, 21:49) QUOTE...   Jul 22 2012, 22:13
|- - mjb2006   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jul 22 2012, 10:35) VBR a...   Jul 23 2012, 07:41
|- - halb27   QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Jul 23 2012, 08:41) QUOT...   Jul 23 2012, 11:21
- - greynol   I thought I read that the CBR and VBR modes now sh...   Jul 22 2012, 21:06
- - halb27   @greynol: Yes, somebody recently wrote that CBR an...   Jul 22 2012, 22:22
- - AliceWonder   If compatibility is what you are worried about the...   Jul 22 2012, 22:32
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (AliceWonder @ Jul 22 2012, 15:32) ...   Jul 23 2012, 00:31
- - Porcus   Are you really suggesting that Lame's VBR mode...   Jul 22 2012, 22:47
- - halb27   If you're addressing me: No, I don't, and ...   Jul 22 2012, 23:02
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (halb27 @ Jul 23 2012, 00:02) If yo...   Jul 22 2012, 23:36
- - AliceWonder   They are compatible with ALAC today, now, but AAC ...   Jul 23 2012, 02:53
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (AliceWonder @ Jul 22 2012, 19:53) ...   Jul 23 2012, 11:04
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Jul 23 2012, 12:04...   Jul 23 2012, 13:43
- - RobertoDomenico   Getting Flac to play in iTunes is a total pain, ev...   Jul 23 2012, 04:26
- - AliceWonder   You can still install the command line client and ...   Jul 23 2012, 04:36
- - BFG   QUOTE (halb27 @ Jul 22 2012, 17:02) Perso...   Jul 24 2012, 04:05
|- - halb27   QUOTE (BFG @ Jul 24 2012, 05:05) QUOTE (h...   Jul 24 2012, 08:59
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (BFG @ Jul 24 2012, 05:05) I'd ...   Jul 24 2012, 10:29
- - greynol   I suggest you bone up on the joint-stereo vs. forc...   Jul 24 2012, 05:46


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