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Not sure which lossy format to use for Android playback
Cromulent
post Dec 6 2012, 15:02
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My music collection is currently encoded in FLAC format and was ripped using cdparanoia. I want to convert some of my FLAC files to a lossy format for listening on my Android phone at work (Nexus 4 for reference) but am unsure which codec to use. I think the choice is really between AAC and Ogg Vorbis but I'm not really sure. I'm basically looking for the best sound quality with the smallest file size.

Can anyone offer some advice for a newbie in this field (prior to this I've only ever really used lossless formats such as ALAC or FLAC).? Thanks.
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Cromulent
post Dec 6 2012, 18:54
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QUOTE (yourlord @ Dec 6 2012, 17:19) *
QUOTE (Cromulent @ Dec 6 2012, 11:35) *
96kbps seems awfully low. I was planning on going with 192kbps VBR but yeah Ogg Vorbis does sound like a good choice.


Don't focus on the bit rate number.. Do some test encodes and let your ears make that decision for you.. Seriously.. I used to encode at q6 and q8 because I was hung up on the bitrate. Then one day I decided to experiment and see at what rate I started to even notice any quality issues..

With lame I hit my limit at about 128Kbps which while it's still pretty friggin good, at that rate I start to notice the artifacts enough to annoy me. I went 1 step up and target my average mp3 bitrate at 160kbps where I can't tell the difference on all but the most brutal samples.

When I did the same test with Vorbis you could have picked me up off the floor.. At 80kbps Vorbis starts to annoy me, but otherwise it still sounds REALLY FRIGGIN GOOD.. At 96kbps it's almost totally transparent (to me at least), enough so that IF there is some rare random sample that causes a problem, it's infrequent enough that I don't care.

I've yet to regret settling on vorbis at q2.. All my wife's music on her phone is Vorbis at q2.. All my son's music on his clip+ is Vorbis at q2.. All my father's music on his clip+ is Vorbis at q2. Never has a single complaint been lodged by any of them about the audio quality.

I'm just saying try it.. You can double the amount of music you can store on your phone or leave more space for pics and video, and I bet you'll be hard pressed to tell any difference in quality, if at all.


Wow. You're right.

I just converted the same song into four files. A 96, 128, 160 and 192kbps Vorbis and also used the original FLAC file. There was a slight degradation in the audio quality in the 96kbps version but the 128kbps version was fine for listening to on a portable device where there will obviously also be background noise so having top quality play back really isn't necessary. Plus the size difference between 96 and 128kbps isn't that much so I'll go with 128kbps I think. Should be able to fit most of my music on my phone with that setting (for reference the FLAC file was 51MB and was encoded using the --best option and the 128kbps Vorbis file was 6.4MB which is a nice reduction).
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OzarkVe
post Dec 6 2012, 20:01
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QUOTE (Cromulent @ Dec 6 2012, 12:54) *
Wow. You're right.

I just converted the same song into four files. A 96, 128, 160 and 192kbps Vorbis and also used the original FLAC file. There was a slight degradation in the audio quality in the 96kbps version but the 128kbps version was fine for listening to on a portable device where there will obviously also be background noise ..


I found the same thing. I had 128 mp3 files... just because that's what we always used.... but things have come so far. I did settle on .41 aac (IIRC ~96k/s) and reduced my library by ~35% on my SD card. Now I have a 64gb card so it's not such a big deal, but your findings are just what I found. I wonder if there's an ABX app where you could test in the field under real world situations.
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