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Winamp Fraunhofer MPEG-4 AAC Encoder?
post Dec 23 2012, 00:28
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Is FhG AAC encoder bundled with Winamp 5.63 a decent one, or there are better free alternative?.This encoder can achieve a maximum bitrate of 448 kbps on CBR mode and LC profile, but I wonder if it's more efficient than other encoders, as I'm considering switching fro MP3 insane preset encodec with LAME 3.99.5 and re-ripping lossless source into AAC-LC (.m4a) files.Thanks in advance.

This post has been edited by HA2013: Dec 23 2012, 00:31
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post Dec 23 2012, 13:19
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IMO it's one of the best AAC encoders and lossy encoders in general. Better than Nero and neck to neck with Apple/Quicktime, which I think is the only competition.

Apple's did score better at the ~96kbps test from 2011, but I wouldn't say that's enough to conclude that it's necessarily better at something like ~130kbps (--vbr 4) with the last versions.
(With a quick test I found FhG the most difficult to ABX at that bitrate, but individual lossy vs. lossless ABXing is subject to bias and I'd need to test with more samples, so take that for what it is.)
I'm hoping we might be able to do a proper comparison between FhG --vbr 4 and Apple's equivalent (TVBR 63 or so), although I know it's challenging at those bitrates, because they already sound more or less transparent.

Some objective comments: they distribute bitrate very differently, depending on the material. Even when I managed to find an album that would have the same overall bitrate, the individual songs varied a lot. So I'm guessing this might leave some room for personal preferences.
FhG encodes noticeably faster. It's also easier to setup in Foobar (at least if you don't want to install Winamp or iTunes/Quicktime).

This post has been edited by Brand: Dec 23 2012, 13:27
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