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Now that you found your lowest transparent setting..., Do you choose for fidelity, efficiency, or a compromise?
Suppose that by testing you found that your lowest transparent setting in your favourite lossy codec is quality N. At what setting will you encode your music?
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birdie
post Jan 2 2014, 12:56
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At least for the first question my choice is not listed above.

I use lossless for the music I really love but I use the highest possible MP3 quality or at least 256Kbit AAC for less stellar tracks which I find likable but not likable to store them lossless.
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ChronoSphere
post Jan 2 2014, 14:31
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Hmm, you might regret that one day, birdie. Tastes change, I'm going through my library every few years and every time I notice I like some songs I didn't like more and some I liked, a bit less.
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punkrockdude
post Jan 2 2014, 14:39
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I picked these ones:

One step higher quality than N (e.g. -q N+1 for Vorbis, -V N-1 for LAME, etc.), because I want to take a safe margin. After all I didn't check all music in the world.
If I had more storage I would use FLAC but right now I do not so I use very high bitrate Ogg Vorbis (aotuv 6.03) with some extra parameters like impulse_noisetune=-15 among others. I haven't done extensive ABX using standard settings versus using extra parameters but I am happy with the result.

Quality N, just in case I end up spending some time in a quiet place.
In the scenario I use -q 3.5 with impulse_noisetune=-15 which end up around ~135kbps average.

I use the same lossy codec, but at home I use a higher quality setting than for portable
As described above.
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Jimi Justin
post Feb 9 2014, 23:25
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I have over 12TB of almost exclusively FLAC. I just dont have the patience for conversion or archiving another format. As a matter of fact if I only have something in super hi res sampling rates that would require dithering it stays home. If someone would come up with a portable foobar interface I would probably have a 2tb drive in my pocket.
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2Bdecided
post Feb 10 2014, 10:47
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QUOTE (Jimi Justin @ Feb 9 2014, 22:25) *
I have over 12TB of almost exclusively FLAC.
26,000+ CDs / 3+ years of music?

And I thought I had too much.

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KozmoNaut
post Feb 10 2014, 11:46
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Lossless (FLAC) for home use, because it's also my backup for all of my CDs. A true backup only makes sense if it's lossless :-)

For mobile use, I've settled on LAME V4, because that's where it achieved transparency for me way back when I ABXed it. I'm sure LAME has improved since then, but V4 isn't hugely storage-heavy compared to V5 or V6, so I just stick with V4.

Then again, sometimes I'm lazy and I just drag the FLAC albums directly to my media player. I've got lots of storage space on it anyway and it saves me the time it would have taken to reencode.

This post has been edited by KozmoNaut: Feb 10 2014, 11:48
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Goratrix
post Feb 10 2014, 11:57
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I rip everything to FLAC, but don't use it for listening, just for archiving. The reason is that my primary listening device is the 160 GB iPod Classic, both at home (in a dock) and portable. So for listening, I have the a selection of my lossless library converted to LAME -V0, which is quite an overkill, but that's what I started with many years ago, and I like the whole library to be consistent. V0 gives me about 18,000 to 20,000 songs on the full iPod, which is more than enough. And even if I used a lower setting I wouldn't be able to fit my whole library into the iPod, so it's not worth the hassle right now. In the future, when there are 256+ GB devices available, I'll probably do a encode of the whole collection to 256 AAC as a definitive listening solution.

This post has been edited by Goratrix: Feb 10 2014, 11:58
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Dark_wizzie
post May 2 2014, 00:01
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I listen FLAC at home. I don't even own a portable music player atm but when I did, I used whatever MP3s I could find. When I'm at home my expectations for music quality shoots up. When I'm outside, not only do the sound of others drown out and adversely affect the music quality, I also have a different set of standards when I'm on the go. I can deal with crappy netbook speeds outside of home. At home if I lag I rage. So as I said, at home I expect much more.
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zima
post May 31 2014, 21:39
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For portable use, Vorbis aotuv q1 or q2 (with a bunch of random files thrown in) because I still didn't bother to get a large microSD card for my Sansa Clip Zip. tongue.gif Portable is usually listened in conditions when such low settings don't really matter.
I might look into Opus once things stabilise a bit.

At home it's chaos, because I still treat my collection as ~temporary; usually I just keep portable encodes, but it's everything between them and FLAC. Anyway, Spotify gets more and more use...

This post has been edited by zima: May 31 2014, 21:51


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musikomaniak
post May 31 2014, 22:15
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Why even for portable use I prefer lossless ?
For facility, because I copy lossless music from PC to card for smartphone and because if I'm with friends I use speakers for good music (as good as possible) smile.gif
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NuKleos
post Jun 3 2014, 10:48
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Storage and bandwidth have been ample for quite some time now, so it makes no sense to bother with transcoding anything. Clutter is your enemy, lossless all the way!
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Vietwoojagig
post Jun 3 2014, 11:07
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I use lossless at home if possible.
If I buy things, I use 256 AAC or 320 MP3.
Everything is converted to 128 AAC by iTunes before moving it to my iPod/iPhone.
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darkbyte
post Jun 3 2014, 11:57
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At home and for archiving i'm using lossless.

My only portable is my Android phone, and right now i'm using Musepack to encode my music, since Poweramp handles this very nicely. Also it's very fast to decode and the overall quality while the phone transcodes to SBC for A2DP playback seems the best with this format (haven't ABX'ed though so handle this statement carefully). Maybe lossyflac would be even better, but it results in 300kbps+ bitrates while Musepack files are somewhere between 192kbps and 256kbps.

On my laptop i'm using 256kbps VBR Opus 1.1 right now which seems like a bit overkill but i'm staying with this setting to leave a safety margin for listening on headphone and i'm using this because Hydrogenaudio's wiki states that this is the sweet spot with the codec if i'm aiming for consistent transparency. I know that Opus sounds great even at 96kbps with most of the files but the encoder still has issues with some samples in unconstrained VBR mode so I'm a bit paranoid. The file sizes are still very good, comparable to the iTunes Plus preset of QAAC.
Sometimes my brother needs mp3s for his car stereo and i found that transcoding from this format still resulting in great sounding files.

Once Poweramp starts supporting Opus i will probably move on from Musepack altogether to Opus. Also i'm planning to create some kind of streaming station on my home server so i can listen to music in a browser from everywhere and sync music from there to my phone. New browsers already supporting Opus so this seems to be a good choice.

This post has been edited by darkbyte: Jun 3 2014, 12:05


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lithopsian
post Jun 3 2014, 12:05
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Flac and Vorbis. I encode lossy one step higher than transparency for most music. I know that there are still some artefacts at this level because I can hear them on some test tracks, but it is never noticeable in music. I mostly listen to the lossy tracks in noisy places anyway.
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julf
post Jun 3 2014, 14:11
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QUOTE (NuKleos @ Jun 3 2014, 11:48) *
Storage and bandwidth have been ample for quite some time now, so it makes no sense to bother with transcoding anything.


Still not true for mobile devices or car stereos.
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NuKleos
post Jun 8 2014, 14:38
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QUOTE (julf @ Jun 3 2014, 16:11) *
QUOTE (NuKleos @ Jun 3 2014, 11:48) *
Storage and bandwidth have been ample for quite some time now, so it makes no sense to bother with transcoding anything.


Still not true for mobile devices or car stereos.



If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking. Even so, there are things like external hard disks one could employ for satisfying such "needs". In any case, being unable to pack enough musik in a memory medium to enhance a ride/walk is not a problem of storage size.

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Thad E Ginathom
post Jun 8 2014, 21:49
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I haven't found my lowest transparency setting. Occasionally I might dabble in such research, but mostly, no... I'll just stick to lossless wherever possible (ie available) at home.

On the move... well, I don't so that much moving, now commuting has vanished with the working life and travel is infrequent. I casually wonder about comparing MP3 and OGG, but don't sweat it too much.

As to carrying around one's entire library, whatever happened to the pleasure of thinking of a piece of music, anticipating it, and listening to it when reaching home/


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stephan_g
post Jun 8 2014, 23:45
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QUOTE (Thad E Ginathom @ Jun 8 2014, 21:49) *
As to carrying around one's entire library, whatever happened to the pleasure of thinking of a piece of music, anticipating it, and listening to it when reaching home/

I would listen to a whole lot less music if I could only do so at my stationary setup at home. With a portable player, you can walk about the house (who wants to be chained to the computer all the time?), listen in bed, and obviously drag it along wherever you (have to) go, making public transport a more pleasant affair along the way.

I voted lossless / lossy (> N, because N generally is about LAME 3.98 -V 6 for me) - though strictly speaking, this is only true for material sourced from CDs. Lately I've been buying a fair bit of stuff in MP3 -V 0 to 320k that would have been hard to obtain otherwise. I don't bother transcoding this because I have a 32G µSD card in my Clip+ these days, and the quality of lossy to lossy transcoding is an unknown to me.

A modest collection of several hundred albums like mine can easily be made to fit a portable device these days. Even like that, I can't remember more than a fraction of what I have at any given time (a bad memory for names runs in the family) - that fraction varies though.
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2Bdecided
post Jun 9 2014, 09:42
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QUOTE (NuKleos @ Jun 8 2014, 14:38) *
If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking. Even so, there are things like external hard disks one could employ for satisfying such "needs". In any case, being unable to pack enough musik in a memory medium to enhance a ride/walk is not a problem of storage size.
You're implying that a) I've ripped music that I will never listen to (probably true!), and/or b) I should take some time to figure out which music I want to listen to on my portable device, and maybe change it around sometimes.

Why?

So I can avoid encoding to lossy?

OK, it's a slight hassle, but an automated one, so who cares?
It doesn't change the perceived sound quality on my portable device, so that's irrelevant.

The idea of having to curate your portable music collection to be a carefully selected subsection of your main collection is very 1980s/1990s. I did it with cassettes and Minidiscs but I'm not about to start doing it with mp3s. I'll still do playlists and compilations, but that for convenience and gives me more listening choices, not less.

Cheers,
David.
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probedb
post Jun 9 2014, 11:41
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QUOTE (NuKleos @ Jun 8 2014, 14:38) *
If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking. Even so, there are things like external hard disks one could employ for satisfying such "needs". In any case, being unable to pack enough musik in a memory medium to enhance a ride/walk is not a problem of storage size.


What a ridiculous thing to say. So you're saying I can't carry my entire music collection with me? Wow.
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skamp
post Jun 9 2014, 11:57
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QUOTE (NuKleos @ Jun 8 2014, 15:38) *
If you HAVE to have the ENTIRETY of your library EVERYWHERE you go, then you are not a lover of musik but an audio gear miser who likes to dwell on the same pieces and/or his eclectic skills are seriously lacking.


Obviously it's the opposite. If I want to carry my entire collection around, it's precisely because I don't want to listen to the same stuff all the time; it's because I want to have the widest choice possible. I don't even know what you mean.


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yourlord
post Jun 9 2014, 18:49
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I don't carry my entire library with me not because I feel a need to only carry a subset at any one time, but because my library has my wife's, son's, and daughters's music in it and I just don't care to ever listen to the vast majority of their music. Every bit of music in my library I will ever choose to listen to is transcoded to lossy and carried with me. The same is true for my wife and kids as they have lossy transcodes of their music on their own devices.
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Kohlrabi
post Jun 10 2014, 18:53
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I moved some posts violating ToS #5 and the trolling rules to the recycle bin. Please try to stay on topic, and stop trolling or feeding.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Jun 10 2014, 18:54


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slks
post Jun 11 2014, 03:24
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My transparency level for lossy codecs is somewhere in the 100 - 160 kb/s range, depending on the codec.

For home and archival use, I use lossless whenever possible. Sometimes that is not possible if certain music is not available in a lossless format. In these cases I use the highest quality available, which thankfully these days is almost universally 190 kb/s and up, or more-than-transparent.

My portable device is not very large, and I like to have a good selection available, so I use sub-100kb/s bit rates there. Specifically, what Apple's AAC encoder calls "96 kb/s vbr"

When I make my own or my friends' music available online to sample, I use transparent settings (These days the codec of choice is AAC or MP3 but I have used Ogg in the past)


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Meeko
post Jul 2 2014, 14:47
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* Lossless always at home.

* Higher than Quality N (128kbps AAC or less) - old habits are hard to break....I like 192kbps and its small enough not to take a lot of space, yet guarantees quality. My abx point is easily less than 130kbps.


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