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music in flac, linux and sony s639
post Mar 3 2009, 23:45
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I got mp4 player sony s639, which can play aac, mp3 and wma formats.

I got music in flac, and i want to convert it to lossy format. And i have some questions.

mp3 or aac? which format should i use? supposedly aac is better, because mp3 is older, but i'm not sure.
vbr, or cbr (>192 kb/s)

And, my second problem, what kind of software and codecs should i use?

i got 2 programs, soundkoconverter and dbpoweramp running through wine.

I though they both use newest lame encoder- but those program generate different files with same settings - and that's confusing for me.

for example - dbporamp, vbr 250 kbps - file size is 7,4mb. SC, 256 (dont know is it vbr, or cbr) - file size is 5,8mb.
mp3 files also are smaller when encoded with SC. How that's even possible? Isn't there just single, official codec to convert files to aac format?

I would like to be shure that i'm using right codec, and right program. But i'm not, because i dont know how to check version of codec used by soundkonwerter, and i dont really trust to WINE.

This post has been edited by Hellbike: Mar 3 2009, 23:50
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post Mar 4 2009, 00:00
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You are the only person who can truly answer these questions. I don't have your ears, your equipment, or your music so I don't know what would be transparent for you. I suggest that you conduct some blind ABX tests in order to determine what setting (for a specific encoder) would be transparent for you. The latest version of dBpowerAMP uses the latest version of Lame (which is 3.98), I don't know what version of dBpowerAMP you are running and I have never heard of "soundkoconverter" so I can't tell you what it uses.

Just to give you an FYI - most people perceive that Lame at -V 5 (~130kbps VBR) is transparent. So conduct your own blind ABX tests starting at -V 6 and then work your way up until you fail these tests. foobar2000 is a free application that can conduct blind ABX tests, I am sure there are some Linux alternatives.

As for the whole mp3 vs AAC issue, it all depends on what you want to do with these files. Lame mp3 and Nero AAC should be able to provide good results at their respective 128kbps VBR bitrate settings (-V 5 for Lame, -q0.35 for Nero). Do you want files that will be "universally" compatible with other hardware devices and software? Go with Lame. Do you want to support the AAC format which can potentially offer better quality than Lame on a per bitrate basis? Go with Nero AAC. I use the Nero AAC encoder simply because I like supporting Nero (I kind of helped them while they were developing their latest encoder), it can provide transparent results (for me, your mileage will vary) at -q0.5, and every device I have can playback these AAC files (iPod, PSP, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, Kenwood deck in one car, iPod integration kit in another car, and my soon-to-be purchased Nintendo DSi). I know of many people that started off using iTunes/Nero AAC and then encountered compatibility issues later down the line so they switched to using the Lame mp3 encoder. AAC support is still growing but every portable DAP on the market can playback mp3 files. Additionally, nearly every DVD/Blu-ray/home theater in a box system can playback mp3 files along with the majority of car CD decks (whether they are factory installed or aftermarket).

Edit: I forgot to tell you that you should search for forums as this topic is discussed ad nausium. People come here almost on a weekly basis asking what setting to use or which encoder is right for them.

This post has been edited by kornchild2002: Mar 4 2009, 00:01
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post Mar 4 2009, 00:45
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I have been using foobar on Ubuntu Linux with Wine and it works great. I normally use dBpoweramp, but found that the files dB produces in both ABR and VBR..well the times are off. If I playback the file in foobar a 5 minute song would show up as like 17 minutes. When I convert the same flac file to lame vbr using foobar it is just fine. I still use dB Ref to rip the cd though.
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post Mar 4 2009, 18:15
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Just out of curiosity, why are you (OP or last poster) using WINE instead of native applications?
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