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2012 ripping/encoding general poll
What are your current choices for your own musical library?
What are your *main lossy* formats of choice?
MP3 [ 319 ] ** [45.38%]
AAC (M4A, MP4, AAC) [ 181 ] ** [25.75%]
Ogg Vorbis [ 108 ] ** [15.36%]
MPC [ 21 ] ** [2.99%]
LossyWAV + lossless [ 6 ] ** [0.85%]
WavPack lossy [ 4 ] ** [0.57%]
Opus (CELT) [ 20 ] ** [2.84%]
USAC [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
WMA Standard or PRO (lossy) [ 3 ] ** [0.43%]
I don't use lossy AT ALL! [ 41 ] ** [5.83%]
What are your *main lossless* formats of choice?
FLAC [ 397 ] ** [64.87%]
WavPack [ 68 ] ** [11.11%]
TAK [ 43 ] ** [7.03%]
Apple Lossless (ALAC) [ 46 ] ** [7.52%]
Monkey's Audio (APE) [ 22 ] ** [3.59%]
WMA Lossless [ 2 ] ** [0.33%]
OptimFrog [ 1 ] ** [0.16%]
other lossless format [ 6 ] ** [0.98%]
I don't use lossless compression. Only WAV [ 6 ] ** [0.98%]
I don't use lossless AT ALL! [ 21 ] ** [3.43%]
What's your favorite ripping mode {for your main, archive or most important library if you have several ones}?
one file per track [ 412 ] ** [78.18%]
one file per disc with cuesheet or chapters [ 80 ] ** [15.18%]
it depends: I mix both [ 35 ] ** [6.64%]
Total Votes: 605
post Jan 1 2012, 17:38
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A traditional poll.
You can choose a few codecs. Like Codec A for mobile audio player and Codec B for PC or any other device.

Previous polls:

2011 ripping/encoding general poll

2009 ripping/encoding general poll

Happy New Year to All! beer.gif

This post has been edited by IgorC: Jan 1 2012, 17:44
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post Jan 1 2012, 18:33
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It would be interesting to learn what the split between lossless and lossy is, if you have 90% in lossless and 10% in lossy then there is no way to ascertain as both would be checked on the poll.

Spoon http://www.dbpoweramp.com
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post Jan 1 2012, 18:46
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What are your main lossy formats of choice?
I don't care, as long as it plays in foobar2000 it's fine. It only exists because I don't have the lossless equivalent or it is special archival audio. If I was to rip myself, I would prefer using the open-source solutions (OGG. etc).

What are your main lossless formats of choice?
See above. Apart from file-size differences and universal playback considerations, I have no idea on the comparative advantages or disadvantages.
I asked somebody once, why he packaged a Vinyl Rip at 24bit/192kHz using .WV tracks instead of FLAC tracks, he answered "smaller file size". Personally I can't see a big enough deal between the file sizes to care about the existence of anything else apart from FLAC ...or am I missing something?
My preferred compression level for Ripping to FLAC is 6 .

What's your favorite ripping mode?
One file per disc: For 16/44, I use FLACfile+CUE . For any higher resolutions I use MKA(FLACfile)+Chapter.

If I need to store as one file per disc, I use NO FILENAMES...
My naming standard--> (01.cue + 01.cue.flac)(02.cue +02.cue.flac)(03.cue + 03.cue.flac)
I will use separate subfolders if I have a set of works and some are multi-volume (folder 03 in this example)--> 01/(01.cue + 01.cue.flac)02/(01.cue + 01.cue.flac)03/(01.cue + 01.cue.flac + 02.cue + 02.cue.flac)

If I need to store as separate tracks, I use NO FILENAMES...
My naming standard, IF SINGLE VOLUME--> 01.flac + 02.flac + 03.flac
My naming standard, IF MULTI VOLUME--> 01.01.flac + 01.02.flac + 01.03.flac + 02.01.flac + 02.02.flac + 02.03.flac

Yeah... filenames don't exist in my music library (I use verbose folder naming and a "folder.txt" in every music folder) ....boy it would be great if foobar2000 could read the contents of the text file as an adjunct to the reading of tags!
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post Jan 1 2012, 19:50
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1- Voted "I don't use lossy at all", which is true for CD on PC, but if I would rip video I would use (AAC+x264) in MKV.
It's a longtime I haven't done any ABXing but I suspect that nowadays Apple AAC is likely better than Nero AAC, as Nero AAC development seems stalled.
For CD on DAP, I would maybe use aac if the gapless info wasn't so easy to delete (Last time I tested Nero AAC gapless info was deleted by MP3Tag when erasing classic tags).
So, even if I like AAC for video (where gaps & tags doesn't matter), for CD on DAP my favorite lossy codec is lossyflac, even if sadly I don't use it. It's likely that one day I will buy a DAP that can play Flac/lossyFlac.
Anyway I doubt I will ever use lossy again for backup on PC, for me lossy is now restricted to DAP (edit: +video & streaming), & I don't actually have a DAP.

2- Voted "Flac", the only thing that could make me switch would be an open sourced TAK, which is far to happen IMHO.
I use -4 over -5 because of the noticable encoding speed gain for the almost unoticable compression loss. This speed gain is particulary interesting when you fix offset with CT as it needs re-encoding.

3: Voted "one file per disc with cuesheet", not because I would blindly care so much about cue sheet (I do care a lot about some info within cuesheets), but because I don't care about tags: to me CDImage means no tags which means no headache to keep tags while re-encoding. So according to me a collection of CDImage without tags is easier to manage than a collection of tracks with tags. People who care about perfect tags will disagree, personnaly I think I can always edit metadata later.
If I would use separate tracks I would keep non-compliant cue because I use CT & I need the pre-gap & REM DISCID for data track info. Also I care about FLAG PRE even if very rare.

This post has been edited by sauvage78: Jan 1 2012, 20:41

Secure [Low/C2/AR(2)]
Flac -4
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post Jan 1 2012, 21:14
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same as last year:

lossless: tak -pMax. i'm a recent convert having previously used flac. but then i looked at my usage: i only use foobar2000 for playing music at home so it just made sense. i don't need open source/cross platform/hardware support that other codecs offer.

lossy: ogg vorbis @ q5 for my sansa clip

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post Jan 1 2012, 21:28
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FLAC for lossless archiving. I'm still stuck on MPC for lossy and portable use. I use MPC on my Android and Rockboxed Sansa e200. Transcode to mp3 for my car (Alpine 9815). I was considering just going to FLAC for most use with mp3 conversion for portable use but with the recent spike in hard drive prices. I'll probably do that as soon as prices come down to the pre-flood pricing.

"You can fight without ever winning, but never win without a fight." Neil Peart 'Resist'
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post Jan 1 2012, 21:41
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Main Lossy:
I have some purchased 256 VBR AAC files.
Currently I wiped my LAME files to save space, and since 3.99.x I don't know if I should use this...
I have a SAMSUNG C5500 Blu-Ray player which plays MP3 nicely with album art, etc. However it inserts up to 10 second gaps between tracks.

Main Lossless:
FLAC, computer archival. I usually use the CD to listen to them.

File mode:
One file per track.
I think this is going to be the default mode for general use, and images for bit-perfect archiving.
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post Jan 1 2012, 22:24
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main lossy: mp3 @V2
- best compatibility with any hardware and therefore with any human being IMHO
- I don't use adequate hardware-setups and am rarely in really silent surroundings (portable) to get into the fields of taking care about THE real transparency
- space is not a matter

main lossless:
- only use lossless for archiving purposes and only with windows-OS
- impressed of TAK's performance and Thomas' efforts and investigations

file mode: one file per track
- listen trackwise
I listen to my music-collection folderwise with my rockboxed Sansa e200, by this way I can take every single track of any album

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post Jan 2 2012, 01:44
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@spoon - my collection is 50%/50% lossless/lossy. Lossy is just a "portable" verion of my lossless archive. Always rip to FLAC for archive and create an MP3 library for in-house streaming, cars, iPods, smartphones, etc.

Was that a 1 or a 0?
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post Jan 2 2012, 03:08
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I don't think much has changed from my encoding habits last year. I still rip all of my CDs to ALAC one file for every song (as I have always done). The only thing that has changed are songs encoded by me (from the ALAC sources) are at 160kbps VBR iTunes AAC whereas before I think I was using 192kbps VBR. My library also has a large amount of 256kbps AAC files in it from iTunes Match going through and replacing songs that I either no longer have the source CDs for, the source CDs could not be properly ripped, or the files were obtained back when first few incarnations of Napster were still legal.
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post Jan 2 2012, 04:11
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MP3/FLAC/Per Track.

Same as last year. And the year before that. And the year before that year.
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post Jan 2 2012, 16:52
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Although it would be nice, I doubt anyone will be using USAC for ripping this year smile.gif

Interesting that opening the ALAC source code doesn't seem to have influenced its popularity.


If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.
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post Jan 2 2012, 17:45
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I broke my iPod touch yesterday and decided I am going back to Vorbis. It was my preferred format, but I switched for obvious reasons when I got the iPod. Going forward I will not purchase a portable that doesn't support Vorbis or require me to use specific software to load music. Something I can use with Linux. I'm getting off topic though.

For lossless I have been a FLAC user since I first found out about the format. I have used others, but I see no real reason to switch. I have started using WavPack hybrid mode for things I may need to transcode in the future, but don't want full lossless. I'm still on the fence about this though. I have plenty of storage so I might just stick with FLAC across the board.

I like the one file per CD option, but playback isn't really supported well outside of Windows. VLC does a nice job, but I just installed Fedora 16 and I'm trying to only use software provided in their main repositories. I'm not an open source nut. I just want to see how feasible it is. Again, I'm getting off topic. One file per song.

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post Jan 2 2012, 17:53
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QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Jan 2 2012, 11:52) *
Interesting that opening the ALAC source code doesn't seem to have influenced its popularity.

Unless you live in the Apple ecosystem there isn't really a compelling reason to use ALAC (that I can see. Correct me if I'm worng). I can't see anything that it does better than all of the other lossless options. I don't have anything against the format or the sponsor. I just don't see the appeal.

If you ARE an Apple product user then things are different. On the portable side lossless doesn't make much sense, but if you have a nice desktop set-up and/or AirPlay (?) connected to a decent system it might be a different story.

This is just my opinion. I am willing to discuss it with reasonable people, but will not be responding to fan boys.

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post Jan 2 2012, 20:11
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Wow, I originally voted for Monkey's Audio as my preferred lossless encoder, but the actual plot results made me conduct a little bit of research on TAK, and I can only say that I will start using it right away. I'm amazed, at least by the looks of it (and at the same time "ashamed" for not giving it a try earlier).

Thank you, Hydrogenaudio! And Happy New Year, by the way!

This post has been edited by Dario: Jan 2 2012, 20:12
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post Jan 2 2012, 20:44
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QUOTE (antman @ Jan 2 2012, 03:11) *
MP3/FLAC/Per Track.

Same as last year. And the year before that. And the year before that year.

This for me too smile.gif Hope listening is FLAC just because that's how it's stored, work and portable it's MP3.
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post Jan 2 2012, 21:38
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- Opus (although I'm currently using Vorbis, I'm really looking forward for Opus's first release)


- TAK (image+cue+cover+lyrics), Vorbis (tracks)

DC-Bass Source Mod: http://reino.degeelebosch.nl
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post Jan 2 2012, 22:53
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Lossy: Ogg Vorbis

Lossless: FLAC

I like to use free software that is distributable without patent issues. I also like that flac and vorbis have really easy to use command line encoders and the most capable metadata tools, and that this is available and works identically on every OS and architecture encountered, and is well supported by perl and python modules. All of this makes it really easy to script and alias or just use from a shell. Everything is mature, available and predictable.

Occasionally I find I have a CD with audio which clips or is on the edge of clipping, from which lossy encoding does cause or aggravate clipping; in those cases I make a hybrid wavpack encode as lossy wavpack seems to be the only lossy format which doesn't affect the level. If wavpack didn't have such clumsy metadata support (apetag or id3 v1.1...what a terrible choice!) I'd probably use hybrid wavpack for everything.
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post Jan 3 2012, 05:05
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I use TAK -pmax as my main archive format using an embedded cuesheet and a single file. I also use the format for listening to music on my desktop machine.
If I had to choose one lossy format for daily listening it would be LAME V6. I use it in the car and in my CD player, and it is the format the rest of my family uses for listening. I have also been using, and quite happy with, Opus/CELT at 80kbps on my laptop. I'm very interested in seeing how the format turns out and hoping it gets some industry support. I had used Vorbis (q3) for a large part of the last few years (2009-2011) with my Rockboxed Sandisk Fuze until the screen broke last November sad.gif.

edit 1: fixed some grammatical errors

edit 2: made my format choices bold for easy skimming

This post has been edited by anishbenji: Jan 3 2012, 05:17
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post Jan 3 2012, 05:55
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mp3 @ V2, FLAC -8, per track rip
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Ron Jones
post Jan 3 2012, 06:50
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I mostly have ALAC in my iTunes library. They're auto-converted to ~128kbps AAC when syncing to the phone, so I selected that I use AAC as my primary lossy format. There are probably a handful of MP3s in there as well, but I can't say I'm really bothered to care too much about the formats I listen to anymore they've all good enough.
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post Jan 3 2012, 11:15
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QUOTE (tev777 @ Jan 2 2012, 17:53) *
On the portable side lossless doesn't make much sense, but if you have a nice desktop set-up and/or AirPlay (?) connected to a decent system it might be a different story.

Well, it's turning out that, (for me at least) these stories nowadays are going to be not so much different: the quality portable players and headphones have reached, coupled with their ubiquity make them more and more conveniently suitable for accurate and thoughtful listening, out of the common usage pattern commute-stroll-gym: it happens to have time to kill in quiet environment, far from home...
That's why during this last year I turned to use the same encoding (256kbps VBR AAC, transparent against lossless to my ears) for both home and portable systems.

And FLAC for offline archive and backup.

This post has been edited by Nessuno: Jan 3 2012, 12:00

... I live by long distance.
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post Jan 3 2012, 11:42
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QUOTE (spoon @ Jan 1 2012, 18:33) *
It would be interesting to learn what the split between lossless and lossy is, if you have 90% in lossless and 10% in lossy then there is no way to ascertain as both would be checked on the poll.
I second that, also wouldn't it be of interest to add a 4th section addressing the main platform/purpose of the encodes (DAP, archival, home/desktop, etc.)?

WavPack 4.75.2 -b384hx6cmv/qaac 2.55 -V 100
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post Jan 3 2012, 13:44
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Lossy: Apple AAC CVBR 192-256 kbps
Lossless: FLAC -8
One file per track.
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post Jan 3 2012, 15:52
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Lossless: FLAC -8 1.2.x only. Anything purchased in other formats will be reencoded. (Althogh I am considering to use a different format for DTS CD rips, to make them less portable-by-accident -- I don't really want to take them with me to a player without DTS support, I want to be warned.)

Lossy: hardly ever, but for those purposes (in-car ...): mp3 around 128.

Of course WavPack's 1/6 popularity in this poll is by no way representative to the general public, but still, nice to see that its cool features gets it more than honorable mention.
(Same to a certain extent goes to TAK, but I am less surprised that its cutting-edge compression ratio attracts 1 of 13 in a community like this.)
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