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Transcoding all my Musepack MPC files, [Moved from General Audio]
post Apr 23 2012, 07:09
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I have about 400 records in Musepack --insane --xlevel that I encoded back in 2002. I wonder how I should go about with these files. I'm mostly on OS X and Songbird these days, and the Musepack support is not great.

I think that I want to transcode the files to a (lossy?) format. Re-ripping would be too much of an effort. Do you think the result will be OK? Is musepack --insane an ok starting point for transcoding? My instinct is to go with something like LAME -V 0, but I'm also considering converting them to FLAC, which in some ways seem insane, to not lose quality in the transcoding process and to be prepared for further transcoding to other lossy formats that will be more popular than MP3 in the future. Though I wonder if that time will ever come during my lifetime. It's still the most popular lossy format 10 years after I encoded my Musepack files, though AAC has won some ground via Flash Player MPEG-4 support and iTunes.

Thing is, my hearing isn't what it has been (genetic hearing disorder). So I will probably never hear the difference or be able to judge what's close to transparent myself. I want my friends and family to be able to enjoy the music in its full effect though.


This post has been edited by 12345: Apr 23 2012, 07:33
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post Apr 24 2012, 09:42
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I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that Musepack, being a subband codec and fundamentally different from AAC, MP3, etc., would be not so bad as the starting point for a transcode. It makes sense, that the artifacts from Musepack are qualitatively different, and so wouldn't compound quite as disastrously with the artifacts from a transform codec. Pragmatically, I think audible artifacts from transcoding MPC --extreme to LAME -V0 are going to be few and far between. Although I've never ABX'd anything like that myself.

What I'd do, in your case, is slowly chip away at making proper lossless rips of the CDs, and listen to the transcoded MP3s in the meantime.

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