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Should I go with CBR or VBR(0) for my mp3's?
post May 3 2012, 03:35
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Hi all, new to the forums. I had asked this question elsewhere and was told this is the best place to ask.

I'm currently in the process of re-converting my cd library into mp3's on my computer. Ultimately I'd like to get the best (lossy) sound quality I can get...and was originally planning to go with 320 CBR but I'm now reading a lot about VBR v-0 and how it's basically equivalent with an impossible to notice difference between the 2. I'm not concerned about space on my computer hard drive but I do plan on loading up these mp3's to my iPhone (where space can get scarce). I just converted 2 FLAC files and noticed a 1.5 mb difference between the 2, but as far as I can tell, no real degradation in sound quality.

Id just like to get some thoughts on this. I'm certainly no expert on the subject of sound science. To be honest, I'm not an audiophile at all...but at the same time, I want to "future proof" myself so that I never do realize (like I did this time around) that I'd like to upgrade my library (upgraded my headphones and started noticing a difference in quality of some mp3's).

Is there any reason why I may regret going with vbr v-0 over cbr or will I thank myself for saving the space? I figure that if some of the professionals on here cannot notice a difference then there is no chance I ever will. smile.gif

Also, if there are any mac users here, could you please give me your opinion on the best settings for converting FLAC/CD's in XLD? Are the below settings good?


This post has been edited by db1989: May 3 2012, 07:36
Reason for edit: TOS #6: not an MP3 tech issue / TOS #5: post completely different topics to their own threads
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post Sep 6 2012, 19:48
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Thanks for the Angel Falls link, halb27. I ABXed that at -V 5 but failed at -V 5+, so I'm very impressed. I'm not very good at hearing this sort of artifact and it doesn't annoy me enormously.

My intention in my previous post was to point out that your -V n+ modes like -V 0+ are a useful exception to a rule-of-thumb that does work fairly well for many codecs with killer samples to describe how it's usually not possible to apply enough extra bits to the right spot, so, as Kohlrabi said, it usually does little to reduce the audibility of artifacts on problem samples.

For example imagine a codec with a -q scale that fails to represent a particular frequency at -q5 by having a masking curve that's 11 dB too high for that feature of that problem sample. If you applies extra bits by changing to -q7 by reducing the quantization noise (increasing the Signal-to-Mask-Ratio) by, say 6dB, it would use a lot of extra bitrate across the spectrum to make a lot of inaudible masked noise quieter still (to no audible benefit) but the one frequency area where the psymodel got it wrong would only get improved by 6 dB too and would still be 5 dB short of the quantization accuracy it requires. Perhaps it would need -q9 or -q8.7 to make the artifact inaudible at the cost of even more bits. Identifying and fixing the psymodel's masking curve inaccuracy could let you apply the required 11 dB improvement at the problem frequency with only a few bits more at -q5, without spreading so many bits around to encode inaudible detail as -q7 would do without fixing the problem.

You seem to have identified that an important class of LAME problem samples that now remain (and seem to get worse with some versions) are associated with certain short blocks receiving insufficient bits, so if I understand it correctly, you've narrowed down where the extra bits are spread, causing less waste with your -V n+ fix than might be the case with most other types of approach short of detecting the specific situations where these artifacts occur and applying the maximum bitrate with high selectivity.

This post has been edited by Dynamic: Sep 6 2012, 19:50
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Posts in this topic
- DaGrandMastah   Should I go with CBR or VBR(0) for my mp3's?   May 3 2012, 03:35
- - eahm   1) You will regret it if you don't save them i...   May 3 2012, 04:23
|- - Erich_2   cbr versus V0   May 3 2012, 11:17
- - twostar   I recommend ripping to ALAC. Itunes could then con...   May 3 2012, 11:22
- - LosMintos   QUOTE (DaGrandMastah @ May 3 2012, 04:35)...   May 3 2012, 12:33
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE I just converted 2 FLAC files and noticed a ...   May 3 2012, 18:06
- - shadowking   IMO you should take time to find out what is accep...   May 4 2012, 01:33
- - shadowking   I will add that if you really need to go with high...   May 4 2012, 04:57
- - antman   QUOTE (shadowking @ May 3 2012, 19:33) IM...   May 13 2012, 15:17
|- - timcupery   QUOTE (antman @ May 13 2012, 10:17) ABX J...   Jul 5 2012, 17:43
- - eahm   Reading my comment up there, I can't believe I...   Jul 5 2012, 17:59
- - halb27   It's fine to use moderate bitrate because qual...   Jul 5 2012, 21:45
- - yourlord   If one of the reasons for using "needlessly...   Jul 5 2012, 22:10
- - halb27   Yes, lossless is the way to go, no doubt after rip...   Jul 5 2012, 22:37
- - AshenTech   I agree on the "go lossless" thing, Its ...   Jul 6 2012, 02:49
- - RobertoDomenico   If you're planing to use Lame encoded mp3...   Jul 6 2012, 03:12
- - Canar   320 and V0 are total overkill. I've heard the ...   Jul 6 2012, 04:30
- - rhfrjpfdh   hello to all i'm interested in the question (l...   Sep 3 2012, 12:37
|- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (rhfrjpfdh @ Sep 3 2012, 13:37) i...   Sep 3 2012, 13:20
|- - halb27   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Sep 3 2012, 14:20) Usin...   Sep 3 2012, 16:38
|- - Dynamic   QUOTE (halb27 @ Sep 3 2012, 16:38) QUOTE ...   Sep 3 2012, 17:22
|- - halb27   QUOTE (Dynamic @ Sep 3 2012, 18:22) ... b...   Sep 3 2012, 18:51
- - halb27   An actual post gives another sample that shows tha...   Sep 6 2012, 07:45
- - Dynamic   Thanks for the Angel Falls link, halb27. I ABXed t...   Sep 6 2012, 19:48
- - halb27   You are right in assuming I don't care about t...   Sep 6 2012, 20:43

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