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64kbps mp3 encoding for streaming broadcast
post Jan 14 2013, 20:13
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I'm in the process of beta testing a stream for internet radio broadcast. We are looking to stream in mp3 as it's still the most universally accepted format for opening from a URL or hyperlink, at least until we develop our standalone app and flash player on the site.

That said, we were toying with 128kbps 44k lame and like how it sounds, but have concerns for mobile users and data usage. So we'd like to go with a 64kbps stream instead and lower the overhead for everyone. Right now, running the lame converter at 64kbps 44k joint stereo just doesn't sound good. Lots of high end artifacts as expected. Cutting the sampling frequency down to 22k helps but I'm losing a lot of high end.

I've listened to other services using this bit rate, and they sound a lot better. I listen to Radio.com quite a bit and their stations are encoded 64kbps AAC or MP3 by default. Even when switching the player to MP3 in settings, it sounds really clean. Honestly nothing like a 64kbps lame encoded stream that I'm used to.

I'd really like to get this quality out of my converter at that bit rate for mp3, but have no idea how they are doing it. Can anybody here make any suggestions on Lame settings that will really get me the most bang for the bit at 64kbps in stereo? I'm using Edcast (Oddcast) with the latest lame dll for encoding.


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post Jan 15 2013, 06:58
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You could always have a really wide variety of choice like RadioParadise has.
In my opinion I think these should satisfy just about anybody:

Very Low bandwidth streams:
- 24Kbps CVBR HE-AAC(AAC+)

Low bandwidth streams:
- 64Kbps CVBR HE-AAC(AAC+)
- 64Kbps CVBR Opus

Medium bandwidth:
- 96 Kbps CVBR Vorbis
- 96 Kbps CVBR Opus

Normal bandwidth streams:
- 128kbps CVBR LC-AAC
- 128Kbps CVBR Vorbis
- 128kbps CVBR Opus

High bandwidth streams:
- 192kbps MP3 (Joint Stereo)
- 192Kbps LC-AAC
- 192Kbps Vorbis

Compatibility streams: (Not recommended. Only use if your device doesn't support the above)
- 64Kbps ABR Mono MP3
- 64Kbps WMA
- 128Kbps ABR MP3 (Joint Stereo)
- 128Kbps WMA
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post Jan 15 2013, 14:59
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Ok. Well I confirmed that the Radio.com standard high-qual codec is HE-AAC at 64kbps 44.1khz - which would explain it's near transparency for the AAC stream. Still looking into how the mp3 sounds so good. Unfortunately I can only find back door links to the AAC streams from the web pages and don't think I can hack the phone app where the mp3 option exists. lol. It's got to be some sort of proprietary codec or variation of mp3pro they are using. It sounds really good for a 64kbps mp3 stream.

Our stream will eventually be a popular music station. Thinking offering both a 64kbps/mono and 128kbps/stereo stream will suffice. We may end up implementing HE-AAC from the get go.. there aren't too many devices that don't decode it these days really.

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