FLAC into what? MP3 into m4a worth?

Discussion in 'Application Software' started by Scr4tch, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    I'm tidy upping my complete music collection and convert. Again, I thought about the best format or the bit rate, have already researched a bit, but I am unsure of what concerns a few details. As far as I could see M4a (with AAC codec) probably the best format. Unfortunately, lossy compression, but smaller than MP3. At bit rate, so as the minds are moving, from many sources it becomes clear that most ears should only perceive a maximum of 256. Much more is the quality, as many 320 copies are nevertheless scrapy. I personally hear at least most of the songs the difference between 128 and 320. So what would be recommended for the FLAC into conversion?

    Then the evil topic of the loss after loss conversion: It is called yes that would be a no-go, since again loss goes along. But since m4a occupies less space in about 320 kbps MP3 (LAME codec) with the same quality and size of a 256 kbps m4a, the consideration would also convert the MP3s. What exactly is the quality of this? Is there really a difference in a 320 mp3 to 256 m4a, or 256/128 kbps?

    Equipment: 50 € sound card via 400 € Speaker.
    Thanks in advance for tips.
     
  2. oneextraid

    oneextraid MDL Member

    Jul 29, 2009
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    I have converted my FLACs to 192 bit M4A and sound quality is very good and file size much smaller. Didn't bother converting MP3s because I believe that quality will degrade further. The more you convert the worse it gets.
     
  3. leebo_28

    leebo_28 MDL Senior Member

    Jun 12, 2011
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    due to my lack of HDD space , i converted all my FLAC to 320kbps mp3 some years ago..I notice a considerable difference and wish i never had. HDD space is cheap enough now to keep your FLAC music as is... my .02 cents
     
  4. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    Which program, encoder and settings you used?
     
  5. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    Much depends also on what MP3 player(s) you use or intend to acquire. Some portable players only play MP3. Also old music is inherently of lower sound quality and doesn't merit anything higher. It's also a matter of how fussy you are about minute sound differenced.

    A "sound" approach is to keep the original lossless FLAC on e.g. a large external drive as backup archive and convert to a lossy copy for everyday use.

    Personally, I can't hear much difference between formats, and what little I do hear is not important to me. So MP3 at 192kbps is just fine. But then I go for old music, which is not recorded in top quality anyway.
     
  6. leebo_28

    leebo_28 MDL Senior Member

    Jun 12, 2011
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    Audacity @ 320kbps
     
  7. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    Thanks a lot for your input, guys.

    Well, the compatibility is not a problem. Every device (software anyway) known to me can handle it, even Android, Apple and Sony products.
    For some old old device as TV or 18th century sound engine, I would suggest to use LineIn, for some old school portable mp3-player, ye its harder then.

    Exactly that's the point, so I'm unsure where the limits is.
    There are some scientific article out there, they say it's not possible to hear any difference higher then 320kbps.
    The most people can't even higher then 192, personally, I can just between 128-320, but 128-256-320 much harder.

    Okay that's strange, I thought you or the program may has messed up the job, but this seems fine, actually.

    Yes, I think so as well.
    I already decided for m4a now, but thank you anyway.
    In few hours the converter gonna completed the flac files.

    My settings:
    Format: m4a
    Codec: Lavf57.26.100
    (Better say: FFmpeg MPEG4-AAC)
    Bitrate: VBR 0

    m4a -> just a mp4 container as extension
    AAC -> has much improvements compared to mp3
    VBR 0 -> Will save space and try to hold 320 quality

    So the MP3 files left.
    I got an idea: The quality/data lost between mp3 320kbps to m4a VBR shouldn't be lesser then between FLAC and m4a VBR, doesn't?
     
  8. Yen

    Yen Admin
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2007
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    #9 Yen, Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
    My experiences:

    As an 'audiophile' I have got CD audio and I rip mp3 (I don't care since I always have the CD to redo)...

    Without to relate to hardware and player the quality depends on accuracy of rip (original PCM or 'wav') far more than on kind of compression at high bit rates. There is a (valid) reason why there is EAC with efforts on accuracy.

    Comparing the same CD I hardly notice a difference of 192 VBR and 320 CBR and I notice no difference of 256 VBR and 320 CBR.


    IMHO one should keep a lossless copy either way somewhere. I myself rip CDs with EAC 256 VBR mp3s. Some years ago when portable disk space had been tighter I've ripped them 192 VBR (128 VBR is noticeably worse)...

    Disk space should be no argument against keeping lossless as reference. I prefer mp3 since it's supported/developed most (software player/DSP engines and playback codecs) and for me there is no reason to experiment with another lossy audio format. Also I would not covert 2 lossy formats in a row, always from a lossless source one time.



    Just my 2 cents. :)
     
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  9. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    #11 Scr4tch, Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
    (OP)
    Thank you for telling, but don't be so modest, every input helps. :)

    Yea, so VBR 320 should be okay, I guess.

    There are much reasons for compressing, the bottom line is, I gonna be have so much as i can online.

    I got a new Idea, someone noticed me to take a look for opus.
    Another codec, seems much better even as AAC and can be included in .ogg
    Good that I didn't delete the files yet, I think about the .ogg thing...

    (...) much more...

    Container and the codec supported by nearly everything, except for some media device from last millennium.
    I don't know any device that can't handle, its nearly so popular as mp4, logical because its based on same MPEG4 source. Do you? :)

    And I haven't 300 different devices with me, just PC, Cellphone and sometimes car-audio.

    But right now I think about opus (ogg), its also very good supported, but need to research a bit more for.
    Seems: Opus > AAC > MP3

    One of the best part: Opus is free.
     
  10. leebo_28

    leebo_28 MDL Senior Member

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    i was referring to the container itself.. "Poor compatibility: developed by Apple Inc., M4A is mainly applied to iTunes, iPod and other Apple devices and can’t be widely played on many other popular devices"
     
  11. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    #13 Scr4tch, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
    (OP)
    Computer for example? :)
    Android can play both as well.
    Just as the quotes telling you.

    Also I guess the linked article is very old, they count "ipod" and "apple devices", not iphone.
    Better to take a look in wikipedia or something instead of just 1 very old google random article. ;)
     
  12. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    Yea maybe a lot, but how many androids out there? A WAY Much more.
    You think the sun is big? Google for VY Canis Majoris.
    The relation is the point. ;)
     
  13. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    I have tested a bit, opus 192 seems VERY fine for me.
     
  14. melted

    melted MDL Novice

    Jan 17, 2015
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    I would have to agree with leebo_28 and Yen.
    It's always nice to have a hard copy of the original lossless format.
    Space constraints may make that hard for some in tight spaces.
    What I've noticed is that storage mediums have gotten cheaper over time.
    Couple that with the fact that most of the developed nations are getting
    faster bandwidth to more customers and you'll see a pretty spot on
    comparison with the compression formats and their file sizes.
    Faster to transmit, cheaper to store, larger file size.
    Format wars are always raging between companies.
    I'm laughing over the fact that all the major car companies
    have some sort of OS and touch screen in all their vehicles now.
    "We have bluetooth! You can plug your iPhone in!" Etc etc.
    Until whatever wireless based connection is no longer used by the
    new tech out coming along and the usb port can't read the new formats you have.
    Then they stop updating your car's dashboard OS.. I seem to remember some
    plug and play hard drives that sat in the trunk with "big" storage space for the time.
    Now those are relic's on ebay. Same goes for IOT tv's. They might read all your formats
    now, but as the oem's push their new models they'll stop updating the OS on yours.
    :android:
    Don't mind me Scr4tch, good luck on your selection.
     
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  15. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Buy more storage, which is seriously cheap (give up booze or smoke for a week!) and leave flac as is. No need to degrade quality to anything else
     
  16. Scr4tch

    Scr4tch MDL Novice

    Jan 29, 2017
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    #20 Scr4tch, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
    (OP)
    lol, no! I don't think that and never wanted to do, that is stupid. :D
    I wanted to convert the flac files into another format as the title says.

    I already did successfully into opus 128 kbps VBR , see my last post.
    So actually the topic is done, but thank you anyway. :)