MP3 download question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brett Jason, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Brett Jason

    Brett Jason Stunt Coordinator

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    I know this is a stupid question, but when I want to download an MP3 and it gives a range of bitrates, what do I choose? Is the higher bitrate better quality but it takes up more room on an MP3 player or PC?
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Yeah exactly. higher bitrates equal better quality, but more space taken up. I however burn all my Mp3s onto CDs, i get as high quality as I can.
     
  3. Trenton McNeil

    Trenton McNeil Second Unit

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    For archival purposes (ie., you want to create cd's without any noticeable loss in fidelity) use 256kbit.

    For regular listening cd's 192kbps will work wonderfully, and is nearly impossible to distinguish from the original recording.

    160 is still close to cd quality, although some sounds may exhibit coloration or distortion.

    128 used to be the de facto standard, back when everyone listened to mp3's on their computer speakers alone. Nowadays, they are just HORRIBLE...worse than FM radio in terms of audio fidelity. STAY AWAY!
     
  4. Andy Olivera

    Andy Olivera Screenwriter

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    I'd also recommend looking for Variable Bitrate files. Often these will be as good as or better than 256kb/s versions. As an added bonus, they also have the potential to be much smaller. You can tell which files are VBR by looking for non-standard bitrates(ie, not 128, 160, 192, 224, 256); this will be the average bitrate...
     
  5. Trenton McNeil

    Trenton McNeil Second Unit

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    VBR is great if you have a 1ghz + machine....

    Playback of VBR files is very CPU intensive, and can interfere with multitasking. If you listen to music only, they are indeed a good solution.

    In either case, enjoy your non-linear music storage! Its great to queue up a bunch of MP3's and have your own personal radio station.
     
  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    VBR also had a tendency of confusing the hell out of some MP3-to-audio-CD writing software that I've used. I avoid VBR like the plague as the possible problems do not justify the extra space savings (if any).
    I also agree with 192. Never use 128, particularly if you're going to listen to music with brass sections. I've ripped some of my classical CDs to 128 and I promptly re-ripped them at 192 because the distortion was unbearable.
    Okay, so with 192 you might not be able to fit another album of MP3s onto a CD-R. BFD. [​IMG]
     
  7. Andy Olivera

    Andy Olivera Screenwriter

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  8. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  9. Trenton McNeil

    Trenton McNeil Second Unit

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    I recently deleted all MP3's from my system which were at 160 or lower bitrate. The artificial 'ringing' on certain notes and sounds drives me batty.
     
  10. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Well, if my steenkeen 150 mhz Pocket PC can both play MP3's and let me read Microsoft Reader E-books simultaneously, I don't think VBR files are a huge load on just about any modern PC.

    I'm playing back a VBR MP3 file as I'm writing this and my CPU usage on Winamp is... 0%. It's below the threshold for what the Windows Task Manager reports, in other words.

    Granted, the machine doesn't completely suck but it's far from the latest 2.x ghz systems, being a Celeron 1200 with a relatively slow 100mhz system bus.

    As for storage efficiency, it does come into play when you have enough MP3's stored. Finding the song you want begins to require a database application just to keep track of all the CD-R's, like Where Is It. Much easier to just keep them all on the hard drive.

    I'm completely pro-VBR. Like I said, I can even play them back perfectly on a lowly old Casio Pocket PC with no problems, and if I need to make a compilation CD of them I just use the wave output plugin in Winamp to write them as WAV files to the disk and then burn those with a CD burning app.

    A 180-200 kbit file with quality rivaling a 320 kbit CBR file... just such a complete no-brainer, IMHO.
     
  11. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    If your CD burning software is having problems with VBR MP3's you need new software.
     
  12. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    Ditto to what Camp and Kimmo said. 320kbps VBR is the way to go; a full CD (60min) takes up ~140MB with 320kbps CBR, versus ~70MB-80MB 320kbps VBR. If you're encoding the VBR MP3s with a good encoder, they are virtually indistinguishable from the original on all playback mediums.
     
  13. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

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    If you want more than enough information regarding encoding and bitrate check out this site.
    http://mp3.radified.com
    All you need to know about Encoding with cbr, vbr and all in between, and ripping your cd's without errors(it does not matter if you encode with 320 kbps, if the wave you ripped has clicks and pops it still sounds bad).
     

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