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Anyone else use 320 kbps mp3's?, n00b here.
320 kbps mp3's
Do You ever use 320 kbps mp3's?
Yes, rarely. [ 117 ] ** [23.12%]
Yes, often. [ 93 ] ** [18.38%]
No, never. [ 296 ] ** [58.50%]
Can you tell the difference between 256 kbps VBR or CBR mp3's and 320 kbps mp3's?
Yes. [ 48 ] ** [9.49%]
No. [ 434 ] ** [85.77%]
Only between 256 CBR and 320 CBR [ 24 ] ** [4.74%]
Total Votes: 643
  
JAKE196
post Jul 31 2008, 00:28
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Hi, I'm kinda new to compressed audio encoding. . .

My Mp3 player supports mp3, aac, wma, and wav files and after doing a lot of listening to the different lossy formats and bitrates I decided to use 320 mp3's because to my ears they sound almost as good as CD quality, minus the frequency cut off.

I'm just wondering if anyone else here uses 320 kbps mp3's at all?

I've looked at some other threads and a lot of people say that if you are going to use 320 kbps mp3's you might as well use a lossless codec, and I understand that. (however, I use them because my player doesn't support any compressed lossless format)

I've also seen a lot of statements that 320 kbps is a pointless bitrate and something like 256 vbr is the highest thats worth using no matter what. I really don't agree with this, there is definitely an audible difference between 256 CBR or 256 VBR files and 320 files, to my ears anyway. (do I have really good ear's? I'm wondering) I have to admit LAME mp3's can pick up a lot of detail at 256 and 192 kbps, but they still don't sound as good as 320 mp3's.

I usually use 320 kbps mp3's, with the exception of fairly simple songs or exceptionally long songs, for which I use 256 kbps.

Just wanted to express my opinion and see how many other people use them, peace. biggrin.gif

So answer the poll if it works. (this is my first post. . . )

I'll check back later.
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Fandango
post Jul 31 2008, 00:45
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When your main playback device for the MP3s is a portable then you should consider going as low as possible (using VBR settings, of course).

Background noise, the small earphones and the portable's limited fidelity amplifier all degrade the audio compared to your home system anyway, so that you do not need high quality settings.

Considering it's too bothersome to do an ABX test on a portable do some tests with lame's VBR switch (-V) and use the one that is transparent on your home system, it will surely be transparent on your portable audio player as well.

You should gain a lot of space when switching to low VBR settings so you can listen to more music and have to refill the MP3 player with new tunes less often.
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incunabula
post Jul 31 2008, 00:47
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QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 30 2008, 18:28) *
. . . I decided to use 320 mp3's because to my ears they sound almost as good as CD quality, minus the frequency cut off....

Hello Jake196, welcome to HA! I hope you've read the Terms of Service, specifically #8. Conducting a proper ABX test will probably surprise and maybe humble you. To answer your question, no i don't use 320kbs - I usually don't encode my mp3's much higher than VBR -V4 as that is what works for me. Your mileage may vary.
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greynol
post Jul 31 2008, 00:51
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Yes, lets see some blind test results, JAKE196.


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Kitsuned
post Jul 31 2008, 01:31
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320 is a waste of space with no valuable gain in overall quality. If you're that paranoid about quality, try -V0 which will average around 250kbps. Saves space and you still have great quality.


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JAKE196
post Jul 31 2008, 01:55
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Sorry, I should have read the rules, I didn't know this forum was so incredibly serious.

I swear I could tell between a high bitrate VBR version of a fairly complex song and a 320 kbps version of a fairly complex song as long as they were encoded the same. Is there any way we can set up a test on this site?

I agree with the idea that high VBR's sound pretty much as good as 320 kbps mp3's, but any low/medium bitrate VBR just doesn't sound as good. . . 320 kbps songs may pick up more noise, but they do sound better imo.

Also know that I can tell the difference between the specified files on my computer as well as my mp3 player which has a higher quality sound output than most other players. I'm also using some fairly good on ear headphones which were specifically designed for portable mp3 players and portable CD players.

I'm not completely paranoid about quality, I swear I can hear a difference!!!!

I'm not making a blind assumption, there is a difference in how well instruments sound and how much detail is captured. . .

Please don't be mad I'm only saying my opinion and I will take some kind of test if thats possible. I'm sorry I broke the terms/rules.

that's all I'm saying for today. . . good night.

And again, Peace!
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IgorC
post Jul 31 2008, 01:59
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QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 30 2008, 20:28) *
My Mp3 player supports mp3, aac, wma, and wav files and after doing a lot of listening to the different lossy formats and bitrates I decided to use 320 mp3's

Why don't switch to AAC? Mostly people already happy with LAME -V 2 or Nero, Apple AAC 130-150 kbit
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shadowking
post Jul 31 2008, 02:06
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I never use 320k mp3. I suppose some might use it as an archive so they use it in the portable as well. Transcoding to 320 k for portable use never made much sense to me though as half or less usually suffice given that you are using a decent encoder / parameters. For a slower PC the old GOGO encoder does a decent job - I use 140 k ABR instead of the infamous 128k CBR. Other times I used lame -V5 -V4


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kornchild2002
post Jul 31 2008, 03:35
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QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 30 2008, 18:55) *
Sorry, I should have read the rules, I didn't know this forum was so incredibly serious.

I swear I could tell between a high bitrate VBR version of a fairly complex song and a 320 kbps version of a fairly complex song as long as they were encoded the same. Is there any way we can set up a test on this site?


Yes, Hydrogenaudio is filled with many people (including myself) who take audio claims seriously. Hence the need for YOUR blind ABX test results if you are going to continue to make such claims.

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 30 2008, 18:55) *
I agree with the idea that high VBR's sound pretty much as good as 320 kbps mp3's, but any low/medium bitrate VBR just doesn't sound as good. . . 320 kbps songs may pick up more noise, but they do sound better imo.


There is a reason why people keep saying that 320kbps is overkill and it is that they have conducted their own blind ABX tests and analyzed the public tests from the community. Unless you are listening to a killer sample, there simply is no need to encode at 320kbps.

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 30 2008, 18:55) *
Also know that I can tell the difference between the specified files on my computer as well as my mp3 player which has a higher quality sound output than most other players. I'm also using some fairly good on ear headphones which were specifically designed for portable mp3 players and portable CD players.


Good for you but that is not what this thread is about. This thread is about your/everyone's ability to distinguish between a 320kbps mp3 file and lower bitrate ones.

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 30 2008, 18:55) *
I'm not completely paranoid about quality, I swear I can hear a difference!!!!


It is called the placebo affect, look it up.

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 30 2008, 18:55) *
I'm not making a blind assumption, there is a difference in how well instruments sound and how much detail is captured. . .


No but you are making claims that violate the TOS here at Hydrogenaudio. As I said, look up the placebo affect. That is why you NEED to conduct a blind ABX test if you want your claims to be taken seriously. Otherwise, your post can be edited, deleted, or blocked.

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 30 2008, 18:55) *
Please don't be mad I'm only saying my opinion and I will take some kind of test if thats possible. I'm sorry I broke the terms/rules.

that's all I'm saying for today. . . good night.

And again, Peace!


There are differences between opinions and claims. Opinions have no place here on Hydrogenaudio when discussing this topic. Only claims can be taken seriously and claims are formed after conducting blind ABX tests, plain and simple.

You are new here so that is alright but you need to understand that what you are saying is complete nonsense unless you have the numbers to back it up. You coming on here without any proof and making these opinions/claims is like me going to some Catholic Church forums and claiming that I am Jesus. Well, I can fly, I can turn water into wine, I can heal people, I can walk on water, and I keep on dieing yet always come back. Do I have any proof for my claims? Absolutely not but that is OK as people should believe in me and trust what I am saying. Do you see where we are coming from now? You need ABX test results (valid results, don't go making them up) in order for your opinions to become claims and for you to be taken with anything other than an extremely small grain of salt.
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lesswire
post Jul 31 2008, 03:42
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Hi JAKE196

I'm also new to HA which by the way is an awesome source of information. Regarding the quality issue, first get the newest LAME version (3.98) and then use Foobar2000 to ABX the lossless source from the compressed versions at several V settings. You are going to realize that the differences you are hearing are the products of your imagination as long as you stick to V5 values and up (in this case down). Try to use good headphones too.

Cheers.
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greynol
post Jul 31 2008, 03:56
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He may as well cut to the chase and ABX -V0 and -b320. If he can't tell the difference then try -V5 and lossless and work up to -V0.


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Your eyes cannot hear.
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odious_m
post Jul 31 2008, 05:47
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Only used -b320 for harpsichord. But now I've found with 3.98 that -V0 is just as good.
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zombiewerewolf
post Jul 31 2008, 06:02
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I've never use 320kbps personally, only use it when I have to encode my CDs for friends (they prefer 320kbps). I used to stick with 256kbps MP3 until I found myself hardly distinguish 64kbps HE-AAC from original, I changed to use 160kbps AAC-LC as my maximum bitrate for normal use.

This post has been edited by zombiewerewolf: Jul 31 2008, 06:04
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twostar
post Jul 31 2008, 07:05
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I never have and won't ever encode 320kbps mp3s. I even avoid downloading 320kbps through torrent. It's a complete waste of space in my opinion. I do use lossless for prized CDs just for the warm fuzzy feeling. And no I can't ABX anything above -V5 even with most of the test samples here. I'm blessed.
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smok3
post Jul 31 2008, 08:55
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QUOTE
Is there any way we can set up a test on this site?

for mp3 vs mp3 and AAC vs AAC it should be possible to write an ABX flash 'applet' (or abchr), so just start coding (I can also host it, if that additional bandwidth would be a problem for HA) - this would also help to prevent threads like this poping out or rather making them shorter.

edit: seems like it is possible to mux pcm into flv as well, check my next post for example.

This post has been edited by smok3: Jul 31 2008, 11:23


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hlloyge
post Jul 31 2008, 09:03
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Well, I tend to listen music on the go, on portable player, and I encode it with bitrates averaging 160 kbit to 192 kbit. I've never encountered a problem.
There was a time I considered myself an golden ear (of course I can hear the difference), but then I did some ABX testing with music I know, and was amazed when i couldn't tell a difference from original with 128 kbit mp3s.
I comfort myself with the idea that mp3 encoders got better over time smile.gif but in reality, I got myself more space for music on my portables smile.gif
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Synthetic Soul
post Jul 31 2008, 09:27
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QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 31 2008, 01:55) *
Sorry, I should have read the rules, I didn't know this forum was so incredibly serious.
This forum prides itself on being objective; you can't do that if you have members claiming fact without proof. I guess that makes us serious, but what would be the point of a fact-based forum that was not? Do you want decent, truthful answers, or the punchline to a joke?

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 31 2008, 01:55) *
I swear I could tell between a high bitrate VBR version of a fairly complex song and a 320 kbps version of a fairly complex song as long as they were encoded the same. Is there any way we can set up a test on this site?
...
Please don't be mad I'm only saying my opinion and I will take some kind of test if thats possible. I'm sorry I broke the terms/rules.
You need to provide ABX results. Read the wiki article for more information. The easiest way I know of doing this is to use foobar. You need to ensure that the ABX comparator is included when installing. You then load in your two tracks and select "Utils" > "ABX Two Tracks..." from the context menu. If you get stuck we can provide further assistance.

Until you do provide your ABX results, your opinions will not be taken seriously on this forum. If you can prove that you can hear a difference then, conversely, we will welcome your input, as someone who has exceptional hearing. We need members with above-average hearing, to partake in higher bitrate listening tests, and help improve the lossy codecs.

QUOTE (smok3 @ Jul 31 2008, 08:55) *
QUOTE
Is there any way we can set up a test on this site?
for mp3 vs mp3 and AAC vs AAC it should be possible to write an ABX flash 'applet' (or abchr), so just start coding (I can also host it, if that additional bandwidth would be a problem for HA) - this would also help to prevent threads like this poping out or rather making them shorter.
I'd be very interested to see this in action. It could be useful around these parts.


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zorba
post Jul 31 2008, 09:48
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Do You ever use 320 kbps mp3's?
Yes, often. Very Often


Why?
well, this is quite handy cause 320 means quality to me since almost all my 320 rips have been done with EAC (or CDEX) and Lame 3.97.

Other lossy albums are
- old downloaded albums (very poor quality, no ABX tests needed)
- old encoded albums (poor quality, no ABX tests needed)
- rather recent encoded albums (-V5, -V4, -V3, -V2, -V1, -V0 : hardly ABXable I guess)

It's overkill but I'm also a collector. My collection should be made of mp3 of the same bitrate. biggrin.gif
An I like this figure : 320. It sounds warm, high, louder.... I'm totally placeboed. rolleyes.gif

In a nutshell, 320 = my own rip = with EAC/CDEX = lame 3.97 = quality

while others are old 128 cbr or very bad encodings (or pretty good rips lame -v4, itunes) : anyway I will rip those albums again.


Can you tell the difference between 256 kbps VBR or CBR mp3's and 320 kbps mp3's?
No. I don't think I can.
I don't want to try blind test. But I'm sure I can't tell the difference between -V5 and 320.
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j7n
post Jul 31 2008, 09:48
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QUOTE (smok3 @ Jul 31 2008, 10:55) *
it should be possible to write an ABX flash 'applet' (or abchr), so just start coding (I can also host it, if that additional bandwidth would be a problem for HA)

What would be the point of that? Secure results?
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smok3
post Jul 31 2008, 10:09
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point would be:

a. to support lazy users which can't download standalone client
(you could make it so that files are loaded depending on GET data), so single clicked link would be all that is required...
example: abx.org/abx.php?file1=http://someplace.org/1.mp3&file2=http://someplace.org/2.mp3
b. to support users which use some other OS
c. somebody with good knowhow could make this probably more secure than offline version could ever be

(this could be java applet as well)

No, i'am not doing it.

p.s. if you need some code, here is my ancient javascript version, which was basically just a gui for offline use (we want 100% online version and mucho simpler gui imho - like the one in fb2k maybe);
http://somestuff.org/javascript/abx.htm

edit: seems one can also make flash to play uncompressed audio, example;
http://somestuff.org/flashAVC/flvplayer.ph...CM_x500y100.flv

cmd used was 'ffmpeg -i test.wav -acodec copy out.flv'

edit2: flv specs http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flv/ (check page 6 in that pdf)

This post has been edited by smok3: Jul 31 2008, 12:03


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2Bdecided
post Jul 31 2008, 10:46
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"Can you tell the difference between 256 kbps VBR or CBR mp3's and 320 kbps mp3's?" is a rather general question. The answer is generally no, but there are some samples where it's possible.

Cheers,
David.
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smok3
post Jul 31 2008, 11:57
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QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Jul 31 2008, 10:27) *
QUOTE (smok3 @ Jul 31 2008, 08:55) *
QUOTE
Is there any way we can set up a test on this site?
for mp3 vs mp3 and AAC vs AAC it should be possible to write an ABX flash 'applet' (or abchr), so just start coding (I can also host it, if that additional bandwidth would be a problem for HA) - this would also help to prevent threads like this poping out or rather making them shorter.
I'd be very interested to see this in action. It could be useful around these parts.

I think the simplest way (to avoid coding in flash):
a. some serverside language to read variables from GET type of the url (that is probably doable via js as well, dunno)
b. playback component allready done in flash, that takes variables as input, some player like
http://www.jeroenwijering.com/?about=JW_FLV_Media_Player | js api http://code.jeroenwijering.com/trac/wiki/FlashAPI
c. some javascript for controling the (at least) two instances of the player
or one instance and make it load different clips via js interface
d. js for the buttons, for the math, for filling the X player (if possible)
e. some serverside for storing results (user:date:url_tested:abx_results)
f. some generic user manipulation script, one could upload samples, test sample lenghts to make everything legal, ect
g. abstract: a way to present the test with one url and someuser-results via another url
h. abstract: security layer, smart preloading/hidding system for the samples, they need to be in the buffer before the test starts, ect
h2. study what js implementation had to offer over flash one - security related mostly.

p.s. about b. : with enough abstraction this component could be later replaced with java one for example to load/play some other formats (vorbis maybe).

This post has been edited by smok3: Jul 31 2008, 12:12


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Slipstreem
post Jul 31 2008, 14:33
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 31 2008, 10:46) *
"Can you tell the difference between 256 kbps VBR or CBR mp3's and 320 kbps mp3's?" is a rather general question. The answer is generally no, but there are some samples where it's possible.
Agreed. I replied "no, never" to "Do You ever use 320 kbps mp3's? I never use MP3 in CBR320, but my VBR encodings all the way down to -V5 make at least ocassional usage of blocks at 320Kbps so, in hindsight, I "lied".

Wouldn't it make more sense to ask whether people generally use CBR, VBR or even ABR with LAME and provide options more like this...

Do you use CBR? yes/no

At what bitrate generally? 320/256/192/160/128

Do you use VBR? yes/no

At which -V setting generally? 0/1/2/3/4/5

...(same questions again for ABR)...


Wouldn't that make more sense than answering a poll that seems to set out to prove one thing rather than adequately explore the available options?

If the details were collated on LAME on a version-by-version basis, it could be stickied so that people who genuinely want to be told what bitrate to use and don't want to ABX or don't have the technical know-how can just pick the most popular setting(s) from the sticky. You could put updated poll results in the WIKI, or at least provide an easy-to-find link to it on the WIKI front page.

People answering the poll would still have the chance to comment in the poll thread and explain the reasoning behind their particular choice, but they'd only be answering the poll and not having to give the same reply out to hundreds of people individually every time someone arrives who simply doesn't understand but is keen to encode into MP3, hopefully with LAME as their encoder.

It would save us from being asked the same questions and giving the same answers over and over again at least twice a week by my reckoning. smile.gif

Cheers, Slipstreem. cool.gif

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JAKE196
post Jul 31 2008, 16:23
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"Good for you but that is not what this thread is about. This thread is about your/everyone's ability to distinguish between a 320kbps mp3 file and lower bitrate ones."

Is that what this is about? Really? I believe I've said twice this is simply my opinion and it may not apply to everyone. . . I think I just have sensitive ears. this particular statement just popped out at me and I had to reply.

I'm not going to bother you people any more, but i just did a sound test comparing a 320 kbps mp3 and a 282 kbps mp3 of the same song and I am absolutely sure there is a difference. I am not hallucinating. Mind you, it was a very complex electronic rock song. . . most songs i suppose 256 is all you need, but I listen to a lot of complex electronic, electronic rock, alternative rock, and metal. The main things I could tell is the vocals sounded a lot more 'real' and sound effects and guitar solos sounded better. . .

If you really think that there is no difference or 320 kbps actually sounds worse, maybe your ears just aren't good enough. If you think the difference is negligible and it only worth using about 256, that's very understandable to me.

Once again, I made this thread only to express my opinion and hold the poll, not to force this idea on to you like a nazi, as you guys seem to see it. I only ask that if you have good ears and you don't have to worry about memory, consider the bitrate.

Sorry for all the hullabaloo, you guys are practically experts after all, you don't have to listen to me.

EDIT: if you want me to take a test though, I'm willing, pm me or something and i'll reply eventually. . . I don't know how to set up one.

Good bye.

This post has been edited by JAKE196: Jul 31 2008, 16:32
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kornchild2002
post Jul 31 2008, 16:51
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QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 31 2008, 09:23) *
"Good for you but that is not what this thread is about. This thread is about your/everyone's ability to distinguish between a 320kbps mp3 file and lower bitrate ones."

Is that what this is about? Really? I believe I've said twice this is simply my opinion and it may not apply to everyone. . . I think I just have sensitive ears. this particular statement just popped out at me and I had to reply.


Yes, that is what you have made it out to be and that is what your poll consists of. Your poll doesn't focus on different audio hardware, it focuses on the use of 320kbps. Feel free to make a poll about audio hardware though.

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 31 2008, 09:23) *
I'm not going to bother you people any more, but i just did a sound test comparing a 320 kbps mp3 and a 282 kbps mp3 of the same song and I am absolutely sure there is a difference. I am not hallucinating. Mind you, it was a very complex electronic rock song. . . most songs i suppose 256 is all you need, but I listen to a lot of complex electronic, electronic rock, alternative rock, and metal. The main things I could tell is the vocals sounded a lot more 'real' and sound effects and guitar solos sounded better. . .


Placebo, placebo, placebo, placebo. The difference you are hearing is in your mind. You see, your brain knows that (theoretically) higher bitrate songs should have better sound quality. So you listen to track A at 256kbps (still overkill) and then track B at 320kbps. Your brain knows that track B should be of higher quality so it makes you think that you are hearing a difference when in fact you aren't. That is called the placebo affect. Psychiatrists do this all the time with their patients in that they think they are depressed and want meds. So the doctor will give them a placebo, basically a sugar pill and that will make the patient happy. If the patient's status still doesn't improve, the doctor will look further into the problem and prescribe any real medication if need be. That is how things used to be done in the Psych industry but I think that they have since changed their methods. Still, you are suffering from the placebo affect.

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 31 2008, 09:23) *
If you really think that there is no difference or 320 kbps actually sounds worse, maybe your ears just aren't good enough. If you think the difference is negligible and it only worth using about 256, that's very understandable to me.


Ears being "good enough" have nothing to do with whether or not one can distinguish between 320kbps, 128kbps, and the source lossless file. I guess I don't see how you can make that statement when we come on here and say "you need ABX tests to backup your claims" and then scoff at everyone for saying so. We are not trying to insult you but to me, this comment comes of as insulting. I might as well say that all people who aren't named David aren't good enough to live on this earth.

QUOTE (JAKE196 @ Jul 31 2008, 09:23) *
Once again, I made this thread only to express my opinion and hold the poll, not to force this idea on to you like a nazi, as you guys seem to see it. I only ask that if you have good ears and you don't have to worry about memory, consider the bitrate.

Sorry for all the hullabaloo, you guys are practically experts after all, you don't have to listen to me.

EDIT: if you want me to take a test though, I'm willing, pm me or something and i'll reply eventually. . . I don't know how to set up one.

Good bye.


Yes, you are making an opinion but many users here at hydrogenaudio (ie the majority) will only take valid opinions. Why else make such statements and not back them up. Again, I can say that I am Jesus and can walk on water. It is only my opinion though. Why am I expressing this opinion without any proof? Who the hell knows. So I am Jesus and everyone who isn't named David deserves to die. That is my opinion and I have absolutely no proof but that is OK, it is just an opinion.

Again, having "good ears" (whatever that means) has nothing to do with whether or not one can distinguish certain levels of compression. Most of us know what to consider when choosing a lossy format and bitrate/setting that is good for us. We know that we should conduct ABX tests if we want to find out anything about our perception. Part of the problem is that many people come onto hydrogenaudio and don't want to conduct blind ABX tests. They simply want to read people's claims and use them. That is where threads like this become problems as some people can read your opinion and then use it to help decide their encoding needs. That is why all opinions/claims here on hydrogenaudio need to be backed up with blind ABX tests.

You can setup a blind ABX test rather easily using foobar2000. It has been discussed extensively here on hydrogenaudio. I think it is your responsibility to search for those threads and to post your results. That is fine if you don't want to do that but I wouldn't expect to ever be taken seriously here on HA again if you don't.

We aren't trying to insult you or drive you away, we are just trying to give you factual information and make sure that your posts follow HA's TOS.
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