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Apple AAC TVBR quality level for portable use
markanini
post May 14 2012, 23:51
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What would you choose between ~165 kbps and ~195 kbps levels for portable? I listen through Etymotic ER4 IEM, the player is a Sansa Fuze.
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eahm
post May 15 2012, 00:03
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I archive in FLAC but transcode to AAC (Nero) CBR 256Kbps for my player. The minimum I would do if I had space issue is CBR 160Kbps or VBR .5.

Do an ABX test in any case, you will be shocked to see how low AAC can go. I just transcoded the musics of my iOS game to VBR .15 and they are (IMO) completely transparent compared to the original wave.

This post has been edited by eahm: May 15 2012, 00:09
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markanini
post May 15 2012, 00:56
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Yeah I archive in FLAC too. Space is always a concern to me for portable, with the 128kbps multi-format listening test(from a few years back) in mind I could go down to the ~150 kbps or even ~135 kbps level now that I think about it. I'm mostly annoyed by warbling artefacts, the ER4s bring these out very clearly. Sadly I don't have much time for ABXing lately.

This post has been edited by markanini: May 15 2012, 00:58
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kornchild2002
post May 15 2012, 01:13
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ABXing for yourself is going to be the only way for you to really determine what works for you. There is no point in someone telling you what works for them. Obviously eahm's settings are overkill for you what you are looking for. Other people might not be enough. It's best if you just take the time to ABX a handful of songs to determine what setting fits you the most. Personally, I would go with the one that produces 165kbps songs but that is just me. I use iTunes AAC at constrained VBR 160kbps for my portable listening needs. I never really required anything higher as it is all kind of masked in my car and when I am walking to and from classes.

Either way, you would be better off finding this out for yourself since you definitely aren't going to find an end all answer.
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eahm
post May 15 2012, 01:18
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Try .45 and if you notice artifacts do .55.

One question, why not MP3? I use AAC (Nero) for the iPhone but MP3 (LAME) VBR -V2, -V0 for the Sansa. In many test you can see MP3 use less battery than AAC/OGG.

This post has been edited by eahm: May 15 2012, 01:28
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Ron Jones
post May 15 2012, 02:03
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Depends on your typical listening environment. If you tend to listen in very quiet environments with a critical ear, you may see some benefit from the higher bit rates. In noisy environments where you're listening casually, try going down to 75-80 kbps. This may seem exceptionally low, but current AAC encoders are exceptionally good.

Remember that you aren't doing a critical, highly-focused ABX test when you're walking around town, listening to your portable player. Don't be afraid of the occasional artifact when storage space is a concern.
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markanini
post May 15 2012, 02:19
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QUOTE (eahm @ May 15 2012, 02:18) *
Try .45 and if you notice artifacts do .55.

One question, why not MP3? I use AAC (Nero) for the iPhone but MP3 (LAME) VBR -V2, -V0 for the Sansa. In many test you can see MP3 use less battery than AAC/OGG.

Battery life hasn't been a problem for me with AAC ~225 kbps on the Sansa(v2) so far. Out of curiosity, do you have a link to the relevant measurements?

I just started a large encoding job at ~150kbps. We'll se if I'll be able to spot any suspected artifacts. smile.gif
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IgorC
post May 15 2012, 03:41
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Some results from a single listener
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/kamedo2/20111029/1319840519
But it will be interesting to see another personal results.

I'd try FhG encoder as well though it has only ~128 kbps and ~192 kbps VBR modes.

P.S. Also I consider a previous Nero AAC encoder (1.0.7.0) as golden version for LC. It has an excellent quality for LC-AAC profile. (I don't post my ABX logs because I'd rather prefer other people to make their own observations)

This post has been edited by IgorC: May 15 2012, 03:56
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FLAC plz
post Jun 3 2012, 21:32
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i actually just registered here so i could weigh in on this topic. i've been researching the exact same topic (optimal AAC bitrate) for the past week or so, and i ended up doing some of my own ABX tests. i used the true vbr setting on XLD, and to my ears, music is transparent at q80 or ~165kbps. in fact, to me, it's transparent at q70 (~150kbps), but i'm going with q80 for just that little bit of extra headroom.

i would very much suggest going with q80 (~165kbps). you could probably even go down to q60 (~135kbps) if you wanted to, since it's for portable use. but really, you should do some listening tests for yourself and figure out what works best. it's kind of cool to figure out what you--personally--can and can't hear in compressed music. i always thought i had more discerning ears (and needed higher bitrates), but AAC performs pretty darn well at low bitrates, as i've found out the past week. i used to compress all my FLACs to q100 (~225kbps), but q80 (~165kbps) seems to be just as transparent. to me, on my equipment, at least.
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