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Methods for player(s) with VBR issues, split from 'replaygain' thread
post Jul 6 2012, 00:54
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This topic had suggestions for dealing with VBR on less-than robust players. Hence, this new thread for discussion.

To recap:
I require CBR since I am unfortunate to have one player that screws up VBR. In most cases it plays 90% files OK but many songs do not play to the end...

...Can anyone else with 'VBR issues' relate to this?...I would like to see how my player would negotiate a VBR file where the first frame was null/dummy having a bitrate equal or lesser to the overall average bitrate of the file. (I imagine it would screw up gapless but this player can't negotiate that either, nor replaygain, of course.)

QUOTE (halb27 @ Jul 5 2012, 07:01) *
If player problems with VBR are the issue you have more options besides plain -b 128 or plain -V5:

a) -V5 -b 128 -B 128 -F thus restricting frame size to 128 kbps frames but still using the VBR audio data production machinery. Quality can be better than that produced by CBR 128. Not clear though whether or not clipping can occur like with CBR because of the restricted frame bitrate as it has not become clear yet for what specific reasons CBR/ABR is more clipping prone than VBR is.

b) use -V5 and have Omion's mp3repacker tool losslessly create a CBR file from the -V5 file. You have to accept though that resulting CBR bitrate can get higher than 128 kbps depending on your music.

The durations below are reported from the device (LAME 3.99.5 and Mp3packer 1.22 used).

-b 128 4:14
-V 5 3:29
-V 5 + mp3packer -z 3:29
-V 5 -b 128 -B 128 -F 4:13 (song fades to silence, missing portion not noticeable)
-V 5 -b 128 -B 128 -F + mp3packer -z 4:16 (plays only to 4:14 before advancing)

The point of the last test file was to see what (if any) behavior changes would happen. As it turns out, seeking doesn't work correctly after VBR-ing that file. Mp3packer reported the minimum bitrate for the -V 5 file 256 kbps, so I didn't bother with the Mp3packer CBR method, as I would just encode straight to 256 kbps since I have the option. Basically I'm still looking to identify the cause of my player's issue since there is no good reason to not use VBR, unless (as in this case) the player doesn't behave properly.

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