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Now that you found your lowest transparent setting..., Do you choose for fidelity, efficiency, or a compromise?
Suppose that by testing you found that your lowest transparent setting in your favourite lossy codec is quality N. At what setting will you encode your music?
You cannot see the results of the poll until you have voted. Please login and cast your vote to see the results of this poll.
Total Votes: 178
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Jplus
post Feb 15 2013, 16:50
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This new poll is meant to fix some flaws in the old one. Please re-cast your vote!

Discussion is always welcome, even if your poll choice doesn't explicitly ask for it.

This post has been edited by Jplus: Feb 15 2013, 17:02
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garym
post Feb 15 2013, 17:06
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Lossless at home (FLAC), mp3 Lame (V2) for portable. I voted use better quality than N (with my N being mostly V4). No particular reason I use V2, just always have as it seems to be a good tradeoff between transparency and size.
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andrew_berge
post Feb 15 2013, 17:53
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I use lossless for both. Why? Placebo, mostly, but also because my player has 64GB of memory, so there's enough room for all the music i listen to regularly.
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clobon
post Feb 15 2013, 18:44
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Hi,

so I voted:

For use at home: At least two steps higher quality than N
Because I just want to get sure that I won't hear any artefacts. Not even with better gear.

For portable use: Higher than quality N:
Will be answered below:

How do your choices in polls 1 and 2 relate to each other? I use the same codec and the same settings in both cases.
So I just copy what I got on my Computer to my portable, why bother recoding or encoding twice?

Why not lossless? Why? I got the CDs right here. I just don't need it three times (CD, lossless and lossy). CD and lossy is enough.
I go as high as ~226kbs (ogg). Does it for me most of the time.

Regards,

Clobon
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Canar
post Feb 15 2013, 19:32
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For portable use, I use whatever I feel like at the time. Encoding some albums that mean a lot to me? Musepack. Do I think I'll be sharing with friends? MP3. Am I in a mood to play with the bleeding edge of technology? Opus. Many of these codecs are in development, too, so I go up and down to see if my self-testing is still valid. There's really no rhyme or reason to my lossy use. That's all fine and dandy, as I keep lossless originals.


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Unown
post Jun 13 2013, 16:45
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Lossless for home use because space is cheap, I prefer the convenience, and itís best for proper transcoding for portable and other uses.

Higher than quality N for portable use because I want a slight safety margin. I perform ABX testing with some tracks I know very well and with a few tracks I know to be more problematic for lossy codecs, but my music collection is big and varied, so it wouldnít be strange for some other track Iíll be encoding to demand higher quality settings to achieve transparency.
The ability to connect a portable player to some good speakers or directly expose its files to some other PC is also very handy. So while the quality might not be that important for use in the portable player itself, I still prefer to have transparency and then some.
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ChronoSphere
post Jun 13 2013, 18:31
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Home use: lossless, for faster access should I happen to have to transcode for friends etc.

Portable use: lossless as well, mainly for convenience reasons, simply copying the files over is faster than having to transcode them first. Also, some tags didn't get transferred in the past (like covers) and I like to have my metadata complete even for portable use for OCD reasons tongue.gif
Now foobar also transfers covers, but rockbox apparently decodes flac with much less processing power required than, say, mp3, so I probably won't change my behavior anytime soon. Have to test that though.

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skamp
post Jun 13 2013, 18:39
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QUOTE (ChronoSphere @ Jun 13 2013, 19:31) *
Portable use: lossless as well, mainly for convenience reasons, simply copying the files over is faster than having to transcode them first.


Are you sure about that? Lossless means a lot more data to write, and caudec reports a write speed of about 5.7 MB/s when transcoding FLACs to Musepack on my laptop, and that's a lot faster than some slow microsdhc cards or some internal flash media (though a lot slower than my iPod Classic). You would get similar or better speeds with, say, foobar2000.

This post has been edited by skamp: Jun 13 2013, 18:40


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TomasPin
post Jun 13 2013, 19:58
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I mainly use my iPod for listening at home, with a fairly decent pair of headphones. I like listening at night before going to bed, so I choose to use N+1 quality (in my case I used Nero AAC before switching to QAAC a couple of months ago) as it's usually quite quiet around me at that time. So far, so good.

For my daily commuting I choose to load slightly more compressed versions, both data and volume-wise, on my smartphone. I use QAAC as well at V50 which is the transparent spot according to some not-too-torough ABXing I had done at home. Again, so far so good. I could go below that in account of the noise around me, but space is not a concern and I like to be safe wink.gif


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aztec_mystic
post Jun 13 2013, 20:39
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I chose "Higher than quality N" for portable use.

Storage space is not a binding constraint for me in portable use as long as I go for some lossy format. (Space might become a constraint if I opted for lossless.) So, I go for N+1 or N+2 just because I can. Also, that way I leave some margin of error.
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ChronoSphere
post Jun 13 2013, 21:39
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QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 13 2013, 19:39) *
QUOTE (ChronoSphere @ Jun 13 2013, 19:31) *
Portable use: lossless as well, mainly for convenience reasons, simply copying the files over is faster than having to transcode them first.


Are you sure about that? Lossless means a lot more data to write, and caudec reports a write speed of about 5.7 MB/s when transcoding FLACs to Musepack on my laptop, and that's a lot faster than some slow microsdhc cards or some internal flash media (though a lot slower than my iPod Classic). You would get similar or better speeds with, say, foobar2000.

FLAC -> MP3 (directly to clip+): 2:40 (+0:12 for scanning/applying replay gain)
FLAC -> MP3 (encode to RAM, then copy): 0:27 (+0:12 for scanning/applying replay gain)
FLAC -> FLAC (directly to clip+): 0:50

So while copying FLAC does take longer (0:50 vs 0:39), it is still more convenient because I don't have to load the converted tracks to foobar and scan them to get my replaygain values. I wish foobar would just keep the replay gain tags while converting. It's not like the music will have a different volume after conversion anyway...
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BFG
post Jun 13 2013, 22:24
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My focus is on future-proofing: I always create a FLAC copy of all of my CD rips, and also create a LAME -V0 MP3 copy (using halb27's LAME variant which improves problem samples and automatically applies MP3Packer). Even at that quality I'm able to fit half of my library on a single 32GB microSD card, not to mention the cheaper, larger capacity chips that are likely to become available in the future; and the lossy quality should be high enough for people with far better hearing than I.

Fun fact bonus: A lot of people don't like Blackberries, but it turns out that they natively support FLAC. Who would've guessed?

This post has been edited by BFG: Jun 13 2013, 22:24
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aztec_mystic
post Jun 13 2013, 22:25
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QUOTE (ChronoSphere @ Jun 13 2013, 22:39) *
I wish foobar would just keep the replay gain tags while converting. It's not like the music will have a different volume after conversion anyway...

This is really OT but foobar's converter can compute replaygain for the output files (just check the corresponding box in section "Other").
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db1989
post Jun 13 2013, 23:02
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If I may be presumptuous, I think ChronoSphereís point was: Why reinvent the wheel? If the destination is lossless, thereís absolutely no need to recalculate gain. Well, OK: <insert technicality about the possibility of the source being scanned by the older algorithm here>. It would be sensible to at least provide an option to transfer tags untouched between lossless files and only to re-scan if the user stipulates it. Re-scanning might not matter much in terms of CPU, but itís still unnecessary in a majority of cases.

Also, yes, very OT. I clearly recall this being discussed already in the right section (where I probably said something very similar to the above), so letís keep it there. smile.gif
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eahm
post Jun 14 2013, 08:15
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QUOTE (Unown @ Jun 13 2013, 08:45) *
Lossless for home use because space is cheap, I prefer the convenience, and it’s best for proper transcoding for portable and other uses.

Higher than quality N for portable use because I want a slight safety margin. I perform ABX testing with some tracks I know very well and with a few tracks I know to be more problematic for lossy codecs, but my music collection is big and varied, so it wouldn’t be strange for some other track I’ll be encoding to demand higher quality settings to achieve transparency.
The ability to connect a portable player to some good speakers or directly expose its files to some other PC is also very handy. So while the quality might not be that important for use in the portable player itself, I still prefer to have transparency and then some.

Same here.

Home: Lossless

Portable: AAC (qaac) TVBR Q63

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2Bdecided
post Jun 14 2013, 09:33
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"Quality N, just in case I end up spending some time in a quiet place." because I often plug my portable into a stereo and don't want to hear artefacts.

btw, "Now that you found your lowest transparent setting" - that depends entirely on content. I picked the setting that's mostly transparent for my ears on the content that I usually listen to. Picking a setting that's more likely to be transparent on problem samples will hugely increase the bitrate for everything else, so I don't do it. If I ever think I hear a problem, I just say to myself "it's still better and cheaper than cassettes and MiniDisc - be content wink.gif" - and the times I've checked, the "problem" has been present in the original (though occasionally it's exacerbated by mp3 encoding).

Cheers,
David.
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Propheticus
post Jun 14 2013, 11:22
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Lossless/source for @ home. Don't see the use in playing a format lower than what I've got available and keeping 2 versions of files.

When transferring to my portable musicplayer I now use AAC (qaac) 256Kbps CBR. It's a 16GB player, so there's no need for the smallest of formats. I don't carry around my whole music library. AAC 192Kbps is supposed to be 'transparent', but I use 256Kbps for peace of mind mostly. Some types of music/certain clips (extreme cases) might be more difficult and show more artifacts, so I'd rather be on the save side and pick something a bit above N.

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ktf
post Jun 14 2013, 14:43
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I voted lossless at home and lossy N for portable use, but now I come to think of it, that's not the whole story. I use lossless playback (FLAC) when using my notebook, lossy N (vorbis -q 3) for portable, but for DLNA-use (streaming to XBox, set-top box etc.) I use MP3, because an XBox won't play FLAC or Vorbis.


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RonaldDumsfeld
post Jun 14 2013, 16:02
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I have two basic libraries.

An everything ripped archive kept at home. Almost all FLAC so I can use tags. Default foobar setting (5).

A portable/cloud jukebox. Almost all 320bps CBR (N+n) because that's how the downloads come so it keeps everything consistent.

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maggior
post Jun 14 2013, 16:47
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In actuality, I've never determined at what point I loose transparancy of lossy encoded music. What I do know is I can tell 64 kbps mp3 and ATRAC (used to be a minidisc user) from the source and that in my listening in the car and on my iPod, my LAME mp3 files encoded with default settings (-V2) appear to be transparent to me. I've never listened to my LAME mp3's and thought "gee, I wish I had my lossless copy with me, this doesn't sound the same.".

So my N falls somewhere inbetween 64kbps and 190kbps.
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nimd4
post Aug 12 2013, 17:52
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QUOTE (Jplus @ Feb 15 2013, 17:50) *
Now that you found your lowest transparent setting..., Do you choose for fidelity, efficiency, or a compromise?

Cool topic!..wink.gif smile.gif

Most definitely, I will probably *always* use lossless - as a rule, generally - because once encoded, once it's compressed, the 'extra' data is chucked (away), truncated + gone for good; && if I haven't gone lossless, then - most certainly - I will use the highest, second highest, MP3 setting(s): that is, including bit-rate AND quality (teh 'quality' setting is sometimes hidden and/or tucked-away in options somewhere, depending on the front-end used).

Btw.,
QUOTE
An MP3 file can also be constructed at higher or lower bit rates, with higher or lower resulting quality.
@
CODE
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3

P.S.
Quality, transparency @
CODE
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=LAME#Maximum_quality_and_archiving
&&
CODE
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Transparency

^ just some quick links, in case whoever is reading isn't (too) familiar w/what's going on. ;-s

P.P.S.
QUOTE (andrew_berge @ Feb 15 2013, 18:53) *
64GB of memory

Showoff! ;-P ;-D

This post has been edited by nimd4: Aug 12 2013, 18:02


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jkauff
post Aug 13 2013, 03:29
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I have two portable use cases. One is my iPhone, which can play FLAC with a 3rd party player but has only 16GB of memory. The other is the USB stick for my car, which will only play WMA, MP3, and AAC. If my car player could play FLAC, I'd just copy the lossless files and be done with it, but given the two use cases I have to transcode. I use QAAC TVBR Q80. Probably overkill, especially for the car, but space is not an issue on the USB stick and I don't keep that much music on my iPhone.
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DARcode
post Aug 13 2013, 08:32
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Home: WavPack lossless
Portable: WavPack lossy (correction files left out) on my Android smartphone, qaac AAC (quick ad hoc transcode from WavPack lossless, deleted after the album/track in no longer in my rotation) on my DAP for the beach and the gym.
Sharing with pals: LAME -V0
[Settings in my sig.]

EDIT: A tad more specific.

This post has been edited by DARcode: Aug 13 2013, 08:41


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Destroid
post Aug 13 2013, 08:35
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Lossless at home, in particular TAK on audio CD's. Portable gets AAC VBR 100-130kbps unless it seems distorted and I'll try the next higher setting, which does not happen often (and re-encoding is trivial anyway).


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LedHed8
post Aug 14 2013, 05:26
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Archival: 3 independently lossless ripped libraries of music I really love on separate hard drives; FLAC, ALAC, and WMAL. Balance of "so-so" music is on the largest drive ripped lossless with any of the aforementioned 3 I felt like using at the time.

Home/Desktop: A mix of lossless (ALAC), aac (either iTunes plus or equivalent qaac setting of 256kbps cvbr), lame V0, halb27's lame V0 cvbr0 "insane" setting, and a few misc. purchased tracks/albums from various sources (mainly GooglePlay or iTunes).

Portable Flash Drives (for work): Mainly lame V0 for compatibility with any equipment.

Rockbox'd E280R 8gb with 32gb micro sd card: Mostly Vorbis aoTuVb6.03 at the .q5 quality setting. Some misc. aac and mp3 files.

Rockbox'd Sansa ClipZip 8gb with 32gb micro sd card: Almost all FLAC level 4 with a few purchased aac and mp3 favorites.

My wife's Rockbox'd Sansa ClipZip 4gb with 32gb micro sd card: Mostly Vorbis aoTuVb6.03 at .q6 and .q5 quality settings. Some misc. aac and mp3 files.

Kid's Rockbox'd Sansa Clip 2gb: Mostly Vorbis aoTuVb6.03 at .q4 quality setting.

No transcodes on anything, ever. If I can't purchase in cd or lossless, the original purchased file stays "as is" except for added metadata or ReplayGain or SoundCheck info.
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