Mp3 Release Groups

Alright. I want to know how all of the big mp3 release groups (KSi, FNT, pH, etc.) rip and encode their mp3s. They usually say they encoded in Full Stereo. -m s is NOT how you do this. I tried and it is not what I’m looking for. and I DON’T CARE if you think Joint stereo is better, I like the way Full Stereo sounds when release groups rip mp3s a lot better. so if you could please help me in any way. that would be much appreciated.

i think joint stereo is better.

i don’t just think joint stereo is better, i know it’s better when encoded with LAME. as was already explained in the other thread, joint stereo is superior.

ya know what? I DON"T CARE if you know or think that joint is better, I want the command line that mp3 release groups use. but you won’t help no nevermind

can you check what encoder release groups use? that could definitely give someone some kind of idea.

Originally posted by greendayf2003
ya know what? I DON"T CARE if you know or think that joint is better, I want the command line that mp3 release groups use. but you won’t help no nevermind

well, since u asked so nicely, here’s a full list of LAME command line options for encoding modes:

-m m           mono
-m s           stereo
-m j           joint stereo
-m f           forced mid/side stereo
-m d           dual (independent) channels
-m i           intensity stereo
-m a           auto

all release groups use LAME.

what’s the difference between “stereo” and “joint stereo”?

I have crappy speakers on my pc. But will eventually play these mp3s in my car stereo with sweet speakers.

I read something about “joint stereo” not support surround sound. But I’m not really that concerned with it, seeing as how it’s not DTS encoded to begin with :slight_smile:

Is “joint stereo” really the way to go?

I’m using Lame with BonkEnc ripper.

What I heard joint stereo did was if the left and right channels where similar it would “mix” them together, and only parts there Left and Right where different being encoded as stereo. As for most of a song both channels are very similar, most of it would be encoded as one channel, so the quality of that one channel could be doubled.

For example a in 128kbps Join Stereo MP3, the parts that only needed one channel would be only 64kbps, meaning it could be doubled in bit rate. As it only needed 64kbps for one channel, the bit rate could be doubled to 128kbps for only one channel, meaning (providing both channels where identical) it would be the same quality as a 256kbps Full Stereo MP3 file.

Only the parts where the channels where the audio is different need to be encoded at stereo, the rest can be encoded as mono, as there are no benefits of having stereo when both channels are identical.

Like this:

As you can see, for most of the song the Left and Right are the same, so they can be encoded as mono, so only the bit that is different (circled in red) needs to be encoded as stereo.

Full stereo would be where it did not “mix” the channels to mono, even if they are the same, this means for alot of the song it would have “duplicate” audio data that wasn’t necessary, resulting in full stereo having to make the bit rate for each channel lower, resulting in lower quality. However the problem with Join Stereo is that it may decide the channels are the same when they aren’t, so fine detail between the different channels would be lost.

Well, that’s what I understood by what I read, maybe somebody with more audio knowledge can say I am right in what I said, I may be completely wrong, if so I apologise.

Ben :slight_smile:

Lame uses Joint Stereo in a method where it only chooses between “Left/Right” and “Mid/Side” Stereo on a frame-by-frame basis.

This saves some bits for use elsewhere, which improves the overall quality of the music - it does not diminish the quality of stereo separation or any such BS.


Mid/Side Stereo looks at the same 2-channel data from a different perspective. Instead of storing the audio data in Left and Right channels, we can just as well store the same series of numbers in terms of the Average (of Left and Right) and the Difference (between Left and Right). This is the basic principle of Mid/Side (Joint) Stereo: the Average signal is normally referred to as “Middle”, and the Difference as “Side”.

Now, if you can handle a bit of schoolboy algebra, let’s demonstrate that these two alternative formats of storing stereo data are completely interchangeable. To begin with, the simplest way of storing 2-channel audio data is in terms of the Left (L) and Right ® values at any particular time:

Left = L Right = R

In Mid/Side format, we store the Average and Difference values instead:

Middle = (L+R)/2 Side = (L-R)/2

Note that the sign of the Side value is very important. The usual convention is that positive Side indicates that the Left signal is bigger than the Right; a negative Side indicates that the Right is bigger.

Should we wish to return from Mid/Side format back to Left/Right, then we can recreate the Left channel by summing the Average plus the (Left-Right) Difference, and the Right channel by taking the Average minus the Difference, as follows:

Left = Middle + Side Right = Middle - Side

Substituting the earlier expressions for Middle and Side:

Left = (L+R)/2 + (L-R)/2 Right = (L+R)/2 - (L-R)/2

Or, in other words:

Left = L Right = R

Back where we started from!

One myth which regularly crops up in discussions about Joint Stereo is:

If Joint Stereo was any good, then surely everybody would record CDs in Joint Stereo.

This comment is difficult to deal with simply because the person making it clearly has zero understanding of what JS is all about. The technique of manipulating stereo audio signals in Mid/Side format was devised solely for the purpose of enhancing audio compression. As far as uncompressed audio is concerned, it offers no benefits whatsoever. On the other hand, neither does it have any drawbacks - other than the fact that it is slightly more complex to handle than simple stereo.

If you were to write a modified CD burning program which stored the audio data in Middle and Side channels, and if you were to add an extra circuit in your CD player to decode Middle and Side back to Left and Right, then (as we have shown above) you would be back where you started from. The decoded Left and Right signals would be no better and no worse than the original Left and Right signals. They would be exactly the same. CDs are recorded in Simple (Left/Right) Stereo because it is simpler - obviously!

The “real life” use of Mid/side (for a different reason) is in FM stereo… The Mono (Mid) component is at baseband, while the Side (Stereo difference) is on a high frequncy subcarrier.

In LAME encoding, if you use “STEREO” (only L/R), then you waste bits encoding content with a strong centre bias.
If you FORCE M/S, then that can increase the complexity if there is no correlation between L/R.

Under joint stereo, it should be choosing the best method - original tunings were, I believe, aimed at getting close to the way Fraunhofer’s encoder switched