MP3 VBR or CBR at What Rate?

vbimport

#1

Which is better
VBR 256-bitrate minimum to 320-bitrate maximum
VBR 192-bitrate minimum to 320-bitrate maximum
CBR 320-bitrate?

When I use VBR I set it to Q=2, VBR=4.

I set CBR to q=2 but have used q=5 in the past.

Thanks


#2

CBR 320-bitrate


#3

CBR 320 it just a waste of space.

Use VBR 192-bitrate minimum to 320-bitrate maximum.


#4

I’ve read a bunch of books that say to use VBR.

They say that it can add bits where needed and not waste them where they aren’t needed so you get a smaller file size and possibly better quality without increasing the filesize. I think it’s a dynamic range improvement that doesn’t effect size.

I tried 256-min/320-max and got a fiie size over 10K at a VBR 286.
I tried 192-min/320-max and got a file size of 6-8K (forget precise #) at a VBR of 197.
… all eles remaining equal (all settings the same in both cases with the same song).

I don’t think I’ll go back and redo everything I’ve ripped.

But I think 192/320 vbr is the way I’ll go.

By the way, I had a song that I could rip to MP3 at q=2.
I could also rip it to wav.
However I could not rip to MP3 at q=0.

Thanks for the help!


#5

The way to go is simply
–alt-preset standard (=~192 VBR)
–alt-preset extreme (=~224 VBR)
–alt-preset insane (=320 cbr)
anything else either wastes bits (like 192 minimum bitrate) or is lower quality.
With Lame 3.96.1, you can also use the -V modes, where -V2 corresponds to the “standard” preset and -V0 to the “extreme” preset.


#6

for me is --alt-preset insane


#7

When I select --alt-preset standard I’m told that it will be between 128 and 320.
When I sellect --alt-preset extreme, I’m told that it will be between 128 and 320.
When I Sellect --alt-preset insane, I’m told that it will be 320 cbr.
There’s also a --alt-preset fast extreme.

I tried --alt-preset standard and got a 181-bitrate.

A funny thing on one song I was able to rip it 320 CBR with no problems.
Any VBR setting I use gets errors at the very end of the song.


#8

Fast also works for “standard”. In fact, with the -V modes of Lame 3.96.1, you can have a fast mode for any setting V0-V9, it is activated by the --vbr-new switch, e.g.
-V2 --vbr-new (= equivalent to --alt-preset fast standard)
The fast modes have been found to be generally on par with the normal modes in some listening tests on hydrogenaudio.org, so they are considered safe to use. Bitrate should also be about the same: sometimes a bit higher, sometimes a bit lower.


#9

Here’s another opinion.

Beyond preset medium, most people have difficulty telling the difference on most encodes. There are a few “killer” clips that even preset extreme will show detectable problems (e.g. Castanets.flac from ff123.net).

However, as a general rule:

preset standard is transparent to 90% of the people
preset extreme is transparent to 99% of the people
preset insane is CBR

The fast options do NOT produce as high a quality as the non-fast presets. If you are going for maximum quality I would use extreme (or maybe standard). However, the 50% speedup on fast is not really worth it to me.

The bitrate on some stuff can be quite low even with extreme. Some movie soundtracks I have compressed end up with 160 kbps. This is because this is all it takes to preserve good quality.


#10

So, there’s no benefit of using insane over extreme?

I’m switching to using standard for most rips based on everyone’s input here.

I may want to combine 3 or more albums of the same artist on one disc as a mini archive. Would you recommend insane or extreme.


#11

Say I want to make a mini archive back-up of an artist.

Would it be better to create it at one rate only to re-rip it to a lower rate when I want to go mobile with a bunch of songs?

Or, would it be better just to rip it at standard for both archiving purposes and mobile use?


#12

By “re-rip” I mean re-encode from the “archived” version (if it is at extreme or insane bitrate per your recommendation) to standard to go mobile.

Thanks


#13

That would be how I would do it. I’m no expert but, you want to “Archive” at the highest bitrate you can. If space is not an issue I would download to computer using AudioGrabber & encode using Monkey’s Audio (lossless). Your file size is between 46%-54% of what a .wav would be. Then you can always de-encode those files & have a perfect file to encode to whatever you want. If space is an issue you still want the highest bitrate you can stand. I’m not absolutely sure but if you have a file encoded at CBR320 & re-encode it to CBR192 it will be a lower quality than if you go from CD to CBR192. Somebody might be able to explain this better than I can but I hope you sort of followed all that.


#14

Basically, when re-encoding something between lossy formats, you will always lose quality.


#15

I’d go for “standard” for both purposes, unless you have a portable device with very little storage capacity. Transcoding is not a good idea with MP3.


#16

I’d try to preserve as much of the original quality as possible. You can save the rip to dvd -/+ r/rw. This way if you have a system crash you will have a good back-up.


#17

If you want to do this, I would recommend you keep your archive files lossless. Use FLAC or WavPack, and then when you want to put a song on your portable, convert it to mp3. There won’t be any loss in quality for the mp3 compared to one you would create from the original wav file.

I think you would find on HydrogenAudio.org that many would say stay away from ripping to a lossy format, then converting it to another one. You’ll lose more quality that way.

I have been re-ripping my CDs as FLAC files, using ExactAudioCopy (with AccurateRip installed). I use foobar2000 for playing, plus you can batch encode FLAC files to mp3.


#18

I was thinking of backing-up at 320 CBR or VBR Insane and using standard to go mobile. Based on everyone’s suggestions I should EITHER store at standard if that’s the rate I want to use to go mobile OR store in a lossless form.

How much smaller are flac files compared to wavs?
Monkey’s Audio form saves me about 50% over wav format.

When I was setting 128/320 min/max for variable rips I’d get say a 181-bitrate.
The same song ripped at 192/320 min/max would deliver @ 221-bitrate.
In light of the first rip, shouldn’t the second rip have been as low as it could’ve gone which would have been 192-bitrate?


#19

When I was setting 128/320 min/max for variable rips I’d get say a 181-bitrate.
The same song ripped at 192/320 min/max would deliver @ 221-bitrate.
In light of the first rip, shouldn’t the second rip have been as low as it could’ve gone which would have been 192-bitrate?

Now there is a good question!!! Anybody want to handle that?


#20

I use EAC “secure mode” or Wavelab “ultrasafe mode” for grabbing and convert to 320 j/s (preset insane) L.A.M.E. 3.90.3 for my mp3 backups. Works well, sounds good :slight_smile: