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Making CD Quaility MP3's

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Trevor, May 31, 2005.

  1. Trevor

    Trevor
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    I'm planning to transfer a lot of my favourite songs from my CD collection to my computer as MP3's (or another audio format), I want them to be CD quality (or near CD quality) if possible. Which programme (e.g. Windows Media Player, Winamp, Musicmatch Jukebox etc.) is best to use for this and which settings are best? I suppose Windows Media Lossless would be the best quality, but I don't like Windows Media Format, I don't like the tags (everything has to be removed manually, as far as I know) and with MP3's, all tag info can be removed instantly using Winamp or MP3 Tag Remover, so I would prefer to encode everything as MP3's, I don't mind the files being large (upto around 30MB per song is okay).

    Any tips?

    The MP3's would be for my own personal use only, by the way.

    I mostly use Windows Media Player (latest version for Windows XP) for playing MP3's, sometimes Winamp.
     
  2. Steven

    Steven
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    since MP3 is a compression format - its impossible for CD quality. You need a lossless format - e.g wav (there are more - each ripping program has its own) but lossless = huge file sizes.

    So your best bet is highest quality compression possible - MP3 320kbps VBR.
    VBR = variable bit rate, i.e at parts of song that are simple e.g just singing, no music, the song will play at a low bit rate. When the song is at a complicated part e.g intense singing + instruments, the song will play at high bit rate e.g 320.

    So file at MP3 320kbps VBR will sound the same as a file at MP3 320kbps but take up less space.

    You could try highest encoding for WMA, Atrac 256 (sony) or OGG - google for all

    Then there's EAC + Lame. this is said by many (in forums) to give best SQ. http://users.pandora.be/satcp/cd2mp3-en.htm There are 2 stages:

    1) makes temporary uncompressed copy of CD. To make sure there's no error in CD copying, EAC reads every audio sector twice and compared to each other. If both the same, then EAC knows there was no read error

    2) LAME rips temporary files to MP3 files that have been tweaked by techs to give best SQ
     
  3. ancientgeek

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    And of course there's iTunes and Apple lossless format.
     
  4. Trevor

    Trevor
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    Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been offline for a while (I've only been able to get online long enough to check e-mails etc).

    I think that the uncompressed WAV format is what I'm looking for, I know that the file sizes would be massive but I've got more than enough storage space, I think.

    EAC sounds interesting, I might give it a try.

    Thanks for all the advice.

    Cheers!

    Trevor
     
  5. 17mika

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    Anyway an analysis made some time ago showed that an MP3 with 256kb/s (well encoded) sounds exactly like the WMA for our listening capabilities (tha test was made with audiophiles)
     
  6. Steven

    Steven
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    I'd think it might be better to choose a player, before you select a format to enocode in - remember there are several lossless formats. Save heartache in having to re-encode due to incompatibility? unless you just want the music for your PC....
     
  7. BROUGHCUT

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    If you use EAC I think you will have to find a copy of LAME.exe. The latest stable version is here (if you google you may come across a previous version or a less reliable beta):

    http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codec-central-mp3-lame.htm

    DBpoweramp itself is actually very good indeed and the codec is already bundled. If you use either application be sure to select the alt.preset.standard or alt.preset.extreme setting when you configure the compression settings. Don't bother with "insane", it won't achieve anything.

    The "alt preset" at a lower bitrate will be better than VBR 320 with no preset.
     
  8. Trevor

    Trevor
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    I was going to encode everything as uncompressed wavs (MASSIVE files), but having experimented (using EAC), I reckon my best option is MP3 320kbps VBR as the quality seems to be almost identical to uncompressed wavs and the files are really small (around 10MB).

    I'll be using EAC!

    According to this page...

    http://users.pandora.be/satcp/eac-qs-en.htm

    I need to enter the following in "Additional command line options" for MP3 320kbps VBR...

    -V 0 --vbr-new --add-id3v2 --pad-id3v2 --ta "%a" --tt "%t" --tl "%g" --ty "%y" --tn "%n" %s %d

    So that's what I'll be using. The only thing is that I don't really want any tags (I don't like tags and I always remove them using a program called MP3 Tag Remover), is it possible to enter a command line that will encode in MP3 320kbps VBR but without tags or is that not possible? should I just encode with tags and remove them later using MP3 Tag Remover?

    Many thanks!
     
  9. Uridium

    Uridium
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    Noooooooooooo Don't rip using a Propriatary format EVER.

    Be it Apple/Sony whatever use MP3 or WAV as everything supports this.

    Save you a whole lot of pain in the future
     
  10. extremelydodgy

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    FLAC is a good archiving format if you want to preserve the original CD quality.
    Apple Lossless is, contrary to previous post, not a bad option as well. It is a proprietary format, but third-party support for it is increasing. DBPoweramp transcodes between Apple Lossless and any other format it supports.


    j.River Media Center is a very powerful ripping (it can invoke FLAC, LAME and Ogg encoders among others), organisation, tagging and playback tool and I recommend it. Well worth the $40 IMO.
     
  11. Dr.Strangelove

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    i use this one myself, but i use the blade codec for 320 compression :eek:
     
  12. Trevor

    Trevor
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    Re: EAC

    Is this (below) the correct info in "Additional command line options" for MP3 320kbps VBR?

    -V 0 --vbr-new --add-id3v2 --pad-id3v2 --ta "%a" --tt "%t" --tl "%g" --ty "%y" --tn "%n" %s %d

    Is MP3 320kbps VBR better than MP3 320kbps CBR?
     
  13. Trevor

    Trevor
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    After more experimenting, I've decided to encode everything as MP3 320kbps CBR using EAC with the Lame compressor.
     
  14. GlynG60

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    I found THIS article a very good guide.
    It covers just about all you might want to know.
    Obviously it is just one guy's opinion and they maybe other forum members with different views, but I found it helpful.
     
  15. Steven

    Steven
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    Then there's OGG or Flac

    Google, and you'll get 'official' sites for above

    For EAC+Lame specialised help, visit hydrogenaudio forums
     
  16. BenW

    BenW
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    EAC + FLAC gives me very good results :)
     
  17. dood

    dood
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    Am I doing something wrong? Using EAC, recording in wav takes well over an hour for one CD.
     
  18. Trevor

    Trevor
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    Which version of LAME is the recommended version?

    Also, I've been making my MP3s without tags as I don't like them but I've noticed that Windows Media Player has added tags to a couple of the tracks that I've played, I can use a program called MP3 Tag Remover from http://www.mp3fe.com/main_tagrem.htm to remove the tags but I was just wondering if that will return the MP3s back to how they were before Windows Media Player added the tags, I've read something about padding, if WMP added this padding, would MP3 Tag Remover remove it?

    I'll be making my MP3s 'Read Only' as soon as I've made them from now on to prevent any changes.
     
  19. joncourage

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    For archival quality rips of your CD collection, I would go withe EAC with AccurateRip loaded, using the external FLAC encoder. Good instructions for getting this all setup can be found at hydrogenaudio.org forums.

    FLAC preserves 100% of CD quality as it is lossless, but compresses in order not to have wav size files.

    Popular players like WinAmp and Foobar support FLAC, as does Sonos (all good signs that flac is a mature format, etc).

    I've compressed a bit over 1/2 of 600 CDs and have connected a networked USB drive to my home stereo using the Lyra Wireless, and playing my growing FLAC-based jukebox is indistinguishable from popping a CD in the drive.

    Excellent results, easy to do, and you can put your CDs away for good.

    MP3 at CBR 320 is pretty good, but since it's lossy the files are really not archival quality, and why not get true CD exact quality if it can be readily had?

    The only thing I have to compromise to MP3 for is my portable (and I think eventually they'll support flac as well).

    (and, boy, some of you guys sure do spell funny! ;-)
     
  20. GETanner

    GETanner
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    May I ask what it is that you do not like about mp3 Tags?

    As for WMP adding tags back, look at the Tools > Options menu and then click on the Library Tab.

    Check you do not have the "Retrieve Information " option ticked.
     
  21. shadowritten

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    On the issue of removing tags, I'm now in two minds as to their usefulness. When I owned the Zen Touch (which scrolls every tag field and displays EVERYTHING in each tag, no matter how many characters long), I found tags helped, but reckon I rarely looked at more than the Artist, Album and Track tags, and then, just for selecting what to play. This practice continued when I used ATRAC, although I made much less effort to tag correctly, as my old HD5H could only scroll a maximum of 60 characters per field.

    Now I've gone old skool, and made a return to CD/MP3 players, as I'm tired of DAPs breaking down on me! With the two Panasonics I own, one can't display tags, one can. I'm currently using the one that can't, and not missing tags at all, which is weird. The one that can only displays a pitiful 30 characters per field (and even then, only Artist and Track!), so I'm questioning the sense in bothering with tags anymore.

    I might try this tag remover program you mention, as frankly, filenames alone seem sufficient these days ...
     
  22. Trevor

    Trevor
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  23. GETanner

    GETanner
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    I agree, filenames should have detailed information.

    I myself use the format

    <Artist> - <Album> - <Track #> - <Track Title>.mp3 for single artist albums or
    <Album> - <Track #> - <Artist> - <Track Title>.mp3 for compilations which enables easy searching of the hard drive in Windows yet with full mp3 Tag data also stored for display in DAPs or WinAmp.

    If you have both full mp3 Tag data and a reasoned filename structure all bases are covered. Seems like a step too far to clear data that does not impact on the filename structure yet could give useful information at a later date if you move to a system that works only with mp3 Tags.

    Of course, I may be missing some quirk by having both systems duplicating the same data which does not come up on my DAPs or WinAmp.

    Guy
     
  24. GETanner

    GETanner
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  25. alike

    alike
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    But they're not supported by nearly as many players as .wma's etc...
     

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