Sunday, April 10, 2005

Music Just Wants To Be Free Heard

[/] After reading The Best 90 Minutes of My Life (cheers again, Andy), it's pretty clear that while he loves mixes, Thurston Moore doesn't exactly love how MP3s sound. Maybe he should try another file format; there seem to be plenty out there.

I love making mixes too, but I haven't put much time nor effort into quality control* of any of mine since setting up this PC this time last year. Got a basic sound card, a second hard drive specifically for media, installed Exact Audio Copy & LAME with what I understand is a pretty standard set of variable bit rate compression options** for ripping & conversion and use Winamp, Nero and Mixmeister to put 'em all together & burn 'em to disc.

So my sound-boffin friends, are you happy with MP3, or has the cult of the white earbuds made you an AAC convert or the one that sounds like something out of Hitchhikers, Ogg Vorbis? Or have you found some new lossless format? I'd consider switching from MP3 to another format, but it'd have to sound a whole lot better & be easy to work with. Have you made such a switch? How painful/painless was it? Was it worth it in the end?

* - Technical quality control, rather than creative - that's all down to taste & mood
** - Alt-preset standard %s %d

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Posted by Dean @ 4/10/2005 05:46:00 pm

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I've switched to Ogg Vorbis for everything I've been ripping for a while now, starting with the CDs bro gave me for Christmas. The files are smaller in size, and I'm reliably informed by audio sites that it's higher-quality (personally, I can't tell the difference between high-bitrate mp3, high-bitrate ogg and CD).

Also, I now get the lovely warm glow of being on a smaller bandwagon than the mp3 or Apple fellows.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Thursday, April 14, 2005 6:04:00 pm #

As with mark, I've switched to Ogg Vorbis. I haven't done any thorough quality comparisons. For me it really comes down to whether or not I think something sounds bad, or could sound better. As I write listening to a CD I've ripped (with EAC) I thought it sounded a bit plain. It's MP3 format, but that's not to say it'd sound any better in Ogg Vorbis, of course.

MP3s seem to lose more than a reasonable amount of clarity in the low frequency ranges. Again, I haven't spent much time comparing audio streams.

I rip with Ogg Vorbis default quality (3), and my iRiver plays it. I've nought to complain about.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Thursday, April 14, 2005 9:08:00 pm #
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