Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

MP3 Quality... much better then I thought!

Author:Jeremy Bowers
Posted:7/27/2000; 6:40:53 AM
Topic:MP3 Quality... much better then I thought!
Msg #:19173
Prev/Next:19172 / 19174

I must take back my comments on the quality of MP3s I made earlier (but I can't find them...). I've recently started converting my collection to MP3 in a systematic way (rather then a track here or there on a whim). It contains a lot of classical music and I didn't want to compromise sound quality at all... portable crap is no benefit over a good CD.

A year ago, there was no encoder good enough to handle my demands. Now there is... the latest version of GNU's encoder, lame 3.85b, at high quality settings, is absolutely stunning.

For some hard data, see this analysis of the encoders.

On the softer data side... I've encoded some Gershwin works now from a Gershwin CD I have. Using a high-quality ripper and high-quality lame settings, I got 10:1 compression and I can't hear the difference. The clarinet whoop at the beginning of Rhapsody in Blue sounds like a clarinet despite being ultra-quiet (clarinets often sound synthetic in MP3s, as do strings), a banjo sounds just like a banjo with no audible mushing of the sounds, it's just amazing.

The key is to use a good ripper (Exact Audio Copy for Windows, cdparanoia for Linux, and lame with high quality settings (I use "-V 1 -b 128 -h -m j -q1" as this site recommends).

If you're still a skeptic about the quality, try this. It converted me. (And I thought this CD would kill it...)

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