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Topic: Quality of MP3 codecs

  1. #1

    Quality of MP3 codecs

    Hi All,

    Does anyone have information or pointers on the quality of specific MP3 codecs? Maybe comparison charts?

    Recently, during a cd-rom multi-media project, I found out that not all codecs produce the same quality with the same setting.

    I have the MP3 codec (or plugin) from Sonic Foundry and another from the Fraunhofer Institute (the \"source\" for mp3). The first one (for which I paid) appears to produce some ugly artifacts with a voice over; the latter one, although a lot older, sounds better (to my surprise). I\'m interested to find better codecs because the Fraunhofer codec does not support the same high bitrates (like 256 kbps) as the SonicFoundry plugin.

    Any pointers?


    Peter Roos (NL)

  2. #2

    Re: Quality of MP3 codecs

    Indeed there are quality differences between the several available encoders. An acquaintance of me once searched the web for comparisons and it appeared there were 2 best encoders: Lame and another one (can\'t remember).

    I\'m using Lame and it works very well:
    128 KB : barely audible artifacts (listening concentrated with headphones).

    Actually I\'m using RazorLame, which is a open-source windows shell around the Lame command line tool. I got this set from my acquaintance, so I don\'t know a pointer.

    Info box says that source is available at: http://www.dors.de/razorlame/source.html

    Good luck

  3. #3

    Re: Quality of MP3 codecs

    One problem I found when mp3 encoding is that it converts to mono at low bitrates, which are good for slow web connections. One of my projects had the L & R channels out of phase. I never noticed it in stereo, but it sounded terrible as a mono mp3. Fixing the phase fixed the problems. If you\'re working at higher bitrates this probably isn\'t your problem, but it\'s worth checking.

  4. #4

    Re: Quality of MP3 codecs

    Thanks for the replies.

    The RazorLame seems to be a handy tool, especially as it does not require installation (runs from any folder).

    It does require a command-line encode (Lame.exe) which can be found at http://www.mp3-tech.org/

    Quote from this site:
    \"LAME is a free open source encoder. It features joint stereo encoding and variable bitrate, and its quality is substantially better than ISO psy-model based encoders (such as BladeEnc, 8Hz-mp3 and all free Windows encoders). You\'ll find here both the command line release, the DLL release for use with cd rippers, and a frontend\"

    I hope to do some comparisons with my SoundForge 5.0 encoder.



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