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Topic: MP3 Quality

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  1. #1
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    MP3 Quality

    For my own use, on my Zen Micro Player, I create mp3 files at the highest possible quality, 392 kbs, which takes quite a bit of storage space, and more importantly, if used on a web site, would seriously lengthen download time. Usually, for on line, I use 128 kbs, which appears to be the norm, but I don't like the serious degradation of my hard work. My question: when I finish my site construction, and add about 160 mp3 demos, will the higher quality discourage many people? Or perhaps I should have 2 choices, 128 kbs or 392 kbs? I expect to have a ridiculous amount of space, so the problem for me will be the time it will take to upload the demos to my site.

    Richard

  2. #2

    Re: MP3 Quality

    Well, 128 kbs is definitely the minimum. I think 392 kbs may be just a little too much. I'd probably say you're good with 160/192 kbs for your demos. Probably 256 would be the maximum for the site, though it's still quite large.
    ♪♪♪♪ CâTå ♪♪♪♪

  3. #3

    Re: MP3 Quality

    Richard, I've come to compromise on 192/kbs... quality is fairly good, and, so far, no complaints about downloading.

    I would suggest perhaps noting on the site to "right-click, save target as..." for those with slower lines.

    For a time, I tried lo-fi/hi-fi versons... but -- the quality was just so poor on the lower bandwidth that I felt it was representing the pieces too badly to tolerate.

    Another approach I might mention that I've had great success with is setting up the mp3 and pdf score in a standard .exe installer -- I'm finding that people are downloading the .exe installer almost neck-and-neck with the direct .mp3 and .pdf downloads.

    David.
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  4. #4

    Re: MP3 Quality

    My ears must not be so good as I cannot hear much of a difference between 128 kbps and higher kbps's really low kbps's I can of course tell, but 128 kbps sounds fine to me, which is what I usually go with. I've never had any comments about the quality of it...
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  5. #5

    Re: MP3 Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    Richard, I've come to compromise on 192/kbs... quality is fairly good, and, so far, no complaints about downloading.


    David.
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .
    Sean, if you listen and do a direct comparison in a dark quiet room with really good speakers or headphones, you would be surprised at the difference.

    I agree with David,.. 192 is just fine, and much faster download time.
    Funny how engineers stick their noses up in the air at anything recorded less than 196 khz sample rate, and then most people hear their mix as an MP3.
    CDs are 44.1 khz and do have higher definition, less grainy sound, but I have come to accept MP3s.
    Dan

  6. #6

    Re: MP3 Quality

    Another vote for 192. I think it's the best compromise between quality and file size.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  7. #7

    Re: MP3 Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    My ears must not be so good as I cannot hear much of a difference between 128 kbps and higher kbps's really low kbps's I can of course tell, but 128 kbps sounds fine to me, which is what I usually go with. I've never had any comments about the quality of it...
    I think if you listen acutely, Sean, you'll hear it.

    To me, even from 128/kbs to 192/kbs -- I can hear a distinct and significant quality difference... but -- it's perhaps not what you're expecting; not so much frequency response as it is detail.

    The highs tend to lose some of their slap and shimmer, the stardust; and articulations aren't as clean and sharp. Especially in the low frequency end -- mp3 tends to mud that up.

    It depends a lot on the nature of the music, of course -- slower material survives mp3 encoding somewhat better, for instance.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  8. #8

    Re: MP3 Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw
    Another vote for 192. I think it's the best compromise between quality and file size.
    why can't I get my point across as quickly as Skysaw?

  9. #9
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: MP3 Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux

    Another approach I might mention that I've had great success with is setting up the mp3 and pdf score in a standard .exe installer -- I'm finding that people are downloading the .exe installer almost neck-and-neck with the direct .mp3 and .pdf downloads.

    David.
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .
    Well, shucks, David, I don't have a clue what that means!

    It looks like 192 kbs is the winner. Quality is not to my liking, but they are after all, intended as demos. Probably at first my pdf scores will not be printable, but will serve as demos, and I will provide a direct link to the Scorch file where they can be purchased, and for now, Sibelius will handle sales, tax, etc. If huge (!) (?) sales warrant it, I can change this later.

    Right now, I am really interested in exposure. My pianist friend was here yesterday to make some publicity photos for his site and his tv show (hopefully some day on PBS, has good endorsements, one from Byron Janis). This will get me a bit of publicity eventually. I have hopes that eventually he will work some of my piano composition into his repertoire, which currently includes the entire Austrian-German output, probably all of Godowsky & Scriabin. Schumann is his big specialty. I don't know all of his teachers & coaches, but I have to be careful what I say about Andre Watts in his presence. Good that I like Ernesto Lecuona, who was a friend of his father.

    Can you imagine how long it will take me to convert 150 or more files to mp3, tag them all correctly, then upload them via dial up! Then all those scores? Well, I will have the space, but will I live long enough to get them all uploaded? This year I will note the 50th anniversary of my 25th birthday.

    Richard

  10. #10

    Re: MP3 Quality

    Just for the record, 192 gets my vote too. The quality is good enough that only trained ears listening on good systems would likely notice any difference between it and a WAV and the file size is manageable. I would say if server space is literally no factor offer three flavors: 128 for low end users, 192 for the average user, and 392 for the high end user.

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