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View Full Version : Which tracks are "best" AKA 'to remaster or not remaster'



zooropa320
2006-01-17, 13:07
I'm in the process of creating a jukebox of all of my CDs which have been ripped to VBR MP3s. I have a lot of compilations and soundtracks which have resulted in a number of duplicates which I'd like to filter out (over 2,500). Of course I can listen to them all to find which ones sound best and remove the others but I'd like to know if there's an objective way to determine which ones are "best". These aren't meant for critical listening but if I'm going through the process I'd like to know (or at least think) I'm playing the best ones. I suppose this question can also be extended to remastered albums. They certainly sound louder (which is mitigated when using ReplayGain) but are they necessarily better. Any recommendations or references you can point me to? Thanks in advance.

Mark Lanctot
2006-01-17, 14:12
They spend countless thousands of posts on this at

www.hydrogenaudio.org

If you're looking for a "this is the best format"
single post, take a look at:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=28124

and note:

"Best Quality: archiving
-b 320 - This is the strongest setting for MP3,
with the lowest risk of artifacts.
With the exception of a few situations, quality is
rarely better than the highest VBR profiles
described below.
Alternative: Lossless formats like WavPack, Flac
etc allow true archiving bit for bit like on
original CD.

High Quality: HiFi, home or quiet listening
-V 3 --vbr-new (~175 kbps), -V 2 --vbr-new (~190
kbps), -V 1 --vbr-new (~210 kbps) or -V 0
--vbr-new (~230 kbps) are recommended.
These settings will produce transparent encoding
(transparent = most people cannot distinguish the
mp3 from the original in an ABX blindtest).
Audible differences between these presets exist,
but are extremely marginal."

So with CBR files, go with the highest bitrate,
same thing with VBR. Between CBR and VBR, you
should pick VBR if they average out to the same
bitrate.

Of course, you would be well advised to rip in
FLAC for future rips, provided you have the hard
drive space.

zooropa320 wrote:
> I'm in the process of creating a jukebox of all of
my CDs which have
> been ripped to VBR MP3s. I have a lot of
compilations and soundtracks
> which have resulted in a number of duplicates which
I'd like to filter
> out (over 2,500). Of course I can listen to them
all to find which
> ones sound best and remove the others but I'd like
to know if there's
> an objective way to determine which ones are "best".
These aren't
> meant for critical listening but if I'm going
through the process I'd
> like to know (or at least think) I'm playing the
best ones. I suppose
> this question can also be extended to remastered
albums. They
> certainly sound louder (which is mitigated when
using ReplayGain) but
> are they necessarily better. Any recommendations or
references you can
> point me to? Thanks in advance.
>
>

--
___________________________________


Mark Lanctot
___________________________________

zooropa320
2006-01-17, 15:21
Hi Mark & thanks for your detailed reply. The tracks in question have already been ripped to VBR MP3s using EAC & LAME with the alt-preset standard switch. This is more a question of how to identify which of the resulting files are "better" when there are duplicates.

zooropa320
2006-01-17, 15:25
For better or worse I don't have golden ears and listen mostly to rock so the ABX tests I've read (but not attempted myself) which indicate that properly ripped VBR MP3s are nearly indistinguishable from FLACs have influenced my encoding method. I'm sure that's been debated here was well as other places so I wasn't opening that can of worms ;-)