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Why the quality of downloaded music is bad?

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Why the quality of downloaded music is bad?

Old 10-24-01, 07:17 PM
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Why the quality of downloaded music is bad?

Some songs which are downloaded from the net is very clear but others just dont even wanna make you listen to that song again.The sound are sometimes high and low,and a lot of noise.Is there something that can be done to get a better sound?
Old 10-24-01, 07:38 PM
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only download songs with higher bitrates
and of course, some people just suck at ripping music.. so even at high bitrates, they sound like crap.. thats just the breaks
Old 10-24-01, 07:43 PM
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The short answer is because most casual users ripping and encoding a CD don't know what the hell they're doing.

Not all CD-ROM drives are the same, especially when it comes to the Digital Audio Extraction capabilities. The best brand for this is Plextor.

Not all codecs are equally good. Even two mp3 codecs will have different characteristics.

Even when you use the right CD-ROM and the right codec, you still need to be careful and pay attention to the details. With scratched CDs, even Plextor drives will occassionally produce a stutter or pop in an extracted wav file.
Old 10-24-01, 07:55 PM
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Because sometimes you get what you pay for?
Old 10-24-01, 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by X
Because sometimes you get what you pay for?
I get your point X but I cannot find no Tamil songs in Japan, so I had no other choice And guys thanks for the info
Old 10-26-01, 10:08 AM
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Yup, I like morpheus and all, but some of the songs on there suck, and at a lower bitrate than I want. I try to get at least 160, and pref 192. There are a few sites out there that seem to have good quailty stuff, but much lower selection.

Dave
Originally posted by twikoff
only download songs with higher bitrates
and of course, some people just suck at ripping music.. so even at high bitrates, they sound like crap.. thats just the breaks
Old 10-26-01, 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by belboz
The short answer is because most casual users ripping and encoding a CD don't know what the hell they're doing.

Not all CD-ROM drives are the same, especially when it comes to the Digital Audio Extraction capabilities. The best brand for this is Plextor.

Not all codecs are equally good. Even two mp3 codecs will have different characteristics.

Even when you use the right CD-ROM and the right codec, you still need to be careful and pay attention to the details. With scratched CDs, even Plextor drives will occassionally produce a stutter or pop in an extracted wav file.
Very well put!
Old 11-01-01, 12:42 AM
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Try WinMX if you don't like Morpheus. Allows you to search for only the bitrates you want.
Old 08-02-02, 03:07 AM
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Originally posted by belboz
The short answer is because most casual users ripping and encoding a CD don't know what the hell they're doing.

Not all CD-ROM drives are the same, especially when it comes to the Digital Audio Extraction capabilities. The best brand for this is Plextor.

Not all codecs are equally good. Even two mp3 codecs will have different characteristics.

Even when you use the right CD-ROM and the right codec, you still need to be careful and pay attention to the details. With scratched CDs, even Plextor drives will occassionally produce a stutter or pop in an extracted wav file.
My problem is that I'm on the edge between average and power user...I'm aware of my ignorance, but can't find an easy way to cure it.

Everyone says to use a LAME encoder. I've used CDex, which says it has LAME built in, but can never get it to rip/encode an .mp3 without several errors. I currently use MusicMatch (which is supposed to be fairly competant with its fraunhoffer encoder), should I be using another application(s)?

As far as CDROM/CDRW drives go for DAE capabilities go, I'm not sure how to interpret all of the info, but here it is for those of you who might be so kind as to enlighten:

http://www.cyberdrive.com.tw/N3-RW.htm
Interface : IDE/ATAPI
Model: CW058D
32X Write, 12X ReWrite, 48X Read
2 MB cache buffer
ExacLink technology to avoid Buffer Under Run error
Supports Reading SubChannel Date
Compatible with MS-DOS, Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME/XP, Linux
MMC compatible
ISO 9660 compliant
CD-UDF compliant
Support Disk-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Multi-sessions & Fix/Varible length Packet-Write.
Power-saving capability
2MB cache buffer
Motorized easy touch tray loading
Support reading CD-R & CD-RW disc
Support disc formats : CD-ROM, CD-DA, Video-CD, CD-ROM/XA, mixed mode, Photo CD,
@CD Plus, CD Extra, Bootable CD, CD-G, CD-Text.
Build-in headphone connector and audio volume control
Support digital audio extraction
Support digital audio line-out
CE, UL, C-UL, FCC, TUV certified

Finally, with codecs, I am clueless. Does Winamp support most codecs? How do you check the codec of your mp3?

I know I'm asking a lot, but if someone would take the time you'd definately help me out, and probably help a few lurkers as well. Thanks!
Old 08-02-02, 07:07 PM
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I actually haven't used too many different tools myself, so I can't really comment on CDex or Musicmatch.

You should try ExactAudioCopy. It works very well, does everything you'd need, and its price is right. It might take some tweaking before ripping becomes flawless, but it's always been able to do the job for me.

Looking at the specs for your CD-ROM drive, it appears to be your typical modern CD-ROM drive. They all have support for "Digital Audio Extraction," but that won't tell you anything about how well it does it. However, if you can't get EAC to get a good rip from you CD-ROM drive, then I'm not sure if anything else out there will.

BTW, if you're hearing problems in your MP3 files, try ripping first to a WAV file. If you can hear the same problems in the WAV file, then the problem is in the ripping, not the encoding. Theoretically, playing a properly ripped WAV file should sound identical to playing the original track on the CD.

If the WAV file sounds good, then it's just a matter of encoding it properly. Typically, I use the LAME codec at a constant bit rate of 160 Kb/s. For all but the most critical listening that I do, I find those files to be nearly indistinguishable from the original CD.

As for codecs, Winamp will play any MP3 file regardless of which codec was used to encode it. Lame, Fraunhoffer, Blade, Xing, etc. are all MP3 codecs and while the files they output all may sound very slightly different from one another, those files are still MP3 files and thus can be properly decoded by any MP3 player.

It's only when you switch to an entirely different audio codec that you need to make sure your player has support for that codec. For example, Ogg Vorbis is an open source audio codec that works similarly to MP3. However, you'll need to install a plug-in for Winamp in order to play those files.
Old 08-02-02, 07:34 PM
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belboz

Thanks for all the information. I'm downloading ExactAudioCopy right now, and look forward to trying it out. Isn't the popular consensus that Fraunhoffer is the best codec and Xing one of the worst? Anyone know of a website that lists the merits of each codec and the encoders that use it?

One last question. What tweaks did you have to do to get EAC working well? Thanks again, belboz, you've been very helpful!
Old 08-02-02, 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by Hari Seldon
belboz

Thanks for all the information. I'm downloading ExactAudioCopy right now, and look forward to trying it out. Isn't the popular consensus that Fraunhoffer is the best codec and Xing one of the worst? Anyone know of a website that lists the merits of each codec and the encoders that use it?

One last question. What tweaks did you have to do to get EAC working well? Thanks again, belboz, you've been very helpful!

Hari...go to my web page for EAC and LAME http://home.attbi.com/~mikehawley/frmpage.htm

How's that encyclopedia coming along?
Old 08-05-02, 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by Hari Seldon
belboz

Thanks for all the information. I'm downloading ExactAudioCopy right now, and look forward to trying it out. Isn't the popular consensus that Fraunhoffer is the best codec and Xing one of the worst? Anyone know of a website that lists the merits of each codec and the encoders that use it?
I've been into MP3 since around late 1996. I was there before there was an mp3.com, or the RIAA realized what a threat mp3s really were.

At any rate, I consider Fraunhofer one of the best codecs, if not the best. Many people concur with my opinion. You don't see it used much though, because it's one of the few codecs that isn't free and isn't sold to the general public. It also tends to not be popular because it's a bit slow to encode. This is also the original mp3 codec, if that means anything at all to you.

Musicmatch Jukebox is the only free encoder/ripper I'm aware of that uses the Fraunhofer codec.

Some people prefer the Blade and LAME codecs, I do find them quite good, just not as good to my ears as Fraunhofer's codec. Then again, it could just be the music I choose to encode.
Old 08-05-02, 04:14 PM
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i just started using exact audio copy a few days ago. but i rip my cds in eac with monkey's audio. it's a lossless compression scheme that will allow you to keep your music in the highest possible quality. the downside is you need a lot more disc space, but with 100gb drives now going for less than $100 and dropping every day i think it's worth it to have perfect copies of your music available. and if you need to transfer your .ape files to an mp3 player or burn them to a disc that can be done on the fly with most decent media programs. i recommend media jukebox. it is just about the highest rated player out there.

Last edited by broadwayblue; 08-05-02 at 04:16 PM.
Old 08-05-02, 07:35 PM
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I don't know all of the techie jargon or the ins and outs of what constitutes a good vs bad MP3 but I download them and basically, listen to them....I am an audiophile and so I go by the way it sounds to me.

However, the basic rule of thumb that's worked for me on MP3 donwloads is to go for the largest file size of the song available....

This may certainly not be surefire way and I'm sure its not 100% accurate, but I've had decent luck with that method.
Old 08-05-02, 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by ngp
I don't know all of the techie jargon or the ins and outs of what constitutes a good vs bad MP3 but I download them and basically, listen to them....I am an audiophile and so I go by the way it sounds to me.

However, the basic rule of thumb that's worked for me on MP3 donwloads is to go for the largest file size of the song available....

This may certainly not be surefire way and I'm sure its not 100% accurate, but I've had decent luck with that method.
while it's likely that downloading the largest mp3 file for a particular song will yield the best sound quality, there is no guarantee that will be the case. also, it should be noted that even with the highest encoding rate for mp3s you are still looking at a Compression ratio of about 30% (files are about 1/3 the size they were when they started.) but if it's worked for you then stick with it.
Old 08-06-02, 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by palebluedot




How's that encyclopedia coming along?
Slowly. I'll let you know when I finish the section on Psychohistory.
Old 08-13-02, 10:36 AM
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With the latest version of Musicmatch, it allows both encoding and playback in MP3Pro format. If you want something that gives you a lot of quality but takes up little space, MP3Pro (from Fraunhoffer) is one of a few new codecs that let you get "more bang for your buck" so to speak.

MP3Pro files also playback on other MP3 players too, though when you play it back on that, it might sound not as good than one would expect at the bit-rate you recorded it in "MP3 emulation" mode than a straight MP3 file recorded at the same bitrate. So if your encoding MP3 files for general use or players other than Musicmatch (or another MP3Pro player), you might want to encode it in straight MP3 format instead (albeit at a larger file size) or record it at a higher bitrate than you would normally in MP3Pro so that the emulated sound quality still sounds decent as a generic MP3 file (and even better on an MP3Pro player).

It just depends on how you want to use the MP3 files you create, storage requirements, quality thresholds, etc.

Last edited by DVDealer; 08-13-02 at 10:40 AM.
Old 08-13-02, 01:00 PM
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Some people prefer the Blade and LAME codecs, I do find them quite good, just not as good to my ears as Fraunhofer's codec. Then again, it could just be the music I choose to encode.
You're not the only one.

I've tried Blade and Lame and found the sonics to be more flat and less vibrant than that of Fraunhofer's.

I've performed tests from the same WAV file and encoding with each codec at different bitrates and then comparing head to head. Fraunhofer wins every time.
Old 08-13-02, 08:05 PM
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The reason most mp3s sound horrible is because mp3 is, by definition, a horrible format. It's designed to save bandwidth, not quality. The frequency response is terrible. Using a Plex with Audiograbber and LAME at 192k, the difference between the mp3 and the cd is PAINFULLY obvious. I have a humongous collection (all original) of house and dance music on cd and vinyl. I've done some thorough testing in the pro-audio department at Guitar Center comparing mp3 to original cd and the mp3 is embarrassingly pathetic. By itself, the mp3 sounds somewhat ok, until you compare to the original, then you realize just how much of the music the shoddy mp3 format actually throws away.
Jon

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