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How to correctly rip CDs-->MP3 (using VBR)

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How to correctly rip CDs-->MP3 (using VBR)

Old 05-29-06, 08:45 PM
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How to correctly rip CDs-->MP3 (using VBR)

I'm ripping all my CDs to MP3 and am having problems with VBR and understanding it. I've ripped CDs with iTunes before using 192kbps VBR (medium to high quality) and get back a VBR of around 198-199kbps VBR.

I've seen MP3 tracks with VBR that have much varied rates...i.e. a CD will have 10 songs and they'll all have a VBR rate from ~150-200kbps VBR.

Someone help, I'm lost. Should I use something besides iTunes to rip?
Old 05-29-06, 09:08 PM
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Well, it varies because it's VBR. Seriously, it's supposed to vary between songs. There is a certain quality level that a codec will shoot for, but the actual bits used will vary based on what each track needs.

I use LAME with the extreme preset which uses anywhere from 190-230kbps, but the average bitrate will vary considerably among songs.

There is such a thing as ABR (average bit rate) which yields a predictable bitrate, but it's not recommended over regular VBR.
Old 05-29-06, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PJsig08
Someone help, I'm lost. Should I use something besides iTunes to rip?
I was using EAC and Lame for years to rip my MP3s and people kept telling me to try iTunes with the MP3 encoding at 192 VBR high quality and see if I could honestly tell the difference. I did some testing and really could not tell the difference on most of my music and now use iTunes all the time. I would stick with the settings you are using (maybe push it to high quality VBR if you are picky) and expect the file sizes to vary. That is how VBR works.

The only exception to this is classical and jazz. I use Sennheiser PX100 headphones and to me Jazz and Classical sounds very harsh and metallic when compressed lossy. Granted an iPod itself really isn't the best place to be listening to this kind of music and some would argue neither is compact disc. However, for Jazz and Classical I have started ripping all of them Apple Lossless and while still not as good as listening on a home stereo I have found it a much more enjoyable experience.
Old 05-31-06, 02:24 PM
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I would use EAC and LAME for mp3s. EAC's a more accurate ripper and it gives a lot of encoding settings. It's a bit harder to use than itunes, but it should give more accurate and higher quality results.
Old 05-31-06, 02:35 PM
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Exact Audio Copy to rip
LAME to encode (i use RazorLame as the GUI frontend)
"--alt-preset standard" as the custom options.

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