Tool for Testing Bitrate Range
Hi, I've been lurking for awhile and abi has answered a few questions for me that really needed answering in the last few weeks. Thanks.
I have very specific needs and I am amazed at how hard it can be to find out relatively simple things, like what bitrates a given player supports. A few years ago I bought a Sony MP3 player and after I bought it I had to email them to ask what bitrates it supported and even though they already had my money they pretty much told me to shut up and play 128 kbit files on it. Since my major uses are audiobooks and occasionally OTR, their answer was unacceptable.
I created a group of files that may be burnt to a CD or copied to a microSD card and used to test MP3 players. You may pop the card in in the showroom and cut right through all the bull before you buy.
What you get:
68 files ripped 68 different ways from 8 kbit mono to 320 kbit stereo (LAME). The files have meaningful filenames and the audio content of each file is just my voice stating the bitrate and MP3 mode that the file was encoded in. You just load the files into the machine in question, hit play and let the player tell you exactly what it can do.
Download the ZIP file HERE. (~8.6 mb)
Download the ISO file HERE. (~9.2 mb)
It's a work in progress. I'd like to add some low bitrate VBR mono files but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
I just bought a Sansa c240, ran the test on it and was amazed that it outperformed the specs for the player. The specs state that it will play 32-320 kbits -- actually, mine plays 8-320 kbits flawlessly. Why they want to keep this a secret is beyond me. If people would test and post the results for their different players it would be a really great resource for folks who need players capable of playing a variety of low bitrate files like audiobooks, podcasts and OTR.
Anyway, have at it and thanks for the info I've gotten here. Don't be sidetracked by the audio quality -- the files are only about finding out what modes your player will really play.
Last edited by ike; 06-14-2008 at 11:08 AM.
My guess it that support for lower bitrates might not be comprehensive, and although it might be okay with more common sampling rates, it might not work properly with some lower bitrates and some less frequently used sampling rates? This whole topic is confusing. While some websites still use 16 kbps and 24 kbps mp3 mono for spoken word recordings, I find that many that used to used those bitrates have moved to 32 kbps. it is a pity that since there are so many ipods out there and they don't support wma, so many websites are reluctant to use low bitrate wma for spoken word files. Files at 16 kbps wma mono sound so much better than files at 16 kbps mp3 mono. It is also true at 32 kbps.
Have you found players that don't have good support for 320 kbps mp3? I find that I can't hear the difference between 256 kbps mp3 and 320 kbps mp3.
Not that this particular forum gets so much traffic that this might disappear, but good idea and thanks for the input.
"Changed my mind so much I cant even trust it
My mind changed me so much I cant even trust myself"
If I had my druthers I'd rather have ~250 test files in 4-6 sets like VBR, J-Stereo, Low Bitrate, etc.
EDIT- I should add that these files won't tell you much about fidelity, particularly at the higher bitrates. They will tell you if your player will play a given mode, however. The test files were generated using a digital voice recorder to produce the WAVs which were then ripped to the bitrates and modes desired. It isn't perfect but it is overwhelmingly adequate. I have an old Sony MP3 CD boombox that the tests show will play 24 kbit mono. It plays it with ticks and pops but it plays it. For me, that is worthwhile information to have -- much more helpful than anything I could ever get out of Sony. /EDIT
After buying one player without knowing if it could play the files I needed to hear I had to get serious as it's a total waste to buy a player and still not be able to play your files.
I'd like to propose a couple things:
First, no matter what kind of files you listen to, DL my test files, run them on your player and then post the results here.
Second, the format I used works well and perhaps others may be interested enough in some particular aspect of this to create an additional set(s) of tests that would be more comprehensive in their own particular area of intrest.
A centralized list of test results for different players would be a resource I could have used last week. A growing list of sets of test files would be handy, too.
Last edited by ike; 06-14-2008 at 05:03 PM.
very good work there!
although i doubt (hope) it's necessary anymore, as most players play the craziest variations.
at least one doesnt have to fear vbr encoded mp3s anymore.
unbelievable that that was a feature / ability not so long ago.
i like samsung players for playing flac-files. would be awsome if they could integrate mpc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musepack) also. and for the convienience (even though dead by now) .shn
what ever. thx, ike.
does anyone know something simliar with video-files?
Last edited by trip^; 07-13-2010 at 05:04 PM.
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