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  #21  
Old 01-15-2008, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenChick View Post
If I were in your position, I would copy all the WAVs back to my PC to store as archive files. Then I would download LAME (a powerful CLI-based MP3 encoder) and RazorLAME (a simple GUI front-end for LAME). Open RazorLAME, configure it, then drag-and-drop your entire WAV collection into its window. Click "Encode", and sit back as it creates MP3 copies of all your WAV files. Once that's done, open up MP3 Tag Tools, point it to where all your new MP3s went, and use it to tag all your new MP3 files. It might me a pain in the butt at first, but once you're done, you'll have a nice set of perfectly-tagged files and about 21GB of extra free space on your player.
Will there be a noticeable (I know this is up for interpretation) difference in sound quality of the songs converted to MP3? This approach does appeal to me as I would like to have them all tagged the way I like. The extra space also appeals very much too.
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  #22  
Old 01-15-2008, 06:33 PM
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I ripped one of my audio CDs and encoded it to FLAC and MP3 for a test I done. I listened to this ripped CD several times on my Meizu M6 (both the MP3 and FLAC versions) and I hadn't been able to notice differences in SQ (I used CBR and 320 kbps for the MP3 files). I listened to the music files through my Future Sonic Atrio M5's, which are far more revealing than stock earbuds. For portable use, the difference, if any, won't be noticeable IMHO.

As ZenChick said, having the files backed up as WAVs or FLACs is a really good idea -- it gives you freedom of choice: you can listen to uncompressed audio files in a high-end equipment at home (for example), while having smaller MP3 versions for portable use, which will still be very good.
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  #23  
Old 01-15-2008, 06:35 PM
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MP3 is a lossy compression format; the loss is noticeable to some, depending on the bitrate used - the higher the bitrate, the less has to be "thrown out" by the encoder, and the less noticeable the effect.

Now, in that light, a lot of us here at ABi believe that the best compromise between sound quality and filesize is to use LAME to encode the files, using Variable Bit Rate (VBR) set between 128 and 320 kbps. The VBR allows the encoder to assess the best possible bitrate for the encoding on a frame-by-frame basis. Using this scheme, LAME determines the lowest bitrate on a per-frame basis that will yield minimum sound quality determined by the -q or -v settings, resulting in output files that sound every bit as good as 320kbps Constant Bit Rate (CBR) without the wasted space, since not every frame needs to be encoded at 320kbps to retain maximum sound quality. The -V setting allows fine-tuning of this process: -V0 puts maximum priority on sound quality, while -V9 puts maximum priority on file size. The -q setting makes the encoding process faster or slower at the expense of sound quality; -q0 tells LAME to perform extensive analysis on the audio, resulting in better but slower encoding, while -q9 results in faster but lower-quality encoding. The later versions of LAME have presets that eliminate the need to individually tweak every setting. The command-line structure that most of us here agree produces the best sound quality:filesize ratio is -V2 --vbr new, which yields very acceptable sound quality and bit rates averaging 190kbps. According to HydrogenAudio, however, -V4 is perceptually transparent - this is the level at which the effect of lossy compression is no longer noticeable for most people.

I do tweak the settings a little bit, however. Within RazorLAME, I have it set for VBR, min=128 max=320, -q2. This yields slightly larger file sizes with bitrates averaging 210kbps, though I can't tell any difference in sound quality at all. I only use these settings because RazorLAME does not support LAME presets as far as I can tell.

This article on HydrogenAudio is probably the best LAME tutorial around. I suggest taking a look at it.
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  #24  
Old 01-15-2008, 09:09 PM
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Cool - I'll check that article out. I'm picking up an external hard drive tomorrow (500 gig) so I'll be able to dump my entire collection onto it and then follow your instructions on an earlier post on how to convert them to MP3's using LAME and RazorLAME.

Many thanks Zenchick on your help on this. Thanks also to the others who have also replied.
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  #25  
Old 01-17-2008, 03:33 PM
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I've now got RazorLAME and MP3 Tag Tools but there's one thing.... I thought the songs I ripped from my CD's were all .wav but they are in fact WMA (encoded at 128mbps). Is this a little spanner or a biiiiiig spanner in my works? I notice that RazorLAME cannot recognise the WMA's...

h....e...l...p.

Cheers.

BTW, I used the Creative Media Explorer program to rip my CD's and for some reason used the WMA format.
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  #26  
Old 01-17-2008, 10:05 PM
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That is, what we called in my former profession, a show-stopper.

The good news, though, is that your WMAs will play just fine on your player, and WMAs do support metadata tagging (though you'll have to use WMP to do that).

The bad news: You do not have the archive-quality library you thought you had, and you're not going to gain any extra space in your player.

I should also point out that trying to convert these WMAs to another format is inadvisable. Converting to a lossless format will only result in larger filesizes with no improvement in sound quality, and converting to MP3 will degrade the sound quality noticeably.
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  #27  
Old 01-17-2008, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenChick View Post
That is, what we called in my former profession, a show-stopper.

The good news, though, is that your WMAs will play just fine on your player, and WMAs do support metadata tagging (though you'll have to use WMP to do that).

The bad news: You do not have the archive-quality library you thought you had, and you're not going to gain any extra space in your player.

I should also point out that trying to convert these WMAs to another format is inadvisable. Converting to a lossless format will only result in larger filesizes with no improvement in sound quality, and converting to MP3 will degrade the sound quality noticeably.
LOL at the 'show-stopper'... (I can only laugh now...).

Yeah, the WMA's have been working on my player and sound really, really good (I'm glad I at least ripped them at 128 instead of 64). As an experiment I converted one WMA last night to WAV (it made the file size massive - like 50 meg for a 4 minute song) and then converted that to MP3 using RazorLame using the setting you recommended (back when I thought I was dealing with wav's). I couldn't tell the difference in quality and the MP's were slightly larger (confirming a wasted exercise) - somewhere around 4.5 meg.

I'm pretty happy that I can re-tag them. So I must use WMP then? If so what version or doesn't it matter. I have Media Monkey so could I use that?
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  #28  
Old 01-18-2008, 04:09 AM
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Honestly, I've never tried Media Monkey, so I don't know much about its tagging facilities. If it can handle it, so much the better. I stated WMP because WMA is its native format, and because WMP11 can actually handle bulk-tagging pretty effectively.
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