best settings to save an MP3 file

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RosyIvory
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best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by RosyIvory »

Hi all, I'm new here at the forum and also kind of new to GW..

I have this music file I trimmed a bit, now I want to save it as an MP3, but there are so many options/attributes to choose from.
So what's the best settings I can go with, or how can I save using the settings of the original file.

Thanks in advance..
Nigga 4 Life
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by Nigga 4 Life »

Firstly, editing an MP3 file if that is what you are doing is not too smart because you will lose quality no matter how you save it. Secondly, what is the sample rate and bit rate of the original MP3 file? Saving in higher quality [e.g. 224 KBPS 48000 hertz when the original is 192 KBPS 44100 hertz] accomplishes absolutely nothing; it will only consume [waste] more disk space. Thirdly, navigate to Options | Plug-in | File | GoldWave and choose the Very High Quality radio button if you want the encoder to use a technical setting not documented anywhere in the GoldWave HTML manual or integrated help system [it is documented elsewhere]. If you must edit the MP3 overwrite the original [press Close and confirm the changes] because at that point nothing will improve its quality. Changing High Quality to Very High Quality as outlined above is the best idea I have.
DougDbug
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by DougDbug »

or how can I save using the settings of the original file.
What are the original settings? (If you don't know, there a couple of programs that can tell you.)

The "best" setting is 320kbps CBR (Constant Bit Rate). A VBR (Variable Bit Rate) setting of "V0" is usually just as good, but VBR is "smarter" and it doesn't waste bits encoding simple sounds or silence. And, it's almost always best to choose "Joint Stereo". Again, this makes the encoder "smarter" about compressing stereo that usually has sounds common to the left & right channels.


Note that a higher bitrate is not always better. If a 192kbps file sounds identical to the uncompressed original, we can't say that 320kbps is "better".

HydrogenAudio.org has more recommendations for the LAME MP3 encoder. The folks at HydrogenAudio do lots of blind listening tests (and you can do it too). It turns-out that the results you get depend on the song. Some music may be transparent (sound identical to the original) at 128kbps and other music may require a higher bitrate, and some music will have audible artifacts at 320kbps.

Some listeners can detect MP3 artifacts better than others, but the equipment doesn't seem to make a big difference... If an MP3 sounds identical to the original (to you) on your headphones, it will probably sound identical on a high-end system.
Firstly, editing an MP3 file if that is what you are doing is not too smart because you will lose quality no matter how you save it.
True, but sometimes we don't have an uncompressed original to work with. And if you have an MP3 original, mp3DirectCut is a FREE program that can do some simple MP3 editing without de-coding and re-encoding the MP3.
Nigga 4 Life
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by Nigga 4 Life »

GoldWave's status bar can provide the information regarding the attributes of the original file in question. It provides format as well. The only time it will not give clear results is if DirectShow or MediaFoundation decoders are used.
Moonmist
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by Moonmist »

Nigga 4 Life wrote:Firstly, editing an MP3 file if that is what you are doing is not too smart because you will lose quality no matter how you save it.
Not if you save it as a .wav file. You probably meant saving as mp3, but technically speaking... saving as a wav will not lose any quality, so if someone wants to save an edited mp3 and not lose any quality, that is what they would have to do, the file size would be bigger of course but it would preserve the quality that way.

Also just a note to anyone who adds effects to files in Goldwave... if you want to preserve the full quality of the effects you added you have to save as IEEE 32-bit FLOAT and not any of the Integer Formats... this is from a technical standpoint and not necessarily an audible difference. Any sample values created as a result from the effects will have values under -96db for 16-bit, -144db for 24-bit, and -192db for 32-bit, removed, and since Goldwave works in 32-bit FLOAT there WILL be values all the way down to -903db, so you'd be removing at least 710db of values! Now this doesn't matter that much as far as listening goes (except at 16-bit if you listen on a system loud enough you might hear the quantization noise, 24-bit and higher bit depth probably wouldn't matter unless you are listening at Jet engine levels somehow, and I don't know how either, lol)... but I just wanted to let all the techy fanatics know that, that is the only way to preserve all the values created when adding effects in Goldwave. So if you want to keep the file for later editing, then save in IEEE 32-bit FLOAT... saving at IEEE 64-bit FLOAT is useless in Goldwave because Goldwave works in 32-bit FLOAT, so you wouldn't be gaining anything except twice the file size, and no extra precision. It would be nice if Goldwave had an option to work in either 32-bit or 64-bit, but right now there is no such option. But for most people, who just want to save the file for putting on a CD or whatever, then 16-bit is of course what you'd usually do (or 24-bit for DVD or Blu-ray discs).

So also it should be noted that any files you have created in a third party application in 64-bit FLOAT, that are actual 64-bit FLOAT files (with the full quality, with values all the way down to under -6000db) will be automatically truncated to 32-bit FLOAT when opened in Goldwave. So you'd be losing over 5000db of values at minimum... so... might as well not even use Goldwave for 64-bit FLOAT files at all unless you just want the files to be in that "format" using 8 bytes per sample value (but really still only 32-bit FLOAT quality at best) when saving. Once again, I would love if Goldwave included 64-bit mixing and editing in the future, but I doubt that will happen, not enough people want it for Chris to implement it. Heck if I could grasp the whole developing thing I'd make a program that could edit 512-bit FLOAT or something insane, just for my own amusement, haha.

Oh and btw, if you use the GWAmp plugin (v5.58 and down I think), the file is automatically truncated to 16-bit Integer, so if you use that, as the last edit, then you might as well just save as 16-bit integer, as you wouldn't gain any precision by increasing the depth any. DirectX (v5.58 and down), VST (v5.60 and up), and the Goldwave native effects will all preserve 32-bit FLOAT AFAIK. But VST effects that mix in 64-bit will be truncated to 32-bit FLOAT AFAIK. So if you have an option in those VST to choose 64 or 32, it'd be better to choose 32 I think (not sure on that one though, if choosing 32 or 64 and having it truncated to 32 would be better, someone else chime in if you know which would be more accurate, precision-wise). One VST effect I know that does this is ArtsAcoustic Reverb, but there are others. Also I'm not sure how the Goldwave versions are past 5.58, I haven't checked them out that much in that regard... but they might be, and probably are the same (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).
Nigga 4 Life
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by Nigga 4 Life »

@ Moonmist. That is a good point regarding saving the modified MP3 as a WAV file to preserve whatever quality might still exist. I second the 64 floating point precision suggestion. That should be incorporated in the GoldWave Set-Up if not somewhere in the GoldWave options or other part of the program. I would much rather work in a 64 floating point precision environment than 32 but at least we have that. Even if not many people care about that for us who fully grasp the concepts and can benefit from it I think it would make what people call a consumer-level digital audio editor more ‘professional’.
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by GoldWave Inc. »

64-bit audio processing gives no noticeable improvement in quality, wastes twice as much storage space, and is slower to process. Even if you are using third party applications that support 64-bit processing, it's irrelevant because when the audio is recorded or played through hardware, the quality is reduced to 24 bit anyway. The most important concept that technical people overlook is the physical limits (of hardware and the human ear). Those limits make 64-bit processing pointless. So, yes, technically 64 bit processing is more precise than 32 bit processing, but practically it's a waste for audio.

Chris
Nigga 4 Life
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by Nigga 4 Life »

But is all hardware capable of 24-bit playback at maximum? If so applications would have no use for 64-bit floating point capabilities so something has to be high-end enough to play 64-bit audio.
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by GoldWave Inc. »

Even if the hardware existed, you wouldn't be able to upgrade your ears to hear that much dynamic range.

Chris
JackA
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by JackA »

GoldWave Inc. wrote:Even if the hardware existed, you wouldn't be able to upgrade your ears to hear that much dynamic range.

Chris
Amen. One thing I (inadvertently) do to gauge quality of (re)mastering, is to save it as a low bit-rate MP3, maybe 96kbps. A great quality (re)mastering will still sound "good" at low bit rates. MP3s are handy tools to have :lol:

Jack
Nigga 4 Life
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by Nigga 4 Life »

JackA wrote:
GoldWave Inc. wrote:Even if the hardware existed, you wouldn't be able to upgrade your ears to hear that much dynamic range.

Chris
Amen. One thing I (inadvertently) do to gauge quality of (re)mastering, is to save it as a low bit-rate MP3, maybe 96kbps. A great quality (re)mastering will still sound "good" at low bit rates. MP3s are handy tools to have :lol:

Jack
Only for people about to go deaf. I can hear the results of low bitrates no matter the remaster, no matter the master, no matter the genre, no matter the medium. That is a proved fact.
JackA
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by JackA »

Nigga 4 Life wrote:
JackA wrote:
GoldWave Inc. wrote:Even if the hardware existed, you wouldn't be able to upgrade your ears to hear that much dynamic range.

Chris
Amen. One thing I (inadvertently) do to gauge quality of (re)mastering, is to save it as a low bit-rate MP3, maybe 96kbps. A great quality (re)mastering will still sound "good" at low bit rates. MP3s are handy tools to have :lol:

Jack
Only for people about to go deaf. I can hear the results of low bitrates no matter the remaster, no matter the master, no matter the genre, no matter the medium. That is a proved fact.
Not to deviate from topic: From my days with tube amplifiers, it took quite a bit of distortion before it became noticeable - like 2%. Even today, as proven (50% error), people can't tell the difference between a digital and analog recordings.
Nigga 4 Life
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by Nigga 4 Life »

Does hearing ability have anything to do with it? Not being able to see and have never been able to see enables me to use my ears like you use your eyes. Throughout my life I have heard distinctions few people hear unless they are audibly trained somehow but to me it comes natural. Ever since I began to use MP3s and compare them to lossless sources the differences have always been clear. I am not saying my hearing is perfect because even Stevie Wonder's is not but it is comprable.
JackA
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Re: best settings to save an MP3 file

Post by JackA »

Nigga 4 Life wrote:Does hearing ability have anything to do with it? Not being able to see and have never been able to see enables me to use my ears like you use your eyes. Throughout my life I have heard distinctions few people hear unless they are audibly trained somehow but to me it comes natural. Ever since I began to use MP3s and compare them to lossless sources the differences have always been clear. I am not saying my hearing is perfect because even Stevie Wonder's is not but it is comprable.
I don't believe your resources improve with the loss of some, but you become more dependent on what resources you have available. Me, I enjoy hearing what I believe others can't, but I use high efficiency headphones as an aid.

I use low bit-rate MP3 to gauge the quality of recordings. If the low bit-rate MP3 still sounds nice, it tells me there is little distortion in the recording that might not be apparent in a higher bit-rate MP3. Maybe a sine-wave is easy to duplicate in a low bit-rate MP3, but add some distortion to it, and MP3s begin to tell the audible truth. I prefer non Joint Stereo MP3s. I believe that sums the lower frequencies in both L&R channels to reduce file size.
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