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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:59 pm

curtisb wrote:
Back in the day I used to use EZ CDDA Extractor from Poikosoft. The name was changed to EZ CD Audio Converter a few years back. $29.95 life-time license, including all updates. I purchased mine over 10 years ago and I still have access to the newest versions (latest was just released a few days ago).

I suppose $30 for a perpetual (until the company goes tits-up, anyway) upgrade license isn't too bad.

I'm still sticking with my free solution, though. Works for me. :wink:

Edit: For ripping (as opposed to transcoding) I use K3B, with the "paranoia" mode cranked all the way up to use the most aggressive retry and error correction logic it supports. Unless there are areas of the disc that are completely unreadable after many retries, it'll get a good rip.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:03 pm

jensend wrote:
The problem with Jon's command line is that it's CBR 128kbps. That really isn't enough for LAME to work with. But versions of LAME from the last ten years can do a very decent job with -V5 (variable bit rate 130kbps) and should be practically transparent at -V3 (VBR 175kbps), though the antiquated design of MP3 means a few problem samples can be found. Those are unlikely to really impact your listening, and the way to avoid them is not by asking for 320kbps but by using a better format.

All across the web, people's feelings about lossy music bitrates seem to be stuck with the assumptions they picked up in the 1997-2002 era. Those assumptions have to be adjusted for newer versions of LAME, and they have to be thrown out the window for the best modern codecs like Opus and xHE-AAC/USAC, which sound surprisingly good even at 64kbps.

It's worth having a lossless original around for encoding to different settings in the future (or for editing/remixes/etc if you're into that). If you can't have that, of course you want the highest quality lossy version available for the same purposes. But there's no reason to insist on >200kbps anything for listening purposes.

If you want to use a ffmpeg commandline for LAME like the one above, just replace -q:b 128k with -q:a 3 to get -V3 VBR 175kbps.

IMO LAME's "standard" preset seems to be more than adequate for any situation where you'd be willing to use MP3 in the first place. Seems to result in an average bitrate in the 200 kbit/sec range.

As noted, I prefer OGG (set for 160 kbit VBR) for space-constrained situations.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:08 pm

jensend wrote:
But there's no reason to insist on >200kbps anything for listening purposes.

I will firmly disagree and am not happy that I even have to back down to -V0 just to get my car to hear my Zune.

Yes, I have an incipient case of nervosa. I've been reading the mag for 30+ years so at some point it took a toehold. I'm also a die-hard "vinyl is better" type.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:17 pm

For most people (myself included these days), the difference between a good encoder at ~200 kbit and lossless isn't going to be noticed 99.9% of the time.

If I was just sitting and listening while not doing anything else, on high-end equipment, in a quiet environment, then yeah I'd want a lossless source. But nearly all of my music listening these days is either while sitting at a computer working, or while driving, or sitting on a bus/train.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:20 pm

just brew it! wrote:
curtisb wrote:
Back in the day I used to use EZ CDDA Extractor from Poikosoft. The name was changed to EZ CD Audio Converter a few years back. $29.95 life-time license, including all updates. I purchased mine over 10 years ago and I still have access to the newest versions (latest was just released a few days ago).

I suppose $30 for a perpetual (until the company goes tits-up, anyway) upgrade license isn't too bad.


It's just one guy so I suppose that will be when he just decides he doesn't want to support it anymore. That hasn't happened yet. In fact, he's released it on the Windows Store through Project Centennial...which means it'll also be available for Windows 10 S when that's released later this year.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:55 am

just brew it! wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
pfffft at anything in 2017 that doesn't play FLAC. No cars fo' me. For completeness, I don't really convert to MP3 anymore these days... I do have LAME installed somewhere though (which works through Foobar if I want too).

Then again, I really only play stuff on my computer (Schiit DAC+AMP) and my phone (Android 7.1.2) so I'm generally covered.

All of my devices understand FLAC. It just takes up too damn much space. I store FLAC on my server at home, but mobile devices get a 128GB micro-SD card with the collection transcoded to OGG (it barely fits).

Sure, I could be more selective. But that would involve whittling things down a LOT, and I'd be constantly going, "Hmm, I haven't listened to X in a while... oh damn, that's not on the phone!"


I'd like to carry around the whole collection, but it just isn't feasible. Fortunately, I don't listen to most of it that often, and my entire "active" collection fits into a 128GB SD-card (as VBR-0 MP3's).

It works great, but I do get irritated when people ask me why phones need an SD-card slot, though.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:03 am

Vhalidictes wrote:
I'd like to carry around the whole collection, but it just isn't feasible. Fortunately, I don't listen to most of it that often, and my entire "active" collection fits into a 128GB SD-card (as VBR-0 MP3's).

It works great, but I do get irritated when people ask me why phones need an SD-card slot, though.

Yup. I've also had people ask "Why don't you just stream everything?"

Phone with decent audio and an SD slot is what allowed me to finally retire my Sansa Clip+. (The second lightly used Clip+ I bought shortly after they went EOL will be for sale at the TRBBQ... :wink:)
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:08 am

Captain Ned wrote:
I love doing a big batch job with dBpoweramp and watching the 8 thread timers race each other.


So true Ned and now with my Ryzen 1600 I get to watch 12 of them racing lol.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:09 am

just brew it! wrote:
Vhalidictes wrote:
I'd like to carry around the whole collection, but it just isn't feasible. Fortunately, I don't listen to most of it that often, and my entire "active" collection fits into a 128GB SD-card (as VBR-0 MP3's).

It works great, but I do get irritated when people ask me why phones need an SD-card slot, though.

Yup. I've also had people ask "Why don't you just stream everything?"

Phone with decent audio and an SD slot is what allowed me to finally retire my Sansa Clip+. (The second lightly used Clip+ I bought shortly after they went EOL will be for sale at the TRBBQ... :wink:)



Did we both get the LG G4 for the same reasons, I have a 128GB card in there and all flac files.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:11 am

credible wrote:
Did we both get the LG G4 for the same reasons, I have a 128GB card in there and all flac files.

SD slot and easily replaceable battery FTW! :D

I wouldn't have minded something in a slightly smaller form factor, but all things considered I think it's a decent phone. Hopefully they'll roll out a Nougat update for it at some point...
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:13 am

I'll keep it short so as to not take over this thread but it is somewhat related to the OP's topic.

This is my next purchase for the car.

https://www.aptx.com/aptx-hd
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:27 am

What phone are you using these days, JBI?

APTx is helpful, if your phone supports it. But it's still Bluetooth. And your audio quality is only as good as your worst point.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:33 am

just brew it! wrote:
credible wrote:
Did we both get the LG G4 for the same reasons, I have a 128GB card in there and all flac files.

SD slot and easily replaceable battery FTW! :D

I wouldn't have minded something in a slightly smaller form factor, but all things considered I think it's a decent phone. Hopefully they'll roll out a Nougat update for it at some point...


Lineage supports the G4 if you'd rather not wait. I can't speak to its quality on that phone but it works quite well on my Nexus 5.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:37 am

You know, speaking of lossy vs lossless, I've noticed something interesting. While I can't hear any difference between an iTunes VBR AAC file and a FLAC encoding of the same song, even on good equipment, I can easily hear a difference between Dolby Digital on DVD and lossless audio on Blu-ray. The BD version of a movie always sounds a heck of a lot more...spacious.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:51 am

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
What phone are you using these days, JBI?

LG G4.

bthylafh wrote:
Lineage supports the G4 if you'd rather not wait. I can't speak to its quality on that phone but it works quite well on my Nexus 5.

I'm willing to wait, provided it comes eventually. LG apparently reversed themselves on this (originally there wasn't going to be a Nougat release for the G4), but it is also up to the carriers (Sprint, in my case).

setaG_lliB wrote:
You know, speaking of lossy vs lossless, I've noticed something interesting. While I can't hear any difference between an iTunes VBR AAC file and a FLAC encoding of the same song, even on good equipment, I can easily hear a difference between Dolby Digital on DVD and lossless audio on Blu-ray. The BD version of a movie always sounds a heck of a lot more...spacious.

Doesn't surprise me. A lot of DVDs have video compression artifacts too.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:09 pm

credible wrote:
I'll keep it short so as to not take over this thread but it is somewhat related to the OP's topic.

This is my next purchase for the car.

https://www.aptx.com/aptx-hd


You can derail the thread all you want, I've had more than enough responses, and am fascinated by the other stuff happening in this thread.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:10 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Just for completeness, here's my FLAC to MP3 transcoding script for Linux, "flac2mp3":
/snip


Excellent, I shall probably steal this and tweak it a bit. Thanks, jbi.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:14 pm

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
What phone are you using these days, JBI?

APTx is helpful, if your phone supports it. But it's still Bluetooth. And your audio quality is only as good as your worst point.


I wonder what the standard bitrate/codec whatever is in common Bluetooth audio profiles. I'm only using a cheap Kenwood head unit in my vehicle attached to the stock speakers, and I swear the high frequency is somewhat chopped off using Bluetooth to stream from my iPhone.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:22 pm

captaintrav wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Just for completeness, here's my FLAC to MP3 transcoding script for Linux, "flac2mp3":
/snip

Excellent, I shall probably steal this and tweak it a bit. Thanks, jbi.

My apologies for the lack of comments. Stuff for my own personal use only tends to get comments if I look at it and go, "Yeah no way I'll remember what this is doing a year from now." And sometimes not even then. :lol:
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:27 pm

captaintrav wrote:
DragonDaddyBear wrote:
What phone are you using these days, JBI?

APTx is helpful, if your phone supports it. But it's still Bluetooth. And your audio quality is only as good as your worst point.


I wonder what the standard bitrate/codec whatever is in common Bluetooth audio profiles. I'm only using a cheap Kenwood head unit in my vehicle attached to the stock speakers, and I swear the high frequency is somewhat chopped off using Bluetooth to stream from my iPhone.


The LG G4 supports this, I just need to get me an aftermarket radio that does the same and the one I have is pretty darn good so its hard to justify:)

But I believe my love of music is going to convince me otherwise.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:33 pm

I rip to FLAC using EAC for home listening, and then transcode a separate MP3 for portable using Foobar2000 (very high VBR) and the latest version of LAME.

Foobar2000 can be configured to maintain the same folder structure and filenames, as well as transferring all the metadata. You can basically just point to your root FLAC folder, hit the button, and then walk away. Ned could also do this with his WAV collection (to go to FLAC or otherwise), but I don't think wav format can hold metadata, so that would all be blank. I used some tag editing software in the past (Mp3tag?) which was able to batch-create metadata from the filenames.......assuming your collection all follows a strict filename format.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:46 pm

The Egg wrote:
I rip to FLAC using EAC for home listening, and then transcode a separate MP3 for portable using Foobar2000 (very high VBR) and the latest version of LAME.

Foobar2000 can be configured to maintain the same folder structure and filenames, as well as transferring all the metadata. You can basically just point to your root FLAC folder, hit the button, and then walk away. Ned could also do this with his WAV collection (to go to FLAC or otherwise), but I don't think wav format can hold metadata, so that would all be blank. I used some tag editing software in the past (Mp3tag?) which was able to batch-create metadata from the filenames.......assuming your collection all follows a strict filename format.

My transcoding scripts always regenerate the tag data from the folder and filename info. Side effect of the fact that I originally ripped everything to WAV just like Captain Ned, so I had no metadata to start with.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:54 pm

@captaintrav -

Since you expressed interest in using my script, here are a couple more that allow you to parallel encode on multiple cores:

Script "process-all" (feed it a list of the folders containing each album on stdin, one album per line):
#!/bin/bash
mkdir -p logs
while true; do
    read name
    if [[ $? -ne 0 ]]; then
        break
    fi
    log="`echo $name | sed -e 's%/%-%g'`"
    process "$name" >"logs/$log.log" 2>&1 &
    while [[ `jobs | wc -l` -ge 6 ]]; do
        sleep 1
    done
done
wait

Script "process":
#!/bin/bash
name="$1"
cd "$name"
flac2mp3

Change the '6' in the test of the inner "while" loop of the first script to the number of cores you want to use. The console output of each encode run gets written to a log file in a "logs" subdirectory of wherever you launch the script, in case something goes wrong and you need to troubleshoot.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:01 pm

I usually don't care about audio quality TOO much with phones while I'm on the go. When I care a lot is at my desk or home. For that, FLAC and and Behringer UCA202 are amazing together. I usually use an amp, too.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:02 pm

credible wrote:
This is my next purchase for the car.

https://www.aptx.com/aptx-hd

Damn, is AptX HD going to have to duke it out with LDAC in O? :-?
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:34 pm

credible wrote:
I'll keep it short so as to not take over this thread but it is somewhat related to the OP's topic.

This is my next purchase for the car.

https://www.aptx.com/aptx-hd


Erm, there's nothing High Definition about Bluetooth wireless audio (well, assuming that it conforms to spec, at least).

I'm pretty sure I can hear the quality difference on even iffy car audio gear, which is one of the reasons I use the Aux port for my phone.
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:02 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
credible wrote:
I'll keep it short so as to not take over this thread but it is somewhat related to the OP's topic.

This is my next purchase for the car.

https://www.aptx.com/aptx-hd

Erm, there's nothing High Definition about Bluetooth wireless audio (well, assuming that it conforms to spec, at least).

The "HD" version of aptX is apparently an extension that provides 24bit audio capability (at 48kHz). It's still lossy compression AFAICT though.

In any case, credible will need to upgrade his G4 to use the HD capability... the G4 is aptX, but not aptX HD. LG started using the HD version in the G5.
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:42 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Vhalidictes wrote:
credible wrote:
I'll keep it short so as to not take over this thread but it is somewhat related to the OP's topic.

This is my next purchase for the car.

https://www.aptx.com/aptx-hd

Erm, there's nothing High Definition about Bluetooth wireless audio (well, assuming that it conforms to spec, at least).

The "HD" version of aptX is apparently an extension that provides 24bit audio capability (at 48kHz). It's still lossy compression AFAICT though.

In any case, credible will need to upgrade his G4 to use the HD capability... the G4 is aptX, but not aptX HD. LG started using the HD version in the G5.


Thanx JBI, I had not noticed that but it will not change the reasoning for getting the new receiver for the car as there is still going to be an improvement over regular bluetooth...I think.

https://www.aptx.com/aptx

High performance, non-destructive compression algorithm

Supports 48kHz / 16bit LPCM audio data

Delivers CD-like audio quality

Supports a latency of less than 130ms
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:53 pm

Or maybe this will be a more economical solution.

https://www.androidcentral.com/htc-bluetooth-car-stereoclip-review
 
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Re: .flac to .mp3 conversion?

Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:34 pm

If you're storing the files in the phone in FLAC format to get better fidelity, why do you want a lossy codec in the signal path at all? If you really care about lossless audio, use a wired connection.

If you're going to use Bluetooth, you might as well use a lossy codec for your media files as well, conserving space on the micro-SD card.

Edit: I'm not sure what "non-destructive" even means in the context of an audio codec. Taken literally, it means "does not destroy the sound", which is a pretty low bar! :lol: They have a separate codec (aptX Lossless) that they claim is lossless, so I don't think they mean that the "regular" aptX is completely lossless.
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