Best Quality Music
I thought about posting this in the music section, but I figured that it would have been out of place (despite it being the music section).
Aaaanyway. I'm really into IOSYS and anything else Touhou-related right now, and there are a lot of different places that I can get Touhou music. The thing is that they all come in different formats: FLAC, OGG Vorbis, and Mp3. I hit a snag in the search though because, being the retard that I am, I want to get the best quality out of my Touhou (while running on a shitty integrated-audio laptop). I know that FLAC delivers the best quality of the three, but the only Touhou torrent I can find for it is dead seedless (despite the tracker saying there ARE in fact seeds), which leaves my with either the Vorbis rips or the Mp3.
I tried asking in an IRC channel about choosing between 320k mp3 and what seems to be 160k vorbis, and all I got was "320k mp3 is stupid". The thing is, I don't know why, and I sure as hell haven't made up my mind.
Any helperinos in the neighborhood? Thanks.
Best quality? Of the two, 320k mp3 should be better quality in general, although not by much. That's the maximum bitrate supported by mp3. The 160k vorbis should sound quite good to mortal ears as well.
As far as I can tell, the "stupid" thing about 320k mp3 is that it's overkill in most cases and results in inflated file sizes. You can usually choose a lower bitrate and still have a good result, or switch on VBR encoding and let the encoder choose the bitrate dynamically (the "smart" way). It's like choosing 12 for the quality level when saving a jpg file, even though most people have trouble telling the difference when you get over 8. If you really wanted lossless compression you shouldn't be using mp3 (or jpeg) to begin with.
That said, I think it's perfectly understandable that people might choose 320k even if they know all this, so I wouldn't call it stupid. Inflated file sizes aren't as much an issue if you have unlimited internet and an mp3 player with lots of memory.
If the files aren't too big, why not download a sample of each and judge for yourself?
Once you get about 192 kbps the only way I can tell the difference (from 256 and 320) is on my surround sound system. Its the difference between the floor vibrating and the floor and the water in the toilet on the floor above me vibrating. xD You won't notice on an mp3 player or on laptop speakers unless you have some wicked good headphones.
I like to die with the songs I love stuck in my head. I hope to make the most of these hollow bones we become.
I raise a toast to the the souls that sang all along. I've been gathering friends to just to make some sounds,
before the ship goes down, I've been making amends by making the rounds before the whole world ends
[Chit Chat Specific Forum Rules] // Last Update - Friday March 13, 2009
ogg and mp3 are both lossy formats, so if your choices are between those two then you are probably better off choosing the higher of the two (in this case the 320 mp3s). However if you were to choose between ogg and mp3 of the same bitrate I would go with ogg.
Also it is important to note that in addition to your own hearing preference, the kind of music is also important in what bitrate you need. I have no idea wtf Touhou is, but in general electronic/pop music can generally manage to get by unaffected by lower bitrates (if you get really high bitrate for that kinda stuff you're generally wasting space), however music with a lot of rich instrumentals, or acoustic stuff can really suffer. For music of that type I can DEFINITELY hear a difference between say 160 and 320 on the mp3 format, then again I have really fancy (and expensive ) headphones/ sound systems.
All that aside, honestly if you are playing the music out of crappy laptop speakers you really aren't going to hear a difference. The frequency ranges that mp3 compression chops off probably cant even be played back by such speakers.
Ahh okay. Ty for all the info guys. I went with Vorbis because I read elsewhere that it compresses at higher quality than MP3 when they're both at the same bitrate. That isn't to say I couldn't find a 320k mp3 rip of most of the same music, though.
@Melkor: what kind of headphones do you have? I've been looking around for some nice ones to get even though they'd only be playing off my laptop's integrated audio... and I don't know what ones are actually nice and which aren't.