what format and bitrate do you rip your albums to for backup?

  theDarkness 20:34 18 Dec 2008

Some music sites claim 360kbps is still poor quality when compared to listening to the superior quality of albums straight from a high quality cd player. i am backing up my collection to mp3 lame, so wondering what anyone would recommend for bitrate? I dont have an mp3 player, but have considered getting one. Should i convert to a high bitrate for backups, and only ever convert to a lower bitrate for selected albums for mobile playing additionally, as ive heard high bitrates will waste away batteries on just about any portable device? I have noticed lame mp3 does not offer a quality higher than 360kbps, unlike some other mp3 codecs, but surely i am stuck if lame is supposed to offer the best in mp3 quality ripping?

  Jim_F 21:51 18 Dec 2008

I don't think its just a matter of bitrate but other settings - I've got good results following the advice here:
click here
(using the older version of LAME and the ALT standard settings).

Sadly MP3's will always degrade quality but how much is difficut to judge - I've found battery operated players affect quality more than a compression rate greater than 128 kbps but in the the end if you want no compromise quality I'd say backup the CDs as .wav files ripped with EAC.

  canarieslover 09:51 19 Dec 2008

Rip an album in several different settings and then listen to the playback of each one. Your ears will tell you if there are any detectable differences. It also depends somewhat on the type of music you listen to. Classical music, particularly violins, can sound very poor even at high bit rates, bur Rock music can be acceptable to many people at fairly low bit rates. If you are intending to burn audio CD's from these MP3's as compilations etc, then use higher bit rates as you get degradation in compressing and again when expanding.

  al7478 03:36 20 Dec 2008

I too use EAC and LAME. IMHO, there is very little difference between a 320 kbps (do you mean to say 360, by the way?) mp3 encoded this way, and a WAV/FLAC?Apple Lossless file.

If you go to the lengths of testing and comparing files, you may hear a difference, but i dont think most would hear a difference with normal listening - and it is all about enjoying the music afterall.

I cant comment on the effects of compression on different types of music. Sounds like it may be worth experimenting with if it seems relevant to you.

  al7478 03:42 20 Dec 2008

Sorry, ive been dishonest. i do not actually rip like that (tho ive tried it). what i meant to say is that thats how i would do it given the choices you mention.

due to a pc disaster im about to rip lots of my collection again. ill rip to FLAC in EAC then transcode to mp3, while keeping the original FLACs for backup, probably.

I'll listen to the MP3s just because theyre more universally compatible than FLACS, which will come in handy if i ever want to use something other than my pc for playback duties.

  AL47 18:02 23 Dec 2008

i find 200+kps mp3 lame [V0 i think] is as good as anything higher

  kobaltzx 22:11 28 Dec 2008

I use ashampoo's music studio 3. Set mp3 @ 160kbits/sec vbr which according to ashampoo is cd quality. There are higher bit rates if necessary.

  100andthirty 22:19 28 Dec 2008

with hard discs as cheap as they are, I'd rip to WAV files - only snag is they can't easily be tagged

  ^wave^ 09:00 29 Dec 2008

many years ago i had a vinyl lp stero test record it did lots of test but one of them was frequency test went from very high to very low in those days i could hear the full range i wonder now what range i could hear so i think some experimenting would be worth while

  Terry Brown 14:51 04 Jan 2009

You say you want to 'steal' music from the internet to replace the music you 'stole' before.

To me that sounds more like 'dishonest' than replacing your collection you obtained legally.

  d0ris 08:43 05 Jan 2009

Just reading this thread, and nowhere does Al7478 say that he wants to steal any music?
If I read correctly he says he needs to 're-rip' after a PC disaster. Ripping is the process of copying a CD to MP3 (or FLAC,WAV,WMA, etc).
He also mentions making a MP3 copy as well as FLAC - sensible as they are a much better bet for portable devices anyway.

Just to add my thoughts as a long time Squeezebox and PC music user...

320 (which is the MAX for MP3), LAME encoded MP3 files are almost indistinguishable from the WAV. There is a difference but I struggle to spot it (using a £500 DAC, £1300 Amplifier and £900 speakers). As I say I can ocaisionally spot it, but only with multiple repeated plays of the same passage of music, and not on most tracks. I certainly do not notice any difference when simply listening (which is after all what we are trying to do)
If storage is NOT an issue I recommend FLAC. It is the SAME quality (lossless) as WAV, but with tags. Most computer playback applications support it (not Media player or iTunes). If you MUST use iTunes then use Apple lossless, IF you MUST use media player then use WMA lossless. These formats are usefull in that they are bit-perfect and can be transcoded into any other format with no drop in quality (unlike any lossy (MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, etc) format.

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