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Old 12-28-2010, 07:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question about Music Ripping - Quality

I have been poking around and this seemed like a good forum to sign up and ask this question at. I have ripped my entire music collection at 128kbps, but as I am DJing now, I am looking to bring my collection to 320kbps. What are my options? I know I cannot just convert from 128 to 320, so I have come up with these ideas below.

Do I have the option to reburn a CD and then rerip it at 320kbps?

Can I convert it to an uncompressed WAV and then convert back to 320kbps?
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ah, no.
It's 128 and it always will be 128.
You can convert it to 320, but that will not give you any improvement in quality.
Sorry

You'll have to get the original cd's back and rip it all over again.
128kbps indeed sounds like crap, I'm glad you found that out .
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure that you won't like the results if you use 128 kbps as any sort of master file because the end result will be high quality replication of the inferior 128 kbps file. In order to obtain a high quality 320 kbps product you have to start with a 320 kbps masters.

You might be able to fake it with a 256 kbps original master because 256 kilo bytes per second will still render high quality sound. But at 128 kbps you already lost a great deal of drum and bass fidelity and upper register notes are downright annoying. A 320 kbps file recorded from a 128 kbps master will faithfully render all of the flaws of the inferior master. Decompressing a 128 kbps master file into a WAV file does nothing to improve the quality of the master file.

The only way to get 320 kbps sound reproduction is to use a untainted, unconverted 320 kbps file.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Which is... well, what I said.

It's like resizing a picture. Once you've made it small, you can make it bigger again, but it won't look as good as the original picture. Same goes with mp3's and video's.

So, there's no way of making the 128kbps mp3's sound better. You'll just have to find the originals and rip them again, this time in good quality. You might want to consider using 256kbps. This way you'll have a smaller file and it still sounds pretty good. But if you want to take music seriously, stop using mp3 and start using wave or flac. It just sounds better .
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you own the actual CD, you can rip it to virtually any quality you'd like using Exact Audio Copy (i mean the legitimate CD, not a burned version of it). Otherwise, when you download/purchase music digitally, just make sure you're getting something above 192kbps (I only settle for this if I have to... 320+ is the way to go), because, like they've been saying, it's not like you can shove more 'kbps' into a song, which you already know.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My friend once ripped an album totally uncompressed by accident, and it was massive, but he said the sound quality was incredible.
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
My friend once ripped an album totally uncompressed by accident, and it was massive, but he said the sound quality was incredible.
placebo. first of all, the quality would be the same as the CD, and would offer the same experience as listening to the original disc through whatever hardware you're playing it with. but more importantly, most human ears can't tell the difference once you get past 192kbps. try a blind test and see (hear) for yourself

also, ripping at 320 is a waste. using constant bitrates is like packaging all food in the same sized box, no matter how much food is actually there. you just end up with a lot of empty space that serves no purpose but to fill up your hard drive. use V0 VBR instead.

though having said all that, i admit to downloading in lossless whenever i can. not for the sound quality though, but because it makes me feel good to be able to fetch a 1:1 copy of the original release...

but yeah, like clutnuckle said, use EAC and re-rip your stuff to a higher bitrate. 128 is a bit too low
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Can I just mention that there's indeed a lot of people who can't hear the difference between a 192kbps mp3 (and up) and an uncompressed file.
But there certainly are people who can hear the difference. I know well... Lots of them. Most of my friends can, actually, hear the difference.
I keep reading everywhere (not just on the internet, also in magazines and on tv) that ripping higher than 192kbps is non-sense because 'you won't be able to hear the difference anyway'. Drives me mad. I know there's a lot of people who don't care about sound quality, but the only way to develop your ears to hear the difference, is by upgrading your equpiment bit by bit (you can't do it in one go, unfortunately ). And since you have to start by the source, I hate reading that 192kbps is sufficient.
Eitherway, I use MP3, nog flac. Space issue. But when I want to enjoy music, I just play a record. Works for me
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i challenge you and your friends to demonstrate your ultra-sensitive ears in an ABX test, because i think you're full of ****

here's a chart from the HydrogenAudio wiki graphing bitrate against perceived quality. past V3 the benefit of using higher bitrates is extremely small. MP3s are essentially artifact-free at anything higher than 192kbps...

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Old 12-29-2010, 07:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you do go back and re-rip your library you should consider using a lossless format like FLAC, then make a set of higher quality MP3 files from those. HD space is almost free, so the extra files shouldn't hurt, and if you ever want to use a different format later you can go back to the FLAC files and work from those.

With FLAC you can also embed tags and artwork, BTW, unlike some other lossless formats.
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