MP3 encoding options

  • David Kettle

    David Kettle - 2013-08-05

    Sorry if someone has already posted the same question, but I looked and couldn't find one. In terms of quality (file size doesn't matter), what is the best option for MP3 encoding, VBR set to best quality or ABR set to 320 kbps? And part two of my question, when I set it to ABR at 320, the output file, at least according to the information displayed in Windows Explorer, has a bit rate of 273 kbps, not 320. Did I do something wrong? I even closed the program after changing the settings, opened it again and checked that my change had been saved (it had been). Same result.

    Anyway, thanks for the great program. I've been ripping some of my CD's so I could listen to them on my phone. I was using the free version of Nero, but for some reason, on some CD's, it wouldn't rip the last one or two tracks on the CD. I have no idea why, there was no error message displayed. It would start ripping the track, then fail part-way through. So I downloaded your program and tried ripping the same track, and it worked first time!

  • Robert Kausch

    Robert Kausch - 2013-08-05

    ABR 320 will almost always result in a lower bitrate file. ABR will use bitrates lower or higher than the target bitrate where appropriate. For example, it will use a very low bitrate for silence at the beginning / end of a song. As 320 kbps is the highest possible bitrate for MP3 frames, ABR cannot possibly go higher and the resulting MP3 file will have less than 320 kbps.

    To force 320 kbps on all frames, use CBR 320. It's not really necessary quality wise, though.

  • David Kettle

    David Kettle - 2013-08-06

    Thanks. BTW, I listened to some of the tracks that I was unable to rip with Nero, and there are some very glaring drop-outs or glitches. I guess the CD is damaged, although I can't see any obvious scratches or other signs of damage. Does your program create a log file of some sort which reports the number of read errors encountered? I couldn't find any in the installation directory. And are the last tracks on a CD more susceptible to damage than the others, for some reason? Because it's usually the last one or two tracks that I have a problem with.

  • Robert Kausch

    Robert Kausch - 2013-08-07

    Unfortunately, fre:ac does not create a ripping log file, yet. That's planned for a future release, though. To rip damaged CDs, try limiting the ripping speed or activating cdparanoia mode in fre:ac's ripper options.

    I found that burned CDs often have more problems with higher track numbers. I.e. the more you get to the outer edge of the disc, the more problems appear. Especially when using cheap discs and/or high recording speeds.

    Pressed CDs should not have such issues. However, the edge of a disc might be a little more prone to damage as that's where you are usually touching it.

  • David Kettle

    David Kettle - 2013-08-07

    Thanks again. These are all original CD's, although some of them are second-hand. I'll try cdparanoia mode (I was wondering what that was for, but I was too afraid to ask ;-).

    So the first tracks on a CD are on the inside and the last are on the outside?

  • Mike

    Mike - 2013-08-08

    I use the following settings:

    LAME MP3 VBR quality 4.0
    Full cdparanoia mode
    Jitter correction
    Use native NT SCSI library
    Encode 'On-The-Fly': OFF

    Using these settings I've never experienced any skipping or other issue with the MP3. However, if the CD is damaged badly enough, fre:ac may lockup during ripping.

  • Patrick

    Patrick - 2015-12-21

    Hi there -- just Google searched and found this thread. I'm wondering if you're still planning to release an update to fre:ac that creates a log file? That would be so great. I'm having difficulty finding an app that does so on a Mac. Will surely donate if this is added. Thanks!

    • Robert Kausch

      Robert Kausch - 2015-12-28

      Yes, I definitely plan to add logging in fre:ac 1.1. I hope I'll be able to make a beta release in the next half year.


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