LAME question about encoding quality & settings

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gunsmoke
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:01 am

LAME question about encoding quality & settings

Post by gunsmoke » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:56 am

I'm running some quality tests to figure out the best settings to use from now on. I used to stick with 320kbps, but I recently learned that's the maximum bitrate for MP3s, and even though I thought I was doing VBR it would really be CBR.

From the source CD's and also FLAC files, I've run the following tests:

VBR 100% quality (v0) (which is 235kbps) both Stereo and Joint Stereo.
CBR 320kbps, both Stereo and Joint Stereo.

I'm also reading about the improvements in Joint Stereo, where I used to believe it was removing R/L separation information, but now I am willing to explore the potential improvements. When encoding with Max, does it really go between Joint and Stereo as it's needed?

Does anyone have any advice as to which is the best way to go? I have run tests with those 4 variations, and I admit the differences are hard to hear, but that doesn't mean it's not there. I also read that the perceived quality improvement with 320 is so tiny it's not worth the file size increase. Suggestions?

Is the latest Max using the latest LAME v3.98.2?

Thanks!

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