Feature Request: more option for Lame mp3

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muetze_online
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Feature Request: more option for Lame mp3

Post by muetze_online » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:27 am

Hi,

Max is a great tool - I love it. But I would like to make more detailed options for mp3 with lame. Normaly I use

-m s -q 2 -v -V 0 --vbr-new -b 112 -B 320

as options, so i would like to change the quality by number -q 2, the minimum bitrate -b 112 for VBR and the VBR quality -V 0.

It would be great, if this could be possible in future versions.

Thank you
muetze

apoc_metal
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Post by apoc_metal » Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:14 pm

Ditto. I can't believe more people don't want this? And wouldn't it be easier to implement? Something along the lines of the iTunes-LAME or iLas implementations (which I use now instead of MAX for this reason). Or at least making it clear what, exactly, one is selecting with the slider bars and such...

Though I suppose the 70 setting is pretty much APS...

Also, what version of LAME is Max using?

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sbooth
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Post by sbooth » Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:36 pm

apoc_metal wrote:Ditto. I can't believe more people don't want this? And wouldn't it be easier to implement? Something along the lines of the iTunes-LAME or iLas implementations (which I use now instead of MAX for this reason). Or at least making it clear what, exactly, one is selecting with the slider bars and such...

Though I suppose the 70 setting is pretty much APS...
Max uses the recommend user interface for encoders based on LAME. See http://lame.sourceforge.net/lame_ui_example.php. Also, Max uses the LAME library directly, as does the command-line client, so there is no chance of passing custom switches.

Essentially, the quality slider corresponds to the -V switches. Quality of 100 = -V 0, 90 = -V 1, and so on. The Encoding Engine Quality popup button corresponds to -q. High = -q 2, Standard = -q 5, Fast = -q 7. There is no way to set the minimum and maximum bitrate.

On a side note, I'm not sure of the merits of using VBR and forcing a minimum/maximum bitrate. LAME has very good psychoacoustics, and -V3 is essentially CD-quality for most people. Overriding the bitrates can inflate filesize with little gain in audio quality. This has been the subject of some debate at HydrogenAudio.
Also, what version of LAME is Max using?
Max -> Components. The current versions of Max use LAME 3.97.

Maurits
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Post by Maurits » Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:40 pm

Hhmm. I see no real reason to use those odd commands. -B 320 is used by default, you're ruining stereo-encoding and efficiency and IIRC q-values have no effect anymore in recent LAME versions, they are all tied to the same setting. You probably got it from some old source...

You'd be better off quality-wise with just "-V0 --vbr-new", a setting which the present UI can offer you already. -vbr-new=fast

List of recommended LAME settings

apoc_metal
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Post by apoc_metal » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:51 pm

Maurits wrote:Hhmm. I see no real reason to use those odd commands. -B 320 is used by default, you're ruining stereo-encoding and efficiency and IIRC q-values have no effect anymore in recent LAME versions, they are all tied to the same setting. You probably got it from some old source...

You'd be better off quality-wise with just "-V0 --vbr-new", a setting which the present UI can offer you already. -vbr-new=fast

List of recommended LAME settings
Essentially, the quality slider corresponds to the -V switches. Quality of 100 = -V 0, 90 = -V 1, and so on. The Encoding Engine Quality popup button corresponds to -q. High = -q 2, Standard = -q 5, Fast = -q 7. There is no way to set the minimum and maximum bitrate.
Thanks! Good to know. I was basically trying to figure out how to get "-V2 --vbr-new" with the Max implementation of LAME, and I guessed correctly to set the slider at 80 to achieve the correct bitrate. Does the -vbr-new option come at the expense of quality? I had pretty much seen it recommended across the board as a standard replacement for Alt-Preset Standard (that is with -V 2), without mention of it costing encoding quality. Thus I was a bit confused when I saw in the Max help menu that "fast" was a lower-quality option, and the recommended setting was "Standard".

As far as the switches and such go, I'm not really familiar with how a library implementation is different from using LAME as a binary, but an explanation on how to go from command-line-switches to settings in MAX might be a nice addition to the Max help menu for people like me who are used to their settings in another language :-)

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sbooth
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Post by sbooth » Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:18 am

One other thing to add- the Variable Bitrate Mode popup button "Fast" is the equivalent of --vbr-new. Standard is --vbr-old.

Maurits
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Post by Maurits » Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:14 am

apoc_metal wrote: Does the -vbr-new option come at the expense of quality? I had pretty much seen it recommended across the board as a standard replacement for Alt-Preset Standard (that is with -V 2), without mention of it costing encoding quality. Thus I was a bit confused when I saw in the Max help menu that "fast" was a lower-quality option, and the recommended setting was "Standard".
The short history of "vbr-new" is as follows.

Vbr-new started development a while ago, might have been years even. It is a whole new way of doing VBR. At first its main advantage was that it was faster, its drawback was a slight drop in quality. After a lot of development on this new method vbr-new actually became better than the old one, while still being faster. That's why "new" is still called "fast".

When HydrogenAudio recommended LAME 3.97 -after sticking with LAME 3.90 as a recommended version for years- they did that after years of testing. Along with the recommendation for 3.97 came the recommendation for using --vbr-new. Again, all this only after numerous listening tests involving a lot of people.

For the coming LAME 3.98 (which is just in alpha stage right now) vbr-new is going to be the default method, because everyone is convinced now that 'new' is better than 'old' quality wise. That it's also faster is an added bonus.

VBR-new is better for quality, extra speed is a bonus.

apoc_metal
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Post by apoc_metal » Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:51 pm

Maurits wrote:
apoc_metal wrote: Does the -vbr-new option come at the expense of quality? I had pretty much seen it recommended across the board as a standard replacement for Alt-Preset Standard (that is with -V 2), without mention of it costing encoding quality. Thus I was a bit confused when I saw in the Max help menu that "fast" was a lower-quality option, and the recommended setting was "Standard".
The short history of "vbr-new" is as follows.

Vbr-new started development a while ago, might have been years even. It is a whole new way of doing VBR. At first its main advantage was that it was faster, its drawback was a slight drop in quality. After a lot of development on this new method vbr-new actually became better than the old one, while still being faster. That's why "new" is still called "fast".

When HydrogenAudio recommended LAME 3.97 -after sticking with LAME 3.90 as a recommended version for years- they did that after years of testing. Along with the recommendation for 3.97 came the recommendation for using --vbr-new. Again, all this only after numerous listening tests involving a lot of people.

For the coming LAME 3.98 (which is just in alpha stage right now) vbr-new is going to be the default method, because everyone is convinced now that 'new' is better than 'old' quality wise. That it's also faster is an added bonus.

VBR-new is better for quality, extra speed is a bonus.
That's what I suspected... So the MAX help menu is even more incorrect! And Max should default to -vbr-new, no?

Thanks for all the help!

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krmathis
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Post by krmathis » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:58 pm

apoc_metal. According to the Max source code (in this case MP3SettingsSheet.m), these are the LAME flags for the different quality settings.
Best = "-b 320"
Transparent = Quality 80
Portable = Quality 50

Code: Select all

Quality 40, Fast mode (-V6 --vbr-new) (~115 kbps)
Quality 50, Fast mode (-V5 --vbr-new) (~130 kbps)
Quality 60, Fast mode (-V4 --vbr-new) (~160 kbps)
Quality 70, Fast mode (-V 3 --vbr-new) (~175 kbps)
Quality 80, Fast mode (-V 2 --vbr-new) (~190 kbps)
Quality 90, Fast mode (-V 1 --vbr-new) (~210 kbps)
Quality 100, Fast mode (-V 0 --vbr-new) (~230 kbps)

apoc_metal
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Post by apoc_metal » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:04 pm

krmathis wrote:apoc_metal. According to the Max source code (in this case MP3SettingsSheet.m), these are the LAME flags for the different quality settings.
Best = "-b 320"
Transparent = Quality 80
Portable = Quality 50

Code: Select all

Quality 40, Fast mode (-V6 --vbr-new) (~115 kbps)
Quality 50, Fast mode (-V5 --vbr-new) (~130 kbps)
Quality 60, Fast mode (-V4 --vbr-new) (~160 kbps)
Quality 70, Fast mode (-V 3 --vbr-new) (~175 kbps)
Quality 80, Fast mode (-V 2 --vbr-new) (~190 kbps)
Quality 90, Fast mode (-V 1 --vbr-new) (~210 kbps)
Quality 100, Fast mode (-V 0 --vbr-new) (~230 kbps)
Wow, cool. Thanks! Could we put this exact table in the help file?

shanecavanaugh
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Post by shanecavanaugh » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:38 am

krmathis wrote:Wow, cool. Thanks! Could we put this exact table in the help file?
I should really update that thing. I'll get on it.

Fuzzy-Wan
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Re: Feature Request: more option for Lame mp3

Post by Fuzzy-Wan » Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:32 am

shanecavanaugh wrote:
krmathis wrote:Wow, cool. Thanks! Could we put this exact table in the help file?
I should really update that thing. I'll get on it.
Still isn't in the help file. :P Which is why I came here -- after looking at the GUI and saying "Wha?"

Glad to see that the folks here subscribe to the Hydrogenaudio standard. :D

jrochkind
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Re: Feature Request: more option for Lame mp3

Post by jrochkind » Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:34 pm

Yep, happy to find this thread too. This is important information which not only should be in the help file, but I would argue should be made apparent in the standard interface. Personally, I'd love it if a little "(v0)" showed up next to the "100" on the slider, "(v1)" next to "90", etc. Would be so helpful.

Regardless of what the LAME user interface standards might say, the people I trade the things I encode with want to know what it's been encoded at in those terms, so I need to know! And I think I'm not alone.

danfluidmind
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Re: Feature Request: more option for Lame mp3

Post by danfluidmind » Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:55 pm

jrochkind wrote:I would argue should be made apparent in the standard interface. Personally, I'd love it if a little "(v0)" showed up next to the "100" on the slider, "(v1)" next to "90", etc. Would be so helpful. Regardless of what the LAME user interface standards might say, the people I trade the things I encode with want to know what it's been encoded at in those terms, so I need to know! And I think I'm not alone.
I think you're absolutely correct. It's a little disconcerting to not know exactly how the dialog box corresponds to the command line options, and I'm never quite sure I'm getting the same thing. What would be nice would be to have the equivalent command line option in parenthises at the end of each popup menu option. So, for example, the High option in the Encoding Quality menu could say "High (-q 2)". That should be very simple to add.

The page referenced abobe from the LAME website says, simply, that it is "a suggestion of an ideal user interface." It does not say that it is the "standard" user interface. Keep in mind, however, that that suggested mockup was created by programmers, not graphical user interface designers. Personally, I don't think it's as "ideal" as they suggest. There's no purpose, for instance, for having the quality and bitrate options as sliders. A slider indicates that you can select value along the entire slider. But that's not the case. There are actually only 10 positions for the quality option. It would make more sense to just put that into a popup menu, like the other options.
apoc_metal wrote:Wow, cool. Thanks! Could we put this exact table in the help file?
Better still, change it in the interface from a slider to a popup menu. That would allow you to give more information, as such:

QUALITY:
10%, ~62 kbit/s (-V 9)
20%, ~85 kbit/s (-V 8)
30%, ~100 kbit/s (-V 7)
40%, ~115 kbit/s (-V 6)
50%, ~130 kbit/s (-V 5)
60%, ~165 kbit/s (-V 4, --preset medium)
70%, ~175 kbit/s (-V 3)
80%, ~190 kbit/s (-V 2, --preset standard)
90%, ~225 kbit/s (-V 1)
100%, ~245 kbit/s -(V 0, --preset extreme)

Now THAT would be really nice.

The same for the bitrate slider. There's no reason for it to be a slider. A popup menu would do just fine, AND would tell you all of the details. What, for instance, is the bitrate that falls between 32 and 48? The interface doesn't tell you.

Cheers
--Dan

Harbord
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Re: Feature Request: more option for Lame mp3

Post by Harbord » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:41 am

I asked a question about LAME encoder settings in the main Max forum and have redirected to this thread.

Hydrogen Audio recommendations for encoder settings are (for example that I would like to use) -V0 --vbr-new

My comments are:
1) Max's current slider is hard to figure out if you are a switcher from Win XP/EAC/LAME to Mac OS X /Max /Lame and what to achieve -V0 --vbr-new or any other value.

2) Max's resulting ID Tag comments does not reflect these high level presets and I have to figure out what the q and qval represent.

3) A small tweak of Max's LAME encoder user interface, as has been suggested above, would clear this all up and provide a increased level of certainty.

Many thanks in advance.

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