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Old 16th December 2010, 11:24   #1
maneff
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Converting media to aacPlus (HE-AAC) High bitrate encoder

Hi there.
I spend a lot of time for converting and listening to my files and for years I can't just get it.
The thing I do and I need to do is to convert WAV/FLAC and other LOSSLESS files to HE-AAC-High bitrate encoder. After Some tests I found that HE-AAC sounds great and even better than mp3 in same bitrates.
My question is What bitrate should I use? Yeah I know that looks like a noob question for you but it's actually not!
I searched the net and found mixed opinions about this. Somebody tells that LC-AAC provides better quality than the HE-AAC, others don't agree that....
Actually I need to use bitrates 128kbps and higher (not lower) so what's the best bitrate I shall use? I tried 128kbps, 192, 224, 256 and I am not quite sure what's the difference between them. I realize that bigger bitrate does NOT mean better quality in AAC codec, but am still confused (after thousands of converts /and counting/).
Some people say mp3 256kbps is better than LC-AAC 256kbps , but what about High-Bitrate HE-AAC where's it's place betwean these two?
Some other people tell me that SBR sucks the transparency in higher bitrates (which is BAD for me). IS IT TRUE???

note that:
* I have a good/expensive sound system and I DO a difference between LOSSY & LOSSLESS (also mp3, aac+, ogg) :as like as: (flac, wav, wma_lossless)
* I have trained ears and can easily recognize lossy stuff (like mp3) with just listening
* I have devices/software/hardware that supports HE-AAC on High bitrates so that's not a problem for me
* I really need the quality of the sound (like hights, transparency, wideness and so)
* I mostly listen to electronic music (filled with lots of sounds so I need more quality)

FOR EXAMPLE: If i need to convert a CD of Astral Projection in a lossy format, I will probably use HQ-HE-aac at 192kbps. So... shall I use higher bitrate for 'more quality' or I am just wrong with that.
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Old 16th December 2010, 20:02   #2
Batter Pudding
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Simple answer - buy some bigger hard disks and keep every track in FLAC. Or any other Lossless format. Less stress that way.

If you also need to have compressed versions for your iPod, then just convert them "on the fly" or keep a separate backup folder of converted files.

Like you, I have a decent HiFi and speakers and MP3 sounds like it is underwater. But walking around a busy city with cheap headphones I can't tell the difference.


To directly answer your question - it is going to come down to personal preference. Higher the bit rate the better, but you will find a point that you will not hear the difference through those headphones. (I assume you have changed your iPod headphones? The standard ones supplied make quality pointless)
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Old 17th December 2010, 08:43   #3
maneff
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Thanks for your opinion Batter Pudding but it actually didn't answer my questions.
I don't actually have an i-pod (and don't want one) I play the media mostly on my cellphone (which supports hundreds of formats, but flac). So WAVs are copying so slow and taking so much space on my micro-sd card :/ It's 8Gigs but still not enough for waves.
The only reason I want to convert to hq-he-aac is to be able to put at least thousand files there and I think aac+ sounds better than the mp3 (well mp3 CBR at 320kbps/stereo sound nearly good enough for me, but 'nearly'.... still missing some highs higher than 16khz which makes purchasing my expensive headphones meaningless).

Maybe I could form my question like this:
Is there a difference between the technologies used to convert aac+ on 192kbps, 224kbps and aac+ 256kbps (like differences between 56kbps and 64kbps where the PS is used or not, or like some people say that aac+ 80kbps is a better choice than 96kbps but 128kbps sounds better).
You know, this codec is good but so so so much complicated to understand..
I also read in the net that aac+ (v2) over 160kbps is a fake without really improving the quality (maybe this is what bothers me mostly, because I don't belive it and don't get it)
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Old 17th December 2010, 10:22   #4
Batter Pudding
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I know I didn't answer the question, but I am instead trying to say "don't stress so much over it" . I am pointing out that there is no compressed file that will still sound good on your home HiFi. So you are always going to have to compromise somewhere.
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Old 28th February 2011, 08:48   #5
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This is what I noticed... I hope this helps somebody.....

For archiving I will use 64kbps he-aac coding (for lossy stuff or other sh1t)
For high level compression I will use 96-128kbps HE-AAC-High Bitrate encoder
For converting Lossless stuff I believe that 256kbps he-aac-High sounds perfect for me even in my expensive hi-end 5.1 sound system :]

I needed a lot of time and tests to create an opinion in this tread and I realize some users probably won't agree with me but that's the life... everybody hears different :>
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