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Internet release format

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Kuba W
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Internet release format

Postby Kuba W » Wed May 30, 2018 7:11 pm

Hello everyone.
I'm preparing some 6-track minialbums for download from the website. MP3 seems to be the most obvious choice for the file format to me, but I wonder if you suggest something else. Is there anything even more universal? To be playable on any gear, fair with size and quality, but also easily burnable to the CD? I know it should be done separately for each occasion, but as for underground purposes, I'd like to have it as universal as possible. WAV? - good quality, good for burning, size reasonable for today's conditions (~250MB per 6-track ep), but never came across any wav releases; MP4? - almost twice as much kbps as MP3, but size grows much, much bigger; FLAC? - never got close to them, worth trying? how 'accesible' are they for ordinary user? OGG? AAC? I also have a possibility of converting to almost any format with Vegas, so it doesn't have to be available in Mixcraft. I'll probably end up with MP3s, but it's better to ask before than after...
I have also took a look in here: https://forums.acoustica.com/bbs/viewto ... 25&t=22843 and that makes me ask another question. The article is about 'refurbished' MP3s, but now I wonder, if I should expect any coding/compression differences between MP3 exported from Mixcraft (with Ozone applied on master) and Mixcraft WAV export converted to MP3 with standalone Ozone? Or Vegas for example? Or for the fresh homemade MP3 320kbps = 320kbps and based on the same source gives the same results, no matter what soft is being used? Looking forward for your opinions.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Internet release format

Postby Mark Bliss » Thu May 31, 2018 6:28 pm

Well, there are no simple answers. And I am a bit lost on the roundabout question and the "refurbished" term.

But if it helps, Mixcraft uses the LAME encoder mentioned at the end of the article as being superior if MP3 is your chosen format.

The article is about a method for determining the "quality" or type of MP3.

Your decision involves the website/app you choose for distribution, and the level of file quality you hope to offer.
In some areas, bandwidth is probably adequate for higher quality file offerings. In others it would be problematic.

MP3 remains the current popular format for streaming, though this seems to be on the verge of change in many cases. On the other hand, for download offerings wav remains the high quality standard. Everything else falls somewhere in between.

If the choice were mine, I'd probably consider offering a choice of format for download. Streaming remains somewhat constrained by the current popular norms and depends largely on your distribution application.

Hope that helps. If not, maybe the question needs to be clarified.
Stay in tune, Mark

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Kuba W
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Re: Internet release format

Postby Kuba W » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:43 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply.

I meant that the lossy 128kbps MP3s were downloaded and compressed again to 320. And also that this was not the point of my question, but just made me think about other side of MP3 quality, whether all of my soft will make the same use of this 320kbps. I'll read more abot this LAME encoder and alternatives, but if you say it's superior - I won't have to go outside the Mixcraft anyways.

About distribution. Streaming - YouTube, and with this one I'm fine. I render 512kbps MP4s in Vegas and they do the job, even after YT's processing. For the download - paid Sendspace, folder compressed to .rar, direct link placed on my own website, free download.
I'm mostly between choosing MP3 or WAV. In size it would be 6x10MB against 6x40MB per release, so let's say it is affordable with the quality gained (or kept rather) on mind. But something wonders me here. You can buy the MP3, you can buy OGG, AAC... Maybe that's because I buy the music on CDs, but I never saw any 'Buy WAV' offer. Never received any album in WAVs. Like WAV only had two destinations - being burned to CD, or compressed to MP3. So maybe there's a reason for that and I don't know it? Or it is just size-related? I also hope that most gear reading MP3 will also use WAV.

If there is no downsides of using WAV for it, then I'll probably just give them a good comparing session, and see if the difference is worth making the packages four times bigger. In other words, I'll go for WAV if the MP3s make me to unhappy. I'll also have to find out whether burning MP3s to Audio-CD at least keeps the same MP3 quality, or cause some more damage on the way...

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Thomas
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Re: Internet release format

Postby Thomas » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:30 am

It's hard to offer advice without knowing your audience/customer base. Savvy users will have the ability to play in most formats. MP3 has been very widespread but is considered Lo-Fi compared to most of the others. It was developed to be used for the "audio" channel component of the DVD specification. I say audio in a generic sense and not music specifically. Flac is a good lossless format that produces files generally smaller than wave, and has degrees of compression available. As far as lossless goes, opus is reportedly one of the best but probably not as accessible for most users. Again it comes down to who you think your users are as to what capabilities they will have.

I don't know if I understood your comments about refurbished correctly, but you do not want to take a 128 kbps file and convert it to anything larger. You will not gain any quality but only increase the file size. As far as your question about wave files, the only downside to wave is the enormous size of the files. This is the way most commercial CDs are produced.
Tom
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petersh
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Re: Internet release format

Postby petersh » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:13 pm

Yes, it is not easy to give some specific advice. It belongs to you and your listeners.
What about wma, an old format but it works for me
Champions keep playing until they get it right, Peter

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comedians
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Re: Internet release format

Postby comedians » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 pm

WAV, is a container like AVI. It can contain uncompressed (PCM) audio as well as audio compressed with any audio codec. Professional CD's are always created from PCM 16bit (44k), DVD & Blue Ray usually 24bit (48k) but file sizes can be large.

IMO the best trade off between WAV & Mp3 is to use MA4, (developed by Apple for iTunes) as there are less artifacts than MP3. A 160kbs MA4 will give roughly the same quality as an MP3 encoded at 192kbps with a smaller file size.

If you use Ozone, in standalone, you can export to AAC (MA4) and actually solo artifacts so you can hear what is being taken out, (the difference between MP3 & AAC is quite noticeable)

Some may disagree, but in the world today MA4 is overtaking MP3.

Kuba W
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Re: Internet release format

Postby Kuba W » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:15 am

Hello. Thanks for all your replies.

For the moment I've got it sorted. As I make a Lo-Fi underground rap music, I wasn't concerned about keeping the great quality, but rather not loosing even more. MP3s gave suprisingly nice 'warm and round' sound and I had to look no more. Obviously I'll keep in mind all your suggestions and maybe next time make some more comparisons.

A real problem came up with YouTube. First of all - I wonder why they do not consider 44,1 in format suggestions. As 44,1 is for music and 48 for TV it looks sensible for the video-streaming portal. But there is also many underground musicians uploading their 44,1 music, so if YT accepts it, they could also give a decent suggestions. Before I have uploaded a 44,1 / 512 MP4s and I took the quality drop as a price for uploading. But this time I just thought that it is to much, that something's wrong. All the bass was square to the limit and vocals almost dissapeared. I made upload of 44,1 / 384 MP4 and it was a bit better, so I made another one - this time 320kbps - and it sounds almost exactly like my MP3s.

So now I find YT suggestions a bit misleading or at least incomplete. And I also wonder if the same is happening to the video. I made a little comparison of 10 and 20Mbps and found no differences (after YT compression) in meaning of colours and overall look, but I'm not able to compare their 'streaming health' (YT's info for geeks shows exactly the same numbers).

Thomas has mentioned Opus. Never used it as the file format, but it makes me think - is it worth to convert 44,1 to 48 (and I've only read horrible things about that process) just to get Opus codec on YT?

Thomas wrote:I don't know if I understood your comments about refurbished correctly, but you do not want to take a 128 kbps file and convert it to anything larger. You will not gain any quality but only increase the file size.
- Don't worry, I do not :wink:

comedians wrote:If you use Ozone, in standalone, you can export to AAC (MA4) and actually solo artifacts so you can hear what is being taken out, (the difference between MP3 & AAC is quite noticeable)
- Interesting. I'll check that. So far I only use it inside Mixcraft.

I believe you may not survive listening to Lo-Fi Polish rap, but if anyones really interested I can send some links thru priv message 8)

Thanks again, and if you know some more about YT's compressions, I'll be happy to learn.

jasonbar
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Re: Internet release format

Postby jasonbar » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:37 am

Usually i would recommend Wav or Mp3 as the release format. Most stores like iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon Music require a wav file for distribution. Mp3 quality is highly depending on the used encoder.


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