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Coverting Flac to MP3 using Foobar and Lame

Discussion in 'Audio' started by zonedout, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. zonedout

    zonedout Member

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    I have some albums on my hardrive in the flac audio format I decided to make mp3's from them for my mp3 player rather than rip the CDs again.
    I used Foobar2000 v0.9.6 with Lame v3.98.2 set at 245kbs V0
    I had never used this conbination before, so after I had done the first album I checked the integrity of the resulting mp3s with MP3Test and it reported 6 of the 10 tracks had a first frame invalid error, the other 4 were error free.

    For those 6 of the 10 tracks the report was simalar the following:

    Testing C:\Users\Me\Music\Astral Projection - Ten [2004]\Visions of Nasca (BLT remix).mp3...
    ID3v1 found: Visions of Nasca (BLT remix) (Astral Projection / Ten)
    ID3v2 found: 4352 Bytes
    First frame invalid
    Resync: 2172 Bytes at 0:00 (0% through)
    MPEG 1.0 Layer III, VBR ~277 kbit, 44100 hz, Joint Stereo, Crc: No, Length: 8:21
    Frames: 19238
    Errors: 1 (0.04%)
    -- NOT OK --
    Done.

    Can anyone shed any light on this ?
     
  2. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Not really, but I can guess.

    I suspect the errors were introduced at rip time. Any surface flaw could have produced the artifacts. I use accurip during the read process. EAC and Poweramp use Accurip. To rip with anything less is not being careful.

    The big question is can you hear the difference? I assume not. I do think it is funny that you appear to suspect Foobar or LAME in the digital process. Surface flaws on the CDs make most of the problems. It is rare that I can hear an artifact created by a surface defect unless there was a scratch. I try to get exact copies during the read but that is not always possible especally with an old CD. I try not to get hung up on errors I can't hear. I have even stooped to using Helix instead of LAME to convert FLAC to mp3s instead of LAME. It is 25 times faster and I can't hear the difference. I do rip to LAME. If I own the CD I don't make FLACs anymore. I rip using VBR V0 using slow analysis.

    I know from experiance, my burner reads better than any player. In other words, it would sound worse if I played the original CD on a player. People assume when they play the CD they are hearing the best sound possible. That is not true unless you CD surface is flawless your reader is well alined and culmenated and the pressing was a good one. They also assume just because they bought an expensive reader they got what they paid for. The reality is, NO ONE tests how perfectly these readers read. I know some of the DVD players made in Red China BLOW - AWAY Sony and most of the high end DVD players. Non optical playback is far more relyable than optical or vinyl. Just try to tell it to analog junkies! With all their expensive equipment they enjoy inferior sound to digital but claim to have the corner of quality with their vinyl. There are no quality tests for analog so they can bath in blistful ignorance. They 'know' everyone else is a fool.
     
  3. zonedout

    zonedout Member

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    Yes I can hear little sound glitches, these are not there in the flac files, If there's no issue you know of with Foobar that could have caused this I'll try encoding them again
    I don't automaticaly assume anything, I am just trying to Illiminate possible causes, and I figured if there was a software issue, someone here may well know about it and tell me.
    As I haven't used Foobar to create MP3's from flac files before It may be something I did wrong and I havent by any means ruled that out as the cause, the only thing I am sure of is the flac files sound perfect and the same test software reported no errors in them.
     
  4. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    I love it! I believe every thing you stated. I can tell you are both smart and careful so you can be trusted. You have 'proved' mp3s sound different than flacs. These kind of experiances fuel the flac for listening cause. It is easier to screw up mp3s than I thought. I figured like in most cases persons were comparing flac to low bit rate mp3s. It is unnerving to learn that a high-end audio manager like Foobar could screw up like that. The great thing about loseless is they are hard to screw up since you save everything. There are no decisions for you or the software to screw up.

    I doubt that re-ripping directly to mp3 will help. Foobar must be the problem I assure you it is not LAME. I never knew the app could screw up the encoding. Foobar was built with the audiophyle in mind. Maybe Media Monkey and Win Amp are even worse.

    I only trust PowerAmp converter to do any encoding. Once encoded I never alter the mp3s with anything that would effect the encoding. You just confirmed my worst fear. I have used PA for 3 years. I have missed out on all the problem solving. I would try it for the 30 days and see what you think. You sound like the type of person that invests 25-30 USD/year for the top of the line audio tool. 30 USD gets you a burning app as well.

    Try the Helix VBR instead of the LAME to convert your lossless to VBR mp3. If you are picky, select the setting to the extreme right. It is very slightly inferior to LAME but much faster. The experts I 'listen to' agree the artifacts created by Helix can be seen but not heard. I suspect any 'pin head' picky/crazy enough to hunt for artifacts with an audio graphic tool, listened long and hard to hear the artifact before he gave up. I will take their word.

    With a fast dual core computer you can convert 100 g of flacs into Helix VBRs in a few hrs. The converter allow you to do massive bulk conversions. It is a real nice tool.
     
  5. zonedout

    zonedout Member

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    My question was about sync errors this has nothing to do with compression artifacts.
    Why do you continue to reply to my posts as if I was asking about compression artifacts do you even know what a sync error is ?

    Sync errors in mp3 files are caused when the file itself is corrupt, when mpeg headers are missing or corrupted, or when entire mpeg frames are missing, in other words the file is damaged, and the only reason it still plays at all is becuase the media playing software is programmed to ignore such errors and continue to the next frame.
    The result is, at each sync error you usually will hear pop or click or a series of pops and clicks depending how many corrupt frames there are.
    This is completely unrelated to compression artifacts, I never referred to, mentioned or asked about compression artifacts in either of my posts.
    Anyways, before I submit this post I have another question for you, Why do you believe that someone who created audio files with unfamiliar software and then ran a test program on them to make sure they were created properly, is a "crazy pin head" ?
    Maybe it is becuase you are the kind of person who doesnt care if the digital music files they create are created properly or not, or if they resemble the original recording ot not, or are you just not very technicaly minded ?
    If you are not it seems strange to me that you frequent a forum entitled:

    Audio
    All discussion about audio. CD ripping, burning, audio copy protections, (de-)compressing, sampling, Hi-Fi, MP3, OGG, MusePack, etc

    And even stranger that you would reply to people that ask questions in that condescending manner especially when the scope of the question asked, is beyond the realms of your knowlege of the subject.

     
  6. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Funny this is the FIRST time you mentioned sync errors. I wouldn't get bent out of shape because YOU THINK I DID NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION!

    I did. Your mistake was using a poor tool to perfore a task. Knowing the actual errors are not useful to fix the problem since it was the software that created the errors. It is unlikely that you will ever get your current version of Foobar to correctly do that conversion no matter how many times you try.

    I will not apologize for spouting from my soap box in addition to helping you. I feel it is "my dime".

    You screwed up the files with sync errors not me. I am real sure if you followed my advice the problem would go away. I have converted close to a TB of flac and never ran into ANY problem. I don't believe that is just luck. I guess that means I am a jackass and you are the genius. But then I have a 'to die for' library and you have sync errors. Maybe if you are real lucky the sync errors will fix themselves. Maybe you need to run the conversion Foobar a few more times. Maybe if you REALLY unnderstand the errors Foobar will make the conversion correctly. That is your plan isn't it?

    I prefer to listen to the highest quality music that I can. I carefully researched the process and tools before I started.
    I have led a sheltered digital audio experience. I have not experienced sync errors or other errors because I use quality tools to rip and convert my audio files. Persons like you that opt to use poor tools lead a more exciting life. That is your choice.

    I spend an hour or more of my time giving you excellent advice and your response is to think you are so much more expert than I, that instead of trying my proposed solution, you felt the need to tell me off. It is shortsighted and ungrateful persons like you that make helping a drag.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  7. zonedout

    zonedout Member

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    If you had read my first post properly you would see the test report I posted was the subject of my question.
    That test report clearly shows a sync error, described in the report as an invalid frame error, resync: 2172 bytes. This is known as a sync error.
    I also said that was one of 6 songs which also had those same type of errors all be it at different parts of the songs.

    I did not get "bent out of shape" because I think you didnt answer the question I also didnt get bent out of shape because I KNOW you didnt answer the question.

    I appreciate anyones input when I ask a question.
    But when you refer to people as crazy pin heads becuase they described a perfectly reasonable way of checking if the songs had been encoded properly, you might expect that person to reply to you in a simalar tone to mine.
     
  8. zonedout

    zonedout Member

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  9. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Why? I didn't write that guide. I feel in no way beholding to the person that wrote that guide or that any of the guides. The guides are only a guide how to perform a specific task with specific software. You stated AD recommended this guide. I really doubt that. I am guessing you made that assumption yourself. In the guide section, I have never seen an AD indication which works best. That is for the user to decide. Most guides are actually written by members who are employees of the software used in the guide. I never have used that combination. Although I have Foobar Media Monkey and Win Amp I have never trusted any of them to rip or convert any music. I have used LAME without any problems for years so I trust that encode.

    I am not going to apologize for ignoring the details of your problems since your mistake was a poor selection of tools. I bet there is no way to correct the error using Foobar. To me, exploring the details of what went wrong is a waste of time since it will not fix the problem. I write software. There is an infinite numbers of ways you can screw up a process but very few to do something exactly right. I can almost guarantee the error was caused by a mismatch of versions between the Foobar app, the DLLs it uses and the LAME encoder. Maybe you need to spend the next year researching exactly what made the sync errors. I suspect after a year you will be as clueless as you are now. Most persons would just be happy with correcting the problem by using the right tools and move on.

    I think not. They were experts and did not need other person's advice how to convert software. I am not so sure they would favorably impress worth your pseudo expertise. I call you a pseudo expert because you seem consumed with detail that are of no use to anyone. They made fun of pseudo experts. As for making fun of the pin heads, I was only poking a little humor as to all the time expended testing the encoder. They all had to have spent hundreds of hrs debugging the encoder. Some I recognized as digital audio professionals maybe they all were. In that case they were only doing their job and I respect that. For instance, I recognised the lead programmer for Power Amp as part of the group. I do believe the group was both expert and right thinking. I definitely did not poke fun as to the seriousness and down to business way they approached the problem. That is EXACTLY the way I would approach things. I am glad they did what they did so I can enjoy my music.
     
  10. zonedout

    zonedout Member

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    You claim to write software and yet you also claim tracing the cause of software errors is a waste of time well I sure hope you never work on anything mission critical cause you obviously have no idea what your talking about, the funny thing of it all is you would call me psudo expert after all that waffle you wrote that had nothing to do with the original question, why dont you just admit it, you are the psudo expert in here, whilst armed with a small amount of knowledge taking on questions as if your the resident audio expert and giving totaly irrelevent advice, while at the same time trying to cover up your reletive lack of expertise by using that condescending downtalking attitude to try and impress the lesser minded, well sorry mez, that doesnt quite work with me cause your act is so transparent its almost comical, a tirade of waffle intermixed with condradictions and back peddling does not impress me one bit.
    Anyways, you may be interested to know I didnt take your advice and spend the next year researching exactly what made the sync errors, I emailed Foobar support and asked them, they advised me that some third party plugins to Foobar were causeing problems and I should uninstall them, and Foobar, then reinstall foobar and try the procedure again, I did so and it worked perfectly, this time the resulting mp3's had zero errors, so you see its a good thing the develpers of Foobar don't have the mez philosophy, oh just ignore the error reports theres no point trying to find out the cause of them just throw that software in the trash and move on, Thankfully they DID trace the source of the errors and they did discover the cause and they did find a solution which they passed on to me.
    So you see, the author of the AD guide to converting flac to mp3 did not recommend using poor tools, any more than I was guilty of choosing them. Foobar and Lame work very well it was just unfortunate that a third party plugin was causeing problems with it. The other unfortuntate thing is of course, when I posted my question here, instead of, as I'd hoped, someone with previous experience with that combination of software, might see my question and reply to it, I get Mez, the resident condescending, downtalking, not understanding the question asked, but replying to it anyway, self appointed, "audio expert" instead.
     
  11. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    It takes a jackass to argue with one. You have certainly brought out the jackass in me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009

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