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Discussion in 'Audio' started by Zenner, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Zenner

    Zenner Member

    Dec 26, 2004
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    Okay. I have a couple questions and thoughts.

    Recently I took a 2 year hiatus from the technology scene to involve my self in a religious service mission. I arrived home recently and am interested in getting up to date with some things I may have missed.

    1. Rippers/Encoders. I am relatively familiar with the Audiograbber/catalyst program, it having been around for several years. It has served me fairly well. I use the grabber in conjunction with lame 3.91.6 (if I remember correctly) to encode to mp3. Audiograbber seems easy and effective. It smoothly encodes to mp3 wav ogg and wma. I used EAC minimally 2 years ago and have now noticed EAC seems strongly endorsed by this site and seems to be pretty main stream. What are the advantages of EAC over Grabber or vice verses?

    2. Winamp. What the heck happened to Winamp? It seems to have lost a great deal of its following. I left just around the time Winamp 3 was coming out, and now they are already on Winamp 5. What happened to Winamp 3 and 4? Did they bomb? I have played around a little bit with Winamp 5 and it seems okay.

    3. Formats. I have long been a proponent of the mp3 format. I would usually encode with lame at vbr 256 to 320 at the highest quality setting. I am wondering if the mp3 codec is a little dated. I experimented with WMA and I get very similar audio qualities, so much so that I cannot tell to much of a different. Is it just me or is the wma vbr 320 almost twice the size of the mp3 vbr 320? The main advantage I see to WMA is the Windows Media Player 10 software. If I do not go with Winamp then Media Player 10 seems like the next most logical route. However Media Player 10 does not support ogg and I hate the idea of surrendering to the Microsoft communists. Is it a big deal that Media Player 10 does not support ogg?

    4. Tags. I can see the benefit to having a well organized and tagged media library; especially when using Media Player 10. However, managing tags is a pain in the neck. Everyone and their mothers seem to have a different way of formatting their files. At one point I was so frustrated that I used a batch tag remover and removed all tags of every kind off of every file that I had (almost 15 gigs worth of music) and then used Oscars File Renamer to format the file names to contain any necessary info. I am wondering if it is worth moving the direction of keeping organized tags again since it seems that a lot of the major software and even portable mp3 players rely heavily upon the tags to manage their libraries. It seems that it is easy enough to manage the tags for the WMA format in conjunction with Media Player 10 especially when I rip a CD using Media Player 10 and the CD Databases the Microsoft utilizes (AMG, CD Journal Japan, etc.) I have had trouble with EACs formatting of tags as it rips CDs. Grabber performs like a champ. Also, I have several CDs from Japanese bands and Movies (Love Psychedelico, Cowboy Bebop, etc.). Media Player 10 does not have to much difficulty displaying the Japanese text for these files in the filename or in the WMA tags. Winamp and Grabber do not fair well in this aspect at all.

    Sorry about the long post. Any thoughts would be nice. Do I seem to have all my thoughts in a coherent order, or do I need to clarify myself a little bit more.

    Peace out!
  2. djscoop

    djscoop Active member

    Feb 6, 2003
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    Welcome back from your mission, let me give you some answers/insight to your queries:

    1. EAC is the best ripper because it is the only one that will make sure to do an exact bit-for-bit copy, and not skip over any unreadable sections on an audio cd. When combined with LAME using VBR, they make the best sounding mp3s.

    2. Winamp definately still has a strong following, it just lost a little popularity after Justin sold Nullsoft to AOL Timewarner, who just recently announced that they will no longer be making updates of winamp 5. Yes, winamp 3 bombed, it was very bad. There was no verison 4, they combined the beloved winamp 2, plus the new features of winamp 3, to make winamp 5.

    3. While mp3 is still the most popular format, there are many new rivals, and ones in particular that are gaining attention are ones that claim no loss of quality, such as the FLAC. I have not really delt with WMA, so I don't really have any insight to give there.

    4. About tags, if you have a large collection of songs, I defintetly think it is worth keeping your tags in order. My view is that its a lot easier to organize them when you get them, then have to sit there and scroll endlessly through windows explorer until you find the song you're looking for. I use Tag&Rename to organize and tag my mp3s, and it works great. I have heard a lot of people having trouble with tags that have Japanese characters in them, but again I don't have any so can't help ya there.

    Hope I gave some helpful info, these are just my feelings on the subjects.
  3. shiroh

    shiroh Guest

    3) so ditch wmp and go winamp for ogg vorbis playback.
    not much of a windows media fan. i like open source, there's no such thing as copy protection, drm, etc

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