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Old 07-19-2018, 03:05 PM
 
121 posts, read 42,300 times
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I used Audacity to create a new .aup project and then imported an MPEG-1 Layer 3 file and edited it. I now want to export the file so I can add it to my iTunes library. If I export it as an MP3 file will I lose any data? If that is a reasonable way to export the file, which Channel Mode should I select: Joint Stereo or Stereo? Thank you.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:41 PM
 
40,266 posts, read 41,830,220 times
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If the output settings on the MP3 are exactly the same as the input (bitrate for example) it's certainly possible to export the audio file without any loss in quality. The only sections that would need to be re-encoded is what was edited, fades etc. Whether audacity has that capability I do not know and if you have applied an edit that effects the entire track that is not possible.


Whenever re-encoding lossy media whether it's .mp3, .jpg or .mpeg it's all downhill form the source. For example:



CD >> .mp3 at 320kbps = good method
CD >> .mp3 at 256kbps = good method
CD >> .mp3 at 128kbps = good method
CD >> .mp3 at 320kbps >> .mp3 at 128kbps = bad method
CD >> .mp3 at 320kbps >> .mp3 at 256kbps >> .mp3 at 128kbps = really bad method


If you are re-encoding lossy media and trying to maintain quality at the very least your output should be comparable to the inout, the most important setting is the bitrate. Increasing it beyond the source can help mitigate quality loss but will create a larger file.



If you want to preserve what you have export in lossless format like .WAV, FLAC or WMA Lossless. You'd have to check what your audio device supports.
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Old 07-19-2018, 04:29 PM
 
121 posts, read 42,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
If you want to preserve what you have export in lossless format like .WAV, FLAC or WMA Lossless. You'd have to check what your audio device supports.
Thank you so much. I actually thought I asked a stupid question. It will take me a while to digest your full answer but to the point of my main concern: I would normally export as an .AIFF file strictly as a habit I developed but since I think it is a lossless format and available in the dropdown I would use .AIFF unless you disagree. I need to add that I will be burning an iTunes playlist onto an audio CD to listen to on portable CD players so I am not expecting audiophile sound quality.

audio file format confusion-file-types.png

Last edited by user-3489_j65; 07-19-2018 at 04:35 PM.. Reason: add details
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Old 07-19-2018, 04:43 PM
 
40,266 posts, read 41,830,220 times
Reputation: 16785
Quote:
Originally Posted by user-3489_j65 View Post
Thank you so much. I actually thought I asked a stupid question. It will take me a while to digest your full answer but to the point of my main concern: I would normally export as an .AIFF file strictly as a habit I developed but since I think it is a lossless format and available in the dropdown I would use .AIFF unless you disagree. I need to add that I will be burning an iTunes playlist onto an audio CD to listen to on portable CD players so I am not expecting audiophile sound quality.

Any format that is lossless will preserve the quality of the original source.
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Old 07-19-2018, 04:51 PM
 
40,266 posts, read 41,830,220 times
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Just to add if you wanted a visual representation of this the .jpg file format uses the same type of compression available in .mp3. The following image had the red oval added one by one, each was saved and the file reopened to add another one. On each save the file is re-compressed, as you go down the line the ones added first on the right get worse and worse.



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Old 07-19-2018, 05:27 PM
 
121 posts, read 42,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Just to add if you wanted a visual representation...
That is most informative. Thanks again.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:28 PM
 
40,266 posts, read 41,830,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
the ones added first on the right get worse and worse.



errr... that should read the "ones on the left"
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:11 PM
 
28,631 posts, read 40,613,958 times
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Translated it. Visually, lol. Good example.
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