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Old 06-07-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
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May be an obvious answer, but can one assume that the file size of identical mp3 song files is an indication of the quality of the song file?

Have spent time over the past few months of ripping hundreds of song titles from old LPs and cassette tapes using an ION turntable and audacity software into mp3 files. Many of these are duplicate songs that may have been on both LP and cassettes as well as previously ripped CDs and perhaps a handful of songs from file sharing sites. Believe that in general I have ripped all of these at a bit rate of 256 Kbps.

However, when I compare many of the duplicate songs, while the song length may be identical the file size may differ from a few percent to upwards of 50% or more. Without dialing too deeply into the file properties, can I safely assume that the larger file size will contain a better fidelity characteristic and simply delete the smaller file?

I do tend to notice a difference between a song ripped from the various media and am under the impression that (in general) a song ripped at the same bit rate, from a CD sounds a little better (or different?) than an LP which is better than one ripped from a cassette.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:57 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 20,760,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
May be an obvious answer, but can one assume that the file size of identical mp3 song files is an indication of the quality of the song file?

Have spent time over the past few months of ripping hundreds of song titles from old LPs and cassette tapes using an ION turntable and audacity software into mp3 files. Many of these are duplicate songs that may have been on both LP and cassettes as well as previously ripped CDs and perhaps a handful of songs from file sharing sites. Believe that in general I have ripped all of these at a bit rate of 256 Kbps.

However, when I compare many of the duplicate songs, while the song length may be identical the file size may differ from a few percent to upwards of 50% or more. Without dialing too deeply into the file properties, can I safely assume that the larger file size will contain a better fidelity characteristic and simply delete the smaller file?

I do tend to notice a difference between a song ripped from the various media and am under the impression that (in general) a song ripped at the same bit rate, from a CD sounds a little better (or different?) than an LP which is better than one ripped from a cassette.
I'm interested in responses to your first question.

As for CD-LP-cassette, a lot of issues come into play. A CD player does what it does, and the quality of the output basically never changes until it dies. Turntables and cassette decks require maintenance and parts to maintain their original sound quality. Their software also deteriorates over time. A fairly entry level CD player does a pretty good job vs a much higher end unit. The same can't be said for turntables and cassette decks. The original sound quality of the recording, from both the artist's and studio's perspective can make a big difference. Plus it's much easier today to get a great recording, but it isn't always done.

I do agree with your assessment of relative sound quality. That being said I have heard numerous turntable setups that sound "better" than a basic (especially early vintage) CD player. But that's not a common occurence.
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:28 PM
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Location: Ohio
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Bitrate is the best measure of a song's fidelity. In general, higher bitrate files are bigger.

If the compression algorithm for one file is less efficient than the other of equal bitrate, it would produce a bigger file, even though the bitrate was the same. It's probably not enough of a difference to worry about, in that respect.

IMO a bigger worry should be whether a larger file, claiming to be the same bandwidth as another file, has a virus payload attached. Run a virus scanner if you're dealing with audio files from sources that may not be concerned about security.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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I am not aware of viruses that are embedded in compressed audio files.

In general, for two recordings of the same song, with the same type (MP3 for example) the larger file probably has a higher bit rate and will have higher fidelity.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:13 PM
 
15,922 posts, read 17,740,101 times
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Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
I am not aware of viruses that are embedded in compressed audio files.
Don't do much research do we? It's been documented for years:

Music files can disguise hack attack - Technology & science - Tech and gadgets - msnbc.com

MP3 Files Aren't Safe - Softpedia

How to Tell If an MP3 File Is Infected With a Virus | eHow.com

Worm Transcodes MP3s To Infect PCs - Slashdot

New trojan infects audio files and spreads if they're shared - Hydrogenaudio Forums

To the OP: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_quality
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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I clearly don't research viruses and MP3 files. But I hope you noticed that most of your articles, if dated, were from 2008.

Almost all of the OP's MP3s were self created and will be infection-free. I think anything from a file sharing site could be a risk.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:08 AM
 
40,830 posts, read 42,230,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
However, when I compare many of the duplicate songs, while the song length may be identical the file size may differ from a few percent to upwards of 50% or more.
Songs using the same bitrate and length should have comparable file sizes, you might have differences based on the encoder and other factors but 50% is a lot. One explanation might be that you used constant bitrate on the larger files and a variable bitrate on the smaller files but I would be surprised if it were that much of a difference.

Truthfully if you're looking for the best quality you should of researched more and used something like FLAC or other lossless codec.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:23 AM
 
40,830 posts, read 42,230,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
I'm interested in responses to your first question.
Generally speaking yes as long as you're comparing the same codec and there isn't any ID:10t errors. I'll use these video screen shots as an example, the same principals apply for video and audio encoding. This is high bitrate video @8000kbps encoded from DV and therefore has a large file size:





Here's same video at @3000kbps encoded from DV which is going to be roughly a little less than 1/3 the file size:





Here's where the ID:10t error comes in, this is also 3000kbps which is going to be the same file size as the one above but it was encoded from DV>8000kbps>3000kbps . There is only a single extra step in the middle but it has a huge effect on the quality:

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Old 06-08-2012, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,968 posts, read 14,100,393 times
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OMG not those pics again. lolol
(teasing)

As has been said GENERALLY speaking, larger file = better quality.
HOWEVER, recording a file from the LINE-IN on your PC from a turntable or cassette deck will absolutely create a larger file then ripping a high quality MP3 via a program meant to do so.
Every time.
One track "recorded" to MP3 though a line-in at the highest bit rate will always be larger then the same track correctly ripped from a CD.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:58 PM
 
Location: London, U.K.
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If you are concerned about fidelity stick to lossless.
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