Transcodes

Tagged: ,

This topic contains 12 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  seba 5 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #631

    mojib
    Keymaster
    @mojib
    Level S

    What is a Transcode?

    Put simply, a transcode is any audio file that wasn’t encoded from an original lossless source, such as a retail CD (not created from lossy files) or a properly made lossless rip. Converting webstreams to MP3s would be one example of a transcode. Several bittorrent sites, where some leaks are shared originally, do not let users upload transcoded leaks, only allowing one lossy step in the lineage of any upload. A lot of MP3 blogs do not check for transcodes.

    Why is transcoding bad?

    Whenever you encode a file to a lossy format (such as mp3, m4a(AAC), ogg, or mpc) information is permanently lost. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s impossible to get this information back without making a new rip from the original lossless source. If you reencode it to a different format or bitrate, all you’re doing is reducing the quality. This applies to any lossy to lossy conversion, so even if you convert from 320kbps to 192kbps, the final file will still sound worse than if you had just ripped to 192kbps in the first place.

    It’s also important to remember to verify that lossless rips actually came from an original source. People that download lossless expect it to be identical to the original. There’s no point in people downloading a bigger file just to get another lossy rip.

    So how do I verify that my rip isn’t a transcode?

    The simplest way is to rip and encode it from the original source yourself. That way, you know that there has been only one lossy step (or that the rip is truly lossless, if you decided to do a lossless rip).

    You should also check it by using a wave editor (such as Adobe Audition) to look at the spectral frequency display.

    FhG VS. LAME

    Most lossy encoders use a low-pass filter when encoding. The filter is set to cut frequencies above a certain point and leave those below. The reason they’re doing it is, that high frequencies are more difficult to encode and hearing is less sensitive in higher frequencies. MP3 encoders at 128kbps will typically use a LPF at 16kHz. As you raise the bitrate, the frequency threshold raises. At 192kbps the LPF is usually set at 18kHz or higher.

    #924

    dunzZA
    Member
    @dunzza
    Level 1

    glad to see you spreading the quality rip gospel

    #2528

    Anonymous
    @
    Level 0

    I hate transcodes. But they are still considered leaks, no?

    #2534

    mojib
    Keymaster
    @mojib
    Level S

    Yes, they are considered as leaks. Usually it’s mentioned in the leak reports or comments. Unfortunately most people aren’t aware or know what a transcode is.

    #2535

    Anonymous
    @
    Level 0

    Do you know if there’s a method to detect if it’s a transcode? I’m sure some audiophiles can tell immediately. But I wonder if you can tell anything by inspecting the audio file’s spectrogram. It would be great if we were able to note if the leak is a transcode or not.

    #2663

    mojib
    Keymaster
    @mojib
    Level S

    Not the easiest thing in the world, but I posted a guide on how to spot a transcode..

    #2680

    Francesco De Paoli
    Participant
    @frankie89
    Level 5

    So I guess the point is: enjoy you’re soulless mp3 music but then (if you enjoyed it) buy the vynil, or at least the cd. ;)

    #2693

    Austin
    Participant
    @audiobinge
    Level 6

    Vinyl is special for me. Some albums I will get but generally records I have always loved. ‘The Always Open Mouth’ is one for instance that I own on cd as well as vinyl. I don’t see anything wrong with digital versus physical apart from buyer preference. I don’t mean sound wise, but If you have a record you own it. Regardless of the format.

    #43679

    Aidan
    Participant
    @xvulnerable
    Level 4

    Never knew about this, thanks for the info c:

    #78612

    Remi Carreiro
    Participant
    @remicarreiro
    Level 1

    Thanks for the info about the low-pass filter. That makes a lot of sense. For the sake of saving space on my computer, i dont’ mind the low bitrate files.

    #82111

    JD
    Participant
    @jd
    Level 4

    Well, I hate transcodes. On many files the audio quality loss is noticeable. I’d rather wait for better rips.

    #198062

    Dave
    Participant
    @hoodieweather
    Level 3

    good post man.

    #199631

    seba
    Participant
    @sebamarletta
    Level 0

    320 or flac.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.