Sep 06

itunes

Importing songs into iTunes is easy – you just INSERT the CD, SELECT it in iTunes, and press the ‘Import’ button!

But… the default setting on iTunes is not the best setting to use when importing songs. It’s far better to use the ‘Apple Lossless’ setting which will keep your music at CD quality. If you must compress the music (e.g. you want to fit it on your iPod or a laptop) then use the  bitrate of 320kbps rather than the default 128kbps of iTunes.

This article describes how to import songs into iTunes with the better quality bitrate.
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Jul 05

 

Introducing LAME! 

Lame is an mp3 encoder that is open source, which means rather than being developed commercially, it was developed by unpaid programmers sharing together. It was originally not as good as the commercial mp3 encoders.  Slowly as many people worked on LAME it actually overtook the original mp3 encoder. Some people now claim it is the best mp3 encoder available. They have a pretty lame logo (see above) probably because they are unpaid programmers not graphic artists. Continue reading ⟩

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Aug 21


In this article I talked about the best import settings for iTunes. Since then with the increase in Hard Disk space I now think it’s best to import all your songs using the apple lossless encoder. This still compresses the files by about 1/3 but there is no loss of audio quality at all. With AAC and MP3 files, not matter how high you set the quality, there is ALWAYS some loss of quality. Apple Lossless audio is exactly the same quality as what’s on your CD. Here’s how to import into iTunes using the Apple lossless encoder.
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Jul 03


When you want to send someone a lot of files in an email, the best way to do it is to compress them into one file first, called an archive or a zip file. When the person receives the zip file they just need to double click it and, hey presto, the exact files that you put into it appear in a folder! Read on to find out how to do it.

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Mar 09

Depending on what program you used to create a PDF, the file size of your PDF file can be quite large. If you combine two or three PDF files together using preview, you can also end up with a bloated PDF file.  The best way to reduce PDF file size is with Acrobat professional, which can do all sorts of magic on PDF files. Sadly we can’t all afford Acrobat Professional, so here is a free way to make a PDF file smaller.

Reduce file size will degrade your photo quality. Use it wisely.

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Jun 28

D900.jpg

Well, I’m on a bit of a run here with my new samsung D900 mobile phone, the latest being what are the best settings to compress a movie to watch on my phone. The phones resolution is 320×240, which I think is similar to an ipod. I use Handbrake to encode DVD’s, you can also use these settings to export from Quicktime pro, but Handbrake is free. Continue reading ⟩

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Mar 28

I’ve been playing round with getting good quality compressed speech with LAME. (See here for iTunes.) Here’s what I’ve found.

1. SMALLEST FILE SIZE ACCEPTABLE QUALITY.
For very small file size (3MB for 20 minutes) and acceptable quality, use the LAME encoder with the following arguments in the ‘Encoding options’ Box:

–abr 16 -q 0  -m m  (gives very small file size but some artefacts audible)

Here are some better options, note that the higher bitrate does not always sound better! I think a lower bitrate decreases the frequency of the lows pass filter so in some cases lower bitrate sounds better as it takes of the harsh tops, depends on the person and how their voice sounds.

–abr 24 -q 0  -m m (gives small file size but you can only just tell it’s compressed)

–abr 32 -q 0  -m m

–abr 48 -q 0  -m m

abr 16 means a bitrate of 16kbps

-q 0 means best quality available at that bitrate

-m m means mono

You can hear some low pass filtering on the above speech, the highs are missing, but this can make for a better listening experience with spoken word, it can be less harsh.

 

3. BETTER QUALITY AND ACCEPTABLE FILE SIZE.
For about twice the size files (8MB for 20 minutes of speech) but very very good quality try this in LAME encoder:

–preset voice

OR

-V 8 –vbr-new -h -q 0

4. BEST QUALITY. Use iTunes. Although LAME is better for music, and lower bitrate spoken word, iTunes is great for 40kbps spoken word and above. CLick here to read about the best settings on importing spoken word into iTunes here.

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