28 September, 2010

Music, formats and storage

For the past 6 months I've been pondering about ripping and encoding my entire music-collection into a digital archive for both safe keeping and easy access. Earlier, I only encoded my favorite tracks, saving precious disk-space. But in these days, disk-space is plentiful, and encoding is pretty straightforward.

Only thing I couldn't decide, was which encoding-format to use. I've been a happy user of MP3-technology for well over 12 years, but, I have noticed glitches / crappy noise and disturbances in certain MP3-codecs (which vary a lot across different music-devices / systems).

So eventually, it became a stand-off between FLAC and Vorbis. And since I really can't hear the difference between a 320kbit OGG and a FLAC file, the choice pretty much fell on Vorbis. Vorbis is also known as "Ogg Vorbis", an open-source audio-codec accepted by almost every modern MP3-compliant device available today (Vorbis can be encoded in bitrates ranging from 32 to 500 kbit/s, and is globally voted as the best sounding codec at comparative bitrates of 128-320kbit/s).

Beginning with my precious electronica music, I converted all tracks to 320kbit Constant BitRate (CBR) Ogg Vorbis files. Totaling 624 tracks, averaging 4 minutes, came to a total of 4.4 GigaBytes (which I'm currently listening to through Rhythmbox as I type :p). In other words, my ENTIRE electronica collection on ONE DVD+/-R disc! AWESOME!

Calculating the rest of my collection, I should be able to compress it all on 8-9 DVD+/-R discs.

I really understand why Spotify® uses Ogg Vorbis, it keeps a high quality of sound as well as saving disk-space, and from what I can tell, it doesn't strain the CPU very much either.

What makes me smile, is that EVERY device in my room can play Vorbis ;) My PlayStation3 system, my Asus Eee netbook running Ubuntu, my Pioneer DVD-player and my HTC Desire Android smart-phone ;D

Open-Source FTW! ;D

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