How I want my music files encoded

I have a lot of music files on my computer. Some comes from CDs I encoded, other comes from the magic of file sharing. Most of them are in MP3 format, but I have a few ogg and wma tracks, mixed with even a bit of wav or flac files.

Even the mp3 files are encoded in a bunch of different settings, with various bitrates and frequencies. The only thing that is quite consistent in all that is that my tagging of metadatas.

Other than that it's quite a mess and has my collection grow larger, it starts to bother me. No two albums, even for the same music duration, are the same filesize.

I decided to clean a bit this whole mess. Let me explain my goal, and how I plan on doing that.

First, I want all my files encoded with the same settings, so the music I'm listening to and its file size is consistent accross different albums.

Second, I want all the files correctly taggued with track number, artist, album and song name. I don't really care about the year nor the genre. Genre is highly subjective, and year can be misleading in mixed albums like soundtracks, are we talking about the year of the release of the cd, or the year of the release of the individual song?

Third, I want all my files in ogg format. First, because I want to get rid of as many proprietary format as I can, and mp3 is proprietary. But mainly because mp3 is an encoding format bloated with the previous layers of MPEG layer 2 and MPEG layer 1, resulting in larger file size and more encoding complexity.

And finally, I want to have the best sound quality that I can afford, without going to extreme like listening to FLAC directly as my ears won't be able to catch the difference anyway.

So, I'm gonna buy a big hard drive, something around 1To I think, and put on it all my music files in FLAC format, encoded directly from CD. This FLAC files will have all the required metadata saved in them.

Then, I'll create an ogg subdir in each of my album dirs where I'll encode my FLAC in ogg with a bitrate of 128kbds (as the human hear won't be able to really get the difference with anything higher than that), and using the metadata from the FLAC files.

Finally, I'll put the ogg files on my portable media player and listen to them on the go.

I do not need to put the FLAC on the PMP, has my ears won't be able to hear the difference. I only need to put a compressed version. Maybe in a few years, when PMP hard drive size will have increase I'll be able to increase the quality of my ogg and use better quality files. If I ever need to do that, I won't have to rip the CDs again as I'll already have the FLAC to create the encoding.

This will be hard work, but I guess it will be worth it in the long run. At least, now I know a bit more about encoding formats and settings.

Tags : #encoding, #mp3, #ogg, #flac

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