View Full Version : Alternative formats to mp3.

Sep-16-2004, 2:12pm
Does anyone know if the Mandolin Project can handle audio formats other than mp3? Ogg Vorbis seems to produce better results and uses only slightly more space. My recording of Whiskey Before Breakfast gained some bad distortion exporting to mp3 but not to Ogg. I uploaded the Ogg file to yahoo ok but wondered if it would transfer to the Mandolin Project site..

Sep-16-2004, 2:48pm
The bigger issue may be whether everyone has players on their PCs which support Ogg Vorbis.

For what it's worth, my songs seem to pick up distortion when exporting to MP3 as well.

Sep-16-2004, 3:55pm
Winamp, which is available for free download, plays Ogg Vorbis files. I don't remember where I got it but I'll look into it and let you know.

Martin Jonas
Sep-17-2004, 3:58am
As the Yahoo and MP web sites deal with files only, and don't need to analyse the content, I can't imagine it matters from that side. My personal preference is strongly for mp3 on the grounds that I try to avoid Windows Media Player as widely as I possibly can, as it has the nasty habit of trying to take over your computer and push unwanted advertising/media content onto your computer as default (still not quite as bad as RealPlayer) and to apply copy protection as default. If you get distortion when exporting to mp3, I recommend you have a look at the export settings. If the bit rate is too low, then the quality of any file format will suffer. I use 96kbps at 44.1kHz, mono, and that should work out as more that enough quality for home recording and small enough files for downloading (about 700Kb per minute). No problem with distortion using LAME.


Sep-17-2004, 6:00am
Thanks for the tip martin. I raised the setting to 160kbps (stereo) and got a vast improvement, but then went to 192 just to make sure. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Sep-17-2004, 6:51am
After re-uploading I realized the file size was over 2mb, so I've now settled on 128kbps in mono. ( for this file at least)

Martin Jonas
Sep-17-2004, 7:12am
Unless you have a very elaborate virtual band arrangement and mix the instruments in stereo, I don't think there's any point in encoding any of the files for the project in stereo. It just doubles the file size for no audible difference.


Sep-19-2004, 1:12pm

thanks for asking this question. currently, i'd like to continue to limit the recordings to MP3s. however, i have not set a file size limit for the Mandolin Project page. i believe there is a limit to the file size for Yahoo! Groups. i think they have it set at 5MB. so, you can try increasing the sample rate to get better sound and still record in MP3 format.



Sep-20-2004, 4:02am
Thanks for the info, Craig.

My main reason for wanting to keep file size down is so they don't take too long for people to download.

I know in theory there shouldn't be, but with Audacity I find there is a significant difference in sound quality in exporting between mono and stereo.