MP3 process for an idiot

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Paco Del Stinko
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MP3 process for an idiot

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Howdy. I am pleading ignorance and am perhaps worthy of scorn, but I must ask for some direction. This is what i can do: record my songs on a Roland DAW. I can transfer them to my computer and burn CDs. I have never gone beyond this point, as I have never needed to. Can somebody point me to a 'how to make an MP3 file, where to/how to host it so Songfight! and perhaps others may listen to it' type set of directions? I don't expect anyone to take my hand and lead me along, but if I get pointed in the right direction I would be grateful and appreciative. Thanks much, love Paco
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Post by Sober »

Google 'free mp3 encoder'

I use Lame, as do a few other people here.

The process of getting things on Songfight is as simple as emailing them to fightmaster@songfight.org
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Post by j$ »

Yeah - http://www.dors.de/razorlame/ should get you the version with the cute gui so you don't even need to run it through an audio editor / sequencer plug-in (although those versions are freely available.)

Stick in your wav, choose kps to encode at (higher better quality, but bigger file size which isn't neccessarily fair on the masters o'fight) attach mp3 to email, send to songfight. Voila, I have someone else to be rude about in reviews :)

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Post by Plat »

Here are some things to be careful about when encoding your MP3. Please hurt me if I misspeak below. Also, I could be living in the stone age; some of these ideas might not be relevant anymore.

Bitrate. The lower the bitrate, the most your song will sound like a waterfall. The higher the bitrate, the more often people will ding you for making the file larger than it needs to be; especially if your song is long or unappealing. Generally 128kbps-192kbps is adequate for fighting, I think, but you're going to find plenty of people who disagree with me. 128kbps ought to be the most common.

Sample Rate. Depending on your recording hardware/software, you might find yourself exporting source files at 48khz rather than the CD-quality 44.1khz. If you encode an mp3 from 48khz source, you will probably get a 48khz mp3 by default. Some MP3 players don't handle 48khz files very well, introducing crackling and sometimes playing the file slower (pitched down) than it was intended. Set your MP3 encoder to resample to 44.1khz if you can, or just export the source as 44.1khz from the get-go to avoid this.

Variable Bit Rate (VBR) or Constant Bit Rate (CBR). "VBR" changes the bitrate throughout the song, to use extra data where there is extra detail, and less data where there is less detail. CBR uses the same bitrate throughout the song, regardless of needs. When you use VBR, you'll notice a better sound quality for the filesize, but again, some MP3 players don't handle this well. Some will make the MP3 player's progress bar jump around, making it hard to seek to a certain section of a song, or make the clock jump, making it hard to cite a section of the song in the review. Occasionally I've crashed Mp3 players with VBR files, but not often. For songfighting, I recommend using CBR, despite being a slight waste of bits.

Encoding Quality. Some MP3 encoders let you specify how much effort you want them to go through, when making the MP3 (not to be confused with VBR quality). They can default to a setting which is relatively fast, but produces a slightly inferior MP3. If you've got the extra 30 CPU-seconds to spare before the due date, make sure you're encoding at the highest quality you can.

Hope this helps, and that it's not all a lie! :-) As for submitting a song for the next fight, read the Songfight.org home page very carefully. It's like an easter egg hunt, but after easter, and without eggs. Also, no guns.
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Post by Spud »

"I only listen to good music. And Octothorpe." - Marcus Kellis
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Post by blue »

use VBR.

assuming you're on windows, click here

http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/winl ... r=easynews

then when you make an mp3 just click thru the defaults and it'll make a 128kbs ABR mp3 for you. open the new mp3 up in winamp or whatever and set the id3 tag. in winamp, do that by right-clicking, clicking on "file info" and filling in the fields. then click on copy v1->v2 or v2->v1.

rename the file to

bandname_abbrev.mp3

where abbrev = the first letter of each word in the title - so

yourband_at.mp3 for "a tear" or
yourband_rod.mp3 for "rate of decay"

and "yourband" = your band name, no spaces, no caps, no fancy BS.

also, make sure your first song mentions stabbing Plat in the nuts for suggesting that you use CBR.

if you don't have email that can send lots of mp3s reliably, pm me and i'll send you a gmail invite.
Last edited by blue on Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:37 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by blue »

think this could make the FAQ?
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Post by bz£ »

For what it's worth, I recommend NOT using VBR, and this is why:

Older MP3 players don't always handle VBR correctly. Specifically, some versions of Winamp will mis-calculate the length of your song based on the bit-rate of the first few seconds, which is usually lower than the rest of the song. What happens is that your four minute song shows up as being sixteen minutes long. People see that and immediately say "Oh, crap, I'm not gonna listen to a sixteen minute song. Next!" This actually happened to me a couple of times in early reviews, so I consciously avoid it now.

It's not something that happens often, but it isn't worth the risk. 128k CBR is roughly comparable to CD-quality, and that is probably more than good enough for most home recordings.
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Post by blue »

the reason to nudge everyone to use VBR is so we don't keep getting 15MB files from people who mistakenly send in 192 or 256kb versions of their shitty My First Songfight comedy sketches / bad internet techno. ::riomondo::

if your song is at all compelling, no one is going to skip it because it says it's long.
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Post by bz£ »

Those folks wouldn't take our advice even if they did happen to read it.
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Post by blue »

bzl wrote:Those folks wouldn't take our advice even if they did happen to read it.
yes :(

fuckers.
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Post by Märk »

I was in the VBR camp for the longest time myself, but have switched to 160 or 192 CBR. Why? I got annoyed at seemingly no player's ability to correctly tell me how long the song is. And unless your song has hell of dynamics in it, the file size difference is not that much. VBR might make a very slightly smaller file with very slightly better sound quality, but with all the hassles involved re: correct timeline calculation, mp3 player compatability, etc., why bother?
* this is not a disclaimer
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Paco Del Stinko
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Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Hello - I would like to thank all of you for the suggestions and help: it is very much appreciated. Community indeed! If I'm ever in a position to assist someone, I hereby pledge to do so with nary a second thought. Now you'll please excuse me as I have to put all of this into proper order, and a stoop like me still has a lot to screw up 'til I gets it right. Thanks again! Love, Paco
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Post by Kamakura »

Plat wrote:... It's like an easter egg hunt, but after easter, and without eggs. Also, no guns.
Quite right. Hunting easter eggs with guns is immoral.
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

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Paco Del Stinko
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Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Guten Tag - At the risk of receiving some slappage, I tell my tale. As recommended, I downloaded LAME. I used its tab to rip a WAV file off of a home-burned CD of mine, specifying 128kps. Fine. It squished it all down, I listened to it, e-mailed properly. Then I noticed on the properties that it is listed at 460kps. Huh? I've noticed that some people have sent in similar sizes, but I am a newbie and don't want to step on any toes. The file size is 2.87MB for a 2:10 song. Any suggestions besides kill myself, etc.? Thanks much. Love, Paco
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Post by Plat »

Paco Del Stinko wrote:Then I noticed on the properties that it is listed at 460kps. The file size is 2.87MB for a 2:10 song.
I have no clue, unless this is some weird effect of being VBR'd. I would expect a 2:10 song at 128kbps to take about 1.98MB, or your 2:10 2.87MB song to run at 185kbps. Unless my math is wrong, which, given the time of day, it could be.

The only reason I can think of, is that whatever "properties" you're looking at, is only examining certain snapshot of a VBR file, and lying to you. I'm also not used to seeing bitrates beyond about 320kbps, so something's fishy.

Chop me stumpy.
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