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Rationalise several lossy formats?
Rationalise several lossy formats?
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Old 18th January 2019, 12:25 PM   #1
Kev06 is offline Kev06  England
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Default Rationalise several lossy formats?

Over the years, I've accumulated some music in various lossy formats: .mp3, .mp4, .aac, .m4a (containing aac), .webm (containing opus). This isn't great for compatibility and can also make library-wide tasks annoying. So, for practical reasons I'm tempted to convert all to one format.

However, if converted to another lossy format this will degrade their already mediocre quality a second time. The alternative is to convert to lossless, which won't degrade further but inefficiently uses much more disk space - an issue where small portable players are concerned (and as converting to lossless doesn't magically gain quality, making a subsequent mp3 copy would still mean a second loss).

There can't be a perfect answer; rubbish in = rubbish out, and all that. But I'm wondering what people think of the options for dealing with numerous different lossy formats?

Thanks!
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Old 18th January 2019, 01:00 PM   #2
KaffiMann is offline KaffiMann  Norway
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Rationalise several lossy formats?
Maybe use a de-compressor/de-clip software to try and remove some artifacts, and restore a bit of the lost glory.

Cheapest option might be SeeDeClip
Silk: CuteStudio Ltd. SeeDeClip4: a DeClipping Multiuser Digital Music Server over HTML5. - SeeDeClip4

But I have not tried this software myself, I have used Stereo Tools a bit, but it is a bit pricey.
Try contacting Globulator here on diyaudio, maybe he has some tips on SeeDeClip
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/members/globulator.html
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Old 19th January 2019, 11:38 AM   #3
Kev06 is offline Kev06  England
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Thanks very much. I hadn't realised there was any way of improving the lossy formats, that could be very helpful!

Quickly viewing that link, it seems to suggest SeeDeClip might only convert on the fly (I would want to batch process and save the processed files). But I may have miss-understood - I need to read through the site in more detail. Either way though, it has given me an extra idea for what might be done, and there could be other methods with some research.

I've largely now decided to convert all to lossless in any case (mainly to avoid making things worse). So there would be redundant space that may be better utilised for the 'extra glory'.

Thanks again!
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Old 21st January 2019, 08:07 AM   #4
KaffiMann is offline KaffiMann  Norway
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Rationalise several lossy formats?
I did purchase the VST plugin of Stereo Tool:
Stereo Tool - Download

It's not a perfect one stop solution, needs some adjustment between tracks/albums. It does work, but I do not think there is such a thing as a magic wand to restore lost quality.

De-mastering smashed recordings with Stereotool (Loudness War)

ClaveFremen might have some knowledge of which settings to tweak.

I find myself switching it off and on a lot, between tracks. Sometimes it makes the sound better, other times it might interfere a bit more than I'd like.

Last edited by KaffiMann; 21st January 2019 at 08:10 AM. Reason: clarifying
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Old 22nd January 2019, 10:12 AM   #5
CallMeMike is offline CallMeMike  United Kingdom
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I would suggest that in the process of converting to 'lossless' the poorly mastered lossy files may get a 'heping hand' by adding a touch of boost on the frequencies that may benefit. This operation depends largely n the converter you will be using...
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Old 23rd January 2019, 11:35 AM   #6
davidsrsb is online now davidsrsb  Malaysia
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You might find that a FLAC conversion of a lossy codec format is significantly smaller than the usual 50% of WAV, due to the removal of noise and low level detail.
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