Monday, February 14th 2005
I’ve just had the pleasant experience of discovering the greatness of Ogg Vorbis. Some may think I was a little slow on the uptake, but I just haven’t checked it out properly until now.
I’m using CDex to compress my audio files, and it comes with Vorbis support. At low bitrates, such as 64, 80 and 96 kbps, Vorbis is without any doubt way better than WMA and MP3. At 128 kbps it’s truly difficult to hear the difference between the original WAV file and the Vorbis file. MP3 at 128 is clearly less crisp and detailed. I have yet to try WMA at 128, but at the lower rates it was closer to MP3 in quality than it was to Vorbis.
Update: I tried WMA at 128 kbps now, and while it is not as bad as MP3 at the same bitrate, it still cuts out details at very high frequency (~18-22 kHz probably). The difference is easily seen when studying the levels. Ogg Vorbis manages to keep these details. And, if those details don’t matter that much to you (they are barely audible) then I suggest using Vorbis at maybe 96 kbps – the quality is still close to indistinguishable from a CD.