5/26/2008

05-26-08 - 2

I'm really annoyed by the lack of decent standard MP3 encoding. Lots of the torrents are in fucking 320 which is so unnecessary and huge. Then you get the retarded ones in 128 which is not good enough. 192 is okay, but really everything should be in VBR, with some kind of good settings for VBR (which again is a big cluster fuck because there aren't good regular standards for VBR settings). For disk storage you want something that sounds at least as good as 192 but uses minimal bits, and you don't care if encoding takes a bit longer and the bit rate might be highly variable.

Of course we did (do) have the same problem with JPEG. Exposing technical parameters to the average user is just dumb. The defaults need to be better and exposed in ways that are more intuitive. I don't blame the user for doing it wrong when it's exposed so badly. I always had the same philosophy when writing tools in games; if the coders expose the control in a really awful nonintuitive way or with broken default values, it's the coders fault when the content is broken.

The MPEG group (redundant like Mount Fuji I know) is generally very smart about defining the decoding standard and not defining the encoder. That allows lots of room for improvement in the future, because they're smart about making the format pretty flexible so future better encoders can change the code stream enough, and compatible decoders just keep working. The problem is that you rely on the 3rd party software makers to make decent encoders, and the software makers don't, and the user doesn't really know or care.

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