mp3 Sample Clip Creator With Fade-In/Out

This script will create mp3 sample clips. I created it to automatically create sample mp3 clips for a friend of mine's (Will Stroet) website. You can tweak the length of the clip and the fadeout. Unfortunately it can only create samples that start at the beginning, however, it could be easily modified to start anywhere. It depends on the quelcom library, lame, and mpg123.


Bye Bye Ogg Vorbis, hello VBR mp3

Part of my music collection is stored as *.mp3 and part of it as *.ogg files (vorbis encoded). We have a portable Samsung YP-T9 which, when we purchased it at Future Shop about 4 months ago was one of the few devices that played ogg files (which is why I bought it). Even then, I had to update the firmware so that it would play oggs, and although it plays ogg files perfectly well, it does not recognize the ogg tags! So all the files get thrown into the "Unknown" artist and "Unknown" track basket. It sucks. I tried all sorts of tricks like embedding id3 tags in the files as well as the ogg tag and renaming the files to mp3s but nothing works. Apparently others have had problems with their ogg tags not being recognized as well. I got really pissed off. Partly at Samsung and partly at myself for encoding these CDs into ogg format in the first place.

What is the advantage of ogg format anyways? Better quality than mp3 for the same file size is how it can be explained most simply. But who gives a damn about filesize these days with 0.5 TB hard drives going for $115. If you want high quality forget disk space and go with Flac or use VBR mp3 or 320kbps CBR mp3. If you're tight on disk space your encoding is going to be lossy no matter what and it will sound like crap. The only reason I can think for using ogg many years ago when I did was that VBR was fairly new at that time and was not fully supported by all players and hard drive space must have been more expensive.

I also just bought a Squeezebox Receiver and Controller and I don't want to discover some flaw in its ogg tag support when I'm hosting a party and trying to play some oggs.

Luckily most of my oggs were ripped off of CDs that I still have in storage. I am in the process or re-ripping those CDs into mp3s. I knew nothing about mp3 conversion before so I did some reading about it. This list of recommended LAME settings was the most helpful in addition to the lame man page. I eventually decided upon the following:

lame --preset fast standard *.wav *.mp3

A couple notes, the "fast" option adds the --vbr-new setting, the "standard" option is equivalent to "-V 2" and the -h option is not necessary with VBR. This gives a target bitrate of 190 kbps which is good enough for me. I did think about using flac but I don't care that much about audio quality, and I would rather not to have to upgrade my hard drive in order to be able to use flac for everything.

For some CDs that I really care about, such as Pink Floyd, I rip it using

lame --preset fast extreme *.wav *.mp3

which gives an average bitrate of around 245 kbps.


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