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HD Remix soundtrack: What files/encoding quality do you want?


HD Remix soundtrack: What files/encoding quality do you want?  

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  1. 1. HD Remix soundtrack: What files/encoding quality do you want?

    • 192kbps MP3s are fine
    • Higher bitrate (>192kbps) VBR MP3s
    • FLAC/WAVs (lossless)
    • The format doesn't matter. I trust you guys!


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Alright, so with Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix coming out on the 25th & 26th, we're going to be putting out the soundtrack on OCR this week.

djp's feeling just offering 192kbps MP3s. Not to break protocol, but it is our first professional soundtrack and I want to avoid any significant complaints that could arise if 192kbps MP3s is the only release format. We're likely not doing OGG/FLAC/AAC just because MP3 is still the most accessible standard.

That said, what encoding quality do you want for the release of this soundtrack?

  • Are 192kbps MP3s just fine?
  • Do you need higher bitrate VBR MP3s?
  • Do you REALLY need WAVs?
  • OR Does it just not matter to you, as long as it's reasonable quality?

Your input could help influence what we do for this one, so please let us know!

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I voted for higher bitrate mp3s, although 192 will be fine. Considering this is a commercial game I would gladly buy this soundtrack on CD were it to be made available. Is there some sort of licensing problem with doing that, or do you guys just feel like keeping it free of charge?

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I voted for WAV as it's the only lossless option, but please reconsider your stance on FLAC.

Reasons to consider lossless over lossy:

- Anyone can transcode it into their own preferred lossy format; satisfies those that want Ogg Vorbis, AAC+, whatever.

- Even those that can't tell the difference still agree lossless is a higher quality format.

- Easier to send to radio stations (higher quality source = more likely to be played)

- You can release it in lower-bitrate MP3 and people will still be able to get high bitrate MP3 from the lossless.

- People still have the choice to selectively download the format they want.

Reasons to consider FLAC over WAV:

- It is the most established format for lossless releases at this time.

- This isn't 1994. We have software that plays the format.

- Smaller filesize.

- All tags/metadata are preserved. WAV has no tags/metadata.

- Do you really want MINIBOSSES STREET FIGHTER 2 ASUM MIX.WAV because something didn't get tagged?

- You can still get the original WAV from the FLAC if someone HAS to have a WAV.

I can add more to this list but I think this is a reasonable start.

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I voted for higher bitrate mp3s, although 192 will be fine. Considering this is a commercial game I would gladly buy this soundtrack on CD were it to be made available. Is there some sort of licensing problem with doing that, or do you guys just feel like keeping it free of charge?

One of the things djp worked out when the contract was written up was that we'd be able to freely distribute the music, just like always.

This is actually a tough choice. I'm looking at it as another in-game soundtrack to collect. I'm the kind of person that would alter even professionally released music if I thought it wasn't satisfactorily looped or mastered, or if it didn't have ALL the tracks accounted for. For me to do that, of course, I'd prefer lossless. However, I've done stuff like Marvel vs. Capcom 2 out of ripped .adx's and NiGHTS into Dreams... through audio cables straight out my Saturn, so it's probably not so big a deal. LAME's V3 VBR setting (which dances around 175kbps) is what I use on my encodes for listening, and it's reasonably transparent, so 192 sounds like just the right compromise.

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What about the different sizes of these formats? What happens when you do an MP3/WAV release as opposed to an MP3/FLAC release? What's the difference going to be in terms of bandwidth used?

I honestly want 192kbps MP3 for myself, but I'm sure others definitely want lossless formats. But my concern is the bandwidth itself, because I'm sure there's going to be a huge demand for the album.

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I think Voices of the Lifestream had a pretty good model. Simultaneous release of lossless & lossy formats. And this time you could put them in different torrents, since many folks don't realize you can selectively download files in a torrent.

Also, I have to agree with Brendan & gang, that the lossless format ought to be FLAC rather than WAV. In addition to supporting tags, it also occupies significantly less space, meaning 1) torrent downloads will be quicker, and thus it'll be distributed to more people in less time, 2) more people will be likely to keep it seeded since it doesn't take up so much HDD space. Also, anyone who cares about having lossless quality will have something to decode FLAC, I guarantee it.

As far as the lossy format... strictly speaking, LAME VBR at -V2 is the optimal solution (and is not always >192Kbps either, its efficiency can lead it above or below when needed). But really, comparing 192Kbps CBR with a VBR format is nitpicking for the large majority of folks. 192 sounds absolutely fine in most cases, and plus there still are some (although very few) old MP3 players that don't play VBR. Whatever MP3 quality you folks decide to go with will likely be absolutely fine.

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I really would just love to have it as soon as possible.

I liked how the voices of the life stream release was so they should do it like that. For those who don't know that they can choose which files they want to download either split it into two separate torrents or make a note before the download that informs them.

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VotL didn't use FLAC because I didn't see the point. It's not a widely supported format. Does Winamp even support it out of the box? I'm not 100% of that. Not all CD burning apps do to my knowledge either, so you'd have to convert to WAV before doing that. And, my guess is that most people downloading these albums in lossless will be putting it on a CD, not just loading it up on their computer. VotL's WAV format worked quite well IMO since we had the tagged MP3s alongside it.

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VotL didn't use FLAC because I didn't see the point. It's not a widely supported format. Does Winamp even support it out of the box? I'm not 100% of that. Not all CD burning apps do to my knowledge either, so you'd have to convert to WAV before doing that. And, my guess is that most people downloading these albums in lossless will be putting it on a CD, not just loading it up on their computer. VotL's WAV format worked quite well IMO since we had the tagged MP3s alongside it.

The more things out there in FLAC format though, the more interest there is in the FLAC format. Besides, if someone cares enough about audio quality to download a lossless format then they probably already know about FLAC. Using FLAC is less effort for the end user. Besides, Trent Reznor released a FLAC version of The Slip on his website so I'm sure its popular enough for OCR to use it.

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I don't see why you guys still think FLAC is not accessible enough. Even still, if you made the files .flac that'd be a step in the right direction for lossless distribution of popular media.

What I'd like to see is 128-256 kbps VBR for MP3s and high-compressed .flac.

If you really want to distribute raw .wav files, for the love of god at least compress them with .zip or .rar. VotL's torrent is like twice the size it needs to be [i will forever make fun of Zircon for this]

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Winamp supports FLAC,

VLC supports FLAC,

Nero supports FLAC through a free plugin,

SUPER transcodes FLAC,

BurnAtOnce supports FLAC.

Bottom line, FLAC isnt obscure anymore and people who prefer lossless media know what to do with it. I'd prefer to see a FLAC release (smaller file size) but a WAV release is alright too, so long as it is lossless.

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Fair enough; I still think it's not worthwhile. I disagree that most people who want lossless know about FLAC, as my guess is the average person downloading lossless is going to be doing so to burn it to a CD, not to stick it on an iPod or just listen on their computer. Keep in mind the people that actually register on these forums and talk about it are not exactly representative of the entire population, especially considering how we have about 1000x more site visitors than active forum members.

Anyway, I don't really see the point of lossless for computer listening anyway since I can guarantee you in a blind listening test, most people can't tell the difference between 192kbs and lossless on a decent system, much less your average computer speaker/headphone/iPod setup ;)

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