Thursday, May 27, 2004

What format will replace MP3?

I was really disappointed when Bob didn’t show…. I had to watch Lord of the Rings The Return of the King by myself. A movie of epic proportions…maybe. The movie was 3 ½ hours long and that is a very long time watching a movie on my computer in a very unconformable chair. I was amazed that Frodo escaped the spider in the cave scene. I mean the spider was ready to stab in from above and Frodo gets away before sticking it in the stomach? That has to be Hollywood! How did Gollum survive the fall? He just sort of re-appeared at the end. Sam should have finished him when Gollum didn’t lend Frodo a hand…but the book the movie was based on had to have Frodo go soft on the creature. After seeing a lot of old westerns like Up to Alaska, Shanadoha, and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly…Lord of the Rings doesn’t seem as good in my opinion. Nobody does a better job then Clint Eastwood or John Wayne in terms of acting.

I don’t know about you guys, but I always want to search the Internet for something that does audio / video a little better than what I have now. I don’t know if it’s crazy, but would you stop using Microsoft Word’s doc format or compressing files in Zip because it’s too popular? With the Internet I know there is always something better that’s going to come out. What’s the next format that’ll replace MP3? Will it be APE, WMA or OGG? I’m almost positive that people will change from 128 KBPS to 768 KBPS format. MP3 can only go up to 320 KBPS. Actually, I never tried to start a music collection in APE. APE sounds a lot better than MP3s at the cost of space. One APE file could be 4 MP3s but sounds as good as it's WAV counterpart.

Here is an example; the most popular compression is MP3 compression at 128 KBPS. My favorite encoder is LAME although some people like Xing or Blade.

Time Compression KBPS Size 700MB CD
3 minute 40 second song MP3, LAME 3.96 128 3.31 MB 211 approx
3 minute 40 second song MP3, LAME 3.96 320 7.42 MB 94 approx
3 minute 40 second song APE, insane compression 768 11.20 MB 62 approx

So would you rather have 211 tape quality songs or 62 excellent quality songs? I go with 62 excellent quality songs. Since 100% of my collection is MP3 there would be no sense in upgrading those songs to APE. Be warned for those who are skeptical about using hard drive space, APE is not for you. The best places to find ape encoders is using CDEX or downloading Monkey’s Audio 3.99

As for new software, there is always something new I haven’t tried. Today is no exception. I used iTunes for the first time. Normally iTunes is for OS10, but Apple ported it to Windows for free. It does have a few features like a MP3 to Audio CD burn option and an online radio service, but not much different from Nero 6.1. The Interface is pretty slick, I like it a lot. Anyways I don’t regret downloading it because I got it at the school’s server. Only took 3 minutes to download and as a bonus, it comes with the full version of Quicktime. I still like to use my QCD or Winamp players better.

Can any one tell me what format will replace MP3 and why? I'm interested in what will be the next popular format? The MP3 has been around for 6 years now and they've created portable MP3 players.

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