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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Sunday June 09, 2002
10:49 PM

ABR/VBR and portable mp3 players

[ #5528 ]
Dear Everyone,

As I'm poking thru the options in LAME, I am tempted to wonder: if I produce an ABR/VBR mp3 file (as opposed to a by-the-book Constant Bit-Rate file) file and then want to listen to it on a little portable mp3 player, what are the chances of it not working? And for audio CD players that can read mp3 CDRs, do they never/sometimes/often/always have problems with VBR/ABR mp3s?

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  • As far as I am aware the ABR and VBR files are compliant with the original spec and should work on all players — it's a case of optimising the encoding process rather than the mp3 file format as such. It'd be interesting to have some definite info on this though.

    Of course, really, we need portable/consumer devices that support Ogg Vorbis []. Are there any out there yet?

    • VBR was unsupported by QuickTime when it first got MP3 support.

      I would guess VBR is well-supported, but ABR might not be (I see it referenced a lot less).
      • I am under the impression (and a very vague and uninformed impression it is!) that ABR is just a user-interface way to specify VBR -- i.e., that ABR is just you telling the encoder "I want VBR, /and/ I want the average bitrate to be X". And (so my impression goes), in the end you just get an MP3 file with VBR, with no apparent feature to show that it was encoded with an ABR option.
        • That could be the case, I dunno. I forget why, but I was under the impression that ABR contained some guarantees of high and low bitrate, or something. Then again, that would still be user-level, I suppose, because it could be done in the same VBR format.