Linux NetMag #2
Everyone who wants to generate his own mp3-files needs the help
of an encoder.
The Frauenhofergesellschaft, of all times, wants to earn money
with their mp3-encoder-code.
But there are ways out of this dilemma!
[ l3enc | 8hz-mp3
| bladeenc | encoder
| --links --]
Sooner or later everyone wants to generate his own mp3-files. For
example to burn a big CD collection compressed on a single
CD. Additional you just need a program, called Ripper, that gets the music
from the CD and a second one that changes the music to the mp3 format.
In this article we will have a look at the second program. It is called:
encoder. All common encoders change the music from the wave format
(source) to the mp3 format. These wave-files are compressed with
mathematical algorithms. The frequencies that are not audible to
our ears are mostly filtered out.
This algorithm is quite complicated so that many programs use the original
Frauenhofer-code. Now the Frauenhoferinstitut wants to earn money with
their code and everyone who uses the algorithm has to pay a high fee.
That's why most encoders are illegal or the programmers stopped
the development. But there are still some free encoders which do not use
this special algorithm. Linux versions are seldom and this article
should help to find the right encoder for you.
l3enc is the encoder created
by the Frauenhofergesellschaft.
Remember there is a charge on this program but it is usable for
a short time. After the testing time the program demands a special code-key
to work. You get this code-key from the Frauenhofergesellschaft.
This program is the standard linux encoder that is supported by
The l3enc generates the
mp3s quite slowly but it works very well with a high compression
reate and produces good mp3-files. The loss of quality is not audible.
The compression ratio, compared with other programs with the same bit ratio,
is many times better and the mp3-files are smaller.
The 8hz-mp3 encoder is a good example
for the license politic of the Frauenhofergesellschaft.
The program was started as the project of a few students but stopped
because of the high license fee that the students should pay. The
download link disappeared from the homepage. Nevertheless there
are still some developer-versions in the internet. The development of 8hz-mp3
was stopped very early and that´s why the available versions are
very unstable. Additional it just compresses wave -files that are
made with stereo and 16bit.
The WINDOWS program bladeenc
is available for Linux now. The encoder is specially programmed to keep
the high music quality. The "user
oriented MP3 encoding guide" says that this encoder has the best
quality for bit ratios higher than 192kbps. With this high ratio the mp3-files
become big and the processor needs more time to play but you get a much
better sound output. The difference is only audible with good speakers.
The encoding speed is very high but the program has problems
with lower ratios than 128kbps. The mp3-files sound distorted when played
with e.g. mpg123
and the player prints
error messages all the time. Nevertheless
has no trouble with these files. The generated files seem to not be in
the normal standard.
Another important and nice characteristic is the possibility to start
with the same
options as l3enc.
At first this does not look very spectacular but this offers the opportunity
to use frontends with bladeenc
which were originally designed for l3enc.
The program has finished its basis development for some time past and
is now available in a stable version 1.x.x . But the programmers
are still improving bladeenc
with the main emphasis on the WINDOWS version. The Linux version appears
with a delay.
Bladeenc is recommended
for high kbps and better than l3enc.
For low kbps you should never use bladeenc
because some players like mpg123 are not able to play these files.
Another encoder with the genius name encoder is available at ftp://wopr.campus.luth.se/
pub/mpeg_layer_3/. It runs stable and offers good results even
at low kbps ratios. It is developed for Linux and compiles without
trouble. The speed is quite good. It is not clear if this encoder is legal
because it uses an improved algorithm of the Frauenhofergesellschaft
and not an own one.