Today, I did a quick experiment using a relatively new Open Source Lossy audio format called Opus, by the Xiph.Org foundation. I downloaded the opus-tools package from the official Opus Website and tried a tool called “opusenc.exe”.
Wow! I was really impressed by the sound quality! I like to listen to my audio CD music collection, and I personally have them ripped to the FLAC audio format, which is a Lossless Audio Codec, but being Lossless means it consumes a lot of space, but less than what would use an entire Audio CD if no Lossless compressed codec is used.
Enter Opus. This amazing audio codec provides amazing sound quality that easily beats other lossy formats like MP3 and AAC/M4A. What I did was start at 128kb, and then gradually getting the bitrate down to 64kb. I went ahead and ripped a CD to 48kb/s, but at that bitrate, you could hear artifacts in the audio which aren’t heard at 64kb/s, so I chose 64kb/s to rip my music CDs.
The tool I’m using is called Exact Audio Copy, which looks like this:
To use Opus as our encoder, we need to go to the EAC menú, then to Compression Options…
You’ll see this:
If you’re not in the External Compression tab, click it. Then, we will choose “User Defined Encoder”. We’ll also enter the “.opus” file extension which is the one used for Opus files.
Next, we need to browse for the “opusenc.exe”. If you went above and downloaded the “opus-tools” package, you should be able to extract the “opusenc.exe” executable to a place you desire, and then you should browse for it, or copy and paste the path. If you haven’t downloaded Opus Tools, you can download the latest builds for the 1.3-rc version which is currently in development here: https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,116059.100.html
Next, we need to setup the parameters. Copy and paste this in the “Additional command-line options” field:
--music --bitrate 64 --artist "%artist%" --title "%title%" --album "%albumtitle%" --date "%year%" --genre "%genre%" --comment "COMMENT=%comment%" %hascover%--picture "%coverfile%"%hascover% %source% %dest%
–music tells it to encode lower bitrates for music instead of speech, –bitrate is pretty obvious, you can change the bitrate of the audio file by changing the “64” above to anything you’d like. Feel free to experiment!
The next arguments are related to the file metadata, were if will add the album artist, album name, track title, year, genrge, comments, picture if it has a cover art, and lastly, the source file and the destination file.
Once you’ve setup the encoder, press “Test encoder” to test that everything is ok. If it is, you should see something similar to this:
Now, press OK and then OK again. Now, you’re be able to rip your music collection to Opus!
Once the rip is complete, you can see that the file size is really small!