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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [07.20.05]
Manufactured by: Intel


Audio Encoding

Like video encoding, several audio codecs are available to use. MP3 is easily the most popular, being the first to receive massive use for encoding personal collections. However WMA can provide higher quality at the same bitrates, and seems to encode a lotĀ faster. OGG is another solution, supported by the open-source community. It also boasts higher quality over MP3 at similar bitrates. M4A is the successor to MP3, butĀ it is not a format in itself. Like WMA, it contains various sub-formats. The main sub-format, and equivalent to everyday MP3 is AAC, which is what Apple uses on their iTunes and iPod products.

This test was performed by encoding a 45 minute WAV track ripped directly from a CD. dbPowerAMP Music Converter was used, with the codecs downloaded from their Codec Base. All tests were done in 128 kbps constant bitrate, single pass. Total encoding time in seconds was given:

Unfortunately the codecs and/or encoder do not seem to make use of the extra core on the Pentium D, so it performs slightly slower than the P4. On a side note, If you were wondering which audio codec you should use every day, this chart might help you decide ;)

MusicMatch Jukebox 7.1

Another Worldbench 5 test, this is a more robust encoding solution than dbPowerAMP, and the result below involved more than just encoding time, but overall usage of the program. MP3 was used here:

Again, the mutli core isn't helping the Pentium D at this point. I fully expect mutlithreaded audio encoders to hit it big later this year though.

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