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Usually, artists will release their work on multiple platforms, e.g. Bilibili, YouTube, niconico, etc. These platforms have different codecs and/or bitrates. Is there a way that determines which version has the highest audio quality? I'm specifically talking about aac-lc, but if you know about other codecs that's fine as well.

Please tell me if this question should be posted on stackoverflow, because it's kind of related to technology/programming.

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The best thing I have found to compare quality is to run a spectral analysis with Audacity. Audacity is free and has lots of other nice features. Many recordings that are supposed to be 320bps are much close to 128bps. Even FLAC recordings show some poor quality. Just looking at the estimate by Foobar2000 or other audio players isn't enough.

  • Can you give an example? E.g. two versions of one file and where to look at to see the difference. – Joy Jin Jun 17 '20 at 4:08
  • I'm not quite familiar with spectral analysis, so an example would be very helpful. Thank you! – Joy Jin Jun 17 '20 at 4:09
  • All a spectral analysis will tell you is the cut-off frequency, which isn't going to help at all. If you can't hear the difference, what does it matter what the spectrum says? Can you hear 20KHz? Can your system repro it? Are you listening in the car or on headphones? – Tetsujin Jun 18 '20 at 15:34
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    Some poorly manipulated files seem to have cutoffs below 8000. Likewise, the shape of the roll-off differs between files. For use in a car, most of this doesn't matter. As I don't have a Rolls-Royce, the road noise matters. (In a Rolls, the clock ticking interferes with the high frequencies.) – ttw Jun 18 '20 at 16:27

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