CBR vs VBR mp3 encoding

All things gaming. From design to implementation.
Post Reply
User avatar
Critical Listener
Posts: 17
Joined: September 18th, 2013, 3:41 am
Location: Bonn, Germany
Occupation: Sound Designer
Location: Duesseldorf, Germany

CBR vs VBR mp3 encoding

Post by AndreEngelhardt » November 21st, 2014, 6:41 am

Hi all,

I've been wondering what your experiences have been with constant bit rate encoded mp3s vs. variable bitrate encoded mp3's. Especially in respect to CPU and memory usage, and particularly on mobile platforms.

For a game I've been working on, where we're not using any kind of audio middleware or engine, I've been experimenting with different encoding schemes and when we switched to using VBR mp3s the frame-rate and stability on Android phones significantly dropped whereas in the developers version which runs in Java on the Mac/PC I couldn't detect any differences, even when limiting the CPU usage to 1% of one core.

I'd also be interested if you're aware of any spec sheets about the mp3 decoding chips commonly used (if any) in mobile phones / tablets or any other technical documentation or results from your own experiments. I'll give .ogg a test sometime next week but that's for another topic.

And one more thing ... I've encoded some SFX at 32kHz sampling f. and others at 44.1kHz and so far haven't noticed any issues when these are played back concurrently, of course I'd love to just stick to one rate but file size restrictions make this one of the better ways to keep things small.
For most sounds that don't have a lot of high freq. content it's perfectly fine from a quality point of view too (for a mobile game ...) but I was wondering if anyone has had any bad experiences doing it this way ...

Thanks in advance!

Post Reply