Audio compression achieves reduction in the transmission bandwidth requirement of digital audio streams and also the storage size of audio files. Information redundancy is reduced in both lossy and lossless compressions with the help of methods like coding, pattern recognition and linear prediction. There are different technologies that are used for the purpose that include MP2 Systems, MP3 Systems, PAC, VQF and others.
MP2 Systems are generally used in the pro-audio field for film, radio and DVD. Some software MP2 encoders and a few dedicated MP2 players are available. MP2 was released before MP3 and therefore, many MP3 players can play MP2 files also. Since MP2 encoding doesn’t tweak the wav files, it has a better sound quality. Also, the CPU usage is lower with MP2.
MP2 Systems have comparatively larger files that are 50% larger than MP3 in 128 kbps. 192 kbps is the preferred bitrate since it gives very high audio quality and reasonably sized files. MP2 encoders that have been tested include Record-it (lomega), MpegDJencoder (Xaudio), MP2ENC, SoundLimit 2.0, and Qdesign lmedia 2. MpegDJencoder is the fastest and Qdesign lmedia 2 is the best quality encoder.
MP2-192 differs from MP3 (128 and up) in that it doesn’t have the phasing effect and the sound is more open, natural and dynamic. Rippers CDEX 015 and EAC 081 are the best MP2 programs.