Encode Karel's wonderful music at higher than 48 kbit/s

Marco Leise shared this feedback 8 months ago

The music in Space Engineers is really enjoyable and the WMAv2 codec does an impressive job at that bit rate, but the more complex parts clearly lack definition. Microsoft probably set 48 kbit/s as the default to show how efficient their codec is, but from my own comparison 96 kbit/s is where it starts to sound transparent for SE's main theme. (I used the VBR MP3 from Archive.org).

I noticed that the in-game music is 48 kHz (sample rate, not bit rate), but the MP3 files on Archive.org are 44.1 kHz. For in-game music the sample rate of the source should be kept. Most computers these days default to 48 kHz anyways.

Increasing the bit rate to 96 kbit/s is done by adding the -b <bitrate> argument to Microsoft's WMAv2 encoder:

> xWMAEncode.exe -b 96000 <track>.wav <track>.xwm

The game data size would increase by about 0.4% and the music would sound much smoother. This is also a great task when you only have 30 minutes left on a Friday and don't want to start anything big from the list.