MP3 bit rate quality detection through frequency spectrum analysis

Brian D'Alessandro, Yun-Qing Shi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

26 Scopus citations


The proliferation of the lossy MP3 format as the standard for audio transferred over the internet is of great concern to audiophiles, those who deeply care about good audio quality. Typically, the bit rate of an MP3 file is used as a relative measure of audio quality, however, this check fails if the audio has been transcoded from a lower bit rate to a higher bit rate. In this paper, we propose a method of detecting the original lower bit rate of a given audio file by analyzing its high frequency spectrum. Using a Support Vector Machine classifier and five classes of bit rates (CBR 128 kbps, 192 kbps, 256 kbps, 320 kbps, and VBR-0), our algorithm returned an average success rate of 97% in correctly detecting the original compressed bit rate of an audio file in the absence of any coding format knowledge other than the audio signal itself. Furthermore, our algorithm also detected the original lower bit rates of 320 kbps MP3s transcoded from 128 kbps and 192 kbps sources with a success rate of 99%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMMandSec'09 - Proceedings of the 11th ACM Multimedia Security Workshop
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Nov 23 2009
Event11th ACM Multimedia Security Workshop, MMandSec'09 - Princeton, NJ, United States
Duration: Sep 7 2009Sep 8 2009


Other11th ACM Multimedia Security Workshop, MMandSec'09
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPrinceton, NJ

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software


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