D l3dec

Decoder Source: FhG (no longer available) http://www.iis.fhg.de/amm/products/index.html
Version: v2.72 (shareware demo) © Fraunofer-IIS 1994-1997
Price: free shareware demo including l3dec v2.72 was previously available; now $199 for mp3enc (includes l3dec v2.74)
Settings: l3dec input.mp3 output.wav -wav
Similar products: Various versions available. Search the web for v2.72 - the last free one.
Verdict: Very good
VBR: All
Full file: Sometimes
Major Flaws: None
Minor Flaws: Clips last few samples off many files, possible high frequency errors with blade encoded files
Output level: correct
1-bit relative accuracy: Excellent
1-bit absolute accuracy: Excellent

l3dec is a command line decoder from FhG. Version 2.72 (tested here) was bundled free with a shareware version (30 second limit) of their command line encoder l3enc. This package is no longer available directly from FhG, but is still floating around on the net (see Similar products, above).

l3dec almost counts as the reference decoder. However, note that the company hype says that it is from the same team who created the decoder used in the official subjective listening tests - nowhere does it state that THIS is the reference decoder itself.

l3dec has two faults. It clips the last few samples off many mp3 files, typically 1000 samples (about 1/50th of a second). Also, it disagrees with many good decoders when decoding Blade encoded files. The difference, though large, is above 21kHz, and so is probably inaudible. Xaudio agrees with l3dec's decode, but other good decoders do not. This is the only instance where l3dec appears to be at fault, and were this the only problem, we would probably let it pass these tests. However, l3dec cannot be recommended due to clipping the end off many mp3 files.


l3dec in use
l3dec in use

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