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WoW!! MiniDisc's audio quality is very good.
AgentMil
post Jan 11 2002, 10:50
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I just got hold of a Sony MiniDisc Player/Recorder, and I was totally caught off guard by its quality. It sounded totally transparant to my ears and on the headphones I was using. But the crushing blow was when me and my friend plugged it into his car stereo system, the sound output of the MiniDisc is second to none, normally we can hear artifacting when playing back decoded MP3's, thru his CD player, but we could hear no artifacting coming from the MiniDisc sample.

But I have a few questions tho':

1.) I know the MiniDisc compression technique is ATRAC, but is it possible to get a codec for that?

2.) Does this prove that transperancy occurs some where over the 200kbps range? (MiniDisc bitrate is *I THINK* around 220kbits)

3.) What is the general perception of this audio codec?

Cheers
AgentMil

BTW, The MiniDisc absolutely rock, small and light. Ultimately convenient! But realtime encoding does suck!!


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Garf
post Jan 11 2002, 11:10
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QUOTE
Originally posted by AgentMil

1.) I know the MiniDisc compression technique is ATRAC, but is it possible to get a codec for that?


Yes. There is an ACM version of ATRAC available. Don't ask me where though smile.gif

QUOTE
2.) Does this prove that transperancy occurs some where over the 200kbps range? (MiniDisc bitrate is *I THINK* around 220kbits)


This does not prove anything. If you don't hear any difference, then it is probably transparent for you, but that does not mean it will be to us.

QUOTE
3.) What is the general perception of this audio codec?


The ones I have seen were usually that the codec is good in the sense that it doesn't make any annoying artifacts, but that it does alter the sound in a way that is (rather easily) recognizable.

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AgentMil
post Jan 11 2002, 11:16
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Cool Thanks Garf!!!

I just got hold of the ATRAC3 codec, it was supposedly released out to the public by according to the Sony website. Unfortunately it is not the ATRAC version.


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johnicon
post Jan 11 2002, 11:22
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I've used to use MiniDisc for about 5 years, including three with a head unit in my car. ATRAC does create artifacts such as chirping, although for me I heard them rarely. These problems got better with each new release of the ATRAC encoder, which I think was up to 4.5 by the time I put my recorder in the closet. The format has great editing features and is very compact and portable, but now that I can put 1700 tacks on 15 CD-R's instead of carrying around 85 MD's in a backpack, I dont't see the point. Plus, LAME quality for me is just as good now. I think the MD bitrate is around 192 kbps.

EDIT - Actually, I think it's 232 kbps...I'm not sure, but I know it's some weird number like that...anyone know for sure?
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feckn_eejit
post Jan 11 2002, 14:42
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It's 292kbps.

However, that is of course not equal to a 292kbps MP3 - every encoding system is different...

--jeff
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Ruse
post Jan 11 2002, 14:44
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I seem to recall that ATRAC is a 5:1 data reduction codec - which would make it about 280 kbps


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Ivan Dimkovic
post Jan 11 2002, 15:02
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Yes - ATRAC is 288 kbps.

I have Sharp 821 minidisc device, and I noticed some artifacts that could be described as those in mp3enc 3.1 ("chirp" before bell attack, etc..)

ATRAC quality depends on implementation, and I suppose ATRAC could be improved by improving the psychoacoustic and bitrate allocation.
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helstegt
post Jan 11 2002, 15:47
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Let me get this straight; audio on minidisc is always lossy compressed, even with 74 minutes on a disc?
I had always thought that minidisc was true CD-quality. Oh well, guess it's time to tease te minidisc freaks I know now.
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Ivan Dimkovic
post Jan 11 2002, 15:51
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QUOTE
Originally posted by helstegt
Let me get this straight; audio on minidisc is always lossy compressed, even with 74 minutes on a disc?
I had always thought that minidisc was true CD-quality. Oh well, guess it's time to tease te minidisc freaks I know now.


Old ATRAC implementation really sucked on some hard-to-encode samples. At least, it can't encode fatboy.wav properly, even at 288 kbps...
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jojolapin
post Jan 11 2002, 16:12
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QUOTE
Originally posted by helstegt
Let me get this straight; audio on minidisc is always lossy compressed, even with 74 minutes on a disc?

Yes, like on the now dead DCC.
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bryant
post Jan 11 2002, 19:10
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QUOTE
Originally posted by jojolapin

Yes, like on the now dead DCC.


DCC was actually considered better than MiniDisc quality-wise because it only compressed 4:1 (which means somewhere about 360 kbps). I believe it used regular mpeg.

While it's officially dead, it's still alive and kicking on eBay with sealed blank tapes selling for almost $10 a piece!
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timcupery
post Jan 11 2002, 19:20
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The current Real Audio codec uses ATRAC... I don't know how it compares to ogg, mpc and aac, but I remember that it made a good impression on me when I tried it.
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JohnV
post Jan 11 2002, 19:24
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It uses ATRAC3 which is different than high bitrate ATRAC codecs like ATRAC 3,4,4.5.


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johnicon
post Jan 11 2002, 19:47
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DCC was actually considered better than MiniDisc quality-wise because it only compressed 4:1 (which means somewhere about 360 kbps). I believe it used regular mpeg.

DCC used a codec called PASC. Probably stands for Perceptual Audio Blah Blah:D I think Phillips developed it. Maybe it was some MPEG variant that Phillips gave a different name?
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AgentMil
post Jan 12 2002, 04:41
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Thanks you guys, for the information stream. You guys just made it harder for me to decide which portable audio system to get now.

I reduced the choices down to MiniDisc model 750 or the new Sony MP3 CD player.

Any info on this will be greatly aprreciated. Of course other brand of MiniDisc or MP3 players are allowed just provide me with a link to the webpage for info and pics.

Cheers
AgentMil


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Delirium
post Jan 12 2002, 07:07
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QUOTE
Originally posted by AgentMil
I reduced the choices down to MiniDisc model 750 or the new Sony MP3 CD player.

I personally would prefer an MP3 CD player simply because then I could play the same media in both my computer and my portable. As there was never a MiniDisc drive for computer released (to my knowledge), this would not be possible with a MiniDisc player.
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AgentMil
post Jan 12 2002, 07:19
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Yeah that was where I was heading, when it comes down to it. It really comes down to the convenience of MP3s doesn't it.

So what type of audio quality should I expect from portable MP3 players (sorry never used one b4 I still use my trusty old Discman), which was very good in the audio quality department. Is it around the same as a Discman or even better? Also should I look out for one that is codec upgradable eg. firmware revisions allow it to play newer formats?

Thanks Delirium for your view.


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svzurich
post Jan 12 2002, 23:08
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Iriver2 SlimX is firmware upgradable, has lots of features, and sounds great with my Ety ER-4P headphones! This is the best player to buy for mp3 and wma today (hopefully ogg and aac tomorrow).
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