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MP3 encoders listening tests (10 Jan 2012), Moderation: not TOS #8 compliant
zmejce
post Jan 10 2012, 20:54
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Hello,
Ive tested mp3 encoders today and I like to share my results.
I havent done spectrum analisys, only listening tests.

Programs used for encoding:
1. dbpoweramp 14.2 (with fraunhofer 4.0.3-latest)
2. iTunes 10.5.2.11 (uses fraunhofer mp3)
3. Easy CD-DA 15 (uses some version of lame 3.98)
4. foobar 1.07 (with Lame 3.98.4)
5. Nero 11 (uses fraunhofer mp3 encoder)

*note: even if there are few fraunhofer encoders, they are not exactly the same, also I've tested only 2 tracks of hard/glam rock genre (band name: Extreme). Also i wanted to test WMP12's mp3 encoder, but i didnt found a way to encode a flac file to mp3 with it, also Ive found out that the flac decoder filter for wmp is with lower quality than other players (ex. winamp, foobar).

The settings used:
CBR 320kbps Joint Stereo, on itunes 10 i checked "filter frequencies below" & "smart optimization".


Filesize results:
Filesize was different (which is strange-because the settings used were same). The biggest filesize were the mp3s encoded with Easy CD-DA. Smallest filesize were the files encoded with dbPoweramp. Nero 11 is somewhere between them.
The difference between Easy CD-DA and dbpower is somewhere ~5%. If a file encoded with dbpoweramp was 8.35mb, Easy CD-DA's was 8.69mb.
Winner: dbpoweramp

Encoding speed results:
Speed results were minimal in difference, the fastest was itunes, dbpoweramp was same or almost same as itunes, while the other encoders were few seconds late.
Winners: iTunes & dbPoweramp


Quality Results:
Sound quality was almost same on all encoders, however there were slight differences.
dbPoweramp gives best sound quality. iTunes makes the mp3s slightly bass boosted, easy cd-da's mp3s: vocals appeared a bit worse- but overall sound appeared more powerful, lame encoded files same as the easy cd-da's just a bit quieter (i mean not so powerful sound), and nero even if it uses fraunhofer it gives worst quality- files sounded like older recording.
Winner: dbPoweramp with fraunhofer, alternative: iTunes for folks that use Mac OS X or want their bass boosted a bit :-)

*note: itunes mp3 encoder might be "optimized" for listening in itunes- i mean about its equalizer, enhancer and similar settings.

For the test ive used:
Core 2 Quad 2.5ghz, audigy platinum ex, audio system: panasonic sa-ak27 2x100W with superwoofer (its 8yrs old but it has quite good quality for home usage)
Ive used Windows Media Player 12 and iTunes 10.5.2 for listening -- files from both players sounded same.


Conclusion:

dbpoweramp with fraunhofer makes the mp3s smallest in size and best in quality-also its fastest or next to itunes, itunes is also excelent, while easy cd-da (with lame) is very good in quality-vocals appeared a bit worse- but overall sound appeared more powerful, and gives ~5% bigger filesize than dbpower (acctually the biggest mp3 size of all encoders ive tested), lame is ok too, and nero even if it uses fraunhofer it gives worst quality and is somewhere between dbpower and cd-da in filesize.
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db1989
post Jan 10 2012, 20:58
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Please read #8 of our Terms of Service. Unless you can provide supporting evidence according to the same, your results are of no use to Hydrogenaudio.

Excuse me if I doubt that you will. I see in your post little evidence of differences that are likely to actually exist: no one with statistically normal hearing is going to be able to distinguish between 320 kbps encodes of anything, and the difference certainly would not manifest as alterations in EQ or vocals only. Besides, lossy encodes should be compared to their uncompressed source, not to other lossy encodes.

Feel free to prove me wrong, but otherwise this will be binned.

This post has been edited by db1989: Jan 10 2012, 20:59
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zmejce
post Jan 10 2012, 21:02
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 10 2012, 20:58) *
Please read #8 of our Terms of Service. Unless you can provide supporting evidence according to the same, your results are of no use to Hydrogenaudio.

Excuse me if I doubt that you will. I see in your post little evidence of differences that are likely to actually exist: no one with statistically normal hearing is going to be able to distinguish between 320 kbps encodes of anything, and the difference certainly would not manifest as alterations in EQ or vocals only. Besides, lossy encodes should be compared to their uncompressed source, not to other lossy encodes.

Feel free to prove me wrong, but otherwise this will be binned.


Should i upload the mp3s and the flac files?
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DVDdoug
post Jan 10 2012, 21:04
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Before making claims about sound quality, please read-up on blind ABX testing.

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db1989
post Jan 10 2012, 21:10
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QUOTE (zmejce @ Jan 10 2012, 20:02) *
QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 10 2012, 20:58) *
Please read #8 of our Terms of Service. Unless you can provide supporting evidence according to the same, your results are of no use to Hydrogenaudio.
Should i upload the mp3s and the flac files?
I must ask whether you read the link I requested you to.

QUOTE
All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings. Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.
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greynol
post Jan 10 2012, 21:54
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 10 2012, 12:10) *
QUOTE (zmejce @ Jan 10 2012, 20:02) *
QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 10 2012, 20:58) *
Please read #8 of our Terms of Service. Unless you can provide supporting evidence according to the same, your results are of no use to Hydrogenaudio.
Should i upload the mp3s and the flac files?
I must ask whether you read the link I requested you to.

While he's at it, I think he should be sure to read TOS #9 as well. wink.gif


--------------------
I should publish a list of forum idiots.
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mjb2006
post Jan 11 2012, 04:17
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zmejce, you might want to check out /mnt's posts in the Uploads forum, just as a guide. He posts short clips that demonstrate encoding artifacts, he tells what encoder and parameters he used, he includes a codebox with ABX test results showing that he isn't imagining that one sounds worse/different than the other, and he links back to the threads where the problems are being discussed. Basically that's what you need to do. Telling us that you found vocals in some tracks to be slightly better with one encoder or the other is really useless info. I might listen to the same tracks and conclude differently. You might do a blind test, listen to the same clip over and over, and swear you hear a difference half the time. You might not reach the same conclusions consistently enough to be meaningful. You might listen to different tracks and decide the better encoder is performing worse. And so on. It doesn't mean we aren't interested in your results, it's just that they need to be info we can do something with, not subjective impressions that could be completely inconsistent.
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zmejce
post Jan 11 2012, 18:38
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Ive did the ABX testing, and yes there is some difference in the conclusion, but i didnt found the edit button at my post and i dont know how to post the txt saves in boxes like that guy did. Any help about it?

This post has been edited by db1989: Jan 11 2012, 19:58
Reason for edit: removing unrelated full quote of above post
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tpijag
post Jan 11 2012, 19:06
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Your post is editable for the first 60 minutes of it's life and there is an edit button at the bottom right of your post. After which, you will need to add a new reply post.
You can clean up display of posts via standard html functionality. [html tag] text stuff [/html tag] Wrapping a short bit of text in quote tags [ typed by yourself or via use of quote toolbar button]
QUOTE
will give you this box.


In the full reply / new post editor there is a drop down list titled insert special item and a quick access list to your left. Selecting/using the CODEBOX item will give you a similar styled box as the quote box with the additional function of adding a scroll bar for long text.

This post has been edited by tpijag: Jan 11 2012, 19:12
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zmejce
post Jan 12 2012, 00:00
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Ok ive post abx and renewed this post, you can find it here:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=92851


Admins & Moderators please delete this post.
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