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What commandline do you use with MPC?
Dibrom
post Aug 9 2002, 12:24
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Continuum
I don't know. I think the quoted statement is more honest than stating that --standard is completely insufficient without providing evidence of this. It doesn't say anything is wrong with the codec and thus is not leading people to stay away from certain settings without good reason


I don't read German, so I wouldn't know.

From a crude Babelfish translation I get the impression that there's the statement in there that the inclusion of the other settings must mean that they are somehow useful/necessary.

Well, first of all, Buschel, the original MPC author, has stated many times that --standard is supposed to be transparent. Beyond that I've never seen a clear reason for the existance of xtreme, and insane has always been unnecessary and is just a mode useful for comparing graphs in cool edit.

This is really pretty much similar to the --alt-presets in LAME. --alt-preset standard is what you're supposed to do. --alt-preset extreme offers no clear benefits, and insane is totally unnecessary. Almost any sample which screws up standard is also going to screw up insane, just maybe to a tiny degree less.

Back to the original point, if someone says they can hear a difference at such a level, and at a point to where it goes beyond what the majority of this board have found to be the case, then I expect some sort of proof of this. I'm not looking to say that everyone is wrong, I'm looking to find the truth of the matter. I'm tired of people jumping to stupid conclusions based on false information. There's enough of that out there on other sites, we don't need it on HA as well. I'm a little more agitated about this kind of thing than normal given some of the comments made in regards to ff123's test on other sites. It's clear that most people don't give a damn about objectivity or proper testing at all. Well, as the founder/owner/admin of HA, I've stated many times that this is not what the forums here are about. Instead, the idea is to create progress through assembling a knowledge base founded upon reason, verifiable data, and tendency towards objectivity. I don't want to see these continue to be dilluted by the current trendy nonsense which has been popping up around MPC (ie, the need to encode with --braindead because --standard just isn't good enough, etc, without performing any listening tests or providing any test data).

QUOTE
[b]("standard can't be enough, because it's only standard").


This assertion has not a single shred of correlation to actual measured audio quality. It's simply a misunderstanding of terms. Perhaps --transparent would be a better name than --standard and then everything above could be named --bitwastelevel1...level2... etc. It really doesn't matter what you call it though.

Everyone should feel free to use what they want to encode. I'm not so pretentious as to tell people what they can and can't do. However, if you plan on recommending settings to other people (or even implying that they are necessary) on this forum and you make an outrageous statement, be prepared to back it up.
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Continuum
post Aug 9 2002, 12:55
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Dibrom

This assertion has not a single shred of correlation to actual measured audio quality. It's simply a misunderstanding of terms. Perhaps --transparent would be a better name than --standard and then everything above could be named --bitwastelevel1...level2... etc. It really doesn't matter what you call it though.

Everyone should feel free to use what they want to encode.  I'm not so pretentious as to tell people what they can and can't do.  However, if you plan on recommending settings to other people (or even implying that they are necessary) on this forum and you make an outrageous statement, be prepared to back it up.
I'm not sure, whom you meant by this. "standard can't be enough, because it's only standard" was meant as an example of unsubstantiated critique against certain encoder settings. I certainly don't agree with it! (If this was unclear in my previous post, shame on me)

I'll try again: IMHO it is more honest and (fair to the developers) to say "I use --braindead, although --standard is already transparent for me, just to be sure" than to say "I feel something is wrong with --standard, but I don't bother to abx it".
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Trelane
post Aug 9 2002, 13:07
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Frank Klemm


Most of the artists are trunca


That is pure comedy. smile.gif
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Gecko
post Aug 9 2002, 16:14
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Disclaimer: This is completely unscientiffic and I don't recommend this setting to anyone!
I currently use --quality 5.6 and am thinking about adding --xlevel to that commandline. Why 5.6? That gives me filesizes in the middle of standard and xtreme (q5.5 is closer to standard). q5 is transparent to my ears (except 2nd_vent, but this info is close to irrelevant). I just felt that i could spend a little more bits to help me get that warm fuzzy feeling. I guess in such a situation others go ahead and use q10. I try smaller steps. The quality scale is real nice since I don't have to tweak the command line.
Again, I am aware that what I'm doing is not recommended, but hey, you asked for it.

Little anecdote: yesterday I encoded the Autechre Album "Confield". I thought: hehe, codec killer material! Took the track that seemed most difficult: "Pen Expers" and encoded with mpc q5, mp3 aps, ogg q6. I investigated the blips that sounded most wicked but I couldn't abx any of the encodes! I have lost some confidence in my ears but have gained trust using mpc. smile.gif

Thanks all who work so hard to tweak these formats! And thanks for that laugh Frank ("Most of the artists are trunca"). :rofl:
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mithrandir
post Aug 9 2002, 16:26
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Dibrom
Well, first of all, Buschel, the original MPC author, has stated many times that --standard is supposed to be transparent.  Beyond that I've never seen a clear reason for the existance of xtreme, and insane has always been unnecessary and is just a mode useful for comparing graphs in cool edit.

This is really pretty much similar to the --alt-presets in LAME.  --alt-preset standard is what you're supposed to do.  --alt-preset extreme offers no clear benefits, and insane is totally unnecessary.  Almost any sample which screws up standard is also going to screw up insane, just maybe to a tiny degree less.

I think ff123's recent 64kbps tests have helped put things in perspective. The 5 encoders performed so widely that comparing the quality of --standard, --xtreme and --braindead seems like an exercise in futility. Comparing 64kbps AAC with 64kbps Ogg -q0 often reveals dramatic differences, but it is an extremely rare sample indeed where the same thing happens between MPC --standard and --xtreme.

When ff123 rolls out the high bitrate test that he's already hinted at, it would be interesting to include both MPC --standard and --braindead samples. I wouldn't be surprised if people give both encoder settings a 5.0 on the ABX/HR test. I gave a few of those [b]64kbps
clips a 4.0+ rating here and there. Triple the bitrate and use an encoder hellbent on transparency and you are looking at a bunch of 5.0's.
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mithrandir
post Aug 9 2002, 16:47
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Gecko
I currently use --quality 5.6 and am thinking about adding --xlevel to that commandline. Why 5.6? That gives me filesizes in the middle of standard and xtreme (q5.5 is closer to standard). q5 is transparent to my ears (except 2nd_vent, but this info is close to irrelevant). I just felt that i could spend a little more bits to help me get that warm fuzzy feeling. I guess in such a situation others go ahead and use q10. I try smaller steps. The quality scale is real nice since I don't have to tweak the command line.
Again, I am aware that what I'm doing is not recommended, but hey, you asked for it.

Gotta love that warm fuzzy feeling.

But it's understandable why it's not recommended. You aren't getting poor quality, of course, but you're simply wasting bits. I suppose the whole purpose of --standard/--quality 5 is that it represents the point where anything higher is hitting the point of excessive diminishing returns. How does 2nd_vent ABX between --quality 5 and --quality 5.6? Maybe you need --quality 8 to gain transparency on this clip, but I guess the trouble is that you'd be "forced" to use --quality 8 all the time to "rule out" the risk of non-transparency and meanwhile you are boosting bitrate by 40% or so.

If you plan to store music on a hard drive only, you can use --quality 10 all the time and realize it's completely unnecessary but you wouldn't have to justify it because hard disk space is so cheap nowadays. But my big thing now is burning my lossy files to CD-R and I'm stuck with a 700MB budget per disc. --quality 10 would mean about 3 albums per CD-R and that rather defeats the purpose. Now that I am using --standard --ltq 30, I can fit roughly 10-12 albums per CD-R...at a quality level is pragmatically transparent.
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David Nordin
post Aug 9 2002, 16:55
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QUOTE
How does 2nd_vent ABX between --quality 5 and --quality 5.6? Maybe you need --quality 8 to gain transparency on this clip, but I guess the trouble is that you'd be "forced" to use --quality 8 all the time to "rule out" the risk of non-transparency and meanwhile you are boosting bitrate by 40% or so


Around --quality 7 is transparent for me and others who tested it, I use --quality 7.4. rolleyes.gif


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paranoos
post Aug 9 2002, 17:37
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LOL @ Frank's comment...

QUOTE
Originally posted by Frank Klemm


Most of the artists are trunca


Yes, my benchmark for a tag is Weezer's song "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" ... ID3 leaves out the last two words. Yes, it is adequate for most uses, but I do prefer the flexibility of a variable-length tag. And as I understand it, the WinAmp MPC plugin that Frank wrote (or optimized?) seems to support only one tag format per file... either way, I technically COULD use both APE2 and ID3v1, one for flexibility, the other for compatibility with EAR, but that isn't a very smart solution.

I tried the LCD plugin yesterday, but I find the design of the on-screen option to be fairly limited. I do like EAR, and I would be more than happy to rewrite it to allow for APE2 tags, but I am quite sure the source is closed. And I have never seen an update for this program... it has been version 1.01 since I first got it. rolleyes.gif

btw, we need more smilies! i could really use one like "shake head" to show disappointment.
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Garf
post Aug 9 2002, 20:12
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Dibrom

Perhaps --transparent would be a better name than --standard and then everything above could be named --bitwastelevel1...level2... etc.  It really doesn't matter what you call it though.


Apparently not., or people would not use the settings with names as 'insane' and 'braindead'.

They're called that way for a [b]reason
.

--
GCP
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David Nordin
post Aug 10 2002, 01:21
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Hmm...
A slightly better tuned --standard as --transparent would be quite nice.
Gives an entirely other impression compared to plains standard...
psychological factors here, seriously it sounds great.


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David Nordin
post Aug 12 2002, 20:08
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Nice to see the confidence in MPC. 50%+ using the --standard profile.
Even though this forum has many extreme users...
wow wink.gif


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Somebody
post Aug 29 2002, 23:14
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--quality 7.4
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rc55
post Aug 30 2002, 12:03
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--standard

Because its enough for me, and its trusted.

Ruairi


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Volcano
post Aug 30 2002, 20:00
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I somehow missed this thread...

I use --xtreme to have some extra headroom over --standard for jobs like re-encoding. I wouldn't mind at all using --standard, I don't doubt for one moment it's transparent on most samples. But I don't know how much worse it would perform when re-encoding.


Dezibel: I don't believe a single word. I agree entirely with all of Dibrom's comments.

What you say about only being able to judge quality when listening to "a whole album on a real player" is simply wrong. You can only judge the quality of audio codecs using relatively short samples and a blind test.

If things like "warmness of sound" or whatever suddenly vanish, it's not due to the test environment, it's because these things simply don't exist with psychoacoustic audio compression. The only deficiencies that can exist are artifacts. If you don't detect any of them, the sample is transparent to you, it's as simple as that. If you feel there's something wrong with a sample you couldn't ABX, it will most likely be the placebo effect playing up on you. (Remember Beatles?)

I had a discussion like this recently, also with a musician. Here's an excerpt:

QUOTE
> Ich bekomme Kopfschmerzen, wenn irgendetwas am Sound nicht stimmt.
> Trotzdem ist Musik für mich nicht nur Technik- ich höre in die Musik
> hinein- bei 10sec Samples ist das gar nicht möglich- viel Elemente,
> Details erschließen sich erst in der Gesamtheit.
> Klang ist nicht nur die Summe von Tönen, sondern auch deren gegenseitige
> Beeinflussung. Zum Beispiel spielt der Konzertsaal eine entscheidende
> Rolle- wie harmonisch das Klangbild am Ende ist.

Diese Dinge haben mit dem Beurteilen der Qualität von psychoakustischen
Audiocodern *nichts* zu tun. Entweder sind Artefakte da oder nicht, Punkt.
Ob die Qualität der Aufnahme gut ist oder wie das Klangbild wirkt, ist
völlig nebensächlich - es kommt 1. darauf an, gut trainiert im Wahrnehmen
von Artefakten zu sein und 2. alle Details des Samples zu erkennen (ja, das
muss auch bei kurzen Samples möglich sein) - also auch Instrumente, die man
normalerweise, weil sie so stark im Hintergrund "versteckt" sind, gar nicht
wahrnimmt -, um sie dann auf Artefakte "untersuchen" zu können.

Wenn man einen ganzen Song als Ausgangsbasis dafür nimmt, kann schon mal der
letzte Punkt nicht erfüllt werden. KEIN MENSCH schafft es, sich wirklich
*alle* klanglichen Eigenschaften eines ganzen Liedes so gut einzuprägen,
dass er, wenn erst das Original und dann der Encode abgespielt wird, sofort
zuverlässig sagen kann, wo er Unterschiede gehört hat. Das kann er auch
nicht, wenn er Original und Encode mehrmals nacheinander durchhört.

Testsamples von maximal etwa 20 Sekunden Länge sind die einzige Möglichkeit,
sehr subtile Unterschiede wirklich zuverlässig aufzuspüren.

Diese ganzen Audiophile, die sich einbilden, sie könnten die Qualität von
Codecs im normalen ABC-Test _mit einem gesamten Lied als Ausgangsbasis_
aufgrund ihrer langjährigen Erfahrung im Hifi-Bereich beurteilen (Redakteure
von Hifi-Zeitschriften sind das beste Beispiel), würden im ABX-Test mit dem
gleichen, gesamten Lied kläglich versagen.

Das merkt man spätestens dann, wenn man sich ihre Beurteilungen der Codecs
durchliest (es wird nie ein Artefalt wie Klirren oder Flanging oder Pre-Echo
etc. erwähnt). Das Beurteilen von Audiocodecs ist EBEN NICHT das gleiche wie
das Beurteilen von Hifi-Systemen und Lautsprechern, hier kann man sich EBEN
NICHT auf das generelle "Gefühl" verlassen, das der Sound angeblich
vermittelt - man kann sich nur auf Artefakte stützen. Ein "Gefühl" gibt es
bei psychoakustischen Audiocodern nicht. Es gibt nur Artefakte (oder auch
nicht), und die kann man im direkten Vergleich von zwei ganzen Liedern nicht
feststellen. Dafür sind kurze Samples und ein ABX-Test notwendig.


CU

Dominic
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Rizban76
post Oct 24 2002, 06:42
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At the risk of sounding like a newbie, what is an ABX test? How do they standardize file comparisons?

--Rizban
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KikeG
post Oct 24 2002, 13:58
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ABX is a type of blind test, that is applied here to audio.

See:

www.pcabx.com, which also includes links to some computer-based ABX comparators.

http://users.htdconnect.com/~djcarlst/abx.htm , more info about ABX procedure & test results.
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Megaman
post Dec 7 2002, 07:43
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QUOTE (Dezibel @ Aug 9 2002 - 01:22 AM)
...i can listen to lame --aps songs without having problems with quality. they sounds a little bit warm, a little artifact here and there, but the quality is listenable...

You must have unbelievably extreme hearing capabilities or...you live listening to critical samples.

A little warm , a little artifact here and there , with --alt-preset standard?.And you hear these artifacts "on-the-fly" without direct comparison to the original audio?.Come on...

Someone should release a new lossless codec and make people believe that's lossy.I'm sure a lot of them will claim they can hear artifacts "here and there" , "it's too bright" , "too warm" , "synthetic , lifeless".Without providing any proof , of course."I can't prove it , but I can feel it in my bones man".

biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif


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honz318712
post Dec 7 2002, 11:09
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Unfortunately I do not posses the technical skill or free time to help make the –standard setting work better in MPC. However I think it sounds awesome right now the way it is. –quality 6 I can understand as well I guess, but the very few sound files I’ve had problems with (with –quality 5), also I have noticed they suffer somewhat as well with quality 6. People encoding at quality 10 are just trying to feel good about themselves seeing a high bit rate # in winamp… I personally don’t use lossless, but I’ve played around with them and they work great, I’d use Monkey or Flac in a heart beat if I could afford all the extra HD space and DVD-Rs..

Back to my point, and I think Dibrom would agree: The point of a lossy codec is to remove what we don’t hear and preserve the rest to get the best transparency possible. The key here being that all of this should be done at the –lowest- bit rate possible, but still retaining transparency. Quality 10 still loses some quality, it’s just the nature of lossy codec’s.

</rant?>… lol
--standard sounds awasome... try it more and see.. don't look at bitrate, it'll only make you think you're missing out on some quality. It is possible to have a lower bitrate than LAME alt standard and still have awasome(actually better) quality.



On a final note, I wish there was a good file sharing program that supported MPC.... :-(


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Learn how to setup EAC and Musepack here Download Foobar 2000 here EAC Naming Scheme %N - %T - %C - %A
--quality 5 --xlevel --ape2 --artist "%a" --title "%t" --album "%g" --releasedate "%y" --track "%n" --genre "%m" --comment "rip by HoNz / EAC + mpcenc 1.15r q5" %s %d
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LordSyl
post Dec 7 2002, 23:25
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laugh.gif I admit to like high bitrates being displayed on winamp (I keep the update speed at 1, so it's faaaaaast) !!! tongue.gif
I just directly started with MPC and kept using a exaggerated "security" margin like --quality 8.5 --xlevel, as its average is always LESS than my lame --insane (320kbps) encodes.
Overkill? Bah! I'm not sharing my files@56k modem biggrin.gif biggrin.gif . Slow for that!
And the best! It goes up to 340 or more for about a bit more than one second on some samples!!! Me likes ultrasonics!!!! laugh.gif

This post has been edited by SyeltH: Dec 7 2002, 23:25
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DuskHorizon
post Jul 20 2003, 13:44
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--quality 7 --xlevel

Insane! Overkill? Maybe, but the file sizes are still smaller than aps :]
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evereux
post Jul 20 2003, 15:32
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QUOTE (DuskHorizon @ Jul 20 2003, 12:44 PM)
--quality 7 --xlevel

Insane! Overkill? Maybe, but the file sizes are still smaller than aps :]

I assume you mean --alt-preset standard?

I've encoded around 180+ CDs so far with MPC Insane, which replace my current --alt-preset standard CDs and I've yet to see a MPC Insane encode come out smaller, granted I've not checked every single album though.


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boiling_ice2k4
post Jul 20 2003, 16:46
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--quality 5, or "standard", along with --xlevel, of the 100+ CDs I've encoded, it was transparent 100% of the time, even after exhausting amounts of ABX testing, I've yet to find a result that wasn't transparent at --standard
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I)4rkSt4r
post Jul 20 2003, 17:13
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--quality 7
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manni
post Jul 20 2003, 17:50
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standard is good enough for me.
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shearerkazaa
post Jul 20 2003, 18:44
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--extreme. Chose it over --standard just to be on the safe side. It yields filesizes of about 190-210kbps on average so it's a nice balance between qualty and size.
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