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What's the best AAC encoder today?, Status as of 2013
mrgou
post Sep 4 2013, 20:53
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Hi,

I've been using Nero AAC for years to encode CD's ripped with EAC and now dbPowerAmp, so I was wondering if it's still to be considered the best option (iTunes not being that convenient when it comes to encode CD's ripped elsewhere)?

It hasn't been updated in years (2009). The latest FAAC is slightly more recent (2010), but not recent either. Any source I could find on the question, such as this don't seem to have been updated in a long time.

So is Nero AAC still the best choice?

Cheers!
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lvqcl
post Sep 4 2013, 20:59
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http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...ening_Tests#AAC => 2011 year
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Makaki
post Sep 4 2013, 22:45
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I was looking at said results from 2011, especially this page:
http://listening-tests.hydrogenaudio.org/i...-96-a/index.htm

Where the list the odecs and settings, and at no point did I see information about price or licensing.

Haven't had Quicktime installed on my system for a while now. The last few times I've formatted, I've just skipped on it entirely. My main use for it was watching HD movie trailers, which I now can easily do on youtube.

So here goes the 1st question: Does QuickTime require you to have a "QuickTime Pro" license to use the AAC encoder?
Does Winamp require a "Winamo Pro" license to use Fraunhofer IIS or CT ?
AFAIK, The Nero codec is free (quote: for personal non-commercial and/or technology-evaluation purposes)
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testyou
post Sep 4 2013, 22:46
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QUOTE (mrgou @ Sep 4 2013, 12:53) *
iTunes not being that convenient

QUOTE (Makaki @ Sep 4 2013, 14:45) *
Does QuickTime require you to have a "QuickTime Pro" license to use the AAC encoder?

You might want to investigate qaac.

This post has been edited by testyou: Sep 4 2013, 22:49
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NePaC
post Sep 4 2013, 23:19
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QUOTE (Makaki @ Sep 4 2013, 23:45) *
So here goes the 1st question: Does QuickTime require you to have a "QuickTime Pro" license to use the AAC encoder?
Does Winamp require a "Winamo Pro" license to use Fraunhofer IIS or CT ?
AFAIK, The Nero codec is free (quote: for personal non-commercial and/or technology-evaluation purposes)

1. testyou gave you the link to qaac (free), if you read what's standing under home you will see what you need to do to use it. So basically you only need to install either iTunes or QuickTime (both free).
2. You don't need Winamp Pro to use Frauenhofer AAC, free version has it included.
3. Nero AAC is for free under the conditions you already mentioned.
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marc2003
post Sep 4 2013, 23:31
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QUOTE (NePaC @ Sep 4 2013, 23:19) *
So basically you only need to install either iTunes or QuickTime (both free).


no you don't. you only need the itunes or QT installer and you can download makeportable.zip from the qaac download page. inside is a batch file which can extract the files required by qaac.
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eahm
post Sep 5 2013, 07:10
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You actually have three options (sort by personal preference of best to worst):

Apple AAC (LC, HE, True VBR, no HEv2)
- qaac. Can be portable, the most updated CLI for Apple AAC.

- qtaacenc. Didn't update since 2011 but uses QuickTime's DLLs so, the CLI is fine and the DLLs are always the latest if you always update QuickTime. It gives the same result of qaac if same DLLs are used, that's why I said you only have three options.

Fraunhofer (LC, HE, HEv2, no True VBR)
- fhgaacenc. CLI for the official Fraunhofer AAC encoder. It requires proprietary DLLs from Winamp.

- fdkaac (every option but True VBR). Open Source "Fraunhofer FDK AAC Codec Library for Android". You can build/compile your own with this script (fdkaac_autobuild.zip) from the creator of qaac (nu774).

This post has been edited by eahm: Sep 5 2013, 07:10
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NePaC
post Sep 5 2013, 10:21
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QUOTE (marc2003 @ Sep 5 2013, 00:31) *
QUOTE (NePaC @ Sep 4 2013, 23:19) *
So basically you only need to install either iTunes or QuickTime (both free).

no you don't. you only need the itunes or QT installer [...].

That's what I wrote, that you can install iTunes or QuickTime and that iTunes and QuickTime are free, or was I wrong using either...or?
Didn't mentioned the third option, because I wanted to keep it simple and also didn't know about it until yesterday, so I didn't wnat to give false information.
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Ouroboros
post Sep 5 2013, 12:46
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That's not quite what you wrote. You said that you need to install iTunes or QuickTime, marc2003 said that you need to have one of the installers, but you don't install it. Instead you run the script (makeportable.cmd) from the makeportable.zip file, and that extracts only the components you need from the installer.

The same outcome, but with none of the iTunes / QuickTime bloat. smile.gif
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C.R.Helmrich
post Sep 5 2013, 13:33
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QUOTE (eahm @ Sep 5 2013, 08:10) *
Fraunhofer (LC, HE, HEv2, no True VBR)
- fhgaacenc. CLI for the official Fraunhofer AAC encoder. It requires proprietary DLLs from Winamp.

The Fraunhofer (not Frauenhofer) encoder doesn't distinguish between CVBR and TVBR.

Chris


--------------------
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.
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mrgou
post Sep 5 2013, 15:33
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Seems that qaac is the best contender these days. If it uses the Apple AAC encoder, I can see how it can be better than Nero AAC. I'll have to check it out.
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eahm
post Sep 5 2013, 16:23
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Chris,
I've never used the word Frauenhofer. Quote who misspelled not just the last comment.

I don't really care what Fraunhofer uses and what it's called, I was listing the option and Fraunhofer doesn't have any True VBR switch.

Also, Apple AAC-LC performs better.

This post has been edited by eahm: Sep 5 2013, 16:24
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db1989
post Sep 5 2013, 16:28
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QUOTE (eahm @ Sep 5 2013, 16:23) *
Also, Apple AAC-LC performs better.
Source?

At least in 2011, Apple and FhG were no different statistically:
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eahm
post Sep 5 2013, 16:33
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Exactly there, Apple is always higher.

This post has been edited by eahm: Sep 5 2013, 16:33
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db1989
post Sep 5 2013, 16:39
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Not to a statistically significant degree and therefore not something you can claim with any validity. Exactly my point.

This post has been edited by db1989: Sep 5 2013, 16:41
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saratoga
post Sep 5 2013, 17:27
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QUOTE (eahm @ Sep 5 2013, 11:33) *
Exactly there, Apple is always higher.


It doesn't perform better though in that test, which is what you claimed.
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eahm
post Sep 5 2013, 17:42
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Sep 5 2013, 09:27) *
It doesn't perform better though in that test, which is what you claimed.

You can say statistically it doesn't and yes, I agree but mathematically? It's higher, of course it's better.

This post has been edited by eahm: Sep 5 2013, 17:43
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saratoga
post Sep 5 2013, 17:44
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I think you should learn what those pictures mean before trying to explain them.
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db1989
post Sep 5 2013, 17:47
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No. Just go and read about p-values, standard errors, and statistical tests in general and why we use them.

Suffice it to say that according to the decisions made before that test was conducted by its organisers, such differences could be viewed as being due purely to sampling error and other sources of noise, and Apple’s encoder did not perform better than FhG’s to a degree that is valid for drawing conclusions. You don’t get to make decisions on behalf of the organisers about what their test indicates.

Unless you manage in the near future to revolutionise our understanding of how to siphon valid data from the omnipresent confoundments of sampling error and subjective measurements, these posts will be binned.

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eahm
post Sep 5 2013, 17:52
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Sep 5 2013, 09:44) *
I think you should learn what those pictures mean before trying to explain them.

In simple words, please correct me if I'm wrong, I believe the blu line is where all the listening test of every different person pointed to and the average of all is the little dot. Now, since Apple is higher, it must have sounded better somewhere.
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db1989
post Sep 5 2013, 17:57
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QUOTE (eahm @ Sep 5 2013, 17:52) *
I believe the blu line is where all the listening test of every different person pointed to
Rather than merely believing based upon a very basic assumption, you could research. But why break your back? This is specifically explained on the very page about the tests, above the graphs themselves:
QUOTE
Each vertical line segment represents the 95% confidence interval (using ANOVA analysis) for each codec.
More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidence_interval In other words, the blue line defines the area within which, as predicted from the finite available data, 95% of all possible observations would fall.

Two means whose confidence intervals do not overlap are considered statistically significant from each other, due to the fact that they can be claimed with high confidence. Two means whose confidence intervals do overlap are considered indistinguishable in statistical terms.

This post has been edited by db1989: Sep 5 2013, 18:03
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eahm
post Sep 5 2013, 18:05
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Perfect thanks, I'll do some more research. I don't want to be an audio engineer and probably you too had to study and make wrong assumptions based on something you thought it was correct.

We should also search the forum for the posts where people say Apple is the best one based on that graph and go correct all of them.

This post has been edited by eahm: Sep 5 2013, 18:05
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db1989
post Sep 5 2013, 18:12
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QUOTE (eahm @ Sep 5 2013, 18:05) *
I don't want to be an audio engineer and probably you too had to study and make wrong assumptions based on something you thought it was correct.
Iím not an audio engineer either, but regardless and with respect, if I donít understand a concept, I try not to make conclusive statements about it as though they were facts.
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Kamedo2
post Sep 5 2013, 18:18
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Sep 6 2013, 01:57) *
Two means whose confidence intervals do not overlap are considered statistically significant from each other, due to the fact that they can be claimed with high confidence. Two means whose confidence intervals do overlap are considered indistinguishable in statistical terms.


You can't say that "Two means whose confidence intervals do overlap are considered indistinguishable in statistical terms."
If two 95% CI error bars of similar length overlap along less than 25% of their length, it's a significance, with p-value less than 5%.
And even when the overlap is more than 25%, typical results of multiple sample listening tests are highly correlated, and we can further exploit the correlation to extract even more conclusions.
http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/200...ont-understa-1/

Looking at the result, FhG is worse than Apple CVBR (p=0.005) on the adjusted result.
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db1989
post Sep 5 2013, 18:20
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Maybe the side-order of statistical training I received was inaccurate or at best insufficiently nuanced. So, thanks to that teaching, I might now have to take what I just said to eahm and apply it to myself. Oh well. Sorry and all that. Thanks for the informative link.

This post has been edited by db1989: Sep 5 2013, 18:24
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