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AAC @ 128kbps listening test discussion
rjamorim
post Feb 8 2004, 04:36
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QUOTE (guest0101 @ Feb 8 2004, 01:20 AM)
Nero is heavily tweaked and is based on the Coding Technoligies codec I believe.

Nero is 100% in-house development

QUOTE
That would take care of 3 of your 6 choices in my opinion.


FAAC must be definitely in, because of implications of open source/yadda yadda.

I actually think Faac is more essential in this test than Winamp

QUOTE
RealNetworks would be nice, to see a mostly untweaked Coding Technologies codec compared against Nero (heavily tweaked) one.


Real codec is absolutely unrelated to Nero, as I explained above. So, no, it won't work to compare them in these grounds.


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kwanbis
post Feb 8 2004, 04:36
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ Feb 8 2004, 03:33 AM)
QUOTE (kwanbis @ Feb 8 2004, 01:19 AM)
well ... you mean it to be an anchor ... but what happened to xing? ...

Blah!!!

Please consider all the bad comments on Xing done here and elsewhere over the years, and then come tell me I did a bad choice!

it sure it was a good choice, but it, turning not into the anchor, didn't harm the test ... wink.gif


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rjamorim
post Feb 8 2004, 04:42
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QUOTE (kwanbis @ Feb 8 2004, 01:36 AM)
it sure it was a good choice, but it, turning not into the anchor, didn't harm the test ... wink.gif

It harm in the aspect that there's no perspective. Codecs dipped too low on scores. I wanted Xing to be like Blade was in the first 128kbps multiformat test. Always at the bottom, to avoid some otherwise reasonable codec being labeled very bad because others were better.


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guest0101
post Feb 8 2004, 04:58
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I really like you original choices for the 5 AAC encoders (not including the anchor which appears to be open to much debate):

-Nero AAC encoder VBR profile Streaming :: Medium (@Ivan: Fast or HQ mode?)
-Apple iTunes 4.2 128kbps
-FAAC "whatever VBR setting comes close to 128kbps"
-Compaact! "same thing as above"
-Winamp AAC encoder 128kbps

Perhaps you will stick with them, as that selection should give you a smattering of the various AAC encoders. I trust your judgment on this rjamorim smile.gif
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westgroveg
post Feb 8 2004, 05:11
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What about FhG AAC ?

I'm sure we can get permission / find a way to encode samples for test purposes
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MGuti
post Feb 8 2004, 05:16
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nero is very important
i would like to see real as compared to itunes
FAAC is a must (NCTU-AAC was based on FAAC i believe)
throw in winamp if you really want to
for the anchor use the itunes MP3 (we know it sucks and will act as a comparison between itunes AAC and MP3)

just my opinion, as long as nero, itunes, and faac are in there i'll be happy.
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rjamorim
post Feb 8 2004, 05:21
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QUOTE (westgroveg @ Feb 8 2004, 02:11 AM)
What about FhG AAC ?

I'm sure we can get permission / find a way to encode samples for test purposes

Well, I agree that would be interesting, but I am not fond of testing codecs noone else has access to.

I mean, so what that it won, I can't use it anyway... :/


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Dologan
post Feb 8 2004, 07:05
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I support Roberto's initial codec choices fully, including l3enc as lower anchor.
More than six codecs is absolutely insane and those that ask for it have probably never participated fully in one of Roberto's tests, or have an unhealthy amount of free time and patience.
None of the other choices IMO merits the place of any of the initially chosen contestants, since they are either 1) In beta or not-quite-final state 2) not really popular or relevant enough.
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schnofler
post Feb 8 2004, 12:49
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I also think Roberto's choice of codecs is nice as it is. The only other codec I'd be interested in, is the NCTU codec, for the same reason Bonzi stated in the second post of this thread (proving that listening tests are superior to ODG results). But none of the codecs of the original line-up seems debatable to me, with the possible exception of compaact (but I'd prefer testing a serious contender instead of just slapping some encoder which isn't really used anyway).
Lame as an anchor is a bad idea in my opinion. Not only because it might repeat the "Xing disaster", but because it would considerably increase the difficulty of the test and it's difficult enough as it is right now. With Lame there'd be six real codecs instead of five codecs and one ... well ... joke. And it will help general motivation if there's at least one codec everyone should be able to identify.

Now to an interesting question
QUOTE
-Should only LC be tested? Or maybe test other (better?) profiles when the encoder supports them, like FAAC and Compaact. I think an argument for this would be that it's like VBR vs. CBR - you shouldn't penalize some codecs because others lack that feature. A very good argument against this would be that LC is waaaay more supported now and probably in the future. Opinions?

I haven't really made up my mind about that one. The problem, of course, is that a comparison between an LC codec and one which uses additional tools will be completely useless to people who plan on using AAC on their portables. But it might also provide a very interesting outlook into the future. The latter, though, only holds if we can really expect considerable advantages from using the additional features. I'd really like to hear some comments from the developers on this. If the advantages are only slim, there's no point in using them, in my opinion. But if we can really expect a definite increase in quality, maybe it would be interesting to have FAAC use them, to see how it compares to the supposedly better, but then somewhat handicapped, commercial encoders.
But these are only some thoughts, I haven't really decided for myself yet whether that's a good idea.
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Gabriel
post Feb 8 2004, 13:42
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About the anchor:

I would very much like to see Lame in this test, as this would allow us (and me) to see how it performs against current AAC codecs.

However, it would make the test harder, and with less defined scale. Using something that we think will really be a low anchor is a better idea. This way the scale of notation will probably be more uniform.
Using l3enc 1.0 is, from an "historical" point of view very interesting.

So even if I would be interested to see Lame compared to AAC codecs, I think that it would be better for the purpose of this test (which is to compare AAC codecs) to use another anchor. I like the idea of l3enc 1.0.
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bond
post Feb 8 2004, 13:45
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doesnt faac maybe do well as "anchor" (maybe bringing the same or worse quality as lame)?


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kl33per
post Feb 8 2004, 13:53
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Obviously both the Apple and Nero codecs should be included, to see how they've each progressed since the last test. Furthermore, I think compaact should definately been included, and as it seems to be undergoing fairly regular development as well as trying to establish an active user base here at HA, I think it's time we got an evaluation of it's quality. I would also like to see how far FAAC has come being a free alternative. Finaly, I'm probably most interested in the NCTU codec for the reasons Bonzi has stated. As Winamp should be similar to iTunes (and apparantly Real as well) I think it should be dropped. I think the anchor is also good choice and is deffinately a requirement.

On the issue of Lame. Clearly in the last Multiformat test, LAME was behind by a fair margin. Furthermore, this is specifically a AAC test and should not feature other formats.


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dev0
post Feb 8 2004, 14:06
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QUOTE (bond @ Feb 8 2004, 01:45 PM)
doesnt faac maybe do well as "anchor" (maybe bringing the same or worse quality as lame)?

FAAC has improved a lot recently and a lot of people will be suprised to hear how well it performs at 128kbps.
I've already found samples on which it performs better than LAME and I wouldn't be suprised, if their overall performace would turn out to be similiar. This is pure speculation though and not backed up by any tests (yet).
Gabriel's idea of including LAME seems very interesting to me, but LAME's performance is probably too good to serve as an anchor.

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Gabriel
post Feb 8 2004, 14:09
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QUOTE
Gabriel's idea of including LAME seems very interesting to me


Did you read my post? Perhaps I did not managed to properly expose my opinion?
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ErikS
post Feb 8 2004, 14:41
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1. Who uses Compaact? What's the reason behind including it in this test? (Not intending to sound demeaning in any way - just curious since I never seen it being used anywhere...)

2. Please replace the Rite of Spring sample! It drives me mad... headbang.gif
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rjamorim
post Feb 8 2004, 14:58
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QUOTE (ErikS @ Feb 8 2004, 11:41 AM)
2. Please replace the Rite of Spring sample! It drives me mad...  headbang.gif

No problem. But please suggest another sample to replace it smile.gif

Edit: Woot! 4444 posts

This post has been edited by rjamorim: Feb 8 2004, 14:58


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Alexander Lerch
post Feb 8 2004, 15:01
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Hi,

you all know I am biased. That said, I would really like to see compaact! in this test. Surely it has not so much users as Nero, but it is only 3 months old, and we are a very small company, not being able to make so much marketing. I personally think that compaact! has potential for being a popular encoder.

Regarding different profiles:
The main profile is not useless, it gives higher quality than the LC profile. However, the quality increase is not great (but of course greater than with the silly LTP profile).
I personally think every competing encoder should give its best, regarding settings and profiles in this test. But again, I'm biased...smile.gif

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Sebastian Mares
post Feb 8 2004, 15:18
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Well, I think the following codecs should be included:
  • Nero
  • iTunes
  • FAAD
  • Winamp
  • Real
I would either use l3enc or LAME for the 6th encoder.


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Latexxx
post Feb 8 2004, 15:22
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  • Nero
  • iTunes
  • Real
  • FAAC
  • Compaact
  • Anchor
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knik
post Feb 8 2004, 15:31
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QUOTE (rjamorim)
I am personally very fond of the idea of using l3enc as anchor. It'll be a good insight on how perceptual audio coding developed since the first MP3 implementation. It'll be like "the oldest vs. the newest".

I would vote to use FAAC1.17 as an anchor since it's much worse than latest FAAC and it could be interesting to compare both versions.
If you don't like FAAC1.17 then I would vote for LAME to be an anchor
(even if it turns out not to be the worst it's still very interesting comparison)

QUOTE
I wouldn't like to replace Waiting. I love that sample for it's wacky behaviour, so I want to force you guys to listen to it over and over again until your ears pop out of your skull :B

Yes, Waiting is definitely not to be removed.

QUOTE
-Should only LC be tested? Or maybe test other (better?) profiles when the encoder supports them, like FAAC and Compaact. I think an argument for this would be that it's like VBR vs. CBR - you shouldn't penalize some codecs because others lack that feature. A very good argument against this would be that LC is waaaay more supported now and probably in the future. Opinions?

Those other profiles in FAAC are likely to be broken so it shouldn't be used.
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MGuti
post Feb 8 2004, 16:40
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since this will be a 128 test HE for nero won't help. im not sure what the main profile for AAC really is (and no idea what the difference is for LC). i think that all codecs should use LC simply because it is the setting that can be used on portables. i don't know about anyone else, but the only time i would encode to 128 is if i had limited space on a portable. otherwise i would aim for a transparancy setting.

i think an early version of FAAC is a good idea. i would like to see how the open source encoder has progressed. besides won't lame be against AAC and the other codecs in the next multiformat test? there is no point in using it as an anchor since is might end up like Xing. pick a truely poor encoder.

Nero
itunes (real and winamp are assumed to be similar)
FAAC
compaact
NCTU-AAC (real or winamp could replace, but since NCTU doesn't use short blocks - or something to that effect - i would like to see how it performs)
FAAC 1.17 - anchor

oh, and will there be an vorbis test before the multiformat test to compare the various tunes?

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dev0
post Feb 8 2004, 16:48
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I'm completely opposed to including NCTU, until they have sorted out their licensing issues.
rjamorim's original selection seems to be the most sensible to me and l3enc would probably do fine as an anchor.

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magic75
post Feb 8 2004, 16:57
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QUOTE (kwanbis @ Feb 7 2004, 07:36 PM)
QUOTE (rjamorim @ Feb 8 2004, 03:33 AM)
QUOTE (kwanbis @ Feb 8 2004, 01:19 AM)
well ... you mean it to be an anchor ... but what happened to xing? ...

Blah!!!

Please consider all the bad comments on Xing done here and elsewhere over the years, and then come tell me I did a bad choice!

it sure it was a good choice, but it, turning not into the anchor, didn't harm the test ... wink.gif

Well, I don't think you can compare it like that. Xing was chosen because pretty much everybody thought it would fail miserably. You can't say the same thing about Lame in this test. Using Lame here is to much risk messing up the point of the test: Which is the best AAC encoder?

In the MP3 case I think we were lucky to have iTunes serving as a "light" anchor.

And I guess we will see Lame against the AAC winner in the next multi-format test?
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rjamorim
post Feb 8 2004, 17:07
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QUOTE (dev0 @ Feb 8 2004, 01:48 PM)
I'm completely opposed to including NCTU, until they have sorted out their licensing issues.

According to them, they already sorted it out (I.E, started developing an encoder from scratch and gave up developing from Faac)

But still, due to their quite immoral past behaviour, I'm not very inclined to take them seriously and test their encoder.

About Faac 1.17: It has already been tested in the first AAC@128kbps test, so you can use that test to compare how it fared against others. I don't see much point testing an old version again.

But, in MP3's case, I would really like to know how it sounded when it was premiered smile.gif

QUOTE
And I guess we will see Lame against the AAC winner in the next multi-format test?


Of course. I hoped to test another encoder since Lame was already tested in the former multiformat test. But since it won the MP3 test... heh smile.gif

Actually, I think that's another good reason not to test Lame here. It has been tested in the 128kbps extension test, the 64kbps test, the MP3 test, will be tested in the next multiformat test... :B


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Tomb
post Feb 8 2004, 17:27
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This may seem a stupid question but does the Quick Time Professional AAC Codec differ from the I-Tunes one or are they one and the same? I thought I read somewhere that there were slight differences but I cannot remember where I read this!

Depending on the answer I would like to see:
  • Nero
  • Quick Time
  • FAAC
  • Compaact
  • Winamp
  • Anchor


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