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Upgrade the official HA LAME version?, Now (3.96) or wait until 4.0?
Should the officially recommended version of LAME be upgraded now if possible, or should we wait for 4.0?
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funkyblue
post Mar 11 2004, 01:11
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Your Posts speaks the truth so well...........
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Gabriel
post Mar 11 2004, 09:57
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QUOTE
Communication has broke down between the community and those who do LAME development. If the LAME developers even bothered to post on Hydrogenaudio, it was and still is briefly and not often.

Are you telling that I am not posting here?
Are you telling that there was no tuning done during the long 3.94alpha stage?

so what is that:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....2;.94,and,alpha
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....2;.94,and,alpha
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....2;.94,and,alpha
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....2;.94,and,alpha
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....2;.94,and,alpha

QUOTE
Now, we jumped from version 3.95 to 3.96 stable without one public notice of test alpha/beta versions that I can remember seeing and I check Hydrogenaudio daily

So what is that:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=19387

Please check your facts before posting.
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holkie
post Mar 11 2004, 10:13
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guys, you'd better thank all lame dev team for their efforts instead of starting a flame... especially if you don't follow lame dev very closely... also, understand that HA is not the official lame forum...

i've been using presets since the very beginning but i must say that i'm using only 3.95. now simply cos i find it fast and cos it sounds as good (if not better) as 3.90.3.
testing new versions and making them "official" will only improve lame's quality encoding. this is up to the original creator(s) of --alt preset to decide wether or not 3.90.3 is outdated now...

encore merci gabriel (et les autres) pour vos efforts!
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DigitalDictator
post Mar 11 2004, 10:17
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I must say I think chrisgeleven's comments are taken out of the blue and not really representative for what most people think. Personally I think the LAME progress has picked up a lot of speed lately and I see no signs of the opposite. Sure, the testings have been a bit unorganized maybe, but there are easier things than that!

Just my opinion...
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phwip
post Mar 11 2004, 10:51
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Although I may not fully appreciate the history of this situation, it does seem to me that some of the criticism against the lame development team here is strongly unfounded. In particular I am very grateful to Gabriel for the continued presence he has on these boards and his swift and helpful involvement in issues and questions that are raised by board members.

I do think it is unfortunate that there does not seem to be a member of the lame development team who has responsibility for tuning based on public listening tests, and who leads in this area, driving it forward. Although I suppose most encoder development does not have this, I think the gap is noticed because Dibrom did this in the past. However, this is not in any way a criticism of the existing members of the development team, as clearly this is not their area of expertise. It is just a shame that nobody else suitable and interested has taken this role.
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jtclipper
post Mar 11 2004, 12:13
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QUOTE (Halcyon @ Mar 11 2004, 01:40 AM)
I believe that your work is appreciate by a huge silent mass that diminishes the size of the small group of negative voiced opinions on forums like these

This 100% true, this board is just a frunction of the actual users and not in any way a statistical point of view, and yes some people here are too damn negative about many things.


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Wombat
post Mar 11 2004, 12:15
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Some people here often write about the developers not doing testing and don´t react on feedback.
Men you are wrong. Gabriel, Robert and other developers once came to R3mix only for helping with
tuning lame! Dibrom as good as his work has been wouldn´t have been able to tune 3.90 without
the help of some developers! I can remember Naoki and Gabriel tuning the code together with
Dibrom and others very time consuming. When you read this Dibrom, correct me if i am wrong.

btw. if some of you had invented the same time in testing some standard problem samples instead
of wasting so much time writing here we may be further!


Wombat
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SometimesWarrior
post Mar 11 2004, 12:21
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QUOTE (chrisgeleven @ Mar 10 2004, 03:59 PM)
Communication has broke down between the community and those who do LAME development. If the LAME developers even bothered to post on Hydrogenaudio, it was and still is briefly and not often.

Dibrom was responsive on Hydrogenaudio because it's his forum. I'd imagine that the LAME developers have better communication in their own mailing lists and boards. Gabriel is a big contributor here, and I think he acts as a go-between for HA and the other LAME devs. It's a bit pompous to demand that all the LAME developers abandon whatever communication system they're using and borg with Hydrogenaudio.

Okay, now I have a question about the state of the Presets in the new Lame versions. Dibrom claimed that his presets were tuned to very tight thresholds, and that any change to noise measurements or whatever would throw the Presets out of whack. In other words, he said the Presets were tied to the 3.90 codebase. To my understanding, this was because he cobbled together many different algorithms and switched between them when appropriate, and he didn't improve the underlying algorithms themselves.

Is this true? Have any of the 3.94 testing threads shown that all the Preset test samples have fallen apart? Or are the Presets more resilient than Dibrom suggested? Can all the carefully-determined thresholds be carried over, or should new thresholds be determined?

Or should we try to move away from the tweaks-and-hacks of the Presets, and concentrate on command lines only? That way, the results of the tests would be more future-proof, because they wouldn't be as fragile as the Presets.
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jtclipper
post Mar 11 2004, 12:25
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QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Mar 11 2004, 03:21 AM)
Or should we try to move away from the tweaks-and-hacks of the Presets, and concentrate on command lines only? That way, the results of the tests would be more future-proof, because they wouldn't be as fragile as the Presets.

BTW is there a command line alternative of ..lets say -APS ?
and if not why ?


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SometimesWarrior
post Mar 11 2004, 12:32
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In any case, none of the bitrate Presets (e.g. --preset 128) in 3.90.3 received the magic tweaks programmed by Dibrom; they're just simple command line combinations. They were tested and tweaked, but not to the extent of --preset standard. We should certainly consider replacing the "HA recommended" Lame compile for the bitrate Presets, if nothing else.

OT: how are new problem samples found? I'm not familiar enough with my music to notice new artifacts just from listening, unless the errors are really obvious. None of the MPC problem samples, for example, would have been caught by me simply by listening to the MPC sample, although I can ABX them. Does someone who finds a problem sample for an otherwise-transparent encoder simply listen to albums they know like the back of their hand?
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SometimesWarrior
post Mar 11 2004, 12:34
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QUOTE (jtclipper @ Mar 11 2004, 03:25 AM)
QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Mar 11 2004, 03:21 AM)
Or should we try to move away from the tweaks-and-hacks of the Presets, and concentrate on command lines only? That way, the results of the tests would be more future-proof, because they wouldn't be as fragile as the Presets.

BTW is there a command line alternative of ..lets say -APS ?
and if not why ?

from the FAQ:

QUOTE (JohnV @ Jan 7 2002, 04:33 PM)
QUOTE
Originally posted by xmixahlx
1. what are the current switches in each of the presets [i.e. extreme, standard, and their "fast" counterparts].
The actual switches are irrelevant. Due to use of code level tweaks the switches used are not comparable to normal use of external switches.
Just some special tweaks in alt-preset vbr settings:
- tweaked block switching threshold (short blocks/long blocks)
-Adaptive noise measurement (uses X3 when needed)
-Tweaked noise shaping functions (uses -h/-q2 but the use of scalefac_scale is more intelligently controlled)
-short block tweaks (bitrate, nsmsfix values)
etc.etc.
These and many other things can't be done with external switches, and the meaning of the swithces is not the same anymore.
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westgroveg
post Mar 11 2004, 12:49
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QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Mar 11 2004, 11:32 PM)
In any case, none of the bitrate Presets (e.g. --preset 128) in 3.90.3 received the magic tweaks programmed by Dibrom; they're just simple command line combinations. They were tested and tweaked, but not to the extent of --preset standard. We should certainly  consider replacing the "HA recommended" Lame compile for the bitrate Presets, if nothing else.

This sample is handled better by 3.90.3 (don't know any of the opposite) using --alt-preset 128, I'm sure most people can ABX with ease. This raises the question was it only Dibrom's tunning that has kept 3.90x the best performing LAME mp3 encoder or is it that LAME development since then has become some what chaotic ?

This post has been edited by westgroveg: Mar 11 2004, 12:55
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SometimesWarrior
post Mar 11 2004, 13:21
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QUOTE (westgroveg @ Mar 11 2004, 03:49 AM)
This sample is handled better by 3.90.3  (don't know any of the opposite) using --alt-preset 128, I'm sure most people can ABX with ease. This raises the question was it only Dibrom's tunning that has kept 3.90x the best performing LAME mp3 encoder or is it that LAME development since then has become some what chaotic ?

Well, we've got a sample that regressed from 3.90.3 to 3.96, but I don't think that's any reason to accuse the Lame developers of being haphazard. From my brief dabbling in the 3.94 alpha testing threads, I've gathered that there are new command line options that aren't being used by the bitrate Presets that could give significant quality improvements, for example blocktype-specific noise measurements. It's quite possible that some other 128kbit/s 3.96 commandline would out-perform the 3.90.3 --alt-preset 128 on your sample and many others.

Good work spotting that problem sample, but try to see if you can get 3.96 sounding better by fiddling with switches! Of course, it would be nice to know which switches to fiddle... hopefully there's some documentation on HA about this, or perhaps Gabriel can issue a statement regarding what parameters we should be playing with.
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chrisgeleven
post Mar 11 2004, 13:32
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Gabriel, I'm sorry if I offended you, I have noticed that you post on here the most of often of the LAME developers and are one of the exceptions to what I observed. I am really sorry!

That said, all of those posts you gave me show one page (maybe two) threads about a new alpha/beta version of LAME. I honestly don't remember ever seeing these threads and their relative unpopularity might be the reason why I (and probably many others) didn't even notice these threads.

Your posts that you showed me are a good start to what I was talking about. However, we can do better. Get a master 3.96 thread made a sticky at the top of the MP3 forums. Have announcements of testing for LAME 3.97 Alpha and Beta posted on the front page of Hydrogenaudio. Encourage feedback.

Maybe we could have a bi-weekly status update about the direction of LAME, what has been updated, etc. in the latest builds and what we can expect in the future? Every little bit of information helps.

This is the one case where I hope my comments on the last thread are proved wrong or are fixed. I do not want LAME to stop being improved the best it can be improved.


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funkyblue
post Mar 12 2004, 00:13
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So is a public test going to be conducted that shows Lame 3.96b better then 3.90.3?I wish I knew how to start such a huge task but I dont...

Everytime a new LAME versino comes out, it's not tested and IMO it's wasted...

I am still hoping that a TEST will be conducted so we know really IF the new version of LAME is better....
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chrisgeleven
post Mar 12 2004, 02:08
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My opinion: no stable releases until a release is highly tested by the community. Throw up Release Candidates or something. Anything but a final stable release like 3.96 until the community has enough time to really help out and identifiy problem areas.

We do this, combined with some better communication, and we can release a stable version that can right away become the recommended one.


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indybrett
post Mar 12 2004, 02:34
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QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 7 2004, 09:03 AM)
Nice idea to count test samples that became better or worse with 396b!

I can add here sophia2 is clean the first time with aps!

390.3 -> sandpaper noise
395 -> added plop
396b -> clean

Wombat

There is a thread, the purpose of which is to look for all of the samples that became worse with 3.96.b1. It seems as though nobody is looking for samples that got BETTER with 3.96.b1.

So, lets say there are 3 known samples that got worse with 3.96b1, and that there are 10 samples that got better. If nobody knows about the 10 samples that got better, then everybody will say that 3.96b1 is not good enough.

Maybe you could help find the samples that got better. Unfortunately, I can not. My ears are too old I think.

Call it the progression thread wink.gif

This post has been edited by indybrett: Mar 12 2004, 02:35


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Jebus
post Mar 12 2004, 07:14
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QUOTE (indybrett @ Mar 11 2004, 05:34 PM)
There is a thread, the purpose of which is to look for all of the samples that became worse with 3.96.b1. It seems as though nobody is looking for samples that got BETTER with 3.96.b1.

So, lets say there are 3 known samples that got worse with 3.96b1, and that there are 10 samples that got better. If nobody knows about the 10 samples that got better, then everybody will say that 3.96b1 is not good enough.

Maybe you could help find the samples that got better. Unfortunately, I can not.  My ears are too old I think.

Call it the progression thread wink.gif

I figure this isn't as important, since there are already tangible benefits to the newer version (faster, lower bitrates with presets), meaning that all things being equal quality-wise we should switch. An improvements thread would still be interesting information though I suppose.
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gazzyk1ns
post Mar 12 2004, 12:27
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I'm disappointed nobody has replied to my post on the last page, we're all still talking about our hopes and the theory of development "a new version would be great!"; "A mass test would be great!" Yeah of course they would but so would LAME 5 which produces transparency at ~160kbps... but it's not going to happen for ages in real terms yet, even though most people might agree that it is feasible with enough work and research.

Everyone needs to stop saying "IMHO a new version would be great!!!" and actually think about what is realistically achievable and what you as an individual are willing to/capable of doing to help. Otherwise this is useless to everyone and serves only to pass your time and make you (incorrectly) feel like you're forwarding the development of LAME. It reminds me of a load of 15 year-olds on a car forum discussing which Ferrari is best even though they don't know how one works and will never even sit in one. The theory of it is great and it's also great to feel like you're part of something but the most important thing to realise is that just stating opinions of how you personally would like a codec to develop is useless if what you really mean is "hopefully, as usual, others will do all the work so that in a couple of months I can feel good about myself whilst using a spanking new version of LAME", I'm convinced that's what a lot of people here are thinking anyway, as is the case with most things.

I think that when I said "I think that we should possibly wait for LAME 4 before a mass-test for these reasons..." in my last post a lot of people thought "Well, fair enough, that's his opinion, he thinks the 3.xx line is not worth the bother..." but that's not the case, I just think that an appropriate mass test and tuning won't happen. I hope I am proved wrong and I am willing to participate in ABX tests to the best of my ability but I fear I'm right, unfortunately.

This post has been edited by gazzyk1ns: Mar 12 2004, 12:29
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ChangFest
post Mar 13 2004, 08:45
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QUOTE
I just think that an appropriate mass test and tuning won't happen. I hope I am proved wrong and I am willing to participate in ABX tests to the best of my ability but I fear I'm right, unfortunately.


If you don't believe an appropriate test will be given to 3.x.x versions, what makes you believe things will change when version 4 comes out?
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gazzyk1ns
post Mar 13 2004, 14:10
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There's far more time to prepare a suitable structure for the test, i.e. overall goals and exactly who will be doing what.

If we did that now then by the time it was all over and the tweaks had been completed then 3.97/8 would probably be released and there would be a "Keep 3.95.1 forever or test 3.98 now!?!?" thread with carbon copies of these messages in.

Most people only think in version numbers, they're used to updating their copies of Nero/MP3gain/whatever else every couple of weeks and happily looking at the version number progressing... when the same doesn't happen with LAME they start to get uncomofortable.

Of course that's not true of everyone and 3.90.3 is not by any means perfect. I am also aware that all of that is speculation; but that's most any of us can offer in this thread without going off-topic anyway.
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ChangFest
post Mar 13 2004, 19:27
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Personally, I'm of the opinion that the newest version of LAME should always be the recommended version. Regardless of regressions, progression is the ultimate end we are seeking here. Having a recommended version that never changes tells me that everyone is happy with 3.90.3. If every body is happy with that version, why does LAME development continue?

Basically if the newest version of LAME was always the default recommended version, it would spur testing and further developmental progression. Regardless of regressions in newer versions, the goal is progression. I seriously doubt we will progress much with LAME development if we keep falling back upon 3.90.3. We need to put that version behind us and start fixing what the newer versions regress. Sometimes one needs to sacrifice something good for something better in the end.
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Pio2001
post Mar 13 2004, 22:09
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Your opinion is interesting, ChagFest. After all, this is lossy encoding. We shouldn't be so afraid of a small regression, that would be negligible, after all, compared to the losses that MP3 introduces anyway. If everyone uses the last version, problems will be found faster.
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westgroveg
post Mar 13 2004, 23:43
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I think some people are missing the real issue, that a much older lame code (over 1 year & many releases) is outperforming the latest, this means as far as quality lame is getting worse not better so how can there be any progress?
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High Fidelity
post Mar 14 2004, 03:08
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Testing LAME with all it's options is surely a huge task!

But I bet, the majority of people on this board and around the world are using preset standard for encoding most of their stuff.
A poll could make this point clear.
So I think testing aps only would be a good point to start - and most of the people confident that something is moving forward.
If 3.96 performs well or at least not worse soundwise against 3.90.3, someone could compile an "aps only" version and post it as recommended aps version under the "most tested and recommended version for all other purposes".
When this step has taken, other presets could be tested and implemented.

That could reduce the effort and make most of the LAME users happy. smile.gif
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