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Is MPC better than mp3?
ak
post Apr 2 2006, 22:49
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Well, ok. Although recommended and best aren't the same.

There's helluva difference between 'I really wanna try this codec and wanna know what the good settings for this particular purpose would be' and 'What's the best codec of them all' soon falling down to 'I heard yer prefered codec is better/bigger/longer than mine, well, that's not true...', the latter is like invitation to the bashing/flamewars/fanboyism/hurt feelings/namescalling and what not.

So if you're into streaming over ISDN or encoding audio for DVD backup, you probably exclude certain codecs from the consideration, and vice versa.

In another words I can't quite remember something starting like this and leading to something constructive. unsure.gif
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satorippoi
post Apr 2 2006, 22:56
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Well, if you would let me, i will add some comments...
Usually i use Wavpack to make lossless copies of discs...but when it comes to my PC audio or Rockboxed Ipod i stick to lossy codecs...
Here i have two options...

1. MPC, -8.0, appr. 280-300kbps
yeah, i really like it for jazz, classics and some other kinds of deep and sensitive music (don't ask me how i choose, it is intuition, i guess)...the panaroma is vivid and reach and i simply it adore...
I even turn a blind eye to the fact it has no seeking...i simply love the way it sounds...

2. Ogg, -q6 (aoyumi), appr. 192kbps
I use this codec based on some conclusions kindly made by guruboolez who admitted that this preset of this codec has shown tremendous results in his tests...so, if it comes to pop or dance music, i usually choose this codec...

I didn't check Ogg at higher bitrates and I don't feel i need it since i am pretty much content with MPC...however, MPC is not really good at low bitrates, so i choose Ogg -q6...

That is basically my point...
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guruboolez
post Apr 2 2006, 23:38
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QUOTE (ak @ Apr 2 2006, 10:49 PM)
Well, ok. Although recommended and best aren't the same.
*


True, but recommendation (at least here) are based on the quality criterion (i.e. we're recommending x over y because x is clearly the best). --alt-preset were recommended over --r3mix (ultra-popular) only because it was better. LAME was recommended over Fhg, Blade, Xing for the same reason. The entire forum is haunted by the same question: what's the best setting? what's the best encoder? what's the best format? The purpose of TOS#8 is precisely a safeguard against trolling or complete anarchy due to the subjective argument. It's because ABX tests are possible and reliable that people could perfectly:
- claim that x is better than y
- help to improve any encoder by a proper and rational feedback
- ask to other people for trustable advices.

ABX tests are apparently much harder to set on video (lack of software?) and without such proper methodology calls for advice could quickly turn into massive trolling and bashfest. Hence Doom's TOS#12 I suppose.

QUOTE
There's helluva difference between 'I really wanna try this codec and wanna know what the good settings for this particular purpose would be' and 'What's the best codec of them all' soon falling down to 'I heard yer prefered codec is better/bigger/longer than mine, well, that's not true...', the latter is like invitation to the bashing/flamewars/fanboyism/hurt feelings/namescalling and what not.

True, but again this board has a protection against this risk. And it worked pretty well.

QUOTE
So if you're into streaming over ISDN or encoding audio for DVD backup, you probably exclude certain codecs from the consideration, and vice versa.

That's obvious. But in the present case, someone was very precise: LAME --preset extreme or Musepack? He didn't asked for a general position about MP3 vs MPC.

QUOTE
In another words I can't quite remember something starting like this and leading to something constructive.  unsure.gif

As I said, MPC "success" is based on similar threads... A lot of people are (or were) convinced that MPC --insane or --braindead is something necessary. No need to be a genius to understand that most of these people could safely use --standard as well or even MP3 at 130 kbps to get the same perceptual quality. Just take a look on the few results sent on various listening tests or read Seed's complaints about the total lack of feedback of the MPC audiophile community wink.gif The existence of a small MPC community is certainly not based on personal and double-blind experience of its superiority at 180 kbps, but rather on blind-trust and self-persuasion of most users. If I'm wrong, I wonder where are located all these testers. Not on HA for sure smile.gif

This post has been edited by guruboolez: Apr 3 2006, 00:18
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foxyshadis
post Apr 3 2006, 00:17
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The Doom9 ban isn't on discussion, it's on people who say "this is better than that" without backup or where it's better (support? speed? top quality? low-bitrate quality? interface?), or similarly, people who come in and ask "what's the best x" without specifying exactly what they're looking for. It leads to a lot of flamewars and bullshit, as you might imagine, but the rule is no different than calling posters here on bullshit claims. *shrug* (Backing up what ak said.)

Personally, I love mpc, because it's a great format to transcode into my beloved vorbis with minimal degredation. tongue.gif
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rjamorim
post Apr 3 2006, 00:32
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QUOTE (foxyshadis @ Apr 2 2006, 08:17 PM)
it's a great format to transcode into my beloved vorbis with minimal degredation. tongue.gif
*


We are still waiting for proofs on that.


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vinnie97
post Apr 3 2006, 00:35
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QUOTE
Personally, I love mpc, because it's a great format to transcode into my beloved vorbis with minimal degredation.

lol, great conciliatory answer.
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guruboolez
post Apr 3 2006, 00:40
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QUOTE (foxyshadis @ Apr 3 2006, 12:17 AM)
It leads to a lot of flamewars and bullshit, as you might imagine, but the rule is no different than calling posters here on bullshit claims. *shrug* (Backing up what ak said.)
*

You're a new member according to your joining date (but perhaps you're reading HA for a long time). HA.org is four years old, and several (if not most) debates on the what is best? subject were nicely conduced. There's a recycle bin and vigilant moderators to limit excesses such as trolling or blatant zealotry. Most people are debating on a rational basis, basing most of their claims on ABX results. There's no need to forbid such debates as long as a valid method for valid statements exists.

In the early day, MPC was always showed by their supporter as the ultimate audiophile solution for lossy encodings, beating AAC, LAME and Vorbis. You can still see some persistence of this fading audiophile aura on small and less informed boards on the web. Now that MPC is quite dead, having no advantages at all [it doesn't mean that it suddenly becomes bad], I find quite amusing that a MPC developer is suggesting on this board that opinions or calls for opinions about audio quality should be avoided. It reminds me another MPC developer who suddently became allergic to ABX results and TOS#8 when it started to play against his format. laugh.gif

This post has been edited by guruboolez: Apr 3 2006, 00:43
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Supacon
post Apr 3 2006, 01:49
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I've never had any interest in MPC, personally... I'm sure it's better than MP3 in bitrate/quality and transcoding quality, but the total lack of support across the board and lack of development is a little more than a big turnoff.

The only use I've ever had for MPC is that some metal/punk on P2P networks is/was encoded in it, which actually rather surprised me. I've seen more MPC files than ogg or even WMA when looking on the e-donkey network (via eMule).
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vinnie97
post Apr 3 2006, 04:26
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QUOTE
some metal/punk on P2P networks is/was encoded in it

haha, I've noticed this same phenomenon. It seems some metal heads are closet audiophiles. wink.gif
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Brink
post Apr 3 2006, 07:32
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QUOTE
I've noticed this same phenomenon. It seems some metal heads are closet audiophiles.

I've seen the same phenomenon. I remember that in some in discussions people claimed that mpc can have the same quality that mp3, but using lesser bitrates. My metal encoded songs usually go up to 230kbps in standard, so i think they started using mpc for that.

...or maybe as they like to show themselves as underground ones, why not use an "underground" format? tongue.gif


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Leto Atreides II
post Apr 3 2006, 07:32
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QUOTE (vinnie97 @ Apr 2 2006, 07:26 PM)
QUOTE
some metal/punk on P2P networks is/was encoded in it

haha, I've noticed this same phenomenon. It seems some metal heads are closet audiophiles. wink.gif
*



Probably the folks from MPC-Donkey. A lot of people there are metal heads.
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user
post Apr 3 2006, 23:57
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weird...
April jokes ?

I knew (and posted) during the prediscussion of the latest 128k multiformat test, that cross-test-references are necessary and interesting in general,
and that without this, sooner or later somebody will come and connect the old tests (eg. with mpc versions) and the new test (eg. without mpc), to show "somewhat", haha, a comparison between mpc measured/ranked in old tests to compare the old "value" with formats in new tests and their new "values".
You made my day !


MPC,
that is great usage in Windows & Linux,
no (serious) flaws in higher qualities like 7 or 8,
wonderful small-sized high quality backup solution (on DVD+R) for my Lossless music.
Other formats are still struggling to reach the quality.

For portable factory made hardware: MP3 Lame -V5 -vbr-new the way I'm going. That's universal playable on devices.



well, the story of software & their developers (not especially mpc related) is weirdo sometimes, but if the result is fine..., they deserve respect, even if it isn't 100% perfect, that's life, to have tried and have made something, that's important smile.gif

Lack of testers in the higher bitrate range:
- headphone testing does not reveal the complete truth about formats
- no fun to participate due to avoid being involved later into personal conflicts, as formats' artefacts could be taken personally by the dev..., HA is too small...
- eg. the latest 130k multiformat test with Lame -V5 participating, where the modern codecs succeeded well, all... -> Despite the easy spotting of lack of highs/attacks with higher frequencies with -V5 -vbr-new via good speakers in bigger living-room, and me is meanwhile over 30 with imo worse listening abilities than in my 17-28 years..., Lame -V5 is good, if you don't make A/B-X listening at good HiFi.
As I don't invest much of my freetime in virtual internet fora, but follow eg. HA regularly, I rate some core HA group (with some nice exceptions) as relative small group of eager technicians, some people who know what they are talking about, and a group, who simply rewrite again and again, what others have said before, who want to belong to the core, to be felt accepted by the group. Some sort of group/sect behaviour with own dynamics.
Due to group dynamics and relations, the groups' opinions tend sometimes in 1 direction, sometimes to other directions with the goal to make "policy", to diss formats/sub-groups of people, sometimes arised by personal conflicts.

The solution is simple,
go back to one of HA principles, listen yourself, judge yourself.

This post has been edited by user: Apr 4 2006, 00:04


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skelly831
post Apr 4 2006, 01:16
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QUOTE (Brink @ Apr 2 2006, 10:32 PM)
...or maybe as they like to show themselves as underground ones, why not use an "underground" format? tongue.gif
*

I have to say I'm a little guilty of that, but that's not saying I started encoding to MPC blindly, I did the required research, I understood the shortcomings about the nonexistent HW compatibility (didn't have an mp3 player at the time), and I seldom seek through my songs so I was the perfect candidate. I did manage to convert some freinds over to the MusePack camp before I switched completeley to mp3 when I got a DAP and an mp3 capable stereo for my car.

Ahh the memories... fast encoding, simple and easy tagging, and the warm fuzzy feeling I got when I felt like part of an (underground) audio-minority!


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rjamorim
post Apr 4 2006, 02:13
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QUOTE (user @ Apr 3 2006, 07:57 PM)
Other formats are still struggling to reach the quality.


Prove it.

QUOTE
The solution is simple,
go back to one of HA principles, listen yourself, judge yourself.
*


Don't generalize over anything should be another principle.

This post has been edited by rjamorim: Apr 4 2006, 02:13


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vinnie97
post Apr 4 2006, 03:34
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QUOTE
Other formats are still struggling to reach the quality.

The only fellows with golden ears (most notably, Guru) who have done such tests have proven otherwise. And what would be the point for MPC inclusion in the last 128 kbps test? If I'm not mistaken, there had been no tuning for it in that range since the last public test. I don't think anyone is still arguing against the superiority of MPC over MP3 (tho' it would be interesting to know how well the latest LAME release measured up against it at 128 kbps). That just seems to be the claim of someone who is paranoid about the fading glory of their favorite format...
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kwanbis
post Apr 4 2006, 03:59
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QUOTE (user @ Apr 3 2006, 10:57 PM)
Other formats are still struggling to reach the quality.

really?


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skelly831
post Apr 4 2006, 04:06
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QUOTE (kwanbis @ Apr 3 2006, 06:59 PM)
QUOTE (user @ Apr 3 2006, 10:57 PM)
Other formats are still struggling to reach the quality.

really?
*


Keep in mind ~128kbps was/is not MPC's strong point.


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kwanbis
post Apr 4 2006, 04:15
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QUOTE (skelly831 @ Apr 4 2006, 03:06 AM)
Keep in mind ~128kbps was/is not MPC's strong point.

if you are that close to a perfect 5, i wonder how much can you improve ...


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skelly831
post Apr 4 2006, 04:52
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QUOTE (kwanbis @ Apr 3 2006, 07:15 PM)
QUOTE (skelly831 @ Apr 4 2006, 03:06 AM)
Keep in mind ~128kbps was/is not MPC's strong point.

if you are that close to a perfect 5, i wonder how much can you improve ...
*


LOL, got me there smile.gif


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guruboolez
post Apr 4 2006, 09:40
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QUOTE (user @ Apr 3 2006, 11:57 PM)
no (serious) flaws in higher qualities like 7 or 8
*

No, serious? Does it imply that MPC is a great format because it doesn't have serious troubles at ~250 kbps? AFAIK, several encoders are in the same position.

QUOTE
wonderful small-sized high quality backup solution (on DVD+R) for my Lossless music.

Could be said for other formats/encoders, with additional feature as:
• no curruption issue (one error within MPC stream, and all following parts are lost; other formats as Vorbis, MP3, MP4/AAC, the resync is still possible).
• better seeking
QUOTE
Other formats are still struggling to reach the quality.

laugh.gif
Wake up: we're not in 2001 anymore.


QUOTE
- headphone testing does not reveal the complete truth about formats

True: headphones are like microscop. They make subtle distortions audible whereas speakers erase them. Without headphone, there's no need anymore for ultra-robust encoders. Even inferior implemetation of MP3 are transparent at this bitrate.

QUOTE
- no fun to participate due to avoid being involved later into personal conflicts, as formats' artefacts could be taken personally by the dev..., HA is too small...

I've submitted problem samples and ABX tests to several developers:
- LAME
- iTunes AAC
- Nero AAc
- FAAC
- MPC
- WavPack Lossy
- Vorbis (Garf, Aouymi, QuantumKnot)

and the conflict only occurs with one "development" team.
This problem only exist with MPC aka people who can't improve the psymodel by themselves but who can deny all validity to any annoying listening test - and they're champion for this kind of trolling.
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Madman2003
post Apr 4 2006, 09:58
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A while back i tried lame -V 2 and at on the few tracks i tried i didn't hear any obvious flaws. I've also tested high bitrate ogg vorbis (an older aotuv iirc) in the past and it was also fine. The only problem i see is trackrecord, musepack has been at this quality for level for quite some time, so a lot of files are encoded with these "high level" encoders. This leads to the problem with something like mp3, it's the people who use it, if 95% of the world used eac(secure mode, test&copy) or similar and encoded to lame -V 2 (-vbrnew) or better than there would not be a problem. The people who use mpc are generally a little more carefull about what they do. I still wouldn't trust mp3 for backups, might trust mpc(because i have more experience with that), but i prefer flac, but mp3 would not be bad for portable transcoding.
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Wombat
post Apr 4 2006, 12:15
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QUOTE (guruboolez @ Apr 4 2006, 09:40 AM)
QUOTE
- headphone testing does not reveal the complete truth about formats

True: headphones are like microscop. They make subtle distortions audible whereas speakers erase them. Without headphone, there's no need anymore for ultra-robust encoders. Even inferior implemetation of MP3 are transparent at this bitrate.

There are also speaker systems that are like microscopes. Not mine, yet.
One different thing:
I had some low frequency clicks i wasn´t able to hear on my HD-590s that jumped onto me on my system in the living room. These were artifacts you get on read errors and produce clicks. I tried to clean them and on recordings that were perfectly clean on my headphones the lower frequency artifacts were not subtile on my main speakers.
After knowing where they are i barely heard them on my headphones but they were there. So some things even come easier on speakers for me.

Edit: I once had such a sample, beneeth others, in Massive Attacks - Angel. I don´t have it around so i can´t give the exact position.

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pepoluan
post Apr 4 2006, 22:56
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Sometimes I wonder...

... if a codec (name your favorite here, I have mine) already performs transparently at a lower bitrate...

... then why encode at a higher bitrate?


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vinnie97
post Apr 4 2006, 23:15
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That provides an extra layer of psychologic protection for those who worry excessively about transparency and problem samples wreaking havoc on said transparency. wink.gif
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seanyseansean
post Apr 4 2006, 23:22
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The vast majority of my 45000+ track collection in foobar is mpc. In the last 3 years or so it's proven *to me* to be excellent - I can positively ABX maybe 2 tunes at xtreme (the aerosol noise in 'Housewife' by Dr Dre comes to mind) but i've never had to worry about the quality - it just 'works'.

My desktop at home is Windows, but the media pc in the lounge runs Linux. When installing FC5 onto the latter with mythtv (which can rip and encode to anything but with a nice TV style gui) I was dithering over whether to switch codecs for my new rips. I was looking at AAC and Vorbis but the different compiles and variants put me off.

Give me a recent Musepack encoder and my encodes sound good. That's why I still use it. I'm not saying it's the best (though it's certainly up there for my needs) but it's the best and easiest option I have.

I would love to see a SV8, followed by a proper listening test of all the modern codecs.
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