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iPod mini 2G stutters when playing LAME aps, Clock speed optimisation is the cause
tessar
post Jan 21 2006, 07:50
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This is my first post so please be kind wink.gif

I downloaded the samples AWS_HOPE, FiveYears, and NINRight to my video iPod 30 GB. I did not hear any stuttering or skipping on this particular iPod. The iPod was unplugged except for Sony MDR V600 headphones.

BTW, I am in the process of re-ripping our collection of 200-300 CDs with EAC and LAME 3.97 Beta 2 with --preset fast standard -B 256 options. I previously used MusicMatch at CBR 128k a year ago. I don't have golden ears, but maybe my daughter can hear a difference smile.gif

Thank you, sehested, for the treasure trove of observations and samples!

QUOTE (MikeekiM @ Dec 27 2005, 11:08 PM)
I am considering another iPod as a companion to my nano...  Does this problem occur on the new iPods (with video capabilities)?
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chrisgeleven
post Jan 21 2006, 15:34
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The Video iPods don't have this issue, it has been proven.

QUOTE
BTW, I am in the process of re-ripping our collection of 200-300 CDs with EAC and LAME 3.97 Beta 2 with --preset fast standard -B 256 options.


DON'T USE THAT PRESET! Not only is --preset fast standard old and replaced by --v2, using -b 256 is not a smart move.

Use "-v2 --vbr-fast" instead with LAME 3.97 Beta 2. Never use custom presets with LAME, there is no need to and you will do more harm then good.


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grommet
post Jan 21 2006, 18:36
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QUOTE (chrisgeleven @ Jan 21 2006, 06:34 AM)
DON'T USE THAT PRESET! Not only is --preset fast standard old and replaced by --v2, using -b 256 is not a smart move.

Use "-v2 --vbr-fast" instead with LAME 3.97 Beta 2. Never use custom presets with LAME, there is no need to and you will do more harm then good.
LAME 3.97 "--preset fast standard" maps to "-V 2 --vbr-new" -- you can use either; no difference. But yes, don't set a minimum or maximum bitrate using -b & -B

This post has been edited by grommet: Jan 21 2006, 18:42
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tessar
post Jan 22 2006, 03:16
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Sehested observed that this stuttering problem does not occur on iPod nano or mini 2G when using -B 256. While I don't have such an iPod now, that doesn't mean I won't have one later. If Apple has not fixed this problem by now, I would not hold my breath until a fix is delivered.

QUOTE (grommet @ Jan 21 2006, 10:36 AM)
  But yes, don't set a minimum or maximum bitrate using -b & -B
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singaiya
post Jan 22 2006, 03:41
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QUOTE (chrisgeleven @ Jan 21 2006, 06:34 AM)
The Video iPods don't have this issue, it has been proven.

QUOTE
BTW, I am in the process of re-ripping our collection of 200-300 CDs with EAC and LAME 3.97 Beta 2 with --preset fast standard -B 256 options.


DON'T USE THAT PRESET! Not only is --preset fast standard old and replaced by --v2, using -b 256 is not a smart move.

Use "-v2 --vbr-fast" instead with LAME 3.97 Beta 2. Never use custom presets with LAME, there is no need to and you will do more harm then good.
*



For ipod listening and general stereo music listening that is true. Except there are other applications where you would want to use non presets with lame. What about streaming, movies, audiobooks, speeches; what if or dolby surround playback is all you use? I know what you mean, and I think the VBR presets fit most common music listening uses, but I have to point out that there are other uses for mp3 encoding. And besides, even for music listening V 2 would be overkill for most people, unless you can abx any samples from the recent listening test, which were not even "killer" samples.
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Central Scrutini...
post Feb 4 2006, 08:02
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I think I am experiencing this same issue with my 4GB Mini (non-color). I had noticed skips / stutters before on several different tracks of varying artists, but had just passed it off to bad rips. Some of my CDs were scratched, and I will admit that at times I just used EAC's burst mode to get through them. This time however, I got stuttering on a rip from a brand new CD: Jackson Browne's "Solo Acoustic vol. 1". It happens on several tracks, but is most noticeable on "The Birds of St. Marks". Since this is a "live" album, there are the usual little skips between tracks. I hate that ipod feature, but I accept it. Additional skipping in the middle of the songs kind of ruins my day.

I listened to the same MP3 on my PC, and there was no stuttering, so I thought there was something wrong with my iPod. After searching for an answer, I found this thread, and bingo! This has got to be what is going on.

As suggested, I tried turning on EQ (used Acoustic), and stutter disappeared. I also made AAC files (from a WAV) of this track at 128, 160, & 192 CBR (probably should have tried VBR) and no stutter. I then made another MP3 with Lame and it stuttered in the same exact places.

This EQ workaround is what I will probably have to live with. I spent far too many hours ripping my CD collection using EAC and Lame 3.90.3 Alt Preset Standard, after getting this iPod as a gift. (was an MPC guy before that). Really don’t feel like re-ripping and encoding once again to another format like AAC.

Just bought a really nice portable amp, a pair of ER4 headphones, and thought I was all set to enjoy. I do like my iPod a lot, and the music sounds amazing with this combo, but this issue is very annoying. I’m skeptical that Apple will ever fix it with an update, especially since they discontinued the Mini. (This could have been one of the reasons why.)

Thank you Sehested, and others, for your informative posts and all your work at bringing this “bug” to light.
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loophole
post Feb 4 2006, 08:59
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If everyone would just use AAC like they're supposed to we'd never have this issue to begin with.


</flamebait> wink.gif
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Sebastian Mares
post Feb 4 2006, 10:09
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QUOTE (loophole @ Feb 4 2006, 08:59 AM)
If everyone would just use AAC like they're supposed to we'd never have this issue to begin with.


</flamebait> wink.gif
*


Sorry, I didn't understand what you mean.


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sehested
post Feb 4 2006, 11:46
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Feb 4 2006, 01:09 AM)
Sorry, I didn't understand what you mean.
*
At the risk of spoiling loopholes bait, here's his logic with my comments:

QUOTE (loophole @ Feb 4 2006, 08:59 AM)
If everyone [red: all iPod users] would just use AAC [red: Apple AAC playback flawlessly] like they're supposed to [red: loophole insinuating that Apple want all iPod users to only use AAC] we'd never have this issue to begin with.
*


To bite or not to bite...? That is the question! wink.gif
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Sebastian Mares
post Feb 4 2006, 12:00
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QUOTE (loophole @ Feb 4 2006, 08:59 AM)
If everyone would just use AAC like they're supposed to we'd never have this issue to begin with.


</flamebait> wink.gif
*


This is the biggest bullshit ever. I tested Nero AAC files on a friend's iPod Mini and they stutter when VBR is used. My mom's iPod Shuffle (she isn't a techno-freak and the Shuffle had the most simple design) won't play Nero AAC files at all (see http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300590). The only reason why iTuness AAC doesn't stutter is because it doesn't use VBR, but ABR.
And if Apple didn't want us to use MP3, why the heck do they advertise MP3 playback abilities?


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MoSXS
post Feb 4 2006, 12:59
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Feb 4 2006, 04:00 AM)
QUOTE (loophole @ Feb 4 2006, 08:59 AM)
If everyone would just use AAC like they're supposed to we'd never have this issue to begin with.


</flamebait> wink.gif
*


This is the biggest bullshit ever. I tested Nero AAC files on a friend's iPod Mini and they stutter when VBR is used. My mom's iPod Shuffle (she isn't a techno-freak and the Shuffle had the most simple design) won't play Nero AAC files at all (see http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300590). The only reason why iTuness AAC doesn't stutter is because it doesn't use VBR, but ABR.
And if Apple didn't want us to use MP3, why the heck do they advertise MP3 playback abilities?
*



I think someone needs a sarcasm detector for their birthday wink.gif

iTunes AAC VBR files don't skip or stutter on my iPod mini. Their bitrate is all over the place too, just use Foobar and check it for yourself.
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Sebastian Mares
post Feb 4 2006, 13:28
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The sarcasm was that we should use AAC over MP3. The problem is that not even AAC is supported correctly (see Nero AAC problem I mentioned)


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Farpenoodle
post Feb 4 2006, 15:00
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Well I've never had any Nero VBR files skip on my 2G mini. I think it's just the shuffles that have any real problem with this. But I would very much like to use LAME.


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MoSXS
post Feb 5 2006, 04:49
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Feb 4 2006, 05:28 AM)
The sarcasm was that we should use AAC over MP3. The problem is that not even AAC is supported correctly (see Nero AAC problem I mentioned)
*


But the thing is.... I think it was pretty obvious he was joking around.

I never had Nero AAC VBR files skip on my iPod either. I'm using iTunes VBR AAC now with no problems. As I mentioned before, you can use Foobar to see the variation in bitrate in iTunes created files.

I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but how is this supposed LAME problem Apple's fault? This supposed problem only happened with a very small number of songs that were encoded with certain revisions of LAME, correct? So how is it Apple's fault? Why isn't LAME at fault? I know in the eyes of most people here, LAME = God. But this problem only occurs with certain revisions of LAME and no other MP3 encoder. Before you go off spouting about how LAME is the "Standard", let's not forget that the vast majority of people out there have never even heard of LAME. Most DAP owners out there are iPod owners and probably have never even looked at the "importing" tab in iTunes so they're all using 128kbps AAC. So, anyway, how is this Apple's fault? A small number of songs encoded with certain versions of LAME cause improper playback on the iPod. This is their fault, how? No other VBR codec causes this problem.
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grommet
post Feb 5 2006, 05:38
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QUOTE (MoSXS @ Feb 4 2006, 07:49 PM)
So how is it Apple's fault? Why isn't LAME at fault?
Quite simply because virtually every other product plays the files correctly, including Apple's own iPod with Video. It's with any version of LAME... not "certain revisions of LAME." Some VBR encodes will have bitrate variations that stutter on the iPod nano, Mini, etc. It's really inexcusable the Nano, with the current firmware, still has the problem.

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Sebastian Mares
post Feb 5 2006, 08:41
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QUOTE (MoSXS @ Feb 5 2006, 04:49 AM)
I know in the eyes of most people here, LAME = God.
*


And in the eyes of some other people, Apple or Google = God, Microsoft = Shit, etc. dry.gif

Anyways, did you bother to read my post entirely? I didn't said iTunes encodes AAC with CBR, I said it encodes with ABR. ABR is similar to VBR, but the bitrate difference between frames is smaller. Therefore, I doubt you have frames jumping from 32 kbps to 320 kbps.
Unfortunately, I don't have access to an iPod other than the Shuffle now - and the Shuffle refuses to play non-iTunes AAC files entirely, so I cannot test which Nero encodes skip.

An MP3 player that is not able to play VBR MP3s flawlessly is not an MP3 player. And not only it has problems with MP3, some iPods also seem to have problems with AAC.


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drezon
post Feb 5 2006, 14:38
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QUOTE (MoSXS @ Feb 5 2006, 05:49 AM)
But this problem only occurs with certain revisions of LAME and no other MP3 encoder.


Really? So you did test all other MP3 encoders in existance out there?

QUOTE (MoSXS @ Feb 5 2006, 05:49 AM)
So, anyway, how is this Apple's fault? A small number of songs encoded with certain versions of LAME cause improper playback on the iPod. This is their fault, how? No other VBR codec causes this problem.
*


Well LAME outputs MPEG 1 / 2 Audio Layer III standards compliant bitstreams. This can be proven. If any device can not decode that standards compliant bitstream correctly it's obviously that devices fault (or put in another way: the device is not Audio Layer III compliant).


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ChiGung
post Feb 5 2006, 16:32
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QUOTE (drezon @ Feb 5 2006, 01:38 PM)
LAME outputs MPEG 1 / 2 Audio Layer III standards compliant bitstreams. This can be proven.

iirc, the switch, "--strictly-enforce-ISO" would need to be included to ensure compliancy with the most pessimistic interpretation of the standards.

Has this switch been tried yet with the ipod's problem?
If it works, it could be a little less obstructive to the normal encoding scheme than -B 256 (the quality hit of either being unknown but likely diminutive)

It would be good if a --ipod alias switch for -B256 or --strictly.. could be compiled into Lame, to help diffuse this problem, regardless of who is at fault.


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sehested
post Feb 6 2006, 00:55
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Update:

The LAME bug has been reported to Apple since long - both through Apple Feedback and via their US telephone support.

Recently I have also reported the problem via Apple's Developers Connection Bug Reporter.

Initially I filed the bug as "Other bug". After their initial review the status was raised to "Serious bug" by Apple support. After a few days the status was lowered to "Other bug", probably by second line support.


I have decided to part with my iPod mini 2G. My iPod video has no playback problems and the sound quality is vastly superior to the mini, when using quality headphones.


However before parting entirely with the mini I wanted to make one last round of tests using LAME 3.97b2 and iPod mini software 1.4.1.

David Bowie - Five Years:

LAME3.93 --alt-preset standard -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.96.1 --preset standard --strictly-enforce-ISO -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.96.1 --preset standard -B 256 -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V0 --vbr-new -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V1 --vbr-new -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V2 --vbr-new -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V3 --vbr-new -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V4 --vbr-new -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V5 --vbr-new -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V2 -> OK

Conclusion: LAME 3.97b2 no longer have the stuttering problem with the Five Years sample.

Nine Inch Nails - Right where it Belongs:

LAME3.96.1 --preset standard -> stutters badly crying.gif
LAME3.97b2 -V0 --vbr-new -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.97b2 -V1 --vbr-new -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.97b2 -V2 --vbr-new -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.97b2 -V3 --vbr-new -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.97b2 -V4 --vbr-new -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.97b2 -V5 --vbr-new -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V0 -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.97b2 -V1 -> stutters sad.gif
LAME3.97b2 -V2 -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V3 -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V4 -> OK
LAME3.97b2 -V5 -> OK

Conclusion: iPod mini 2G still stutters with some LAME3.97b2 encoded files, but
Five Years can no longer be used as sample for demonstration of stuttering.
Although NIN - Right where it Belongs stutters less with LAME3.97b2 than previously, it is still an excellent sample for demonstrating stuttering. sad.gif

I have recorded the line out from the iPod mini so people not having an iPod mini 2G will be able to hear what the stuttering sounds like. cool.gif

You will find the line out files as well as the lossless and encoded files here.


NB: People purchasing music from sites like allofmp3 should be aware they risk getting files encoded with older versions of LAME than the current 3.97b.

Although allofmp3 currently use LAME 3.97b with -V 2 --vbr-new as their preset standard setting, some files encoded with older versions of LAME exist in their file cache.
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chrisgeleven
post Feb 6 2006, 04:18
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I probably will be getting an iPod Video after its next revision. My mini has been great (stuttering aside), but I am sick of fine tuning my playlists to fit in 4 GB of space.


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sehested
post Feb 7 2006, 23:04
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Sold my iPod mini 2G. sad.gif

Wasn't even sad to let it go, rather I feel releaved. ohmy.gif

Apple today introduced a 1GB version of their iPod nano.

I think I will test that out when it hit the local Apple store...

Probably still have the stuttering issue, but you never know...
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kwanbis
post Feb 9 2006, 15:40
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QUOTE
When I bought my iPod, I noticed that some songs couldn’t seek, some cut off prematurely, and some said they were much longer than they really were. What gives? Well, apparently iTunes and the iPod use a totally old school method of reading variable bitrate headers. ... iTunes uses an old school “header” to designate VBR files. This header, called a “Xing” header ... If your VBR files don’t have the header, you are going to have problems, such as not being able to seek through your files, having files cut out prematurely, and having an incorrect total time reported. ... The program is called VBRfix. ... I let it run for an hour or two, and it fixed all my music. ... If you are having any problems with Mp3 files on your iPod or in iTunes, I highly recommend that you give it a try.
link

can people with iPods confirm this? i'm getting my 2GB nano in 2 weeks, so i can't test now wink.gif


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kwanbis
post Feb 10 2006, 17:35
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no one?


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sehested
post Feb 10 2006, 17:47
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QUOTE (kwanbis @ Feb 10 2006, 08:35 AM)
no one?
*

VBRfix has already been tried. However there is nothing wrong with the LAME headers and VBRfix will not solve the stuttering problem.
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kwanbis
post Feb 10 2006, 18:42
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so this guy is telling bs?


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