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Multiformat 128 kbps Listening Test, Pre-Test Discussion
Alex B
post Dec 2 2005, 16:35
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 2 2005, 05:12 PM)
Well, I think the samples are pretty easy. LAME and Vorbis produced bitrates varying between ~90 kbps and ~130 kbps, I assume the two ABR encoders iTunes and Nero will give similar results, the only difference being WMA Pro which might allocate a bit more. That's why I think none of the samples should be included. Hope you don't mind.
*

I don't mind. This is not a matter of my minding. smile.gif

As I said before I tried to find voice samples that would have produced quite low bitrates and be difficult at the same time, samples that could make the pshycoacoustic models more or less fail. It seems that only vigorous testing or previously heard artifacts (in real life) can help to find that kind of samples.

This "herding_calls" sample would be difficult at least for LAME:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....topic=37003&hl=

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....ndpost&p=326235

... but it is more like a killer sample.

This post has been edited by Alex B: Dec 2 2005, 16:37


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Alex B
post Dec 2 2005, 17:58
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I posted a couple of samples by Björk: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....ndpost&p=347195. I think these samples are more likely to produce artifacts, not just because of her strong voice, but also because of the other sounds included. Especially the effect sounds in the "Storm" sample make it ABXable. It seems that plain human voice is too easy too encode.

I hope this has at least minor scientific value in case Sebastian has made his decisions.

This post has been edited by Alex B: Dec 2 2005, 18:00


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 2 2005, 20:56
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Assuming I use Storm, which sample would you replace? It's pretty hard to sort out samples now. sad.gif


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Alex B
post Dec 2 2005, 23:24
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 2 2005, 09:56 PM)
Assuming I use Storm, which sample would you replace? It's pretty hard to sort out samples now. sad.gif
*

What is your current list? I am a bit uncertain about that.

I have downloaded all available samples. I could put them into a playlist and listen to through them. Hopefully that would bring up some idea about which samples are more redundant. Did you try that yourself? You have them all in a lossless format, so you should have better chances to evaluate them.

This post has been edited by Alex B: Dec 2 2005, 23:51


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 3 2005, 08:39
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QUOTE (Alex B @ Dec 2 2005, 11:24 PM)
I have downloaded all available samples. I could put them into a playlist and listen to through them. Hopefully that would bring up some idea about which samples are more redundant. Did you try that yourself? You have them all in a lossless format, so you should have better chances to evaluate them.
*


Yep, and that's why it is so hard. sad.gif

These are the ones I have:

CODE
02_-_White_America
BigYellow
bodyheat
Carbonelli
Coladito
electronic
Elizabeth
Elton_John___Song_For_Guy__edit_
eric_clapton
Jazz
macabre
Opeth___The_Drapery_Falls_sample
Paris_Combo___Senor
ravel
Santa Esmeralda - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Sash_-_Mysterious_Times_30sec
School
Yann Tiersen - Les Jours Heureux


This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Dec 3 2005, 08:39


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 3 2005, 11:08
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I think I could take out macabre since I have the Ravel sample. But the question is - is that kind of sample needed?

This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Dec 3 2005, 11:32


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Halcyon
post Dec 3 2005, 12:10
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 3 2005, 12:08 PM)
I think I could take out macabre since I have the Ravel sample. But the question is - is that kind of sample needed?


I'm not perhaps the right person to answer on that particular sample.

I do wish however, that you'd consider adding a sample (if you haven't already) that includes very low volume parts (with high dynamic variation). The miyake sample I posted is just an example, but something similar would be nice.

I've noticed that many of the codecs can still fail easily on this type of track at c. 128kbps.

That is, if you think that kind of low volume test is worthwhile.
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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 3 2005, 13:10
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Well, the problem is that it is really hard to decide which samples to throw out now. The only sample I can think of would be macabre since we have Ravel as orchestral track. But then, which sample to choose: Björk or yours?

Edit: Or maybe throw out Yello and replace it by Björk. We have Sash! for electronica.

This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Dec 3 2005, 13:10


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Alex B
post Dec 3 2005, 14:02
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I listened through the samples and I am quite clueless too. The choice is difficult.

In regard to the choice between the two orchestral samples I noticed again the dynamics problem with the Ravel sample I provided. The Ravel recording is not compressed in any way. The sample has internally already high dynamic variation, but the complete album has more. For example, here are some replay gain values of the album:

The Ravel sample: -7.54
The complete track: -4.40
The previous track: +10.29
The complete album: +0.27 (album gain)

The sample passage is about the loudest part of the symphony and it is intended to produce something like 18 db higher average volume level than the previous quiet track when listening to the original album. When I listened to it together with the other samples I had to increase the volume setting a lot before I was able to hear the subtle nuances included with this sample.

Edit: typo & removed my OT comment.

This post has been edited by Alex B: Dec 3 2005, 15:42


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naylor83
post Dec 3 2005, 15:34
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 3 2005, 02:10 PM)
Well, the problem is that it is really hard to decide which samples to throw out now. The only sample I can think of would be macabre since we have Ravel as orchestral track. But then, which sample to choose: Björk or yours?

Edit: Or maybe throw out Yello and replace it by Björk. We have Sash! for electronica.
*


Just a though: The Yello sample is (I presume) pretty tough for the encoders. It has wide stereo separation and some very sharp, distinct sounds.

Now, whether that means it should be included instead of Sash! or not, I don't know. unsure.gif

Edit: Yello, not Yellow (duh!)

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Halcyon
post Dec 4 2005, 10:13
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I think the Björk sample "storm" is great! So are electronic.mp4 (Yello track) and to some extent the Sash track (Mysterious times).

I'd guess that they also represent more of the style of music that is really encoded in real-life, than the one I was proposing.

Let me make this easier for you. Forget the low volume request I made. There are enough low volume parts in other acoustic orchestral samples smile.gif

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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 4 2005, 11:10
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OK, discussion is now over. I am just preparing the samples.

Thanks to everyone for suggestions, help and comments. Also, thanks to all who provided samples!


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Serge Smirnoff
post Dec 4 2005, 11:23
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 01:10 PM)
OK, discussion is now over. I am just preparing the samples.

Thanks to everyone for suggestions, help and comments. Also, thanks to all who provided samples!
*

Finally the test has been prepared and I want to take part in it but in a bit different way. I will add the same codecs with the same settings to SoundExpert (SE) testing service. They will be placed to the group, say, “Special 128 Kbit/s test” with short explanation of the test purpose (and reference to the HA test of course). First (starting) ratings based on my own listening tests and grades will be published simultaneously with the HA ones in order the both tests to be independent. Then if God send some testers to SE the ratings will start to change and finally come to some stable figures.

I think it would be interesting to compare results of both tests. SE ones are based on different methodology and use different sound samples. Will there be any correlation? I use the word “correlation” because both results can’t be compared directly as SE ratings will occupy the range above 5 points (5 to 7 range, I think) of Infinite Grade Impairment Scale and relative positions will matter only.

For me as the developer of SoundExpert two following questions would be interesting as well:
How ratings will move as participants will add their grades to my starting ones? Will the difference be substantial?

So my question is to Sebastian: could we agree now about the exact date ant time of publishing results? And could you, please, show the final codecs set with their settings to be used. Thank you in advance.


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 4 2005, 11:39
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QUOTE (Serge Smirnoff @ Dec 4 2005, 11:23 AM)
QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 01:10 PM)
OK, discussion is now over. I am just preparing the samples.

Thanks to everyone for suggestions, help and comments. Also, thanks to all who provided samples!
*

Finally the test has been prepared and I want to take part in it but in a bit different way. I will add the same codecs with the same settings to SoundExpert (SE) testing service. They will be placed to the group, say, “Special 128 Kbit/s test” with short explanation of the test purpose (and reference to the HA test of course). First (starting) ratings based on my own listening tests and grades will be published simultaneously with the HA ones in order the both tests to be independent. Then if God send some testers to SE the ratings will start to change and finally come to some stable figures.

I think it would be interesting to compare results of both tests. SE ones are based on different methodology and use different sound samples. Will there be any correlation? I use the word “correlation” because both results can’t be compared directly as SE ratings will occupy the range above 5 points (5 to 7 range, I think) of Infinite Grade Impairment Scale and relative positions will matter only.

For me as the developer of SoundExpert two following questions would be interesting as well:
How ratings will move as participants will add their grades to my starting ones? Will the difference be substantial?

So my question is to Sebastian: could we agree now about the exact date ant time of publishing results? And could you, please, show the final codecs set with their settings to be used. Thank you in advance.
*



Still preparing - slow down. happy.gif Unfortunately, I was stuck in a traffic jam yesterday, so I am slightly off with my schedule. Nothing to worry about, though, I hope.
  1. Settings are:

    iTunes 6.0.1.3: 128 kbps, VBR
    LAME 3.97b2: -V5 --vbr-new --noreplaygain
    Nero 3.1.0.2 (only I have it ATM): Streaming Profile (make sure LC is selected!)
    Shine 0.1.4: -b 128
    AoTuV 4.51: -q 4.25 (or 4,25 depending on system settings)
    WMA Pro 9.1 (using VBS): -a_codec WMA9PRO -a_mode 2 -a_setting Q50_44_2_24
  2. Date for results depends if the test has to be extended or not - it's too soon to say.


This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Dec 4 2005, 11:43


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Serge Smirnoff
post Dec 4 2005, 12:57
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 01:39 PM)
Settings are:

iTunes 6.0.1.3: 128 kbps, VBR
LAME 3.97b2: -V5 --vbr-new --noreplaygain
Nero 3.1.0.2 (only I have it ATM): Streaming Profile (make sure LC is selected!)
Shine 0.1.4: -b 128
AoTuV 4.51: -q 4.25 (or 4,25 depending on system settings)
WMA Pro 9.1 (using VBS): -a_codec WMA9PRO -a_mode 2 -a_setting Q50_44_2_24
Thank you. Everything is clear to me exept "Nero" - what application or component (dll) do you mean specifying the version?

QUOTE
Date for results depends if the test has to be extended or not - it's too soon to say.
*
OK. We'll return to this later.


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 4 2005, 13:01
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QUOTE (Serge Smirnoff @ Dec 4 2005, 12:57 PM)
Thank you. Everything is clear to me exept "Nero" - what application or component (dll) do you mean specifying the version?
*


aacenc32.dll



This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Dec 4 2005, 13:03


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 4 2005, 13:49
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BTW, I am going to use ABC/HR 0.5a since JRE is available for Windows and Linux. Mac users can take the test on a live Linux system like Ubuntu or install a trial version of a VM software.


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Serge Smirnoff
post Dec 4 2005, 13:52
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 03:01 PM)
aacenc32.dll
It seems to be technical pre build Ivan provided to you for the test. I've got 3.0.0.2 in my system. If it is so, may I ask you to encode my single test file (8.71Mb), zip it and send to me in some way?

EDIT: file size

This post has been edited by Serge Smirnoff: Dec 4 2005, 13:54


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ErikS
post Dec 4 2005, 14:17
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 02:49 PM)
BTW, I am going to use ABC/HR 0.5a since JRE is available for Windows and Linux. Mac users can take the test on a live Linux system like Ubuntu

Not possible.
QUOTE
or install a trial version of a VM software.
*

Are you sure sound drivers in linux running on emulated PC on an ibook will sound better than simply using an old abc/hr which uses JRE 1.4?

I'm disappointed if you enforce the use of abc/hr v0.5 since I can't take the test then.
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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 4 2005, 14:32
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QUOTE (ErikS @ Dec 4 2005, 02:17 PM)
QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 02:49 PM)
BTW, I am going to use ABC/HR 0.5a since JRE is available for Windows and Linux. Mac users can take the test on a live Linux system like Ubuntu

Not possible.
QUOTE
or install a trial version of a VM software.
*

Are you sure sound drivers in linux running on emulated PC on an ibook will sound better than simply using an old abc/hr which uses JRE 1.4?

I'm disappointed if you enforce the use of abc/hr v0.5 since I can't take the test then.
*



OK, I'll check if configs made with 0.5 work with 0.4 and vice versa.


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ErikS
post Dec 4 2005, 14:40
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 03:32 PM)
OK, I'll check if configs made with 0.5 work with 0.4 and vice versa.
*

Thanks. Have you had any contact with schnoffler? He should know about the differences...
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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 4 2005, 14:48
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QUOTE (Serge Smirnoff @ Dec 4 2005, 01:52 PM)
QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 03:01 PM)
aacenc32.dll
It seems to be technical pre build Ivan provided to you for the test. I've got 3.0.0.2 in my system. If it is so, may I ask you to encode my single test file (8.71Mb), zip it and send to me in some way?

EDIT: file size
*



You can test yourself smile.gif

http://www.rarewares.org/rja/nero_aac_encoder_3.1.rar
http://www.rarewares.org/rja/nero_aac_encoder_v3_1_0_1.rar
http://www.rarewares.org/rja/nero_aac_encoder_v3_1_0_2.rar

Extract Aac.dll and aacenc32.dll to %CommonProgramFiles%\Ahead\AudioPlugins\

Extract NeroIPP.dll to %CommonProgramFiles%\Ahead\Lib\

Extract libmmd.dll to %SystemRoot%\system32\.

This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Dec 4 2005, 14:49


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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 4 2005, 14:49
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QUOTE (ErikS @ Dec 4 2005, 02:40 PM)
QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 03:32 PM)
OK, I'll check if configs made with 0.5 work with 0.4 and vice versa.
*

Thanks. Have you had any contact with schnoffler? He should know about the differences...
*



I sent him a PM since I also have a problem that no sound comes out of my speakers. sad.gif


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Egor
post Dec 4 2005, 15:54
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QUOTE (ErikS @ Dec 4 2005, 07:17 PM)
QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 02:49 PM)
...
Mac users can take the test on a live Linux system like Ubuntu

Not possible.
*

Why not? Live Linux system boots off a CD-ROM disc to RAM and nothing is written to a HDD. No need to remap disk partitions or install software, but internet connection or CD/DVD writer are required (to save results).
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Sebastian Mares
post Dec 4 2005, 16:00
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QUOTE (Egor @ Dec 4 2005, 03:54 PM)
QUOTE (ErikS @ Dec 4 2005, 07:17 PM)
QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Dec 4 2005, 02:49 PM)
...
Mac users can take the test on a live Linux system like Ubuntu

Not possible.
*

Why not? Live Linux system boots off a CD-ROM disc to RAM and nothing is written to a HDD. No need to remap disk partitions or install software, but internet connection or CD/DVD writer are required (to save results).
*



Yep, that's what I would say, too. Schnoefler was kind enough to offer a 0.5 version of ABC/HR for Java that operates with JRE 1.4, however, the clicking noise is still there because of how JRE 1.4 deals with the mixer.
He also recommends using 0.5 configs with 0.5 and 0.4 configs with 0.4 because of the encryption which might cause trouble.


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