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96 or 128 kbps public AAC test, What would make more sense in your opinion?
96 or 128 kbps public test?
96 or 128 kbps public test?
~96 kbps test on "average music" samples with little amount of difficult samples [ 55 ] ** [39.29%]
~128 kbps test with a higher amount of difficult samples [ 85 ] ** [60.71%]
Total Votes: 161
  
IgorC
post Jan 13 2010, 01:06
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Poll is dedicated for upcoming public test.
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Bryanhoop
post Jan 13 2010, 01:37
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I understand there is a plethora of 128 tests out there and it's getting difficult to ABX, but I don't see why a 96 is necessary. I would hope that codec programmers are focusing on higher bitrates nowadays.

Vote: 128
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kornchild2002
post Jan 13 2010, 01:57
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A little on the fence about this. I haven't used "128kbps" as a target bitrate in about 6 years and it appears that storage capacities are constantly increasing while their prices keep falling. I don't think the smaller bitrates (ie 96kbps and below) have the same place in portable audio as they did years ago especially with "affordable" 32GB+ players and 64GB solid state players on the verge (except the iPod touch, that is already out but it is really expensive). So I voted for 128kbps. I realize that this will make testing much harder. Ideally, a target bitrate of 192kbps would have been nice but that would have exponentially increased the difficulty of the tests.
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DigitalMan
post Jan 13 2010, 08:40
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Let's find out if 96kbps could be viable for acceptable music listening. I do agree with storage capacities getting so large and inexpensive that 96k might seem irrelevant, however it would still be interesting for mobile applications.


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KFal
post Jan 13 2010, 10:11
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I voted 128 kbps because I am interested to see which encoder would be the best for internet radios. Most of the ones I am listening to are streaming at 128 kbps and I am wondering which encoder would be the best -- if it makes a difference at all. Storage space is not a criterion for me.


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southisup
post Jan 13 2010, 12:36
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I voted 96 because I assume 128 has already had lots of killer samples thrown at it by developers, & because 96 isn't a rate so many people consider for music.
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Meeko
post Jan 13 2010, 12:54
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I'm voting for 128 because most players have oodles of space to store music, and there isn't a real need for super-low bitrates anymore. Granted it will be tough, but isn't that a good thing (meaning most codecs are near transparency at such a low rate)?


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jido
post Jan 13 2010, 15:56
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I am more interested in the results of a 128kbps test. Hope there will be enough "difficult" samples to make the test easy to participate in.
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Sebastian Mares
post Jan 13 2010, 17:21
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Voted for 96 kbps even though it would've been more interesting to test even 80 kbps IMHO.


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.alexander.
post Jan 14 2010, 13:18
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Voted for 96 kbps. Also this would be good to know the actual size of bit reservoirs (though I would rather be interested in CBR only test).

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forart.eu
post Jan 14 2010, 13:24
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We believe that bitrates for test should be in a linear scale: 32, 64, 128, 256...

In this case, 128. BTW 64 test would be great too.
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IgorC
post Jan 14 2010, 14:02
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I don't see any particular reason why bitrates should be in a linear scale while all competitors admits bitrate shifting.
Even more. In case of 96 kbps test all bitrates settings could be shifted to 102 kbps or even 102.77.... kbps

This post has been edited by IgorC: Jan 14 2010, 14:04
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IgorC
post Jan 14 2010, 16:26
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QUOTE (forart.eu @ Jan 14 2010, 09:24) *
We believe that bitrates for test should be in a linear scale: 32, 64, 128, 256...

In this case, 128. BTW 64 test would be great too.

Linear? 32,64,128,256 .. is exponential. +32 +64 +128. I don't see how it comes any linear
Linear would be 32,64,96,128.... +32 each step. That's linear.

This post has been edited by IgorC: Jan 14 2010, 16:28
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sauvage78
post Jan 14 2010, 16:50
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The MPEG bitrate scale is both linear & exponential because it is linear within a range but ranges are exponential:

CODE
Low Quality Range: +4Kbps by Step

036Kbps
040Kbps
044Kbps
048Kbps
---------
(050Kbps The middle of the Low Quality Range)
---------
052Kbps
056Kbps
060Kbps
064Kbps

Medium Quality Range: +8Kbps by Step
---------
072Kbps
080Kbps
088Kbps
096Kbps
---------
(100Kbps The middle of the Medium Quality Range)
---------
104Kbps
112Kbps
120Kbps
128Kbps

High Quality Range: +16Kbps by Step
---------
144Kbps
160Kbps
176Kbps
192Kbps
---------
(200Kbps: The middle of the High Quality Range)
---------
208Kbps
224Kbps
240Kbps
256Kbps

Note: 320Kbps is an orpheline bitrate of the +32Kbps by step range.


This bitrate scale alone is rather useless to judge quality, but it explains why there is such a quality difference between 128Kbps & 192Kbps when you do ABXing. There is no secret, it's the big bitrate boost. Also, it learns you why using 320Kbps is overkill when 192Kbps is already almost always transparent.

Back on the topic, voted 96Kbps because on non-killer samples with non-trained users, 128Kbps will be near transparent.

Edit:
I would have voted:
96 kbps test + with a higher amount of difficult samples
if I would have had the choice.

The choice of samples is much more important than the choice of bitrate IMHO. (As long as all AAC competitors are LC)

IMHO 96Kbps or 128Kbps, it shouldn't change the overall results (I mean ranks) between competitors, but using 96Kbps will make the test easier.

This post has been edited by sauvage78: Jan 14 2010, 17:20


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hellokeith
post Jan 15 2010, 04:53
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128. Seems like the default for alot of ripping/media players.
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Polar
post Jan 15 2010, 19:47
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Definitely 96k. 128k has been tested abundantly and as the most recent 128k tests have shown, public tests simply don't produce results that are statistically viable enough. 96k on the other hand has never been tested on a large - public - scale.
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Curtor
post Jan 15 2010, 23:56
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96kbs for sure... we've done 128 to death and all the discussed encoder options do exceptionally well with it. let's see who's pushing the envelope.
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greynol
post Jan 16 2010, 20:34
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Of those who chose 128, I'd like to know how many of you can routinely ABX this from lossless. How many of you either include killer samples or listen to music that can be characterized by killer samples as part of your regular listening experience?

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 16 2010, 20:35
Reason for edit: Punctuation.


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MichaelW
post Jan 16 2010, 22:03
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@greynol

I don't know about killer samples, but music with, say, a lot of hi-hat, or harpsichord, is generally regarded as being difficult. I'm sure nobody listens to all sorts of killer samples regularly, but some people would listen regularly to difficult music.

The point behind the 128 preference, with a heavy weighting of difficult samples, would be to discover, I guess, which specific codecs handled which particular difficulties best.

The general assumption, prior to testing, would be that good all codecs are going to be performing very well (quite possibly indistinguishably) on most samples; but there might still be information to be retrieved.

That's not to say that 128 is inevitably a better choice than 96, but to suggest that there is a rationale, and it's not some kind of perversity to choose the higher bit-rate. I guess it's a question of what purpose tests are serving, and if that could be articulated very clearly, maybe the choices would become clearer.
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greynol
post Jan 16 2010, 22:19
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So does that mean I can put you down as one person who can routinely distinguish 128kbit AAC from lossless as part of your regular music listening experience?


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rpp3po
post Jan 16 2010, 23:29
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If you wouldn't say routinely but regularly, you could add +1 for me. At 128k LAME still has audible problems with sharp attacks (e.g. castanets). Hihats have become better, but aren't perfect, yet. This isn't restricted to just a dozen "killer samples" but isn't too seldom for modern Jazz and classical recordings. That's the reason I always use higher bitrates. One can certainly live with that, it still sounds great. But you can identify that it isn't lossless. Precondition: quiet environment, sufficient volume. And that's overall volume, not exaggerated at problematic positions.

This post has been edited by rpp3po: Jan 16 2010, 23:36
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halb27
post Jan 16 2010, 23:31
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 16 2010, 20:34) *
Of those who chose 128, I'd like to know how many of you can routinely ABX this from lossless. How many of you either include killer samples or listen to music that can be characterized by killer samples as part of your regular listening experience?

If you want to say that most people are ecpected not to encounter problems within their regular listening experience when using AAC @ 128 kbps: well, that would be a fine result. But we haven't done the test yet. We just don't know, and we don't know whether specific encoders have specific issues in certain problem areas (and maybe not only in problem areas).

The reason for testing @ 128 kbps is simply that more or less everybody can afford such a bitrate.
If the main target was to find a clear qualitative ordering among the contenders a lower bitrate would be more appropriate. But what would it be good for if nearly nobody uses it?
Of course it can happen that all the contenders will score more or less near-perfect (but it's not necessarily so) similar to the last public 128 kbps mp3 test. But that would be a very fine result IMO telling us that all the encoders tested do an excellent job.

This post has been edited by halb27: Jan 16 2010, 23:35


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greynol
post Jan 16 2010, 23:39
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QUOTE (rpp3po @ Jan 16 2010, 14:29) *
At 128k LAME still has audible problems with sharp attacks (e.g. castanets). Hihats have become better, but aren't perfect, yet.
That's great and all, but what about the codecs that are actually going to be tested?

QUOTE (halb27 @ Jan 16 2010, 14:31) *
Of course it can happen that all the contenders will score more or less near-perfect (but it's not necessarily so) similar to the last public 128 kbps mp3 test. But that would be a very fine result IMO telling us that all the encoders tested do an excellent job.
I agree, though I wonder if those who voted 128 have considered this as a possibility.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 16 2010, 23:39


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IgorC
post Jan 17 2010, 00:03
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greynol
I invite you to read the whole discussion's topic http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=77272
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saratoga
post Jan 17 2010, 00:13
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QUOTE (halb27 @ Jan 16 2010, 17:31) *
If the main target was to find a clear qualitative ordering among the contenders a lower bitrate would be more appropriate. But what would it be good for if nearly nobody uses it?
Of course it can happen that all the contenders will score more or less near-perfect (but it's not necessarily so) similar to the last public 128 kbps mp3 test. But that would be a very fine result IMO telling us that all the encoders tested do an excellent job.


Yes but its would also be an entirely expected, and thus very boring result. Its only an interesting result if the AAC encoders do significantly worse then MP3 encoders, which seems extremely unlikely. IMO since we can do so few tests, we should try to pick ones that are likely to give good results. Negative controls are great and all, but if you only are likely to do one test, a control is probably not the best first choice smile.gif

96k will be more interesting given that it is expected that some or even all codecs may not perform quite so well.

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