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WavPack, MPC, transcoding and so on, Does somebody consider or is using it?
budgie
post Apr 11 2003, 12:20
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First of all, I don't want to start any kind of flame war. The second, this is no promotion or nothing alike. I have no reason for something like this. The only reason is to get the best possible quality in lossy compression and to provide the possibility for transcoding along (which is not necessarily an evil, as many here use to say...). I'd like to start a serious "think-tank" exchange, because I've been thinking about this idea for some time...

As for MPC, it's without doubt the best lossy codec, very near to transparency (or better to say almost transparent) on very effective bitrates...

But this is the only one reason why I use it along with WavPack (in lossy mode). I can't describe my "problems" with MPC properly and even can't ABX my reservations (compared with wav). One evening I can, on the other I can't... It is in the sound, in the very nature of the sound, it has a lot to do with spatial resolution, how the space is defined and so. I think it must be very closely linked with the lower bitrate on which MPC usually operates. For me is MPC and WavPack (~ 352-448 kbps) definitely the best solution for archiving music, I do not need any lossless (except for classical music, but in this field is WavPack very effective). Most of the time it's just wasting a space. And tagging was never an issue for me.

Why using WavPack?

WavPack's lossy mode does not currently use any psychoacoustic model because those models are based on the idea that there are decisions to be made about how to divide the available bitrate to the various frequency bands (to minimize
the audibility of the added noise). Because WavPack does not divide the audio into subbands, there is no decision to
be made there. The only artifact is quantization noise added evenly across all frequencies. In this aspect it is more similar to ADPCM, but because WavPack is not limited to a fixed number of bits per sample it is able to accommodate transients much more accurately, and of course the predictor that WavPack uses has been far more tuned than any for ADPCM.

The default mode is true stereo (L/R). For joint stereo to be really useful it must be able to detect those situations where it makes things worse and switch back to true stereo, and of course then it can run into the situation where the encoder might switch back and forth so often that that becomes audible! If you have sufficient bitrate then true stereo is the safest (although for material with little stereo separation you can specify -J1 to force joint stereo).

The explanation for WavPack's lossy mode sounding more "solid" and with better spatial resolution than other codecs
could be because there is absolutely no "time smearing" or "pre-echo" in WavPack because there are no digital filters in the signal path. Most of the experts here at HA would argue that these effects are below the threshold of direct audibility and are therefore irrelevant, but I'm not sure I buy this. I'm definitely not the first person to mention this perception nor the first to be afraid of mentioning it on HA (as far as I know). But I must risk it on my account...

I keep in mind that WavPack is far less of a standard than the others (although being native in FooBar2000 doesn't hurt) and obviously has poorer seeking and tagging capabilities. AFAIK bryant is working on an entirely new format for WavPack 4.0 that will address the seeking and tagging issues and provide better lossy quality, but this will certainly be months in the future and it will be fully compatible with existing files.

I personally use only WavPack for decoding back to wavs. Once the quality exceeds what can be measured in ABX tests, I suspect that most of the people at HA would say that all codecs are the same, but I don't believe that. There is no doubt that WavPack's lossy mode provides better quality than other lossy codecs above some bitrate because it provides a straight line to lossless encoding which the others do not.

Just my 2 cents.

P.S. First time I realized the spatial "problems" with MPC was when I compared wavs/mpcs/wavpacks from "Men In Black 2" soundtrack (to be exact, it was track 4). Sometimes it was quite apparent even without abxing... For MPC (1.15r) I use --quality 7 --xlevel.
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DickD
post Apr 11 2003, 16:54
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Budgie, how about posting a lossless sample (e.g. Monkey's Audio to avoid confusion between lossless and lossy Wavpack) from this Men In Black II soundtrack track 4 (no more than 30 seconds, according to forum rules), the 30 seconds that sound worst to you.

Then we can all try encoding it as you've done (or with other switches to try to fix the joint stereo mode of MPC if necessary) and listening on our own equipment.

If you run WinABX, you could suggest the time period where it's most noticeable, so we can all try to home in on the same artifact in the MPC file more easily. I'd like to try it, though if it needs a quiet environment, I might have difficulty sad.gif

Reporting ABX results would also be good, if you try to ABX it yourself.

Regards,

DickD
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Dibrom
post Apr 17 2003, 16:55
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Budgie:

First of all, read forum rule #8. Then read it again. Then read it one more time, just for good measure.

Then come here and look at what you've posted...

I would have thought that since you decided to stick with this board after all the initial commotion your attitude has caused here, that you would have known better by now.

Anyway, to sum things up, if you're going to make statements about quality, PROVIDE SOME EVIDENCE, or at least some sort or well reasoned basis for discussion. This "audiophile" spatial-resolution pseudo-babble nonsense does not qualify.

And no, for some people who I'm sure will misconstrue this post to fit in with their notion of all the "format zealots" on this board, I am not attacking budgie because of the codecs he has mentioned, but rather (if you can call it "attacking"), because of the implicit nature of his arguments and statements.
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NonUniform
post Apr 22 2003, 04:48
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QUOTE
8. Statements on technical or quality oriented matters are expected to be supported by the author responsible for such statements.
This is quite simple. If you, as a user, make a claim about the quality or general ability of an encoder/decoder/etc to perform in a given situation (for example) which happens to be contrary to pre-existing data, but then do not supply supportive information when discussion follows, you are likely to be receive harsh responses to your posts. The HydrogenAudio staff will not take action against any users which may post these responses.


budgie, since you're on a different musical plane than everyone else I suggest you develop your own codec.
Do to your advanced musical perceptions you should be able to create the most advanced lossy codec known to man.
Then you can start your own forum where you will tutor all those lacking your spatial perceptions.
Or, you can just STFU & stop posting biased statements [**edited**].

[Moderation]You need to the read the rules also.
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den
post Apr 22 2003, 05:12
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This is not a defense of budgie, more a response to his first post.

Over in the new Other Formats forum, there is a thread where we have been discussing Wavpack lossy as a suitable source for transcoding, as suggested in budgie's signature. Yours truly has also been doing a few transcoding tests, with a particular interest in using Wavpack lossy for maintaining my tunes on hard disk for transcoding into ATRAC3 for Minidisc and MP3 for my DVD player.

Sorry I can't directly link to the thread, because I don't know how to...

headbang.gif

In a nutshell, budgie may be on to something, at least for my transcoding needs. Early tests are showing that wav to Wavpack lossy to ATRAC3 is much closer to the same from the original wav to ATRAC3, than wav to mpc q6/10, LAME aps/api and Vorbis to ATRAC3 so far.

I agree that budgie's posts make you scratch your head sometimes, and I wish he would post test results to back up statements, but I was made to consider options from various posts, and as a result, wavpack lossy may have found another user.

Den.


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rjamorim
post Apr 22 2003, 10:18
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QUOTE (NonUniform @ Apr 22 2003 - 12:48 AM)
Or, you can just STFU & stop posting biased statements [**edited**].

[Moderation]You need to the read the rules also.

laugh.gif

QUOTE
Sorry I can't directly link to the thread, because I don't know how to...


http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....32&t=8416&st=0&

Just copy the URL from your browser's address box, and paste it here. smile.gif


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Andavari
post Apr 22 2003, 10:32
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QUOTE (NonUniform @ Apr 21 2003 - 09:48 PM)
budgie, since you're on a different musical plane than everyone else I suggest you develop your own codec.
Do to your advanced musical perceptions you should be able to create the most advanced lossy codec known to man.

Yeah, transparency or archival quality at a standard setting (MPC), awesome low bitrate performance (OGG), and of course the complicancy with multitudes of hardware (MP3). What would this codec be named? "KAC (kick ass codec)".


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hans-jürgen
post Apr 22 2003, 12:44
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QUOTE (den @ Apr 22 2003 - 06:12 AM)
Sorry I can't directly link to the thread, because I don't know how to...

Just use the Windows clipboard wherever you find an URL (probably in the URL box of your browser or in a posting) by right-clicking and copying it. Then you can insert it in your reply by right-clicking and pasting it again. You don't have to worry about any tags, because the forum software will add them automatically, so it will be a "real" URL in your posted message afterwards.

QUOTE
... but I was made to consider options from various posts, and as a result, wavpack lossy may have found another user.


By the way, Shorten also has a lossy mode, but I don't know anything about it, because I'm not much interested in these high bitrates.


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den
post Apr 22 2003, 13:03
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Thanks for the tip regarding posting links to other threads. Seems pretty obvious when I think about it...

rolleyes.gif

@hans-jürgen

Oh no! Shorten has a lossy mode too? More tests? ohmy.gif Oh well. I'll keep playing with Wavpack for now, but thanks for the info...

Den


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NonUniform
post Apr 23 2003, 00:26
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QUOTE
[Moderation]You need to the read the rules also.


QUOTE
If you, as a user, make a claim about the quality or general ability of an encoder/decoder/etc to perform in a given situation (for example) which happens to be contrary to pre-existing data, but then do not supply supportive information when discussion follows, you are likely to be receive harsh responses to your posts.


Main Entry: harsh
Pronunciation: 'härsh
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English harsk, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian harsk harsh
Date: 14th century
1 : having a coarse uneven surface that is rough or unpleasant to the touch
2 a : causing a disagreeable or painful sensory reaction : IRRITATING b : physically discomforting : PAINFUL
3 : unduly exacting : SEVERE
4 : lacking in aesthetic appeal or refinement : CRUDE
synonym see ROUGH
- harsh·ly adverb
- harsh·ness noun

I think you should replace the word "harsh" with "politically correct so as not to offend anyone".

This post has been edited by NonUniform: Apr 23 2003, 01:32
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