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Why Continue MP3 Development Given AAC?
jukkap
post Dec 21 2011, 11:45
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QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 20 2011, 19:33) *
QUOTE (jukkap @ Dec 20 2011, 05:02) *
I am sorry I don't actually claim that 128 AAC is in fact better than 320 MP3 but I don't notice differences so it just works great for me.

Perhaps, but you did say:
QUOTE (jukkap @ Dec 19 2011, 19:59) *
AAC just gives better audio quality with half the bitrate of MP3.

This is not compliant with our terms (specifically #8) which you agreed to follow upon registering here.


I am sorry I phrased my own experience of the AAC-MP3 comparison wrong. I apologize for breaking the law.

I used to use LAME -Q 2 and -b 320 and I am now satisified with the quality of the AAC bitrate (128) I've chosen.
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jukkap
post Dec 21 2011, 11:59
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QUOTE (IgorC @ Dec 20 2011, 15:16) *
jukkap

While your AAC encoder is CBR (or "short windowed ABR") it can't compete with Apple and FhG AAC VBR encoders. As simple as it is. Period.

P.S. Also I have a hard time to hear the difference between old Coding Technologies AAC encoder and your new Dolby Pulse encoder. For my ears it's just the very same encoder with some very tiny retouches. Rebranding the same product is a normal procedure today.


I am sorry if this is little bit out of topic. It's not my encoder it is Dolby's.

There was an unofficial 48kbps HE AAC v1 listening test where Dolby Pulse was better than CT. There also was FhG and Nero but I cannot further discuss about the results as it is confidential information.

According to Dolby; the Dolby Pulse is completely new encoder (not rebranded CT as you said). I guess the audio quality improvements are mostly hearable with HE AAC v1 and HE AAC v2.

We would need a neutral ABX listening test for actual results.

I guess the VBR improves the audio quality further when higher bitrate / AAC LC is used. I've discussed with Dolby R&D and I have a feeling there is a chance for VBR enabled Dolby Pulse.
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spoon
post Dec 21 2011, 13:08
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QUOTE (jukkap @ Dec 21 2011, 10:45) *
I used to use LAME -Q 2 and -b 320 and I am now satisified with the quality of the AAC bitrate (128) I've chosen.


Ok so you find AAC 128Kbps transparent at 128Kbps, but you are also inferring that you found Lame not transparent below -Q 2 or -b 320....this is the cause of contention.


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IgorC
post Dec 21 2011, 13:30
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QUOTE (jukkap @ Dec 21 2011, 07:59) *
According to Dolby; the Dolby Pulse is ...

According to company A; the products of company A are ...

This post has been edited by IgorC: Dec 21 2011, 13:33
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The Seeker
post Dec 21 2011, 14:45
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QUOTE (spoon @ Dec 21 2011, 13:08) *
Ok so you find AAC 128Kbps transparent at 128Kbps, but you are also inferring that you found Lame not transparent below -Q 2 or -b 320....this is the cause of contention.


He implies, you infer.


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spoon
post Dec 21 2011, 14:48
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Thanks, you have learned that to me now wink.gif


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The Seeker
post Dec 21 2011, 20:28
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QUOTE (spoon @ Dec 21 2011, 14:48) *
Thanks, you have learned that to me now wink.gif


No problem laugh.gif


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db1989
post Dec 21 2011, 20:38
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I see what he did there…
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saratoga
post Dec 21 2011, 21:07
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Dec 21 2011, 01:36) *
QUOTE (saratoga @ Dec 21 2011, 17:41) *
Yes, AAC is fine if you stick with the Apple ecosystem.


I thought one of the things established in this thread was that AAC is NOT an Apple proprietary format. But obviously, in some eyes, it is for ever tainted by being the format chosen for iTunes.



On the contrary, I meant it as a compliment to Apple. They seem to be one of the only companies that has managed to get a truly robust AAC implementation across a large number of hardware devices that works as well as it should. With an iPod I am quite sure that any AAC-LC file I am likely to make or find will play, have its tags properly parsed, etc. Outside of Apple products, AAC support tends to be incomplete or even outright buggy (Sandisk i'm looking at you...). Even in the software I've worked on for rockbox we are just now beginning to approach Apple's level of robustness for AAC support after many years of trying.

QUOTE (MichaelW @ Dec 21 2011, 01:36) *
(Don't bother, I know you didn't SAY that, and I know MP3 is more universal, but it would be nice to keep the AAC = Apple = DRM = teh ebbil set of associations out of it.)


Ironically, your extreme sensitivity to this topic is the only reason it was brought up. No one here thinks AAC belongs to Apple, just that in practice their products tend to be among the few worth using it with (as a music file format at least). Perhaps you should assume people here know at least a little about audio.
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Engelsstaub
post Dec 22 2011, 02:36
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Dec 21 2011, 14:07) *
...Even in the software I've worked on for rockbox we are just now beginning to approach Apple's level of robustness for AAC support after many years of trying.


I, for one, appreciate your efforts. I don't currently use Rockbox, but I may have need to in the near future. It's good to know that you all take AAC support seriously. I know plenty of people use Rockbox and, like I've said before, it's great to have options.


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fukdup
post Dec 22 2011, 02:58
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i would think this means it's got a much more widespread usage.

i know what aac is, but most people i know, if i asked them would not.the average 10 year old knows what an mp3 is, but i doubt many will know of any other types of codec.

and just because an .mp3 file get's a hit on google search, doesnt mean it's pirated material.the index whole websites including the text inside them as well you know, just like this page, and i dont see any free downloads of copyright .mp3's here.

edit typo....

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MichaelW
post Dec 22 2011, 06:33
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Dec 22 2011, 08:07) *
On the contrary, I meant it as a compliment to Apple. They seem to be one of the only companies that has managed to get a truly robust AAC implementation across a large number of hardware devices that works as well as it should. With an iPod I am quite sure that any AAC-LC file I am likely to make or find will play, have its tags properly parsed, etc. Outside of Apple products, AAC support tends to be incomplete or even outright buggy (Sandisk i'm looking at you...). Even in the software I've worked on for rockbox we are just now beginning to approach Apple's level of robustness for AAC support after many years of trying.
SNIP
Ironically, your extreme sensitivity to this topic is the only reason it was brought up. No one here thinks AAC belongs to Apple, just that in practice their products tend to be among the few worth using it with (as a music file format at least). Perhaps you should assume people here know at least a little about audio.


My apologies: I completely misunderstood your point, though I thought it odd, given rockbox's support for AAC. OTOH, I thought post #13 in this discussion tends towards the AAC = Apple mode, though not of course explicitly, and it is an attitude that's around, even here (yes, some people here have forgotten more about audio than I will ever learn, but not everybody).

BTW, I really liked rockbox on my iRiver H120, which I only traded from when I needed a bigger drive.
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shakey_snake
post Dec 22 2011, 06:55
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Glad to see my earlier comment went appreciated.

I'll take my practicalities over here and let you geeks duke it out. biggrin.gif


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MichaelW
post Dec 22 2011, 06:57
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Dec 22 2011, 08:07) *
On the contrary, I meant it as a compliment to Apple. They seem to be one of the only companies that has managed to get a truly robust AAC implementation across a large number of hardware devices that works as well as it should. With an iPod I am quite sure that any AAC-LC file I am likely to make or find will play, have its tags properly parsed, etc. Outside of Apple products, AAC support tends to be incomplete or even outright buggy (Sandisk i'm looking at you...). Even in the software I've worked on for rockbox we are just now beginning to approach Apple's level of robustness for AAC support after many years of trying.


I find this surprising, especially since, given the experience of MP3, it ought to have been possible to iron out difficulties of implementation. What is it about AAC that makes it so hard to implement? (I mean, Apple are normally quite good about getting things right, but that's normally about knowing what to leave out rather than any special technical competence; technically, I've come to expect good community projects to be the equal of commercial stuff.) Is that part of why AAC is still less widespread than MP3, especially, it seems, in car audio?
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Soap
post Dec 22 2011, 13:45
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Dec 22 2011, 00:57) *
of commercial stuff.) Is that part of why AAC is still less widespread than MP3, especially, it seems, in car audio?


Just to steal a bit from this:

MP3, I think we all can accept, is going to be implemented in any digital-format-playing device due to its prevalence.

Microsoft very actively encouraged (for a very wide variety of definitions of the term) hardware makers to add WMA support to their devices. I believe there is little doubt why (since the death of most DRM WMA music services) that is why there are more hardware devices (car head units / DVD players / DAPs) which play WMA than actual WMA files in the wild. wink.gif

Is anyone doing the same for AAC?


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IgorC
post Dec 22 2011, 14:08
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Also Microsoft fully supports standards LC-AAC/HE-AAC(SBR and PS) and H.264 (including hardware acceleration) starting from Windows 7 and its entertaitment devices.
And it does very well.

It's not only Apple supports AAC but aslo Microsoft and many others as well


Now it's very rare to see one mobile phone (smartphone etc) that doesn't support AAC.
Big majority of people buy just one device that is phone, player, photocam, videocam. So the phrase "I don't care about mobile phones " doesn't convince a lot. wink.gif

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hernaaan
post Dec 22 2011, 14:58
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Perhaps the one who started the topic wanted to say, why keeping effort in a MP3 codec that's almost fully developed -and not moving to a codec yet in progress-? I mean, is worth investing time in LAME considering the improvements that can be made nowadays?
Why not starting/improving an open source AAC project instead? With the potential of the people working on LAME, I think we could get great results. AND countering the AAC=Apple effect at the same time.
Effort-reward < that's the correct concept.

Personally, I prefer and do have my entire music collection as MP3. Some FLAC backups, which were never played. I entirely appreciate the work done on LAME project, but if a genius appeared and said, "what would you prefer to this manpower?" I think I would say AAC. (a bit childlish but illustrative example).

However, if FAAC project were active, or some other FOSS work were good enough today, I would say nothing about this.


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nu774
post Dec 22 2011, 15:55
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I think there's some truth in "AAC=Apple" belief. There are things not defined in the ISO standard such as tags and handling of priming frames, and now iTunes style is being regarded as de-facto.
Some hardware player are even known to refuse mpeg4 brand other than M4A.

In fact, I don't think current scheme (iTunSMPB) is an ideal solution, since MP4 container can contain multiple audio tracks, while iTuneSMPB being a container-global tag. They are useful only when it contains one audio track. Surely it's enough for iTunes. They even use special M4A brand to explicitly declare the usage of the container.
However, MP4 can be generally more than that. Since AAC encoder delay is usually much bigger than LAME encoder, it notably result in video/audio out of sync without some handling of priming frames.

Apple introduced a new scheme to handling priming frames in the recent QuickTime file format spec, but I don't know if anyone is using it. Anyway, it's not spec of MP4, but QuickTime file format.

I see MP4 container is usually not well supported. Even softwares didn't support many things such as edts/elst(edit list) until very recently. In fact, even now, they are not fully supported. Only one exception being QuickTime, but even QuickTime is not perfect as a MP4 implementation.
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lvqcl
post Dec 22 2011, 15:59
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QUOTE (hernaaan @ Dec 22 2011, 17:58) *
people working on LAME


According to the LAME changelog, LAME 3.98 and 3.99 were tuned mostly by robert. (or even only by robert, I'm not sure). mellow.gif
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apodtele
post Dec 22 2011, 19:00
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The virtue of MP3 is its simplicity compared to WMA or AAC.
It is much easier to implement a hardware player for MP3.
This is how it beats all the competition while providing very good quality.
The file size does not matter because the storage is cheap compared to the
actual playback implementation.

(This is also why JPEG will always be more popular than JPEG_2000)

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Soap
post Dec 22 2011, 19:26
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QUOTE (apodtele @ Dec 22 2011, 13:00) *
The virtue of MP3 is its simplicity compared to WMA or AAC.
It is much easier to implement a hardware player for MP3.

Dare I ask what you believe a "hardware player" is?


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kwanbis
post Dec 22 2011, 19:38
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QUOTE (Soap @ Dec 22 2011, 19:26) *
Dare I ask what you believe a "hardware player" is?

He probably mean not a software player.


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Soap
post Dec 22 2011, 19:43
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QUOTE (kwanbis @ Dec 22 2011, 13:38) *
QUOTE (Soap @ Dec 22 2011, 19:26) *
Dare I ask what you believe a "hardware player" is?

He probably mean not a software player.

And dare I ask what the distinction is?

EDIT:
I don't mean to be douchy with the repeated questions, but there really is no hardware/software player distinction anymore.
It's all, to a great extent, software.


This post has been edited by Soap: Dec 22 2011, 20:00


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greynol
post Dec 22 2011, 20:30
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QUOTE (apodtele @ Dec 22 2011, 10:00) *
The file size does not matter because the storage is cheap compared to the actual playback implementation.

As long as people still buy 8GB players, files size does in fact matter; though I suppose it will always matter for those who want instant access to a large* collection stored locally.

(*) subjective: may be 300 albums for one person, 15,000 albums for another and is ever-growing.


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kwanbis
post Dec 22 2011, 21:02
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QUOTE (Soap @ Dec 22 2011, 19:43) *
And dare I ask what the distinction is?
I don't mean to be douchy with the repeated questions, but there really is no hardware/software player distinction anymore.
It's all, to a great extent, software.

Well, all is 1s and 0s, so ... but, the computers have basically no limit, while on a hw player you have to consider at least battery consumption.

This post has been edited by kwanbis: Dec 22 2011, 21:06


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