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best ultra low br solution?
el00343
post Feb 2 2002, 21:07
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ok,what's the best low bit rate solution currently?
When I say low bitrate,I mean it...MAX 48 kbps.
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JohnV
post Feb 2 2002, 23:56
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Do you mean MP3, MP3pro or other codec?

I'm no expert of low bitrate, but probably Liquid Audio AAC is one of the best at those bitrates.
I haven't tested how Vorbis rc3 compares though.


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salt28
post Feb 3 2002, 01:29
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32 kbps WMA(44 khz,mono) sounds surprisingly good.

But i doubt its the best solution.
I have a $10 soundcard with a $30 headphone.
I have an above average,but not extremely good ear.
And my knowledge of music compression isn't much.
So i guess i'm not the expert.

But nevertheless 32 kbps WMA sounds very good for its size.

According to many people 64 kbps WMA (44 khz stereo) is as good as 128 kbps CBR mp3.
But i don't think so.
I think its as good as 96 kbps CBR mp3.
WMA is very disappointing at high bitrates.
Encode at 160 kbps WMA(which is claimed to be CD quality) :puke:
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timcupery
post Feb 3 2002, 05:45
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WMA is overall not bad at low bitrates, but I find the sort of artifacts that it makes (layman's terms: swishy and metallic-sounding) to be very annoying. Microsoft's claim of "cd-quality" at 64 kbps is funny or sick, depending on how you look at it. It may be on level with some really bad 128-kbps mp3 encods, but I (and others - see ff123's listening tests) find Lame mp3 encodes at 128 kbps to be better-sounding than wma at 128 kbps.
Currently if I want to make a really low bitrate file, say to email to a friend as a joke, I'll use the Fraunhofer mp3 codec ("advanced") which is apparently installed as a windows functionary. It's possible to do joint stereo or mono, and choose from sampling rates of 24000, 22050, 16,000, 12,000 and 8,000. Stick with 24000 or 22050 for music. Ogg (vorbis RC3) has impressed me as being significantly better at 64kbps than wma or mp3pro, or of course mp3. But this is all at a sampling rate of 44,100 khz, and ogg vorbis currently isn't tuned with good options for anything below that. The next encoder (RC4) is supposedly going to be much better in the low bitrate areas; I'd wait for that if you're wanting the best quality. If you want ideal compatibility, use mp3 or wma. And some AAC versions probably have the best current quality down where you're looking to encode.
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el00343
post Feb 3 2002, 14:43
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thanx everybody.I've done a couple of tests and I think mp3PRO
is the best at those bit rates,wma's artifacts are pretty annoying indeed.

Vorbis completely destroys the sound below the limit of 64 kbps,
and AAC isn't as good as mp3PRO too.Perhaps AAC and SBR
combined will rock the ultra low br field when it comes out...
But when?I think somebody told me that it's already been
implemented but they keep it for themselves etc etc.

Also,has anyone checked PlusV here?
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timcupery
post Feb 3 2002, 15:01
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I'm still curious as to what you want to encode at such low bitrates for. If it's for personal use where you want the best quality, I'd advise that you wait for ogg RC4, which is expected to be better tuned for low bitrates and have more options for different sampling rates and stuff. If you want general usability by the average person, stick with mp3 for now. But I don't know your reason...
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VeryBlur
post Feb 3 2002, 17:09
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QUOTE
Originally posted by timcupery
I'm still curious as to what you want to encode at such low bitrates for.  If it's for personal use where you want the best quality, I'd advise that you wait for ogg RC4, which is expected to be better tuned for low bitrates and have more options for different sampling rates and stuff.  If you want general usability by the average person, stick with mp3 for now.  But I don't know your reason...


some ppl nd it for streaming thru 56k modems.
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PatchWorKs
post Feb 3 2002, 22:22
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Well, the best low bitrate for my hears is:

32 KHz, mono, 16 bits

i hope i can encode this mode with OGG rc4 in the near future...
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Garf
post Feb 4 2002, 19:34
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QUOTE
Originally posted by PatchWorKs
Well, the best low bitrate for my hears is:

32 KHz, mono, 16 bits

i hope i can encode this mode with OGG rc4 in the near future...


Ogg RC2 could do 32kHz @ 48kbps, but there was no way to select that mode without hacking the libs.

I got it down to 32kHz @ 40kbps for the BBC, but I wasn't really happy with the results.

At that bitrate, with RC2, downsampling to 22kHz and using that mode (which also wasn't selectable but it _was_ there) gave better results IMHO.

This was full stereo BTW. I have no idea how it would sound with mono. Given that those bitrates used extremely aggressive point stereo, it likely wouldn't be a significant saving.

It was pretty much a choice of highly distorted highs vs no highs at all. I'm curious how RC3 and RC4 will do there.

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MINz
post Feb 11 2002, 07:02
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mp3Pro @ 40kbps stereo is by far the best option for 56k modems.

MINz
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fewtch
post Feb 11 2002, 08:23
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QUOTE
Originally posted by MINz
mp3Pro @ 40kbps stereo is by far the best option for 56k modems.

MINz

Thing is, you can't rely on all 56k modems hitting 40kbps. Usually I use WMA v2 (seems better tuned for very low bitrates) and/or RealAudio format and encode at 20-24kbps to cover all bases (some still can't connect above 28.8k due to poor phone lines).

It sounds reasonable on average PC speakers, esp. with a little "equalization" (freq. boosting) applied. Better in mono, of course.


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MINz
post Feb 11 2002, 08:34
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WMA hurts my ears at low bitrates......those artifacts are too much for me. Plus the reduction in sampling rate hurts the overall quality as well.

mp3Pro @ 40kbps is 44.1KHz Stereo it's as low as I would go for 56k modems. No harsh artifacts. In fact you don't pay attention you might forget this is VLB audio. Push up those buffer times and use a codec that offers great sound for the bitrate. If you can't stream a song @ 40kbps with a 56k modem then I'm sorry it didn't work for you. Thank goodness everyone in my area can stream it just fine.

MINz
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Benjamin Lebsanf...
post Feb 11 2002, 09:16
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QUOTE
Originally posted by MINz
mp3Pro @ 40kbps stereo is by far the best option for 56k modems.
MINz


My choice would be definitely ogg! forget mp3pro!
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rc55
post Feb 12 2002, 01:01
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QUOTE
My choice would be definitely ogg! forget mp3pro!


Perhaps you could justify why? I assume we're focusing on audio quality regardless of propriatory solutions/drm/politics here.

My gatherings so far are that:

RealAudio @ 32kbps is very good.
WMA @ 32kbps is just a little better.
OGG @ 32kbps (stereo) isn't worth using until RC4.
Mp3 @ 32kbps (any) isn't worth it.
Mp3+v @32kbps... havent tried but mp3pro will no doubt beat it.
Mp3pro @ 32kbps.... not tested.

I find that the majority of codecs seem to benefit from cutting off very high frequencies, Ogg especially at lbr, I find it seems to slip into different types of encoding at random points. I'll tell more when I've studied further.

If anyone has good concrete opinion on the ideal codec then let us know wink.gif

Ruairi


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PatchWorKs
post Feb 12 2002, 10:24
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Well in low bitrates the most important think is the quality of the source.

I don't think 44 KHz, 16 bits, stereo is a good source.

32 KHz give mutch better results.
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Garf
post Feb 12 2002, 11:05
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QUOTE
Originally posted by rc55
 
OGG @ 32kbps (stereo) isn't worth using until RC4.


I didn't say that. _My_ 32kbps @ 32kHz mode isn't worth using smile.gif

32kbps 22kHz sounded pretty bearable. If someone wants to test, I'll see if I can produce some clips.

The 32kHz <> 22kHz difference is pretty irrelevant at those bitrates anyway. I guarantee you that the ones that claim to do 44kHz@32kbps _won't_ be providing 22000Hz bandwidth smile.gif

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rc55
post Feb 12 2002, 14:20
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QUOTE
I didn't say that. _My_ 32kbps @ 32kHz mode isn't worth using ...


Sorry about that Garf, I was making a generalisation that ultra lbr wouldnt be worth looking at until rc4, or at least thats what I gathered from chatting on openprojects.

I'm very keen on utilising vlbr for remote accessing my music library for streaming over 56k. I'm currently using WMA8... which isnt satisfactory because it's so locked down but its sufficient for the time being, and the encode is very fast.

Garf, if you want me to test Ogg at low bitrates with custom compiles and or samples I'd LOVE to help out! biggrin.gif
Ruairi


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VeryBlur
post Feb 12 2002, 16:26
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QUOTE
Originally posted by rc55
 
My gatherings so far are that:

RealAudio @ 32kbps is very good.
WMA @ 32kbps is just a little better.
OGG @ 32kbps (stereo) isn't worth using until RC4.
Mp3 @ 32kbps (any) isn't worth it.
Mp3+v @32kbps... havent tried but mp3pro will no doubt beat it.
Mp3pro @ 32kbps.... not tested.


I found out that RealAudio sounds bad even at 96kbps for transients. I have clips to prove that if you want.
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rc55
post Feb 12 2002, 17:26
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VeryBlur: I'd be interested in hearing the sample(s), can you upload it/them please?

Thanks in advance.

Of course we all must remember when encoding at such low bitrates, we can expect to have a lot of problems! wink.gif


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fewtch
post Feb 13 2002, 07:18
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QUOTE
Originally posted by MINz
If you can't stream a song @ 40kbps with a 56k modem then I'm sorry it didn't work for you.  Thank goodness everyone in my area can stream it just fine.
MINz

Err, whatever you say. The area I live in has poor enough phone lines that over 28.8k isn't possible with any kind of dialup modem (26.4k is more typical) -- so if you wanted to exclude those connecting below about 48Kbps (remember, you need extra headroom when it comes to skip-free streaming) -- then I guess it *is* "their loss."

If you were a business though and were streaming for (some kind of) profit, it might be "your loss" too, when your customers give up in disgust at the skipping, broken "streaming." Perhaps the solution is adaptive streaming rates (like with the latest versions of RealAudio) but if that isn't an option, then go for the lowest common denominator -- no other choice.


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rc55
post Feb 13 2002, 12:55
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QUOTE
Perhaps the solution is adaptive streaming rates (like with the latest versions of RealAudio) but if that isn't an option, then go for the lowest common denominator -- no other choice.


I dont think Adaptive Streaming is available without the RealServer installed. They did have a free basic version; and I expect that its very unlikely that they'd let you have a technology like Adaptive Streaming for free.

I'd probably hold out for Vorbis bitrate peeling (see the FAQ on for more info)http://www.vorbis.com/, but if you need a more immediate streaming solution, encode using RealAudio at 20kbps, or WMA, and investigate HTTP streaming.

As and when it happens, rc4 of Vorbis will have lbr enhancements, so you could do this the nice and free way using Icecast! smile.gif


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