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PlayerABX Tool - Foobar2000 vs XMPlay, ABX GUI Tool that silently plays songs in two players
Did PlayerDoes XMPlay or Foobar2000 give better quality sound?
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robertcollier4
post Feb 10 2013, 09:02
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This tool allows double-blind playing of the same songs in two different players. Please participate in this Double-blind ABX listening test to compare Foobar2000 1.2.2 vs XMPlay 3.7. You must choose 10 audio files in the interface - listen to each audio file in two anonymous players - and then make a radio selection as to which sounded better to you.

The tool was written in AutoHotKey Classic - and so you can view the code yourself to see what it does. If you have AutoHotkey installed - you can run the .AHK file, or if you don't have AutoHotKey installed you can run the compiled .EXE file.

XMPlay 3.7 and Foobar2000 1.2.2 are to be included in subfolders. Both programs are launched to the tray and produce no popups when playing songs via this tool - so as to provide double-blind compliance. From the author's original files, the following changes have been made to support double-blind operation:
1. XMPlay.ini is modified to add the line "NoReg=1" to make it into portable mode and "TitleTray=0" to disable tray bubble notifications for blind playing and "AutoAmp=0" to disable ReplayGain.
2. XMPlay Directsound plug-in has been installed into XMPlay to match Foobar2000's default DirectSound output.
3. Foobar2000 Preferences>Shell Integration>"Bring to front when adding new files" has been unticked.

Please post your results. This tool can also very easily be modified to perform double-blind tests between other players as well. My goal was to find the best sounding audio player for Windows - and I believe XMPlay is it according to my tests. If you believe there is a better sounding audio player than XMPlay then this tool can be modified (the .AHK source is included) for that player as well. Please post your results and lets verify what the best sounding audio player for Windows is.

Download: PlayerABX-Foobar-vs-XMPlay.zip (3.25MB)



This post has been edited by robertcollier4: Feb 10 2013, 09:58
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db1989
post Feb 11 2013, 20:42
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QUOTE (robertcollier4 @ Feb 10 2013, 08:02) *
Please participate in this Double-blind ABX listening test to compare Foobar2000 1.2.2 vs XMPlay 3.7. You must choose 10 audio files in the interface - listen to each audio file in two anonymous players - and then make a radio selection as to which sounded better to you.
Please provide a defensible explanation of why any audible difference should be expected, never mind possible.
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robertcollier4
post Feb 11 2013, 20:56
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 11 2013, 12:42) *
Please provide a defensible explanation of why any audible difference should be expected, never mind possible.

Because Foobar2000 uses the FFmpeg decoding library and XMPlay uses the BASS decoding library. The two libraries could differ in how they deal with floating point arithmetic, etc. I wanted to find a way to double-blind test myself in comparing the two after Foobar2000 announced that it is switching from the mpg123 library to the FFmpeg library.

I was curious to myself about of over if I would be able to find a difference in the player quality - and I didn't see any existing tool and GUI like this already existing - so I decided to write it. Users can also modify the .AHK file to compare other players or other configs. The tool just randomizes X and Y launches for two EXEs with the parameters of the files selected.

The tool is just reporting what the user clicks. I will leave it to people to make their own statistical conclusions, since this is a qualitative and as 'per opinion' comparison.

This post has been edited by robertcollier4: Feb 11 2013, 20:58
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