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Once more: Time for a new lossless codec comparision?, More comprehensive, more detail
post Apr 27 2012, 13:30
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Hi all,

The recent activity on the FLAC-dev mailing list (it's alive again!) has reminded me of something I announced some time ago here but didn't really finish: make a new comparison of lossless codec performance, because most tests are pretty outdated or not very comprehensive. While there isn't much development at the moment (which I pity) especially TAK has developed and I hope FLAC maintenance development will soon turn to improvement. wink.gif As I still have all code of last time I made a comparison (I got it cleaned up and running in about 2 hours) the hardest thing to get right is the selection of music. That's why I set up this thread.

Test structure
I will make several comparisons, as last time it became clear that codecs perform very different when given different material. This asks for several tests for different genres. Moreover, the overall test has to be balanced too. While my taste in music is quite diverse, I hope you can help me cover the voids. I've set up some categories, Heavy (mostly metal), Rock, Electronic, Pop, Jazz, World Music, Orchestral, (Classical) Chamber music, Single-instrument/voice and pre-mix material. The starred items will be included in the main test, I'll try to take 5 out of every 'main' genre. Every item (that is, every album) is equally weighted in the final comparison.

Your opinion is important! smile.gif
So, first of all, which 'main' genres are missing and which categories would you like to be included in the test? If you suggest a genre of category, please recommend me some CD's to buy which more or less 'span' the whole genre. Second, do you think these lists 'span' the whole genre depicted? Please keep in mind it is of course impossible to include every sub-genre, max 5 per genre would be nice.

*Mercenary - 11 Dreams
*Dream Theater - Octavarium
Nightwish - Oceanborn
Linkin Park - Meteora
*System of a Down - Mezmerize
*Apocalyptica - Inquisition Symphony
*Metallica - Death Magnetic
Slipknot - All Hope is Gone
Blind Guardian - A Twist in the Myth

Rock (a.k.a less heavy)
*Paramore - Brand new Eyes
*Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
*Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
*Nickelback - Black Horse (Onder heavy?)
*Guns and Roses - Chinese Democracy
30 seconds to Mars - This is War
Muse - H.A.A.R.P. (live from Wembley)

*Daft Punk - TRON Legacy R3CONF1GUR3D
*Daft Punk - Discovery (which is quite a different subgenre compared to previous entry)
*Tisto - In Search of Sunrise 7: Asia
*The Prodigy - Invaders must Die (?)
*NIN - The Slip (Is dat Electronic?)

*5CD's of various popsongs
*Duffy - Endlessly
*Coldplay - Viva la vida or death and all his friends
*Katie Melua - The Katie Melua Collection
*Avril Lavigne - Let Go
BLF - Umoja

Jazz, Soul
*The Rosenberg Trio - Djangologists (sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOC-xZOWFnc)
*John Coltrane - Kind of Coltrane (Live at the half note '63, Vol 1 + 2)
*Joss Stone - Mind, Body and Soul
(I need some more here)

World music/Folk (very hard to define indeed cool.gif )
*Various - World Music Instruments, Single Reed Instruments (Clarinet)
*Fanfare Ciocarlia - Baro Biao (gypsy brass band)
(please suggest additions)

*Verdi Requiem
*Carneval des Animeaux
Le Sacre du printemps / Petrouchka
*Bach, Magnificat + Mahler, Symfonie nr. 1
Holst - The Planets
*The Lord of the Rings - Two Towers (complete recordings)

Chamber Music
*2 CD's worth of chamber music
*Some unaccompanied chamber choir recording

Single instrument
*EBU Sound Quality Assessment Material (SQAM) CD
Some of my chamber music recordings (hints for myself: kamermuziekexamen + KaMu-blend)
Excerpts from Yann Tiersens Good Bye Lenin and Amelie Poulain
*Ehren Starks - Lines Build Walls

Not categorized (only to balance the overall test)
*BLF - April (to add some slow, balad-like music)
*Halo: Reach soundtrack

*Some pre-mix, 24-bit material (chamber-music, orchestral music, jazz)

Finally, please don't get upset about the choices I made making this list, just tell what you think is wrong. My musical taste is mainly in classical, rock and metal, so I tried to do the others as well as I could. Music and it's divions into genres is subject of much debate, but that's not the point of this list.

Thanks in advance!

Music: sounds arranged such that they construct feelings.
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post May 1 2012, 18:43
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 29 2012, 21:16) *
Noise? Like Merzbow?

I'm not into that genre at all... but AFAIK it's not really popular. I might be a nice testcase for encoders but this test is not really about that kind of extremes smile.gif

In the opposite direction: Bobby "Don't Worry, Be Happy" McFerrin has a live album called The Voice, which consists only of his voice a cappella.

Thanks for the suggestion.

(Myself I have enough music to do a comparison off my own collection. What stops me, is that I am missing a test suite which can to the job automatically and reliably ... (the Good Thing to use, I guess, would be some Linux live distribution running from RAM, and which does not try to go online for updates and download them ...) -- plus the fact that I don't really think people care that much anymore.)

I run all tests from RAM, and I wrote the test in PHP. It depends on some linux-specific tools like time and du for measuring used CPU time and disk usage. I'll run all tests on an idle PC from a ramdisk (which is not easy to set up in Windows too)

QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 29 2012, 22:50) *
In terms of electronic music, I would look at throwing a dubstep band/artist in there like the previously suggest Skrillex. I think Nero should be thrown in there with the album Welcome Reality. To me, it spans various electronic sub-genres and kind of has them all covered. As for NIN, I don't know if I would consider them electronic. They have released some electronic sounding albums (Ghosts comes to mind) but they also have some industrial and metal elements. I would also take Meteora out of the heavy category since it is more hard rock. There are other entries featuring chug-chug-chug riffs. Otep had a new album that came out a few months ago. Marilyn Manson even has an album coming out which is supposed to be more of a return to his older style.

I'll put NIN under heavy (labeled as industrial) and remove Meteora. I'll consider your suggested additions

Lastly, I wouldn't put Death Magnetic on there and instead focus on a more traditional metal album such as Megadeth - Thirteen or Anthrax - Worship Music. My main argument against Death Magnetic is that it is mastered pretty poorly and I don't think it is a good representation of what you would find in the genre. Had Metallica not blown it out of proportion, I would keep it on there but I think a different album should be used that better represents the genre.

I was hoping my collections would suffice for most categories, and I don't have any 'trash metal' besides that. However, I'll take a look wink.gif

You may even want to think about throwing some country on there. My experience with the genre is that it is very similar to pop but you may want to get all of your bases covered.

As I live in The Netherlands, I'm not familiar with country. As far as I know it, it should be put under world music/folk, but again, I really don't know anything about country.

QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 30 2012, 22:35) *
It might be interesting to see how the formats/encoders do fare on these brickwalled recordings. Suggestion: make a selection of those and label them separately as 'prisoners of loudness war' as if that were a searate genre. (Eat that, Lars Ulrich.)

That would probably be interesting test case indeed.

QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 30 2012, 22:47) *
Sure, for size. For reliable results when it comes to speed, you depend on your OS not starting any CPU- or hard drive-intensive processes in the meantime.

With 'time' I can measure CPU and 'real' time elapsed. In the test, I fetch both and check whether they match to 'verify' my results. smile.gif

QUOTE (IgorC @ May 1 2012, 00:02) *
it might worth to look for the most used lossless codecs here 2012 ripping/encoding poll

Thanks. I'll put a litte more focus on ALAC this time I guess smile.gif

Woops, I see there's a limit to the number of quote blocks I can include in my post... strange?

This post has been edited by ktf: May 1 2012, 18:57

Music: sounds arranged such that they construct feelings.
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Posts in this topic
- ktf   Once more: Time for a new lossless codec comparision?   Apr 27 2012, 13:30
- - Haubi   Great idea! It's really time to make a new...   Apr 29 2012, 15:56
|- - ktf   QUOTE (Haubi @ Apr 29 2012, 16:56) I thin...   Apr 29 2012, 18:34
- - Porcus   Noise? Like Merzbow? Hardly much compressible ... ...   Apr 29 2012, 20:16
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 29 2012, 15:16) (Myse...   Apr 29 2012, 22:07
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (saratoga @ Apr 29 2012, 23:07) Or ...   Apr 30 2012, 21:47
- - kornchild2002   In terms of electronic music, I would look at thro...   Apr 29 2012, 21:50
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 29 2012, 22:50...   Apr 30 2012, 21:35
- - IgorC   ktf, it might worth to look for the most used lo...   Apr 30 2012, 23:02
- - GeSomeone   Apocalyptica is orchestral, isn't it? If you w...   May 1 2012, 16:47
- - icstm   sorry to sound silly, but what are we hoping to fi...   May 1 2012, 17:28
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (icstm @ May 1 2012, 18:28) sorry t...   May 1 2012, 18:43
- - derty2   IMHO, no test should be without the king of instru...   May 1 2012, 17:36
- - kwanbis   To make it more representative, I would add some s...   May 1 2012, 18:31
- - ktf   QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 29 2012, 21:16) Noise...   May 1 2012, 18:43
- - ktf   I'll continue QUOTE (GeSomeone @ May 1 ...   May 1 2012, 18:50
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (ktf @ May 1 2012, 19:50) Speed no ...   May 1 2012, 19:02
||- - ktf   QUOTE (Porcus @ May 1 2012, 20:02) Regres...   May 1 2012, 20:35
||- - db1989   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_regression QU...   May 1 2012, 21:09
||- - ktf   QUOTE (db1989 @ May 1 2012, 22:09) http:/...   May 1 2012, 22:06
||- - Porcus   QUOTE (ktf @ May 1 2012, 23:06) regressio...   May 2 2012, 00:13
|- - kwanbis   QUOTE (ktf @ May 1 2012, 17:50) Can you s...   May 2 2012, 04:35
- - TBeck   For quite some time i wanted to write kind of a ma...   May 2 2012, 22:13
- - saratoga   Is there some collection of losslessly encoded, pu...   May 3 2012, 00:04
- - TBeck   My primary test set consists of all the files whic...   May 7 2012, 20:20
- - smok3   + speech please.   May 7 2012, 21:22
- - moozooh   I think separating music by very arbitrary and vag...   May 7 2012, 22:13
- - ktf   QUOTE (moozooh @ May 7 2012, 23:13) I thi...   May 10 2012, 21:04
|- - moozooh   QUOTE (ktf @ May 11 2012, 00:04) Depends ...   May 11 2012, 00:09
|- - moozooh   QUOTE (ktf @ May 11 2012, 00:04) why woul...   May 11 2012, 09:26
|- - moozooh   QUOTE (moozooh @ May 11 2012, 12:26) This...   May 11 2012, 23:18
|- - Porcus   As much as moozooh's results make me curious, ...   May 11 2012, 23:51
- - BoraBora   I think you shoud include some mono music. People ...   May 10 2012, 21:47
- - Canar   The Electronic section is really not representativ...   May 10 2012, 22:00
|- - db1989   QUOTE (Canar @ May 10 2012, 22:00) SOUNDS...   May 10 2012, 22:35
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Canar @ May 10 2012, 23:00) SOUNDS...   May 11 2012, 08:12
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Canar @ May 10 2012, 23:00) SOUNDS...   May 11 2012, 20:52
- - smok3   QUOTE I don't have much. I guess there aren...   May 10 2012, 22:16
- - Haubi   Here comes a suggestion for our comparison: http:...   Aug 19 2012, 14:25
- - ktf   Hi guys, It has been some time, but I decided to ...   Dec 21 2012, 22:56

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