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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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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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post Feb 11 2013, 21:30
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QUOTE (robertcollier4 @ Feb 11 2013, 19:56) *
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.
More reasonable, so thanks for elaborating, even if a difference is still unlikely. wink.gif

QUOTE (robertcollier4 @ Feb 11 2013, 19:56) *
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.
QUOTE (robertcollier4 @ Feb 11 2013, 20:05) *
A person can run the program multiple times and run the 10-file test multiple times. Each time the tool is loaded - the X,Y selections are randomized anew. The user can see if he/she can achieve the same results in multiple trials of running the tool.
However, I still have reservations about this method. We promote statistical tests for a reason. It’s not hard to imagine someone downloading this, getting some result that may be purely stochastic, and concluding wrongly on the basis of numbers that are unprocessed and not qualified with an associated probability or any other aid to interpretation. Does that make you responsible for whatever they do with that possibly erroneous conclusion? Not quite, but it doesn’t make the program fit very well with our established practices.

Of course, that’s fairly unlikely to happen to regular users, but I have concerns about the program being distributed through Hydrogenaudio and possibly (via the site’s reputation) granting an unwarranted degree of legitimacy to statistically unconvincing results. I grant that I might be being overly fanciful with these hypothetical possibilities, but there they are regardless.

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 11 2013, 21:33
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