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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
I'm in search of any recent listening test including FAAC.

Many websites and software programs seem to be using FAAC behind the scenes these days because of the ease of access to the code. (Handbrake[1], YouTube(?), Xsplit[2], Open Broadcast Software[2]), and even one app, ffsplit uses ffmpeg's AAC encoder because the main dev found that, during a null test the standard deviation of samples was lower than FAAC.


1. Visible in the GUI
2. dll in install directory
  • Last Edit: 08 September, 2013, 08:35:03 PM by YellowOnion

  • saratoga
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #1
I don't think the quality of FAAC has changed in the last 8 or 9 years, so older tests should still be relevant. 

FWIW, the quality of FAAC is not great.  I don't think its meant to be used for applications where compression or quality are important.

  • kinnerful
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #2
I don't think the quality of FAAC has changed in the last 8 or 9 years, so older tests should still be relevant. 

FWIW, the quality of FAAC is not great.  I don't think its meant to be used for applications where compression or quality are important.

I understand that FAAC is worse than the newer AAC encoders, but is it worse than LAME as well?

For example, if I want to encode the audio track for a movie, shall I use FAAC, AAC from ffmpeg, or LAME MP3 (only these 3 are available in handbrake) at 96k-128k range?
  • Last Edit: 11 September, 2013, 05:23:13 PM by kinnerful

  • TomasPin
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #3
is it worse than LAME as well?

General consensus would say it is, at most bitrates.

Quote
For example, if I want to encode the audio track for a movie, shall I use FAAC, AAC from ffmpeg, or LAME MP3 (only these 3 are available in handbrake) at 96k-128k range?

If your player can handle mp4 files with an mp3 audio track, go with that. Or go for MKV, which supports a plethora of audio formats.

EDIT: Handbrake also lets you copy the audio stream of the source under "(mp3, aac, ac3, dts) pass-through". Have you checked that out?

EDIT 2: This is really off-topic...
  • Last Edit: 11 September, 2013, 05:57:19 PM by TomasPin
A man and his music: http://tubular.net/

  • kinnerful
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #4
If your player can handle mp4 files with an mp3 audio track, go with that. Or go for MKV, which supports a plethora of audio formats.

EDIT: Handbrake also lets you copy the audio stream of the source under "(mp3, aac, ac3, dts) pass-through". Have you checked that out?

EDIT 2: This is really off-topic...
Thanks! I want to shrink the size of the audio track as well so I have to choose between lame and faac... I guess this is not off topic per the op's intend, but it is off-topic considering this is the listening test forum... 

  • saratoga
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #5
For example, if I want to encode the audio track for a movie, shall I use FAAC, AAC from ffmpeg, or LAME MP3 (only these 3 are available in handbrake) at 96k-128k range?


If by ffmpeg, you mean the fhg encoder, I would use that.  Its quite good.  If you mean some other encoder, I would choose lame.

  • TomasPin
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #6
If by ffmpeg, you mean the fhg encoder, I would use that.  Its quite good.  If you mean some other encoder, I would choose lame.

No, it's an old experimental aac codec that came within the ffmpeg library, IIRC. I believe they have already added fdk in one of the latest nightly builds, so hopefully the next version will have it.

@OP: From what you've said so far I understand you're not using a Mac. Otherwise you could use CoreAudio, which is the good-quality Apple AAC encoder.
  • Last Edit: 11 September, 2013, 06:27:28 PM by TomasPin
A man and his music: http://tubular.net/

  • kinnerful
  • [*]
Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #7
For example, if I want to encode the audio track for a movie, shall I use FAAC, AAC from ffmpeg, or LAME MP3 (only these 3 are available in handbrake) at 96k-128k range?


If by ffmpeg, you mean the fhg encoder, I would use that.  Its quite good.  If you mean some other encoder, I would choose lame.

I just checked and their help file says

Quote
AAC (ffmpeg):
        HandBrake's default audio codec is AAC. It uses the faac encoder.


I guess I will still go with lame then.

  • IgorC
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #8
FAAC is utterly outdated. It's strictly recommended to NOT use it. FAAC is very low quality encoder comparing to other high quality AAC encoders as Apple (QAAC, iTunes) and Fraunhofer (Winamp 5.62 or newer).
  • Last Edit: 11 September, 2013, 08:22:11 PM by IgorC

  • kode54
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  • Administrator
Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #9
Why is FAAC preferred over fdkaac anyway? Does the FAAC license actually grant license to the AAC patents, or absolve users from having to pay royalties?

  • TomasPin
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #10
Why is FAAC preferred over fdkaac anyway?

In the case of Handbrake I think they chose it as the only quite usable open-source AAC encoder available at the time. They couldn't include Apple or Nero because of licensing issues. Apparently, they are replacing FAAC with the LibAV encoder, and offering FDK as an option too.

Quote
-The LibAV AAC encoder is now the default as FAAC has been removed.
    -This encoder is adequate for most, but until it improves a bit further, we have enabled support for the FDK-AAC encoder also.
        -This FDK option is a temporary measure until the LibAV encoder improves.
        -Note that FDK-AAC is much slower and will likely bottleneck the encode process, but will produce better quality audio.

How good that LibAV encoder is, I have no idea. Also, I thought FDK was quite fast, being optimized for mobile devices and such...
  • Last Edit: 11 September, 2013, 09:19:35 PM by TomasPin
A man and his music: http://tubular.net/

  • LithosZA
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #11
Quote
How good that LibAV encoder is, I have no idea. Also, I thought FDK was quite fast, being optimized for mobile devices and such...


I found that LibAV AAC is slightly worse than FAAC when I last tested. While I needed around >=192Kbps for FAAC to sound transparent I needed around >= 256Kbps for ffmpeg's AAC to sound transparent.
I found FDK AAC transparent >= 128Kbps. Didn't really test lower rates.

  • saratoga
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #12
Why is FAAC preferred over fdkaac anyway? Does the FAAC license actually grant license to the AAC patents, or absolve users from having to pay royalties?


Until last year it wasn't open source AFAIK, whereas FAAC was.  Now that its available via ffmpeg, probably people will switch to fdkaac gradually.

  • kode54
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  • Administrator
Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #13
I was also sort of asking because there are a number of people who don't mind freely distributing binaries with FAAC support, but not with fdk-aac. For instance, using the switch which enables fdk-aac in ffmpeg requires enabling a non-free switch, which forbids redistributing the resulting binaries.

  • saratoga
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #14
FAAC also requires non-free, so in that regard its no different.  I assume this is just people not knowing what they are doing, but I could be wrong.

  • nu774
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #15
As far as I understand, non-free mark of ffmpeg just means license incompatibility with LGPL, and not patent related. If patent is an issue (or at least they care about it), they has to mark tons of encoders/decoders as non-free including their own AAC encoder implementation.

  • saratoga
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Recent Listening Tests including FAAC?
Reply #16
As far as I understand, non-free mark of ffmpeg just means license incompatibility with LGPL, and not patent related.


Yeah, it essentially means that you cannot distribute the binary in countries that respect software licensing.

If patent is an issue (or at least they care about it), they has to mark tons of encoders/decoders as non-free including their own AAC encoder implementation.


I don't think this is true.  The built in encoder is LGPL.  I think they just discourage people from using it because its not any good.