Thales uses AAC encoder from FhG and SBR encoder from CT.
Does ANOVA take into consideration the varying scales that people use when they grade the test samples? For example someone who thinks that the goal of the codec is to achive total transparancy may grade everything between 1 and 3 when someone else who doesn't care that much would give grades between 4 and 5 to the same set. So could someone very briefly explain how ANOVA works (or post some good links)? Which types of data sets is it possible to use ANOVA on?
Based on these results, which AAC encoder will be the "champion" to go up against the next round of contenders, namely vorbis, mpc and mp3?
It concerns me a little, that a particular AAC encoder will be chosen as the representative, but in reality, it may not be the most logical choice for the average user. For example, I don't think QT will be used as often as some of the others by Mr/Ms Joe Windows-User in its current state, due to the crappy "one file at a time" user interface. Even Sorenson may be a great encoder, but its cost may keep people away?
I for one will always favour an encoder that allows me to access it from the command line, and feed it from a range of front ends of my choosing depending on what I need at the time, ie foobar, EAC, CDex, Frontah, home made batch files, "insert you favourite media player/front end/ripping/compression package here"...
I appreciate that these listening tests can not accomodate everyone's wishes, and I suppose ultimately you need to pick the best performing encoder, regardless of its expense or convenience...
For instance, I would hardly pick Sorenson for the extension test even if it had won, because it's an encoder few people have access to, it's damn expensive and you can only encode one file at a time.
We can consider the possibility, for the next test, to include two AAC codecs : - VBR one, in fast development (don't forget HE-AAC), easy to use, pretty GUI (I can transcode my MPC to MP4 with Nero)- Winner of this test : CBR QT 128, for people that want a very good quality, without consideration of time encoding, GUI annoyance, etc...Other codecs may be mpc, vorbis (official), wma (standard, pro ?), mp3 (lame). Maybe ATRAC3...But that's maybe too much challengers (12 samples x 6-7 codecs = 72...84 files).(don't forget that you need a CLI decoder, if you want to reduce the package size with a .bat file : is there any WMA9 or ATRAC3 separate decoder available ?)Problem is : what's the purpose of this test ?Is it a practical one : what is the best audio format for portable use ? MPC is actually useless here...Is it a theorical one : what is the best audio format at 128 kbps, regardless of any portable available, or GUI, or encoding speed ?Is it a mix of the two ?We need to clearly answer to these questions in order to make the codec/setting choices.
I'm also wondering if MPC is necessary for low-medium (around 128kbps) vbr test. But Roberto claims that Musepack users will be very upset if it's not included. I'm not so sure about this, because people already know that Musepack is very good at higher bitrates, and I'm not sure if MPC users are even interested in the bitrates this low.
Excluding MPC makes no sense - it's definetely a contender at 128kbps.
I don't get it. Why should we include Vorbis then? What's the point of the test?
and most HA people interested in MPC know that MPC is good at near 128kbps already, so why include MPC?
But you did not really answer my question, what is the use of the second test? Is it to compare AAC to it's direct competitors, and see who has the best quality? In that case, MPC would not be a competitor indeed.
Just to chime in with Garf... MPC is used by exactly as many portable devices as Vorbis. There is only those who say they are working on it and that it will be released later - that goes for Vorbis as well as MPC. So from that is definately not an argument for excluding one from the test and keeping the other. If the test is setup to answer which is the best choice for portables both WMA8 and ATRAC3 have to be included. Neither Vorbis nor MPC has anything to do in such test.
As far as I can see I didn't say anything about portables at all.Portable usage is one point of view also.