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Topic: ABX Comparator version 2.0 (Read 34908 times) previous topic - next topic
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ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #100
Patience. Peter is very busy with multiple projects but he has promised improvements for this component.


Thanks.  I appreciate any help.

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #101
Background:
For many years, foobar ABX reports using the earler version of the plug-in have been accepted on HydrogenAudio as a valid form of ABX test.

Feature request:
That an option be provided for the formal ABX test stage of the new plug-in to display progressive results (as the traditional plug-in did). [The current beta version provides no indication of the progressive result during the formal test.]

Reasons:
It is not unusual for an ABX test to require a fine discrimination at the outer limits of a test subject's ability to hear.  The investment of time and effort can be considerable. The traditional ABX plug-in gave the test subject the oportunity to be alerted to the negative outcome that their error rate was so high that it would be futile to proceed further. The test subject could abandon the test and report that the difference was beyond their ability to discriminate reliably.  Conversely, if a test subject had feedback that they were doing well, they could feel encouraged to persevere, despite the time and effort involved.  This tended to lead, overall, to an efficient use of the test subject's listening time.

Unless a difference were obvious to my ears, I personally would be reluctant to embark on a formal foobar ABX exercise [of a minimum of 8 trials, as seems to be imposed in the beta version], without progressive feedback.

I don't believe that limiting testing to 8 samples should become a habit.

If you are constantly making errors with your guesses (with the latest version of ABX the user can not know this), or are not entirely sure of the choices you are making, you should listen to a different section of audio or take a break with your ears. I do much better with ABX testing if I don't listen to the same portion over and over again because my ears become used to the sound, unless there is an obvious error to me and I am able to choose quickly. If I'm taking too long, I may even take a break and walk around, get some water from the kitchen, after I am halfway through the testing. Which is something good to do anyway because it is not good to be sitting motionless, staring at your computer screen for too long.
Maybe this sort of idea can be made as a disclaimer before the ABX test window opens up (which the user can choose to hide).


Suggestions:
-On the ABX log, show the "last position tested" for each test. Right now, only the "time completed" is shown. People often mention separately which portions of the track they tested. I think it would be better to include this in the log file.
-Defragment using consolidation on the ABX temp files. This will hopefully eliminate any stuttering for people using a HDD when switching between tracks.

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #102
Have noted a thing I suppose is not working as intended according to your changelog and a suggestion for the plugin.

-Keyboard shortcuts not working when using ABX with more than 2 files:


With 2 files you can fully move between the buttons in the panel; pause/continue playback and switch files. All only with keyboard.
With 3 files you can`t. I suppose it was intended to work the same as 2 files. Use up/down arrows to select files (working), pressing enter to pause/continue playback with that file (not working). So no way to control playback and files with only keyboard.





-Temp Loading files in Ram

That should be a must for ABX since gapless playback sometimes is compromised with big files since every time you swap files it has to load the wav file from the temp location.
Foobar is already capable of loading entire files via the buffer option but if it only loads one song at a time so there is no difference using ABX plugin.
Note also that currently the plugin works by creating a copy in the temp folder so no way to load files with your ram disk plugin even if you try.

You could implement your Ram Disk plugin within this plugin to make it fully work by creating a temporary ram disk where the audio temp files would be stored instead of the System Temp folder. So in fact you have already done all the coding, it's only an internal setting matter.

Loading in Ram would be a great addition. Instant swapping files. And nowadays most users have +4GB Ram, a not so rare situation.
Maybe not as default to maintain compatibility with old-pc users but selectable at the same stage you allow to use the DSPs and test mode.


 

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #103
The new version doesn't seem to be working in Wine (at the playback interface the songs cannot be played).
I restored v1.3.4 and that one works fine (I believe some later version also worked but I'm not sure and am too lazy to go through all of my snapshots to find the best one).
With v1.3.4 I can see that the temporary files are just regular .wav files, yet with 2.0.1 it creates .tmp binary blobs (actually, the files are similar in size and contents but the header and trailer seem to be messed up, or just missing for that matter).
I've uploaded the files here.

Foobar: 1.3.8 (portable on NTFS).
Wine: 1.7.41 (wine-staging).

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #104
I found out Foobar on Wine also has problems with ReplayGain on OGG and OPUS (it zeroizes these files when tags with replaygain values are updated) so reported a bug to wine.
It looks like it will be fixed in 1.7.43.
A work-around is to remove the extended attributes on the temp folder (setfattr --remove=user.wine.sd ~/.wine/drive_c/users/$USER/Temp).
After this replaygain with OGG and OPUS and ABX Comparator work fine again.

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #105
Can we add the information of which option was selected for each trial (X=A or X=B)?
"I hear it when I see it."

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #106
Hi
I can run the ABX test perfectly but I hear my DAC click when the track is not identical. Therefore my results are always 100% correct. Is there s  omehow a way round? The clicks are because whenever a track is changed my DAC disconnects and connects again when the new track is started. Can this be solved?

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #107
Today I renewed my speakers from traditional PC speaker to a nearfield monitor with optical input. After a while I set the output to  a WASAPI option. I mention the latter because I don't if it is important:
Now I try to compare music (with the abx comparator (version 2.0.1)) but when I press PLay A I get a crash saying "Device in use". I didn't get that with my old setting. Does someone has an idea about the cause of this type of crash?

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #108
Why could be crossfading option grayed out?? It was available just a moment ago, seems like nothing was changed. But now it is unavailable 0_o

ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #109
Why could be crossfading option grayed out?? It was available just a moment ago, seems like nothing was changed. But now it is unavailable 0_o

Crossfading is disabled when files have different samplerates.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #110
The plugin got updated.
Quote
Fixed inconsistent transition when compared tracks have different sample rates or channel counts.
Whoever had issues can try again and post their findings.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #111
Have noted a thing I suppose is not working as intended according to your changelog and a suggestion for the plugin.

-Keyboard shortcuts not working when using ABX with more than 2 files:


With 2 files you can fully move between the buttons in the panel; pause/continue playback and switch files. All only with keyboard.
With 3 files you can`t. I suppose it was intended to work the same as 2 files. Use up/down arrows to select files (working), pressing enter to pause/continue playback with that file (not working). So no way to control playback and files with only keyboard.



Not fixed yet.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #112
Starting with version 2.0.2 of the plugin, it no longer appears in Utilities context menu.

I'm using foobar2000 1.3.9 in Windows 10 x64 if that's important.

It appears in File->Preferences->Components but it doesn't appear in the context menu so I can't use it. And yes, I've checked and it is marked in the context menu configuration, it should appear.

Am I doing anything wrong? I just downloaded the update and applied it using the "Install..." button in the previously mentioned preferences page.

Thanks in advance!!!

EDIT: Sorry for the noise, the fault was stupid coloring on the computer I was using which made me think two songs were selected where that wasn't the case. After I made sure I was selecting two songs, ABX appeared. INCREDIBLY sorry for the noise, folks.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #113
Have noted a thing I suppose is not working as intended according to your changelog and a suggestion for the plugin.

-Keyboard shortcuts not working when using ABX with more than 2 files:


With 2 files you can fully move between the buttons in the panel; pause/continue playback and switch files. All only with keyboard.
With 3 files you can`t. I suppose it was intended to work the same as 2 files. Use up/down arrows to select files (working), pressing enter to pause/continue playback with that file (not working). So no way to control playback and files with only keyboard.



Not fixed yet.

Bumping again...

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #114
Can somebody please explain how to use it?
I select 2 tracks, then do a right click - Utilities - ABX tracks... Get this window:

then this window:

When I press "Play A" (or whatever else) it plays the selected interval one time and then stops. I have no idea how to get to the window that is posted above.
Magically yours
Raistlin

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #115
I've found a very strange issue...

In order to reproduce this, follow the next steps:

1.- Install Loudspeaker Equalizer (this issue can't be reproduced with any other component AFAIK. Been using this component for years to compensate for weak bass because my laptop headphone output suffers from high output impedance and never had any issues).

2.- Open DSP manager and remove every active DSP, then add Loudspeaker Equalizer (Disable Auto Gain).

3.- Download "Savatage-1.flac" and "Savatage-2.m4a" samples from my attached files then add both files to a playlist, select them and > Utilities > ABX tracks...

4.- Enable "Use DSP (current playback settings)" Don't press Ok.

5.- Play "Savatage-1.flac" and immediately press Ok.

As soon as foo_abx starts preparing the files (decoding to TEMP folder) the signal will get distorted (you can hear it by playing Savatage-distorted.flac, this has been recorded using Audacity) and if you play A or B in the ABX comparator both files are also distorted. Note: distortion is only added if foobar is playing a track.

CCR-Distorted.flac is a more extreme example of this. ¡Before playing this file make sure to lower the volume to prevent possible ear damage!

If any of you can reproduce this, please let me know. Thanks.

Note: foo_abx 2.0.2 | foobar2000 1.3.10 | Win 7 x64 | DirectSound or WASAPI: same issue.
| TAK pMax | QAAC ~ 192 kbps |

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #116
Hello

This is actually my first ever post on Hydrogen Audio

I wanted to ask about an aspect of the ABX Comparator and request a change.

The first thing I want to ask about is how the amount of space required in the Temp folder for the ABX test is calculated?
As an example, I am trying to compare to files, one is 89mb and the other is 26mb, but the space required is 291mb.
I tried multiplying both files by 2 and adding them together, but that doesn't add up to 291.
I ask because as an ssd user, and if I were to try and ABX large files for example those without lossless compression and of high sample rates, it would result in a lot of writes to my ssd degrading it.

Can anything be done to reduce the size of the temporary file created? Since an SSD has low latency, would it be possible to play the files back directly, or for someone like me with 16gb ram, have the temp file placed in the ram? I imagine placing the temporary file on an hdd may result in some latency resulting in an unfair comparison, but is it possible to select a directory where the temporary file can be placed so I can avoid using the ssd?

Another point I want to bring up is the behaviour of the plugin with the WASAPI output. I use the WASAPI output for tracks of different sample rates to avoid resampling. Once the comparator starts it takes hold of my DAC and even when I press, the light doesn't switch off allowing me to let another program take hold of the DAC, or for me to try another track on Foobar to take a break from monotonously listening to the same track over and over again. I don't see why this would constitute cheating as the test is supposed to see if you can tell the tracks apart blindly, and even if you played the tracks you were testing, you still wouldn't know which is which in the comparator. Is it possible to modify it so that when you press stop or pause it lets go of the DAC?

Thanks

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #117
You may be surprised to find that it takes hundreds of terabytes of writing to really degrade most solid state storage solutions.

The estimate is based on the format used for the files: Raw, 32 bit floating point PCM, the native format of the foobar2000 audio player processing pipeline, as of version 0.9.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #118
Guys please explain me tow to use this stuff. There's no readme or something - is it so clear how to use it for everyone except me?
Magically yours
Raistlin

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #119
I appear to be experiencing some kind of a bug. When I try to do ABX testing in Foobar the tracks are playing slowly and distorted. When I just play a track normally it sounds fine. It only happens when I try to use ABX Comparator. Any ideas what's causing this? I tried reinstalling the plug-in and upgraded Foobar2k to the latest version. Windows 10.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #120
Guys please explain me tow to use this stuff. There's no readme or something - is it so clear how to use it for everyone except me?
You start it by selecting two tracks from a playlist, right click one of them and select 'Utilities' -> 'ABX tracks...'. You can adjust some options in the opening window. Click OK to go to the actual test.

'Play A' button always plays the first file in your selection and 'Play B' plays the second file. X and Y are randomized, one of them is A and the other one will be B. You are supposed to listen to the tracks and decide which one is which.

You can also use keyboard to operate the test. For example keys A, B, X and Y play the corresponding audio. Press Alt-key and you will get keyboard indicators for all the buttons.

At the bottom you have a position bar that allows you to select any period you want to focus on. You can drag the position indicator around or type the exact time you want by clicking the '...' button. Note that you need to hit the 'Set start' or 'Set end' to actually adjust the range that will be played.

I appear to be experiencing some kind of a bug. When I try to do ABX testing in Foobar the tracks are playing slowly and distorted. When I just play a track normally it sounds fine. It only happens when I try to use ABX Comparator. Any ideas what's causing this? I tried reinstalling the plug-in and upgraded Foobar2k to the latest version. Windows 10.
More info needed. What output method is selected in the player preferences, what kind of files you are playing (sample rate, number of channels, bitdepth, perhaps even the file format if it's something exotic not supported natively).

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #121
I'm new to foobar and wanted to try the ABX comparator, but I am having a problem getting replay gain to work as expected.

I assume that when ReplayGain is turned off in the comparator there is no gain adjustment, regardless of any RG tags in the metadata. Doing this there is a large volume difference between the files I wish to compare.
Turning RG on without tags set reduces the variation, but there is still enough to easily know the difference between the files.

In this case, I am trying to compare a PCM file with dsf; so no tags can be set on the dsf file. I have tried editing the tags on the PCM file, but regardless of what I set them to, there is still always a discrepancy in the volume levels. Only an assumption again, but I presume RG is altering the non-tagged file to what it thinks is correct, but isn't.

Is there a way to get the files balanced correctly, manually or otherwise? It could be me, but I don't seem to be able to manage it.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #122
I'm new to foobar and wanted to try the ABX comparator, but I am having a problem getting replay gain to work as expected.

I assume that when ReplayGain is turned off in the comparator there is no gain adjustment, regardless of any RG tags in the metadata. Doing this there is a large volume difference between the files I wish to compare.
Turning RG on without tags set reduces the variation, but there is still enough to easily know the difference between the files.

In this case, I am trying to compare a PCM file with dsf; so no tags can be set on the dsf file. I have tried editing the tags on the PCM file, but regardless of what I set them to, there is still always a discrepancy in the volume levels. Only an assumption again, but I presume RG is altering the non-tagged file to what it thinks is correct, but isn't.

Is there a way to get the files balanced correctly, manually or otherwise? It could be me, but I don't seem to be able to manage it.

UPDATE:
I have got RG to work in 'normal' Foobar by RG'ing the PCM file, then altering the preamp settings for RG'd files. RG does not want to write to the dsf tag.
Unfortunately, ABX Comparator appears to ignore any RG tags/preamp settings, so any unbalanced files that don't equate well with auto RG are impossible to ABX fairly.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #123
The component works as you pretty much found out. When you don't use ReplayGain during the test the files are played as if ReplayGain didn't exist. When ReplayGain is used, the files are scanned and the result is used with the temporary PCM data that is written. Tags are never used and since the files are always converted to PCM for testing, source format tagging capabilities are irrelevant.

If ReplayGain can't volume-match your files you could always create a temporary version of one of the files where volume is permanently adjusted. Then use that in the testing. Though my assumption is that if ReplayGain can't find matching volume, the files will be quite easy to distinguish from each other in the test even after the manual tweak.

Re: ABX Comparator version 2.0

Reply #124
The component works as you pretty much found out. When you don't use ReplayGain during the test the files are played as if ReplayGain didn't exist. When ReplayGain is used, the files are scanned and the result is used with the temporary PCM data that is written. Tags are never used and since the files are always converted to PCM for testing, source format tagging capabilities are irrelevant.

If ReplayGain can't volume-match your files you could always create a temporary version of one of the files where volume is permanently adjusted. Then use that in the testing. Though my assumption is that if ReplayGain can't find matching volume, the files will be quite easy to distinguish from each other in the test even after the manual tweak.

Thanks for the clarification.
I'm now wondering if RG does any frequency filtering, or if it's the noisy ultrasonics in the dsf file that confuses RG. But I guess that's a question for a different thread... :)

 
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