Bearing in mind that both MPC and PsyTEL AAC are 'closed' codecs, at least from the encoder standpoint, and that PsyTEL, unless I am mistaken is not even meant to be in 'free' circulation, wouldn't there be some mileage in some of the brains involved in the tuning of Lame diverting the attention to FAAC?I realise that binary distribution of FAAC is 'verboten' in the patent context, but the source is freely available and compiles very readily with MinGW32 and other free compilers.Are there any points I am missing here other than the lack of binary distrubtions? Although, that does not seem to preclude other patent/copyright bound codecs finding there way into distribution through the back door!!Anybody any views on this? I applaud all the efforts in relation to Lame improvements, it would just be nice to see similar efforts being put into emerging technologies. Before anyone asks, I don't have either the degree of programming skills required, nor the knowledge of audio compression techniques, otherwise I'd be there.
Originally posted by layer3maniac I have wondered this as well. Why does NOBODY seem interested in working on tuning FAAC?
I've never really been clear on PsyTEL's business plan, but surely FAAC, even if it's well tuned, wouldn't pose a real threat to steal any corporate customers since they would have to scrounge around for binaries and wouldn't really have ANY tech support.
Considering the fact that AAC is so encumbered with legal issues, I can't really see the point behind furthering the development of a non-commercial AAC encoder, when there is an alternative out there such as Vorbis. Vorbis is already higher quality than FAAC, for the most part higher quality than LAME, and is nearing PsyTEL and MPC in quality. Furthermore, it is absolutely free, and totally patent free. Why would you want to spend so much time and effort developing FAAC with the constant legal threat in the background when you could be working on something already higher quality and with a much more hopeful future?
The problem is that FAAC is open source, and if Ivan were to bring FAAC up to the level of quality PsyTEL was at, he would have to use basically the same technology present in PsyTEL. This would compromise his product from a technological point of view and would give other commercial AAC encoders a competitive edge over PsyTEL. Given that AAC is such a restricted technology from the start, I think this pretty much makes sense.
Originally posted by layer3maniac What legal threat? Dolby ALLOWS Menno to post the source code.
Furthermore, I have a feeling that Monty may very well eventually find himself in court one day. Patent free is in the eye of the lawyer.
First, Ivan wouldn't have to share ALL his secrets, just a little guidance would be nice.
Second, I think even Ivan will agree that commercial aac encoders are ALREADY superior to PsyTEL's.
In fact, if a community effort were to bring improvements that Ivan himself hasn't thought of, he could use them in his encoder and have a BETTER chance of competing with other commercial encoders.
I don't really think it's an issue anyway... Ivan really CAN'T market an ISO compliant non-secure encoder anyway, can he? Surely Dolby or their new patent watchdogs wouldn't ever allow it.
If you have followed the history of FAAC some, it has not always been so easy with Dolby. They threaten people who even post source code. Furthermore, you cannot post binaries ever... they will go after you for that. I think that is a pretty big issue.
I think this is totally unsubstantiated FUD. I've seen all of this before, but I'd have to say I disagree. The Vorbis team has spent quite a bit of effort researching patents and the technology behind what they use. That doesn't mean that some company couldn't try to take them to court, but I wouldn't be so certain of this outcome at all. In fact, I'd say at this point that it would be unlikely. With the publicity that Vorbis has been getting, and the fact that Thompson (I believe it was them) stated a long time ago that they believed Vorbis likely infringed on their patents (more FUD), but that no legal action has been taken at all so far, all of this seems to emphasize that fact.
And do you know for a fact that Ivan isn't already doing this?
False. If you look at the results from Ivan's listening test, PsyTEL pretty much outperformed everything except for Fhg AAC. For that matter, I also have some samples where PsyTEL does outperform Fhg (as in LQT). Granted LQT doesn't feature the most advanced Fhg implementation, but it is surely the most widely used.
Now this has nothing to do with open source here, but I'm becoming skeptical of the "community effort" and it's advantages in audio encoding. 2 of the best quality encoders, MPC and PsyTEL AAC were developed mostly by a single person (and PsyTEL used some ideas from MPC as I understand, or at least Buschel helped discuss some things with Ivan). Furthermore, Monty is really the only person working on Vorbis from the psymodel point of view as I understand it.
With these comments I'd have to assume you aren't really up on the current happenings with PsyTEL. I'd suggest you go read his page some, he very much plans to market PsyTEL and in fact I believe he already is. His AACEnc being completely ISO compatible in it's current form doesn't mean he can't encapsulate the output in a secure manner, assuming that he wouldn't be able to would be a mistake.
If you have followed the history of FAAC some, it has not always been so easy with Dolby. They threaten people who even post source code.
Originally posted by layer3maniac So what? FhG Will go after people posting Lame binaries too. And Menno started posting the sourcecode with Dolby's FULL knowledge, and it has always been at soueceforge.
Whatever you disagree with is unsubstantiated FUD, isn't it?
I'm sure he'll be able to answer for himself.
Oh really? And what other commercial aac implementations were used in his test?
I can see that you and I disagree on the value of opensource community effort.
Now this has nothing to do with open source here[/b], but I'm becoming skeptical of the "community effort" and it's advantages in audio encoding. 2 of the best quality encoders, MPC and PsyTEL AAC were developed mostly by a single person (and PsyTEL used some ideas from MPC as I understand, or at least Buschel helped discuss some things with Ivan). Furthermore, Monty is really the only person working on Vorbis from the psymodel point of view as I understand it.
I take it you don't use Linux?
A secure encoder is really of NO use to us, is it?
Originally posted by Dibrom If you have followed the history of FAAC some, it has not always been so easy with Dolby. They threaten people who even post source code.
Originally posted by layer3maniac Sounds to me like you're spreading a little fear, uncertainty, and doubt yourself there.
Hardly, but if you would like to show me the factual basis for your statements about Vorbis likely having legal troubles in the future, I'd be very interested. Otherwise it's pure speculation, and in the vein of FUD such as that seen elsewhere. Nothing new really.
I have a feeling that Monty may very well eventually find himself in court one day. Patent free is in the eye of the lawyer.
Originally posted by layer3maniac Furthermore, I have been following compressed music since 1996 and I would appreciate it if you could step down off your high horse and stop acting like people who's opinions differ from yours are just uninformed idiots. But hey, this is your site. You have every right to act like a big anus if you wish. Just don't expect other people to put up with it...
I hardly think that people who disagree with me are idiots. However I've noticed that often times when you post something as fact or you make a statement about what other people are should be doing, you don't check your facts first and often times you don't even read what has already been stated in a thread.
Furthermore, you take offense at anyone that questions something that you say. Evidence of this can be seen in the thread you commented on about MPC -- when we asked for simple abx results (and we were exceedingly nice about it) you blew up at all of us and became very offensive (and in the end you never provided the clip).
The only thing I go after is statements which are made which have no factual basis at all, or which are wrong given the facts. My statement about Dolby holds true, if you would have checked up on this some first before going off on me like you did, you would have realized this.
As for me stating the issue about legal problems and Vorbis as being FUD, it quite simply, is just that.
Originally posted by layer3maniac I think even Ivan will agree that commercial aac encoders are ALREADY superior to PsyTEL's. In fact, if a community effort were to bring improvements that Ivan himself hasn't thought of, he could use them in his encoder and have a BETTER chance of competing with other commercial encoders. I don't really think it's an issue anyway... Ivan really CAN'T market an ISO compliant non-secure encoder anyway, can he? Surely Dolby or their new patent watchdogs wouldn't ever allow it.
Regarding optimized free opensource AAC encoder - I agree with Dibrom, the point of releasing best psychoacoustic model and other tools is useless in case of AAC - no one could legally use it, Dolby would hunt binary copies of the encoders (unlike FhG policy for MP3 - Dolby is very strict when we talk about their intellectual property) - and ALL companies would be able to use that code in their products because they have DRM, Encryption layers and patent agreements with Dolby. That is not fair at all to Open Source community.
FAAC is not really optimized for quality. It's merely a reference implementation for an AAC encoder. It can of course be optimized, big time, but we need some more developers for that.
Originally posted by layer3maniac It's not any harder to get binaries of aac encoders than it is mp3 encoders like Lame and Blade.
And couldn't the exact same arguments about fairness to the opensource community be made against improving Lame, Vorbis, Linux or ANY opensource project for that matter? When Monty incorperates wavelets into Vorbis, couldn't commercial developers just study the code and utilize the technology?
When Menno said:[...]I believed him. I accept the fact that you don't think it's in your best interest to help improve the quality, even though I don't fully understand it. But what about all the opensource Lame people? I also think that software patents in general, and especially those based on ISO standards, are due for a big court battle someday. That is - if they don't expire first...
For one, the binaries of AAC are certainly illegal and will be taken down immediately if they are found out. With LAME there have been websites established for a long time, well known, which have everything necessary. As Ivan said, Fhg doesn't really care about LAME binaries. Dolby does care about AAC binaries.
Because these projects are not commercial by nature. AAC is commercial by nature and so is PsyTEL. It is a much more competitive market and it is not meant for the end user. LAME and Vorbis were never started for the purpose of being marketed commercially, so the situation is totally irrelevant in those cases.
In the case of at least Vorbis, they are not concerned with companies utilizing their technology, this is why it ships with a BSD license instead of a GPL license. Two totally different situations you have there that cannot be directly related to each other.
I cannot see a valid argument for working on a "free" AAC encoder and I'm not sure I can see anyone coming up with one.
Vorbis, while you may still believe that it will someday have legal issues (without basis), does not suffer from this currently. Furthermore, binaries are easily accessible, as is the code, and the quality is MUCH higher than that of FAAC already. Add to that the fact that Vorbis is being incorporated into many end user programs and that it will likely be gaining hardware support soon.
So really.. what advantage at all does a free open source AAC project offer to the end user (research aside)? I'd really like to see some convincing arguments for this because I can't think of any.
Originally posted by layer3maniac There are several websites that have been around for a VERY long time with aac binaries. Audiogalaxy, a commercial website has hosted one faac implementation for YEARS. It is JUST as illegal to post and use Lame as it is to post and use aac. If you don't think FhG cares about mp3 binaries being distributed, just write them and ask...
What??? Operating systems and mp3 encoders are NOT commercial by nature? I suppose Bill Gates got filthy rich by giving away Windows and DOS.
This argument makes NO sense.
FAAC isn't "concerned with companies utilizing their technology" either. That's exactly my point.
The threat of legal action is there. It has already been made. It's NO less eminent for aac development than it is for Lame and Vorbis development. Do you really think a lawsuit from Thompson or FhG would be any easier to defend than a lawsuit from Dolby? Why would it?
The exact same thing Lame and Vorbis offers the end user. Hopefully, a better encoder.
You are missing something here. Yes, technically it may be just as illegal, but if nobody is doing anything about it then it is a very different story. Fhg KNOWS about LAME binaries, and they have done nothing. Dolby has. Really its not so hard to understand -- AAC will never take off as a viable free format as long as it is so heavily restricted. Thats all there is to it.
First of all, I was not discussing operating systems. However, if you were to trace Linux back to its origins, it was not started as a commercial product. One could even argue that it's not a commercial product now. Companies like Redhat can make it commercial, but that isn't necessarily related to the core project itself. The only reason it makes no sense is because you are willfully ignoring the points and twisting the meaning out of context. Looking at your statements immediately before this emphasizes that fact.
You don't seem to understand something here. Fhg and Thompson have chosen not to do anything about LAME in all the time it has been out. Dolby already took action once in regards to FAAC, and many other times in regards to posted binaries. Therefore it is already established that Dolby is actively enforcing their patents. Fhg and Thompson are not.
And with Vorbis, it hasn't even been established that any company has grounds for legal action against the project in relation to patent rights. In fact, it is more likely than not that they are safe since they have actively researched all of what they have implemented in the format to make sure this doesn't happen.
A freeware AAC will never offer the same thing as LAME and Vorbis do. It will never be incorporated into easy to use products that are mass distributed such as the others will be or are already. AAC for the end user is illegal, it can never take off to any great extent. At the most it will remain a niche codec and nothing more, and whats worse, it will be hard to obtain and totally illegal.
There is no practical reason to use or develop a freeware AAC over a format such as Vorbis. Vorbis has it beat on every single count so far. The only possible advantage I could see is that it may be possible if both codecs were taken to the absolute max that the AAC implementation could maybe edge out Vorbis, but this is still highly unlikely and would probably never happen unless you'd have someone like Fhg actively developing it. And for that matter, by the time the this theoretical and unlikely AAC encoder were developed, Vorbis would likely have support for Wavelets, making the whole argument moot again.
Originally posted by layer3maniac I'm starting to wonder just how long you've been involved in audio compression. You need to study a little history before you make such ludicrous statemenrs. If you think FhG has no proplem with distributing Lame binaries then why aren't they available for download here? Why aren't they available on r3mix? Whay aren't they available on Lame's site? Whay aren't they available at SourceForge? If you don't think FhG HAS gone after people distributing mp3 binaries, ask Tord about it.
You are mistaken here, whether you can admit it or not.
Please DO look at my statements immediately before this. I brought up Linux because Ivan suggested that contributing to an opensource project is a waste of time since commercial companies will "borrow" the technology.
I see NO difference between commercial companies using the work done on Linux or Vorbis versus FAAC.
If you really believe this, why don't you host Lame binaries here? Once again, I think you need to study the history before you make such ridiculous claims. FhG has gone after PLENTY of people.
Study the patents. See if any of the patented technologies like MS stereo exist in Vorbis.
Products like CDEX and WinLame? You are aware that they support FAAC aren't you?
A freeware aac encoder isn't theoretical at ALL. FAAC exists.
Don't get me wrong. I love Vorbis. I am cheering for it's success as hard as ANYONE. But I believe that aac is a superior format to Vorbis. Look at how inferior an untuned Vorbis encoder's outupt is compared to an untuned aac encoder's.
If you want, I'll provide hundreds of clips encoded by the original untuned Vorbis encoder and the untuned FAAC encoder at similar bitrates and let YOU decide which format is better.
LOL! Ok, you're telling me that I need to check up on my facts with all of the completely uninformed statements you've been making lately? That's a little funny.
As for why people are not posting LAME binaries everywhere, some people choose not to participate in illegal activities as much as is possible. It's fairly simple. And as I stated, many of the sites that host LAME have been the same for a very long time, they are linked to prominently on the LAME webpage, and they are still up. I have not seen Fhg take any sort of drastic action against any of them, however I have seen Dolby take action many times.
Haha... just like you admitted you were wrong about your "MPC problem" right? Or, I forgot... you just tucked tail and disappeared instead of taking it like a man and admitting you were just perpetuating some BS claims which you knew you couldn't prove (explains why you got so defensive..). Guess you didn't want to lose face..
As usual, you take the meaning of what someone is saying totally out of context to fit into your twisted view of things. Ivan didn't say anything of the sort, he was specifically discussing AAC. I think you need to read what people are saying a little bit more carefully before you jump to such flawed conclusions about their statements.
Again... twisted out of context. You discussed Ivan taking part in the development of FAAC to make it better. Both he and I already explained the issues behind this, yet you continue to ignore them.
I explained this in my above response. And telling me I need to study my history some is just hilarious coming from you. As for Fhg going after people hosting LAME binaries, I'd like some details. AFAIC the major sites hosting LAME have remained unchanged for a very long time. Furthermore Fhg has really done nothing to try and stop the LAME project.
"Incorporated into" means built in. A freeware ISO AAC implementation will never be shipped in one easy to use bundle of program. If it is, it will instantly be a prime target for Dolby and shut down faster than you can imagine.
Freeware AAC is doomed from the start as far as ever attaining mass mainstream usage.
Originally posted by layer3maniac Study the patents. See if any of the patented technologies like MS stereo exist in Vorbis.
But I believe that aac is a superior format to Vorbis. Look at how inferior an untuned Vorbis encoder's outupt is compared to an untuned aac encoder's. If you want, I'll provide hundreds of clips encoded by the original untuned Vorbis encoder and the untuned FAAC encoder at similar bitrates and let YOU decide which format is better.
Originally posted by layer3maniac Who said Vorbis is superior to aac?
Who said that FhG doesn't go after mp3 binaries?
What uninformed statements have I made?
And as I have stated, many sites have had aac binaries available for a very long time.
Guess again. I didn't want to work on tuning an encoder so I could be charged for using it once it is tuned.
Ivan suggested that it is a waste to work on an opensource project if commercial companies can steal the improvements. There is nothing twisted about that.
I didn't ignore them. As I said, if Ivan doesn't want to contribute, fine. That's his perogative.
Dolby hasn't done anything to stop FAAC either.
You DO need to study history. You seemed to be COMPLETELY ignorant of the FACT that FhG HAS gone after people who hosted mp3 binaries.
You don't even understand the dynamics of the industry. Dolby isn't the one fighting ISO aac implementations. It's the RECORD COMPANIES. The SAME record companies which will urge their partners to go after Vorbis.
It cracks me up to have someone SO uninformed accuse me of being uninformed. But hey, Dibrom. You know EVERYTHING. Even when you don't...