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Topic: New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert (Read 40397 times) previous topic - next topic
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New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Hi All,

It's time to add 3-4 new codecs to “128 kbit/s” group on the site. The contenders could be chosen from this list (not complete, though):

•   wma 10 CBR standard (WMP 11, Vista)
•   wma 10 CBR pro (WMP 11, Vista)
•   wma 10 VBR (WMP 11, Vista)
•   aac LC CBR (Winamp 5.2)
•   aac HE CBR (Winamp 5.2)
•   aac LC CBR (Nero 7)
•   aac LC VBR (Nero 7)
•   ATRAC3plus

Any help with the choice will be appreciated. Thank you.


EDIT of 5 May 2006:

128 kbit/s listening test STARTED! Finally the following codecs were included in the test:

•   AAC LC CBR (Winamp 5.21)
•   AAC HE CBR (Winamp 5.21)
•   ATRAC3 (LP2)
•   MPC 1.15v

New Nero Digital Audio Reference Quality MPEG-4 & 3GPP Audio Codec will be added till the end of this week.

New Microsoft codec from Windows Vista will join the competition as soon as public beta testing of the new OS is opened (till the end of May). 

During this listening test ALL test files from “128 kbit/s” group will be available for downloading (NOT only new ones). But probability of getting the old ones is substantially smaller as they have been already graded in the previous 128 kbit/s test.  Here is direct link to a test file for your convenience. Thank you in advance for participation!



EDIT of July 14 2006:

Now 128 kbit/s listening test is over. According to resulting ratings all contenders could be divided into four groups:

1.   MPC, LC-AAC(Winamp), OGG and LC-AAC(iTunes) showed similar results: 5.05-5.45 points
2.   CT HE-AAC(Winamp) and new Nero Free AAC encoders are slightly better: 5.92-6.10 points
3.   Good old mp3 by the latest recommended Lame is just slightly behind the main group: 4.13 points
4.   ATRAC3 (LP2) is the last with 3.77 points

It’s worth to add some remarks to these results:

•   Taking into account that Lame used less bits (112 kbit/s) for coding SoundExpert test samples, its performance gap doesn’t look so dramatic. Thanks to Lame developers MP3 quality is still comparable at the most popular bitrate – 128 kbit/s.
•   Despite the fact that Coding Technologies (CT) HE-AAC encoder from Winamp is on the top of 128 kbit/s group, the use of SBR at this bitrate is still questionable. It needs more complicated and thus energy consuming decoder which is still rarely found in portable players where this bitrate is commonly used. The same time new Nero Free AAC encoder achieved almost the same results using standard LC-AAC profile (and slightly less bitrate to be precise).

Thank you, people, for participation in this test.
keeping audio clear together - soundexpert.org

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #1
Maybe OGG and Nero HE.




New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #5
Sebastian Mares is right, but why should a do test @ 80, then both LC and HE can prove something and other codecs. HE-AAC @ 128kbs is not that bad idea but if want sure keep quality than better LC.

Quote
Ogg is already in the group
Oh sorry i don't see it.

You put aslo Coding Tehnologies HE at the list so why not and Nero,  aslo can be good if we can preform multiformat test with multirates, becouse now every codec Nero, CT, OGG, WMA 10 is optimized for very low rates, so when can we perform tests @48,64,80,128kbs.

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #6
Don't do HE-AAC at anything higher than 64kbps - AFAIK there was already another test which confirmed it's uselessness.

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #7
Why not include the iTunes AAC encoder in the test as well?  If memory serves me correctly it performed a little better than Nero in the last multi-codec listening test and I'm pretty sure it performs better than the Winamp encoder although it was never tested on this forum yet.

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #8
•   aac LC CBR (Winamp 5.2)
•   aac HE CBR (Winamp 5.2)

it's highly restrictive ABR if I'm not mistaken, not CBR

for he-aac I hope you mean the 'high bitrate' encoder (44100/88200), that one I think would be a good contender
Vorbis-q0-lowpass99
lame3.93.1-q5-V9-k-nspsytune

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #9

•   aac LC CBR (Winamp 5.2)
•   aac HE CBR (Winamp 5.2)

it's highly restrictive ABR if I'm not mistaken, not CBR

for he-aac I hope you mean the 'high bitrate' encoder (44100/88200), that one I think would be a good contender


We already went through this:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....ndpost&p=360108

All indications we have, including listening tests, show it to be a loss.

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #10
Well, AFAIK, HE-AAC is useful for bitrates up to 64 kbps. For higher bitrates, I would go with LC-AAC.


Ivan Dimkovic said that  SBR is usefull up to 85-90 kbps. From my little internal blind testing I can said that SBR is slightly better than LC at 80 kbps but already useless at 96.

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #11
Quote
for he-aac I hope you mean the 'high bitrate' encoder (44100/88200), that one I think would be a good contender
High bitrate encoder is for 128-320kbs, and standard aacPlus have range fro 8-128kbs which 128 isn't terrible comparing to LC-AAC

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #12
Sorry for delay.

Why not include the iTunes AAC encoder in the test as well?  If memory serves me correctly it performed a little better than Nero in the last multi-codec listening test and I'm pretty sure it performs better than the Winamp encoder although it was never tested on this forum yet.

iTunes AAC have already been tested at SoundExpert along with OGG, LAME, WMApro, buggous Nero AAC and SHINE – the same contenders as in Sebastians’ 128 listening test here at HA. Now I would like to add some more codecs to this crew.

Concerning HE-AAC / LC- AAC / High bitrate HE-AAC from Winamp @128 – I have to do short pre-tests in order to move further.

EDIT:

According to my short pre-test with SoundExpert test items I would place Winamp 128 codecs as follows (in descending order):
HE-AAC
LC-AAC
High Bitrate HE-AAC
So, CT HE-AAC @128 will definitely be included. Still not sure about CT LC-AAC @128 ?

Also WMA11 showed nothing extraordinary @128 – better than MP3 but worse than AAC. I will add Vista codecs later, when public beta testing begins. May be some improvements will be made.

The only setting of Nero AAC suitable for 128 testing is LC-AAC CBR. If there is no new version of the codec during the next two months, I shall include it now as well.
keeping audio clear together - soundexpert.org

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #13
Also WMA11 showed nothing extraordinary @128 – better than MP3 but worse than AAC.


is it wma pro and standart version?

WMA10 not WMA11. WMP11
so comparing to wma9  wma10 has no big changes.
From last public test 128: mp3 - 4.6 , wma9 pro - 4.7 , LC AAC - 4.74.

According to conditions of the 48 kbps test Nero has to present their new 5.0 AAC untill begining of the may. Top date is during  first week of may.  http://www.mp3-tech.org/content/?48kbps%20...20public%20test

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #14
I wonder if there's been an Atrac3 vs. Atrac3Plus test. I think some would consider the former to be better-sounding.

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #15
is it wma pro and standart version?

I used presets from WMP11:

- wma 10 CBR standard (WMP 11, Vista) @128
- wma 10 CBR pro (WMP 11, Vista) @128
- wma 10 VBR (WMP 11, Vista) @107

I couldn’t find what VBR codec was used – std or pro.

WMA10 not WMA11. WMP11
so comparing to wma9  wma10 has no big changes.
From last public test 128: mp3 - 4.6 , wma9 pro - 4.7 , LC AAC - 4.74.

My bad - WMA10, of course.
Yes, in all cases listed above WMA10 sounds worse than WMA9.1 @128

According to conditions of the 48 kbps test Nero has to present their new 5.0 AAC untill begining of the may. Top date is during  first week of may.  http://www.mp3-tech.org/content/?48kbps%20...20public%20test

Ok. I shall wait for the release.


I wonder if there's been an Atrac3 vs. Atrac3Plus test. I think some would consider the former to be better-sounding.

I’ve already posted this question on MD Community Forums.
keeping audio clear together - soundexpert.org

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #16
Have you looked at results of this test? It is very strange to me. I think there should be no big difference between AAC-LC and AACplus. What do you think about the results?

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #17
Funny you do testing at different bitrate apart from 192 kbps


New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #19
Funny you do testing at different bitrate apart from 192 kbps

The next listening test will be “192 kbit/s”. Promise.

@Sebastian: I know.
keeping audio clear together - soundexpert.org

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #20
Have you looked at results of this test? It is very strange to me. I think there should be no big difference between AAC-LC and AACplus. What do you think about the results?

If the question is to me, then yes, I saw the results  . They are surprising for me as well. I can’t explain, may be aac-gurus can. I can only confirm that all codecs were treated the same way and nothing strange was revealed during preparation of Hi-bitrate HE-AAC test files.
keeping audio clear together - soundexpert.org

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #21
Some possibilities:

1) Bugs in the Winamp AAC encoder.
2) Different encoder actually used (afaik, in some older Winamp versions LC-AAC encoding was done with a Dolby AAC based encoder which is a lot worse).
3) It's exposing flaws in your testing methodology.

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #22
Some possibilities:

1) Bugs in the Winamp AAC encoder.
2) Different encoder actually used (afaik, in some older Winamp versions LC-AAC encoding was done with a Dolby AAC based encoder which is a lot worse).
3) It's exposing flaws in your testing methodology.

Could someone with golden ears make short tests to check Hi-HE-AAC@320 quality with any killer samples?

As Hi-HE-AAC@128 is worse than LC-AAC@128, intermediate bitrates must show gradual decrease of Hi-HE-AAC quality from 320 to 128. I will include this codec to the next 192 kbit/s listening test.
keeping audio clear together - soundexpert.org

New 128 kbit/s listening test at SoundExpert

Reply #23
Coding Tehnologies HE-AAC is not terrible at high bitrates 128-320, For me HE-AAC 192 looks like LC-AAC 192 there is not big and notice difference, Winamp have High bitrate encoder up to 320kbs, maybe winamp prove that SBR always help, i think is that silly. So 128kbs from winamp encoder is same as 128kbs form high bitrate encoder.