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  • jmartis
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Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #150
okay, I decided to do a little test:
Encoder: EasyMP3 (uses Fastenc)
CBR: 128kbps
VBR: VBR quality 4

Sample: airscape1 VBR bitrate: 128kbps ABX: 7/7 (VBR has more pre-echo)
Sample: airscape VBR bitrate: 123kbps ABX: 6/7 (sounds quite similar)
Sample: latenight VBR bitrate: 114kbps ABX: 7/7 (VBR has more pre-echo and smearing)
Sample: scooter2 VBR bitrate: 133kbps can't ABX
Sample: scooter_fixed VBR bitrate: 116kbps ABX 7/7 (VBR has some additional noise and pre-echo)
Sample: time VBR bitrate: 120kbps ABX: 7/7 (noise and distortions in VBR)

edit- of course this test was CBR against VBR...

edit2- it's worth mentioning that the difference was sometimes obvious
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 11:15:47 AM by jmartis

  • SirGrey
  • [*][*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #151
guruboolez
Quote
With both HELIX and FHG finely tunable VBR mode, I believe that we should be able to start a VBR-only listening test with very limited bitrate discrepencies between all competitors (if people agree with this idea).

You have my vote.

Egor
Quote
I believe that FhG "CBR Joint Stereo" would perform better than FHG "VBR Stereo" in the planned bitrate range.

Egor, I strongly recommend to use your "believing system" locally, but not on this board, because you simply violating TOS.
Please, stop trolling in this thread.

  • Alex B
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #152
But requiring to verify if JS@128 is superior to Stereo@128 is senseless and simply absurd.

Is it? We are not speaking about LAME.

Also, it was JS 128 CBR vs. stereo 128 VBR

Actually, depending on the used program the possible main choices are:

- JS CBR
- stereo CBR
- JS VBR
- stereo VBR

+ some additional options like the "general quality" and lowpass settings (if these happen to work properly).

If I recall correctly, also intensity stereo is possible with some programs that use FhG encoder.

  • Egor
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #153
Egor, I strongly recommend to use your "believing system" locally, but not on this board, because you simply violating TOS.

I believe you've misinterpreted me. 
Quote
believe (verb)
...
2. judge or regard; look upon; judge; "I think he is very smart"; "I believe her to be very smart"; "I think that he is her boyfriend"; "The racist conceives such people to be inferior"
Syn.: think, consider, conceive
...


Edit.
Actually, depending on the used program the possible main choices are:

...
- JS VBR

OK, what software does support this?
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 11:45:21 AM by Egor

  • fpi
  • [*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #154
guruboolez
Quote
With both HELIX and FHG finely tunable VBR mode, I believe that we should be able to start a VBR-only listening test with very limited bitrate discrepencies between all competitors (if people agree with this idea).

You have my vote.


I also agree 

Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #155
Nero is CT, right? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but is CT's MP3 encoder based on FhG, or did they build one from scratch?

BTW, I am asking because Nero's medium VBR settings produces files with ca. 132 kbps and also supports JS. I have to check if all frames are SS, though.

Edit: Forget it, while JS is used, all frames are SS.
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 02:15:32 PM by Sebastian Mares

  • SirGrey
  • [*][*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #156
>>Sorry if this is a dumb question, but is CT's MP3 encoder based on FhG, or did they build one from scratch?
Write PM or mail to Ivan or Menno, they should know for sure.
Sebastian, as I understand, you generally dislike an idea to test vbr modes of all encoders, am I right ?
EDIT (offtopic)
>>I believe you've misinterpreted me.
Confirmed.  But anyway, TOS should not be violated.
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 03:58:26 PM by SirGrey

Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #157
No, I don't dislike it in general, but I thought it would be good to test the best settings and considered that iTunes' VBR implementation is sub-optimal because of its design in first place. I see that iTunes VBR at 128 kbps produces an average bitrate of 134 kbps which is still acceptable, so I am going to use it in order to avoid any additional confrontation with people and stress my nerves. It's my personal opinion that not the bitrate selection (112 kbps) is to be blamed for iTunes' bad results in Roberto's test. 6 kbps shouldn't have such a big impact on quality and a true VBR encoder should be smart enough to allocate enough bits if it feels the need of it. The way I see it, iTunes developers focused on AAC and added MP3 for compatibility reasons. Since most users who utilize iTunes don't care about VBR, I also think Apple focused on CBR. I cannot say this for sure - I understand this is a problem (and it really is).

Edit: BTW, Ivan said he thinks CT is based on FhG.

As for FhG, this is a bit more complex since FhG is used in several products which might or might not have special tunings made by the companies which develop the various products. Also, some products have some features disabled (Microsoft disabled VBR encoding in WMP).
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 04:47:17 PM by Sebastian Mares

  • kwanbis
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer (Donating)
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #158
I don't know if somebody with golden years (maybe guru?) has the time/will to do a quick tests between CBR/VBR. I don't see any problem on using itunes in CBR, if it's better prepared with it.

Garf offered to ask the question to the right apple people.

Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #159
It was Gabriel IIRC (too lazy to go back and see). I am looking forward to hearing from him soon.

  • HbG
  • [*][*][*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #160
Perhaps MS were the only ones who tested it and found CBR was better, dropped VBR for simplification and to make sure users wouldn't make poor encodes.

Simply because WMP is so common and commonly used for encoding mp3's by the general public, i'd say it's not a bad idea to take it and test it at 128 cbr. It'll make the test relevant to a broader audience.

Or they just wanted to give WMA an advantage...
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 04:59:54 PM by HbG
Veni Vidi Vorbis.

Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #161
The problem here is that we all speculate. I do regarding iTunes, you do regarding MS and MP3... Nothing is certain unless we do some tests that show this. Unfortunately, we don't have the time and resources to conduct such pre-tests.

  • Egor
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Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #162
Just quickly tested the mp3surround encoder in stereo mode and it turned out, that it offers even better quality than 3.4.0.0 FhG ACM encoder - it requires more careful listening to ABX/distinguish a pop song @128k from the original.
Mp3sEncoder.exe allows to encode only in CBR mode too, but it surely comes from FhG:
Quote
Fraunhofer IIS MP3 Surround Commandline Encoder V1.0

Encoder-Library V04.00.03 (build 2005-09-14)

© 1996 - 2005 Fraunhofer IIS
© 2004 Fraunhofer IIS and Agere Systems Inc.
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 05:21:23 PM by Egor

  • kwanbis
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer (Donating)
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #163
One important thing is to determine what is the test for:

1) to see how the usual population encoding habits perform against each other.
2) to test the best encoder option for each encoder.

Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #164
What is that supposed to mean? I understand your post, but I don't see what you want to point out. There are several FhG implementations and you cannot say "we use program A because it's better than B" because you don't know if it really is better (related to problem WMP vs. MMJB vs. Adobe Audition vs. Nero MP3 vs. whatever). Therefore, you have to choose another criterion otherwise you cannot test FhG at all. Therefore, popularity is second criterion.

As for iTunes, the problem with best option is that we don't know what the best option is.
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 05:29:36 PM by Sebastian Mares

  • HbG
  • [*][*][*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #165
The problem here is that we all speculate. I do regarding iTunes, you do regarding MS and MP3... Nothing is certain unless we do some tests that show this. Unfortunately, we don't have the time and resources to conduct such pre-tests.


There's nothing wrong with speculating if the situation leaves you little choice. As long as you apply some logic consistently, there'll be less of a basis for criticism after the test. I mean serious, founded criticism, not the usual crap.

My proposal for test method would be:
Test the most common software encoders feature in, if they offer VBR and don't recommend against it in the manual, test VBR because it should be better, else CBR.

By this logic you test Helix, Lame, iTunes in VBR, wmp's fhg in CBR.

edit: just curious, but what's mmjb's market share and what is it's default setting?
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2006, 06:04:27 PM by HbG
Veni Vidi Vorbis.

  • greynol
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #166
Test the most common software encoders feature in, if they offer VBR and don't recommend against it in the manual, test VBR because it should be better, else CBR.

Unless js is used in CBR but not in VBR, then it isn't as simple as that.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • Steve999
  • [*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #167
I wouldn't mess with recent MMJB.  I used to like it very much for 160 -- 220 kbps ripping, but recent versions (9 and 10) are so awful in design that they are unusable for me, and from what I read, many other people.  Yahoo bought it, I think, and has really dropped the ball and done some bad things, including deceptive upgrade offers and making old keys expire without prior notice.  I had a hard time getting it to do anything in MP3 other than 128 CBR, for inexplicable and unfathomable reasons.  I would imagine their market share has plummeted.

edit: just curious, but what's mmjb's market share and what is it's default setting?

  • kwanbis
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer (Donating)
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #168
What is that supposed to mean?


If we want to (1) to see how the usual population encoding habits perform against each other.
We would probably end up with a mixture of CBR against VBR. And it would probably not be the best settings, but the most used.

If we want to (2) to test the best encoder option for each encoder.
we would have to test to see at each encoder, what setting is the best.

Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #169
kwanbis, did you read my whole post? 2 is simply not possible, so we have to mix 1 and 2.
  • Last Edit: 17 August, 2006, 04:37:15 AM by Sebastian Mares

  • Alex B
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #170
Actually, depending on the used program the possible main choices are:
...
- JS VBR

OK, what software does support this?

At least Musicmatch Jukebox supports joint stereo. However, it seems that MMJB chooses the used mode automatically (there's not option for selecting JS).

I encoded my test file set with MMJB 8.10.169. (Yes, it is old, I know. It is the last version I have wanted to keep as a sort of reference. I tried MMJB 10 when it was new and at least the visible MP3 encoding options were unchanged.)

I used the VBR 55% setting. Processing Level was set to "Normal", Maximum Bandwidth to "Let encoder choose".

22 of the 25 test tracks seem to be Joint Stereo. Here is how EncSpot Pro sees the files:




The average bitrate is nicely 135.2 kbps (about the same as LAME -V5 --vbr-new produces). EncSpot's "complete scan" is needed for checking this because it cannot use the VBRI header info. Also, most other programs show wrong bitrates with FhG VBR files.

I have only one other program that can encode FhG VBR. It's WaveLab. It has only five predefined VBR quality levels from "lowest" to "highest". It has also an option for joint stereo (allow mid/side coding), but that option does not seem to stick. If the options window is opened again "allow mid/side coding" is always resetted to disabled. Also it seems that WaveLab does not write VBRI headers. The resulting files do not contain VBR headers at all.

In general, I think that FhG VBR is a can of worms that probably should not be opened. A lot more reliable information would be needed for making the correct front program and encoder settings choices.


Edit: a couple of typos
Edit 2: image link fixed
  • Last Edit: 07 September, 2007, 07:08:27 AM by Alex B

  • kwanbis
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer (Donating)
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #171
kwanbis, did you read my whole post? 2 is simply not possible, so we have to mix 1 and 2.

If 2 is not an option, *i* think we should try 1, not a mix.

Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #172
Well, this would mean using 128 kbps CBR for everything.

  • kwanbis
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer (Donating)
Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #173
no, i think people use LAME with vbr, for example, and iTunes is ABR(?)?

Autumn 2006 Listening Test
Reply #174
iTunes seems to be ABR, but if you are going with popularity only, most people use iTunes in CBR mode I guess.
  • Last Edit: 17 August, 2006, 12:12:26 PM by Sebastian Mares