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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Hi,

I just started transcoding my FLAC albums (I'll save them) to Ogg. I first tested q 5, q 6 and then q 4 and I can't tell any difference between them.

But I cant believe that 128kbit files are absolutely transparent? I know it's very subjective, but I wanted to ask you if it's also transparent to you or if you hear any artifacts?

Greets

Edit: I use AoTuV beta 5
  • Last Edit: 26 December, 2006, 05:54:05 AM by Be Positive

  • ImAlive
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #1
Yes, especially with aoTuV b5, it is transparent to me. I guess even lower q might be transparent (I just barely ABXed q1 right without good headphones and just one sampe), but then again...  I know what you are talking about. We need to get out of this 7 year old mindset that 128k BLADE mp3s sound crappy (they didn't, to me, back then (computer speakers) - but now they do =)). Modern encoders really rock, and it is not 'god given' that 128k=crap.

I am ripping my old CDs right now, and for most pop samplers and electronica q4 should be absolutely sufficient. For my more 'valuable' and metal CDs I use q5 however... not that it would make much of a (audible) difference, if any at all, but here I want a little greater 'safety margin'.

In terms of frequency, I've still (bleh, I'm 22  ) got a rather good hearing (~19kHz), and that is just the lowpass at q4 - wonderful.

BTW: with the new b5, I can see (by no way hear) low-level noise in the spectrum at about 20kHz (with 1kHz bandwidth) when using q5 that did not appear when encoding to q5 with aoTuV r1. What is the cause of this?

  • Firon
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #2
-q2 is transparent to me in casual listening. Maybe I could ABX it, but it sure sounds great to me either way.
  • Last Edit: 26 December, 2006, 06:03:21 AM by Firon

  • Mercurio
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #3
-q3 was too hard for me to abx, so I didn't try to test -q4 ^^ at all.

  • Hanky
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #4
I use Ogg Vorbis aoTuV -q 3.5 (estimated 120 kbps) to encode my music for portable listening on my Cowon iAudio G3. I did not notice any annoying artefact till now, quality is amazingly good for such a bitrate.

Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #5
BTW: with the new b5, I can see (by no way hear) low-level noise in the spectrum at about 20kHz (with 1kHz bandwidth) when using q5 that did not appear when encoding to q5 with aoTuV r1. What is the cause of this?


That makes me worry a bit.. Is the r1 a stable final release? Should I better use this version than the beta 5?

  • Pio2001
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #6
At q4, I can ABX some rare tracks. I failed all tracks proposed in multiformat ABC/HR tests.
At q5, I can ABX 3 killer samples.
At q6, I can ABX 1 killer sample.
At q7, everything is transparent to my ears.

  • ImAlive
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #7
That makes me worry a bit.. Is the r1 a stable final release? Should I better use this version than the beta 5?
r1 is a stable release (rebranded b4.51), yes. b5 is IIRC mainly tuned for lower bitrate improvement. However, as I stated, bandlimited, low-level noise at 20 kHz cannot be heard, so don't worry - I'll rather have this AND the newest tunings. I just wondered why this was there (noise shaping? new algorithm?), as this only seems to appear with q5 and not with q4.

  • jorsol
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #8
When I start using vorbis, in 2002 (v1.0), I encode my files using -q2, because it sound fine to me... then I swith to -q4 because I ABX -q2 and found that is hard but posible that I hear artifact and because the listening test showing that vorbis at 128kbps is just great... but I swith mostly because the placebo effect that if I hardly hear artifacts at -q2, then -q4 will be the perfect balance.

I made a test to abx 128kbps and found that to my ears is almost imposible to tell the diference. All of this using old encoders (maybe aotuv b2), and with AoTuV Beta 5 this will be just the best choice for a nice balance.

In synthesis, -q4 for me sound just perfect. I posibly can ABX it and hear some diferences but... if I only listen music in my computer then I hardly can said that there is a diference.

In plain English.... yes is transparent to me.
JorSol
aoTuVb5 -q4

  • pepoluan
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #9
Tip from experience: Don't worry about transparency. Worry about music quality. Especially since you have the FLACs.

I encode, and transcode (aaaaah! the horror! oh humanity!) my music collection to -q 1 using aoTuV b5... and I never regret it. Except for classical music. guruboolez scared me enough to do them at -q 3.

Annnd if you see the music in my PDA... you may scream outright: None is higher than -q 0. Most (i.e. nearly all) is -q -0.5, and some even made it to -q -0.75  ... and these with aoTuV R1 (too lazy to re-transcode using aoTuV b5 )
  • Last Edit: 26 December, 2006, 12:27:08 PM by pepoluan
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  • Junon
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #10
I recently encoded my complete CD collection to FLAC 1.1.3 beta 2 and aoTuV beta 5 at -q 2. I've been making a few ABX tests shortly after the beta 5's release, and I must admit that I already had a troublesome time ABXing many -q 0 samples, causing this bitrate to have become the one I use for my flash-based portable player. At -q 1 I entirely failed distinguishing the Vorbis files from the FLAC ones; since I tested only a few samples I moved one more quality step up to make sure that the whole audio collection sounds transparent to me. Hence I can't even see any need to use the -q 4 setting you asked for. Of course I'm talking about my own hearing here, you don't have to agree with my statement that -q 2 would be transparent. With this subjective claim I'm risking being snubbed due to TOS #8 anyway, because I neither have the ABX logs anymore nor do I have the nerve to do a test at the moment.

Quote
But I cant believe that 128kbit files are absolutely transparent?


Well, we're talking about a modern codec here, therefore you shouldn't compare its bitrates to the ones that are usually used to reach transparency with the good old MP3 format. If we kept encoding to the same bitrates as we always did there wouldn't be any reason to use anything besides LAME, since it features the best possible compatibility and even many modern codecs' features, like VBR encoding and gapless playback.

Edit: Small addendum.
  • Last Edit: 26 December, 2006, 01:30:21 PM by Junon

  • senab
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #11
I don't encode to a certain level, it depends on the CD or source really. The highest i'll go is-q 6 for the fact of the lossless stereo coupling. The lowest i'll go is -q 4. I'm not saying I can ABX below -q 4, it's just I use these files on a lot of different systems (car, 5.1 amp, iPod, etc) and like the safety margin of having at least ~128kbps tracks. Even so, i'm probably being overkill.

Small Edit...
  • Last Edit: 27 December, 2006, 12:08:11 PM by senab

  • dariju
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #12
For me it is still hard to encode something lower than q6, even when I'm aware that q2 in most cases is audibly the same...

  • Primius
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #13
Did you read about loseless stereo coupling at q6 or why do you choose that quality?
To me, reliable quality means 1 quality value above the setting needed for transparency.
(transparency based on a few test samples)
I hope you never run low on space with this setting.
Not to be able to choose q3 because my portable player only has 512MB
is painfull

  • beto
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #14
-q2 is transparent to me in casual listening (home stereo, portable and computer).
When I listen to music I don't try to find flaws all the time like some paranoid freak.  IMO on casual listening you don't need to.
I may even go lower to -q1 or -q0 in the future.
  • Last Edit: 28 December, 2006, 07:17:26 AM by beto

  • MedO
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #15
I encode at -q6, because the second sample I ever encoded with Vorbis happened to be one of the rather rare Vorbis problem samples where the trouble is very audible. The problem went away at -q6 (i.e. probably with lossless stereo coupling), so I chose -q6 as my standard encoding level. Plus, my audio collection grows slower than my disk space, so I'm not worried about the size.

When testing normal rock/pop samples, -q2 is usually transparent to me.

  • DARcode
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #16
I switched to HE-AAC for DAP/mobile listening, but -q2 was transparent to me.
WavPack 4.80.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.59 -V 100

  • vinnie97
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #17
-q1 is transparent enough to me.

  • Caroliano
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #18
Look at the results of the Public Multiformat Listening test at 128kbps made by HA members. For many people, in many samples, vorbis was transparent. The low-anchor is probabily what you was expecting for a codec in 128kbps. I was the Anon26.

My experiences with older versions of AoTuV vorbis:

In -q4 I can barely hear the diference in some samples when comparing with the original. That, or -q6, is my choice for transparent encoding, depending of how much space I want to spare. When I want very high quality in less space, I use -q2, where I can hear some artfacts in many samples, but nothing anoying, especialy when not comparing with the original.

For simply listenable quality, I go with AACv1/v2 at 64~32kbps.

  • HE-Dave
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #19
It's good enough for me usually... when I'm just listening to music... not audio quality.  It'll be fine for you.
CD -> EAC+LAME V4+WV hybrid 320. Remote hard backup of every CD.

  • hushypushy
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #20
I ABX'd tons of songs, and found that for the most part, Q2 is transparent, but there were a couple Q3 songs (very rare). I use Q4 because I know it's overkill and there's no way I could ever tell the difference

  • TimSee
  • [*]
Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #21
I ABX'd -q1, -q2 and -q4.  I basically concluded that for a portable flash player, -q1 is the best bang for the buck. 

So...I use Squeezebox and FLAC for my home stereo and Vorbis -q1 for muisc on the go.

Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #22
I have just decided today to delete the q5's from my ipod and encode to q4 today.  I could abx q1 and q2.  q3 was HARD for me to ABX, but I eventually found Radiohead's "Subterranean Homesick Alien" easy to ABX because of a nosie normalization artifact.  q4 doesn't use noise normalization though.  I tried to ABX q4 once and gave up because I knew I couldn't do it with my equipment.

But yeah, 128 MP3 and 128 Vorbis aren't comparible; Vorbis is newer and more advanced/complicated.  If YOU can't hear the difference, then don't waste the space.

  • Emon
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Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #23
At q4, I can ABX some rare tracks. I failed all tracks proposed in multiformat ABC/HR tests.
At q5, I can ABX 3 killer samples.
At q6, I can ABX 1 killer sample.
At q7, everything is transparent to my ears.

That's about how it is for me. Even when I can tell the difference, it's usually small. At Q7 I doubt it is physically possible for a human to hear the difference. Maybe in some rare cases. For casual listening, Q4 is good enough.

Ogg -q4 transparent to you?
Reply #24
Hi,

I just started transcoding my FLAC albums (I'll save them) to Ogg. I first tested q 5, q 6 and then q 4 and I can't tell any difference between them.

But I cant believe that 128kbit files are absolutely transparent? I know it's very subjective, but I wanted to ask you if it's also transparent to you or if you hear any artifacts?

Greets

Edit: I use AoTuV beta 5


I used to use Lame -V 2 --vbr-new.  Am perfectly happy with q4 AoTuV.  I still shake my head and marvel at how good tracks with an average bitrate of 125k or so sound.