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WavPack 4.5 beta available

Finally, the betas are available for the WavPack command-line encoder and the Winamp plugin.

The most important improvement for the encoder is dynamic noise shaping which improves the quality of WavPack hybrid mode, especially for those HF-rich samples that used to cause trouble with previous versions. The --dns option from the alpha version has been deprecated and the feature is enabled in most situations (and can be forced with the new option -sd if required). This was discussed in detail here and here.

The Winamp plugin is basically all new with much better integration with the newest versions of Winamp, including transcoding and Auto-Tag and full Unicode support. More here.

WavPack command-line encoder version 4.50b
  • dynamic noise shaping standard in hybrid mode (except when -cc specified or high sampling rates)
  • param added to -s option (-sd) to force dynamic shaping when not otherwise selected (--dns from the alpha deprecated)
  • added --channel-order option to specify channel order when it doesn't match Microsoft standard
  • added --merge-blocks option for use with --blocksize option when compressing LossyWAV output or decoded HDCD audio
  • increased minimum for --blocksize option to 128 (or 16 when combined with --merge-blocks)
  • reformatted and expanded --help display

WavPack plugin for Winamp version 2.5b
  • added transcoding API (allows CD burning, format conversion, Replaygain calc)
  • allow standard Winamp metadata display and editing to work
  • added API for writing metadata from Winamp (for Auto-Tag, etc.)
  • Unicode support for info box (older Winamps) and media library
  • added option to pass multichannel audio to output
  • added option to pass all audio as 16-bit (for better compatibility)
  • added option to output 24-bit audio when ReplayGain is active
  • changed high-resolution output from 32-bit to 24-bit (allows winamp EQ to work, and probably other things)
  • improved performance of adding tracks to library, especially from network drives
  • fixed bug that caused the seek bar to sometimes vacillate when moved
  • added genre display to info box (for older Winamps)

These two betas are together, download here.

Also, I happened upon another hardware product with WavPack support! It's the TViX HD M-6500A, a HD media server for home use, and it looks like a pretty nice unit. The WavPack support is mentioned on the Korean version of the product description, but for some reason is not mentioned on the English version

Thanks to everyone for your continued support and especially to those who helped with the alpha test and suggested features and improvements and, of course, benski for your invaluable help on the Winamp stuff! 

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #1
Awesome !
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #2
Though I'm into lossyWAV now instead of wavPack lossy (but partially use wavPack for lossless encoding) I welcome most any progress with wavPack which is a great piece of software.

Thank you for your new version!
lame3995o -Q1.7
opus --bitrate 140


WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #4
Nice, thank you for your work, David!

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #5
Thanks for not forgetting linux users!

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #6
Thanks for not forgetting linux users!

It would be hard for me to forget Linux users because I am a Linux user!  I have been dual-booting Windows 2000 and Ubuntu for a couple years now and I only run Windows for testing and development of the Windows tools and to do my taxes (no TurboTax for Linux yet).

BTW, I forgot to mention that there's an issue with the build when specifying --enable-mmx with gcc 4.3.x. This will hopefully be fixed soon.

Thanks ChesterB! 

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #7
BTW, I forgot to mention that there's an issue with the build when specifying --enable-mmx with gcc 4.3.x. This will hopefully be fixed soon.

I was wondering about that. It seems the only codec that actually makes use of ASM code on my platform (x86_64 linux) is Monkey's Audio. LAME's ASM is *86 only, and disabling ASM with ./configure had no effect on performance with either FLAC or WavPack…

Edit: --enable-mmx does have an effect with GCC 4.2.x, but a rather modest one. I wonder why Monkey's Audio's x86_64 MMX code improves performance so much (2x encoding speed with the Extra High preset)? Is it because its base C++ code is so much slower (and/or more complex) than FLAC's and WavPack's code?

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #8
Edit: --enable-mmx does have an effect with GCC 4.2.x, but a rather modest one. I wonder why Monkey's Audio's x86_64 MMX code improves performance so much (2x encoding speed with the Extra High preset)? Is it because its base C++ code is so much slower (and/or more complex) than FLAC's and WavPack's code?

There are a lot of things going on here, and there are serious gaps in my knowledge of this, but this is what I do know.

WavPack is, for the most part, pure C. There are some MMX enhancements (created by Joachim Henke) but these are done as intrinsics (as opposed to pure ASM) and only used for encoding (not decoding). Unfortunately, as you notice, these provide only a modest improvement (at best) with 16-bit audio, but they do provide a nice improvement for 24-bit (and higher) audio (especially with the -x mode, which is where they were first implemented). My understanding is that the intrinsics work for 64-bit compiles as well, which is not true when pure ASM code is used (but don't quote me on that!)

I have written pure ASM versions of WavPack decoding for both the ColdFire (68k) and ARM CPUs and got very nice improvements and would be very interested to try this with x86 to see what improvements I could get, but have never had the time. This is particularly interesting because the only lossless codecs that currently decode faster than WavPack (FLAC and TAK) use this extensively... 

My understanding of Monkey's Audio is that the format itself was designed with SIMD in mind (and MMX in particular) which is why you see the significant improvement for that case. This allows relatively fast operation on PCs, but the disadvantage is that these gains are lost on non-SIMD processors like those used on Rockbox and other portable devices. This is part of the reason that Monkey's Audio support on portable devices is generally limited to the normal and fast modes. BTW, my understanding is that the situation with LA is similar, although since it's not open source people are not generally aware of this.

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #9
Thanks for the explanation!

This allows relatively fast operation on PCs, but the disadvantage is that these gains are lost on non-SIMD processors like those used on Rockbox and other portable devices.

Well, like I've said before, I don't see much point in lossless audio on portable devices. What I'd be more concerned about is the other types of hardware appliances, such as standalone players for the living room. But now that Intel's Atom low power CPU is right around the corner, that might change. It's cheap, draws very little power, and you get to run existing x86 code on it. More to the point, you get SIMD instructions (SSE2, SSE3 and SSSE3).

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #10


WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #12
Awesome news for us hybrid mode and WA users (see me sig)  !
Thanks a bunch, David!
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #13
Also, I happened upon another hardware product with WavPack support! It's the TViX HD M-6500A, a HD media server for home use, and it looks like a pretty nice unit. The WavPack support is mentioned on the Korean version of the product description, but for some reason is not mentioned on the English version

http://www.tvix.co.kr/eng/products/HDM7000A.aspx

The HD M-7000A supports our fav audio lossless codec too and DViCO Inc. adertises that merrily  !
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #14
hi david,

i packaged 4.50.0beta (from svn, actually) and it's at rarewares/debian ... NOW!

thanks again!


later

 

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #15
http://www.tvix.co.kr/eng/products/HDM7000A.aspx

The HD M-7000A supports our fav audio lossless codec too and DViCO Inc. adertises that merrily  !

Very interesting, thanks! 

I think that the 7000 is just a 6500 in a different case (and I'm not sure it's going to be available everywhere) but it's certainly good news that they're not shy about advertising WavPack (no matter how they spell it). I've got to get a link to them up...


i packaged 4.50.0beta (from svn, actually) and it's at rarewares/debian ... NOW!

Thanks! 

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #16
I think that the 7000 is just a 6500 in a different case (and I'm not sure it's going to be available everywhere) but it's certainly good news that they're not shy about advertising WavPack (no matter how they spell it).


Yes, the firmware releases are the same for the 7000 as they are for the 6500, so its the same functionality. The 6500 definitely does playback WavPack files, but theres a few bugs in their implementation at the moment e.g. some songs get cut short (among other bugs). Still Dvico seem to be doing a lot of work improving the overall firmware quality so hopefully they'll get everything sorted in the next couple of months.

Anyway, thanks for the 4.5 beta release, looking forward to the full release! 

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #17
Yes, the firmware releases are the same for the 7000 as they are for the 6500, so its the same functionality. The 6500 definitely does playback WavPack files, but theres a few bugs in their implementation at the moment e.g. some songs get cut short (among other bugs). Still Dvico seem to be doing a lot of work improving the overall firmware quality so hopefully they'll get everything sorted in the next couple of months.

Thanks for the info on the TViX units. I'm glad to hear they are working on problems; hopefully they'll get the WavPack support rock solid at some point. Once I get a HDTV I will certainly look into getting one!


Anyway, thanks for the 4.5 beta release, looking forward to the full release! 

So am I! 

BTW, I have updated the beta package with an executable installer for the Winamp plugin instead of just having the DLL in there. The plugin itself is the same, but any testing on the installation is appreciated...thx!

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #18
Its working good in Linux with Aqualung player .. yes it is gapless and RG is detected ! . Bitrate always show 1411k even for lossy ..

Audacious - Plays okay but cannot get RG to work even though the plugin has it turned on. Not gapless although one can use the crossfader.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #19
With audacious and the xmms-crossfade plugin (works with audacious as well), you can get true gapless playback, despite what the plugin's name suggests.

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #20
With audacious and the xmms-crossfade plugin (works with audacious as well), you can get true gapless playback, despite what the plugin's name suggests.


Thanks for that info. Any ideas about replaygain activation ?
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #21
With XMMS at least, the plugin bypasses any alteration to the audio that the player (and other plugins) may apply (which means, no replay gain). But Audacious 1.5.0 seems to have a plugin-independent RG implementation which does work with xmms-crossfade (I just tried). Just make sure NOT to check the "Bypass all of signal processing if possible" option in Preferences > Audio.

Edit: to be clear: configure Replay Gain in its dedicated panel (Preferences > Replay Gain), NOT in the input plugin's configuration panel (Preferences > Plugins > WavPack Audio Plugin).

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #22
Thanks again. My version is 1.4.6 maybe that explains why some features are missing. I Will eventually end up with 1.5 since my Debian testing is a rolling distro or I might just try to compile. From what you are saying I think i can forget foobar (not that I even use it much in nix). Audacious , aqualung and rubbyripper will eventually do it for me.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #23
The Audacious plugin for WavPack is based on the original XMMS one put together by Kuniklo. That plugin displayed the ReplayGain selection (it came from the Musepack plugin) but it was not enabled (i.e., turning it on didn't do anything).

Later I added ReplayGain support to the XMMS plugin (along with several other improvements) but that has not been ported into the Audacious version. However, that doesn't sound like a great idea because Audacious (at least 1.5.0) uses its own RG implementation outside of the input plugins, but I just checked and it does not seem to retrieve the RG info from WavPack files. It seems to work at first because they have a -9 dB default gain, but I tried a song with a positive RG value and it still got softer when I turned it on... 

I'll see if I can get a chance to look into the Audacious sources and see if there's a quick way of getting that working; it should be trivial.

WavPack 4.5 beta available

Reply #24
Thanks David.

I see 1.5 is now in Sid so hopefully a week away for me.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

 
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