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Topic: V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98 (Read 6353 times) previous topic - next topic

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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
I usually play -V5 MP3 files through my computer speakers.

I updated some tags on the original FLAC rip and decided to re-convert the modified FLAC files to MP3 using the latest LAME 3.99.5, instead of just duplicating the tags to the old MP3, which was 3.98.2.

So I could very clearly hear that the new 3.99.5 was worse than 3.98.2 on this sample through my computer speakers. There's more 'wooshy' sound on the cymbals.

Could this be because 3.99 generally uses lower bitrates for V5 compared to 3.98?

Here are three samples
1) the original FLAC
2) the newly converted 3.99.5 sample from the FLAC
3) the old 3.98.2 sample cut using MP3splt. (Didn't re-encode from original FLAC since I don't have old versions of LAME installed)

The song is a live version of Gardening at Night by R.E.M., track 15 on the 1992 I.R.S. Vintage Years reissue of Murmur.
  • Last Edit: 25 August, 2012, 12:53:59 PM by Boiled Beans

  • Kohlrabi
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #1
I bet you have ABX results to back up that claim? I couldn't really hear any obvious flaws, but it'd be easier to compare the files if the samples were aligned, too.

Could this be because 3.99 generally uses lower bitrates for V5 compared to 3.98?
Bitrate is no quality metric when assessing different encoders.
  • Last Edit: 25 August, 2012, 05:24:22 PM by Kohlrabi
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

  • lvqcl
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #2
LAME 3.98.4 encode is attached to the post.

ABXing 3.98.4 from 3.99.5 was easy:
Code: [Select]
foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.14a
2012/08/26 01:34:43

File A: D:\test\15_Gardening_at_Night_Live_EDIT_3.984.mp3
File B: D:\test\15_Gardening_at_Night_Live_EDIT_3.995.mp3

01:34:43 : Test started.
01:35:19 : 01/01  50.0%
01:35:38 : 02/02  25.0%
01:35:42 : 03/03  12.5%
01:35:49 : 04/04  6.3%
01:35:57 : 05/05  3.1%
01:36:01 : 06/06  1.6%
01:36:05 : 07/07  0.8%
01:36:13 : 08/08  0.4%
01:36:17 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 8/8 (0.4%)

  • Kohlrabi
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #3
Oh, well I could have created my own encodes, that was embarrassing, mea culpa.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #4
Thanks lvqcl for providing a LAME 3.984 encode from the original FLAC.

I didn't do an ABX at first since the cymbal 'whooshiness' was so obvious.

Here are my ABX results using the 3.995 from my post and the 3.984 from lvqcl. I focused on the first few seconds of the song.

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.13
2012/08/26 16:02:26

File A: C:\Downloads\15_Gardening_at_Night_Live_EDIT_3.984.mp3
File B: C:\Downloads\15_Gardening_at_Night_Live_EDIT_3.995.mp3

16:02:26 : Test started.
16:02:44 : 01/01  50.0%
16:02:58 : 02/02  25.0%
16:03:08 : 03/03  12.5%
16:03:17 : 04/04  6.3%
16:03:26 : 05/05  3.1%
16:03:38 : 06/06  1.6%
16:03:49 : 07/07  0.8%
16:04:08 : 08/08  0.4%
16:04:22 : 09/09  0.2%
16:04:26 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 9/9 (0.2%)
  • Last Edit: 26 August, 2012, 04:08:08 AM by Boiled Beans

  • lvqcl
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #5
The sample encoded with LAME 3.99.5 -V 4.999 is attached to the post.

Lame 3.98.4 -V 5 => 144 kbps
Lame 3.99.5 -V 5 => 135 kbps
Lame 3.99.5 -V 4.999 => 142 kbps

The bitrate is closer to 3.98.4 -V5, but the quality isn't (ABX result = 8/8).

  • IgorC
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #6
3.98 and 3.99 have gone into different direction of development. Tuning of quality at high bitrates.

It will be great if somebody will post the results of 3.97 V5 vbr new,  3.98 V 5.7 and 3.99  V4.99  for, lets say, at least 10 samples.  And see whether there was any substantial improvements, if any. 
  • Last Edit: 27 August, 2012, 10:36:43 AM by IgorC

  • Martel
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #7
This explanation seems strange. If they wanted to improve the higher bitrates, they wouldn't need to screw up anything else.

E.g.

if -V0 then do the "improved" algorithm, else do the original algorithm
IE4 Rockbox Clip+ AAC@192; HD 668B/HD 518 Xonar DX FB2k FLAC;

  • IgorC
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #8
Unless V0 had rate up to 320 to go for difficult samples while V5 had to hit 130 kbps on average.
Shortly, nobody complains  that 3.99.5 V0 causes the higher bitrate than 3.98.4/3.97 as it's the highest V setting  while  V5 should necesary hit 130-135 kbps on average.

  • greynol
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #9
I think you mean to say surely instead of shortly.
Your eyes cannot hear.

V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #10
Since the R.E.M. sample in the first post, I've been paying attention to my LAME 3.99 V5 encodes recently.
If something sounds bad, I go back to the original rip to compare whether it was bad from the start, and whether encoding with LAME 3.98 would improve over 3.99.

Here's another example, where 3.98.4 is better than 3.99.5.
It's 'Cherish', from Madonna's 'Immaculate Collection'.

I have provided the original FLAC and 3.98.4 and 3.99.5 encodes.

There's more flanging sound (from a tambourine?) in the 3.99.5 version.

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.13
2012/09/08 18:56:45

File A: C:\Downloads\Sound Test\Test\3.995\EDIT 14 Madonna - Cherish 3995.mp3
File B: C:\Downloads\Sound Test\Test\3.984\EDIT 14 Madonna - Cherish 3984.mp3

18:56:45 : Test started.
19:00:24 : 01/01  50.0%
19:01:01 : 02/02  25.0%
19:01:22 : 03/03  12.5%
19:01:44 : 04/04  6.3%
19:02:07 : 05/05  3.1%
19:02:55 : 06/06  1.6%
19:03:27 : 07/07  0.8%
19:03:55 : 08/08  0.4%
19:03:59 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 8/8 (0.4%)
  • Last Edit: 08 September, 2012, 09:43:00 AM by Boiled Beans

V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #11
Two very obvious samples are attached in this post.

These tracks are from the Pixies - Complete B Sides, from 2001.

The cymbals are more 'swooshy' on the 3.99.5 samples, as compared to the 3.98.4 samples.

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.13
2012/10/30 22:49:56

File A: C:\EAC Temp\02 Pixies - Vamos (Live) EDIT 3984.mp3
File B: C:\EAC Temp\02 Pixies - Vamos (Live) EDIT 3995.mp3

22:49:56 : Test started.
22:50:14 : 01/01  50.0%
22:50:36 : 02/02  25.0%
22:50:44 : 03/03  12.5%
22:50:51 : 04/04  6.3%
22:51:02 : 05/05  3.1%
22:51:11 : 06/06  1.6%
22:51:19 : 07/07  0.8%
22:51:29 : 08/08  0.4%
22:51:31 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 8/8 (0.4%)


Code: [Select]
foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.13
2012/10/30 22:51:47

File A: C:\EAC Temp\03 Pixies - In Heaven (Live) EDIT 3984.mp3
File B: C:\EAC Temp\03 Pixies - In Heaven (Live) EDIT 3995.mp3

22:51:47 : Test started.
22:53:49 : 01/01  50.0%
22:54:11 : 02/02  25.0%
22:54:22 : 03/03  12.5%
22:54:31 : 04/04  6.3%
22:54:50 : 05/05  3.1%
22:55:01 : 06/06  1.6%
22:55:12 : 07/07  0.8%
22:55:22 : 08/08  0.4%
22:55:23 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 8/8 (0.4%)
  • Last Edit: 30 October, 2012, 12:44:49 PM by Boiled Beans

  • IgorC
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V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #12
The cymbals are more 'swooshy' on the 3.99.5 samples, as compared to the 3.98.4 samples.

My findings are quite the same.
3.99.5 preserves better tonal samples while does worse on transients (cymbals in this case).
Roughly speaking 3.98.4 - V5.7 (~135 kbps) should be better for rock music while 3.99.5 -V5 or -V4.99 (~135 kbps) is better for classic music.

P.S. 3.99.5's V5 doesn't yield the same bitrate comparing to 3.98.4's -V5
  • Last Edit: 30 October, 2012, 10:45:33 PM by IgorC

V5 sample becomes worse in 3.99, compared to 3.98
Reply #13
Music files encoded in LAME V5 don't sound great on anything except portable listening situations[/url] (i.e. earbuds connected to a DAP):

Code: [Select]
Portable: listening in noisy conditions, lower bitrate, smaller file size

-V4 (~165 kbps), -V5 (~130 kbps) or -V6 (~115 kbps) are recommended.

-V6 produces an "acceptable" quality, while -V4 should be close to perceptual transparency.


Better results would be achieved by increasing the bitrate:

Code: [Select]
Very high quality: HiFi, home, or quiet listening, with best file size

-V0 (~245 kbps), -V1 (~225 kbps), -V2 (~190 kbps) or -V3 (~175 kbps) are recommended.

These VBR settings will normally produce transparent results. Audible differences between these presets may exist, but are rare.
[edit] Very high quality: HiFi, home, or quiet listening, with maximum file size

-b 320 is an alternative to the VBR settings above.

This CBR mode will maximize the MP3's bitrate and overall file size. The extra space may allow for some parts of the audio to be compressed with fewer sacrifices, but to date, no one has produced ABX test results demonstrating that perceived quality is ever better than the highest VBR profiles described above.



RE: Problems using V5 with LAME 3.99.5

And people wonder why some still use LAME 3.97?    New isn't always better.
ghostman