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Topic: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder (Read 117271 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #950
Just wanted to give a big thanks to Chris for this amazing encoder and all the helpers especially Kode54 the admin for the Foobar plugin.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #951
You're very welcome. I'm glad you like it, and since the exhale project will most likely get only bugfixes from now on: If anyone encounters strange behavior during encoding which goes beyond "the encoder sounds a bit worse than ... here", please post the details here or open up an issue on https://gitlab.com/ecodis/exhale/-/issues

Fixing as many such issues as possible will make exhale better for everyone. Thanks.

Chris
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #952
I just wondered what MPEG-D DRC is? as it is a option in EZCD just found it today whilst encoding some music in 40kbps which is fine for my little old ears,

Thanks again

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #953
DRC stands for Dynamic Range Control, which adds metadata to the encoded xHE-AAC files that can be used for a better listening experience e.g. in a noisy environment. It also includes loudness information similar to ReplayGain that allows to automatically play different music tracks or albums at the same loudness level in compatible players so you don't have to manually adjust the "volume" knob. Exhale calculates and writes the track loudness metadata during encoding, EZ CD Converter might write additional data during encoding, I don't know.

Chris
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #954
This might be a little off-topic, but has anyone been able to get hold of 'FFmpeg Plugin - xHE-AAC Encoder' from MainConcept?
I registered a while back, but I never received any reply.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #955
I believe the beta is only open to people who have followed their seminar. In any case they have released a beta version for Windows, one for Linux, none for macOS.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #956
This might be a little off-topic, but has anyone been able to get hold of 'FFmpeg Plugin - xHE-AAC Encoder' from MainConcept?
I registered a while back, but I never received any reply.

Just had a look at this; is this going to be a closed source, commercial 'plugin'?

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #957
Probably similar to Fluendo's Oneplay GStreamer codec pack, which is also licenses actual Microsoft Windows Media codecs instead of using reverse engineered solutions from the FFmpeg project. It also licenses all the applicable decoder patents for as many seats as you pay for.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #958
I just released a small update to exhale's source code, let's call the result an intermediate version 1.1.7.1. No changes to the audio quality for normal operation (input sampling rate 24...64 kHz), but slight improvements when using SBR coding at 22.05, 88.2, and 96 kHz, and you can now compile exhale in a way which produces more CBR-ish encodings. See this new FAQ Wiki entry and the following figure (BA_MORE_CBR is the macro you need to set).



Important: CBR coding degrades the audio quality on some samples and is meant primarily for special use cases and research, so its use is generally not recommended!

Chris
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.


Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #960
Are preset`s "0" and "a" is deprecated now?

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #961
They are not recommended (you will now find a warning on the screen) like before. I asked the developer to keep them because there are cases where you don't need to preserve the audio quality, as long as you can understand.

If you need to use them you can do it, but now you will know before that you will get poor quality.


Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #963
I am away from home until the end of the week, at which time I'll sort out fresh compiles. Sorry for the delay, just unfortunate timing!!

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #964
They are not recommended (you will now find a warning on the screen) like before. ... now you will know before that you will get poor quality.
Correct. Sorry for the following legal talk, but I've just been informed that the term xHE-AAC is a trademark term and that I, in order to call exhale an "xHE-AAC encoder", would have to obtain a corresponding xHE-AAC trademark license. Which I can't since exhale does not support encoding at very low bit-rates with sufficient audio quality. Therefore,

please, from now on, call exhale an Extended HE-AAC encoder or a USAC encoder, not an xHE-AAC encoder.

If you are looking for xHE-AAC encoders, you have to this date the following commercially available options which were already discussed in this thread: https://www.poikosoft.com/music-converter and https://www.mainconcept.com/ffmpeg

Chris
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.

 

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #965
Intel compiles of exhale-V1.1.7.1-f145f63f with BA_MORE_CBR set now at Rarewares.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #966
Please use the 'Extended HE-AAC' rather than USAC (because it's correct)

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #967
They are not recommended (you will now find a warning on the screen) like before. ... now you will know before that you will get poor quality.
Correct. Sorry for the following legal talk, but I've just been informed that the term xHE-AAC is a trademark term and that I, in order to call exhale an "xHE-AAC encoder", would have to obtain a corresponding xHE-AAC trademark license. Which I can't since exhale does not support encoding at very low bit-rates with sufficient audio quality. Therefore,

please, from now on, call exhale an Extended HE-AAC encoder or a USAC encoder, not an xHE-AAC encoder.

If you are looking for xHE-AAC encoders, you have to this date the following commercially available options which were already discussed in this thread: https://www.poikosoft.com/music-converter and https://www.mainconcept.com/ffmpeg

Chris
Does this mean that I have to change my macOS audio player to string replace "xHE-AAC" with "USAC", even though I am using Apple's decoder, which calls itself that in the first place? Do I have to somehow figure out how to tell Apple's decoder how to configure itself in all the asinine ways that the trademark application requires, so that I can produce the requisite test vectors? Or does this mean that Apple's decoder is breaking the trademark license by not offering a means of passing said asinine testing requirements?

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #968
Frankly, I think the naming correction is fair, because exhale in fact does not produce the same high quality results at very low bitrates, that you get from an "official" xHE-AAC encoder. I too got confused about it months ago when learning about xHE-AAC, so I think it's a legit concern.
This is not to take anything away from exhale itself, it's great that you're releasing it and I appreciate your efforts.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #969
Does this mean that I have to change my macOS audio player to string replace "xHE-AAC" with "USAC", even though I am using Apple's decoder, which calls itself that in the first place?
My rough, uneducated guess is that, since you're talking about a trademark licensed third-party decoder which calls itself "xHE-AAC" and which, I assume, you didn't modify in any way (you just call it), you may be able to keep calling it the way you do. But when in doubt, please ask the trademark owners directly, especially since that question seems to have nothing to do with my encoder.

By the way #1, over the last months I made sure that the audio files generated by exhale can be played back correctly by every xHE-AAC player (if not, please let me know). Again, the only reason why I cannot refer to exhale as an "xHE-AAC encoder" is that it doesn't support USAC's speech coding technology and, therefore, compressed speech sounds pretty bad at the lowest preset.

... exhale in fact does not produce the same high quality results at very low bitrates, that you get from an "official" xHE-AAC encoder.
By the way #2, I agree with this statement on content including speech, like Web radio and audio books, as explained above. But AFAIR, for general music content at 44.1 kHz, no blind comparison between exhale's CVBR mode 'a' (generated e.g. using NetRanger's binaries, without the CBR setting) and the corresponding VBR files of an "official" encoder (generated e.g. using the EZ CD Audio Converter) have been published on this forum. Since HA requires blind test evidence to back up such claims, I need to stress this.

Chris
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #970
I have a feeling that Apple's decoder is non-compliant anyway, since you already had to apply several workarounds in your encoder to guarantee files will decode there.

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #971
Not several workarounds, only this one which Apple know about. The other MPEG-4 file header related things that were fixed during the last year or so were bugs in exhale, not their decoder.

But thanks for reminding me, we should check whether the workaround is still necessary. And, since Windows 11 will be released soon (tomorrow?), I'm curious whether Windows 11 has integrated xHE-AAC decoding capability.

Chris
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.


Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #973
Yes astonishing it does, I can play a USAC .m4a file in Groove music player... Windows 11 default music player

Re: exhale - Open Source USAC encoder

Reply #974
I can confirm USAC in windows 11 media player.
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