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Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #25
Anyway, the track is full of artifacts which makes me wonder what age you are and if you have suffered any ear damage. I promise, I am not at all being rude but I felt I had to ask since the quality is bad and you say it is transparent to you. Regards.

I winced when I saw him claim transparency at 48kbps as well because to me just about any full bandwidth music is obviously degraded at that bitrate. But, I can play 48kbps mp3 files for my wife and kids and they just can't hear the artifacts. I don't know what it is but they swear the files sound just fine to them. To me they sound like someone drowning kittens.

I've come to believe that some people just don't have the capacity to detect/notice/care about audio faults and degradation. I'm kinda jealous because they can store 5 times the amount of music on their devices since it can be encoded at stupidly low rates. They can also get by perfectly fine on $5 garbage can quality headphones and think they are getting perfect fidelity.

I'm in my mid-40's and played bass in a metal band most of my life, so my hearing is far from what anyone would call good. That being said, I'm the only one in my family that ever notices and complains when audio plays which is loaded with artifacts (it's really bad on Sling TV for instance). For me, Opus tends to get near transparency around 96kbps. Around 112kbps it gets to be essentially impossible for me to ABX. I know there are people who can, but that is about the level my ears and brain tap out.


i have abx'ed Opus at different bitrates and i could not find a difference between 48 kbps and 64kbps, 80kbps, 96kbps, 112 kbps, and 128kbps for stereo music. i have done tests using quality Sennheiser headphones and mid range speakers.

 I do care about audio quality, and i have pretty good hearing.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #26
I don't mean to imply you don't care. I'm just saying that you just may not be able to hear the difference for whatever reason. My wife can listen to files that sound like a garbled mess to me and not be able to distinguish it from the CD. It's not her ears because she can hear a gnat fart in the room next to us.  It just seems her brain masks out the artifacts or something. I'm not sure. I was just putting forth anecdotal evidence that some people legitimately can't hear or recognize the degradation. I'm not kidding when I say a 48kbps mp3 of full bandwidth music sounds like someone drowning kittens to me. It's almost painful to hear. But my wife and kids will play that though headphones with a usable frequency range of 3kHz and think it's CD quality.

Opus does do an amazing job at 48kbps though.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #27
Well I believe that it matters the fact that people who can detect compression artifacts know what to expect when they get to hear compressed audio. Like your brain knows the pattern or better your brain knows where and on what the encoder will fail to do a transparent job. Most of the times its frequency balding, weird cymbals, and kinda grainy and crunchy "esses" on codecs with SBR. To say it better, it's like one of those illusions images that you don't quite get what you see or depending how you see it you see a different picture. Once you know what you are seeing the magic is broken. It's not a black box to you anymore.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #28
@king2101

Quote
i have abx'ed Opus at different bitrates and i could not find a difference between 48 kbps and 64kbps, 80kbps, 96kbps, 112 kbps, and 128kbps for stereo music. i have done tests using quality Sennheiser headphones and mid range speakers.

 I do care about audio quality, and i have pretty good hearing.

I am 38 years old and without spending too much time on ABX stuff, like doing what i call a 'quick ABX' test on some random songs, I found that once I hit 64kbps with Opus I can't easily notice it anymore, but i can notice the sound quality hit at 48kbps. like going from 48 to 64 to 80 and so on (basically increasing it 16kbps each bump). this was done on my computer speakers which are Klipsch Pro-Media speakers which I would say are better than your typical computer speakers for sure. I have had these since the early 2000's. I have not really tested headphones yet so who knows what would happen with those but I suspect it would be similar results, maybe a bit higher on the bit rate but i would GUESS probably not over 80kbps or so. but the headphones I got (Sony MDR-NC7) are nothing special but they are not total crap either.

but from what I have heard around these forums, Opus @ 80kbps is similar to Apple AAC @ 96kbps in overall sound quality.

still, I just use 128kbps (Apple AAC @ q64 TVBR) to play it safe as at that bit rate it's high enough to where no one will complain about sound quality and still low enough for efficient use of disc space.

p.s. i consider myself to have normal hearing as i think i can at least claim that my hearing is no worse than average. like i doubt i have any hearing loss outside of what's typical from the natural aging process as it appears there are certain frequencies that someone in my age bracket probably can't hear that say a teenager might be able to.

@yourlord ; Yeah, i am with you as i don't know how people can go down to 48kbps or so especially with MP3 as it's clearly flawed as i would have to assume they are capable of hearing a difference at that bit rate especially if they heard the lossless source file switched back and fourth between that and the 48kbps MP3. but even without that i am confident i would still be able to tell that it sounds like crap at that rate on MP3. but with Opus @ 48kbps, while i can tell the difference, i do agree that it sounds quite good considering the bit rate. hell even 32kbps on Opus is respectable considering the very low bit rate. Opus does great with speech at 14-15kbps which is mainly what i use Opus for as you can have a boatload of speech audio for barely any file size. i think one speech stuff i got was just shy of 4hours for about 25MB of storage space and the sound quality is not much worse than the much higher bit rate MP3 that the source file was. basically after some quick testing 14-15kbps is the lowest i like for for speech with Opus as while i can go lower the quality starts to really fizzle out even though it's still impressive considering the bit rate.

but basically when it comes to music... with Opus if it's at least 64kbps chances are i would not complain given my quick ABX testing with Opus/Apple AAC etc.
For Music...
-The sweet spot for Apple AAC = 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). I suggest 128kbps for most people.
-The sweet spot for Opus (with maximum efficiency) = 80kbps or 96kbps. 64kbps is a respectable option.
-[FLAC to AAC/Opus using Foobar2000]

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #29
this was done on my computer speakers which are Klipsch Pro-Media speakers which I would say are better than your typical computer speakers for sure.

At 48kbps you don't even need decent speakers or headphones. The artifacts are easy to notice if you pay attention or take some time to find the difficult portions of a track. The nice thing with modern codecs like opus is just that they are rarely annoying. IMHO it depends a lot on the music too. I find it quite difficult in very loud music (metal and rock), where there's very little silence and lots of walls of sound, making it difficult to listen for ringing artifacts, etc.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #30
@Deathcrow

Quote
At 48kbps you don't even need decent speakers or headphones. The artifacts are easy to notice if you pay attention or take some time to find the difficult portions of a track.

Yeah, that's basically my point is that while it's fairly easy to spot the difference between FLAC and Opus @ 48kbps, once I hit 64kbps it's no longer easy for me. I just took some random tracks I got a while ago and that's how I came to that conclusion that in terms of a 16kbps boost in bit rate, 48kbps to 64kbps gives me the largest all around sound quality improvement for a small bit rate increase as it's pretty safe for me to say I won't see that kind of improvement for only 16kbps in any other thing like say 64kbps to 80kbps or say 32kbps to 48kbps. so basically if I don't want any more obvious sound quality hits I can use Opus as low as 64kbps, but I figure 80kbps is a bit safer. so I would say Opus @ 80kbps and Apple AAC @ 96kbps would be my suggested minimum if someone asked me what's the lowest bit rates you can use and not sacrifice the sound quality too much. although if your mainly concerned with file size and don't want any obvious sound quality drop offs then Opus @ 64kbps is what I would suggest.

because when I did my "quick ABX" test, even without finishing the tests(as I wanted to see the point where things were no longer easy for me to notice and spending not much time on ABXing to give me more of a real world situation where your not going to concentrate too hard), I just knew I was not going to fail the ABX @ 48kbps so I stopped. but once I hit 64kbps I lost that level of confidence in being able to easily detect the FLAC vs the Opus @ 64kbps. so I pretty much use 64kbps as a minimum suggestion for people wanting to use the Opus codec for music. but with Opus I would generally suggest using bit rates in the 80-128kbps range (basically one of four settings... 80/96/112/128) as I suspect this will make most people happy even though 64kbps is useable if you want maximum storage without any obvious sound quality drop offs.

but anyways, I don't even think you need all that much effort to ABX Opus @ 48kbps (like on random music tracks like Rock/Pop and the like) as it seems it does not take much at that bit rate for the overall sound to have a detectable difference from the FLAC file. but once I hit 64kbps it's no longer easy for me and I would not be surprised if I failed the ABX test on some typical Rock/Pop type of music. even if I can pass the ABX on Opus @ 64kbps it's going to require decent concentration for me which I figure at that point the music is pretty much transparent for me (but I would likely bump it to 80kbps to play it a bit safer if I wanted to use Opus at a lower bit rate).

Quote
The nice thing with modern codecs like opus is just that they are rarely annoying.

I pretty much agree as even at 32kbps the overall sound is pretty consistent I guess I could say.

p.s. Opus is less CPU intensive on my Sansa e250 (which I had for nearly 10 years now) than AAC-HE (and the like) as while both tax the CPU, Opus is useable (but navigating menu's are sluggish when playing Opus) unlike AAC-HE which pretty much freezes the device (too CPU intensive). but since typical AAC-LC works great on it and offers quality sound @ 128kbps there really ain't no reason for me to use Opus for music on that device outside of playing around with it occasionally.
For Music...
-The sweet spot for Apple AAC = 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). I suggest 128kbps for most people.
-The sweet spot for Opus (with maximum efficiency) = 80kbps or 96kbps. 64kbps is a respectable option.
-[FLAC to AAC/Opus using Foobar2000]

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #31
I used to encode all of my music into ogg vorbis at 64-80kbps, and I could not tell the difference between the original file.

But I switched to Opus @64kbps for encoding all of my music, and then lowered the bitrate to 48kbps after hearing no difference between the two bitrates.

At 32kbps though, there is definetly a difference, and that's the bitrate where I can hear the artifacts. Hopefully in the future, the engineers will be able to get the transparency level down to bitrates lower than 48kbps.

Just imagine having full bandwidth stereo music at only 12-32kbps with no artifacts, that would be insane!!
        

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #32
@king2101

I am 38 years old, yourlord is mid-40's... if you don't mind me asking how old are you?

I mainly ask because I wonder if why you seem to think Opus @ 48kbps is transparent is partially a age thing? ; but who knows, there could be other factors that others are probably more familiar with around here as maybe the age does not have much to do with it (assuming your not TOO old ;) ). but then again it seems like after a certain age I would guess through normal hearing loss as we age that eventually it's going to have a effect on what you can discern in sound quality tests etc. I am not exactly sure which age that would be but if i had to take a guess I would figure someone in their 60's (or older) would have noticeably worse hearing then say someone in their 30's or 40's and I am just assuming the only hearing loss they have is natural and not because of them being in noisy environments that damaged their hearing over the years.

I mean no offense or anything but I am a little surprised you don't notice 48kbps from the lossless source as, while I could be wrong, I would guess most people would be able to detect artifacts in Opus music without too much effort to at least 64kbps (assuming we stick to the 16kbps each increase standard, like... 32/48/64/80 and so on). but then again it's hard for me to say how many people even care about these things as I am aware that some people can deal with lower quality sound and be happy with it like yourlord basically mentioned in this topic. it does make me wonder if those people just don't care or do they really not notice it as it's hard for me to believe someone could literally not hear any difference, especially with MP3 @ 48kbps (and the like) that yourlord mentioned. but then again he did say 'wife and kids' and I suspect even though kids hearing is fine maybe their brains just ain't developed enough to notice or care about this stuff yet and I also would speculate that females on average care less about audio/video quality than us males do because I am willing to bet that some females I know would probably have a hard time telling SD from HD video (or even if they could, would probably not care all that much) even though I can clearly notice it (not a major difference but clearly detectable), especially when switching back and fourth between the two video files. but I will say that when it comes to 720p vs 1080p video on my 43" 1080p TV that I see no difference at all when testing the same movie which is why I typically stick to 720p to cut back on file size. NOTE: I am pretty sure my vision is not perfect (as in 20/20 vision) either(I don't wear glasses), but it's no where near bad.

just some thoughts ;)
For Music...
-The sweet spot for Apple AAC = 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). I suggest 128kbps for most people.
-The sweet spot for Opus (with maximum efficiency) = 80kbps or 96kbps. 64kbps is a respectable option.
-[FLAC to AAC/Opus using Foobar2000]

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #33
Guys, nice discussion.  :)

But has someone tried this new 1.3 beta and compared it to 1.2.1 at some low bitrates?
Any findings?

My findings are that 1.3. has some improvements as well as some regressions as I posted before. It will be really helpful if someone will do (at least quick and dirty) tests on  a few samples or so and confirm these findings (or refute them).

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #34
@IgorC

This might be a bit of a noobie question... but how do you determine the number you rate the samples at? ; because I know 1 is horrible and 5 is transparent, but I am wondering how you (and others who posts these tests with the 1 through 5 scores) quantify this with a number.

because even if I downloaded the samples you posted on the first page of this topic and listened, and even assuming I could detect some differences, how does one determine the score? ; or would it be better off if I simply said, "I think Song A sounds better on Opus v1.3beta than v1.2.1" ? ; or lets say I can't notice any difference(or at least nothing I feel confident in claiming), I assume that I would be useless for confirming or denying your claim (hence, useless for helping the developer in the topic)?

I am just trying to get a feel for this stuff ;)

p.s. but then again I might be of some use since I mentioned the whole 48kbps to 64kbps thing where it's not difficult for me to detect flaws in the overall sound at 48kbps but once I hit 64kbps I no longer feel confident in claiming that. so since the test is at 32kbps, which is comfortably below 64kbps sound quality level, I might be possibly of some help here.
For Music...
-The sweet spot for Apple AAC = 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). I suggest 128kbps for most people.
-The sweet spot for Opus (with maximum efficiency) = 80kbps or 96kbps. 64kbps is a respectable option.
-[FLAC to AAC/Opus using Foobar2000]

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #35
@king2101

I am 38 years old, yourlord is mid-40's... if you don't mind me asking how old are you?

I mainly ask because I wonder if why you seem to think Opus @ 48kbps is transparent is partially a age thing? ; but who knows, there could be other factors that others are probably more familiar with around here as maybe the age does not have much to do with it (assuming your not TOO old ;) ). but then again it seems like after a certain age I would guess through normal hearing loss as we age that eventually it's going to have a effect on what you can discern in sound quality tests etc. I am not exactly sure which age that would be but if i had to take a guess I would figure someone in their 60's (or older) would have noticeably worse hearing then say someone in their 30's or 40's and I am just assuming the only hearing loss they have is natural and not because of them being in noisy environments that damaged their hearing over the years.

I mean no offense or anything but I am a little surprised you don't notice 48kbps from the lossless source as, while I could be wrong, I would guess most people would be able to detect artifacts in Opus music without too much effort to at least 64kbps (assuming we stick to the 16kbps each increase standard, like... 32/48/64/80 and so on). but then again it's hard for me to say how many people even care about these things as I am aware that some people can deal with lower quality sound and be happy with it like yourlord basically mentioned in this topic. it does make me wonder if those people just don't care or do they really not notice it as it's hard for me to believe someone could literally not hear any difference, especially with MP3 @ 48kbps (and the like) that yourlord mentioned. but then again he did say 'wife and kids' and I suspect even though kids hearing is fine maybe their brains just ain't developed enough to notice or care about this stuff yet and I also would speculate that females on average care less about audio/video quality than us males do because I am willing to bet that some females I know would probably have a hard time telling SD from HD video (or even if they could, would probably not care all that much) even though I can clearly notice it (not a major difference but clearly detectable), especially when switching back and fourth between the two video files. but I will say that when it comes to 720p vs 1080p video on my 43" 1080p TV that I see no difference at all when testing the same movie which is why I typically stick to 720p to cut back on file size. NOTE: I am pretty sure my vision is not perfect (as in 20/20 vision) either(I don't wear glasses), but it's no where near bad.

just some thoughts ;)
  

I just turned 30 years old. There is one strange thing about playing 48kbps files through a cell phone's internal speakers, it has these weird artifacts that are not present when playing them through headphones and regular speakers.


Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #36
How do these files sound to you? These are encoded at 48kbps

If they are not transparent,  I believe that they are at least comparable to 192-224 kbps mp3.

Even 64-80kbps vorbis had pretty great sound quality, and that is a way older codec.



Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #37
I believe you should not upload any song snippets longer than 30s to the forum for copyright reasons ...

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #38
How do these files sound to you? These are encoded at 48kbps [...] If they are not transparent,  I believe that they are at least comparable to 192-224 kbps mp3.
I am sorry king2101 but these are easily abxed and do in no way sound as good as mp3 around 192-224kbps. I feel bad for saying this but you are so wrong about this. Your tracks are full of artifacts but it is extremely impressive how well opus sounds at bitrate where almost no other codec can compete. But, at 48kbps it does not sound transparent.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #39
I find that "Water Runs Dry" and "Duncan's Toy Store" sound very objectionable, as expected with dynamic music with few instruments that can be isolated. Right at the start you should be able to hear what seems like a chorus of small metallic bells in both pieces and a dark room reverb, also the flute has acquired a digital breath from synthesized high frequencies.

"Escape From the City" and "NBA" are more difficult to analyze because they are loud and low level distortions are masked by other sounds. The start of "Ice Palace Car Chase" with the electronic drums also seems acceptable quality, but towards the end of the sample, we can hear the orchestra alone, and it suffers from the same problems as Duncan's Toy Store.

The amount of sharp treble in "Soul Makossa" gives a good first impression, yet there are artifacts at 1:10 and 3:09.

Maybe younger listeners are desensitized to artifacts because they hear transcoded music on the internet, digital radio and distortion used as an effect in popular music. Almost nobody leaves a critical comment when low bitrate transcodes get uploaded to the web.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #40
I am just about the same age as king2101s and heard an mp3 for the first time around 1996. I was so amazed at the sound quality and that it could almost fit onto a floppy disk. It didn't take long though before I started hearing things that were not sounding like it was part of the music. I do wish though that very low bitrates would be acceptable to me so that I could use only a tenth of the storage I use because I easily hear artifacts and to be on the safe side.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #41
It's the same artifact for all 3 samples (Korean speech, French speech, and Sample #4) where 1.3 does worse than 1.2.1. It's extra sibilance which possibly maybe described as "ringing", "paper sound" etc...

It repeats in a form of constant large periods during all time. It's not at a specific time.

This artifact is  present in L channel on the sample of Korean speech. Maybe it's stereo savings which cause this issue

Can you give this build a try: opus-tools-f3cff05.zip? It's somewhere between 1.2.1 and 1.3.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #42
@king2101

Quote
I just turned 30 years old. There is one strange thing about playing 48kbps files through a cell phone's internal speakers, it has these weird artifacts that are not present when playing them through headphones and regular speakers.

Okay, thanks for clearing this up as that explains things in why your saying 48kbps is transparent for you is because of the cellphone speaker handicapping your hearing abilities.

that makes sense because while I don't really have much experience with cell phone speakers I just kind of assumed they are below the typical decent set of headphones/PC speakers and your comment seems to further suggest this.

but with that said... when you quick ABX test (like I did without spending much effort) with a decent set of computer speakers or headphones at what rate (on Opus) do you need before it's no longer EASY for you to ABX? ; because like i was saying without spending much effort once I hit 64kbps (sticking with the 16kbps each increase standard (i.e. 32/48/64/80/96/112 and so on)) it's no longer easy for me to spot artifacts but at 48kbps I can still fairly easily spot them when playing random songs I got and this is based on my computer speakers which are Klipsch Pro-Media speakers (I had since early 2000's) which are better than your typical computer speakers.

Quote
I believe that they [Opus @ 48kbps] are at least comparable to 192-224 kbps mp3.

I am pretty sure many around here would disagree with this, including myself, based on this quote...

Quote
MP3-encoded files are generally considered artifact-free at bitrates at/above 192kbps.

so in other words... that pretty much means LAME v2 (i.e. 190kbps average) or higher is generally considered transparent with a lot of people and it's pretty safe for me to say Opus @ 48kbps is not at that standard of quality. so while Opus needs less bit rate to reach MP3 v2 (LAME v2) level of transparency, even with Opus, I would imagine that rate would be at least around 128kbps(?) to reach MP3 v2 level sound quality. but just on a personal level... I likely could use bit rates on both encoders at lower bit rates (i.e. with Opus lower quality than 128kbps and with MP3 lower quality than v2) and still be transparent for me, or at least largely.

but speaking of MP3, just doing those 'quick ABX' tests not all that long ago here is what I observed (which might vary a bit from person-to-person)...

-Opus/Apple AAC @ 64kbps average (NOTE: with these two encoders I was simply sticking to the default increase which was 16kbps between selectable options in Foobar2000 on encoder quality setting adjustments (i.e. 48/64/80/96 etc))

-MP3 @ v7(100kbps average) (NOTE: v8 (85kbps average) is the previous setting/point I could still fairly easily notice artifacts)

those two seem to be similar sound quality to me as that is the point where those encoders are no longer easy for me to ABX quickly. so this info tells me that Apple AAC/Opus are superior encoders which is why I generally avoid MP3 at this point in time.

NOTE: with MP3 (LAME) I simply started at a low rate (like how it's v9(lowest quality) to v0(highest quality)) and worked my way up til it was no longer easy for me to detect artifacts and the above is what conclusion I came up with. I am curious if you are similar to me or not? (I won't be surprised if you vary some though)

p.s. source for that quote above = http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Transparency
For Music...
-The sweet spot for Apple AAC = 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). I suggest 128kbps for most people.
-The sweet spot for Opus (with maximum efficiency) = 80kbps or 96kbps. 64kbps is a respectable option.
-[FLAC to AAC/Opus using Foobar2000]

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #43
@king2101

Quote
I just turned 30 years old. There is one strange thing about playing 48kbps files through a cell phone's internal speakers, it has these weird artifacts that are not present when playing them through headphones and regular speakers.

Okay, thanks for clearing this up as that explains things in why your saying 48kbps is transparent for you is because of the cellphone speaker handicapping your hearing abilities.

that makes sense because while I don't really have much experience with cell phone speakers I just kind of assumed they are below the typical decent set of headphones/PC speakers and your comment seems to further suggest this.

but with that said... when you quick ABX test (like I did without spending much effort) with a decent set of computer speakers or headphones at what rate (on Opus) do you need before it's no longer EASY for you to ABX? ; because like i was saying without spending much effort once I hit 64kbps (sticking with the 16kbps each increase standard (i.e. 32/48/64/80/96/112 and so on)) it's no longer easy for me to spot artifacts but at 48kbps I can still fairly easily spot them when playing random songs I got and this is based on my computer speakers which are Klipsch Pro-Media speakers (I had since early 2000's) which are better than your typical computer speakers.

Quote
I believe that they [Opus @ 48kbps] are at least comparable to 192-224 kbps mp3.

I am pretty sure many around here would disagree with this, including myself, based on this quote...

Quote
MP3-encoded files are generally considered artifact-free at bitrates at/above 192kbps.

so in other words... that pretty much means LAME v2 (i.e. 190kbps average) or higher is generally considered transparent with a lot of people and it's pretty safe for me to say Opus @ 48kbps is not at that standard of quality. so while Opus needs less bit rate to reach MP3 v2 (LAME v2) level of transparency, even with Opus, I would imagine that rate would be at least around 128kbps(?) to reach MP3 v2 level sound quality. but just on a personal level... I likely could use bit rates on both encoders at lower bit rates (i.e. with Opus lower quality than 128kbps and with MP3 lower quality than v2) and still be transparent for me, or at least largely.

but speaking of MP3, just doing those 'quick ABX' tests not all that long ago here is what I observed (which might vary a bit from person-to-person)...

-Opus/Apple AAC @ 64kbps average (NOTE: with these two encoders I was simply sticking to the default increase which was 16kbps between selectable options in Foobar2000 on encoder quality setting adjustments (i.e. 48/64/80/96 etc))

-MP3 @ v7(100kbps average) (NOTE: v8 (85kbps average) is the previous setting/point I could still fairly easily notice artifacts)

those two seem to be similar sound quality to me as that is the point where those encoders are no longer easy for me to ABX quickly. so this info tells me that Apple AAC/Opus are superior encoders which is why I generally avoid MP3 at this point in time.

NOTE: with MP3 (LAME) I simply started at a low rate (like how it's v9(lowest quality) to v0(highest quality)) and worked my way up til it was no longer easy for me to detect artifacts and the above is what conclusion I came up with. I am curious if you are similar to me or not? (I won't be surprised if you vary some though)

p.s. source for that quote above = http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Transparency
@king2101

Quote
I just turned 30 years old. There is one strange thing about playing 48kbps files through a cell phone's internal speakers, it has these weird artifacts that are not present when playing them through headphones and regular speakers.

Okay, thanks for clearing this up as that explains things in why your saying 48kbps is transparent for you is because of the cellphone speaker handicapping your hearing abilities.

that makes sense because while I don't really have much experience with cell phone speakers I just kind of assumed they are below the typical decent set of headphones/PC speakers and your comment seems to further suggest this.

but with that said... when you quick ABX test (like I did without spending much effort) with a decent set of computer speakers or headphones at what rate (on Opus) do you need before it's no longer EASY for you to ABX? ; because like i was saying without spending much effort once I hit 64kbps (sticking with the 16kbps each increase standard (i.e. 32/48/64/80/96/112 and so on)) it's no longer easy for me to spot artifacts but at 48kbps I can still fairly easily spot them when playing random songs I got and this is based on my computer speakers which are Klipsch Pro-Media speakers (I had since early 2000's) which are better than your typical computer speakers.

Quote
I believe that they [Opus @ 48kbps] are at least comparable to 192-224 kbps mp3.

I am pretty sure many around here would disagree with this, including myself, based on this quote...

Quote
MP3-encoded files are generally considered artifact-free at bitrates at/above 192kbps.

so in other words... that pretty much means LAME v2 (i.e. 190kbps average) or higher is generally considered transparent with a lot of people and it's pretty safe for me to say Opus @ 48kbps is not at that standard of quality. so while Opus needs less bit rate to reach MP3 v2 (LAME v2) level of transparency, even with Opus, I would imagine that rate would be at least around 128kbps(?) to reach MP3 v2 level sound quality. but just on a personal level... I likely could use bit rates on both encoders at lower bit rates (i.e. with Opus lower quality than 128kbps and with MP3 lower quality than v2) and still be transparent for me, or at least largely.

but speaking of MP3, just doing those 'quick ABX' tests not all that long ago here is what I observed (which might vary a bit from person-to-person)...

-Opus/Apple AAC @ 64kbps average (NOTE: with these two encoders I was simply sticking to the default increase which was 16kbps between selectable options in Foobar2000 on encoder quality setting adjustments (i.e. 48/64/80/96 etc))

-MP3 @ v7(100kbps average) (NOTE: v8 (85kbps average) is the previous setting/point I could still fairly easily notice artifacts)

those two seem to be similar sound quality to me as that is the point where those encoders are no longer easy for me to ABX quickly. so this info tells me that Apple AAC/Opus are superior encoders which is why I generally avoid MP3 at this point in time.

NOTE: with MP3 (LAME) I simply started at a low rate (like how it's v9(lowest quality) to v0(highest quality)) and worked my way up til it was no longer easy for me to detect artifacts and the above is what conclusion I came up with. I am curious if you are similar to me or not? (I won't be surprised if you vary some though)

p.s. source for that quote above = http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Transparency

I said that the 48Kbps files exhibit artifacts only on the cell phone's internal speaker only, not on headphones or speakers.

Now, with opus at 32kbps, I can definitely hear artifacts, both on a smartphone's internal speakers, as well as headphones and normal speakers.


Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #44


p.s. source for that quote above = http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Transparency
[/quote]
@king2101[/member

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I just turned 30 years old. There is one strange thing about playing 48kbps files through a cell phone's internal speakers, it has these weird artifacts that are not present when playing them through headphones and regular speakers.

Okay, thanks for clearing this up as that explains things in why your saying 48kbps is transparent for you is because of the cellphone speaker handicapping your hearing abilities.

that makes sense because while I don't really have much experience with cell phone speakers I just kind of assumed they are below the typical decent set of headphones/PC speakers and your comment seems to further suggest this.

but with that said... when you quick ABX test (like I did without spending much effort) with a decent set of computer speakers or headphones at what rate (on Opus) do you need before it's no longer EASY for you to ABX? ; because like i was saying without spending much effort once I hit 64kbps (sticking with the 16kbps each increase standard (i.e. 32/48/64/80/96/112 and so on)) it's no longer easy for me to spot artifacts but at 48kbps I can still fairly easily spot them when playing random songs I got and this is based on my computer speakers which are Klipsch Pro-Media speakers (I had since early 2000's) which are better than your typical computer speakers.

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I believe that they [Opus @ 48kbps] are at least comparable to 192-224 kbps mp3.

I am pretty sure many around here would disagree with this, including myself, based on this quote...

Quote
MP3-encoded files are generally considered artifact-free at bitrates at/above 192kbps.

so in other words... that pretty much means LAME v2 (i.e. 190kbps average) or higher is generally considered transparent with a lot of people and it's pretty safe for me to say Opus @ 48kbps is not at that standard of quality. so while Opus needs less bit rate to reach MP3 v2 (LAME v2) level of transparency, even with Opus, I would imagine that rate would be at least around 128kbps(?) to reach MP3 v2 level sound quality. but just on a personal level... I likely could use bit rates on both encoders at lower bit rates (i.e. with Opus lower quality than 128kbps and with MP3 lower quality than v2) and still be transparent for me, or at least largely.

but speaking of MP3, just doing those 'quick ABX' tests not all that long ago here is what I observed (which might vary a bit from person-to-person)...

-Opus/Apple AAC @ 64kbps average (NOTE: with these two encoders I was simply sticking to the default increase which was 16kbps between selectable options in Foobar2000 on encoder quality setting adjustments (i.e. 48/64/80/96 etc))

-MP3 @ v7(100kbps average) (NOTE: v8 (85kbps average) is the previous setting/point I could still fairly easily notice artifacts)

those two seem to be similar sound quality to me as that is the point where those encoders are no longer easy for me to ABX quickly. so this info tells me that Apple AAC/Opus are superior encoders which is why I generally avoid MP3 at this point in time.

NOTE: with MP3 (LAME) I simply started at a low rate (like how it's v9(lowest quality) to v0(highest quality)) and worked my way up til it was no longer easy for me to detect artifacts and the above is what conclusion I came up with. I am curious if you are similar to me or not? (I won't be surprised if you vary some though)

p.s. source for that quote above = http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Transparency


For now on I am going to encode my music in 64kbps Opus, instead of 48kbps.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #45
well, you guys were right!!! 48kbps is not transparent, even though i could not tell the difference for 2 years. I used to encode all of my music into 64kbps, but i wanted to save space, and fit more music on my hard drive and cell phone.

The strange thing is when i play the 48kbps files on my android box using my headphones (they are pretty decent), and on my phone (using my headphones), and on my tv, i could not tell hear the artifacts, but i can only hear the artifacts on my headphones  on my computer, and on my cell phone's internal speaker.

Psychoacoustics are crazy!!! why is it that i cant detect the artifacts on certain equipment?

I am going to have to redownload hundreds and thousands of songs (possibly millions) again because of my mistake of bringing down the bitrate to 48 kbps instead of leaving it at 64 kbps!!!

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #46
ehh.... what is opus 1.2.1 dirty

This was never answered. What is "Dirty", and how does it differ from the windows binary provided at the official website.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #47
I noticed at the end of Radioheads song Feral the bass would make the encoder jump up to 115kbps. The rest of the song 58-74kbps.

I was encoding at 64kbps VBR.
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Can you give this build a try: opus-tools-f3cff05.zip? It's somewhere between 1.2.1 and 1.3.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #48
ehh.... what is opus 1.2.1 dirty

This was never answered. What is "Dirty", and how does it differ from the windows binary provided at the official website.


I believe this is referring to builds like at Chocobo1's site (https://github.com/Chocobo1/opus-tools_win32-build/releases) where the compiler has made additions/changes to the original code, as in this case for his 2017-07-12 build of opus-tools:

    Remove requirement of SSE2 instructions in x86 builds
    Add support for encoding from flac to opus directly (opusenc)

When using that build for encoding, the word "dirty" is included in the encoder description frame of the resultant file.

Re: Opus 1.3-beta is here

Reply #49
@king2101

Quote
I said that the 48Kbps files exhibit artifacts only on the cell phone's internal speaker only, not on headphones or speakers.

Now, with opus at 32kbps, I can definitely hear artifacts, both on a smartphone's internal speakers, as well as headphones and normal speakers.

Weird, I would have thought being those cellphone speakers are generally of lower quality (at least I would imagine they are(?)) than a decent set of headphones/PC speakers it would seem if you heard artifacts on a cell phone speaker they would be present on headphones/PC speakers to or if they are not present on the headphones/PC speakers that they would not be there on the cell phone speaker.

but apparently your saying differently. it's funny how that sometimes works out.

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For now on I am going to encode my music in 64kbps Opus, instead of 48kbps.

I was just giving my opinion on things as you can use whatever bit rate you want.

but if your definitely sticking with Opus, I would consider using 80kbps if I were you simply because it gives you a bit of a buffer beyond 64kbps in terms of sound quality and is barely more file size.

also, they say Opus @ 80kbps is similar to Apple AAC @ 96kbps and when it comes to Apple AAC I would rather not use bit rates lower than 96kbps, especially for music you care about. hell, you also could consider this... assuming your using Opus format, for music that's more important to you use 96-128kbps and music less important 64-80kbps and possibly a 3rd option of 64kbps-ish for music that's not that much concern for you.

also, for lossy music with modern hard drive prices... it's definitely not worth skimping THAT much on bit rate as you can get 2TB hard drives online for $50 or so (brand new) (or even about $90-100 for a cheaper 4TB hard drive) which is a pretty cheap price for a hard drive and plenty of space for music.

also, while I could understand wanting a really low bit rate for a cell phone, it's simply not worth it for computer usage unless your quite limited on storage space etc for whatever reason. plus, while I realize it's convenient to keep pretty much your whole music collection on whatever device your using (as I basically do that on my Sansa e250 device), I would imagine a large portion of that music won't see use all that much use. so assuming you can't fit your entire collection say on your cell phone etc(if that's what your trying to do?), you could simply use a higher/safer bit rate and while less music will fit on there it will probably be worth it if you can still store many albums(or songs) on the device.


p.s. If you got some time... I would be curious if you have a similar conclusion as myself with that 64kbps Opus/Apple AAC being similar to MP3 @ v7 (100kbps average), or not? ; like start off at a low bit rate for both and work your way up until it's no longer easy to ABX Opus(or AAC) vs MP3. I am assuming you got FLAC files here that you make the Opus/AAC/MP3 files from since you obviously need to test the lossless vs lossy files. NOTE: you can pretty much just test Opus against MP3 and skip Apple AAC if you want as based on my 'quick ABX' testing Opus and AAC are similar to each other on similar bit rates down low unlike MP3 where you can clearly tell you need more bit rate to clean up the sound when your on those low bit rates. the lowest starting point with MP3 is v9(65kbps average) then it goes to v8(85kbps), v7(100kbps), v6(115kbps),v5(130kbps) and then starts to ramp up. but anyways, with Opus you can start off with 32kbps then go to 48/64/80/96 etc until you hit that point where it's no longer easy for you to spot artifacts and then you have the point with Opus and MP3 that would be similar in overall sound to you and that's how i came up with the Opus @ 64kbps vs MP3 @ v7(100kbps) being similar. but it's possible you might feel differently, which is what I am a little curious about.

Quote
I am going to have to redownload hundreds and thousands of songs (possibly millions) again because of my mistake of bringing down the bitrate to 48 kbps instead of leaving it at 64 kbps!!!

Which is why the cardinal rule is to keep ALL of your important music in FLAC format in case you ever need to re-rip to a different lossy format etc and unless you got a boatload of music chances are it won't cost you too much $$$ to store it given hard drive prices are quite reasonable lately for a lot of storage space.

but personally I just like to use what I refer to as the 'sweet spot' and use Apple AAC @ q64 TVBR (128kbps average) and be done with it as AAC format (well I should say AAC-LC) is widely supported and since they have not updated sound quality in quite a few years now the format is mature and you likely won't need to re-rip and it's(128kbps) still quite efficient with storage space to, just not at the maximum. but if you ask me it's not worth lowering the 128kbps bit rate down to 96kbps or 64kbps given the sound is not as safe with a wider ranger of people and unless you got a ton of music your not going to save THAT much storage space going from 128kbps to 96kbps and while 128kbps down to 64kbps literally halves the storage space your going to take a decent hit in sound quality amongst a wider range of people at that point which makes the storage savings not worth it overall as while I like efficiency you can only take space saving so far before it's just not worth risking it on the sound quality and being storage space is cheap it makes those bit rates below 96-128kbps much less appealing.

------------------------------------------------

so to simplify things... just trust me, use 128kbps with Apple AAC or Opus and be done with it (unless storage space is at a premium) as those bit rates are high enough to where sound quality won't be a issue and yet are still small enough that they don't take up too much storage space. on Apple AAC I prefer TVBR over CVBR because apparently in sound quality tests around here there is no clear cut difference in sound quality between the two. so assuming that's true, then you might as well use TVBR due to they are generally smaller in size over CVBR.

if you want to roll the dice and live on the edge a bit... you might be able to go as low as 80kbps with Opus but I would suggest going no lower unless you don't care about the music all that much.

just some thoughts/suggestions ;)

p.s. I suspect you and others (hell, even myself), start to get a bit obsessed with tweaking bit rates etc. but I just say use 128kbps on Apple AAC (or Opus) and be done with it as those settings are efficient and I don't see too many people complaining about lack of sound quality either. one last thing... it should be pretty safe for me to say that most people, who care about storage space/efficiency, will want a bit rate with Opus or Apple AAC between 96-160kbps (with Opus you could probably include 80kbps). because those who don't care about efficiency and the like, and don't want to use a lossless audio format, can probably just use MP3 @ v0 or Apple AAC @ 256kbps as your pretty much guaranteed to have sound quality that will please pretty much everyone then.

NOTE: even on a poll I started a little while ago in these forums... currently out of the 39 total votes, 77% of those who voted preferred one of the following three settings as the 'sweet spot' for Apple AAC... 96/128/160 and out of those choices not far from half of the voters (i.e. 43.6%) choosing 128kbps, then 160kbps (23.1%) and the last of the three 96kbps (10.3%).
For Music...
-The sweet spot for Apple AAC = 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). I suggest 128kbps for most people.
-The sweet spot for Opus (with maximum efficiency) = 80kbps or 96kbps. 64kbps is a respectable option.
-[FLAC to AAC/Opus using Foobar2000]

 
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