HydrogenAudio

Lossy Audio Compression => Opus => Topic started by: pr0m3th3u5 on 2020-12-30 20:40:27

Title: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: pr0m3th3u5 on 2020-12-30 20:40:27
You might have been waiting for better adoption for your dear codec OPUS in DAPs, Podcasts, Bluetooth, even as a VoLTE codec from your mobile carrier but guess what: instead xHE-AAC will see that adoption. As listening tests in this forum have proved it is already trading blows with OPUS in efficiency. And even the slight edge, going either way, wouldn't matter because again the adoption is going to be almost universal. So, back to the point, will OPUS still be relevant?
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Triza on 2020-12-30 21:37:30
Possible, but for a geek like myself, simple (key,value) tagging format, and gapless are basic requirements. Based on that I am in Vorbis land, and possibly soon in Opus land due to its robustness. I do not know much about xHE-AAC, but AAC as a whole is a very poor patchwork of things. No easily comprehedable clear tagging format, and no standard for gapless, either. As if it was designed with no audio professionals at all.

Besides, a few bit/sec gain will not make it worth it for me. I reckon that both Opus and xHE-AAC are close to the limits.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: tuxman on 2020-12-30 22:12:54
I agree with Triza here.

Also, I find this subject amusing. Opus could lose relevance because an entirely different codec could produce better results on certain devices with certain sources? If that was true, nobody would use MP3 anymore - or FLAC. Yet, both are still the leading lossy/lossless audio codec in Normal People Land.

One could think that technical advantages are not the most interesting attribute of audio files.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: saratoga on 2020-12-31 03:08:10
I don't think xHE-AAC will be accepted in some areas (e.g. streaming video) for patent reasons.  You'll probably see it more in embedded applications where patent licensing is handled by the hardware vendor.  Both will probably exist indefinitely, but I doubt either becomes as dominate as AAC or MP3 were.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Porcus on 2020-12-31 09:58:11
How is today's situation compared to when Ogg Vorbis had a buzz around it? It never became big, but kept MP3 licensing fees low.

Does Spotify still use Ogg Vorbis? If not then I don't think it is a stretch to call it obsolete. (As well as WMA ... and Real Annoying.) Who knows if Opus will be any more used in ten years. Services like YouTube can just re-encode into the next thing.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: tuxman on 2020-12-31 10:04:10
The relevant criterion is browser support here.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: mycroft on 2020-12-31 15:50:30
Opus is extremely relevant, xHE-AAC is not and never will be.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: pr0m3th3u5 on 2020-12-31 17:39:43
I agree with Triza here.

Also, I find this subject amusing. Opus could lose relevance because an entirely different codec could produce better results on certain devices with certain sources? If that was true, nobody would use MP3 anymore - or FLAC. Yet, both are still the leading lossy/lossless audio codec in Normal People Land.

One could think that technical advantages are not the most interesting attribute of audio files.

The relevant criterion is browser support here.

The relevant criterion is browser support here.


But it not just certain devices: It will be all the devices that would support AAC.

xHE-AAC and MPEG-D DRC patents are included in the AAC patent licensing program administered by VIA Licensing at no additional cost. (http://"https://www.audioblog.iis.fraunhofer.com/fraunhoferiis-xheaac-microsoft")

Apple recommends xHE-AAC for streaming of all audio assets (http://"https://www.audioblog.iis.fraunhofer.com/apple-recommends-xheaac")

xHE-AAC is not a new and loner codec. It will ride the AAC train. So if something supports AAC, the new version of it will support xHE-AAC.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: ani_Jackal3 on 2020-12-31 18:57:28
Possible, but for a geek like myself, simple (key,value) tagging format, and gapless are basic requirements. Based on that I am in Vorbis land, and possibly soon in Opus land due to its robustness. I do not know much about xHE-AAC, but AAC as a whole is a very poor patchwork of things. No easily comprehedable clear tagging format, and no standard for gapless, either. As if it was designed with no audio professionals at all.

Besides, a few bit/sec gain will not make it worth it for me. I reckon that both Opus and xHE-AAC are close to the limits.

AAC has always been a mess. The only decent encoders are FDK/QAAC but anyone that cares about saving space will use Vorbis/MP3 & Opus. xHE AAC feels like it just got pumped out because they got upset over Opus beating HE AAC at 32 ~ 96kbps, Same rang true when it was Vorbis with aoTuV.


Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: jarsonic on 2020-12-31 21:27:08
Possible, but for a geek like myself, simple (key,value) tagging format, and gapless are basic requirements. Based on that I am in Vorbis land, and possibly soon in Opus land due to its robustness. I do not know much about xHE-AAC, but AAC as a whole is a very poor patchwork of things. No easily comprehedable clear tagging format, and no standard for gapless, either. As if it was designed with no audio professionals at all.

Besides, a few bit/sec gain will not make it worth it for me. I reckon that both Opus and xHE-AAC are close to the limits.

AAC has always been a mess. The only decent encoders are FDK/QAAC but anyone that cares about saving space will use Vorbis/MP3 & Opus. xHE AAC feels like it just got pumped out because they got upset over Opus beating HE AAC at 32 ~ 96kbps, Same rang true when it was Vorbis with aoTuV.

Just saying, though, Exhale is pretty dang good, especially for how relatively new the codebase is.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: ani_Jackal3 on 2021-01-01 07:12:48
It really is but the fact nothing uses it beyond Foobar with a patch, I don't see much use when at 160kbps Vorbis is as good. It dosen't suffer from pre echo issues & i just tried a poster samples that shows 192 ~ 320k AAC having pre echo on QAAC/Exhale.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: sld on 2021-01-01 09:52:00
Is xHE-AAC as low latency as Opus?
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: ajp9 on 2021-01-01 18:08:10
Is xHE-AAC as low latency as Opus?
No. Opus can go down to 120 samples in frame size (2.5ms) whereas USAC generally operates on multiples of 1024 samples. xHE-AAC is not a dedicated low delay codec like AAC-LD, which can go down to 480 samples per frame.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Triza on 2021-01-01 18:13:33
Possible, but for a geek like myself, simple (key,value) tagging format, and gapless are basic requirements. Based on that I am in Vorbis land, and possibly soon in Opus land due to its robustness. I do not know much about xHE-AAC, but AAC as a whole is a very poor patchwork of things. No easily comprehedable clear tagging format, and no standard for gapless, either. As if it was designed with no audio professionals at all.

Besides, a few bit/sec gain will not make it worth it for me. I reckon that both Opus and xHE-AAC are close to the limits.

AAC has always been a mess. The only decent encoders are FDK/QAAC but anyone that cares about saving space will use Vorbis/MP3 & Opus. xHE AAC feels like it just got pumped out because they got upset over Opus beating HE AAC at 32 ~ 96kbps, Same rang true when it was Vorbis with aoTuV.

aoTuv was started many years before Opus started. We did not even heard of Opus, when initially Garf and later Aoyumi etc started tuning Vorbis. Sadly Monty never contested any of these tunings in a open and transparent manner, just refused to incorporate them.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Triza on 2021-01-01 18:22:07
Another thought on this is that everything goes towards sw players. I feel HW players are more and more the past. Everyone has a smartphone which is more than enough to run any decoders. Same will happen soon in car stereo, etc. So proliferation of codecs is possible esp if its container and tagging follows existing standards so they are reasonably easy to adopt. I feel we do not have so many basic codecs just yet that it would be a maintenance problem.

Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: binaryhermit on 2021-01-01 19:11:29
I suspect that the future of lossy is going to look a lot like today, with AAC-LC and MP3 being the big two.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: kode54 on 2021-01-02 03:03:42
I suspect that the future of lossy is "most nobody will even care what format their audio is in as long as they can play it".
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: NateHigs on 2021-01-02 14:53:02
Opus never really caught on in the way many people hoped it would. If xHE-AAC does have advantages over Opus (I don't know, I'm not really interested in doing listening tests), then I am happy for it to bury Opus.

I foresee xHE-AAC becoming the new defacto standard for lossy audio in most applications in the future. Apple are already behind it which is all I need to know https://www.audioblog.iis.fraunhofer.com/apple-recommends-xheaac
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: binaryhermit on 2021-01-02 16:40:30
Maybe, maybe not.

I mean, there are places where mp3 is still the de-facto standard (points at audio podcasts)
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: IgorC on 2021-01-02 19:58:17
You might have been waiting for better adoption for your dear codec OPUS in DAPs, Podcasts, Bluetooth, even as a VoLTE codec from your mobile carrier but guess what: instead xHE-AAC will see that adoption...
Corrections:

DAP market is dead. Smartphones have replaced it.
Bluetooth requires low-delay.  xHE-AAC/USAC won't be used. A new encoder LC3 will be.
VoLTE again, low delay. xHE-AAC/USAC is high delay codec. Opus, SILK, EVS, (E)LD-AAC, G.7xx  are popular choices  for VoIP.

It's funny to see this "codec death" comments.  :D

It's simply an economic convenience.  If cost of bandwidth in given situation is higher than licensing  xHE-AAC/EVS then company will adopt such codecs... if it's not then they won't.

The only codec that I've heard in my last two jobs from  telephony guys was "Opus". When I've asked why they choose Opus in their VoIP applications (pretending that I've no idea about codecs  :) ) the answer was always the same: " We don't see why we should pay additional licensing costs for a paid codec when Opus @ 16 kbps provides us state-of-art audio quality" . This answer  causes a big smile on my face, btw.
I've tired to listen the word "Opus" on my IT jobs from telephony guys.

Every  single VoIP app I've touched  in last years was using .... Opus.  Cisco Webex, MSFT Skype, Whatsapp, Telegram...

Opus was never meant to completely replace MP3, AAC or Vorbis. It's a low-delay codec . Though it's more efficient and is used in Youtube, Soundcloud etc.

xHE-AAC has its benefits in podcasts, internet radio.

MP3, AAC, Vorbis, Opus, xHE-AAC do and will coexist for many years as H.264/VP9/HEVC/AV1 do the same way..

P.S. Reminder: both Opus and USAC/xHE-AAC were adopted as standards in 2012. Nothing will change 8 years later.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: NateHigs on 2021-01-03 14:09:46
I don't think Bluetooth necessitates low delay, does it?
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Brand on 2021-01-03 15:22:48
A low delay helps with anything interactive, like UIs, games, real-time comms... These are all use cases for Bluetooth.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: NateHigs on 2021-01-03 17:24:59
A low delay helps with anything interactive, like UIs, games, real-time comms... These are all use cases for Bluetooth.

I'm sure it adds to the experience, but there's no prerequisite for low delay with BT, as far as I'm aware. Certainly, if I was given the choice, I would pic the better sounding codec rather than the lowest latency for my use case. Man, BT audio is a bloody mess.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: tehabe on 2021-01-03 21:03:32
The thing is, xHE-AAC has backing from institutes like Fraunhofer who of course profit from the patents fees it will generate, even if it included with the AAC patent license. This is what Opus is certainly missing. And with Apple backing anything AAC, developers for Apple's OSes will ambrace xHE-AAC and Opus will be an afterthought. Of course it is possible that it stays in the Apple eco sphere like HLS has. If it were for those patents which prevents any actual further improvement and development I wouldn't care about all this to be honest.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: ani_Jackal3 on 2021-01-04 11:56:03


Opus was never meant to completely replace MP3, AAC or Vorbis. It's a low-delay codec . Though it's more efficient and is used in Youtube, Soundcloud etc.

xHE-AAC has its benefits in podcasts, internet radio.

MP3, AAC, Vorbis, Opus, xHE-AAC do and will coexist for many years as H.264/VP9/HEVC/AV1 do the same way..

P.S. Reminder: both Opus and USAC/xHE-AAC were adopted as standards in 2012. Nothing will change 8 years later.

MP3 is still the most used lossy codec, not everyone i met even use AAC/Vorbis unless it streaming. Nor can tell a Lame encode at 192kbps from lossless. Just like how Jpeg is still popular despite there being Jpeg2000 or PNG.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: binaryhermit on 2021-01-04 19:22:08
I'd argue that AAC might actually be the most used lossy codec.  But MP3 certainlly has the biggest mindshare among the general population.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Rumbah on 2021-01-04 21:53:51
Well, after a year of video and audio conferencing I would not be so sure.

Many VOIP and video conferencing solutions use Opus. And things like Discord, Teamspeak, the in game voice chats in games/launchers and I bet the Xbox/PSX voice chat, too. Then there are Browsers, Youtube, Whatsapp.

And if I understood correctly, the new Bluetooth LC3 codec borrowed quite a bit of Opus, too.


Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: binaryhermit on 2021-01-04 23:08:07
could be as well, I'm just pretty sure MP3 is behind AAC (And I suspect Opus as well)
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-01-05 14:41:57
I aggre with binaryhermit. AAC is probably the most used lossy codec atm.
Apple. Self explanatory.
All smartphones are recording videos using AAC. We are talking about billions of users.
All YouTube/Twitch streamers are using AAC.
YouTube is not using H264+AAC but it still has copy of them on the server.
I am using youtube-dl to download videos directly from YouTube and I am using H264+AAC for maximum compatibility.
All pirated movies are using H264+AAC.
Just for fun I checked a well known XXX website that is used by millions of people. Guess what, AAC again.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: IgorC on 2021-01-05 15:01:16
Yes,
Add to it that  during several years  even most inexpensive cars come with bluetooth today so people can use Spotify/Tidal/Apple Music.
 So, considering popularity of AAC as described in previous post, MP3 isn't predominant format anymore.



Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: jaybeee on 2021-01-05 17:34:38
...
All YouTube/Twitch streamers are using AAC.
YouTube is not using H264+AAC but it still has copy of them on the server.
I am using youtube-dl to download videos directly from YouTube and I am using H264+AAC for maximum compatibility.
...
YouTube usually has Opus too, which from a frequency spectrum perspective, provides better audio (can you hear the difference though?). And if it's just the audio that I'm after, then I'll go with it.

But yes, from a compatibility side, then aac in m4a or mp4 is the better option.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Porcus on 2021-01-05 18:35:08
"predominant format" is a matter of definition really. Are we counting files/streams in use or are we counting files/streams being encoded or what?

* Even if everyone stopped encoding to MP3, it would be a giant format - there are tons of files that will live (at least among those of use who avoid transcoding lossies). Same with AAC, but to a lesser degree.
* There are tons lots of mp2/AC3 over broadcast. They aren't just gonna disappear even if they technically could.
* According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_details_of_Netflix , Netflix delivers AAC but can also deliver Ogg Vorbis to Android devices. (Disregarding deprecated formats.)
* Sure YouTube encodes to Opus, but what devices accept what? By the way, I just checked a few old AND new videos, and it seems that YouTube now delivers Opus/AAC both at around 130, and two lower-bitrate Opus options. I wonder how present-day Opus at 130 compares with oooold AAC at 192. (Yes AAC at 192 should normally be transparent, but did YouTube's AAC encode efficiently or did it try to save CPU time?)
* What the covid-hell is Zoom using? (I'm pretty sure they haven't reinvented anything big, why should they?)
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: RotAtoR on 2021-01-05 18:48:30
* What the covid-hell is Zoom using? (I'm pretty sure they haven't reinvented anything big, why should they?)

From: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/202920719-Meeting-and-phone-statistics (https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/202920719-Meeting-and-phone-statistics)
Quote
Codec: The audio being used by Zoom Phone. Usually, you'll see Opus, an audio codec that ensures high-quality audio.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: IgorC on 2021-01-05 20:04:20
* Sure YouTube encodes to Opus, but what devices accept what?
https://caniuse.com/?search=opus
https://caniuse.com/?search=aac
Means that if your browser is Chrome/Firefox/Edge  audio is Opus

I wonder how present-day Opus at 130 compares with oooold AAC at 192.
Ohm, that's a pitty we don't have any test with Opus and AAC . But wait... we actually have, have we?  :-X
Anyway for 99.999...% Opus 130-160 is tranparent.  Because  96 kbps was already very hard https://listening-test.coresv.net/results.htm

oh and another one https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=120166.0

As you can see there is no point to even argue about quality for 128+ kbps area....  Ah yes, I know that some of us hear can do high bitrate but in reality it's transparent for big mass.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: binaryhermit on 2021-01-05 21:52:02
Doesn't youtube use FAAC which is apparently really horrible?
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-01-05 23:47:31
Doesn't youtube use FAAC which is apparently really horrible?

FhG, CBR, 128 kbit/s.

I uploaded 30 second clip (with lossless audio) on YouTube so I can compare it.
First picture is from YouTube.
Second picture is fhgaacenc.exe.
Pretty close.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: peskypesky on 2021-01-26 02:55:17
I uploaded 30 second clip (with lossless audio) on YouTube so I can compare it.
First picture is from YouTube.
Second picture is fhgaacenc.exe.
Pretty close.


I like your signature. 

Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Porcus on 2021-01-26 07:25:11
I wonder how present-day Opus at 130 compares with oooold AAC at 192.
Ohm, that's a pitty we don't have any test with Opus and AAC . But wait... we actually have, have we?  :-X

There was a word there.
And a context.
YouTube deprecated its 192 kbps AAC format. Was that a reasonable decision from the encoding has improved, we can reduce bitrate argument, or would that just be that they saw 192 as useless-in-the-first-place even without improving the AAC@128 / Opus@130 alternatives?
(That said, YouTube is big enough to negotiate license deals, so they might have had a "per encoded minute" and then for that reason dropped all AAC formats but one. At least it seems that there is just one non-Opus stream available for fresh uploads.)
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: bennetng on 2021-01-26 09:01:25
I suspect that the future of lossy is "most nobody will even care what format their audio is in as long as they can play it".
Yes, because end users don't encode the files themselves, the services, protocol etc. do this.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: lozenge on 2021-01-27 01:20:56

* According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_details_of_Netflix , Netflix delivers AAC but can also deliver Ogg Vorbis to Android devices.

Netflix recently announced that they're rolling out xHE-AAC on Android and also taking advantage of it's ability to handle MPEG-D DRC metadata to  do "loudness management".

https://netflixtechblog.com/optimizing-the-aural-experience-on-android-devices-with-xhe-aac-c27714292a33?gi=244064d0be08

Back to the topic of other places that AAC audio is found, it's absolutely massive - in the UK alone we have the entirety of the BBC's online output, both "iPlayer" (11 TV Channels) and "Sounds" (~56 Local and National Radio stations (most of which have 4 different quality HLS streams (48kbps & 96kbps HE-AAC available globally plus 128kbps & 320kbps AAC-LC available in the UK only)) though I think some podcasts are still MP3. Also the other major broadcasters that provide streams or catch-up services: these days, certainly: Channel 4, Channel 5,  ITVs collection ,  Britbox,  Hulu, Amazon Prime (though I think they still offer MP3s for music), Disney+,  and even more Internationally.

But yes, as binary hermit said up-thread "MP3  still has the mindshare", it's the household name of {lossy) audio, and alas most normies have no reason to care that we can do better these days.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: peskypesky on 2021-01-27 10:09:09
AAC killed MP3 about 15 years ago.  Interesting that no one told Amazon, as they're still selling MP3's in 2021.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: doccolinni on 2021-01-31 08:20:41
Personally, I think the future is bright for Opus; however, not due to its own merits as an audio codec, but as a side product of being the most likely candidate for use in AV1. And with support from pretty much everyone - from hardware vendors to browser developers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AV1#Adoption) - AV1 itself is pretty much guaranteed to have widespread support, and it will drag Opus along.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: binaryhermit on 2021-01-31 17:01:39
I mean, NPR declared mp3 dead in 2017 https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2017/05/11/527829909/the-mp3-is-officially-dead-according-to-its-creators

Meanwhile in their podcast department, the Planet Money podcast episode released on January 29 is 128 kbps CBR mp3 and the audio version of the Tiny Desk Concert released on January 21 is 256 kbps CBR mp3...

EDIT: I'm just saying that once a codec gets a certain level of penetration it's virtually impossible to "kill"
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: doccolinni on 2021-01-31 21:44:48
I mean, NPR declared mp3 dead in 2017 https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2017/05/11/527829909/the-mp3-is-officially-dead-according-to-its-creators
The amount to which this never made sense boggles my mind. How in the world does Fraunhofer's patent licensing rights expiring translate to MP3 being dead? "Ah yes, you no longer need to pay Fraunhofer in order to manufacture hardware with MP3 support - therefore, MP3 is dead." I'm having trouble discerning if the person who wrote this article truly had no idea what they were talking about or if this was an intentional attempt of twisting the narrative for some reason.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: peskypesky on 2021-01-31 22:14:38
I mean, NPR declared mp3 dead in 2017 https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2017/05/11/527829909/the-mp3-is-officially-dead-according-to-its-creators
The amount to which this never made sense boggles my mind. How in the world does Fraunhofer's patent licensing rights expiring translate to MP3 being dead? "Ah yes, you no longer need to pay Fraunhofer in order to manufacture hardware with MP3 support - therefore, MP3 is dead." I'm having trouble discerning if the person who wrote this article truly had no idea what they were talking about or if this was an intentional attempt of twisting the narrative for some reason.

NPR to MP3: You're dead.
MP3: So is vinyl. Bwahahahahaha.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: binaryhermit on 2021-01-31 22:18:54
I honestly almost wonder if Fraunhofer told them to frame it that way and they just did what they were told.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: peskypesky on 2021-01-31 22:23:52
Nor can tell a Lame encode at 192kbps from lossless.

I can't either. Also can't tell a 160k AAC/CoreAudio from lossless.

But my ears are 54 years old and my hearing drops off at 11.5 khz....
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: doccolinni on 2021-02-01 16:39:10
I honestly almost wonder if Fraunhofer told them to frame it that way and they just did what they were told.
To be honest, that's definitely not too far fetched in my opinion. This portion of the article hints at that more than anything:
Quote
So is it the end of an era? We may still use MP3s, but when the people who spent the better part of a decade creating it say the jig is up, we should probably start paying attention.
"Well actually, MP3 can still be used, but I mean come on guys - Fraunhofer said the jig is up! Just... just stop, ok? I'm sure they'll offer paid licensing programs for some other format. So yeah. :) "
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-02-02 02:47:52
Kinda off-topic but I wanted to share my opinion.

I am pretty sure they will release new codec/"container" within next couple of years because right now things are very complicated.
This codec/"container" will unify all existing codecs, extensions...

Let's start with MP3.
MP3 is very old codec and has some flaws. It was designed for music (stereo) at mid-high bitrates.
It doesn't support multichannel. They tried to fix it with "MP3 Surround" but it failed.
It doesn't support lossless. They tried to fix it with "mp3HD" but it failed.
It sucks at low bitrates. They tried to fix it with "mp3PRO" but it failed.

Let's start with AAC.
It supports multichannel. (Yay!)
Lossless is not really supported. Have you ever heard about SLS? Neither did I. To make it even more confusing, ALAC is also using m4a container.
It sucks at low bitrates. They tried to fix this not once (HE-AACv1), not twice (HE-AACv2) but three times (xHE-AAC).

If device says that it can play m4a files, how are they going to explaing to users why their files are not working?
This kinda reminds me of USB renaming scandal. (Is this USB 3.0? Well yes, but actually no.)
Things are more than complicated for average user.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: LithosZA on 2021-02-02 04:25:39
Quote
It sucks at low bitrates
Name any other lossy codec that performs better at those low bitrates.

Quote
It doesn't support lossless
Why does it matter if a lossy codec doesn't have a lossless mode?
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: peskypesky on 2021-02-02 08:12:54
Let's start with AAC.
It sucks at low bitrates.

wrong
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: mycroft on 2021-02-02 12:46:51
Let's start with AAC.
It sucks at low bitrates.

I can confirm this with any implementation.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-02-02 15:28:18
To LithosZA:
"Name any other lossy codec that performs better at those low bitrates."
I was talking about standard AAC, better known as AAC-LC.
I consider low bitrates to be 64 kbit/s and less. AAC-LC is just bad there.
Out-of-box Opus sounds amazing at that bitrate.

"Why does it matter if a lossy codec doesn't have a lossless mode?"
It doesn't matter. But if they want to release real MP3 killer then it needs to have more STANDARD features.
You cannot just keep upgrading existing codec and keep the same name just because of popularity.

To peskypesky:
Again, I was talking about standard AAC-LC. It sucks at low bitrates.
If you cannot hear the difference between 64 kbit/s AAC-LC and lossless then you have some serious hearing problems.

I am not saying that AAC is bad in any way, I just don't agree with their naming.
If device says that it can play MP3 files that means it can play MP3 files.
If device says that it can play AAC files, you have no idea what types of AAC files it can actually play.

JPEG is the most popular image format in the world.
Imagine if they released new version of JPEG but kept the same .jpg extension.
Suddenly you have millions of devices that "support" .jpg but actually they don't.
But they did it properly. They released the updated JPEG-2000 and changed the extension to .jp2.
They avoided confusion.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: kode54 on 2021-02-03 03:03:08
They avoided the confusion, and also avoided becoming a successful replacement. Windows doesn't support the format out of box. macOS does, but nobody knows this, so nobody uses it. Linux probably does thanks to many open source projects being bundled with desktop environments, but again, nobody uses this stuff.

WebM and WebP are supported out of box by Windows 10. WebP is supported by macOS Big Sur and iOS 14, as well as third party browsers. Linux, in all likelihood, supports these just fine. They're probably a way better successor to JPEG than anything else right now, especially with their successful market penetration.

HEIC/HEIF is "sort" of a successor format. iOS tried to make it the default, but you had to buy new devices to expect anything to start generating them at all. And everything just converts things to JPEGs when you step outside of macOS anyway. Windows 10 does support these natively, if you install the right stuff from the Microsoft Store, free if your video card supports HEVC decoding, or for a really small fee to license a software decoder. Linux has a lot of trouble with this one, mostly down to either Git/source plugins for GTK/Qt, or GIMP importing from the format.

There are a lot of other random formats that have tried to declare themselves as successors to various things, but none of them really have market penetration or support much of anywhere other than their respective developers' web sites.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: arkhh on 2021-02-04 08:52:50
jpeg is just like mp3: good enough and supported everywhere. The average user associates music file = mp3, image = jpeg. They open everywhere, there is no need to know more.
As I see it, there will be no new mp3, or jpg equivalent for a long time no matter how much better the new codecs are.

The success stories we see are when enconding, delivery and decoding are done trasnparently to the user. The user desn't have to do or know anything. This is youtube using opus, discord and video call apps using opus for low latency, spotify with vorbis or netflix switching to xHE-AAC.

jpeg has a succesor format that might take over on the long run. It allows lossless repack of jpeg images, has good lossless and lossy compression, and more features. Success, if it eventually happens, will be transparent to the end-user: a website sends the image and the browser displays it... and the user doesn't notice any difference.

JPEG-XL website: https://jpeg.org/jpegxl/ (https://jpeg.org/jpegxl/)
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-02-04 19:42:58
I fully agree with both of you, especially the part about transparent delivery and decoding but this is far from ideal solution.

Quite a lot of people prefer offline storage for various reasons.
Let's start with Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services.

How many times has your playlist been "decimated" by streaming services?
Yesterday you had 100 songs in your playlist, tomorrow you have 90. 10 of them were removed for unknown reason.
This cannot happen with offline storage.
What about TV shows and movies?
Yesterday streaming service A had movie B, tomorrow that movie was bought by streaming service C and there is no way to watch it.
You are forced to buy another useless subscription service.
With offline storage you can watch anything anytime.

Now that kode54 mentioned WebP.
Two years ago, one of the most popular car selling websites in my country used WebP. Now they are back to using JPEG again.
People used to download pictures and share with their friends but after WebP update they couldn't because noone of the applications outside of Chrome recognized WebP.

Arkhh says that music is MP3 and image is JPEG. That is 100% correct. For most people MP4 means movie.
I cannot remember how many times people have asked me why their TV is not playing MP4 files.
Have fun explaining them the difference between H.264/H.265, different profiles (baseline, main, high...) and levels.

I'm just saying that we need more "simplified" codec that simply works so people don't have to spend next five hours searching on the internet why "supported" files are not working.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: doccolinni on 2021-02-05 07:59:06
For most people MP4 means movie.
I cannot remember how many times people have asked me why their TV is not playing MP4 files.
Have fun explaining them the difference between H.264/H.265, different profiles (baseline, main, high...) and levels.
In my opinion, the problem here is not on the computer science side. While it is true that the vast majority of users are unaware of the difference between a container format and a video coding format, this - despite being unfortunate - does not mean that this approach to storing video/audio itself is wrong. It would make no sense for every video coding format to have its own container format. In fact, in my opinion, we already have too many.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: lozenge on 2021-02-22 10:46:36
jpeg is just like mp3: good enough and supported everywhere. The average user associates music file = mp3, image = jpeg. They open everywhere, there is no need to know more.
As I see it, there will be no new mp3, or jpg equivalent for a long time no matter how much better the new codecs are.
...

Sadly I think you may be right...  Unfortunately though, whilst people are quite content to download an image in whatever format  (jpeg / png / webp etc) and just look at it,  the situation is often different  for audio. ---  Multiple times a week I see people with perfectly usable AAC audio (because of MPEG, ISO, and Industry standards / popularity)  but they insist they need to convert it to MP3 -- just because that's what they're used to. Often they'll be turning 96 - 128k AAC -LC into a CBR 320 , or V0 MP3 because they (think they) know that's "best" , so lose quality in the transcode, risk more artifacts, and waste a ton of space on their precious  iDevice.
Title: Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?
Post by: ThaCrip on 2021-04-11 12:50:34
Quite a lot of people prefer offline storage for various reasons.
Let's start with Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services.

How many times has your playlist been "decimated" by streaming services?
Yesterday you had 100 songs in your playlist, tomorrow you have 90. 10 of them were removed for unknown reason.
This cannot happen with offline storage.
What about TV shows and movies?
Yesterday streaming service A had movie B, tomorrow that movie was bought by streaming service C and there is no way to watch it.
You are forced to buy another useless subscription service.
With offline storage you can watch anything anytime.

Exactly. that's why I never bother with streaming in general, at least for anything I care about and will want to listen to or re-watch here and there as the years pass.

it's always best to have a file stored locally (or physical copy of some type) as then you can always listen/watch it anytime you want. plus, not everyone has a fast internet line and in cases like this, all the more reason to have it locally stored as then ones internet line speed does not matter all that much.

so while some casual YouTube stuff is okay for some basic videos here and there, for music/movies I always prefer to have a locally stored copy, especially when it's a movie/song ill want to see/listen to from time-to-time as the years pass.

Multiple times a week I see people with perfectly usable AAC audio but they insist they need to convert it to MP3 just because that's what they're used to. Often they'll be turning 96 - 128k AAC -LC into a CBR 320 , or V0 MP3 because they (think they) know that's "best" , so lose quality in the transcode, risk more artifacts, and waste a ton of space on their precious  iDevice.

It seems anyone with a basic understanding of audio/video compression would now you can't raise quality of something that's already lowered, it just goes downward with each conversion from lossy-to-lossy.

with that said... while not optimal, as you already know, I could possibly see someone going from say a 320kbps MP3, or higher bitrate AAC-LC file (and the like), to a lower bit rate lossy file occasionally. but, as you already know, it makes no sense to go from something already pretty low on bit rate back to a higher rate, especially from say a AAC-LC 96-128kbps up to 320kbps MP3. so it's always higher-to-lower, not lower-to-higher as a general rule.

but with that said... if I have a rough understanding of how many see this stuff, which probably sums up the group of people your talking about, they probably don't care all that much as long as the audio file still sounds 'good enough' to them. which pretty much means as long as the audio is not obviously bad to them and remains close to what you hear on a radio for example. hence, even doing those 96kbps AAC-LC to 320kbps MP3 probably won't matter to them since the quality will not degrade enough for it to matter to them and they think the conversion worked perfectly okay, even though it just wasted some storage space. but even this won't matter to them when they got storage space to burn as it seems the only time this would matter is if they can't fit the songs they want onto a device at which point they might be forced to learn more about it, which probably won't happen nowadays given storage space of music is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be say about 10-15 years ago or so. like back in the old days when 512MB or 2GB cost quite a bit, bit rate of encoded music was much more important. but once 8-16GB or so started to become reasonably priced, short of people who wanted to store boatloads of music on their device, you could pretty much fit ones entire collection on there at a decent enough bit rate.
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