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Topic: Lossy to Lossy (generation loss) tests? (Read 468 times) previous topic - next topic
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Lossy to Lossy (generation loss) tests?

Even among psychoacoustic fans, the common wisdom is "never convert lossy to lossy, you will incur generational loss and it will sound bad". Has this been tested?

I've converted some V0 and 320 MP3s to 96k Opus and they sounded fine in casual listening. I'm wondering if modern-ish codecs (MP3 V0, AAC, and Opus) really have this problem. Back in the day I think it was common to convert lossy DTS / AC3 movie audio to 128k MP3 for sharing online. If the problem exists, I wonder if anything-> Opus has the problem. Opus anecdotally has less generation loss for Opus->Opus repeated.

For actual music listening, I think FLAC->lossy->different lossy (2 lossy hops, 1 lossless hop) is a far more realistic situation than repeated encoding of the same format.

Some tests:,20625.msg201958.html#msg201958

Re: Lossy to Lossy (generation loss) tests?

Reply #1
These are ten Opus encodings. original -> 01.opus, 01.opus -> 02.opus, 02.opus -> 03.opus, -> 03.opus -> 04.opus, etc.

Encoding using libopus 1.4 (audio)
Input: 48 kHz, 2 channels
Output: 2 channels (2 coupled)
20ms packets, 96 kbit/s VBR

Artist: Lagwagon
Song: Surviving California

Re: Lossy to Lossy (generation loss) tests?

Reply #4
FLAC->lossy->different lossy
I'd say "too many variables" (formats, bitrates, program material).    It you have a specific conversion in mind you could narrow it down.

The thing is...  You know you should avoid loss-to-lossy conversion (whenever possible).   And if you don't have a choice, you don't have a choice, and it's not worth worrying about something you can't avoid.  ;)


Re: Lossy to Lossy (generation loss) tests?

Reply #5
various lossy formats + various Bluetooth codecs - could be interesting if they have some unexpected weaknesses.

Bluetooth codecs sometimes fail transparency on their own if poorly implemented. As an extreme example, I have heard a _really_ broken AAC encoder in an Android smartphone. Most obvious with 'dense' music, like suicidal black metal: it sounds comparable to LAME -V 6 or even worse.

So if you also try to squeeze the file size as much as possible, who knows, maybe there are some unlucky combinations where the 2nd step suddenly makes a difference. But everyone has got more interesting things to do than to test such a huge n. of combinations, I'm pretty sure.
a fan of AutoEq + Meier Crossfeed