HydrogenAudio

Hydrogenaudio Forum => Scientific Discussion => Topic started by: Speedskater on 2016-12-07 14:55:48

Title: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: Speedskater on 2016-12-07 14:55:48
What's with this new AES paper?

"The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musical Instruments"
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18523
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: greynol on 2016-12-07 15:05:43
What's with the AES? <- Rhetorical.

Somewhere along the way it lost its soul and now appears fully accepting of pseudoscience and other quackery.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: finphil on 2016-12-07 15:55:09
IMHO this does not advance science in any meaningful way - simply an attempt at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: jumpingjackflash5 on 2016-12-07 16:01:49
 I wonder why that much research effort is done for topics that are pretty much outdated today. If somebody uses MP3, he can use VBR 0, CBR 320, or if he for some reason wants to be on the borders of audibility V1-V3. Therefore lower bitrates have only highly limited usage and their perceived character is a vastly speculative topic.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: greynol on 2016-12-07 16:03:22
The AES only cares about science when it can be made to satisfy the commercial agenda, even if that means contorting it to such lengths that it no loner resembles science.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2016-12-07 16:13:27
"Musical instrument sounds have distinct timbral and emotional characteristics"

Already in the first damn line of the damn paper, it's already 100% bullshit.

E: And the highest MP3 bitrate they used was 112kbps CBR. So the conclusion is that music sounds less good when highly compressed. What a momentous revelation!
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: Rotareneg on 2016-12-07 18:02:44
Does this mean we can get command line tuning options to specify the emotional content of music when compressing? --angry  >:(
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: Willakan on 2016-12-08 11:49:04
Ehhh...two pages in and apparently Spotify uses MP3 compression. Good to see their research didn't extend to Googling "spotify encoding."
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: bennetng on 2016-12-08 13:44:57
Does this mean we can get command line tuning options to specify the emotional content of music when compressing? --angry  >:(
With -b 32 --happy I will be happy with all 32kbps mp3s :)) . It looks like an article from the music faculty rather than the science/engineering department.

BTW the university in the paper is just several kilometers from my home.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: pelmazo on 2016-12-08 14:03:36
Would it be a TOS8 violation if I said that the paper affected me emotionally, such that I felt an urge to compress it?
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: rw11 on 2016-12-09 04:14:18
What do you think is wrong with their methodology?
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: smok3 on 2016-12-09 06:57:40
Complete mystery on what are they trying to achieve,  next level could be amount of dizziness with Opus at 3kbps or what? It reads like they had to do a paper and they just did something out of thin air.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: bennetng on 2016-12-09 07:14:26
What do you think is wrong with their methodology?
In page 860 they showed the GUI of the test, asking user to rate which file is more "HAPPY", that means even if a user doesn't have any emotion against a test sample they are still required to choose one answer.

In page 863 the test result indicated that mp3 artifacts in 112kbps or lower are generally linked to negative emotions and I am totally not surprised with the results. Who likes compression artifacts?

A test forces users to choose an emotion of course will give results that compression artifacts have emotional characters!
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2016-12-09 07:46:00
What do you think is wrong with their methodology?

The entire premise is flawed. They start out by stating that all instrument sounds have an emotional effect, but they show nothing to substantiate this spurious claim.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: guruboolez on 2016-12-09 08:09:04
What do you think is wrong with their methodology?
The authors tried to evaluate the impact of MP3 compression on emotional characteristics. And they discover that MP3 at low bitrate turns to really deteriorate it.
The big flaw of the analysis is that they are not really judging MP3 itself. By MP3 itself, I mean the MP3 algorithms and specific tools which induces specific artifacts or sound issue.

The authors indeed discovered that LAME MP3 at 32 kbps induces a lot of change in the emotional characteristic of music. But I recall that LAME@32kbps starts, before any compression, by resampling the signal to 16 KHz. Which means that before any kind of compression or MP3 algorithms, all frequencies higher than 8000 Hz are lost. Last but not least, LAME also lowpass the remaining signal to ~5800 Hz before —again— any compression.

In other words, the authors have discovered that an uncompressed PCM signal at 16 bit and 44100 Hz with a full spectrum of 0-22000Hz is more pleasant —emotionnaly wise— that a signal at 16bit 16000Hz and lowpassed to 5800Hz… And they are concluding that MP3 is responsible of the emotional loss.

A simple test:
• 20 seconds from a CD:
http://www77.zippyshare.com/v/slnlDg5b/file.html
• encoded to a ugly MP3 at 32 kbps:
http://www77.zippyshare.com/v/jgNRKNoS/file.html

ugly, isn't it.
• CD, resampled to 16KHz and lowpassed applied AND NO MP3 COMPRESSION:
http://www77.zippyshare.com/v/YymG1mfr/file.html

You can easily check by yourself that most of the sound degradation comes from the sound pre-processing and not by MP3 compression itself (which is rather close to the uncompressed signal at similar technical characteristic).


The main flaw is that they put the blame on MP3 instead of resampling/lowpassing.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: Porcus on 2016-12-09 08:26:54
Does this mean we can get command line tuning options to specify the emotional content of music when compressing? --angry  >:(

Yes. You can pass a parameter varying from "utterly peaceful" to "aggggrrrressssive!".

In old days known as a "volume control". (Not perfect, but should have significant positive correlation. Unless you undo it in the playback process.)
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: Wombat on 2016-12-09 15:19:10
The authors indeed discovered that LAME MP3 at 32 kbps induces a lot of change in the emotional characteristic of music. But I recall that LAME@32kbps starts, before any compression, by resampling the signal to 16 KHz. Which means that before any kind of compression or MP3 algorithms, all frequencies higher than 8000 Hz are lost. Last but not least, LAME also lowpass the remaining signal to ~5800 Hz before —again— any compression.
Well spotted, thanks! Ignoring, not to mention the nature of mp3 lowpassing and resampling the source with low bitrates is far from being a scientific attempt.
AES becomes a collection of papers in the spirit of An Enhanced Stereophile.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: bennetng on 2016-12-09 15:59:01
Allowing full bandwidth at 32kbps can actually degrade mp3 sound quality. I attached some fhg 32kbps files.

[1] using the default, which means allowing fhg to resample to 11025Hz and lowpass at 5175Hz
[2] my custom setting which forced fhg to use 44k sample rate and 22k lowpass.
[3] use SoX to resample to 11025Hz first and encode with default settings.

People who want to test LAME can do a similar test. If the current version doesn't allow full bandwidth and 44k sample rate at 32kbps, use an older version like 3.961 or lower.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: krabapple on 2016-12-11 03:02:14
This paper ranks high on the 'Comic' and "Sad" scales.   Even without reading it through one could have predicted the quality of the peer review here by the misuse , twice, of the word 'affected'  in the abstract.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: doom-drone on 2016-12-11 21:25:33
Just as stupid as when a user at a industrial music forum i lurk. Went on how MP3 is never transparent & if it is its because the CD had poor mastering.  
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2016-12-14 12:24:07
What do you think is wrong with their methodology?

The entire premise is flawed. They start out by stating that all instrument sounds have an emotional effect, but they show nothing to substantiate this spurious claim.

Right, and then they apparently tested using musical selections that are composed of the instrument playing steadily

"1.2 Instrument Sounds
We used eight sustained instrument sounds: bassoon (bs),
clarinet (cl), flute (fl), horn (hn), oboe (ob), saxophone (sx),
trumpet (tp), and violin (vn). The sustained instruments are
nearly harmonic, and the chosen sounds had fundamental
frequencies close to Eb4 (311.1 Hz)"

I'm depressed just thinking about it!
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2016-12-15 11:17:12
What's with this new AES paper?

"The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musical Instruments"
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18523

Looks like it may be going viral:

compression-format-timbre-music-loss.html (https://techxplore.com/news/2016-12-compression-format-timbre-music-loss.html)

Already more than  2 pages of direct hits on google...
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2016-12-15 12:54:34
Just as with the hi-res audio meta-analysis, it provides an easy and sensational (and wrong) headline to latch on to.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: adamdea on 2016-12-15 14:16:47
Could someone clever with statistics tell me whether they have allowed for multiple testing in the confidence limits- they are testing each bitrate against each of 10 emotions for each of 8 instruments. I would expect some results to turn up at 95% confidence level given that you have 80 goes at it per bit rate.

Give that at 112kbps on average *less than one* instrument showed significant results for each emotion, the result seems underwhelming.

I may have misunderstood though and am always happy to be corrected.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: bennetng on 2016-12-16 19:17:21
I was thinking about posting the paper in Hong Kong's audio discussion forums with a hope that the authors of the paper may visit or post in those forums, but stopped since I can imagine there will be some replies like...

"32-112k? 320k is already bad enough to let me commit suicide!"

"That's why DSD sounds heroic while PCM sounds timid."

"What? They use a Sound Blaster?"

...and so on.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: BearcatSandor on 2016-12-16 21:12:41
This is actually great news.  Does this mean that i can compress Metallica's St. Anger down to 32k and re-sell it as St. Angrier?  The snares will sound awesome!
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: JoeBanks312 on 2017-03-31 18:40:36
Everyone is posting and commenting that study lately. I am not sure if that is true, I just cannot believe it can affect the file that much. I've recently started to backup files on <MODERATION: removed>, but because of the low storage space, I had to find a way to reduce the files and ran across this: <MODERATION: removed>,  and I am not sure about mp3 compression, not because there is a chance those can make me depressed or something, which I clearly doubt, but because of the sound quality. But since I need to save on space, I don't see any other option.

MODERATION:
I was going to bin this post because it's actually off-topic and name-dropping commercial software/services for a first-time post is suspicious, especially when not related to the subject. If you are here with the legitimate intention of conversing with the community, it is better to ask questions in order to learn rather than simply say you don't know and open the door to a tangential discussion (which many members will gladly take because they don't respect TOS5, you know who you are); even worse when resurrecting a dead discussion (again, raising questions about the true intention behind the post).  I hope you understand.
Title: Re: The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musica
Post by: Palladium on 2017-04-04 10:50:30
Ah yes, the classic "I'm not here to sell snake oil, I'm just only want to open an honest one-sided debate about how my snake oil can work" posts around these parts, except now in the form of a academic paper.
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2021