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Scientific Discussion / The pseudo DolbyA expander comparisons are ready!!!
Last post by jsdyson -
I have placed several songs that I got (probably mistakenly) in DolbyA encoded form onto my repository.   There are two or three forms of the material on the repo:
-raw.mp3   --- an mp3 compressed version of the original DolbyA encoded material.
-DAdecodeOnly.mp3 -- an mp3 compressed version of the pseudo-DolbyA decoded material.
-full.mp3 -- fully finalized version of the material above.

The biggest difference that you might notice is that the decoded versions have less hiss and less ambience (as one would expect from an expanded version.)
On selected material, the 'full' finalizer processing was also done to demonstrate what the 'decodedonly' version might sound like on a real disk/CD or whatever.

If this material was not DolbyA encoded, there would be severe loss of HF, surging (inconsistent levels -- esp for transients) and general ugly sound.

My guess is that at least 1/2 of the material that I have recently purchased/acquired (and even some YouTube stuff) can be improved by doing a DolbyA decode.  One example that needs DolbyA decoding is the Carpenters album being sold on HDTracks, but the 'uncompressed' version of a paul mccartney album is NOT DolbyA encoded and sounds bad after trying to do a DolbyA decode.

The 'full' processing uses some very high quality expansion, compression and EQ -- and is only meant to show what the music CAN sound like.  I didn't do the full processing to every example because it can take a few hours to set-up the proper parameters for the full processing, and I don't think that is the primary reason for this discussion anyway.

I am using a new repository, and the location follows:

Let me know what you think!!!
General - (fb2k) / Why are some tracks sorted alphabetically?
Last post by Jamie G -
I've searched but can't find much info that mentions this exact problem, so hopefully someone can shed some light on it for me.

Occasionally an album will show up in my playlist showing tracks sorted alphabetically rather than by track number. I've tried adjusting 'sort incoming' in shell integration and sort format under the playlist settings but nothing changes with the affected album(s). Am i right in thinking that if my sort order was off, that would affect all albums anyway rather than just a handful?

I've tried removing and redoing tags using mp3tag but again, no joy.

I'm using Tedgo's DarkOne V4 Mod by the way.

If there's any info i've left out that could help please let me know, any help will be much appreciated.
General Audio / Re: Why wasn't there ever a VHS based consumer audio format?
Last post by Thad E Ginathom -
Wouldn't the vast majority of cassettes be the ones we made ourselves?
Yeah. But... from what? FM radio recordings were going to sound crap anyway. And if you had a CD player, then you wouldn't bother with cassettes to begin with. And almost no one I knew was buying metal grade cassettes anyway, only normal and chrome. Which I why I believe that the majority of people don't actually know how good cassette can actually sound.

I found a video about exactly this subject. "Cassettes - better than you don't remember":

Pre-CD-Players: I made cassettes of records with scratches. The lesser dynamic range slightly softened the blow, and I did not have to wince at what the scratch might be doing to the stylus.

Post-CD-Players: I didn't get one for quite a while. and even when I did, it was a while before cars caught up.

...And, portable music in general. Walking around with a couple of "albums" under one's arm was certainly a thing, but tapes were smaller, lighter, and loss or damage was trivial compared to the vinyl source. Not to mention the give-away copies that were claimed to be "killing music" or some such stuff they used to print on the sleeve.

Oh, portable music. I nearly forgot an era of portable tape players that seemed to go on for a long time.

Yes, I made a lot of tapes from LPs.
Scientific Discussion / Re: Have a working 'expander' based on DolbyA (not same design) -- works well.
Last post by jsdyson -

Examples using the psuedo-DolbyA for decoding reside on:

Specifically the Petula Clark examples are the closest in the repository to a pure decode.  The ABBA show the great clarity because of the decoder design.

are there 'before' and 'after' samples , or am I missing something?

I didn't provide before samples...  They are quite interesting (esp ABBA.)  I'll provide a few of them later on today -- and will follow up with a post when ready. (Again, later on today -- 20Apr, prob before 20:00 EST USA time.)

General Audio / Re: Once and for all .. Chromecast Audio device with Foobar
Last post by copperblue -
I've been using Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil (paid software) more or less every day since 2009 to send music from Foobar2000 via WiFi (Airport Extreme) to an Airport Express using the AirPlay protocol (16/44.1 Lossless).

The latest version of Airfoil (v5.5.0b4) also casts to Chromecast devices (48 kHz PCM audio), and works just as brilliantly.
[Edit, also does gapless also AFAIKT]

Which means I can retire my ageing Apple network gear, bonus.

It's a no-brainer if you don't mind paying for software.

For the record I don't work for or have any affiliation to Rogue Amoeba.
Scientific Discussion / Re: Have a working 'expander' based on DolbyA (not same design) -- works well.
Last post by jsdyson -
My original effort was NOT to fetch money.  What happened is that the guy who REALLY HELPED with some of the really difficult details -- that is, to make it work EXACTLY like a real DolbyA (I mean, within 0.50dB or better) resulted from details that he provided. Also, some of the most important review work which forced me to reject the old 4 band filter scheme and develop a very different set of filters came from him.

It is his opinion that money can be made -- even though my own immediate (or far term) interest is not to make money, his involvement as a professional recording engineer who has really helped gives him some interest in the project.  So, he and I MIGHT decide that the project best be distributed for free (with simple attribution) or perhaps for a fair price.  He must participate for this to be an ethical project.

The DolbyA decoder really works, and most likely will be used commercially as often (or more than) as for hobby listening purposes.  So, for someone to make money using it (rather than burning up their old DolbyA units -- well, not really...), this gives them a truly superior backup for the old DolbyA units.  It is probably best that there be some financial consideration for true professional/money making use.
No matter what, I hope that the software will be available for free for noncommercial use -- frankly, a HUGE amount of material is definitely DolbyA encoded (e.g. the Carpenters album from HDtracks.)   Another very powerful example is some material that I have for Simon & Garfunkel -- almost unlistenable without decoding.   The really bad thing about the Simon & Garfunkel stuff is that there is true bass and acoustic recording which causes really bad intermod effects (from the original DolbyA encoding) which can only be removed by an accurate DolbyA decoder.   My DolbyA decoder does a credible job of removing those artifacts.
So, my attempt at putting off the decision, while also giving access for non-commercial use (really improving a lot of old, DolbyA encoded recordings) is to offer to provide a slightly crippled (but full quality) copy of the decoder for a month or so for free.  This version will also work as long as it maintains compatibility with the underlying OS and CPU technology.

When thinking about it -- if this is as good as the professional feedback that I have gotten has implied -- consideration needs to be given (from a 'being right' standpoint) that some contribution be given for the development and hard work for the final tuning.  There are other projects likely forthcoming, including a good SR decoder.   The SR decoder is at least 4-5X more trouble than the DolbyA due to the numerous kinds of sliding freq response and various TCs.  The final tuning/testing effort (after the raw development based upon all of the various materials available in public) will not be trivial.   The DolbyA was non-trivial enough trying to get the curves properly fitted (requiring 4th-5th degree equations to be accurate enough), and the very careful balance between mitigation of unnecessary intermod vs. accurate following of the DolbyA dynamics.

As a simple exercise to prove that it can be done -- it was a relatively simple effort (reflected by the available source code.)  The final version -- whose source code doesn't really look all that different, but acts differently -- was NOT a simple effort and required the involvement of a real recording engineer and at least one other 'golden ears.'

I did ask for more free help online (feedback), and there was definite interest, but I was stumped without more substantial help.  Finally, someone came forward and REALLY HELPED and participated.

However, the offer stands that I will HAPPILY provide a version that works well on most recent Intel CPUS 64bit mode, and can provide an equivalent Linux 64 bit mode version if desired!!!

Polls / Re: 2018 Format poll [LOSSLESS]
Last post by Klimis -
I specifically use Cuetool's FLAC for regular Stereo audio because of the better compression ratios compared to other encoders. I also use TAK for 5.1 PCM rips from DVD and Blu-ray albums because it has the best compression ratio amongst all lossless compression formats that support multichannel audio.
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