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Topic: WMAv9 (Read 6597 times) previous topic - next topic
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I got my hands on a beta build of WMP9, and it offers to encode your CDs into Windows Media Audio VBR. Hmmm, seems it got Corona built-in already. If it wouldnt crash everytime I try to encode a CD I could test it.

Anyone here is a beta tester of WMP9 and managed to encode stuff? How does it sound?


Reply #1
Yes, I succeeded encoding with WMP 9. You can choose between CBR and VBR. And, I was surprised to see VBR files sound very good ! It seems very clear, contrarily to other WMA versions... On the other hand, the CBR files seem as bad as previous releases. Well, give your opinion about this new release !


Reply #2
I managed to encode a Fatboy Slim DJ album (pretty heavy eletronic music on it) and it sounds really good. My setting was 120-200kbit. I'm surprised that the cut-off is fixed again and not variable anymore unlike in WMA8.


Reply #3
The VBR mode is efficient from 80-130kbps... Before, the artefacts are the same that in CBR mode. Well, finally, it's a good improvement... but which doesn't match with Microsoft's purposes : small birates... Quality is paid by size... And in this domain, I think the best codec is Musepack.


Reply #4
Then again, it's still beta. And public beta will come out on 4th september. So they got some time left for codec tuning.

Ok I found out that the build I got is dated 30th january 2002, so it must be better by now by theory.


Reply #6
No, thats the build I'm talking of. It's pretty old. Binaries are dated 30th january 2002. And my tests with the video codec confirm that it's an alpha IMO.


Reply #7
could someone send me a wma9 file please ?

because i want to check if these v9 files are compatible with the hardware windows media implementation (in the slimx & co ...)

my email is :

[a href='mailto:PHILOP@NOOS.FR'][/a]


Reply #8
I must say I'm still disappointed with the quality of the lower bitrate WMA9.  CBR less than 128kbps still has those annoying M$ artifacts.(Just like V8) 128kbps & above has been improved.  It's also nice to see the introduction of a VBR mode, but it doesn't sound good until you use the 80 to 130kbps setting.  It seems to me that M$ focus is on DRM & Video.  That's good news for Vorbis and other codecs looking to improve audio quality below 64kbps.  I also noticed that M$ is working on a voice specific version of WMA9.  It seems they are going to dump Mac support)  This codec does work well.

I do understand that WMA9 is still in the early beta stage, but I've been watching M$ closely since V7 and they are following the same path they've always followed.  Listen to the corporations and ignore the little man!  So I guess I'm not expecting any large improvements.

I'll stick to MPC & OGG.  WMA9 doesn't compare.



Reply #9

But I noticed, if I can rely on the result substracting decoded material from the original gave me, WMA9 seems making extensive use of PNS (or something similar like that). However seems that noise not to be so bright as the noise, the PNS tool in Psytel generates.

I wish MS would give details on how their codec works. :/


Reply #10
Originally posted by Tom Servo
I wish MS would give details on how their codec works. :/

I highly doubt they will though.  Have they ever?  (that was sorta an actual question BTW)


Reply #11
Originally posted by Tom Servo
No, thats the build I'm talking of. It's pretty old. Binaries are dated 30th january 2002. And my tests with the video codec confirm that it's an alpha IMO.

What is the build number of the version you have?

I found build 2601 in a chinese <cough>  server.


Reply #12
Yah 2601 is the January 2002 build. Nothing newer out there. And it's a long time till 4th september (public beta).


Reply #13
If anyone would be willing to send me a WM9 encoded audio file of some sort I'd appreciate it. Mphilamp had the same idea as I did, I think, about testing out hardware based players. If someone has a VBR based WM9 file that'd be even better, but any file will do. Thanks.

AIM: NoahFrenzy
Email: [a href=''][/a]
"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be..." - Angel


Reply #14
Just put my hands on build 2773.

But my headphones are broken, so I can't do any test to evaluate if quality is better or not than last build (or WMA8)

The news:
-Crossfading, 0 - 10 seconds of overlap
-Volume leveling
-Play Speed controls, de/increase media speed from -0.5 to 2+
-Quiet Mode, Allows you to enable difference between soft and loud sounds
-Color Chooser, Media Player can be any color now
-Taskbar control, very complete addition to taskbar.

More info here:

Anyway, at this time, waiting for the september 4th seems better.




Reply #15
I just found out it provides undistinguishable quality at 8kbps!!!!

[span style='font-size:9']I encoded digital silence, BTW[/span] 


Reply #16
The latest build also adds lossless audio encoding WMA Pro, have compared file sizes with other lossless encoders yet.


Reply #17
I noticed.

I ripped US3 - Cantaloop and encoded it losslessly. Here the results:

Original: 47.588.148 bytes
Sonic Foundry PCA: 32.262.524 bytes (67,7%)
WMA Pro VBR 100: 31.495.178 bytes (66,1%)
Monkey's Audio Extra High: 30.339.836 bytes (63,7%)

Looks pretty nice.

(Actually I posted this in a seperate thread, but somehow it got lost ??? )


Reply #18
Buckfunk 3000 - High Volume (some electronica)

Original: 38.330.676 bytes
Sonic Foundry PCA: 24.387.802 bytes (63.6%)
WMA Pro VBR 100: 23.625.744 bytes  (61.6%)
Monkeys Audio Extra High: 23.229.080 bytes (60,6%)


Reply #19
Looking at this...doesn't seem to be a way to encode files, only rip and encode from CD. Guess that hasn't changed form the old player.

Is that correct, or am I missing something?
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro


Reply #20
I assume there will be comand line encoders realsed as with the current wma version.

The current wma comand line encoders are available here,

Im pretty sure the betas will be available here followed by the final releases.

I also seem to be getting similar results with wma pro encoding, slightly larger file sizes than monkeys audio but seemingly less processing power required for playback.


Reply #21
4th september is public beta day. You'll get new versions from all tools, including the Windows Media Encoder GUI, which will this time finally support VBR. At least what MS said.


Reply #22

I'll stick to AAC. It may sometime be an all-in-one codec. I mean both archiving quality (already achieved IMO), low bitrates (~96 is the lowest i will go, and i still like it over mp3) and DVD backup (along with XviD, hopefuly MPEG4IP tools will have DivX 5.0 support soon). All this goodies with MPEG4 compliance and hardware support (eXpanium is tha sh*t).

As a final note wtf is going on guys??? sounds like you are now starting to like M$ !!! What happened to our M$ bashing at all costs campaign???  :rofl:


Reply #23
Well, it doesn't mean I hate their products just because they have such friggin' annoying habits

And I find the WMA9 codec from 15th July sounds way better than this 30th January one. Just gotta try low bitrate yet.

Looks like it improved over WMA8 on 64kbit, but it's moving it's frequency cutoff a lot, almost like Ogg RC3 and earlier did when using managed bitrates.

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