Skip to main content

Notice

Please note that most of the software linked on this forum is likely to be safe to use. If you are unsure, feel free to ask in the relevant topics, or send a private message to an administrator or moderator. To help curb the problems of false positives, or in the event that you do find actual malware, you can contribute through the article linked here.
Topic: Wma Curious? (Read 5865 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Wma Curious?

First of all please don't ban me...Someone once told me that the way to beat the enemy was to keep a close eye on him.  M$ has just recently release the wm9 - with lots of publicity.  The new player encoder is only suppose to be installed on windows xp systems (at least that is how i interpretted their web site).  So being a little sadistic in nature and a tad curious as to what it sounded like...i downloaded the wma9 player encoder thing. 

I did not install it - instead it is a self extracting zip file.  I extracted all the files into a folder and proceed to right click - properties each one of them.  Wow lots of drm related items.  As I got near the end of the list i found wm9 encoder and decoder.  I did a find file on my computer and found the exact same titled file only it was 7.0.  I renamed my computers file to xxx.dll.700 and replaced them with the wma 9 encoder and decoder.  (edit) the files just in case you want to try it encoder - Wmadmoe.dll  decoder - wmadmod.dll

I then fired up CDex and checked that it had encode to wma - the WMA8Connect.dll is in the sam folder as cdex.exe.  I tried it.  open win media player 6.4 found the file and it played.  The properties of the file was wma9.  It worked.  Probably just lucky.

I have read alot of hype about wma9 and wma in 5.1 stereo and was curious how it sounded.  Honestly I think they have come a long way.  I think it could be tough competition to the other encoders because it is free and came with my computer.  I am NOT and advocate of wma - the drm issue really scares me...it is just another wolf in sheep clothes if you ask me

Just wanted to share my knowledge in case anyone else was curious as to how far wma has come.

Any comments please post - Please don't flame me - I think we all need to keep our friends close and our enemies closer...

Wma Curious?

Reply #1
If you keep your tone this way, I don't think you need to be scared of banning

Honest interest and testing, without bias, is perfectly accepted.

Every other flame war concerning WMA has always started because of lack of seriousness, lack of respect, and lack of proof when stating opinions/"facts".

No harm done in what you did, I'd say...

Myself, I'm not even considering installing wma9 for as long as I can avoid it.

DRM... antichrist! antichrist!

Wma Curious?

Reply #2
Hrmm.. seems some people have kind of misinterpreted the events surrounding the banning of degarb.

I didn't ban him because he talked about WMA.  I don't care about that.  I banned him because he was trolling HA.  He could have been trolling HA and never even mentioned WMA, and he still would have been banned.

As for WMA quality, I briefly tested WMA9 not all that long ago and found it to actually be worse (yes, hard to believe, I know ) than WMA8 at least at low bitrates at least on 1 sample.  I haven't tried it at higher bitrates (I'll admit that I'm not interested), but I'd be very surprised if it was actually better there either.

Of course, if you have blind testing data that shows that WMA9 sounds better than WMA8, I'd be inclined to be a little more interested

Wma Curious?

Reply #3
Also, you don't have to talk about WMA in the Off-Topic section.  WMA is related to audio compression, so it should go in the General section.

Wma Curious?

Reply #4
Sorry about that - that is where the other wma topic was so I assumed that is where it should go.

I wanted to try wma9 - no real testing - just did wma7 wma8 and wma9.  But I didn't want to install wma9 beta (player and encoder) so I messed around with the downloaded files.  I found out that winrar would extract the contents without installing.  I then went through the files till I found matches on my computer.  Renamed the originals with a different extension and then copied the version 9 encoder and decoder in to the folder where I renamed the version 7 files. I also copied the v8 files in as well.

I just posted so if anyone wanted to play with v9 they could without having to install all the version 9 extra stuff.  Most of my family uses wma - I couldn't convince them otherwise.  I assumed that others may well also and with a little effort one could add the encoder and decoder v9 to (I think) any operating system.

Thank you for the comments
PS - This is a really great board and from the comment of only having banned one other prior to degarb - I figured he must have done something really bad.  I read part of his posts and could not figure out what he was try to say/prove so I quit.

Keep up the good everybody - I am really learning alot 

Wma Curious?

Reply #5
Quote
This is a really great board


Thanks

Quote
I read part of his posts and could not figure out what he was try to say/prove so I quit.


That's exactly the point

When someone is saying nonsense just to get a rise out of people, it's called trolling.  It's usually done to generate flamewars or otherwise disrupt a useful conversation.  It's highly frowned upon in most fairly civilized forums, and people often get banned for it


Wma Curious?

Reply #7
and even if there isn't a codec only version - as of yet it looks like good ol' mplayer2.exe isn't going away anytime soon, so you can always feel free to use 6.4 instead of the newer version you've installed 
A riddle is a short sword attached to the next 2000 years.

Wma Curious?

Reply #8
Dibrom
Thanks for the info on trolling - I am fairly new to this board thing.  I figured that there was a certain amount of etiquette (sp) used.  Once again thanks and this is an awesome board, everyone is very helpful.  My deepest gratitude goes out to all who participate.  It would have taken me half a lifetime to learn all things I have read about on my own.  I can't believe I didn't find earlier.

ssamadhi97 and WaldoMonster
That is why I posted because you can download the v9 package (without installing) and replace the other versions of the encoder and decodeer with new v9.  Just in case anyone would want to.  I still have v6.4 player but upgraded the codec with v9.  I used Cdex 150b7 to rip and encode (just messing around with v9)

If anyone wants me to explain, I would be more than happy to
thanks again

Wma Curious?

Reply #9
Quote
"I banned him because he was trolling HA...."

Guess I'm ignorant.  What does 'trolling' mean in this context?

Wma Curious?

Reply #10
trolling (from Dibrom) don't know how to use the quote so i did it the old fashioned way - copy and paste

When someone is saying nonsense just to get a rise out of people, it's called trolling. It's usually done to generate flamewars or otherwise disrupt a useful conversation. It's highly frowned upon in most fairly civilized forums, and people often get banned for it

I was ignorant as well.  It sounds like a politically correct definition for an a**hole.


Wma Curious?

Reply #12
Quote
For playback only, u can still use the default windows 2000 media player 6.4 and upgrade the codec only.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsme...oad/default.asp
Select "Codec Download Package"

I hope there will be a codec only for WMA9.

There is a repackaged version of just the codecs floating around out there if you know how to look.

Wma Curious?

Reply #13
Thanks Dibrom

Those links were a help and a laugh.  Its nice to see that its not just all work and no play around here. 

Wma Curious?

Reply #14
I don't think you installed WMA9 correctly, the main dll is wmvcore.dll, if you just want WMA codecs installed go for dBpowerAMP Music Converter and the WMA codecs.

Dibrom

Quote
As for WMA quality, I briefly tested WMA9 not all that long ago and found it to actually be worse (yes, hard to believe, I know ) than WMA8 at least at low bitrates at least on 1 sample.


Very scientific test, it is like me saying - I tried the new Lame alpha and on one sample it sounds worse than XIng...What was the bitrate? CBR? VBR 1 pass, VBR 2 pass? I have encoded about 500 WMA files for a portable wma player - all at 96Kbps VBR 2 pass and I am very impressed with the quality...

Wma Curious?

Reply #15
spoon

I know I didn't install the wma9 codecs properly.  I did it because all I needed was for cdex (wma8connect.dll) to see the new encoder for wma9 (Wmadmoe.dll).
I didn't want to mess with the other stuff because honestly I am not entirely sure exactly what the other stuff does.  I definately didn't want to upgrade the drm stuff either.  I just wanted to "play" with wma9 without having to give up the good ole 6.4 version.  I also renamed the earlier version encoders so that I can go back if I have to or want to.

Thanks for the comments.

Ps my testing was basically encode the same song in wma8 and use the wma8 decoder.  then encode the same song with wma9 and use the wma9 decoder.  I did not do any scientific testing - just my poor ears (industrial noise exposure).  I thought that wma9 was a bit clearer in the high frequency range and some improved bass sound.  It still has some problems but overall I thought it was improved.  I just got bored and wanted to see if the hype about wma9 had any merit.  I posted to see anyone else had tested it.  Just to get a general consensus about the new wma9

Wma Curious?

Reply #16
I'm not sure that wma9 is lower quality than wma8. I always found wma7>wma8, for one obvious reason : a metallic coloration, really awful, with wma8.

I find wma9 less unpleasant than wma8, in VBR mode or in 2-pass mode. But the tests I did, including some different tracks (lassical, rock, metal), on many points, and not critical sample, showed me that LAME abr is globally better at the same (128 abr) bitrate than wma9 (128 2-pass ou CBR).

Under 64 kb/s (VBR wma - -q0 for Vorbis - VBR for mp3pro), I found on classical music wma to be the worst, vorbis to be the second, and mp3pro to be with evidence the better codec at this very low bitrate.

I never test wma9 at high bitrate, except a small listening to castanet, who shows that wma9 is not good at all.

P.S. Spoon, thank you for your wma9 mode in DbPower : it offers to Win98SE user more options than WMP9 (2 pass encoding).

Wma Curious?

Reply #17
Try the Pro version of WMA. Sounds way better than Std. Q50 does make files around 60-70kbit, on both.

Wma Curious?

Reply #18
Quote
Dibrom

Quote
As for WMA quality, I briefly tested WMA9 not all that long ago and found it to actually be worse (yes, hard to believe, I know ) than WMA8 at least at low bitrates at least on 1 sample.


Very scientific test, it is like me saying - I tried the new Lame alpha and on one sample it sounds worse than XIng...What was the bitrate? CBR? VBR 1 pass, VBR 2 pass? I have encoded about 500 WMA files for a portable wma player - all at 96Kbps VBR 2 pass and I am very impressed with the quality...

I never said it was scientific.  If you assumed that I meant it to be scientific, then you took my statement out of context.

I also did explicitly[/i] mention that it was only 1 sample, and only on low bitrates.

Thus, my conclusion was valid for that 1 specific instance.  If you go back and reread the statement, it should make sense for you now

Oh, and the low bitrate was 64kbps.  It was one of the samples used in ff123's listening test, though I don't recall which one.  I compared it directly to the WMA sample he provided, and the sample was definitely lower quality.  I listened with both WMP and Winamp and although WMP sounded different (like maybe there was some post processing going on), neither sounded really better.  There was an artifact in the file which sounded like a very bad tape dropout, the sound gets very muffled and distorted and basically "cuts out"... in WMA9, it sounded worse, lasted longer, and was more muffled.

I don't have abx scores to back up my results, so I don't expect you to believe me.  However, my experience with listening tests, judging codec quality, and tuning encoders I think speaks for itself as to my reliability in reporting accurate results...

But be my guest and take it with a grain of salt.. I probably would

Btw, if you want to setup a WMA listening test, I'll participate.  I have no aversion to testing WMA, but I often see no point in spending excessive amounts of time testing it myself.  Every occassion I've listened to WMA I've been disappointed and furthermore, the codec has little usefulness to me regardless of quality (though that would not affect my judgement of it's quality either).

Now, howabout you provide a sample where WMA9 is clearly better than WMA8 using similar encoder settings?

Wma Curious?

Reply #19
Well curiosity got the better of me.  I encoded some music of various styles rock classical, country and electronic.  I used ogg - 0.5, 6.05 - lameplusv abr74 , mp3pro - cbr80, vbr low, med, high, highest - wma8 cbr80 - wma9 cbr80.  I don't have the ears for the test so I used the visual test to see what my ears are hearing (or not hearing).  decoded all the samples and then loaded into nero wave editor.

I was surprised at the results from the spectral screen.  Yeah I know they aren't the best to use but my eyes are better than my ears and i was curious.

I have to agree with Dibrom.  Visually wma8 has more high frequency data than wma 9.  and his hearing is really good.  I did notice that the lameplusv file has a band (lack of data) right across the 11000 to 12000 area.  I don't why this is - any ideas??

encoder                      cutoff frequency
ogg q=0.5                  ~16000
ogg q=6.05                over 20000
lameplusv                  right around 20000 (gap at 11k to 12k)
lameplusv (no pv)      ~12500
mp3pro cbr80            over 20000
mp3pro vbr med        ~16000
mp3pro vbr high          over 20000
mp3pro vbr low          ~16000
wma8 cbr80                ~16000
wma9 cbr80                ~14000

I posted these in no particular order.

If anyone would like to see the actual screen captures - I will email or upload them to wherever you want.  I will check this article regularly or pm me.

Any questions or comments??

Wma Curious?

Reply #20
Pliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiize, no more !!! A FAQ, hurry !

That's not a good way for testing a perceptual encoder ! Your mp3pro@80 is « better » than mpc --extreme !? 
Doing that, you will not see any artifacts, any distorsion, noise, etc... It's like judging pictures with mesuring the color depth, and forget that a VGA picture had less resolution than a six millions one.

Quote
I don't have the ears for the test

At 80 kb/s ?  Use abc/hr tool fromm ff123 : you will progress very fast.

http://www.ff123.net/abchr/abchr.html

And read that : http://www.ff123.net/training/training.html

 

Wma Curious?

Reply #21
Quote
Now, howabout you provide a sample where WMA9 is clearly better than WMA8 using similar encoder settings?

If someone is really interested in comparing different WMA codecs (rather than bashing the format all the time), I could provide three 64 kbps samples based on the c't reference file. I downloaded the older in_wm.dll from Roberto's website the other day, because I wanted to make sure that I would not overlook another possible "personal winner" again...

So what I've got right now is the WMA9 sample that came along with the c't test, a WMA8 file done with Microsoft's encoding utility and a WMA? file done with the WMA output plugin from Winamp v2.81, which is probably WMA7, because its info screen states "v0.90, © 1999 Nullsoft Inc., compiled March 4, 2001". I assume that c't encoded the WMA9 sample at 64 kbps CBR, but cannot confirm this, because they never answered to my mail nor published any supplements to their test report, as far as I know.

The difficulties with this reference file have been described before, not only by me, so you would have to think about a good method to cope with the three different excerpts in one file for yourself and decide if you want to ABX them independently or whatever. Hearing them so often during the last weeks, I can say that they can serve as a valid comparison base, but you have to take your time to find what you're after and don't hurry. So the original is rather "average" sounding, not critical, at least not for most of the time.

If you're interested, tell me if you want them renamed to their real codec name or not and if you'd like to compare them with other files (e.g. with the reference file, I guess). I won't be home until the next day, so I cannot upload anything earlier than Saturday evening. By the way, the size for each codec sample is about 3.5 MB in WAV format, and WinRAR would compress it to about 2/3 of this size, just like Shorten.
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ - "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg..."
INDIGO ROCKS - "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel."

 
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2021