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Topic: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS? (Read 11942 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #52
To LithosZA:
"Name any other lossy codec that performs better at those low bitrates."
I was talking about standard AAC, better known as AAC-LC.
I consider low bitrates to be 64 kbit/s and less. AAC-LC is just bad there.
Out-of-box Opus sounds amazing at that bitrate.

"Why does it matter if a lossy codec doesn't have a lossless mode?"
It doesn't matter. But if they want to release real MP3 killer then it needs to have more STANDARD features.
You cannot just keep upgrading existing codec and keep the same name just because of popularity.

To peskypesky:
Again, I was talking about standard AAC-LC. It sucks at low bitrates.
If you cannot hear the difference between 64 kbit/s AAC-LC and lossless then you have some serious hearing problems.

I am not saying that AAC is bad in any way, I just don't agree with their naming.
If device says that it can play MP3 files that means it can play MP3 files.
If device says that it can play AAC files, you have no idea what types of AAC files it can actually play.

JPEG is the most popular image format in the world.
Imagine if they released new version of JPEG but kept the same .jpg extension.
Suddenly you have millions of devices that "support" .jpg but actually they don't.
But they did it properly. They released the updated JPEG-2000 and changed the extension to .jp2.
They avoided confusion.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #53
They avoided the confusion, and also avoided becoming a successful replacement. Windows doesn't support the format out of box. macOS does, but nobody knows this, so nobody uses it. Linux probably does thanks to many open source projects being bundled with desktop environments, but again, nobody uses this stuff.

WebM and WebP are supported out of box by Windows 10. WebP is supported by macOS Big Sur and iOS 14, as well as third party browsers. Linux, in all likelihood, supports these just fine. They're probably a way better successor to JPEG than anything else right now, especially with their successful market penetration.

HEIC/HEIF is "sort" of a successor format. iOS tried to make it the default, but you had to buy new devices to expect anything to start generating them at all. And everything just converts things to JPEGs when you step outside of macOS anyway. Windows 10 does support these natively, if you install the right stuff from the Microsoft Store, free if your video card supports HEVC decoding, or for a really small fee to license a software decoder. Linux has a lot of trouble with this one, mostly down to either Git/source plugins for GTK/Qt, or GIMP importing from the format.

There are a lot of other random formats that have tried to declare themselves as successors to various things, but none of them really have market penetration or support much of anywhere other than their respective developers' web sites.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #54
jpeg is just like mp3: good enough and supported everywhere. The average user associates music file = mp3, image = jpeg. They open everywhere, there is no need to know more.
As I see it, there will be no new mp3, or jpg equivalent for a long time no matter how much better the new codecs are.

The success stories we see are when enconding, delivery and decoding are done trasnparently to the user. The user desn't have to do or know anything. This is youtube using opus, discord and video call apps using opus for low latency, spotify with vorbis or netflix switching to xHE-AAC.

jpeg has a succesor format that might take over on the long run. It allows lossless repack of jpeg images, has good lossless and lossy compression, and more features. Success, if it eventually happens, will be transparent to the end-user: a website sends the image and the browser displays it... and the user doesn't notice any difference.

JPEG-XL website: https://jpeg.org/jpegxl/

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #55
I fully agree with both of you, especially the part about transparent delivery and decoding but this is far from ideal solution.

Quite a lot of people prefer offline storage for various reasons.
Let's start with Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services.

How many times has your playlist been "decimated" by streaming services?
Yesterday you had 100 songs in your playlist, tomorrow you have 90. 10 of them were removed for unknown reason.
This cannot happen with offline storage.
What about TV shows and movies?
Yesterday streaming service A had movie B, tomorrow that movie was bought by streaming service C and there is no way to watch it.
You are forced to buy another useless subscription service.
With offline storage you can watch anything anytime.

Now that kode54 mentioned WebP.
Two years ago, one of the most popular car selling websites in my country used WebP. Now they are back to using JPEG again.
People used to download pictures and share with their friends but after WebP update they couldn't because noone of the applications outside of Chrome recognized WebP.

Arkhh says that music is MP3 and image is JPEG. That is 100% correct. For most people MP4 means movie.
I cannot remember how many times people have asked me why their TV is not playing MP4 files.
Have fun explaining them the difference between H.264/H.265, different profiles (baseline, main, high...) and levels.

I'm just saying that we need more "simplified" codec that simply works so people don't have to spend next five hours searching on the internet why "supported" files are not working.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #56
For most people MP4 means movie.
I cannot remember how many times people have asked me why their TV is not playing MP4 files.
Have fun explaining them the difference between H.264/H.265, different profiles (baseline, main, high...) and levels.
In my opinion, the problem here is not on the computer science side. While it is true that the vast majority of users are unaware of the difference between a container format and a video coding format, this - despite being unfortunate - does not mean that this approach to storing video/audio itself is wrong. It would make no sense for every video coding format to have its own container format. In fact, in my opinion, we already have too many.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #57
jpeg is just like mp3: good enough and supported everywhere. The average user associates music file = mp3, image = jpeg. They open everywhere, there is no need to know more.
As I see it, there will be no new mp3, or jpg equivalent for a long time no matter how much better the new codecs are.
...

Sadly I think you may be right...  Unfortunately though, whilst people are quite content to download an image in whatever format  (jpeg / png / webp etc) and just look at it,  the situation is often different  for audio. ---  Multiple times a week I see people with perfectly usable AAC audio (because of MPEG, ISO, and Industry standards / popularity)  but they insist they need to convert it to MP3 -- just because that's what they're used to. Often they'll be turning 96 - 128k AAC -LC into a CBR 320 , or V0 MP3 because they (think they) know that's "best" , so lose quality in the transcode, risk more artifacts, and waste a ton of space on their precious  iDevice.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #58
Quite a lot of people prefer offline storage for various reasons.
Let's start with Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services.

How many times has your playlist been "decimated" by streaming services?
Yesterday you had 100 songs in your playlist, tomorrow you have 90. 10 of them were removed for unknown reason.
This cannot happen with offline storage.
What about TV shows and movies?
Yesterday streaming service A had movie B, tomorrow that movie was bought by streaming service C and there is no way to watch it.
You are forced to buy another useless subscription service.
With offline storage you can watch anything anytime.

Exactly. that's why I never bother with streaming in general, at least for anything I care about and will want to listen to or re-watch here and there as the years pass.

it's always best to have a file stored locally (or physical copy of some type) as then you can always listen/watch it anytime you want. plus, not everyone has a fast internet line and in cases like this, all the more reason to have it locally stored as then ones internet line speed does not matter all that much.

so while some casual YouTube stuff is okay for some basic videos here and there, for music/movies I always prefer to have a locally stored copy, especially when it's a movie/song ill want to see/listen to from time-to-time as the years pass.

Multiple times a week I see people with perfectly usable AAC audio but they insist they need to convert it to MP3 just because that's what they're used to. Often they'll be turning 96 - 128k AAC -LC into a CBR 320 , or V0 MP3 because they (think they) know that's "best" , so lose quality in the transcode, risk more artifacts, and waste a ton of space on their precious  iDevice.

It seems anyone with a basic understanding of audio/video compression would now you can't raise quality of something that's already lowered, it just goes downward with each conversion from lossy-to-lossy.

with that said... while not optimal, as you already know, I could possibly see someone going from say a 320kbps MP3, or higher bitrate AAC-LC file (and the like), to a lower bit rate lossy file occasionally. but, as you already know, it makes no sense to go from something already pretty low on bit rate back to a higher rate, especially from say a AAC-LC 96-128kbps up to 320kbps MP3. so it's always higher-to-lower, not lower-to-higher as a general rule.

but with that said... if I have a rough understanding of how many see this stuff, which probably sums up the group of people your talking about, they probably don't care all that much as long as the audio file still sounds 'good enough' to them. which pretty much means as long as the audio is not obviously bad to them and remains close to what you hear on a radio for example. hence, even doing those 96kbps AAC-LC to 320kbps MP3 probably won't matter to them since the quality will not degrade enough for it to matter to them and they think the conversion worked perfectly okay, even though it just wasted some storage space. but even this won't matter to them when they got storage space to burn as it seems the only time this would matter is if they can't fit the songs they want onto a device at which point they might be forced to learn more about it, which probably won't happen nowadays given storage space of music is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be say about 10-15 years ago or so. like back in the old days when 512MB or 2GB cost quite a bit, bit rate of encoded music was much more important. but once 8-16GB or so started to become reasonably priced, short of people who wanted to store boatloads of music on their device, you could pretty much fit ones entire collection on there at a decent enough bit rate.
For music I suggest (using Foobar2000)...
1)Opus @ 64kbps or 96kbps. NOTE: using 64kbps on Samsung J3 /w Foobar2k.
2)AAC (Apple or FhG(Winamp)) @ 96kbps.
3)MP3 (LAME) @ V5 (130kbps). NOTE: using on AGPTEK-U3 as of Mar 18th 2021. I use 'fatsort' (on Linux) so MP3's are listed in order on AGPTEK-U3.

 
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