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Topic: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS? (Read 10752 times) previous topic - next topic
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xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

You might have been waiting for better adoption for your dear codec OPUS in DAPs, Podcasts, Bluetooth, even as a VoLTE codec from your mobile carrier but guess what: instead xHE-AAC will see that adoption. As listening tests in this forum have proved it is already trading blows with OPUS in efficiency. And even the slight edge, going either way, wouldn't matter because again the adoption is going to be almost universal. So, back to the point, will OPUS still be relevant?

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #1
Possible, but for a geek like myself, simple (key,value) tagging format, and gapless are basic requirements. Based on that I am in Vorbis land, and possibly soon in Opus land due to its robustness. I do not know much about xHE-AAC, but AAC as a whole is a very poor patchwork of things. No easily comprehedable clear tagging format, and no standard for gapless, either. As if it was designed with no audio professionals at all.

Besides, a few bit/sec gain will not make it worth it for me. I reckon that both Opus and xHE-AAC are close to the limits.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #2
I agree with Triza here.

Also, I find this subject amusing. Opus could lose relevance because an entirely different codec could produce better results on certain devices with certain sources? If that was true, nobody would use MP3 anymore - or FLAC. Yet, both are still the leading lossy/lossless audio codec in Normal People Land.

One could think that technical advantages are not the most interesting attribute of audio files.
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #3
I don't think xHE-AAC will be accepted in some areas (e.g. streaming video) for patent reasons.  You'll probably see it more in embedded applications where patent licensing is handled by the hardware vendor.  Both will probably exist indefinitely, but I doubt either becomes as dominate as AAC or MP3 were.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #4
How is today's situation compared to when Ogg Vorbis had a buzz around it? It never became big, but kept MP3 licensing fees low.

Does Spotify still use Ogg Vorbis? If not then I don't think it is a stretch to call it obsolete. (As well as WMA ... and Real Annoying.) Who knows if Opus will be any more used in ten years. Services like YouTube can just re-encode into the next thing.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #5
The relevant criterion is browser support here.
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #6
Opus is extremely relevant, xHE-AAC is not and never will be.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #7
I agree with Triza here.

Also, I find this subject amusing. Opus could lose relevance because an entirely different codec could produce better results on certain devices with certain sources? If that was true, nobody would use MP3 anymore - or FLAC. Yet, both are still the leading lossy/lossless audio codec in Normal People Land.

One could think that technical advantages are not the most interesting attribute of audio files.

The relevant criterion is browser support here.

The relevant criterion is browser support here.


But it not just certain devices: It will be all the devices that would support AAC.

xHE-AAC and MPEG-D DRC patents are included in the AAC patent licensing program administered by VIA Licensing at no additional cost.

Apple recommends xHE-AAC for streaming of all audio assets

xHE-AAC is not a new and loner codec. It will ride the AAC train. So if something supports AAC, the new version of it will support xHE-AAC.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #8
Possible, but for a geek like myself, simple (key,value) tagging format, and gapless are basic requirements. Based on that I am in Vorbis land, and possibly soon in Opus land due to its robustness. I do not know much about xHE-AAC, but AAC as a whole is a very poor patchwork of things. No easily comprehedable clear tagging format, and no standard for gapless, either. As if it was designed with no audio professionals at all.

Besides, a few bit/sec gain will not make it worth it for me. I reckon that both Opus and xHE-AAC are close to the limits.

AAC has always been a mess. The only decent encoders are FDK/QAAC but anyone that cares about saving space will use Vorbis/MP3 & Opus. xHE AAC feels like it just got pumped out because they got upset over Opus beating HE AAC at 32 ~ 96kbps, Same rang true when it was Vorbis with aoTuV.


Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #9
Possible, but for a geek like myself, simple (key,value) tagging format, and gapless are basic requirements. Based on that I am in Vorbis land, and possibly soon in Opus land due to its robustness. I do not know much about xHE-AAC, but AAC as a whole is a very poor patchwork of things. No easily comprehedable clear tagging format, and no standard for gapless, either. As if it was designed with no audio professionals at all.

Besides, a few bit/sec gain will not make it worth it for me. I reckon that both Opus and xHE-AAC are close to the limits.

AAC has always been a mess. The only decent encoders are FDK/QAAC but anyone that cares about saving space will use Vorbis/MP3 & Opus. xHE AAC feels like it just got pumped out because they got upset over Opus beating HE AAC at 32 ~ 96kbps, Same rang true when it was Vorbis with aoTuV.

Just saying, though, Exhale is pretty dang good, especially for how relatively new the codebase is.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #10
It really is but the fact nothing uses it beyond Foobar with a patch, I don't see much use when at 160kbps Vorbis is as good. It dosen't suffer from pre echo issues & i just tried a poster samples that shows 192 ~ 320k AAC having pre echo on QAAC/Exhale.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #11
Is xHE-AAC as low latency as Opus?

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #12
Is xHE-AAC as low latency as Opus?
No. Opus can go down to 120 samples in frame size (2.5ms) whereas USAC generally operates on multiples of 1024 samples. xHE-AAC is not a dedicated low delay codec like AAC-LD, which can go down to 480 samples per frame.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #13
Possible, but for a geek like myself, simple (key,value) tagging format, and gapless are basic requirements. Based on that I am in Vorbis land, and possibly soon in Opus land due to its robustness. I do not know much about xHE-AAC, but AAC as a whole is a very poor patchwork of things. No easily comprehedable clear tagging format, and no standard for gapless, either. As if it was designed with no audio professionals at all.

Besides, a few bit/sec gain will not make it worth it for me. I reckon that both Opus and xHE-AAC are close to the limits.

AAC has always been a mess. The only decent encoders are FDK/QAAC but anyone that cares about saving space will use Vorbis/MP3 & Opus. xHE AAC feels like it just got pumped out because they got upset over Opus beating HE AAC at 32 ~ 96kbps, Same rang true when it was Vorbis with aoTuV.

aoTuv was started many years before Opus started. We did not even heard of Opus, when initially Garf and later Aoyumi etc started tuning Vorbis. Sadly Monty never contested any of these tunings in a open and transparent manner, just refused to incorporate them.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #14
Another thought on this is that everything goes towards sw players. I feel HW players are more and more the past. Everyone has a smartphone which is more than enough to run any decoders. Same will happen soon in car stereo, etc. So proliferation of codecs is possible esp if its container and tagging follows existing standards so they are reasonably easy to adopt. I feel we do not have so many basic codecs just yet that it would be a maintenance problem.


Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #15
I suspect that the future of lossy is going to look a lot like today, with AAC-LC and MP3 being the big two.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #16
I suspect that the future of lossy is "most nobody will even care what format their audio is in as long as they can play it".

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #17
Opus never really caught on in the way many people hoped it would. If xHE-AAC does have advantages over Opus (I don't know, I'm not really interested in doing listening tests), then I am happy for it to bury Opus.

I foresee xHE-AAC becoming the new defacto standard for lossy audio in most applications in the future. Apple are already behind it which is all I need to know https://www.audioblog.iis.fraunhofer.com/apple-recommends-xheaac

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #18
Maybe, maybe not.

I mean, there are places where mp3 is still the de-facto standard (points at audio podcasts)

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #19
You might have been waiting for better adoption for your dear codec OPUS in DAPs, Podcasts, Bluetooth, even as a VoLTE codec from your mobile carrier but guess what: instead xHE-AAC will see that adoption...
Corrections:

DAP market is dead. Smartphones have replaced it.
Bluetooth requires low-delay.  xHE-AAC/USAC won't be used. A new encoder LC3 will be.
VoLTE again, low delay. xHE-AAC/USAC is high delay codec. Opus, SILK, EVS, (E)LD-AAC, G.7xx  are popular choices  for VoIP.

It's funny to see this "codec death" comments.  :D

It's simply an economic convenience.  If cost of bandwidth in given situation is higher than licensing  xHE-AAC/EVS then company will adopt such codecs... if it's not then they won't.

The only codec that I've heard in my last two jobs from  telephony guys was "Opus". When I've asked why they choose Opus in their VoIP applications (pretending that I've no idea about codecs  :) ) the answer was always the same: " We don't see why we should pay additional licensing costs for a paid codec when Opus @ 16 kbps provides us state-of-art audio quality" . This answer  causes a big smile on my face, btw.
I've tired to listen the word "Opus" on my IT jobs from telephony guys.

Every  single VoIP app I've touched  in last years was using .... Opus.  Cisco Webex, MSFT Skype, Whatsapp, Telegram...

Opus was never meant to completely replace MP3, AAC or Vorbis. It's a low-delay codec . Though it's more efficient and is used in Youtube, Soundcloud etc.

xHE-AAC has its benefits in podcasts, internet radio.

MP3, AAC, Vorbis, Opus, xHE-AAC do and will coexist for many years as H.264/VP9/HEVC/AV1 do the same way..

P.S. Reminder: both Opus and USAC/xHE-AAC were adopted as standards in 2012. Nothing will change 8 years later.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #20
I don't think Bluetooth necessitates low delay, does it?

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #21
A low delay helps with anything interactive, like UIs, games, real-time comms... These are all use cases for Bluetooth.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #22
A low delay helps with anything interactive, like UIs, games, real-time comms... These are all use cases for Bluetooth.

I'm sure it adds to the experience, but there's no prerequisite for low delay with BT, as far as I'm aware. Certainly, if I was given the choice, I would pic the better sounding codec rather than the lowest latency for my use case. Man, BT audio is a bloody mess.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #23
The thing is, xHE-AAC has backing from institutes like Fraunhofer who of course profit from the patents fees it will generate, even if it included with the AAC patent license. This is what Opus is certainly missing. And with Apple backing anything AAC, developers for Apple's OSes will ambrace xHE-AAC and Opus will be an afterthought. Of course it is possible that it stays in the Apple eco sphere like HLS has. If it were for those patents which prevents any actual further improvement and development I wouldn't care about all this to be honest.

Re: xHE-AAC : The Death of OPUS?

Reply #24


Opus was never meant to completely replace MP3, AAC or Vorbis. It's a low-delay codec . Though it's more efficient and is used in Youtube, Soundcloud etc.

xHE-AAC has its benefits in podcasts, internet radio.

MP3, AAC, Vorbis, Opus, xHE-AAC do and will coexist for many years as H.264/VP9/HEVC/AV1 do the same way..

P.S. Reminder: both Opus and USAC/xHE-AAC were adopted as standards in 2012. Nothing will change 8 years later.

MP3 is still the most used lossy codec, not everyone i met even use AAC/Vorbis unless it streaming. Nor can tell a Lame encode at 192kbps from lossless. Just like how Jpeg is still popular despite there being Jpeg2000 or PNG.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

 
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