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Topic: About the reliability of lossy audio encoders (Read 579 times) previous topic - next topic
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About the reliability of lossy audio encoders

The reliability of a lossy audio encoder is the probability of whether the expected compression result matches the actual compression result. The higher the probability of matching, the higher the reliability.


The reliability of lossy audio encoders can be judged from the following 6 items

1. Higher bitrate for fewer artifacts, no exceptions.
The exception is when the same piece of audio has no X artifact at lower bitrates but has X artefacts at higher bitrates, which makes higher bitrates potentially unreliable. This exception breaks the most basic expectation about lossy audio compression that increasing the bit rate will eliminate artifacts, and breaks this basic expectation, the reliability is very low, because there may be many undiscovered similar situation.

2. What bit rate is the sample with the highest bit rate among all killer samples
The samples with the highest bit rate of all the killer samples that have been found are likely to be the ones that trigger the biggest weakness of the encoder. If the biggest weakness can be overcome by increasing the bit rate, it is also expected that increasing the bit rate will overcome the other killer samples. . The less bitrate required to overcome the highest bitrate samples, the higher the reliability. The worst case is that the highest bitrate the encoder can set also has killer samples, which defeats the expectation that increasing the bitrate will definitely remove the artifacts, so the reliability is low.

3. Large-scale and long-term practical applications can reduce undiscovered bugs and killer samples
The encoder has been released for many years, used by many people, and widely used in diverse scenarios, so a large number of bugs and killer samples have been found. Relatively speaking, the number of undiscovered bugs and killer samples has decreased, and potential unstable factors Also reduced and reliability improved.

4. Continuous maintenance
For someone to continuously maintain branch-specific encoder implementations, fix newly discovered bugs and upgrade compatibility, the encoder must at least work properly on new mainstream systems and devices.

5. You can find a reliable download address
The best case is that the official website provides an encoder implementation that can be used directly. If the official website does not provide an implementation, but only provides source code, at least there must be an encoder implementation provided by a reliable third-party platform (for example: foobar2000). Without the above two download addresses, which will result in a lot less reliability, it is better to use other lossy audio formats, because the impact of specific encoder differences is likely to be greater than the impact of differences between formats.

6. The information used for judgment should be accurate to the specific encoder of the specific branch
The object of reliability is the encoder, not the lossy audio format, because it is the specific encoder, not the format, that actually processes the audio. Whether the information you get is specific or not will affect whether the judgments of items 1-3 are accurate. Under the same format, different branches and different encoders can process audio very differently, and the reliability can also vary greatly.

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At high bit rates, most lossy audio encoders are about the same in making the sound transparent, but the high bit rate effects don't make the difference in the encoder's own reliability about the same, in this case The importance of reliability has become relatively high, and it has become a judging angle worthy of attention.