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WMA Pro vbr quality test

I normally use wma 10 pro vbr q90, which gives me an average bitrate 170-180 with some metal music, like Metallica or Death Angel and I really like the quality of Microsoft codec.

But in this case I was surprised with a track of The Pineapple Thief, "Ster" from their album "137". Average bitrate is only 93kbps.
Since I dont have an audiophile equipment, only an average quality one, I would like to ask someone to perform a blind test with these two tracks (one is lossless and the other is wma pro) if can tell any difference between them.

https://mega.nz/#!coVFQArb!qqz0yoxsm6d3MfKAW5DRA3Twuzu21fty54IQzHJIe3U

Thank you

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #1
I focused on the drum beats at around 3:20-3:30, but I am not sure what I heard is decoder clipping or encoding artifact since you only provided 16-bit fixed point audio files.

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0.2 report
foobar2000 v1.3.16
2017-07-24 18:43:51

File A: 01.wav
SHA1: 51598787cdf8f4c689820404178bde6866f95438
File B: 02.wav
SHA1: 8f5ea3bf064730e6f54066c3b6d208ad4d906850

Output:
WASAPI (push) : Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi), 24-bit
Crossfading: NO

18:43:51 : Test started.
18:45:11 : 01/01
18:45:25 : 02/02
18:46:11 : 03/03
18:46:21 : 04/04
18:46:33 : 05/05
18:46:46 : 06/06
18:47:13 : 07/07
18:47:22 : 08/08
18:47:40 : 09/09
18:47:49 : 10/10
18:47:49 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
Probability that you were guessing: 0.1%

 -- signature --
43d45ff6ab66b1206b97ddb7e1c450378b13640d

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #2
Thanx bennetng for your reply. So you easily could abx them. With the same settings (vbr +-192kbps), other encoders will produce 150-160 kbps average, so I dont know why wma 10 pro falls down with this track. Anyway is the same pattern in the whole album, 130-140 kbps.

I attached another file containing two files, but with different settings.

https://mega.nz/#!RoVhwBKA!LS7oH1wsS-Pt12s3PP8xWFkAYt0WKZb0J4UbtXwtZg0

Thanx again

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #3
Fail.

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0.2 report
foobar2000 v1.3.16
2017-07-24 21:49:25

File A: 01.wav
SHA1: 52a0a1faaddcce5c6ed133685ffc6a6ec7cbc586
File B: 02.wav
SHA1: cc17e3313c0fbd2779d7f8d715353fdf4678a38b

Output:
WASAPI (push) : Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi), 24-bit
Crossfading: NO

21:49:25 : Test started.
21:54:43 : 00/01
21:55:40 : 00/02
21:56:09 : 01/03
21:57:01 : 02/04
21:57:32 : 02/05
21:58:27 : 03/06
21:59:05 : 03/07
21:59:27 : 04/08
22:01:51 : 05/09
22:02:09 : 05/10
22:02:09 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 5/10
Probability that you were guessing: 62.3%

 -- signature --
1689b6229e064053eb51b000fe9dc1d9a37d6d73

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #4
The second one is m4a with Fraunhofer FHG Winamp, level 5. This one is said to be transparent at that level.
On the other hand, I,m not sure wma 10 pro is not transparent (or at least, almost) with quality -90. I think has to be about kbps, not encoder.


Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #6
5/10 again. Glad to know it is the last one since I also don't want to test anymore.

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0.2 report
foobar2000 v1.3.16
2017-07-24 23:15:31

File A: (07) [Decapitated] Pest.flac
SHA1: 2c7923401055ae0907c218718fd382be15d88951
File B: Decapitated - 07 - Pest.wma
SHA1: 36615f8710d975163cd0f1a26b6888172dabb0ce

Output:
WASAPI (push) : Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi), 24-bit
Crossfading: NO

23:15:31 : Test started.
23:20:28 : 00/01
23:20:55 : 01/02
23:21:31 : 02/03
23:22:05 : 02/04
23:22:44 : 03/05
23:23:06 : 03/06
23:23:40 : 04/07
23:23:54 : 04/08
23:24:19 : 04/09
23:24:29 : 05/10
23:24:29 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 5/10
Probability that you were guessing: 62.3%

 -- signature --
af4c3db645738aa829e62a97d95570db7530cf41

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #7
Ok. Dont worry. Your tests have helped me a lot. Now I know it is about kbps, not encoder.
Thanx again.

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #8
Isn't WMA kind of a dead format?  The encoder is choosing to use that low bitrate setting btw.  Try using AAC or OGG...

The recent listening tests showed that both could achieve transparency at very low bitrate settings.
JXL

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #9
Compatibility of WMA Pro with various platforms is very limited. It has pretty good quality, but it never took off.

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #10
To be honest I really like the quality of wma pro enconder. Actually I havenĀ“t found any compatibility problem, I can play it in Foobar2000, Winamp, VLC.... and in my LG phone with Poweramp. If my personal ranking this format is in second place after AAC (Quicktime, Fraunhofer, Nero).

The average bitrate I obtain with some albums is 170-220 with vbr -q90, but with this Pineapple Thief album it was 120-130 with the same settings. Very low (and I dont know why). So I decided to re-encode it using AAC Fraunhofer at level 5, giving an average bitrate of 182kpbs.

Re: WMA Pro vbr quality test

Reply #11
I normally use wma 10 pro vbr q90, which gives me an average bitrate 170-180 with some metal music, like Metallica or Death Angel and I really like the quality of Microsoft codec.

But in this case I was surprised with a track of The Pineapple Thief, "Ster" from their album "137". Average bitrate is only 93kbps.
Since I dont have an audiophile equipment, only an average quality one, I would like to ask someone to perform a blind test with these two tracks (one is lossless and the other is wma pro) if can tell any difference between them.

https://mega.nz/#!coVFQArb!qqz0yoxsm6d3MfKAW5DRA3Twuzu21fty54IQzHJIe3U

Thank you

VBR can do this with mono-ish material for both lossy and lossless modes. Some coders use a contrained 'VBR' or ABR and those don't possess this characteristic.
wavpack 4.8 -b4hx4c

 
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