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1
General Audio / Re: Vynil or digital?
Last post by WonderSlug -
On with the silliness I say ... ;~)

Quote
I don't see an answer to my questions
It was answered. 
Not really. My point was, and remains,  that the statements I quoted seemingly ignored the fact that the application of purely digital technology is not immune from problems  and the supposition that a digital/analog,  or straight analog, recording must be inferior doesn't always hold true in the real world.

As well, just to sum up my position in this regard. Personally, I don't listen to music with the aim of technological development or testing. I certainly have no end of appreciation and respect for those who of you who do. Thank you, you're doing an outstanding job in my opinion. However, as an end user, my main goal is to enjoy music. Besides this, I also enjoy music technology. I try to keep these distinct for the necessity of living in two realms. One is the the more objective and technical world of audio equipment and audio engineering which requires a strict scientific approach. The other world is the realm of musical appreciation which allows for every and all manner of psychological enhancement since the goal is maximum enjoyment. I, and others, willingly suspend our disbelief and scepticism. We willing allow ourselves to be fooled for the sake of enjoyment alone. People do it all the time, it's called fantasizing. Appreciation and enjoyment are intrinsically bound to fantasy, psychologically speaking.

....

As well, I definitely acknowledge the shortcomings of any analog storage medium, however I don't focus on what a container can't do, I'm more concerned about what it can do. Vinyl is reasonably adequate when it comes to the playback and storage of audio as far as many consumers are concerned. It's more than adequate as far as I'm concerned since I, and others, grew up with this stuff and have become accustomed to the shortcomings. There's a lot of good music on vinyl, I see no good reason for undervaluing a proven and stable technology. That's like throwing out the baby with the bath water, isn't it?

It's no different than saying a 128 bit mp3 is adequate for the task in an appropriate setting.

Indeed, I make no apologies for my position, or the fact that I enjoy listening to music on vinyl, but I'm certainly not above listening to any criticism since my real goal is to learn and that requires putting a hypothesis out there for peer review, doesn't it?



Well, stating that you enjoy listening to vinyl is no problem.  I certainly don't think anyone here would have a problem with that statement.  It reflects a matter of preference.  One of taste.

Where the problem exists is trying to extrapolate that statement to argue that vinyl is therefore better than digital from a technological standpoint.  It clearly isn't.

Statement 1:  "I like music on vinyl.  The sound reminds me of a younger, earlier time, for nostalgic purposes."  <---- personal preference and taste.  No problem.

Statement 2:  "Vinyl is superior to digital."  <----- Unless  you have verifiable and peer-reviewable evidence to back it up, it will be met with derision and scorn.

I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, and thus grew up with vinyl and cassettes.  Even 8-track given to me as a kid by my father.

At one time in the late 1980s, I had about 70 vinyl records.  All various types of music.  I put up with the pops and clicks inherent in playing vinyl, and even the weird pitch changes from warped records.  Also, records with scratches on them affecting audibly the music.

Until... I got my first CD player in 1989.  The first time I listened to a CD I bought on my new CD player, I (figuratively) crapped my pants.  The beautiful music emanating from my speakers was marvelous.  No more pops and clicks in 'silent' or 'low-volume' parts.  Nothing but dead silence or virtual noiseless.  In addition, the massive (by comparison to vinyl) dynamic range had me drooling.

Even though, back then, most CD equivalents of vinyl albums were from the same original analog masters, the superior technology of the digital CD storage format was plainly evident.  We all remember the AAD and ADD logos somewhere on the artwork on the front or back of the jewel cases.

Over the next few years, I would replace nearly all my vinyl with CD equivalents.  I gave nearly all my vinyl away.  Didn't want or need them anymore.  I had CDs now!  I now only have 10 vinyl records from those days, mainly 12-inch singles that contain extended/remix/dub versions of "Top 40" dance music which I cannot find on CD or online as a FLAC/WAV.

One of the most often cited arguments in favor of vinyl from vinyl enthusiasts and hipsters is that CD/Digital music sounds 'cold' and 'sterile', while vinyl sounds 'warm' and 'flavorful'.  They actually felt that the pops and clicks added character to the music and that the background hum sometimes heard from analog equipment playback gives it warmth, like being hugged by the music.

When I talk about background hum, an example is from the movie "Back to the Future" in the scene near the beginning where Marty has his guitar plugged into the amp and giant speakers, and cranks it up to like 11.  You hear this hum/feedback from the speakers, like a faint buzzing, right before he strikes his guitar and the sound blows him across the room.  That's what I'm talking about.  Some vinyl/analog enthusiasts think that this noise that is sometimes inherently part of some vinyl and analog music pathways gives it warmth.

These vinyl enthusiasts also state that the experience of grabbing a vinyl album, taking the record out of it's paper sheath, putting it on the turntable, and lifting the arm, and putting the needle on the record, is one that is dear to them.  It's their way of going 'old school' with the music listening experience.  Young hipster millennials see it as a way of listening to music the way their fathers and grandfathers did.  Again, that goes to preference and taste, and has nothing to do with the scientific and technological merits of vinyl vs digital.

I rather prefer the 'cold', 'sterile' dead silence and lack of noise in digital/CD music.  I can also do without the 'vinyl experience' of putting a record on a turntable.  I like having thousands of tracks in MP3 format on a micro SD card in my phone or on my laptop hard drive, playable whenever I want, and wherever I want (with my phone).

Again, saying you like vinyl as part of a personal preference or nostalgia is no problem.

As long as one doesn't try then to also say that vinyl is clearly better than digital, claiming a scientific and/or technological superiority.  It clearly is not.




2
General Audio / Re: Vynil or digital?
Last post by dhromed -
> ignored the fact that the application of purely digital technology is not immune from problems
I don't know why you keep coming back to that, since as far as I've read, nobody said that digital is immune from problems.

> how about digital compression and added loudness?
You can record digitally and then... not do those things ;)

You can't with vinyl recording and playback.

> Indeed, I make no apologies for my position, or the fact that I enjoy listening to music on vinyl
Yeah, it stings to be called "sentimental and ignorant" (geez, Arnold), but as far as I'm concerned, you don't have to apologize or defend your records in any way. It's totally fine. Listen to your music.
3
Try LameTag: https://phwip.wordpress.com/home/audio/
The links on that page to the file downloads appear to be non-functional. I looked around and could not find a source for either the program or the GUI.
4
General - (fb2k) / Add two durations
Last post by wcs13 -
Hi everybody,

I'm using foo_skip to skip the beginning of some of my tracks.
I'd like to use a special column to display the accurate played length of such tracks.
For example a 4 minutes track where I will skip the first 15 seconds will have these fields :
%length% = 4:00
%skip% = -00:15

How could I add these two durations, to ultimately display the accurate played length which is 3:45 ?
$add(%length%;%skip%) doesn't seem to work here.

Thank you. :)
5
General Audio / Re: Vynil or digital?
Last post by 2tec -
On with the silliness I say ... ;~)

Quote
I don't see an answer to my questions
It was answered. 
Not really. My point was, and remains,  that the statements I quoted seemingly ignored the fact that the application of purely digital technology is not immune from problems  and the supposition that a digital/analog,  or straight analog, recording must be inferior doesn't always hold true in the real world.

As well, just to sum up my position in this regard. Personally, I don't listen to music with the aim of technological development or testing. I certainly have no end of appreciation and respect for those who of you who do. Thank you, you're doing an outstanding job in my opinion. However, as an end user, my main goal is to enjoy music. Besides this, I also enjoy music technology. I try to keep these distinct for the necessity of living in two realms. One is the the more objective and technical world of audio equipment and audio engineering which requires a strict scientific approach. The other world is the realm of musical appreciation which allows for every and all manner of psychological enhancement since the goal is maximum enjoyment. I, and others, willingly suspend our disbelief and scepticism. We willing allow ourselves to be fooled for the sake of enjoyment alone. People do it all the time, it's called fantasizing. Appreciation and enjoyment are intrinsically bound to fantasy, psychologically speaking.

Now, I'm sure there are people here who look down on this approach as irrational and even stupid and as a waste of time but I suggest that people often waste time and do stupid things in the pursuit of happiness. This does not make people worthy of contempt, it just affirms their humanity and provides temporary pleasure. I suggest happiness is hard enough to find and I ask you, is it really all right to deny it to people just because it's not "scientific" within your definition of the term?

As well, I reject the disparagement that comes with the misuse of the term "audiophile" around here. It's a poor use of diction and for this reason, conversations are often misunderstood by newcomers and outsiders. Even more disturbing is the fact that it's used so contemptuously. Contempt for others is really not a good thing. If people want to disparage fraud, deceit, ignorance or misinformation, great! I'm all for it. But when people are personally attacked and belittled, I think that's both unseemly, ineffective and worse, inhumane. It's also a logical fallacy and often undercuts an entire argument. All that's really being done is the building walls, and not doors or windows, metaphorically speaking.  I suspect that such an approach can only, in the end, result in resentment and rejection, and not communication, which should be the goal of a forum.

On the other hand, I think placeophile, as a term in and of itself, is reasonable right. Much of the "magic" is undoubtedly a placebo effect and or the suspension of critical analysis. There's nothing wrong in pointing this out, especially in an engineering oriented discussion. However, I don't think people should expect placebophiles to share this contempt for the benefits of a placebo type effect. Indeed, they seem equally contemptuous of an inability to understand the value they place on unrestrained enjoyment.

Thus my conclusion that "objectavists" see "audiophiles" as hopelessly gullible and placebophiles see audio skeptics as hopelessly closed minded.  In conclusion, this is why I think many people in this community are at such odds with other audio factions and some of the members here as well.

As well, I definitely acknowledge the shortcomings of any analog storage medium, however I don't focus on what a container can't do, I'm more concerned about what it can do. Vinyl is reasonably adequate when it comes to the playback and storage of audio as far as many consumers are concerned. It's more than adequate as far as I'm concerned since I, and others, grew up with this stuff and have become accustomed to the shortcomings. There's a lot of good music on vinyl, I see no good reason for undervaluing a proven and stable technology. That's like throwing out the baby with the bath water, isn't it?

It's no different than saying a 128 bit mp3 is adequate for the task in an appropriate setting.

Indeed, I make no apologies for my position, or the fact that I enjoy listening to music on vinyl, but I'm certainly not above listening to any criticism since my real goal is to learn and that requires putting a hypothesis out there for peer review, doesn't it?

6
I see that the video quality gets nearly halved as well when the audio stream changes, which is more disappointing. I downloaded the same moderately popular Let's Play video title with 500 views on the day it came out and a day after that. Maybe one a video surpasses certain popularity level it gets reduced in quality. If I trust the times reported by Media Info, the smaller file was encoded 6 hours later.

Video bitrate: 1566 kbit (515 MB) vs 820 kbit (278 MB). On the plus side, the smaller video now uses B-frames. Itag 22 stream used to have the optimal quality, in bits per pixel, low decoding complexity and good player compatibility. Google clearly is concerned with bandwidth...

https://pastebin.com/AFdik9st

Edit: I agree with 3dyd.
7
New videos (2017) use 192kbps AAC on itag 22.
Well, I've took 20 videos from this search (search for '2017' with filters 'HD' and 'Video' turned on). They all published in 2017, have VP9/Opus streams and view count 7K-5M. None of them has 192kbps. 19 have 128kbps for itag 22 and one 96 (in that case it seems that original video just has poor audio quality).

For example, 125 kbit/s, 192 kbit/s, 192 kbit/s. I noticed that one video changed from 192 down to 125 today. Maybe there is a mixture of quality on the YouTube network, and it depends on where the video happens to be served from.
Interesting. So after they started using 128kbps, there is still a chance to have 192 kbps at some point.

Here is another silly theory. For me, second video from your example now does show only 128kbps. And full set of VP9/Opus streams. All 192kbps videos in this thread actually don't have VP9/Opus streams. So let's take a look on videos that don't have VP9/Opus.

I've just searched for hd videos uploaded today. From 20 results there was only one containing VP9/Opus. And 14 (!) of them had 192kbps for itag 22.

So, maybe at initial processing there is a chance to have 192kbps. And maybe at reprocessing (to make full set of qualities, including VP9/Opus) existing qualities are also getting reprocessed. And at this time, itag 22 gets 128kbps (btw, it's interesting to check what happens with video bitrate). So itag 22 is like an alternative for VP9 + 160kbps Opus, until this quality is not produced. (Thinking further, it might be always producing 192kbps due to this reason. And videos that dodn't have it, just originally don't have good enough audio quality to make 192kbps AAC out of it).

Additional evidence. On Youtube, streams within MP4 container have 'creation_time' tag. And for that clip, which just switched to 128kbps, itag 22 has creation_time '2017-06-23T02:54:25.000000Z'. Aha! That was after @j7n comment.
8
So the itag and some analysis tools are obviously unreliable. I'd rather use my pathetic coding skill to write a calculator (attached) to validate the real bitrate based on file size. foobar and MediaInfo should be reliable in my observation.
9
General - (fb2k) / Re: auto update playlists
Last post by dhromed -
All playlist files are also stored in D:\All My Music, example : All Pop.fpl
Foobar's playlists are always located in \AppData\Roaming\foobar2000\playlists

Your own files are more like exports. They're not connected to the playlists currently loaded in foobar.
10
I also compared the three resampling algorithms available in stock foobar:

 * dBPoweramp/SSRC
 * PPHS
 * PPHS + Ultra Mode

Converted a 48k file to 44,1k and then back to 48k, then I compared the results and the original in a DAW, twisted the phase of the original and played both together to see what's left:

For PPHS (with and without Ultra Mode) it was mainly noise at about -100dB (at the loudest parts of my test file) and below. With some more high frequency diff at I think about 18-20kHz, where the delta was going up to -80dB. But still of course. Nothing to fear here :D

For SSRC, I was at first surprised that I still could actually quite good listen to the music in the diff between original and twice resampled: Playing both alternating, there was no audible difference for me, but playing the diff sounded a bit like I would grab an EQ and cut off some bass and low mids. I guess there were just some phases different from the original. As far as I know, resampling algorithms often (or always??) are implemented by applying a low pass filter to a zero-stuffed signal. So phase could of course change here, depending on which low pass filter was used. Just some thoughts of mine, don't know if they are true :D can somebody verify?

I know now that both alternatives offered by foobar seem to be transparent to me. But still I want to make a decision. SSRC or PPHS? It's of course not a topic about audible problems. Much more about myself feeling better if I know that I used the resampling method with the best accuracy.

After my tests described above, I would currently go with PPHS + ultra mode, because the noise resulting from the diff was still a bit lower than with PPHS without ultra mode. But due to the phase changes described above for SSRC, I can't determine its quality and there were places on the web were I remember I have read that SSRC would be better than PPHS (but I think the posts / articles where are read that are quite old)