Hydrogenaudio Forums

Misc. => Recycle Bin => Topic started by: SacRat on 2004-01-19 16:41:37

Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: SacRat on 2004-01-19 16:41:37
Well, I'm getting to a topic many people here wouldn't like, so before blaming me, read the hole post carefully...
For a time of its existance Hydrogenaudio has got many points of view, which are often taken as axioms. The worse, some of them oftem become a subject of worshiping. I'll try to give you some examples.

1st point: ABXing is the only right way to judge lossy audio codec's quality.
My thought: ABXing is absolutely a must in many cases, but if someone is unable to ABX the difference, that couldn't mean, that there's just no difference at all. How accurate is ABX? IMHO in some cases the difference can be subtle enough for someone not to be able to ABX it (as ABXing mostly includes small fragments ans short time periods). But at the same time the same person could feel it. The feeling I'm talking about has nothing to do ith placebo. Just listening to the lossy music your brain gets (for long enough time) information, which is nearly impossible to get during usual ABX tests. I think, it's even possible to ABX this tiny difference, but such blind tests could take incredible amount of time.
What I'm trying to say is that you can't say, that if person is unable to ABX difference, there can't be any.

2nd point and thoughts: sometimes praising Foobar or Nero or even LAME 3.90.3 comes to worshiping. Isn't worshiping and blind belief a thing HA should be aware of? There seems to be much zealotry from Nero or AAC plus fans lately. The same can be said about some other things. This list can be continued by many people, who visit site regularly.

What I'm trying to say is that HA should keep itself in a good form: listening tests, which were actual a year ago could be wrong with modern encoders; claims should be taken carefully even if their authors are well-known and respected persons... Noone and nothing is perfect. Unfortunately...
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: rjamorim on 2004-01-19 16:52:09
Well, what can I say...

I admire your courage, Taras. Good luck.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: jtclipper on 2004-01-19 16:53:44
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Well, what can I say...

I admire your courage, Taras. Good luck.

Why is that
should he be ...afraid of someone  or something ?
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: DAvenger on 2004-01-19 16:58:48
That's some news 
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: sld on 2004-01-19 17:04:00
Well, if someone can feel a difference, there's no reason why it isn't ABXable. Even if it takes long to ABX it successfully. IMO I find it irresponsible for people to disregard ABX just because they cannot organise a viable setup immediately, and act as if they want people to go over and do the blind-switching for them.

Edited addition: ABX is usually only targetted at those who claim stuff like 'sweeter, more vibrant highs, deeper, foot-tapping bass, and a paradise of a soundstage' anyway.

As for zealotry, well, I acknowledge it to certain degrees on these forums, but even then most statements were clearly defined as opinions, and over time general consensuses (pardon the wordhack) were created when most shared the same opinions, eg, the versatility of FB2K, the superiority of LAME above 128 kbps, the secure ripping of EAC etc.
If you subscribe to forums that do not promote any sort of objectivity, you'll see firsthand what zealotry really is. Also, most of the zealots here are exposed as trolls after a while.

I hope I do not have to prove anything in the 3 paragraphs above. 
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Moneo on 2004-01-19 17:04:39
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My thought: ABXing is absolutely a must in many cases, but if someone is unable to ABX the difference, that couldn't mean, that there's just no difference at all. How accurate is ABX? IMHO in some cases the difference can be subtle enough for someone not to be able to ABX it (as ABXing mostly includes small fragments ans short time periods). But at the same time the same person could feel it. The feeling I'm talking about has nothing to do ith placebo. Just listening to the lossy music your brain gets (for long enough time) information, which is nearly impossible to get during usual ABX tests. I think, it's even possible to ABX this tiny difference, but such blind tests could take incredible amount of time.
What I'm trying to say is that you can't say, that if person is unable to ABX difference, there can't be any.

ABX'ing is considered to be essential because it's the only known way to differentiate the actually perceived sound difference from the placebo effect.

If you think this can be done differently... I'm sure the community is open to suggestions.

As for the rest... it's an internet forum, you know.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Garf on 2004-01-19 17:06:56
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Why is that should he be ...afraid of someone  or something ?

Flames

Basically, I partly disagree with (1), but you already completely undermined your own point:

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I think, it's even possible to ABX this tiny difference, but such blind tests could take incredible amount of time


So yes, it is possible to ABX the differences. Differences and 'feelings' (!) that 'magically disappear' in a scientific test (not necessarily ABX) don't have to count on my sympathy or belief. Just as much as I don't believe in future tellers or people talking with the dead.

As for (2), just refute the zealotry with arguments. If you have none, maybe they'r even right
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: SacRat on 2004-01-19 17:08:31
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Also, most of the zealots here are exposed as trolls after a while.

Hinting at something? 8)
[just kidding]
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: dev0 on 2004-01-19 17:09:15
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2nd point and thoughts: sometimes praising Foobar or Nero or even LAME 3.90.3 comes to worshiping. Isn't worshiping and blind belief a thing HA should be aware of? There seems to be much zealotry from Nero or AAC plus fans lately. The same can be said about some other things. This list can be continued by many people, who visit site regularly.

I'm not going to comment on any of your post but this, since somebody more eloquent than me will hopefully do that.

But if you looked at the forums recently, you should have noticed that there were tests done regarding lame 3.95 vs. 3.90.3 and I doubt that we will have any reason to replace the well tested 3.90.3 release before LAME4, but if test results prove differently it might happen before.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: rjamorim on 2004-01-19 17:10:48
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Flames

Exactly what I meant
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: sld on 2004-01-19 17:15:37
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Quote
Also, most of the zealots here are exposed as trolls after a while.

Hinting at something? 8)
[just kidding]

I see that you have some examples in mind

No, I meant that by personal observations, I see that most zealots are usually HA newbies, and are thrown out after a while. The mods have been efficient in clamping down on insubstantiated claims.
If you're thinking FB2K zealots, well, see the last line in Garf's post.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: tigre on 2004-01-19 17:23:40
Seems like I'm typing too slow, but anyway...

-> 1st point:
You can choose from:
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: ErikS on 2004-01-19 17:26:54
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What I'm trying to say is that you can't say, that if person is unable to ABX difference, there can't be any.

You're correct. Though I never heard anyone say that there _can't_ be any difference after failed abx test. And really, in cases like this the burden of evidence is on the person who claims to hear a dfference. Like with the argument about pink elephants...
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Digga on 2004-01-19 17:48:34
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Quote
What I'm trying to say is that you can't say, that if person is unable to ABX difference, there can't be any.

You're correct. Though I never heard anyone say that there _can't_ be any difference after failed abx test. And really, in cases like this the burden of evidence is on the person who claims to hear a dfference.

[(OT) first of all: I realy appreciate that that kind of, well, metadiscussion is possible here (though on a kind of basic level, what doesn't lower it's value nevertheless)].

I think nobody refuses to admit the possibility that there might be a difference. but if it's not provable in blindtests, it's actually not perceiveable by the person(s) doing the test, thus of no importance for their ears and hearingability as it is now (which might improve over time), so it's transparent to them. which is fine.

as for pink elephants, well, that includes a LOT of alcohol anywas   
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: JohnV on 2004-01-19 17:48:36
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1st point: ABXing is the only right way to judge lossy audio codec's quality.
My thought: ABXing is absolutely a must in many cases, but if someone is unable to ABX the difference, that couldn't mean, that there's just no difference at all. How accurate is ABX? IMHO in some cases the difference can be subtle enough for someone not to be able to ABX it (as ABXing mostly includes small fragments ans short time periods). But at the same time the same person could feel it. The feeling I'm talking about has nothing to do ith placebo. Just listening to the lossy music your brain gets (for long enough time) information, which is nearly impossible to get during usual ABX tests. I think, it's even possible to ABX this tiny difference, but such blind tests could take incredible amount of time.
What I'm trying to say is that you can't say, that if person is unable to ABX difference, there can't be any.

Nobody is saying that ABXing is the only right way to judge lossy audio quality. Infact you can't "judge" the quality with ABX, only thing you can do is to find out wether you hear the difference or not. For quality judging people use ABC/HR or other blind rating method.

What comes to your final sentence in your first point: "What I'm trying to say is that you can't say, that if person is unable to ABX difference, there can't be any," I say that at least once a month also. Nobody is claiming the opposite, I don't know where you got the idea to even mention that. It's almost always explained when someone asks about ABX.

Quote
2nd point and thoughts: sometimes praising Foobar or Nero or even LAME 3.90.3 comes to worshiping. Isn't worshiping and blind belief a thing HA should be aware of? There seems to be much zealotry from Nero or AAC plus fans lately. The same can be said about some other things. This list can be continued by many people, who visit site regularly.
In general there's lots of discussion about Nero and AAC, because MP4 AAC is obviously gaining lots of momentum at the moment, thanks to Apple. If you look at the threads, there's lots of bug reports, complaints, questions. My opinion is that zealotry is clearly very much a minority in these posts.

Anyway, if you see "a zealot post", you can always use the report post -option and complain to management.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: JeanLuc on 2004-01-19 17:49:28
Well, ABX is not a means of determining which file sounds better ... ABX's only purpose is to determine whether differences can be spotted/nailed down with a probability that can be regarded as "safe" ...

From that point, ABX is not used to determine which file sounds better ... it's main purpose is to eliminate placebo effects (and maybe open your eyes to be skeptical about any quality-related statement).

ABC/HR could give you a hint at further audio comparison ... it introduces a "which file sounds better to you" button that is thoroughly used in various listening tests (check out roberto's actual test for mp3 around 128 kbps) ...

Lame is the only high-bitrate-optimised MP3 codec that is still undergoing heavy development if I remember correctly - with 3.90.3 being the most tested (anf therefore trusted) compile at this point. No one holds you off from using 3.93.1 or FhG ... if it sounds transparent to your ears (and 3.93.1 definitely should), everything is fine.

Foobar 2000 is an audio player with unmatched versatility (and very good output as proven by guruboolez) ... you might not like it's outfit but you cannot disagree that it's got a large V12 under its skin - if you prefer Winamp, fine (I use them both since Winamp additionally allows me to play video files) buit please stay away from WMP9 since this piece of software is proven to be spyware (not a problem if you have a decent firewall running or no internet connection at all, though).

Just my 0,02€

HA is a community of very knowledgeable people and music enthusiasts ... it therefore is only a natural development that the community is biased towards what is regarded as "the best available at that time" and, at the same time, being very open-minded to discussion of new stuff if it is presented ...
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: JeanLuc on 2004-01-19 17:50:40
Uh, John, you were faster ...
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: SacRat on 2004-01-19 17:55:48
Well, guys. I completely agree, that ABX is a strong weapon against placebo, but I've personally seen some cases, where it was possible to "feel" the difference, but not to ABX it. I bet it was because of some lacks of ABX technique. In this case we might better talk about blind tests in common, not just ABXing. Is that point clearer? I bet many advanced people here could recall examples, when difference was (nearly)impossible to ABX, but appeared after a long periods of listening to long enough (minutes:hours) fragments. And I'd not say, that all these cases was pure placebo. Here I'm taking about subtle difference,w hich has very few with generally known artifacts, which are easy enough to ABX (and in many cases blind test isn't even nedful).

Unfortunately zealotry doesn't automatically break TOS rules. And I personally think, that explaining a person his faults or even sending him to RTFM is a way better, than using "report" button
You might notice, that there were numerous worshiping waves:
at first people were praising Musepack, later Vorbis and Nero... The latest has possibly created the biggest group of zealots here (the worst is possibly that there were too little tests even though some are still judging codecs quality). Some people just don't want to know others' opinions at all... The same at first was about Foobar (thank Peter for stopping it) and before that about alt-presets..
It's really great, that moderators are trying to keep "recommended"/FAQ information up to date and some volunteers (we know their names  conduct their own listening tests, letting people use up-to-date information.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Garf on 2004-01-19 18:13:27
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Well, guys. I completely agree, that ABX is a strong weapon against placebo, but I've personally seen some cases, where it was possible to "feel" the difference, but not to ABX it.


How do you know you were really hearing a difference?

That's the root of the problem.

Don't tell me you just 'knew' or 'felt', please. If you 'feel' a difference, you can ABX it.

I've explained this before and I'll do it again: either you can perceive some difference or you can't. If you can perceive a difference, you'll pass an ABX test. If you don't you won't.

I'm not saying not being able to ABX something doesn't mean there's no difference. But is sure as hell shows that you can't perceive it!
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Althalus on 2004-01-19 18:17:26
My impression is that many of the 'You're/He's a Zealot!' is just BS and do nothing but lower the SNR.

1) Persons asks what/why/how to do 'something' and people answer Nero/Foobar/whatever.

Could it be that Nero is by many regarded as the best burning program?
Could it be that AAC is by many regarded as a excellent codec?
Could it be that Foobar is by many regarded as a one of the best audio players/tools?

Maybe you expect people to answer untruthfully just so specific answers aren't repeated too often. Reality Check: Not all software/products are created equal, thus not all have equal popularity.
Yeah, next time someone asks for recomended tagger I'll reply some no-name BeOS utility, that'll level the unfair score a bit, bleh

/me wonders why he bothered to reply to a obvious troll, deliberate or not.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: SacRat on 2004-01-19 18:28:55
Quote
Quote
Well, guys. I completely agree, that ABX is a strong weapon against placebo, but I've personally seen some cases, where it was possible to "feel" the difference, but not to ABX it.


How do you know you were really hearing a difference?

That's the root of the problem.

Don't tell me you just 'knew' or 'felt', please. If you 'feel' a difference, you can ABX it.

I've explained this before and I'll do it again: either you can perceive some difference or you can't. If you can perceive a difference, you'll pass an ABX test. If you don't you won't.

I'm not saying not being able to ABX something doesn't mean there's no difference. But is sure as hell shows that you can't perceive it!

I won't tell...
But after about 6 hours of ABXing I managed to get a result, which has shown, that there actually was a difference. Unfortunately I don't have enough time to make such tests all the time  And that was far not th worst case. Unfortunately hman hears get "untuned" very fast, so cunducting long tests is hard
This way I'd better "waste" some space/time and be safe, than feel uncomfortable next time (I'm not talking about loseless .
Besides, such an "annoying" feeling often comes, when listening to music, encoded by someone else (got from unknown sources): you can't tell, that you actually hear artifacts, but feel, that something is wrong. But that kind of difference is not hard to ABX.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Garf on 2004-01-19 18:30:56
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But after about 6 hours of ABXing I managed to get a result, which has shown, that there actually was a difference.

What does that tell you of the 'audibility' of the problem in normal circumstances?

Frankly, if it takes 6 hours to demonstrate a difference, I'm not going to worry about it. Case in point: MAD Challenge.

Nobody here is going to slander you when you say: 'I think I hear a difference, but it seems to be subtle and I certainly couldn't ABX it in a quick test.' If anything, they'll ask you for a sample to give it a shot themselves.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: dev0 on 2004-01-19 18:31:54
Now ask yourself the question how many tries you needed overall to get your 9/9...
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Steve999 on 2004-01-19 18:32:13
I'm pretty new here and this is very interesting.  I had no experience with ABX testing until I tried the ongoing 128whatevers MP3 codec testing.  I do not consider my ears to be that good so I was stunned when I found myself able to reliably ABX some of the samples.  However, as a new person, I don't know what to listen for really, and my ABXs were just based on a sense one "feels" different than the other.  Probably with more time I could pinpoint the artifacts or whatnot, but I agree it can just feel different if you haven't spent a lot of time what specifically to look for on ABXing. 

Also, the ABX software is awesome, I'm deeply impressed.

Then I had 2 1/2 beers.... and I couldn't ABX anything reliably!  FASCINATING.  Maybe then knowing precisely what an artificat sounded like would have helped.  Perhaps the best CODEC is 2 1/2 beers.  Again, though, my ears are not that good.

I found this place as a reprieve from the zealotry of head-fi.  I do agree there is some zealotry in just the underlying dogma here.  In short, people make a big deal out of what are to the average person little tiny differences that, it seems to me, could be largely mitigated by upping the bitrate a little if was such a big deal to a person.  However, this is great insofar as it spurs progress in the CODECS and compression ratios and whatnot and keeps the pressure on to keep the sound quality up.  Whereas the head-fi zealotry is, for the most part, flat-out nonsense and quackery (source cable amp burn-in synergy bla bla bla), the zealotry here is, in a word, nitpicking, IMHO.  But again, it is very useful nitpicking and objectively verifiable nitpicking in the big scheme of things.  I like the attitude here much more.  I do regret I don't have the expertise to play a big part here, though, but it's fun reading. 

And I am super-psyched about seeing the results of the 128 MP3 listening tests.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Moneo on 2004-01-19 18:46:22
Quote
But after about 6 hours of ABXing I managed to get a result, which has shown, that there actually was a difference.

Waht was that result and how did you get it?
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: fairyliquidizer on 2004-01-19 18:47:00
Quote
2nd point and thoughts: sometimes praising Foobar or Nero or even LAME 3.90.3 comes to worshiping. Isn't worshiping and blind belief a thing HA should be aware of? There seems to be much zealotry from Nero or AAC plus fans lately. The same can be said about some other things. This list can be continued by many people, who visit site regularly.

I am supportive of your general thrust which is that there are elements here who stifle expansive general discussion of worth while topics because they are bigots or zealots. 

My favourite example is that someone thinks they have found a problem with a particular combination of LAME switches and two seconds later they are being called a Noob for not using the presets or (in the case of the truly blinkered) they haven't used APS!  As if 3.90.3 and APS is the only way to get high quality music.

Sometimes also the difference is obvious that an ABX test is a waste of time.  Try fatboy on WMA9 versus LAME 3.95 for example!

Enjoy your stay!

Love,
Fairy
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: SacRat on 2004-01-19 19:00:35
2 Dev, I'm sometimes too captious.
Often I don't get relaxed, until I get 0.01% of guessing or less, so you might guess, that was far not 9/9

2 Garf: hell knows  If I only knew... I just "felt" ther was a difference. Though I can't say I have golden ears...

2 Steve999: just listen to the whole sample carefully. Very often difference is noticeable on hi-freqs. So listen to percussion, acoustic guitars, etc... After some time you'll be able to pick up artifacts easy enough.

Thanks everyone for keeping this thread constructive.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: AtaqueEG on 2004-01-19 19:23:17
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My favourite example is that someone thinks they have found a problem with a particular combination of LAME switches and two seconds later they are being called a Noob for not using the presets or (in the case of the truly blinkered) they haven't used APS!

That is because HA is focused on quality.
As for MP3 quality, the community spent many time fine-tuning a codec and a preset (many actually) to get the best quality in a wide range of conditions, in a way everybody can understand.
Not to be harsh, but no one is interested in testing home-brewed command lines, specially what you can tell, just by looking at them, that they do not produce better quality (stereo switch, for example?).
This is not zealotry, this is common sense.

Quote
As if 3.90.3 and APS is the only way to get high quality music.

As far as MP3 goes, there are, to this day, only two better ways.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Dibrom on 2004-01-19 19:40:19
Aren't people getting a little tired of these discussions?

I know I am.  At least once a month we seem to get a post: "Is HA dying?", "I'm leaving, bye guys", "HA is full of zealots", "I really think ABX isn't so good, we should be more subjective guys!", etc., etc.

And each time, we see the same responses.  Yet, while HA moves forward and continues to be a great forum (in a lot of respects it continues to improve over time even), some people still seem to have these mistaken views.

Even worse is (as seen in some of the above posts), there continues to be the view that if someone points out a "problem" in some quality related issue that they will be treated poorly and ignored.  I don't understand this.  Almost every time someone has done this, and they have actually followed the forum rules in doing so, people have often paid great attention to their claims.  This goes for MP3 and the alt-presets, MPC, Vorbis, AAC, etc.

What I think is really going on is that some people simply don't like the rigor of trying to found these claims here at HA.  Most of the time when we see people complaining, we see them start to discuss issues of "feeling" and of the inadequecy of ABX along with their fears of being persecuted by the "ABX hordes".

Well, I'm sorry to say, but it just doesn't work that way.  For people following the rules of this board, HA has had (and will continue to have) a very successful track record in dealing with these issues.

For the other people, it would probably be a good idea to reevaluate some of the "problems" you seem to think exist here and/or realize that, in regard to issues like ABX, board policy will not be changing in favor of more subjective approaches.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Cyaneyes on 2004-01-19 19:43:01
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But after about 6 hours of ABXing I managed to get a result, which has shown, that there actually was a difference.


You first said it's possible to feel a difference and not be able to ABX it.  Then you state that you were able to ABX it after a long period of time.

So let me ask you this.  How long did it take you to get this "feeling" that there was a difference.  Was it less than 6 hours?

For example, if you "just get a feeling" something's wrong after 20 seconds of listening, you should be able to repeat that in a blind test in the same amount of time.  If you can't, don't you think you're probably just experiencing a placebo effect? (You state you know ABX is a strong weapon against placebo)?

edit: bad syntax
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Dibrom on 2004-01-19 19:49:55
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My favourite example is that someone thinks they have found a problem with a particular combination of LAME switches and two seconds later they are being called a Noob for not using the presets or (in the case of the truly blinkered) they haven't used APS!  As if 3.90.3 and APS is the only way to get high quality music.

Sometimes also the difference is obvious that an ABX test is a waste of time.  Try fatboy on WMA9 versus LAME 3.95 for example!

If someone believes they have found a problem in LAME in the alt-presets, which other settings address better (something which is pretty rare), then they need to be explicit in: 1) What the problem is, 2) providing samples/abx results, 3) mentioning that they have indeed tried the alt-presets and have a general knowledge of what they are about and what they do.

Otherwise, their claim is wasting everyones time, especially the time of people who have already put in hours upon hours of testing LAME.

It's really kind of simple.  One shouldn't expect others to check their results unless they provide a reason for others to believe that their results are worth looking into versus doing something else more productive.  And no, simply making a claim does not carry enough weight to make it believable on its own.

As for LAME 3.95 versus WMA, I'm not sure I know of anyone on this board who would state themselves as being an authority on the quality of LAME.  Nevertheless, for people who haven't shown to the community that they are serious in some respect (be it through past intensive testing or through present ABX results), ABX is not a waste of time when other people come into the picture.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Continuum on 2004-01-19 21:01:23
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2 Dev, I'm sometimes too captious.
Often I don't get relaxed, until I get 0.01% of guessing or less, so you might guess, that was far not 9/9

Are you sure you mean 0.01 %? That's a lot more than most people ask for here (about 100 times!). Besides, neither ABC/HR nor Foobar show the p-val with this accuracy.
If, on the other hand, you meant 0.1%, then 9/9 is not far off: 10/10 has p-val  < 0.00098.

Could you be more specific on the number of trials used? The classic p-val calculation is not totally reliable for long tests.
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Pio2001 on 2004-01-19 22:32:41
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if someone is unable to ABX the difference, that couldn't mean, that there's just no difference at all.



This was already adressed above, but let me put in in simple words : That's right, if someone is unable to ABX a difference, it means that he couldn't hear the difference during the test. No more, no less. The rest is speculation.

A useful case is when the subject thinks he passed the test, while he didn't. It proves that the subject was wrong when he though that he heard the difference in the test.

Quote
IMHO in some cases the difference can be subtle enough for someone not to be able to ABX it (as ABXing mostly includes small fragments ans short time periods). But at the same time the same person could feel it. [...]which is nearly impossible to get during usual ABX tests I think, it's even possible to ABX this tiny difference, but such blind tests could take incredible amount of time.


If it's impossible to get in a usual ABX test, that's hard, but you have to setup an unusual ABX test ! I'd like to find back the thread where that guy ABXed a 24 to 16 bits dithered wav against a truncated one... running one ABX session each morning 

And to encourage everybody, remember Xerophase (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=11278&st=75&#entry114968) ! He claimed to hear without effort the difference between wav and MPC quality 5, that his high end hifi revealed differences that we couldn't hear on our computers, that blind testing was not needed...
After some discussions, he did the blind test, he succeeded, he posted samples, we tried hard to find what could be the difference... and finally confirmed his results, the sample was definitely ABXable ! It didn't begin well, but at the end it turned out to be a very good thread...
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: mobius on 2004-01-19 22:39:05
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For quality judging people use ABC/HR or other blind rating method.

ABC/HR is flawed.  I rate samples on the left poorly because they are à gauche.

Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: Lyx on 2004-01-19 23:06:05
personally, the "zealotry" isn't what bothers me most, but the narrow-minded thinking of some people: When some newbies ask about help, HA regulars sometimes don't think about whats best for HIM/HER but for oneself. Thats a big difference. Some people don't need the horsepower of fb2k. Its not always about whats better and what worse - the world isn't black/white. However, this is also often the fault of the people who ask about help, because they ask the wrong questions. "whats the best mp3-ripper" obviously isn't going to result in an answer about whats best suited for oneself.

What i would like to see more at HA: People who understand that needs are differently, and that software is different. To everyone his own. Sure, some apps are better than others, but some also are just "different" because they are made for different tastes/needs. Some newbie may be better off with an easy-to-use app, which is at the same time reliable. Options and features which are unnecessary for oneself make an application WORSE for oneself, NOT better.

I'm sick of "xyz is the best!" BS-posts. Newbies shall ask the right questions, and regulars shall sometimes step down from their high-horse and try to see things from the POV of the person which asked.

- Lyx
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: rc55 on 2004-01-19 23:37:35
I can honestly say that I've got perhaps quite a unique opinion on this.

I've never ABX'd since I started getting into audio compression. I started off just being content with zipping down 22khz mono cd tracks, then ADPCM'ing them back in the days where MP3 just wasn't there. I used RealAudio's early incarnations - all the development since then with MP3, and all other formats have been a godsend.

I specifically don't ABX or train myself to spot artifacts specifically so that I can enjoy what I can of the music, not what it has been encoded with. My involvement with Hydrogen Audio and audio compression is purely to make sure that the people I choose to share my music, regardless of their artifact awareness, can enjoy the music with me without picking out pre-echo and stereo troubles.

From this - I don't advocate aggressively any specific player or format - its whatever suits the person or application. For every improvement to the technologies, its a good thing - even though I wouldn't notice! Ignorance for me is bliss, but an awareness to other peoples sensitivities and perceptions in mind just plain makes me content.

The other thing is, blind fanboy-ism towards technologies with possible and admitted flaws is an insult to the people who've created them. Mp3 will never be perfect, but to my ears its fine. Understand my previous point before quoting rules on me. Ogg is great - in fact most formats are nowadays. The whole thing with ABX is it requires concentration - that of which I don't generally apply when I'm listening to music. I'm not thinking "Oh, I'm certain I heard some pre-echo back then", I'm thinking "Jeez, that chord sequence makes my hairs stand on end".

Audio compression is a science, for those who aren't well versed, leave it to those who can. For those who want to learn -- learn the science, and prove it before spouting off nonsense. Formerly I felt that the reason my audio collection was so good, was because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. Now I find they have to stand along side pumped up idiots talking rubbish and having to filter through flame filled garbage all day.

At the end of the day, its all about music and perception. Look to rjamorim's tests for a bit of independant qualified information, but at the end of the day - do what suits you and listen to the people worth listening to.

Ruairi
Title: [USELESS] Zealotry on HA
Post by: spoon on 2004-01-19 23:38:31
Quote
HA regulars sometimes don't think about whats best for HIM/HER but for oneself. Thats a big difference.


Ah someone who speaks sense (from the other side of the coin I happen to like strawberry ice cream - for the life of me I cannot understand why everyone does not feel the same as me, what is the point of the other ice creams even existing - there should be only 1 ice cream so everyone can get the best...)

Lyx for moderator?
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