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New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #175
My vote goes for:

Opus
Vorbis
Apple/FhG AAC
Helix Mp3, 128 kb/s
FAAC at 96 kb/s as low anchor

As for the decision between Apple and FhG AAC it might be a good idea to do a seperate listening test for these with similar samples after the "big" one is finished.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #176
I'm about to do some investigation about the exact details how to use these encoders.

Great. I'm concern only about FhG libfdk as I couldn't get 96 kbps setting for it on a bunch of heterogeneous albums.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #177
IgorC, I vote for FAAC -b 96 as a low anchor (please, complete my vote). Lower bitrate will make differences hearable for deaf even, but we don't need them in our test 

Totally agree

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #178
Great. I'm concern only about FhG libfdk as I couldn't get 96 kbps setting for it on a bunch of heterogeneous albums.

Has FhG fdk VBR 80 or 96 kbps mode?

fdkaac.exe -m 1 (libfdk-aac 3.4.12) gave me 94.1 for the whole Shpongle album
keeping audio clear together - soundexpert.org

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #179
I'm about to do some investigation about the exact details how to use these encoders.

Great. I'm concern only about FhG libfdk as I couldn't get 96 kbps setting for it on a bunch of heterogeneous albums.


Did you see my earlier reply ?
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=852904

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #180
I took several albums from my media library and encoded them with fhgaacenc / fdkaac / qaac. The results are:

1) FhG AAC (quality 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6):
37 / 68 / 105 / 138 / 206 / 256 kbps

2) FDK AAC (quality 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5):
84 / 91 / 106 / 130 / 220 kbps

3) QAAC (--rate keep --tvbr N, N = 0 / 9 / 18 / 27 / 36 / 45 / 54 / 63 / 73 / 82 / 91 / 100 / 109 / 118 / 127):
46 / 53 / 61 / 70 / 76 / 96 / 111 / 126 / 144 / 161 / 196 / 231 / 264 / 295 / 333 kbps
(--rate keep is the default setting for qaac)

4) QAAC --cvbr 96 gives 101 kbps.

added:
5) Opus 1.1 --bitrate 96 / 104 => 99 / 107 kbps.
6) aotuv 6.03 -q 2 / -q 2.5 / -q 2.99 => 98.4 / 104 / 109 kbps
7) LAME 3.99.5 -V 7 / 6.5 / 6.449 / 6 / 5 / 4.999 => 101 / 106 / 109/ 114 / 129 / 136

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #181
As for libFDK, VBR target bitrate seems to be declared in https://github.com/mstorsjo/fdk-aac/blob/ma.../src/aacenc.cpp as the following:
Code: [Select]
static const CONFIG_TAB_ENTRY_VBR configTabVBR[] = {
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_CBR,   {     0,     0}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_1, { 32000, 20000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_2, { 40000, 32000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_3, { 56000, 48000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_4, { 72000, 64000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_5, {112000, 96000}}
};

First column is bitrate mode (you can set it by -m switch in case of fdkaac frontend), second column is for mono, third column is for stereo, for which you have to multiply by 2 to get actual target bitrate. So, -m 3 should target 96kbps (48000 x 2).

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #182
My result for the AAC encoders (similar to what was written before), achieved with my standard test set of various pop music:

Apple --tvbr 45 (or similiar):    93 kbps
Apple --tvbr 54 (or similiar):  108 kbps
Apple --cvbr 96 (or similiar):  100 kbps
Winamp FhG VBR 3:              102 kbps
fdkaac --bitrate-mode 3:        103 kbps

Because of the fact, that quality demands can be chosen only in steps here, the most adequate settings for the test are IMO

Apple --cvbr 96 (or similiar):  100 kbps
Winamp FhG VBR 3:              102 kbps
fdkaac --bitrate-mode 3:        103 kbps

@2012: I don't like to see the encoders tested using lowpasses <16 kHz. It could alter quality just because of this (not necessarily towards the bad side).
lame3995o -Q1.7
opus --bitrate 140

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #183
As for libFDK, VBR target bitrate seems to be declared in https://github.com/mstorsjo/fdk-aac/blob/ma.../src/aacenc.cpp as the following:
Code: [Select]
static const CONFIG_TAB_ENTRY_VBR configTabVBR[] = {
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_CBR,   {     0,     0}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_1, { 32000, 20000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_2, { 40000, 32000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_3, { 56000, 48000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_4, { 72000, 64000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_5, {112000, 96000}}
};

First column is bitrate mode (you can set it by -m switch in case of fdkaac frontend), second column is for mono, third column is for stereo, for which you have to multiply by 2 to get actual target bitrate. So, -m 3 should target 96kbps (48000 x 2).

I also could not get the declared bitrates. -m1 gives ~94kbps. Is something wrong with the encoder?
keeping audio clear together - soundexpert.org

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #184
Great. I'm concern only about FhG libfdk as I couldn't get 96 kbps setting for it on a bunch of heterogeneous albums.

Has FhG fdk VBR 80 or 96 kbps mode?

fdkaac.exe -m 1 (libfdk-aac 3.4.12) gave me 94.1 for the whole Shpongle album


It's just one single album. Have You tried to run it on something else?  A few other albums?

I'm about to do some investigation about the exact details how to use these encoders.

Great. I'm concern only about FhG libfdk as I couldn't get 96 kbps setting for it on a bunch of heterogeneous albums.


Did you see my earlier reply ?
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=852904

Yes, I've seen it.  I was just expecting other people to answer it. And halb27 did it.



New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #185
The default lowpass value for fdkaac -m 2 is ~13.1 kHz, for -m 3 it is ~14.3 kHz.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #186
OK, this changes things. Nonetheless I feel uncomfortable to modify lowpass this way.
But wait: how can we do better with a lowpass at 14 kHz when default lowpass is 14.3 kHz?
lame3995o -Q1.7
opus --bitrate 140

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #187
My vote goes for:

Opus
Vorbis
Apple/FhG AAC
Helix Mp3, 128 kb/s
FAAC at 96 kb/s as low anchor


Guys, please specify which versions and settings. Fhg Winamp or libfdk? vbr, cbr?


As for the decision between Apple and FhG AAC it might be a good idea to do a seperate listening test for these with similar samples after the "big" one is finished.

What we should expect from pre-testing Apple and FhG AAC? According to the last test they have similar performance.  Both encoders were updated, but as far as I can see those are misc. updates.
So You can make your own blind test and bring it here.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #188
I finished the Opus test for my test set of various pop music, and it matches perfectly my suggestion for the AAC settings:

Opus --bitrate 96: 101 kbps
Apple --cvbr 96 (or similar): 100 kbps
Winamp FhG VBR 3: 102 kbps
fdkaac --bitrate-mode 3: 103 kbps
lame3995o -Q1.7
opus --bitrate 140

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #189
Thank You, halb27,lvqcl and nu774 for bitrate reports.  Later we will do a table with all bitrate reports.

Let's see what bitrates other people are getting.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #190
Let use one fhg libdfk encoder as a reference.

Where we can get the "official" binaries?

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #191
As for mp3 I've just done some listening tests with Helix -V60, lame3995m -V5, lame3100m -V5.
I'd like to see lame3100m -V5 in the test. 3.100alpha2 has very noticeable advantages on tonal problems over 3.99.5, and my extension gives the chance for a better quality for transient stuff or whenever standard Lame might show up weaknesses with short or mixed blocks.

So all in all I'd like to see

Opus --bitrate 96
Apple AAC --cvbr 96
Winamp FhG AAC VBR 3
fdkaac --bitrate-mode 3
lame3100m -V5


in the test.
lame3995o -Q1.7
opus --bitrate 140

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #192
We're considering to include 4 codecs, that is already high.
That's the average number of codecs is proposed by people.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #193
As for libFDK, VBR target bitrate seems to be declared in https://github.com/mstorsjo/fdk-aac/blob/ma.../src/aacenc.cpp as the following:
Code: [Select]
static const CONFIG_TAB_ENTRY_VBR configTabVBR[] = {
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_CBR,   {     0,     0}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_1, { 32000, 20000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_2, { 40000, 32000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_3, { 56000, 48000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_4, { 72000, 64000}} ,
  {AACENC_BR_MODE_VBR_5, {112000, 96000}}
};

First column is bitrate mode (you can set it by -m switch in case of fdkaac frontend), second column is for mono, third column is for stereo, for which you have to multiply by 2 to get actual target bitrate. So, -m 3 should target 96kbps (48000 x 2).

I also could not get the declared bitrates. -m1 gives ~94kbps. Is something wrong with the encoder?


Enable AAC_HE profile with VBR 2
Enable AAC_HE_V2 profile with VBR 1

With ffmpeg, you can do this with -profile:a aac_he{,v2}. Or you can use the -t parameter in aac-enc.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #194
OK, this changes things. Nonetheless I feel uncomfortable to modify lowpass this way.
But wait: how can we do better with a lowpass at 14 kHz when default lowpass is 14.3 kHz?


Reread what lvqcl wrote.

VBR 3 defaults to 14.3k lowpass.
VBR 2 defaults to 13.1k lowpass.

VBR 3 gives us ~110kbps. That's why I suggested VBR 2 with 14k lowpass which gives us ~96-100kbps in my limited tests.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #195
We're considering to include 4 codecs ...

OK, so:

Opus --bitrate 96
Apple AAC --cvbr 96
Winamp FhG AAC VBR 3
fdkaac --bitrate-mode 3
lame3995o -Q1.7
opus --bitrate 140

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #196
Enable AAC_HE profile with VBR 2
Enable AAC_HE_V2 profile with VBR 1

With ffmpeg, you can do this with -profile:a aac_he{,v2}. Or you can use the -t parameter in aac-enc.

Yeah, it seems to be the intended usage, although nothing can stop us from using different combination  https://github.com/mstorsjo/fdk-aac/blob/ma...src/qc_main.cpp:
Code: [Select]
static const TAB_VBR_QUAL_FACTOR tableVbrQualFactor[] = {
  {QCDATA_BR_MODE_CBR,   FL2FXCONST_DBL(0.00f)},
  {QCDATA_BR_MODE_VBR_1, FL2FXCONST_DBL(0.160f)}, /* 32 kbps mono   AAC-LC + SBR + PS */
  {QCDATA_BR_MODE_VBR_2, FL2FXCONST_DBL(0.148f)}, /* 64 kbps stereo AAC-LC + SBR      */
  {QCDATA_BR_MODE_VBR_3, FL2FXCONST_DBL(0.135f)}, /* 80 - 96 kbps stereo AAC-LC       */
  {QCDATA_BR_MODE_VBR_4, FL2FXCONST_DBL(0.111f)}, /* 128 kbps stereo AAC-LC           */
  {QCDATA_BR_MODE_VBR_5, FL2FXCONST_DBL(0.070f)}, /* 192 kbps stereo AAC-LC           */
  {QCDATA_BR_MODE_SFR,   FL2FXCONST_DBL(0.00f)},
  {QCDATA_BR_MODE_FF,    FL2FXCONST_DBL(0.00f)}
};

IIRC setting VBR mode 1 on LC was not possible in the past.
Anyway, I have to note that VBR mode 1-5 is undocumented on aacEncoder.pdf and aacenc_lib.h.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #197
In the event that increase bitrate up to 110, I'm right now can't guess whether encoders could be winner. Test would be more intricate but it's interesting.
And if to test Opus at 48 KHz sources, he can much go up at list quality, in the final analysis Opus 1.0 to sound noisy in any bitrate, IMHO.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #198
1) Musepack at 96kbps will have lowpass ~14kHz. That's too low IMHO.

The default lowpass value for fdkaac -m 2 is ~13.1 kHz, for -m 3 it is ~14.3 kHz.
So it's acceptable for AAC, but not for Musepack? I realize that interest in Muepack is low, and that it likely will not perform that well. But at least arguments should be consistent.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

New Public Multiformat Listening Test (Jan 2014)

Reply #199
Although my music is predominantly lossless, I just listened 2x 2hours to 20 of my favorite songs, which I encoded with Opus 1.1 to 80 and 96kbps. Eventhough it was just casual listening, there actually wasn't a moment I could tell I was listening to lossy music! I was thus really surprised by the transparency of 80kbps. This leads my to believe that testing 96kbps is overkill and will be very hard!

My votes therefor go to:
Opus 1.1 - 80kbps (--bitrate 80)
Aac (Apple) - 80kbps*
Vorbis (aoTuVb6.03) - 80kbps (-q1)
Mp3 (Lame 3.99.5) - 80kbps (-b 80)

*I never encode to aac, so I know nothing about settings and which version is better, but as the title of this thread is "Multiformat Listening Test" it would only be logical to put forward 1 aac contestant.

 
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