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loss sound like lossless

Hello,
I have a question, which loss encode (vorbis, lame, ecc..) sound like (near them) a lossless format and with which bitrate?
Can you make a comparison based on your opinion of various format?


Re: loss sound like lossless

Reply #2
In this forum, TOS#8 prevents us from making detailed unsubstantiated, subjective claims / opinions you are asking for. What we can say is that with modern codecs, proper testing tends to reveal that the point of transparency is often much lower than people expect—i.e., everyone thinks they need 192 kbps or higher for MP3, but in reality, 128 kbps tends to be quite sufficient for most people, most of the time.

When audio encoded with a lossy, perceptual codec sounds like the original, losslessly encoded audio, it is said to be "transparent." The point at which transparency occurs depends on more factors than the codec and bitrate. The other factors include the characteristics of the audio being encoded, the listening environment and playback gear, and the natural quirks of your own hearing. The encoders also sometimes have more parameters than just bitrate. Also, for any given codec, even at its highest bitrate and other quality settings, there exist "killer samples" which some people find are not transparent.

The only way to know  what you will find transparent, for the music you listen to with your gear, is to do your own testing with different codecs. The proper way to test is with an ABX test, which is time-consuming and fatiguing. If you are so worried that you might have be missing something or that you might hear an artifact sometimes, then you should not be using lossy codecs at all; stick with lossless.

Re: loss sound like lossless

Reply #3
Hello,
I have a question, which loss encode (vorbis, lame, ecc..) sound like (near them) a lossless format and with which bitrate?
Can you make a comparison based on your opinion of various format?

I just did an ABX test, it's fun, you should try it.

The track I like to use is a solo harpsichord piece, very well-recorded and taken from an audiophile test CD i happen to own (we all have our indulgences). I remember reading that solo harpsichord is considered to be some of the hardest music for MP3 encoders to handle, IIRC it has something to do with sharp transient sounds an pre-echo.

I did the comparison against a lossless source and a -V5 MP3 encoded with LAME. While I did manage to ABX it succesfully and repeatedly, I could only do so by narrowing down to a specific 2-second segment and listening to it over and over again. If you simply played back the MP3 version to me normally, without telling me whether it was lossless or not, I would definitely not be able tell you whether I was listening to an MP3 or lossless.

Telling the difference was hard and I wasn't at all certain that I was choosing correctly, it was more along the lines of a hunch or a vague feeling.

And that took 100% intensely focused listening to MP3 at ~110kbps, a positively stone-age format compared to the capabilities of newer codecs like AAC, Vorbis and Opus.

Yet I stick with MP3 at -V2, which gives a bitrate of ~190kbps, and according to the above is likely complete overkill for my hearing abilities. It's probably just a combination of peace of mind, old habits, being too lazy to change the setting and the fact that it used to be called "--preset standard", which just makes me feel good inside for reasons I can't explain :-)

 
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